11 JULY 1992

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The Spectator

'Damn silly time to have a sex change, if you don't mind me saying so, Kingsley.' T he Government indicated that it would reject a recommendation from the Top Salaries Review...

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With both hands tied behind his back, Mr Smith plots Labour's brave future SIMON HEFFER 'We're not going to win the next elec- tion,' a prominent Labour MP told me the other...

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T he Labour MP John Hepple is one of the hundreds of men in this country who has LOVE tattooed across the knuckles of one hand, and HATE across the knuckles of the other. Robert...

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Whatever they say, revenge is not a valiant emotion AUBERON WAUGH E ver since reading her father's hook (The Animals are Innocent: The search for Julie's killers by John Ward,...

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Noel Malcolm reveals how our mistakes in Yugoslavia 50 years ago are finally coming home to roost TEN THOUSAND people gathered on a Serbian hilltop in May this year for an...

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Godfrey Barker reveals that the Russian and German governments are to clear up one of the last mysteries of the second world war ON 6 AUGUST 1942 Reichsmarschall Hermann...

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If symptoms persist. . .

The Spectator

I RECEIVE a panic-stricken call from the prison early one morning last week. The doctor who was scheduled to do the daily clinic there had gone sick with an allegedly bad back —...

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John Laughland explains why the French government is so easily and so often held to ransom Paris WHEN THE French prime minister, Pierre Beregovoy, called the lorry drivers'...

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Ambrose Evans-Pritchard believes that one day Britain might fight a war of secession against the EEC WHAT HAPPENS if we change our mind about Maastricht after the Treaty has...

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Robert Rhodes James recalls how a famous political memoir was rudely interrupted by its author's dismissal THE RECENT death of Sylvia, Lady De La Warr, also the widow of Lord...

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HOME IS HIS MUD HUT Ross Clark discovers that Mrs Desiree Ntolo is following an old British tradition IT IS NOT only the opponents of petty- minded bureaucracy who are ranged...

One hundred years ago

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THE FRENCH and Germans have got another little quarrel on hand. The Berliners are anxious, as their capital is now so important, to have a grand International Exhibition in...

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The Spectator

Recent research discovers Tinsel Tina PAUL JOHNSON B ehind Tina Brown's appointment to edit the New Yorker, a move which fills many gifted writers with fear and distaste, lies...

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Those heady days on Lloyd's heavenly floor don't pass the Jefferson test CHRISTOPHER FILDES T homas Jefferson, President of the United States, believed that any candidate Who...

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LETTERS Yours, disgusted

The Spectator

Sir: As a homosexual reader of The Specta- tor, one has become fairly well inured to the casual insults that drop from its contribu- tors' pens; it's simply a mild form of...

Sir: Paul Johnson's remarks about homo- sexuals in this week's

The Spectator

Spectator are disgust- ing. Unlike Catholicism, homosexuality is something about which one has no choice; one can only do the best one can in the face of a predominantly...

Onward Christian soldier

The Spectator

Sir: Your leading article (`So shall ye sow' , 4 July) manages to imply that organisations like Christian Aid have funded brutalitY and murder in South Africa. This is com -...


The Spectator

Sir: I was vigorous in my support of Andrew Neil's publication of the Andrew Morton book on the Princess of Wales, but found Andrew Knight's lap-dog defence (The restraint of...

Man and boy

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Sir: Your editorial (20 June), appropriately entitled 'The big lie', set out The Spectator's view on the Maastricht Treaty. I will not dwell on the general tone of the...

Sir: Paul Johnson's remarks about homo- sexuals were so unpleasant

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I'm going to give up The Spectator. Richard Davies Great Wigsell, Hawkhurst, Kent

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Twin Peaks

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Sir: Surely neither the elevation of Mar- garet Thatcher to the Lords nor her record- ing of the Gettysburg Address is as startling as the town in Wyoming which revels in the...

More Loos and Barthes

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Sir: I do not want a nitpicking correspon- dence to continue indefinitely but I cannot allow Christopher Bray to get away with the misquotations in his review of my novel The...

Nil nisi bonum

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Sir: Andrew Gimson makes his point — almost anything one reads in the press on a subject one happens to know about proves to be wrong, or at best misleading' (Diary, 27 June) —...

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Thought for food Hilary Mantel BR ILLAT-SAVARIN by Giles Macdonogh John Murray, £25, pp. 248 rillat-Savarin, who is known as one of the world's great gastronomes, had a long...

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A beginner's guide to reviewing

The Spectator

John Bowen THEATRE CRITICISM by Irving Wardle Routledge, £25, £7.99, pp. 137 T his book is part of a series called 'Theatre Concepts', sponsored by Michigan University, written...

