10 OCTOBER 1992

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L ord Tebbit attacked Government policy on Europe to loud applause at the Conser- vative Party conference. He said, among other things, 'I hope, Prime Minister, you will stand...

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On the rocks at Brighton, the Tories contemplate the swamps of Westminster SIMON HEFFER Brighton nity at a Conservative conference is not a question of everybody thinking the...

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DOMINIC LAWSON I t has been fascinating to watch, over recent months, the twists and turns of the leader writers of our great opinion-forming newspapers as the Government's...

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Mr Major is not a man of the people; he is the spokesman of the new ruling class CHARLES MOORE W Brighton by be a Tory activist? Why come to the seaside each year to listen to...

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William Cash argues that Tinseltown has got too big for its boots, thanks to some unhealthy media alliances Los Angeles FOR SOME years now it has been difficult to open an...

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Michael Heath


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William Shawcross unravels a Czech tale of lies and spies in which he became unwittingly implicated THIS IS A personal spy story. Czechoslovakia is now dividing unhappi- ly...

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If symptoms

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persist. . I WENT to court last week to testify on behalf of one of my patients. He had been remanded to hospital some ten months previously for tests, which took about two...

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Boris Johnson on the background to Australia's sudden abandonment of the British honours system FOR AUSTRALIANS it all began in 1942, the year of betrayal. Japan's armies were...

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Robert Haupt finds that the Ukraine is a reminder of how Russia used to be Moscow WHEN A musty bookshop in Kuznetsky Most, near the Lubyanka, re-emerges as the purveyor of a...

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Tabitha Troughton spends a day with the Obscene Publications Squad, and is suitably sickened 'I HOPE I haven't upset you,' said Sergeant Bernie Meaden solicitously as I...

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The uses of the big chicken from Oxford, England A t every stop on a recent campaign trip President Bush came confidently out from his private car on to the rear platform of...

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Collapsed policies, improvised replacements after sterling, it's taxing and spending CHRISTOPHER FILDES T his week threatened the ugly sight of a Conservative Chancellor with...

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Stamp on Greece

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Sir: I am proud to share with Noel Malcolm (The new bully of the Balkans', 15 August) and, it seems, Murray Sayle (`Fighting the good fight', 29 August) the honour of hav- ing...

LETTERS Simple, really

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Sir: Re the reduction of government bor- rowing, the Government will borrow about £28 billion this year to cover the PSBR deficit. Consideration has been given to ways of...

On the other hand

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Sir: You will not expect De Beers to agree with Edward Whitley's contention that 'the bottom is dropping out of the diamond market' (Tailing like a stone', 19 Septem- ber). In...

What does it say?

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Sir: Parliament is to be asked to approve the Maastricht Treaty despite the Danish rejection which legally killed it. Are we to assume that in Mr Major's opinion the Danish...

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Give it a miss

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Sir: Isabel Wolff gave us a smile here by choosing, for her 'sloe-eyed, swimsuited beauty' who steps on to the Las Vegas stage in the 1995 Miss World Competition, Miss...

War on gore

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Sir: Jeremy Bowen's piece about the ethics of not filming the gory details of the war in Bosnia (`Trying not to cry', 29 August) misses the most important point. The rea- son...

Helpful suggestion

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Sir: It was good to read Nicholas Ridley again in The Spectator last week ('Wha t about the workers?', 3 October) — com - ment that will surely appeal to many of the natural...

Two fingers

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Sir: My son, a lorry driver, tells me that the two-fingered sign that unsettles Dr Greer is not a crude sexual insult, as described in Auberon Waugh's column in last week's...

The Social Contract

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Sir: Tabitha Troughton's article (`Raiding in Reading', 5 September) was stimulating stuff. It is heartening to know that vigilant civil servants are catching and punishing...

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No Escape (1)

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There's no alternative, No escape; Only through good deeds Can one serve God. Thus this poem mocks its creator, Who (dismayed by human kind) Sits all daylong Scribbling that...


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To the faults a little bland Hilary Mantel THE ART OF FICTION by David Lodge Secker & Warburg, £14.99, pp. 240, Penguin, £5.99 D avid Lodge's new work is a kind of readers'...

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Po-faced in Polynesia

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Hilary Corke THE HAPPY ISLES OF OCEANIA by Paul Theroux Hamish Hamilton, £16.99, pp. 545 TRANSIT OF VENUS by Julian Evans Secker & Warburg, £16.99, pp. 277 I do not think I...

A Downed Butterfly

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Yet here it is: This is meant and is no accident. (How speak of 'design-by- accident' and not stultify English?) One can allow being whacked by a windshield in mid-hover and...

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When the saints go marching in again

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Caroline Moore LIVE FROM GOLGOTHA by Gore Vidal Deutsch, £14.99, pp. 232 L ive from Golgotha is like an amalgam of Life of Brian with Star Trek — one of those lime-warp'...

