11 APRIL 1992

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PORTRAIT OF THE WEEK A horse called Party Politics won the

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Grand National, but strenuous political campaigning by all three main parties in the race towards the general election failed to produce a clear favourite. A hung parlia- ment...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 A QUESTION OF INTEREST T his has been the most boring and the most...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY — RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £71.00 0 £35.50 Europe (airmail) 0 £82.03 0 £41.00 USA Airspeed 0 USS110 El US$55.00 Rest of Airmail 0 £98.00 0 £49.00 World...

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Mr Heseltine ponders the difficulties of a no-lose situation SIMON HEFFER T he main achievement of the election campaign has been to confirm that the Tory party cannot go on...

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ALEXANDER HESKETH h en an election is on it is not much fun to be the Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms. When Par- liament sits, the Chief Whip in the Lords —...

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. . . and he went away sorrowing, for he had great possessions CHARLES MOORE I cannot imagine being deterred from working if my taxes go up,' wrote Stephen Fry in the Daily...

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John Simpson explains how the Prime Minister remained so cheerful, even as the opinion polls condemned him At two o'clock, according to Sir Roger's com- mittee, the numbers...

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One hundred years ago

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Current literature Women and their Work. By Veva Kars- land. (Sampson Low, Marston, and Co.) — Miss Karsland gives us, arranged in alphabetical order, between fifty and sixty...

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John Laughland defends the British Constitution and warns of the dangers of a permanently hung-over parliament THE MORNING after the night before: that bad taste in the mouth,...

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Michael Heath

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Ludovic Kennedy recalls good times and bad with the outgoing Lord Chief Justice NEXT Wednesday morning in the Law Courts, Bench and Bar will assemble to take farewell of...

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who could be a frightening and frightened Prime Minister MR KINNOCK is tough now. But has he become wise too? No opposition leader since the war has been subjected to such an...


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Dominic Lawson writes: Three years ago we appealed to our readers to buy half- price subscriptions to The Spectator, which we undertook to send to people in Poland. The scheme...

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If symptoms persist. .

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IF THE LAW is an ass, the Home Office is a Bear of Very Little Brain. I was on duty at the prison last weekend, and on the following Monday I attempted to alert the aforesaid...


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Andrew Gimson discovers that, whatever party leaders say, race is an election issue The final Vox Pub report is from Basildon, one of the Conservative seats in Essex which...

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Julia Langdon on the brief joy of being thought uninsurable I AM SADLY coming to terms with lead- ing a life as risk-free as that of any office drone. And this after a week or...

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Martin Weyer relives the riches to rags story of the City under the Conservatives MERCHANT BANKING was the career of the golden Tory career years. It made its mark in the...

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Turning our backs on the world PAUL JOHNSON I t has been a poor-quality election cam- paign and most striking of all has been its insularity. Our future within the European...

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Dizzy spell

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MY ELECTION-week reading is Conings- by, the maverick Tory manifesto written by Disraeli as a novel. I now expect to see Tory mavericks, romantics and true blues turning to...

Losers all round

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IF THIS proves to be the last week of the Tories' 13 years, the die will have been cast on that October afternoon. Some of the faithful were then naïve enough to believe that...


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Three men in the same boat, without a paddle between them CHRISTOPHER FILDES I t has been odd to find this election fought out between three parties, each making the same...

Walking wounded

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OUTSIDE the political asylum, the symp- tom to watch is the High Street banks' share prices. They are a sad sight. Barclays, though rated the strongest, has lost a third of its...

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LETTERS Clive of Australia

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Sir: Mr Clive James (`Let my people stay', 7 March) has managed to analyse recent events here with an objectivity that appears to be quite beyond the local press. He does,...

Sir: Clive James is probably used to accusa- tions from

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his fellow countrymen that he has turned into an Englishman. I will not make such an accusation — it would be too cruel. However, he does seem to live in a 30-year-old time...

Thank you, but . . .

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Sir: I was encouraged to read the article by Christopher Fildes (City and Suburban, 28 March) in which he proposes to make a bid for us, resourced by the deep pockets of our...

Butterflies and wheels

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Sir: Michael Heseltine is under fire from the EEC and from conservationists for allowing the planned extension of the M3 motorway through Twyford Down near Winchester. He could...

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Can't see the wood . . .

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Sir: Your typesetter unfortunately 'de-cor- rected' my correction of an error by Naomi Levine, whose Politics, Religion and Love 1 reviewed last week. Mrs Levine thinks the...


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Sir: Perhaps after the election Kenneth Baker will have more time on his hands for accuracy in his journalism (Arts, 28 March). He incorrectly attributed my Spectator cover...

Thrice nay

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Sir: Simon Heifer reports Mrs Thatcher ('It was what we believed', 4 April) as saying at Chelmsford: To coin a phrase, you have to say no, no, no!' If only her Ministers and...

Pronunciation Eire

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Sir: Noel Malcolm ('The end of geography', 14 March) correctly observes that English people do not say Suomi (Finland) or Shqiperi (Albania). Why do so many persist in referring...


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Sir: John Simpson wonders how the Social- ist Workers Party knew of John Major's Whereabouts with such accuracy ('Have soap-box, will travel', 4 April). It would be all too easy...

In defence of Montagu

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Sir: David Gilmour says that Edwin Mon- tagu was the only Jew in the Cabinet that opposed the Balfour Declaration (Books, 4 April), making capital out of Montagu's hostility to...

