16 DECEMBER 1995

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M r Philip Lawrence, the headmaster of a Roman Catholic school in London, was stabbed to death outside the gates when he went to the defence of pupils being attacked by a gang...

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Time to tell the truth about those famous Thatcher majorities BRUCE ANDERSON F or many years, the advocates of propor- tional representation have been complaining about the...

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ALEXANDER CHANCELLOR I think the time has come for the Gov- ernment to stop giving any health advice at all, for nobody believes, or even under- stands, what it has to say. It...

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Those whingeing feminists had a point after all PETRONELLA WYATT A ccording to a Government report, `Social Focus', most women still feel unhappy about working; three out of...

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. . is that it is about salvation, and sin, as well as shopping, says Christopher Howse `AND IS IT TRUE?' asked Betjeman in his poem suitably named 'Christmas'. That is the...

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Christmas in prison: Elizabeth Noel on the time and place where the turkey is rubber, the pud plastic and the anti-suicide team busy WHEN I WISHED the inmates in Worm- wood...

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Christmas in Berlin: Andrew Gimson is told it's not the done thing to go to a Christmas market — fortunately, after going to one MY FRIEND Frau Kunigunde Hagen- meyer kindly...

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Christmas in Manhattan: Cosima von Billow on the place which can supply everything for this time of the year; even peace and goodwill THERE ARE people who think of Christ- mas...

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Christmas in Paris: Patrick Marnham on how the Parisian Christmas is a little different this year PERE NOEL is on strike this year, at least if your father works for France's...

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By JANE GARDAM A PALE, still day, the sky hanging white and low. It is the morning of Christmas Eve. The girl on the gate locks up at noon and waits around for the cleaner over...

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Christmas Eve and twelve of the clock. `Now they are

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all on their knees,' An elder said as we sat in a flock By the embers in hearthside ease. We pictured the meek mild creatures where They dwelt in their strawy pen, Nor did it...

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If symptoms

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persist.. . IT GOES without saying that the unexam- ined life is not worth living; but then again, neither is the minutely examined one. In actual fact, I am not quite certain...

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And there undoubtedly is one, says Matthew Parris; for a start, unlike many politicians, he is grown-up MR JOHN MAJOR'S premiership makes me weep. Seldom can so powerful a...

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Joe Haines says it is all very well to say that Whitehall wants a Labour government, but perhaps it's only on Whitehall's terms SPECIAL ADVISERS may, in Sue Cameron's phrase,...

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Mind your language

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WHEN DO you have dinner? People often regard the question as one of class: the lower classes have dinner in the middle of the day and the upper classes have it in the evening....

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Exclusive! Veteran tabloid reporter Edward Vale makes a shock confession 'TIS FIFTY years since first we met, The Spectator and me. And yes, since you ask, my hair was then as...

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Fifty years ago

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I WONDER very much whether it is wise to make the King's Christmas broadcast a permanent institution. If King George feels he has something he wants to say to his people at...

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Or so the Old Right says on BBC 2; but Simon Hoggart says they were all guilty A LONG TIME ago, when Sir Bernard Ingham was merely a chief press officer at the Department of...

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MENTION THE WAR At the end of this 50th anniversary year; Michael Harrington reviews historians' battle lines WE ARE ALMOST at the end of the bicentenary of the second world...

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By JULIAN BARNES TELL YOU how I learned to descend. Mr Douglas, back then, used to tell me I rode like a postman. He had this old machine as well as his racer, stand-up...

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Telemaque Maratos on the European country which consumes most cigarettes, but dies from lung cancer least TRAVELLING among the villages in the countryside of Greece — off the...


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Michael Heath

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This year some questions are easy and some are hard. Mind my bike 1. An easy one: Who'd look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle made for two? 2. A hard one: Who wrote that...

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How to make bad citizens better and good citizens contented PAUL JOHNSON C hristmas ought to be a time of good cheer. We certainly have many things to be cheerful about in...

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Men from the ministry with a Christmas message: `Confound all presents wot eat' CHRISTOPHER FILDES C hristmas presents can be more blessed to give than to receive, and less...

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Sir: Miss Emily Green misrepresents me and my premature obituarising of the Inde- pendent dreadfully in her piece (`That's enough "Dream That Died" ', 2 Decem- ber). But, far...

Ducal encounter

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Sir: Alexander Chancellor records (Diary, 9 December) that the Duke of Norfolk recognised the name Chancellor as being familiar. This may be due to the fact that some 35 years...

Territorial rights

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Sir: I look forward to hearing President Clinton explain the difference between his attitude to the claim of the Serbs to take over land belonging to another country and his...


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Sir: Digby Anderson (`Christmas comes but once a week', 2 December) writes with feel- ing about the inability of many now to wait for pleasure. About 25 years ago I was sent an...

LETTERS Beware of the tiger

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Sir: Before the Conservative Party gets totally hooked on the 'Tiger Economy' model being urged on it by our Governor, Chris Patten, I hope they will listen to the warnings of...

