6 MAY 1995

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The Spectator

The chrysalis M I Kenneth Clarke, Chancellor of the Exchequer, abolished a tax on mortgage insurance payments which he said he had not realised he had levied in the first place....

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Mr Major's saving grace is that he is not noticeably more unpopular than the rest of his party BORIS JOHNSON N o one will miss the irony that Mr Major is about to lead the...

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H aving had two marriages 'dissolved', as the reference books politely put it — it makes one feel like a cube of sugar — I look with horror upon that impertinent White Paper...

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Mr Major would not be dismissive of the Scottish nationalists if they had the wit to commit attrocities CHARL ES MOORE U nfortunately for the Government, there will be a...

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Andrew Davidson travels to the heart of England to find people who will not be celebrating VE-Day. They are former members of the SS The old soldier — let us call him Ernst...

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Mind your language

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THE MORALS of the ruling class have ever been a subject of fascination for political commentators. James Harring- ton, the 17th-century radical, said the `foundation of...

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Adam Zamoyski says that the official commemoration of VE-Day is dishonest and unjust, benefiting posturing politicians THE SUCCESSION of second world war anniversaries has...

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Contrary to popular belief the British workforce was not uniformly patriotic during the war, argues Andrew Roberts `A REVOLUTIONARY moment in the world's history,' wrote Sir...

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One hundred years ago

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THE FIRST of May, which only three years ago was so greatly dreaded by all Governments except our own, passed off this year in nearly unbroken quiet. The Labour party in many...

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Moscow is preparing military parades which are not designed to make Mr Clinton feel comfortable, says Anne McElvoy Moscow THE LAST time I heard tanks juddering down the...


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Michael Heath

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Gwen Robinson discovers that the leaders of the cult suspected of poison-gas attacks are sexually fascinating to Japan's youth Tokyo `JAPAN,' a prominent Tokyo banker was...

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Will of the week

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Rt. Rev. Arthur Mervyn STOCK- WOOD, of 15 Sydney Buildings, Bath, Avon, Bishop of Southwark 1959-80 and one of this century's most controversial Church of England bishops, who...

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Why does the Foreign Office humour those who spread damaging falsehoods about Britain's military record, asks Nicholas Bethell Gallipoli AS BRITAIN began its month of celebra-...

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There is no public demand for more new roads. One day even the Department of Transport will realise this, argues Ross Clark IT HAS never been easy finding a piece of England...

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If symptoms persist. . .

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A CORRESPONDENT was kind enough to inform me a few weeks ago of the reasons why he had joined the massed ranks of the non-attenders of out-patient appointments at National...

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Field-Marshal Murdoch should call off his Battle of Passchendaele PAUL JOHNSON T his week I want to address a plea to Rupert Murdoch: please call off your price war. It is...

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A new pink wrapping for the trendy version of how we lost the peace CHRISTOPHER FILDES T he Germans, I used to be told, had an unfair advantage. We had bombed all their...

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Cuckolds' corner

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Sir: In her article on divorce (`Boys will be boys, 29 April) Judi Bevan neglected one major reason why men hang on in unhappy marriages — they have too much to lose by...

Sir: As a recently baptised member of the Church of

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Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, could I make a correction to Ross Clark's article 'Invasion of the Mormons' (25 March)? I have no way of knowing whether Sir Winston...

LETTERS Churchilliana

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Sir: Professor Charmley says that Churchill's victory was bought by Soviet domination of part of Europe, the loss of the Empire, his spending, United States power and a post-war...

I was there

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Sir: I read Simon Courtauld's review (Books, 15 April) of the two recurring eulogies to Orde Wingate with some surprise, but even greater suspicion, at his audacious assertion...

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Oh, oh

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Sir: Paul Johnson (And another thing, 1 April) has a beautifully simple vision of the way in which words move from one lan- guage to another. He seems to think that if it was a...

Another Major triumph

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Sir: One of the most obvious items missing from Mr Moore's bizarre list of benefits (Another voice, 22 April) that he suggests could yet have arisen by virtue of (or in spite...

Voice of reason

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Sir: I have to write and say congratulations on the art column by Giles Auty (Arts, 25 March). Like many dealers who find them- selves working a six-day week and long hours to...

Monkey business

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Sir: Is Richard Dawkins (`Are chimps sacred?', 15 April) an adequate substitute for the Fifth Commandment? David Poole 1 Priestnall Road, Stockport Sir: Perhaps Mr Dawkins...

The beautiful people

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Sir: As a pushbike rider of 30 years, I rarely have to travel on the Underground. An enforced trip on this odious method of transport was made more agreeable recent- ly by the...

Medical militants

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Sir: In drawing attention to the unprofes- sional behaviour of teachers, your editorial (22 April) illustrated the point by stating: `They [the teachers] demand the status of...

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Has Blair no sense of history? Is he a dangerous radical or something? SIM ON JENKINS I have lost my Labour Party card and sud- denly I rather miss it. I bought the thing for...

