29 APRIL 1995

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T he Conservative Party, led in the House of Commons by Mr John Major, the Prime Minister, invited eight MPs from whom it had withdrawn the whip to take it again; no conditions...

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A clutch of glittering prizes for Four Weddings and a Funeral at the Bafta Awards puts it firmly in the category of films I must pretend to have seen, and which in the fullness...

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How we should deal with the animal activists in our midst AUBERON WAUGH Even this petulant, teenage rubbish car- ries within it one tiny grain of truth. The police, who...

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The Labour leader is adept at promoting the idea that his party has transformed itself Boris Johnson wonders how much of the Old Labour lurks below the surface THERE IS a...

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Mark Steyn was in Oklahoma to see a new musical. Then the bomb went off. But it's all show business Oklahoma City THE MAN can tell I'm from out of town. `You're here for the...

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Mind your language

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WHEN LAST week a little girl was caught in the dark inside a moving Tube train, the doors of which would not open, a London Underground spokesman said: 'We apologise profuse- ly...

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John Charmley argues that in 1945 Britain had won nothing, save the avoidance of defeat IT WAS in Warsaw in 1989, at a confer- ence organised to commemorate the 50th...

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HENRY KING Michael Heath

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Neil Lyndon argues that television's obsession with sport, led by Rupert Murdoch, is creating a nation of nerds MURDOCH'S MORONS, that ever grow- ing army of followers of...

If symptoms

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persist.. . IS LIFE worth living ? Not in the opin- ion of one of my patients. He referred to the case of the English murderer recent- ly executed in Georgia. `That bloke in...

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This week the Government is publishing measures designed to make divorce less painful. Judi Bevan offers some personal observations HAVE YOU HEARD about the Jewish couple in...

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Nigella Lawson lasted a week at Britain's newest national radio station. Here she explains why it is heading for oblivion IT IS a Monday evening earlier this month: I am on...

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No animals have rights, but human beings have duties to them PAUL JOHNSON T e stinks don from New College has been making trouble again. Defending abortion, he argues (`Are...

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Wear your hard hat when the single-issue mob comes to the shareholders' meeting CHRISTOPHER FILDES I must buy a share in Wimpey, the builders. Then I can go to the meetings...

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Sir: Please allow Dr Dawkins more space in order to

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develop further his hierarchy of crimes. He had already tacitly conceded that a person who killed a four-year-old child with a meagre vocabulary should be punished less severely...

LETTERS Eating babies

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Sir: How reassuring to see that the 'How many angels dance on the head of a pin?' level of disputation is still alive at New Col- lege, Oxford, from which Richard Dawkins writes...

Sir: Thank you for printing the letter from Richard Dawkins

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in your last issue. It is the most succinct and elegant demolition of the theory of evolution I have yet seen. J.S. Butterworth 4 Ridgeside, Bledlow Ridge, High Wycombe, Bucks

OK, McNulty?

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Sir: The question posed by Mr McNulty (Letters, 22 April) is easily answered. The edicts of the European Commission are like it or not — enforceable in a court of law. The...

Stamp liberation

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Sir: Charles Moore's encomium (Another voice, 22 April) of post-1979 public services overlooks one minor yet significant improvement: the proliferation of outlets for postage...

Taking exception

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Sir: 'All great men are bad men' (Taking the family name in vain', 25 March). Including, say, Lincoln? Acton never said it, and it's astonishing that he's misquoted by his...


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Sir: The article by William Cash that you ran last October was taken by the Jewish community in Hollywood, and elsewhere, to be anti-Semitic and to be suggesting that affairs...

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Sir: I have just flowed, followed, the amaz- ing Jane

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Peterson's recipe for April festive cake! It was enorm, a stupend, it was really, it was a big success and we all loved it. Thank you. What a woman! And what a cake! What has...

Right on

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Sir: It ill becomes Paul Johnson in your issue of 18 March (Another thing) to describe Fidel Castro as a 'mass murderer and torturer'. Castro is indeed a dictator of a rather...

Dear Jennifer

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Sir: Jennifer Paterson urged your readers to search out Carlin peas to eat on Passion Sunday ( Food, 25 March). Needless to say, current legislation is inexorably enforcing the...

Poofs can fight

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Sir: I served seven years in the army, of which six (1940-46) were overseas in East Africa and the Middle and Far East, and of those I was five years in an infantry battal-...

Celtic conquest

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Sir: I was interested to read that, in Scot- land Gian Carlo Menotti is known as Mr McNaughtie (Diary, 8 April). I have it on good authority (from a friend of a friend of...

Maggie's measure

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Sir: Congratulations to Sean Thomas (Let- ters, 15 April) for finally figuring out what women have known for years. As a man of presumably 'middling intellect' (why else did he...

Welsh humour

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Sir: Your profile of John Redwood (`Spock of the valleys', 15 April) suggested he would make a good Chancellor of the Exchequer later on. I think you mean Shad- ow Chancellor....

Working for the Japs

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Sir: In `Spock of the valleys' (15 April) Boris Johnson tells us that a Japanese doll is to be seen at the Welsh Office in acknowledgement of the Japanese compa- nies...

Sad, but true

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Sir: I was pleased to read the letter from Brenda Holliday (Letters, 22 April). I, like her, am led up with the assumption that the Community Charge was an ill-advised tax'....