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Too many copies

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Sir. Joan Bakewell (In the shadow of Nurem- berg', 18 November) appears greatly enam- oured of the legal precedent set 50 years ago. Yet a dispassionate reappraisal of that pro-...

Sir: A few years ago a correspondent to the Sunday

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Telegraph accused you of having `swallowed the Brussels snake oil'. Obviously you haven't yet succeeded in passing it. May I wish you a speedy deliverance? Norman Henry 29...

Doubtful views

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Sir: In response to your leader of 9 Decem- ber, it is certainly logical to be sceptical about grand designs. This is particularly the case when the grand design in question...

Tories care

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Sir: Lord Longford states (Tabour, the King and I', 25 November) that in 1936 he said 'I am a socialist because I am a Chris- tian. I said the same quite recently in the House...

Stay on the bus Sir: Bushman's Honeymoon, you say in

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the issue of 2 December (Books). An undiscov- ered Dorothy Sayers, presumably with Lord Peter detecting across the trackless wastes of the Kalahari Desert: how wonderful. But...

Passion v. cynicism

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Sir: Defending Senator Bob Dole against charges of cynicism (Senator Dole is a hyp- ocrite', 25 November), Mr Owen Harries says 'it is worth recalling that, according to Yeats,...

A grateful bumpkin

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Sir: That Simon Courtauld is an intrepid fellow. How many of his fellow journalists would have the dedication to trek into the savage, unforgiving wilderness of what he...

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A new and agreeable companion Barbara Trapido THE READER'S COMPANION TO TWENTIETH CENTURY WRITERS edited by Peter Parker, consultant editor Frank Kermode Fourth Estate and...

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Strip by strip, Christina Rossetti is pasting Pieces of paper over the most arresting lines Of the poet Swinburne. Soon she will start To investigate the respectful, formal...

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Side by side

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Mark Steyn STREISAND: THE INTIMATE BIOGRAPHY by James Spada Little, Brown, £18.99, pp. 552 FRANK SINATRA: AN AMERICAN LEGEND by Nancy Sinatra Virgin, £25, pp. 368 r ank Sinatra...

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The mourning after

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Andro Linklater DRINK: AN INFORMAL SOCIAL HISTORY by Andrew Barr Bantam Press, £16.99, pp. 401 h is review is written under the influ- ence of a hangover whose, alas, familiar...

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Without You

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I miss the pictures of you in the house — The stable steamy with sweet straw And donkey's breath; the baby photos In your mother's lap and then the handsome Curly-headed lad...

And in one word, heroically mad

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John Keegan A GENIUS FOR WAR: A LIFE OF GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON by Carlo d'Este HarperCollins, £25, pp. 977 C arlo d'Este's biography of Patton may prove to be his life's work...

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The adventures of a Swede from Jerusalem

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Said K. Aburish SEVEN PASSPORTS FOR PALESTINE by Theo Larsson Longfield Publishing Co, Longfield, Sutton, Pulborough, W. Sussex, RH 20 1 PU, £19, pp. 124 T heo Larsson, a Swede...

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Television, jokes and me

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Bevis Hillier INSIDE THE MAGIC RECTANGLE by Victor Lewis-Smith Gollancz, £14.99, pp. 256 M ore than once in this anthology of his television criticisms, Victor Lewis-Smith...

self-made man

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John Bowen HAROLD HOBSON: WITNESS AND JUDGE by Dominic Shellard Keele University Press, £20, pp. 255 I n October, 1974, my play Robin Redbreast had its first performance at the...

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This sea so clearly exhibits its forms of life That nothing seems too deep or wet about it Even as it slowly ladders the hairs of the thigh. Ever so slightly lift its gently...

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The power of the individual Will

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Anthony Lambton WILL: A PORTRAIT OF WILLIAM DOUGLAS HOME by David Fraser Deutsch, £17.99, pp. 262 W illiam Home was my first cousin, ten years older than myself. But before...

Hungry for more?

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Katherine Gerson THE XENOPHOBE'S GUIDE TO THE CHINESE by J. C. Yang Ravette Books, £2.50, pp. 64 Y ou don't have to go to China. You certainly won't have to spend years study-...

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Quis Custodiet?

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A London church appealed to the Diocesan Consistory Court for permission to remove murals commissioned in the Sixties. The Court, in turn, appealed to the Tate Gallery. In a...

political level in his lifetime, but his ideas, his patriotic

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songs, and his death, have made him one of the founding fathers of the modern nation of Greece. His impor- tance is twofold. On the one hand, in the author's words, 'he...

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Recent art books

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David Ekserdjian P aul Williamson and Macbeth make an odd couple, but they are both firm believ- ers in the "twere well it were done quickly' principle. Williamson's impeccable...

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A selection of recent thrillers

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Harriet Waugh A ndrew Taylor is becoming almost as versatile as Ruth Rendell as a writer about the darker side of human folly. The Mortal Sickness (Hodder, £16.95) is the...

Traveller or travel agent?

