18 NOVEMBER 1995

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And anyway you know, I got hooked on the media. I tried to give it up only he wouldn't give up this other woman . . T he Queen announced in Parliament a series of Bills that...

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There is only one thing wrong with the Tory Right; they are disgusting MATTHEW PARRIS I n politics as in Gadara, there is a powerful case for getting demons out of your...

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PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE A Garrick club member, purple with rage, approached me at the bar last week and said, loudly and repeatedly, 'Sir, you are a shit, an incorrigible shit.' I...

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If they don't recognise you in Whitechapel, you're not famous PETRONELLA WYATT H erewith a cautionary tale. The Amer- ican actor, Mr Mickey Rourke, was in Lon- don a few days...

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Fifty years on, Joan Bakewell rebuts the conventional view that the Nuremberg Trials were merely victors' justice THE TRIAL merits no more than a line in my guide book....

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Mind your language

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IT IS my business to know things other people do not know, as Sherlock Holmes said. Even so, I had no intention of ever mentioning Can You Forgive Her? again until a Mycroftian...

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Kevin Myers accounts for Sunday's southern Irish Remembrance Day Service; but for some the poppy is orange FIFTY YEARS ago last May, a death notice of Brigadier W.A. Shiel DSO...

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David Starkey, as both a homosexual and a Conservative, says that jeans tell us more about our sexuality than genes `DO YOU know the name of the gay gene?' the joke runs. Back...

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French nuclear tests, Nigerian hangings: Frank Prochaska explains why Queen and Prime Minister differ on the Commonwealth MR JOHN Major's impatience with the Commonwealth...

Fifty years ago

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SIGNS THAT our native red squirrel is multiplying (as indicated in last week's notes) should be correlated with its past history. Just fifty years ago the species suffered from...

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David Rennie explains why Kensington and Chelsea chose Sir Nicholas Scott; because there are still some Tories who hate right-wingery IT WAS the Sun, it seems, wot won it. Do...

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If symptoms persist. .

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THE COURSE of true love never did run smooth, but the going has been espe- cially rough round here of late. Some- times I wonder whether it is all worth it — sex, I mean — and...


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Lionel Bloch denies that the French state should have had to listen to the Algerian bomber it shot dead KHALED KELKAL was a young Algerian involved in the recent bombing...

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Helmut Kohl will reject monetary union, Andrew Gimson believes, because he does not want to be the one to ditch the deutschmark Berlin BISMARCK SAID he 'always found the word...

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Michael Bloch, leading authority on the wartime Duke of Windsor casts doubt on a TV show's sensational 'new' documentary `HOUSE OF WINDSOR'S Nazi shame', blared a front page...

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Painting God's image in the human face PAUL JOHNSON P ortraiture is the most humane and fasci- nating of all the arts. In fact if I had my time again I would become a...

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Look at that big hand nearing high noon it's time to check up on the script CHRISTOPHER FILDES A gnomic prophecy reaches me from the Sybil of Wall Street: 'President driven by...

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Sir: Nigel Spivey in his review of Christo- pher Hitchens'

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attack on Mother Teresa makes an important point (like Hitchens) about the misleading propaganda of the Missionaries of Charity. But he ruins his case by apparently believing...


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Sir: The publication of the letters in The Spectator (11 November) rejoicing in the return of Alan Clark as Spectator diarist the previous week imply approval of Mr Clark's...

LETTERS Londoner, go home

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Sir: The Spectator seems a strange setting for the superficial article written by David Ren- nie (`The Tory lurch to the centre', 11 November) — perhaps it was intended for the...

Hitchens' problem

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Sir: Nigel Spivey wrote a searching review on Christopher Hitchens' book on Mother Teresa (Books, 11 November). Mother Teresa might be quite wrong on some issues, such as the...

Sir: I am a self-confessed barrister, a self- confessed jogger

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but not a self-confessed terrorist. John Lloyd Self-confessed Labour candidate, 3 Queen's Terrace, Exeter

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Sir: Dangerous Donald and I were aston- ished by Alan

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Clark's description of Dominic Lawson (Diary, 4 November). Anyone who looks like a demented chicken should avoid criticising the appearance of dashing younger men. Carole...