What, pay him?

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Sir: It is time to make room in the back pages of your organ for a column by Mr Fayed of Harrods. You could put it next to Office Life, leaving an aisle or two between it and...

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It all depends on what you mean SIMON JENKINS ne of the pleasures of politics is that it is not mathematics. Anyone can play pol- itics. The game is full of mystery,...

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A fellow's occupation's gone Philip Hensher OUR GAME by John Le Carre Hodder, £16.99, £9.99, pp. 347 I t isn't often that a whole literary genre finds itself suddenly made...

The Media

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The air is full of noise, The screen of caper: Reality enjoys' No inch of paper. The most expensive lies Flourish in every home: Great gulps of froth and foam Win the first...

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Still swinging together?

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Andro Linklater THE POISONED BOWL by Alisdare Hickson Constable, .£14.95, pp. 250 S tands England's vice where once it stood? The old flag that used to fly over every public...

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Sleep brings not darkness

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Jonathan Keates PRIVATE MYTHS: DREAMS AND DREAMING by Anthony Stevens Hamish Hamilton, £20, pp. 385 F or a long period in human history, dreams were respectable. People...

An escape, but more than escapism

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Anita Brookner LADDER OF YEARS by Anne Tyler Chatto, £14.99, pp. 326 A dmirers of Anne Tyler — and they are legion — will certainly succumb to her new novel, all the more...

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Tempora mutantur, but not entirely

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M. R. D. Foot CELESTINE: VOICES FROM A FRENCH VILLAGE by Gillian Tindall Sinclair-Stevenson, £17.99, pp. 228 T his is a wonderfully evocative book. Gillian Tindall stumbled, on...

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Not at liberty to choose

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Peter J. M. Wayne THE PRISONERS' HANDBOOK, 1995 by Mark Leech OUP, £30, £9.99, pp. 465 D uring a brief period of freedom last year, I was invited to speak at a 'Roots of Crime'...

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But the malady lingers on

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Carole Angier SUMMER PLAGUE by Tony Gould Yale, £19.95, pp. 366 A s Tony Gould says in his opening line, polio is now (or seems now) a conquered, forgotten disease in Europe....

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The sound of a voice that continues

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John Fowles STILL by Adam Thorpe Secker, £15.99, pp. 584 I finished this brilliantly jumped second novel, the traditionally tough fence, of a writer whose first I had much...


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In the small frame of the window, murder: the crane-fly, stretched on the rack of a web, and the spider, its lover, its butcher, hugged in a grim embrace. Hopeless. The...

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Lottery Dishing out a pot of gold Peter Brooke looks at the challenges facing the distributors of the Heritage Fund N owhere in the admirably clear and elegant Heritage...

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Under Milk Wood (Olivier) The Liberation of Skopje (Riverside) Away with the fairies Sheridan Morley T begin at the beginning: it is evening in the concrete-bunkered,...

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Outbreak (`15', selected cinemas) Worse than bad acne Mark Steyn o utbreak is about a killer virus which, within hours, reduces its victims to gibber- ing wrecks, dripping...

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Tim Maguire, Ansel Krut, Jesse Cast (Jason & Rhodes, till 20 May) Minky Manky (South London Gallery, till 14 May) Two worlds Giles Auty I f I sought shows to typify the...

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Great shrink show Nigella Lawson I once sat next to Anthony Clare at a dinner, and expressed — polite I hope bafflement at why anyone should want to expose themselves so...

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Low life

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An unhappy snap Jeffrey Bernard E ery other day I am visited by both or either one of my district nurses, Dawn and Trudie Karamatzov. They dress my remain- ing but ulcerated...

High life

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Strange heroes Talc' New York I t's a terrible thing to contemplate, but I fear that the Oklahoma City bomb might get Bill Clinton re-elected. No sooner had we learned that...

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Long life

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A very sad home Nigel Nicolson I have spent only two days of my life in Oklahoma City, and remember only two things about it. An oil-rig, of the nodding donkey-head kind, sat...

Office life

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She fell into my arms Holly Budd W behaved like 14 year-olds this week. It was mainly the fault of my deputy, Nigel, for being so tall. With the coming of spring the office...

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Awards and accolades

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MANY THANKS for your appreciative let- ters regarding the festive cake; I hope you all had a very merry Easter making it. We are still in the throes of Easter. It was Quasimo-...


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Essential logic Andrew Robson PEOPLE WHO ask me what is the most essential quality required to become a good bridge player receive an unhesitating reply: a logical mind. The...

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LI $(0101WHISK1 ISLE OF ] VIM It 1141I 1LOILII *HMI URA COMPETITION Hey-nonny-no Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1878 you were given two lines which were inscribed on the...


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Real Alekhine Raymond Keene I AM CONSTANTLY STRUCK by the similarity between the play of Kasparov and that of his own chosen hero Alexander Alekhine. Alekhine's two greatest...

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

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

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Rovers return Frank Keating BLACKBURN ROVERS are as good as champions of the English Premier football league. The fact kindles the cockles of our romantic culture. It was...


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Dear Mary.. . Q. I am forever meeting people who grand- ly announce that they are artists or writers, although I know that they have not exhibit- ed a single painting or had...