11 APRIL 1998

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A agreement by the participants in multi-party talks on Northern Ireland was put into confusion when Britain and Ire- land could not accept a document on the powers of new...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 DON'T LET LABOUR LORD IT W igs and ermine, grey hair and walk- ing-sticks, all...

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Moscow c ancan see the stars and towers of the Kremlin from my bed. Every day, I rise and travel by metro to the State Archive to do research for the biography I am writing of...

Classifieds — pages 60-62

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The devil is in Mr Blair's lack of detail BRUCE ANDERSON O n Wednesday morning, Stormont Castle was full of red-eyed officials who had spent much of the night trying to...

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As a matter of fact, for the first time, our streets are walked by fiction MATTHEW PARRIS A re we the first generation in history among whom fictional characters live and...

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What is being said now about CJD reminds Richard Pattinson of what was said about Aids ten years ago — just as dubiously WE HAVE been here before. It was the mid-Eighties and...

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Mind your language

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`NO MATTER how much we urge silence,' Mr Alastair Campbell, the dober- mann of Downing Street, said in a letter to Mr Frank Field and Miss Harriet Harman, `congenital briefing...

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Rupert Wright on East Africa's royal family who may be facing extinction Nairobi PRESIDENT Bill Clinton's African safari was notable for the countries he did not visit. No...

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Michael Heath


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Sion Simon says we hear so much about such subjects as Alastair Campbell because the Tory opposition is useless IF Alastair Campbell were spontaneously to combust tomorrow in...

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Second opinion

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I WAS proceeding in an easterly direc- tion down the hospital corridor one evening last week after work when my progress was impeded by a man and a young girl sauntering along...

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Douglas Johnson shows the link between Vichy and the Front National Paris ON the morning of 3 April a large crowd had gathered at Bordeaux to hear the Assize Court's verdict on...

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Donald Reeves says the Churches are not exempt from the need for Christ's forgiveness SOME YEARS ago a religious affairs cor- respondent for the Guardian had difficulty in...

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Molly Watson looks at her male flatmates and sees advantages for women I HAVE uniquely privileged anthropologi- cal insights. For many months now, I have shared the life of a...


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RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £93.00 U £47.00 Europe (airmail) ❑ £104.00 0 £52.00 USA Airspeed CI US$151 0 US$76 Rest of Airmail 13 £115.00 0 £58.00 World Airspeed 0 £107.00 ❑...

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Digby Anderson on the unexpected effects of giving up television EARLY this week we were told to 'get a new life' by switching off the television set. Get a New Life is the...

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Six sound reasons for writing The Black Book of the Guardian PAUL JOHNSON S ome readers may think that I write too often about the wrongdoings of the Guardian, though I hasten...

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Drink up, look unhappy

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THE Blairs are going to Spain for Easter and I do hope they contrive to look properly shamefaced. No doubt Alastair Campbell has schooled them. In the past they might have had...

Soap gets in your eyes

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THE catch question now — the $64 ques- tion, as we used to call it when dollars bought more — is whether the American market and reality have parted company. The doubters say...

A nice place for lunch

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MY BID for the Savoy group is still on the table — the one in the Grill, on the left, by the window. I speak (you will recall) for a consortium of lunchers who want to put it on...

On with the motley

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NOW that American banks have the money to spend on each other, this week brings the biggest merger of all: Citicorp plus Travel- ers equals Behemoth. A London bank chairman...


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It's witchcraft: bubble, bubble, toil and trouble, their shares halve and your shares double CHRISTOPHER FILDES Y ou might wonder whether Japan and America are on the same...

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Sir: Matthew Parris, worried by present and future cost, joins

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other writers, including a British academic who should know better, in misquoting Prime Minister Wellington, himself none too keen on a Falklands com- mitment. The Duke wrote as...

Cover charge

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Sir: Once upon a time everyone knew what bad taste was; now, someone has to write a priggish letter. Though I fear I am in a minority, I have to dissent strongly from the view...

LETTERS No need for a rethink

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Sir: Matthew Parris (Time to think again', 4 April) leans heavily on Dr Johnson in his argument that we should be ready to com- promise the sovereignty of the Falklands. But one...

Jail fever

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Sir: Your worry that the Deirdre Rachid case is a symptom of an increasing confu- sion of reality with virtual reality is needless (Leader, 4 April). What we have started to...

Sir: Try as I may I cannot see — as

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Matthew Parris claims to — that Britain's Falldands policy in 1982 was 'internally inconsistent' in regarding the islanders both as British people residing on British territo-...

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Good for a laugh

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Sir: Of course MI5 should not destroy its surviving files from the Cold War, the sec- ond world war, the first world war or any other period of its history (`Once red but should...

Renaissance rivalry

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Sir: Peter Phillips has on a number of occa- sions shared his grievances as director of the Tallis Scholars with readers of The Spectator, which has always seemed to me somewhat...

The evil that More did

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Sir: I am not a Christian, but Christ's words, 'Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap' seem singularly (and ironically)...

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It's only a little magazine, but it seems to concern some big politicians STEPHEN GLOVER H ow important is the New Statesman? Not very, you might think. The Spectator's...

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What my new (black) friend told my relatives about their Georgian manor house PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE T he big boot of racial bigotry in this country is alive, but not kicking —...

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The sweet smell of success Philip Hensher A little national pride has been restored, in the aftermath of the much-lamented failure of any Briton to win anything much at the...