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Thank God!

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The British journalist Alexander Chancellor THE POWER OF NEWS: THE HISTORY OF REUTERS by Donald Read OUP, £20, pp. 431 P aul Julius Reuter's first scoop, the one which set him...

Correction We apologise to Jonathan Steffen for a misprint in

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his poem 'The Falcon and the Falconer' (Spectator, 19 September). The final stanza should have read: All darkness on your hand I'm hooded, pinned and held by you 0, give me...

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The good life and how it is to be lived

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Christopher Bray METAPHYSICS AS A GUIDE TO MORALS by Iris Murdoch Chatto, £20, pp. 520 F ans of the fictions of Dame Iris Murdoch should be warned that Meta- physics as a Guide...

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The life and death of peeping Mike

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Frederic Raphael MILLION-DOLLAR MOVIE by Michael Powell Heinemann, £20, pp. 612 A ll accounts of the British film indus- try tend to be annexes to the Book of Lamentations. As...

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Speaking less than she knowest

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Rupert Christiansen A THOUSAND ACRES by Jane Smiley Flamingo, £4.99, pp. 371 J ane Smiley's latest novel has just been honoured with two of America's most prestigious literary...

Old age, serene and bright

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D.J. Taylor SERENITY HOUSE by Christopher Hope Macmillan, £14.99, pp. 227 B roadly speaking there are two ways in which the novelist can express his or her dissatisfaction with...

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The woods decay, the woods decay and fall. The baby hurls his breakfast at the wall. The vapours weep their burthen to the ground. The burthen hits the lino with a sound like...

From a happy little man to Dame Edna

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Anne Chisholm MORE PLEASE by Barry Humphries Viking, £16.99, pp.335 M ost autobiographies by stars err on the side of caution. A carefully manufactured persona needs to be...

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Theatre 1 Brno spring Barbara Day on Czechoslovakia's other playwright-politician and the cultural rebirth of a European city W hen Milan Uhde, speaker of the Czech parliament...

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Theatre 2

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Square Rounds (Olivier) Who Shall I Be Tomorrow? (Greenwich) Bomb at the National Sheridan Morley G iven that the Lyttelton stage of the National will be going over to...

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Exhibitions 1

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John Wonnacott (Agnew's, till 6 November) An artist for Britain Giles Auty A t the end of last year, I cited the example of John Wonnacott to promote the radical notion that...

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Indian art

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Buddha the Greek Juliet Reynolds 0 ne of the most curious aspects of the art of Buddhist India is that it developed in violation of the Buddha's own law. Fearing that...

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City of Joy ('12', selected cinemas) Gas Food Lodging ('15', selected cinemas) As You Like It ('U', selected cinemas) Calcutta male Vanessa Letts C ity of Joy is full of...


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Blue streak Martyn Harris I n London traffic there is a convention that you give way to ambulances and fire engines but only grudgingly to a police car, even with siren...

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High life

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Greek tragedies Taki Athens h erehere is something very sad about a once great boat coming up for auction with no bidders, and never sadder than when it's the Christina,...

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Low life

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Bad break J effrey Bernard B reaking my hip has turned out to be the single biggest inconvenience in my life after sloth and an addiction to the low life and all its attendant...

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Long life

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Follow the dead donkey Nigel Nicolson 1 -1 St Jean du Gard aving walked 120 miles in ten days through some of the wildest parts of the Cevennes, I'm surprised not to be more...

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Chicken and spice — everything nice L../ . 00 0 4,...,) , ALJOL 411 4, WE HAVE the great Saint Teresa of Avila's feast day coming up on 15 October. I have always liked the...

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Very good value Auberon Waugh I prices have been significantly A reduced, one or two, like the magnificent Montes Alpha 1988 (from £8.90 to £7.50), quite spectacularly....

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COMPETITION Comic and curious

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Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1748 you were asked for a comic and curious poem with one of the three following titles: 'I Dunno', `Jargon-Jingle', 'Galoshes'. I sometimes...

Belgrade begins

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Raymond Keene A fter game 11 the match was due to switch to Belgrade, but before that hap- pened there was a closing celebration in Sveti Stefan, at which the normally austere...

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CROSSWORD 1080: Have a break by Doc

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A . first prize of £20 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 V i ntage Port for the first correct solution opened on 26 October, with two runners-up prizes of £10 (or, for UK...

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Tigerish to the end Frank Keating A DOZEN years ago, I innocently plonked myself and my clobber down on a seat which was surprisingly free in Ade- laide's crowded press box,...


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Dear Mary. . Q. I have a friend whose husband, though amiable, is unremarkable save for the fact that he was educated in France. Possibly because of this, he lakes care to...