All hetero together

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Sir: In an article dealing with homosexuali- ty (Books, 4 November), Mr Anthony Blond states that France accords equal rights to concubines as to married couples. True, but what...

Miles apart

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Sir: Frank Johnson writing in his first edito- rial (4 November) does a disservice to Mr Blair and the idea of compulsory savings by suggesting they 'amount to' nothing more...

Dread phrase

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Sir: Apropos dreaded phrases (Diary, 4 November) I remember hearing that Sir Kingsley Amis thought the most depressing to be 'Shall we go straight in to dinner?' Nicholas...

Sir: I was pleased to be reminded by Mr Alan

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Clark of Sir Kingsley Amis saying that the waiter's seemingly innocent question 'Red or white, sir?' — introduced a feeling of impending boredom and horror. Such questions and...

A currency of your choice

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Sir: Mr Samuel Brittan (Books, 4 Novem- ber) writes a book review to express his case for a single European currency, but a European monetary system need not be a monopolistic...

French angle

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Sir: In your issue of 4 November you print a letter from an Australian reader complain- ing about 'culture' or something. You have headed this letter Tommie arrogance'. This...

Sir: Mr Clark's remarks about the last editor were nothing

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short of disgusting. It is not wrong to offend; but to offend pointlessly, in that witless, vulgar fashion, is childish and nasty. Theodore Dalrymple cio The Spectator, 56...

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Feeling music

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Sir: Michael Kimins (Letters, 4 November) writes to refute my contention (Arts, 14 October) that music is intrinsically power- less to express anything at all, forwarding his...

All right for columnists

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Sir: Celebrating the end of fixed prices for books, Simon Jenkins is guilty of uncharac- teristically muddled thinking (Centre point, 11 November). The case against a price...

Wrong end

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Sir: Michael Prowse began his review (Books, 28 October) by saying that 'Francis Fukuyama is best known for claiming that the collapse of the Berlin Wall marked "the end of...

One right, one not

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Sir: Your issue of 4 November contains two pieces on family law. The first, by Ruth Deech, 'Divorced from reality', is a thoughtful contribution, as one would expect from a...

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War reporting can activate the viewer but it can also titillate his appetite for grief pornography SIMON JENKINS The reply from one of the BBC's myriad executives was...

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Books of the Year The best and most overrated books of the year, chosen by some of The Spectator's regular contributors John Fowles I'm currently enjoying Albert Camus'...

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Curiouser and curiouser

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William Trevor LEWIS CARROLL by Morton N. Cohen Macmillan, £25, pp. 562 I t is one of literature's most treasured tit- bits that Alice's underground adventures were originally...

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In quest of the mirage of the small platoon

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Samuel Brittan ACCOUNTABLE TO NONE: THE TORY NATIONALISATION OF BRITAIN by Simon Jenkins Hamish Hamilton, 16.99, pp. 304 A lthough the state spends in one way or another two...

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They were giants then

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John Mortimer GREAT PARLIAMENTARY SCANDALS: FOUR CENTURIES OF CALUMNY, SMEAR AND INNUENDO by Matthew Parris, with a foreword by David Mellor Robson, £16.95, pp. 368 T hose...

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At the Plumbers' Arms

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Above pub trestles, that plaque on the wall's re. Master Builder Thomas Cubitt's re- development toward Victoria — all leased from Lord Grosvenor, Mr Big, pre- Great-Reform-Bill...

Fear the geeks even when they bring gifts

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Tobias Jones MICROSERFS by Douglas Coupland Flamingo, £9.99, pp. 371 T he man who once branded his genera- tion with an impersonal X has now reduced literature to mere...

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She does not give herself, she gives lectures

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Barbara Trapido WRITING AND BEING by Nadine Gordimer Harvard, £11.95, pp. 145 F or more than 40 years Nadine Gordimer, in her fictions, has documented South Africa's dark age...

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The wheel is come full circle

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Jonathan Cecil A KNIGHT ERRANT by Robert Stephens Hodder, £16.99, pp. 224 R obert Stephens was a rip, a repro- bate, a rapscallion; a hell-raising actor in the mode of Edmund...

