15 JULY 1995

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The Spectator

The French, they are so virile. 0 rangemen in Portadown, Co. Armagh, spent three days confronting police who would not let them march down Garvaghy Road, which borders a...

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The curious passivity of Michael Heseltine in the battle over Westland Mark II BORIS JOHNSON U ntil we have watched how Michael Heseltine performs his mysterious func- tions...

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ANDREW MARR T he kaleidoscope is shaken. One of the colourful quirks of the post-reshuffle politi- cal scene is its effect on the longer-running rivalry between Malcolm Rifkind,...

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The contest for supreme power between the colourful character and the grey man CHARLES MOORE N eurosis', it was explained to me at a party in the middle of the Conservative...

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Theodore Dalrymple argues that the American contingency fee system and British legal aid are combining to remove valuable medical treatment from those who need it Man is born...

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SKIN SUPPLIES FOR MEN For great grooming advice see the Clinique For Men Expert in a store convenient for you. SCOTLAND Debenhams; Arnotts; Binns; Frasers; John Lewis; Boots:...

Mind your language

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THE MAKERS of that dreadful film about King Arthur have been mocked for their Hollywood vocabulary, but writers of historical novels run into trouble even when setting their...

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Alun Jones, QC, gives a personal account of the disgraceful trial and death of a man once at the hub of London society THE MANY British friends of Rajan Pil- lai, a 47-year-old...

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Tristan Garel-Jones devises a European policy that will unite the Conservative Party, except for Norman Lamont THE LITTLE local difficulties of the last few weeks have...

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Michael Heath

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Will of the week

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Miss Marjorie PUREY-CUST, of Blenheim Lodge, North Road, Mine- head, Somerset, Peggy Purey-Cust, the childhood neighbour of John Betjeman, and known to lovers of Betjeman's...


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Jacob Rothschild responds to criticism of his choice of good causes for Lottery largesse, and hints at future beneficiaries FOR ALL the shocked and puritanical tones of last...

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Fifty years ago

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A SPECTATOR'S NOTEBOOK NEWS that reaches me privately from Berlin confirms in all essentials most of what the newspaper correspondents are saying about non-fraternisation — and...

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Two corner boys strike a corrupt bargain that will not stick PAUL JOHNSON h e essence of the constitutional crime John Major committed last Tuesday was that he traded public...

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Chew on this stick of boardroom rock and taste the humbug flavour CHRISTOPHER FILDES A more agile man than Sir Richard Greenbury would have hidden in the sta- tionery cupboard...

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Sir: May I add to the chorus of admiration for

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your article about the birth of your daughter? My feelings on this subject are strong. Had I been conceived today and my muscular dystrophy been detected by screening, doctors...

Sir: As you indicate, all babies are special, no one

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like another. I have been in general practice for 40 years and am horrified by the changes in attitude of so many of my colleagues — I just can't understand it. Articles like...

Sir: I am writing on behalf of Labour Life Group

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members to express our best wishes to you and your family on the birth of your daughter as described in your article in The Spectator magazine recently. But it is sad that what...

Ripe riposte

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Sir: Why, in praising British Cheese, does Martin Vander Weyer find it necessary to denigrate the cheese production of France ('Cheese: British is best' 1 July)? The devel-...

LETTERS Life or death issue

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Sir: I would like to redress the balance (All you need is life', 17 June). First, I congratu- late you on the birth of your daughter. I admire the courage and compassion that...

Sir: Blaming the medical profession for the popularity of termination

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of Down's syn- drome foetuses (Avoid handicaps. Kill babies' 8 July) seems a rather cheap way to avoid having to examine the morality of society in general. It does not seem to...

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Nelson and Nelson

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Sir: Jonathan Manthorpe (Letters, 8 July) rules out two possible candidates for the vacant equestrian plinth in Trafalgar Square on the ground of their non-horse- manship:...

Covent Garden F.C.

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Sir: Eight months into its first ten years, no one would claim the National Lottery is perfect, but it does seem a bit odd to attack it, as you did ('Let them eat cake', 8...

Fact checker

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Sir: You argue that John Major became Prime Minister because he was not Neil Kinnock ('We deserve better', 1 July). In 1990? You have left uncorrected the statement in a...

Sir: My 86-year-old aunt (who doesn't read The Spectator) said

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to me yesterday, 'How disgusting this business is about Hugh Grant. Men have always popped out for a bit of sex. Why can't the press behave prop- erly and leave him alone?' Her...

Blown out of proportion

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Sir: I am alarmed by the moral confusion raging in the land of my birth concerning the Hugh Grant fellatio scandal. This practice has no place in a marriage between decent...

Noses up

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Sir: Thank God! John Major has won, the snobs and zealots have lost. The air feels fresher already. M.J. Dowsett 7 Lambs Close, Kidlington, Oxon

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Apsley House: great art gallery, pity about the museum SIMON JENKINS I have always regarded Apsley House as a large stone whale beached by waves of traffic at Hyde Park...

