13 MAY 1995

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M r John Major, the Prime Minister, made a mysterious remark in the wake of the disastrous Conservative Party perfor- mance in the local elections: 'We will do precisely what...

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We don't want to leave the party yet; we just want to know where the door is BORIS JOHNSON H er Majesty's Government winced. 'No, no,' he said, slugging his champagne. 'I...

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T here can be no one so smug as the writer who has just finished a book — par- ticularly if he has friends who are only in the middle of theirs, or, better (meaning worse),...

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Perhaps we should be grateful for the cowardice factor in politics AUBERON WAUGH T he best joke about the local elections was made by Frank Peters in a letter which appeared...

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Anne Applebaum spends a week following Newt Gingrich around, and discovers that America might be in for a bigger shock than it had bargained for Washington IT IS EARLY on a...

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Wilt of the Week

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Hon. George Sandbach BORWICK, of 7 Basil Mansions, Basil Street, London SW3, who died on Nov. 28th last, left estate in the UK valued at £17,125,997 gross, £16,957,060 net. He...

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Michael Heath

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Andrew Kenny argues that we should all be forced to witness the slaughter of animals and the abortion of tiny babies Cape Town I HAVE personally witnessed the last ter- rible...

If symptoms

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persist.. . EVERY TIME I enter the prison of late I wonder, the feeling of doom upon me, how I myself should survive a prison sen- tence. I think on the whole that it would not...

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Timothy Sultan joins the American Secret Service in the attempt to unravel the activities of a man who turns money into art New York EIGHT YEARS have passed since J.S.G. Boggs...

Mind your language

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`MUMMY, I wish I wasn't called Veronica,' said Veronica out of the blue. Noting her use of 'wasn't', I replied, `Don't be silly, 0 praenomen of my cog- nomen. We can't all...

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Leo McKinstry interviews the Chief Inspector of Schools, a man who has become the scourge of his former colleagues THE CRISIS in state education continues. However, it is a...

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Despite Virginia Bottomley's promises, the NHS has still not eliminated mixed-sex hospital wards, discovers Joanna Pitman A COUPLE of weeks ago a Tory MP who sits on the Health...

One hundred years ago

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THE DEATHS of Lord Pembroke and Lord Selborne raise very interesting and curious points in connection with the question of what vacates a seat in the House of Commons, for the...

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The sanctity of human life is everywhere undermined. It's time to bring back the death penalty PAUL JOHNSON C harles Moore drew our attention, in an article The Spectator...

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Kenneth Clarke's policy comes up against the limit of what his people will stand CHRISTOPHER FILDES R obust, genial and combative, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was more...

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LETTERS Disgusted of Gallipoli

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Sir: Like Lord Bethell I was also present, together with several hundred other visitors from the United Kingdom, at Gallipoli on 25 April (`The great Australian lie', 6 May). In...

Bygones are bygones

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Sir: You were kind enough to publish a let- ter from me in your edition of 25 March in which I referred to your columnist Mr Theodoracopulos. Your readers may be surprised to...

Wingate wronged

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Sir: If to have refused to serve under Orde Wingate is a qualification, J.A.R. Milman is excellently qualified to write long and wild letters about him to you (Letters, 6 May)....

Carry on, Anne

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Sir: When Anne Applebaum published her interesting article in your issue of 8 April ('What did you do in the Occupation, Daddy?'), memories came flooding back of my experiences...

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It's a pleasure

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Sir: You do not appear to have published any letters congratulating you on the intro- duction of a bridge column. I cannot believe that you have not received any. I do remember...

Education cuts

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Sir: Simon Jenkins (Centre point, 29 April) is not exaggerating about the institutions' pragmatic response to the imposition of meaningless 'indicators'. A friend, applying to...

Eh? Eh?

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Sir: Mixing sound and language (Letters, 6 May): homo sapiens translates to wise man; homo sapiens is likewise. Peter Bottomley House of Commons, London SW1

Sir: Your deputy editor wrote that no one was examining

The Spectator

the lives of newspaper own- ers ('Why I said no to Mary Ellen Synon', 15 March). Well, I am writing a biography of Mr Rupert Murdoch, and I should be grateful to hear from any...

Cautionary tale

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Sir: Recent issues of your great magazine have made mention of foxes. Shortly after the war, I was staying at a country property in the outback in New South Wales, where foxes...

Biography corner

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Sir: As Isaiah Berlin's editor (Henry Hardy) and biographer (Michael Ignatieff), we would be grateful to see (copies of) any letters from him that individual correspon- dents or...

Shame on you, Julie

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Sir: Julie Burchill's incoherent account (Books, 8 April) of Angs Nin is an inade- quate substitute for a detached review of Deirdre Blair's biography of Nin. To sug- gest that...

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A brief encounter with a Rolls-Royce executive SIMON JENKINS T he admirable, libertarian, pipe-smok- ing Lord Harris of High Cross is waging a campaign against British Rail...

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The time was out of joints John Mortimer HIPPIE HIPPIE SHAKE: THE DREAMS, THE TRIPS, THE TRIALS, THE LOVE-INS, . THE SCREW-UPS: THE SIXTIES by Richard Neville Bloomsbury,...

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Depression moving in from the West

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Kate Hubbard PROZAC NATION: YOUNG AND DEPRESSED IN AMERICA by Elizabeth Wurtzel Quartet, £10, pp. 336 E lizabeth Wurtzel began cutting her legs, with a razor blade, in the...