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Clerihew Corner

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James Thurber Once left home for a fancy dress party as a Berber, But by the time he'd found the right address What he was was anybody's guess. James Michie

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Far from a buccaneer

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Alan Watkins THE RELUCTANT PRESS LORD: ESMOND ROTHERMERE AND THE DAILY MAIL by S. J. Taylor Weidenfeld, £25, pp. 240 T he reading public owes a good deal to the industry of...

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Learning how to rule the waves

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William Waldegrave SAFEGUARD OF THE SEA by N. A. M. Rodger HarperCollins, £25, pp. 691 F or those who love the epic of British sea power, this is a literary golden age. There...

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Lenny the lion

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Peter Nichols LEONARD BERNSTEIN by Paul Myers Phaidon, £14.99, pp. 240 L eonard Bernstein and I go back a long way — to 1968, in fact, and Berlin, where the Festwochen was to...

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Blue remembered jokes

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John Bayley THE POEMS OF A. E. HOUSMAN edited by Archie Burnett OUP, £80, pp. 580 I n his own way Housman is a humorist, most effectively when he does not seem to set out to be...

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Where every prospect pleases

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Oliver Rackham TREES IN THE LANDSCAPE by Graham Stuart Thomas John Murray, £20, pp. 200 G raham Stuart Thomas is perhaps this century's greatest garden-designer and...

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Obeying the heart

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William Trevor THE BROWNINGS' CORRESPONDENCE, VOLUME 14 edited by Philip Kelley and Scott Lewis Wedgestone Press! Athlone, £85, pp. 450 W hen Robert Browning and Eliza- beth...

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Our man on the spot

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Andrew Roberts THE DIARIES AND LEI]. ERS OF ROBERT BERNAYS, 1932-1939 edited by Nick Smart Edwin Mellen Press, tel: 01570 423 356, £59.95, pp. 425 4 ueer sight in the...

From Hell to the arms of Jesus

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Hilary Mantel ONCE IN A HOUSE ON FIRE by Andrea Ashworth Picador, £14.99, pp. 336 I t is a fact about childhood that, even in its most advantaged manifestations, it is often...

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The politics of art Philip Mould on the buying and selling of political artefacts T here is money to be made in politics. Over the last two months Sotheby's has been combing...

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Carving Mountains (Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, till 26 April) For the love of stone Martin Gayford C S culptural energy is the mountain,' wrote the young Henri Gaudier-Brzeska...

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What a party!

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Roger Kimball goes to the launch of Modern Painters' special New York issue I t is often said that you cannot judge a book by its cover. Obviously, this is not invariably true....

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Eastern promise Susan Moore S upply fuels demand in the art market. Anyone wanting proof of this inversion of economic first principals should have gone to New York for Asia...

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Uncle Vanya (RSC/Young Mb) The Misanthrope (Piccadilly) Questions of age Harry Eyre s M usical metaphors keep coming to mind as you watch Katie Mitchell's intense,...

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Kundun (12, selected cinemas) Out of the Past (U, selected cinemas) A long time in Tibet Mark Steyn I like to think I'm as anti-China as the next man — more so probably,...

Sheridan Morley is away.

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Who owns what? Peter Phillips A nthony Payne's recent success in completing Elgar's Third Symphony, to the delight of audience and critics alike, raises some intriguing issues...

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Go back to the day job! James Delingpole I f everything had gone according to plan this would have been my funniest, most brilliant column ever. The idea was that I'd rant...

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Going, going, gone Michael Vestey J ust before the start of Going Places last Friday evening the announcer told us it was an 'award-winning' programme. This seemed odd as it...


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Team tactics Christian Hesketh L ast weekend the two concluding matches in this season's Five Nations Championship were played, one of them in spectacular style. Before...

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Go easy on the Verdi Alan Judd N ot so long ago men imagined there were laws of physics, immutable cosmic statutes awaiting discovery. Then men imagined there were no laws but...

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The turf

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The risk factor Robin Oakley E vents like the death of One Man divide the lovers of racing from mere race- goers, let alone the kind of people who could be heard last week...

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High life

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Telling the truth Taki New York Reggie White is one big, black, mean motherf—, as they say in the business. Reg- gie's business is hitting people, knocking them down and...

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Leanda de Lisle is away.

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Rescued Andrew Robson TANGIER, Morocco has long been a haven for invited bridge players under the wonderful hospitality of Tessa Wheeler. Her husband Stuart was not proud of...

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BARBADOS is an island about the same size as the

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Isle of Wight, but much more sophisticated. Not only does it at present have the strongest economy in the West Indies, and thus the best roads, but it is also the most 'British'...

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COMPETITION THE MALT New directions Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2028 you were invited to take the first line or two of a nursery rhyme and add your own untradi- tional...


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Rates of exchange Raymond Keene THE NORMAL material values, sanc- tioned by generations of chess manuals, are that the queen equals 9 points, rook 5, bishop and knight 3 and...

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No. 2031: The passionate North

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Recently, in Sweden, in an old people's home, two men, aged 93 and 80, both in love with an 82-year-old woman, engaged in a sword fight because the older man 'flirted with her...


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A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 27 April, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, the...

Solution to 1354: Travelling light

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10 II I N U EIIIIIIMIZIEKIIII L s ' la PAKILIEII w L 111 1 L LIOM DL a I Ph A 11 d T • • Gal El FO 0 T i N Ill • 01131A OE 0 N A 112E E ''' . ' EINEDIIN NOME TOW del II...

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Bring back chivalry Simon Barnes APRIL. Across the country odoriferous cricket bags are being opened, the daffodil covers are out as the 1998 Wisden arrives, and the voice of...


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Q. I was glad to see evidence (28 March) of your concern for the plight of Bridget Jones-style spinsters, since I am one of these. I am told I am attractive, I have a bit of...