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The boy scout lied David Caute ANDRE MALRAUX: A BIOGRAPHY by Curtis Cate Hutchinson, £25, pp. 415 A ndre Malraux was never a Marxist. The doomed revolutionaries of The...

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History with many cunning passages

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Dominic Lieven THE BLACK SEA by Neal Ascherson Cape, £17.99, pp. 306 I read this book looking out of my win- dow at - a Japanese summer storm. My neighbour's roof sagged under...

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The horror of war through the eyes of a girl

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Simon Courtauld THE CHANCES OF DEATH: A DIARY OF THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR by Priscilla Scott-Ellis Michael Russell, £17.95, pp. 240 T he poet Edward Thomas, in the diary that he...

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What became of Huckleberry Finn?

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Tom Hiney INDEPENDENCE DAY by Richard Ford The Harvill Press, £14.99, pp. 451 W hen a good novelist chooses a boring subject to write about, the results can be exasperating....

The light that shines before men

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Francis King A HOUSE IN PONDICHERRY by Lee Langley Heinemann, £12.99, pp. 276 F rom the 18th century to the present day, a host of characters, Indian, English, French and...

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The heart less bounding at emotion new

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Kate Hubbard THE TEMPORARY by Rachel Cusk Macmillan, 0.99, pp. 245 T follow a highly acclaimed first novel — Saving Agnes — is an unenviable and notoriously difficult task. But...

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Following in the steps of the master

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Anita Brookner SHARDS OF MEMORY by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala John Murray, £15.99, pp. 272 R eaders of this beautiful novel must first make an effort to disentangle the relationships...

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First Winter

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By the time you look you've missed it, these lines are cold, the sky mussed, the snow-shy cardinal newly gone. Come and see this, I shouted, this red bird at the feeder, this...

What Clare knew

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Frances Partridge LOBSTER AT LITTLEHAMPTON by Clare Sheppard Tabb House, 12.95, £7.95, pp.176 T he striking title of this book of child- hood memories comes from the 'little...

Not funny but interesting

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Julian Critchley UNDERGROUND HUMOUR IN NAZI GERMANY, 1933-45 by Franz Hillenbrand Routledge, £45, pp. 297 T hree years ago I gave lunch in the Commons to my daughter Melissa...

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M usic A toffee-nosed elitist? As Sir John Drummond launches the centenary Proms, he tells Richard Osborne why he is out of step with the BBC A ter the 100th season, comes...

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Theatre Venom (Drill Hall) The Tempest/Bingo (Young Vic) The Importance

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of Being Earnest (Old Vic) All a matter of timing Sheridan Morley o r several years now an American thriller writer strangely unknown over here, George Baxt, has been...

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Batman Forever (PG', selected cinemas) Bouncy hero Mark Steyn B atman Forever? The odds are pretty good. He's survived 56 years, mainly by adapting to the fashions of the...

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High life

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Change of direction Taki M y father died six years ago on July 14, and this year will be the first that I will not be in the Big Olive to visit his grave. The year following...


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Sheer bliss Nigella Lawson W hen I first started watching Mas- terchef, Loyd Grossman used to get on my nerves. It's not so much that, rather late in the day, I've twigged...

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Low life

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Going behind the stalls Jeffrey Bernard I am sure it was right and I was delighted that Emma Humphreys should have been freed from prison last week but I can't help wondering...

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Long life

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Sorry about the bed Nigel Nicolson Most of us know when we enter a drawing- room whether it is a pretty room or not; but how few of us know how to make a drawing- room...

Half life

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Secret seduction Carole Morin E ast Berlin used to be a safe bet for a summer holiday. Short flight, no beach, a Grand Hotel that was never fully booked. The Wall was a...

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1 1111U111111.111111,

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Chez Bruce NNN fkb. 1 C1rWal■-•. — CHEZ BRUCE is something of a restaura- teur's restaurant: nearly every chef I've come across over the past month or so has been raving about...


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Techno tricks Andrew Robson WHILE KASPAROV is being seriously challenged by the top chess computers, I cannot envisage the world's top bridge players being overtaken by a...

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URA , 1,11 WOICH %MEI !ISLE OF j i , I,Glt YAUX0101*1115111 COMPETITION Why indeed? Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1889 you were invited to write a sonnet beginning, 'Why...


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Wunderkind Raymond Keene ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD Luke McShane appears to have made a quantum leap in his playing strength after his £12,000 spon- sorship from Psion Computers earlier...

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A first prize of £25 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1988 Port for the first correct solution opened on 31 July, with two runners-up prizes of £15 (or, for UK...

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Vive la difference Simon Barnes THERE IS a certain kind of American woman who speaks in the voice of a car- toon mouse. It' s, like, kind of weird, you know, but I guess it's,...


The Spectator

Dear Mary.. I seem to recall that one of your recent cor- respondents had sought advice on how to terminate unwanted telephone calls from double-glazing salespeople. May I...