The wrong stuff

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George Pownall THE FORGOTTEN FEW by Adam Zamoyski John Murray, £19.99, pp. 239 M orale wins battles; organisation and discipline wins wars. The Polish airmen who came to...

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Taboo or not taboo

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Anita Brookner INTIMACY by Julian Rathbone Gollancz, £15.99 ,pp. 254 I t may be — or so the author of this com- plicated and resonant novel seems to be saying — that...

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The riddle of Arenas

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G. Cabrera Infante THE ASSAULT by Reinaldo Arenas Viking, £15, pp. 145 I 've often wondered why Reinaldo Arenas became a q uarry of Fidel Castro and his many minions, in Cuba...

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One woman at one time plays many parts

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Anne Chisholm SPLITTING by Fay Weldon . HarperCollins, £14.99, pp. 265 F ay Weldon's novels, including this one, are not as weird as they at first appear. For some time now...

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An aristocrat of the Left

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Anthony Howard THE GOLDEN AGE IS IN US: JOURNEYS AND ENCOUNTERS, 1987-1994 by Alexander Cockburn Verso, £19.95, pp. 434 T his is an unusual and stimulating book. It is not, as...

Waiting for another masterpiece

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Byron Rogers THE END OF THE HUNT by Thomas Flanagan Sinclair-Stevenson, £14.99, pp. 627 I have waited a long time for this. In 1979 Thomas Flanagan, a middle-aged American...

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Morality is unspeakable

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Raymond Carr THE DE-MORALIZATION OF SOCIETY by Gertrude Himmelfarb lEA, £12.50, pp. 314 T his is a tract for our times written by a distinguished historian with a rare gift...

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Never mind the width, feel the lack of quality

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Michael Bywater THE FABER BOOK OF POP edited by Hanif Kureishi and Jon Savage Faber, i16.99, pp. 813 T hose who can't, no longer teach, but go into journalism, where the great...

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A long look at nothing much

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Alan Wall THE UNCONSOLED by Kazuo Ishiguro Faber, £1 5.99, pp. 535 T here is a curious stand-offishness about Ishiguro's prose. People can still exclaim in despair, strange...

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Architecture Phoenix on the Downs Laurence Marks admires the impressive recreation of Uppark after the great fire mittee of the National Trust met at St Anne's Gate to decide...

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Renato Tosini (Dover Street Gallery, till 19 May) Alfred Wallis and Patrick Hayman (Crane Kalman, till 10 June) Feliks Topolski (David Messum, till August) The agonies of man...

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All music, no words Geoffrey Wheatcroft talks to Sir Harrison Birtwistle about The Second Mrs Kong A ccording to received opinion, 'Eng- land is the Land ohne Musik', Glynde-...

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Mu sic

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Fulfilling every desire Robin Holloway A hundred and fifty years ago — May 12 1845 — Gabriel Faure, the supreme composer of felicity, was born. Gentle, pol- ished,...

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Skylight (National/Cottesloe) The Plough and the Stars (Barbican) Hare's breadth Sheridan Morley T he widely held view of David Hare, for my money unquestionably our greatest...

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Bullets over Broadway ('15', selected cinemas) His private life is his own affair Mark Steyn I f you want, you can find autobiographical echoes in almost anything of Woody...

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Hooked up to the sky Nigella Lawson hat I wish I were really reviewing this week is radio. It's not just the whole VE day bit that Radio Four has been doing so well: it's all...

High life

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Time to grow up Taki H andel's Water Music was composed for a grand ceremonial occasion, yet it would have suited me perfectly last Satur- day night in the Big Bagel at...

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Low life

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Only one thing on my mind Jeffrey Bernard L ike most people who are old enough to have taken part in the last war or to have observed the Blitz from the comparative safety of...

Long life

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The perfect drift Nigel Nicolson S ome years ago I travelled the entire length of the Thames from source to mouth, first by canoe as far as Oxford, next by cabin-cruiser to...

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Office life

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Sick or just skiving off? Holly Budd W e were stricken again by sickness this week, a throaty cold rampant. There was widespread loss of voice and in the cor- ridors an almost...

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Imperative cooking: A fishy outing

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GETTING TIRED of the even more tired northern waters white fish that fill so many local English fishmongers' slabs? I have found a source of fresh Gulf of Mexico fish, huge...


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Fit to play Andrew Robson BRIDGE TEXTBOOKS advise that a combined holding of eight cards is neces- sary to make that suit trumps. Alphonse Moyse of the United States made the...

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First come, first served Auberon Waugh A n enviable characteristic of this offer is the amount which Lay & Wheeler have been prepared to knock off their list prices to secure...

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Gata melata Raymond Keene GATA KAMSKY, in spite of his setback against Anand in the PCA Qualifying Final, continues to be one of the most suc- cessful condottieri on the...


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URA i ,Ili 11111S ■11: ' ,11,11 , , COMPETITION Copy Cats Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1880 you were invited to supply a suitably canine lyric for Lloyd Webber's future...

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CROSSWORD 1209: Girl of my heart by Doc

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A first prize of £25 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 30 May, with two runners-up prizes of £15 (or, for UK...

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Player power Frank Keating IT WAS a glorious English comedy and culture clash: callow cheek and donkeys' dignities. England's amateur rugby captain, Will Carling, financially...


The Spectator

Dear Mary. . May I suggest another ingenious way to get rid of the telephone-hogger (Your prob- lems solved, 29 April)? The secret is to start saying something, and then hang...