Public convenience

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Sir: Concerning your remarks about Mary Killen's column, (Diary, 21 March), I can offer evidence that the problems with which she deals arc real. Mine was about blocked drains,...

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Doing the right thing

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Andro Linklater THE RUSSIAN GIRL by Kingsley Amis Hutchinson, £14.99, pp. 296 hen an author of Kingsley Amis's worth approaches his 70th birthday, there should be celebration....

Correction The title of Martha Graham's auto- biography, reviewed last

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week by Richard Buckle, is Blood Memory, not Blood Money. We apologise to all concerned.

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A thousand ages in thy sight

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Ronald Hyam U nlike most books purporting to be historical atlases today, the Routledge Atlas actually is made up of serious maps uncluttered by fancy frills. Coffee-table book...

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City and subversive

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D. J. Taylor UNDERWORLD by Peter Conrad Chatto, L14.99, pp. 252 e n years ago, as an undergraduate, I used to pore over Peter Conrad's contribu- tions to the Times Literary...

A land of infinite impossibilities

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Anthony Daniels H aiti is a writer's El Dorado. Though small in size and population, its mines of misery and joy are inexhaustible; it is a sovereign comedy for writer's block....

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Bullfights and bulldozers

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Raymond Carr A ccording to his publisher's blurb, Mr Elms is a noted controversialist. There is not much controversial about his book. Who would dispute his contention that...

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Sending the mind reeling

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Caroline Moore PROOFS AND THREE PARABLES by George Steiner Faber, £5.99, pp. 114 T his slim paperback is George Steiner's first work of fiction for ten years. It contains, in...

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The face of someone who could die

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Alan Brownjohn A TIME FOR FIRES by Vernon Scannell Robson Books, £10.95, pp.66 h e first poem in Vernon Scannell's col- lection concerns an escapologist fighting his way out of...

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Ahead in the air

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Terence Keeley ENGLAND AND THE AEROPLANE by David Edgerton Macmillan, £35, £14.99, pp. 148 h e aeroplane has been good to Eng- land. As early as 1914 the Royal Flying Corps was...

A selection of recent paperbacks

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The Book of Laughter and Forgetting and Immortality by Milan Kondera, Faber, £5.99 each To the Ends of The Earth by William Golding, Faber, £8.99 Two Lives by William Trevor,...

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Dance Bravo Baryshnikov! Deirdre McMahon T he White Oak Project is a small, elite touring group set up in 1990 as a showcase for the talents of Mark Morris and Mikhail...

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Don Carlos (London Coliseum) More than they can chew Rupert Christiansen I am not sure that the news of the English National Opera's acquisition of the freehold of the London...

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Freejack ('15', selected cinemas) Deceived ('1 5', selected cinemas) Flash trash Vanessa Letts F reejack is trash of the first order. Its makers were savvy enough not to...

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Alexander Calder (Sackler Galleries, Royal Academy, till 7 June) Alexander Calder: Mobiles, Tapestries, Graphic Works (Crane Gallery, till 2 May) Balancing act Giles Auty A...

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Reflected Glory (Vaudeville) Inside story Christopher Edwards R onald Harwood's artfully constructed new play is about two middle-aged brothers — Alfred Manx (played by...

Pop music

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It takes a worried man... Marcus Berkmann T he sudden appearance of two new Bruce Springsteen albums has sent the music industry into its usual lather: radio stations are...

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Power to the pinple Martyn Harris ik wod, pal malika — and there you have my first phrase in proto-Nostradic, the ur-language of the human race accord- ing to Horizon (BBC 2,...

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Long life

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Open to the public Nigel Nicolson his is the season when houses and gar- dens re-open their doors and gates to the public after a winter of dusting and delving. I deplore the...

High life

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Rich on the run Taki imagine this is as good a place as any for the rich foreigners at present living in England to move to once Neil Kinnock and his lot apply their politics...

Jeffrey Bernard is on his way to Australia.

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'Imperative cooking: how to shop, lesson 2: at the butchel

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IMPERATIVE cooks use a minimum of ten butchers. First, talk to other people who cook as well or better than you to find a nearby butcher who sells acceptable lamb, beef and the...

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12 STAR OLD COMPETITION c i % oNAS RE 12 YEAR OLD SCOTCH WHISKY Odd comparison Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1722 you were in- vited to write a sonnet ( Shakespearian in...


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Arachnophobia Raymond Keene The chess style of Anatoly Karpov lacks the dynamism of Kasparov but his moves are for the connoisseur of g radual- ism. Karpov has been likened to...

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Solution to 1051: Go nap 'El '0 N 3 C E

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4 8 AI R 'T R N %LoAcAfial ri . T WN laill III D A E 111 G E IC o 0 P A El Id EA OE N Ian ki 0 OM e a On ri 12 L id Irl r R s E T TI TI R T E C 8 rl in V ri i A 1 1...


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A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of 110 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of Chambers English Dictionary — ring the word 'Dictionary') for the first three correct solutions...

No. 1725: Song of myself

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Walt Whitman wrote a poem with this title. You are invited to do the same (maximum 16 lines) in the style of any well-known poet, living or dead. Entries to 'Competi- tion No....

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An illustrious line-up Frank Keating TOM FINNEY was 70 on Sunday. So each of the most luminous forward line in Eng- land soccer's all-time hall of fame has net- ted his...