Coup de Grace

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The hurt will carry you beyond all pain. Duck if you can but, if you move too late, The big fist zooming in can't strike again. No matter how religiously you train To tip the...

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Glorifying the sun and air

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Nigel Spivey THE FABRICATION OF LOUIS XIV by Peter Burke Yale University Press, £19.95, pp. 242 I mage-junkies' — that is how we have all been characterised by Susan Sontag, on...

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A congregation of women

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Tom Shone LIFE FORCE by Fay Weldon HarperCollins, £14.99, pp.200 I n the middle of one of her characteristi- cally bumptious bear-hugs with the reader in her new novel, Fay...

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A tale told by an expert, signifying too much

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James Walton THEY CAME FROM SW19 by Nigel Williams Faber, £14.99, pp. 250 I n which Nigel Williams, clearly encour- aged by the success of his last novel, The Wimbledon...

By sheer will-power

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John Jolliffe THE HOUR OF THE WOMEN by Christian von Krockow, from an oral narrative by Libussa Fritz-Krockow Faber, £14.99, pp. 214 T his gruelling story starts cheerfully...

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The riches of embarrassment

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Candida Crewe SPOILT by Georgina Hammick Chatto, £13.99, pp. 246 I n Georgina Hammick's first collection of short stories, People for Lunch, there was one story in which a...

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Disdain and scorn ride sparkling

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John Gross INTELLECTUALS AND THE MASSES by John Carey Faber, £14.99, pp. 246 D o people still talk about the masses? Even a term like `mass-media' has come to wear a rather...

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An appreciation of Allen Curnow

The Spectator

Michael Hulse V .S. Naipaul pointed out that most poets are trivial people with trivial minds, and the fact of the matter is that few would disagree with him. Remember Wendy...

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Opera Farewell, Glyndebourne Rupert Christiansen Death in Venice (Glyndebourne) II Viaggio a Reims (Covent Garden) T the dire peril of the roadside wild life of West Sussex,...

Correction Correction

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, It Was at the age of 18 rather than 28 that "..eraid Brenan persuaded John Hope- Jo t hnstone to accompany him on a walk to he Pamirs. We apologise to Hugh Cecil for this...

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Pop music

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Toupee or not toupee Marcus Berkmann T he rehabilitation of Elton John has been remarkable to observe, a return to critical and public favour that even the dis- tinguished...

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Pina Bausch: Tanztheater Wuppertal (Theatre de la Ville, Paris) A touch of frivolity Sophie Constant' n evening in the company of Pina Bausch's Tanztheater Wuppertal used to...

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The Spectator

Do I Hear a Waltz? (Guildhall School) A Party With Comden and Green (Barbican) The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (Albert Hall and touring) Musical medley Sheridan Morley A...

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Alfred Sisley (Royal Academy, till 18 October) River-bank reflections Giles Auty T he current exhibition of 75 paintings by Alfred Sisley in the Sackler Galleries of the...

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The Spectator

Batman Returns ('12', selected cinemas) The Rapture C18', selected cinemas Gloom merchant Mark Amory B atman Returns is a good film only in the sense that the Royal Mint is a...


The Spectator

Off to sunny Spain Martyn Harris T he great thing about soap opera is the snail's pace at which the most ordinary events unfold — which means you can parachute in on something...

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High life

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Swell party Taki A Athens ecko Papamarkou, the Greek-born American stockbroker who seems to have both the Greek and British royal families at his beck and call, is something...

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Low life

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On the seamy side Jeffrey Bernard 0 n warm and sunny mornings I some- times leave this flat earlier than usual, walk through the market and then up to the Bar Italia in Frith...

Long life

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In praise of maps Nigel Nicolson W en I was a boy and people asked me (as they did in those days, but now they have more consideration) what I would like to be when I grew up,...

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, N N`z ■N- L'Accento Italiano IT WAS NOT a good beginning. When we arrived at L'Accento Italiano at the time of our booking we stood for ages, ignored, until I impatiently...

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Manila moans Raymond Keene I had planned last week to go at greater length into the results of the Manila chess Olympics but the sudden death of Mikhail Tal caused this plan...

Devant les enfants

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Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1735 you were in- vited to supply an extract from a book for young children about the lives and works of great writers, in which the author is...

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CROSSWORD 1067: Thunderstruck by Druid

The Spectator

A first prize of £20 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 27 July, with two runners-up prizes of £10 (or, for UK solvers,...

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The Spectator

A jangling jamboree Frank Keating ONLY TWICE, and briefly, have I dipped into le Tour. 'Dipped' is the word: both times I was hurried back to Dover as spon- sored as a newt....


The Spectator

• • Dear Mary. Q. As a well-known novelist I am always being introduced at drinks parties to people who are `fans' of my work. It seems churlish not to want to spend an...