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Philip Glazebrook THE PAINTED VOYAGE: ART, TRAVEL AND EXPLORATION, 1564-1875 by Michael Jacobs British Museum Press, £20, pp. 160 T his book, its illustrations interesting and...

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Memories of the Height-to-Weight Ratio

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I was a translator in the Institute back when being accredited as a poet meant signing things against Vietnam. For scorn of the bargain I wouldn't do it. And the Institute was...

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How to be dead right

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Mary Killen DEBRETT'S GUIDE TO BEREAVEMENT by Charles Mosley Headline, £20, f7.99, pp. 376 T he provocative title suggests that there might be a correct way to cry, yet though...

Twilight in Italy

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Craig Brown LADY CHATTERLEY'S CONFESSION by Elaine Feinstein Macmillan, £10.50, pp. 314 L ady Chatterley's Lover ends with Con- nie pregnant, waiting to join an increasingly...

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`I Sandro painted this picture' At Christmas, Neil MacGregor meditates on Botticelli's 'Mystic Nativity' and the politics of the Incarnation T he small canvas — just two and a...

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Saved by a power cut

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Rupert Christiansen has a distressing experience at an Indian classical music recital T he invitation was peremptory, garru- lous and somewhat pompous, as only Indi- ans know...

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Exhibitions 1

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Emil Nolde (Whitechapel Art Gallery, till 25 February) Christopher Bramham (Marlborough Fine Art, till 26 January) Tempests of colour Martin Gayford T he English tend to look...

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Exhibitions 2

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The Peaceful Liberators: Jain Art from India (Victoria and Albert Museum, till 18 Feb) A world elsewhere Marina Vaizey S tarving oneself to underline private and public...

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Mr Worldly Wise (Royal Opera House) Musical hotchpotch Giannandrea Poesio A soon as the curtain came down at the end of Act 1 of Mr Worldly Wise, Twyla Tharp's new creation...

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Private pleasures Robin Holloway T he timely arrival in this week's mail of a slim new volume* on piano duos by the distinguished composer, editor and long- time duettist...

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The play's the thing Despite 12 months' worth of cramped limbs, Sheridan Morley has had an unusually good year S o what kind of a year did you have in the theatre, then? No,...

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The Swan Princess (U, selected cinemas) Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls (PG, selected cinemas, from Boxing Day) Mix and match Mark Steyn T is the season for fairytale...

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Pop records

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Give yourself a present Marcus Berkmann • ecord shops are depressing places at the moment. Pan Pipe Moods 11 . . The Greatest 60s Album in the World Ever . . The Love Album 11...


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One man and his dog Ian Hislop W allace and Gromit are back in a new film that has cost over a million pounds to produce and which is to be shown by the BBC on Christmas Eve....

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Not motoring

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Trapped at home Gavin Stamp C hristmas is surely a time for Not motoring — if, that is, one is to do full jus- tice to the festival of the Winter Solstice. But, unfortunately,...

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The turf

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Master class Robin Oakley porting greatness can take many forms. It may be Jeremy Guscott taking the ball on the burst and weaving his way silkily through a string of...

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High life

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Off the wall Taki A though I'm no longer speaking to Sotheby's after their shabby and unfair treatment of a Swiss lady friend of mine, I found myself in their main galleries...

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Low life

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It's a grind Jeffrey Bernard M ost people have the idea that reviewing books is either easy or fun — or both — and results in making extra money because of being able to sell...


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BRIDGE Good from bad Andrew Robson IT IS certainly satisfying to pick up 20 points and make a game or slam. Even more rewarding is to score well with a bad hand — one such as...

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t11 1 1111111 111 SOME JOURNALISTS risk shrapnel and exploding bombs in the

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course of duty, so I shouldn't really complain about the faintest danger of a little BSE. Still, I won- der whether this is the wisest time to investigate the hamburger. It's...

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kJ. 1J,J ,1%1 I Vim 01,11 M1/141 COMPETITION Unspoken and unthought Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1911 you were invited to supply a list of thin g s which everybody thinks...


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Two heads Raymond Keene SOME WEEKS AGO I published a con- sultation g ame involvin g Howard Staunton and Paul Morphy with their respective con- sultin g partners Owen and...

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Christmas Quiz: the answers

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Mind my bike 1. Daisy 2. Harry Dacre 3. Orphee 4. 15.84 m.p.h. 5. Norman Tebbit in 1981 6. Marcel Duchamp 7. Coventry B. Vittorio de Sica 9. Steppcnwolf 10. Garrison Theatre...

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CROSSWORD Royal mince-pie, by Mass

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A first prize of £100, three prizes of £25 and six further prizes of the new edition of Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (Cassell, £20) will be awarded for the first...

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Winners and losers Simon Barnes WELL, no difficulties in selecting the sportsman of the year. Inevitably, my nomi- nation goes to the chap in the Springbok jersey who made the...

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Dear Mary.. . From: Dame Edna Everage, Aspen, Colorado Q. I try to answer fan mail personally. That is to say, I personally pay the woman who answers my fan mail. I also give...