22 APRIL 1995

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The Spectator

Sleepy Hollow M r Gerry Adams, the President of Sinn Fein, gave it as his opinion that the Irish Republican Army would not give up its arms, perhaps ever; but he accused the...

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GREY GOWRIE S pring has been cold and dry where we live in the foothills of the Berwyn moun- tains. I cannot remember it more beautiful, like some exile's imagination of spring....

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If Mr Major can persuade people to count their blessings, this Tory Government might be re-elected CHARLES MOORE G athered together in the country to celebrate the festival...

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Barry Wood and Alasdair Palmer investigate a Scottish murder case which has left the victim's parents dissatisfied A LARGE portrait dominates the immacu- lately tidy home of Mr...

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Christian Caryl exposes Germany's biggest political secret: no one wants monetary union Berlin IT IS a placid Saturday evening in April 1995, and the German television...

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John Laughland points out that France's two right-wing presidential candidates are divided by their tastes in detective novels, not by policies Welcome to the looking-glass...

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If symptoms

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persist.. . I WAS listening to Radio Three on my way to work last week. It is the only radio station I ever listen to, not only because of the music, but because it is entirely...


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Martin Vander Weyer observes the passing of CND, a great British institution MARGARET THATCHER wrote of Michael Foot that 'if I did not think it would offend him, I would say...

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Christopher Corbett discovers many unusual and unexpected uses for tinned pork shoulders and ham Mower County, Minnesota MONTY PYTHON'S Flying Circus immor- talised Spam...

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Mind your language

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I WAS pondering, over a morning cup of coffee, the quirks of history which led the Spastics Society to change its name to 'Scope, for People with Cerebral Palsy' at about the...

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Keynes's arguments against the Versailles Treaty were inspired by the Germans themselves, says Niall Ferguson in an extract from his new book If we aim deliberately at the...

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Don't bother about the party, just take me to your leader PAUL JOHNSON R ecently I wrote an article in the Evening Standard praising Tony Blair and contrasting his virtues...

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Looking for a loser in the French Grand Prix we could all do with a breather CHRISTOPHER FILDES M y selfless researches in the Longchamps area over Easter show how far the...

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Tag and gag

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Sir: The case for making Members of Par- liament carry identity cards is overwhelm- ing in view of their treacherous behaviour over the past 25 years. We need to know who they...

A new idea

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Sir: If the corporate barons are pillaging their fiefdoms and at the same time the Church is in dire financial straits, isn't it time for the Crown to curb these over- mighty...

Back on track

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Sir: I am very surprised that Simon Jenkins, that well-known exposer of phoney govern- ment statistics, should have fallen for the figures which the Treasury claims are need- ed...

Gay word-play

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Sir: Paul Johnson's case (Another thing, 1 April) for reclaiming the 'purloined' word gay is specious: for while the term for gays remains in flux, his real target, the...

LETTERS Poll tax at heart

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Sir: I am fed up with the assumption that the Community Charge was an ill-advised tax, and reading comments to that effect in The Spectator (Books, 8 April). In Scotland the...

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Answers, please

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Sir: As a perfectly normal working-class, left-wing, agnostic homosexual, I enjoy your organ each week for the sense of re- assurance it gives me in reinforcing the ver- ity of...

Sir: There is no need to play games of `what

The Spectator

if' in order to determine the response of the British people to a Nazi occupation (What did you do in the occu- pation, Daddy?', 8 April); we need only examine what has happened...

What if?

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Sir: The widespread, often vicious anti- Semitism in this country in the Thirties and Forties, exemplified, for example, by the popularity of 'Sapper's' novels, became...

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Thoughts for the day

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Sir: Mr A. N. Wilson claims, in his article `Origins of the empty tomb' (15 April), that St Paul introduced the idea of drinking the blood of Christ, but surely this was...

Out in the cold

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Sir: Your leader (8 April) encourages pub- lic sector workers to take a pay freeze. As a GP I would be delighted to, as long as I also had a work freeze. In the meantime, I...

Pause for thought

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Sir: From the midst of the bromides and nebulous logic of Mr Tony Blair's article (The Spectator/Allied Dunbar lecture, 25 March) one idea shines through: 'Duty is the...

Sir: Why is the end of the world virtually an

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unmentionable subject? Perhaps it is, in part, because so many, over several cen- turies, have got it wrong. Mather reason for the taboo is, without doubt, the popular view that...

Defending the aged

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Sir: Tabitha Troughton Match out, there's a granny about', 15 April) seeks to replace one set of tendentious nonsense with another. Simply because she knows half a dozen...

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Strangest of geniuses A. N. Wilson PETRUSHKA AND THE DANCER: THE DIARIES OF JOHN COWPER POWYS, 1929-1939 selected and edited by Maureen Krissdottir Carcanet, £25, pp. 340 I t...

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Cardiac arrests and worse

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Kevin Myers REBEL HEARTS by Kevin Toolis Picador, £15.99, pp. 371 I t was, I suppose, inevitable that some- body sooner or later would do a Rian Malan on Northern Ireland, a...