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The sweet youth of `Bird'

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Duncan Fallowell TOM: THE UNKNOWN TENNESSEE WILLIAMS by Lyle Leverich Hodder, £25, pp. 644 T ennessee Williams became successful at the age of 34 with the triumph of The Glass...

He spied with his little eye?

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John Colvin DID MARCO POLO GO TO CHINA? by Frances Wood Secker, £14.99, pp. 182 T wenty years ago, under a blue sky, the four tortoises marking the guard posts of Genghis Khan,...

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A ghastly crew

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Alan Coren THE GOSSIPS by Teresa Waugh Sinclair-Stevenson, £12.99, pp. 213 T here is, in West London, a rude rhom- boid boundaried in the north by Holland Park Avenue, in the...

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Finding rubies by the Indian Ganges side

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William Dalrymple THE HEART OF INDIA by Mark Tully Viking, £16, pp. 239 G etting mistaken for Mark Tully is one of the occupational hazards of being a foreign correspondent in...

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Dance The state of the Lake Giannandrea Poesio A ithony Dowell's production of Swan Lake for the Royal Ballet, which had its premiere in 1987, is still causing discontent...

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Turner Prize Shortlist (Tate Gallery, 3 December) Love him or loathe him ... Martin Gayford I went to see the Tamer Prize Shortlist exhibition the day that Damien Hirst's...

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Wexford Festival Disarming charm Rupert Christiansen I had never been to the Wexford Festival before, and even the travellers' tales hadn't quite prepared me for its charm....

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A profound disquiet Richard Osborne I t was an extraordinary programme. Before the interval we were promised Richard Strauss's Don Quixote; after it, Beethoven's Fourth Piano...

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Best of British Robin Holloway Fairest Isle, Radio Three's hand- some 'celebration of British music and cul- ture', moves into its last lap to coincide with the actual...

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The Scarlet Letter (15, selected cinemas) A for Adulterated Mark Steyn T he scarlet letter in question is a big A for Adultery which the unbending puritans of colonial...

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Mother Courage (National) Mack and Mabel (Piccadilly) Waiting for Stoppard (Southwark Playhouse) Cool Brecht Sheridan Morley T he miracle of the National Theatre's new Mother...

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Keeping abreast Ian Hislop I t must have been an odd week for the Writer Andrew Davies. There he was bask- mg in praise for his adaptation of Pride and Prejudice when the...

Not motoring

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Street walking Gavin Stamp B uses are cheap; bicycling is even cheaper but the most economical form of transport (ignoring the cost of shoe repairs) is, of course, walking....

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The turf

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Racing parties Robin Oakley T he Big Three bookmakers all make Labour odds-on favourites to win the next election. But what would it mean for racing if they do? The Tories...

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High life

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Social advances Taki aeldng a language whose inflections can suggest precise points on the social spectrum and their attendant values, Noo Yawkers have always relied on...

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Low life

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Top people Jeffrey Bernard E ver since watching last week's episode of The Final Cut, I have been wishing so much that Francis Urquhart really was the Prime Minister. He, or...


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BRIDGE Expert work Andrew Robson ONE of the trademarks of the expert is his ability to make eights and nines work to his advantage. One such technique is the 'ultra-finesse',...

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EACH TIME I go to France I eat a little

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worse. It's in the last five years that the decline has become alarmingly pro- nounced. I don't include here so much the grand establishments, the places one plans to go to with...

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i RA COMPETITION Buddhist blurb Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1907 you were invited to supply a jacket 'blurb' for a book entitled Combining Buddhism with Work Performance in...


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Short circuit Raymond Keene LAST WEEK I REPORTED on the exceptionally strong tournament at Horgen in Switzerland, sponsored by Credit Suisse, which saw a great triumph for...

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1236: Give me a ring by Doc A first prize of £25 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1989 Port for the first correct solution opened on 4 December, with two...

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Discipline and magic Simon Barnes I HEARD the news that Mr Joao Have- lange had visited Nigeria last week without any great sense of shock. Well, what else would the Nigerians...


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Dear Mary.. . Q. I have a small godson, Angus, whom I adore and whose birthday parties I always help to organise as his mother and I are very close. What I would like to know...