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Death had undone so many John Grigg THE DAY THE WAR ENDED by Martin Gilbert HaglerCollins, £20, pp.473 O n the first page of his new book Mar- tin Gilbert gives the...

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Stranger than fact

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John Bayley ELECTRICITY by Victoria Glendinning Hutchinson, £14.99, pp. 250 I n his first published novel, Desperate Remedies, Hardy has a memorable scene in which a young...

To betray you must first belong

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Andro Linklater FLAMES IN THE FIELD: THE STORY OF FOUR SOE AGENTS IN OCCUPIED FRANCE by Rita Kramer Michael Joseph, £18.99, pp. 338 T he fall in the reputation of Odette I...

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The story of a knee

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Anita Brookner THERAPY by David Lodge Secker & Warburg, US, pp. 321 I t begins with a sharp pain in the right knee. So alarming is this that Lawrence 'Tubby' Passmore is...

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The killer as hero

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Michael Carlson IN THE LAKE OF THE WOODS by Tim O'Brien Flamingo, £5.99, pp. 306 T he nature of the American experience in Vietnam has undergone considerable revision since...

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Heartily sick of the topic

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Christian Caryl THE WAR THAT NEVER WAS: THE FALL OF THE SOVIET EMPIRE, 1985-1991 by David Pryce-Jones Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £22, pp. 437 A s I read this book, I found myself...

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Fashions in insanity

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Jasper Griffin WHOM GODS DESTROY: ELEMENTS OF GREEK AND TRAGIC MADNESS by Ruth Padel Princeton University Press, £19.95, £10.95, pp. 276 T he thought of suicide, says...

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A selection of recent thrillers

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Harriet Waugh A ndrew Taylor is a writer who constantly surprises. On a light level, his comedy thrillers, starring his clever, amoral and emotionally immature hero William...

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Hungry for history

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Noel Malcolm BETWEEN EAST AND WEST: ACROSS THE BORDERLANDS OF EUROPE by Anne Applebaum Macmillan, £10, pp. 314 A period of .transition, as every histori- an knows, is the...

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Pop Music The truth: Radio 1 is brill Marcus Berkmann looks at this music station's remarkable achievements T he current national obsession with Radio 1 is, if you think...

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Small expectations Giles Auty h e Spectator's editor asked recently whether I could encapsulate in a paragraph where and why my views diverge from the modernist orthodoxy...

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Brodsworth revisited Ruth Guilding looks at the resurrection of a 19th-century beauty B rodsworth Hall in South Yorkshire- was given to English Heritage in 1989 and will open...

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Legends of the Fall (`15' , selected cinemas) Fear of foreigners Mark Steyn H ollywood, which is located in a sprawling metropolis with a rootless dislo- cated population,...


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The Maiden Stone (Hampstead) The Killing of Sister George (Ambassadors) Casement (Riverside) Love is in the air Sheridan Morley R ona Munro's The Maiden Stone comes to...

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0! What a lovely TV Ian Hislop T elevision closed down for the duration of the war and there are those who think that it should do the same until VE Day is over. Some people...

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High life

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Clinton's cocaine kick Taki New York W hat a week! Last Wednesday, I even shook hands with a woman who had recently shaken Willard — for further identification of Willard,...


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Influence of peace Ursula Buchan F fty years ago last week, the Pacific Rose Society held an exhibition in Pasade- na, California. On the day that Berlin fell to the Allies,...

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Low life

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Wheel meet again Jeffrey Bernard L ast Monday, the Times devoted two pages to Disabled Living. There was a slightly ridiculous and absurd piece called `Dressed for a smooth...

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Long life

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Yet another front Nigel Nicolson V I day happened on 2 May 1945, not 8 May. It stands for Victory in Italy Day, and I make no apology for recalling a fact which few newspapers...

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Office life

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What a waste of money Holly Budd I nstitutional soft-headedness, the rotting of the corporate brain that leads to a dis- abling condition of complacent self-regard punctuated...


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Not guilty Andrew Robson OPENING the bidding 1NT when holding a five-card major has long been hailed as a crime — especially by bridge teachers. Top players are increasingly...

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THOSE of us in England who don't auto- matically distrust

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foreign food, suspecting it to be cooked with too much garlic, too much oil and not enough respect for basic rules of hygiene, tend to veer quite as dramatically in the opposite...

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Ma in Spagna.• • Raymond Keene THE MODERN GAME of chess was probably invented in Spain around 1475, immediately replacing, in most countries, the older and slower Arabian...


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SI■Glf MAU SCOTCH WHIM IS LE OF I U RA 11■GLF SIALT SCOICK WHIM COMPETITION Horrid new thing Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1879 you were invited to provide a piece of...

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A first prize of £25 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 22 May, with two runners-up prizes of £15 (or, for UK...

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Tut I am Senna' Frank Keating I HAVE BEEN known to look smugly into my driving-mirror the three or four times a year I overtake a tractor on mar- ket day — 'that taught him...


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Dear Mary.. . Q. I should like to get my revenge on an odious little hack who has been attacking me in print and on television for many Years. I would also like to take up the...