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A brute, a cheat, a traitor etc

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Nigel Spivey TOM PAINE: A POLITICAL LIFE by John Keane Bloomsbury, £25, pp. 644 A brute to his wife, a cheat to his trust, a traitor to his country, reviler of his God and of...

Not troops but tourists

The Spectator

David Pryce-Jones BATTLING FOR PEACE: MEMOIRS by Shimon Peres Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £20, pp.402 UNDER THIS BLAZING LIGHT by Amos Oz CUP, £13.95, pp. 205 S himon Peres — or...

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Dusty purlieus of the law

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Alan Campbell THE ILBERTS IN INDIA, 1882-1886 by Mary Bennett BACSA, 19, pp. 204 . AN INDIAN JOURNAL by Nora Scott, edited by John Radford Radcliffe Press, 424.50, pp. 231 • T...

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Gulls us with intelligence

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Francis King HEART'S JOURNEY IN WINTER by James Buchan Harvill, £14.99, pp. 201 T he protagonist and narrator of this thriller, Richard Fischer, describes himself as 'a...

The Centre cannot hold our Michael

The Spectator

Andrew Barrow BACK IN BUSINESS by Michael Barrymore Hutchinson, £14.99, pp. 289 I am proud to number myself among the many millions of people who love Michael Barrymore. It's...

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Africans bring religion to London

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Paul Barker THE STORM IS PASSING OVER by Roy Kerridge Thames & Hudson, £12.95, pp. 175 A frica has come to London. Go down from the Elephant and Castle, along the Old Kent...

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A mysterious decade

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Helen Osborne IN THE FIFTIES by Peter Vansittart John Murray, £19.99, pp. 256 W are all too young to know if the Nineties were Naughty, but did the Twenties Roar or the Sixties...

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The Root is Man

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Dachine Rainer A REBEL IN DEFENSE OF TRADITION by Michael Wreszin Basic Books, HarperCollins, £17.99, pp. 561 D wight Macdonald deserves a better book. Too little known in...

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Architecture Laying down foundations Man Powers looks at the work of Colin Rowe, this year's RIBA gold medalist Ar chitectural critics and historians gain some satisfaction...

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Young British Artists IV (Saatchi Gallery, till 25 June) Lost generation Giles Auty I i art today, much of what goes on has become beyond parody. A spoof Saatchi show with a...

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Muriel's Wedding (`15', selected cinemas) A touching disaster Mark Steyn A Australia goes, so goes its cinema. Not so long ago, its motion pictures were raw and rugged and...

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Our Boys (Donmar Warehouse) Simpatico (Royal Court) Uncle Vanya (Tricycle) Retired hurt Sheridan Morley A t the Donmar Warehouse, the actor Jonathan Lewis, who also directs...

Dance •

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Dance Umbrella (16 March - 2 April) A little coup in Woking Jann Parry W oking's claims to fame are the size of its cemetery and shopping centre and the frequency of its...

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Hit corn Ian Hislop I am not usually a fan of men with beards billed as 'cultural historians' but I will have to make an exception in the case of Professor Jeffrey Richards....

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Low life

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Down with cry babies Jeffrey Bernard T he Americanisation of this country and probably the rest of the world is becoming more and more sickening. The cult of phys- ical fitness...

High life •

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Red hot tales Taki New York A bout ten years ago I wrote in this space that 'Armand Hammer is a billion- aire, an art collector, a friend of Prince Charles, an intimate of...

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Long life

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Hotel supreme Nigel Nicolson T he most expensive hotel I have ever stayed in was the Bel Air at Los Angeles, and the University was paying my bill. It was so grand that my...

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Office life

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Holiday with a gamble Holly Budd There were one or two sceptics and con- scientious objectors but I soon had 23 com- panions in hope and folly. The objector who most surprised...

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I HAVE being going off Gary Rhodes. All that swaggering

The Spectator

cheeky chappism, that one- of-the-boys posturing is beginning to pall. In the beginning he appeared rather as the Nigel Kennedy of the kitchen, only more like- able. Now he...


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Discreet rules Andrew Robson DO artificial conventions (bids that don't mean what they sound) really assist? The most widely played convention is 'Stay- man', where a bid of...

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Open and shut Raymond Keene THERE IS A WIDESPREAD misconcep- tion that it is only the open games that can lead to slashing attacks. Many people believe, erroneously as it...


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I SISGLE MAO SCOTCH &MP Periphrastic Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1877 you were invited to give an amusingly periphrastic account of a simple, straightforward action....

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A first prize of £25 and a bottle of Graham's

The Spectator

Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 9 May, with two runners-up prizes of £15 (or, for UK solvers, the latest edition of The Chambers Dictionary –...

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Dear Mary. . Q. Which puddings are fashionable at the moment? T.C., Powis Terrace, London W11 A. Successful hostesses are currently serv- ing Ben and Jerry's vanilla ice-cream...


The Spectator

Culture shocks Frank Keating IN A matter of days, Rupert Murdoch's promise of millions has so detonated the game of rugby league that by the time you have arrived here the...