11 JULY 1998

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`Careless talk increases circulation.' V iolent protests swept Northern Ire- land after the Orange Order's march from Drumcree was prohibited by the new Parades Commission from...

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SPECT 1HE AT OR The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL

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Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 MR BLAIR DELAYS most everyone is striving for a solu- tion, yet Ulster is still in crisis. Mr Blair would like to find a compromise...

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ANTHONY O'HEAR O n Tuesday I was inveigled by my daughter Natasha into leading a discussion group at the joint St Paul's school's study day. The theme was progress and I...

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In 15 months Mr Blair has achieved something that took the Tories 15 years BRUCE ANDERSON D erek Draper is an amusing rascal. When he admits to being brash, cocky and...

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Mandelson plays down friendship with Blair FRANK JOHNSON D amon Runyon is supposed to have said about some brawl or row: 'There'll be a dame in there somewhere.' Likewise, in...

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Sion Simon offers an insider's account of the world of the New Labour lobbyist IMAGINE you are in another place, at the proverbial fashionable Soho cocktail party. The champagne...

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ONE of the biggest surprises at Wimble- don was when Britain's Samantha Smith walked out with her prize-money cheque for £25,000 for reaching the fourth round of the singles....

Second opinion

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THERE is a scheme afoot, so I am told, to teach medical students the elements of literature. Once they have walked the wards, they will turn the pages — com- pulsorily, as a...

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Mark Corby argues the similarity between the Jewish state and another polity which the West once set up on the same land AS the dust settles over the golden jubilee celebrations...

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Mark Steyn says America is strong and rich enough to survive its politics and schools New Hampshire AMERICA spends more per pupil on edu- cation than any other major...

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Mind your language

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'IT'S a wonder anybody dares take any medicine at all,' said my husband, as he chuckled over the warnings of dizziness, night sweats, insomnia, dry mouth, anorgasmia, postural...

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Brian Masters denies that Diana's death has brought the kind of paroxysms he has seen in the United States I AM still haunted by one abiding memory of the funeral of Diana,...

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Snobbery and resentment: that's what's behind the protests of Mr Paxman and co. DAVID HILL L ast Saturday lunchtime I turned on Radio Four and was confronted with an episode...

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All these parties are bound to lead to polygamy in the end PAUL JOHNSON T his is the week when the party season rises to an ear-splitting climax. Officially, the season begins...

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How to invest in hiring more people and losing more money — send in the clowns CHRISTOPHER FILDES I wonder how Rupert Murdoch would get along in the opera business. The great...

In the black

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THE NEW Sadler's Wells opens in Octo- ber with the Ballet Rambert, and I hope this will keep Giannandrea Poesio happy. (Later on, Covent Garden's homeless opera company will...

Sadler's Who?

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ALTERNATIVELY, Mr Murdoch could send for Sir Richard Eyre. That is what Chris Smith did at the Ministry of Culture. Sir Richard does not quite tell us why Covent Garden will get...

La Dogana Straniera

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THERE is an opera waiting to be written, called The Quaint Old Spanish Custom. In Fleet Street as it was, the print unions used such irrational customs to rule and rob the...

No guarantee

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MY MAN in the crush bar says that Covent Garden's troubles started when Lord Drogheda, its panjandrum, promised Harold Macmillan that everything would be all right. Whitehall...

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Rugby union

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Sir: I am proud to be quoted in Raymond Keene's admirably sane defence of exercis- ing the brain rather than brawn (Don't get too physical', 27 June), just as I am proud that,...

A president at war

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Sir: I am the author of the American Spec- tator article mentioned by Professor Brogan in his review (Books, 20 June), which argued that the new book of Watergate tapes amounted...

Sir: I doubt Dave Hill, as a former Labour spin

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doctor, was writing with the best inter- ests of the Conservative party at heart, so may I thank him for the compliment? Alan Duncan, MP House of Commons, London SW1

Tagging along

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Sir: As a poor, frail, illiterate, old pensioner and devoted Spectator reader, I'd just like to say that I'm grateful for your English trans- lation of Latin quotations...

Laboured advice

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Sir: I suppose, even though he used to work for the Labour party, some of Mr Hill's advice (`Your turn to do the business', 27 June) to the Conservative party might have been...

LETTERS A taxing question

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Sir: The comment by Christopher Fildes (City and suburban, 4 July) and the £200,000 shown in Hollis Industries' accounts as a payment to Geoffrey Robin- son, who denies...

Double the pleasure

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Sir: Adrian Berry writes (Letters, 4 July) that I am in error in suggesting that the edi- tors of the Oxford publication Parson's Pleasure included lain Sproat. He adds that he...

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Chronolo of rice pudding Eric Christiansen ISLAND STORIES: UNRAVELLING BRITAIN, THEATRES OF MEMORY, VOLUME II by Raphael Samuel Verso, £20, pp. 391 B oth England and Britain...

All books reviewed in The Spectator are available through THE

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SPECTATOR BOOKSHOP Tel: 0541 557 288

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The bow and the basket

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Tony Gould CHRONICLE OF THE GUAYAKI INDIANS by Pierre Clastres, translated by Paul Auster Faber, £9.99, pp. 349 I f, in the words of the poet, 'the proper study of mankind is...

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The Cross of Geneva

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Carole Angier DUNANT'S DREAM by Caroline Moorehead HarperCollins, £24.99, pp. 780 T he main heroes of this book are the Red Cross delegates in the field: brave, tireless and...

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Excusing the messenger

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Paul Foot THE DAY-STAR OF LIBERTY: WILLIAM HAZLITT'S RADICAL STYLE by Tom Paulin Faber, £22.50, pp. 382 T hroughout the reading of this thrilling book I was haunted by a...

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Playing with guns and whores

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Glenys Roberts HIGH CONCEPT: DON SIMPSON AND THE HOLLYWOOD CULTURE OF EXCESS by Charles Fleming Bloomsbury, £16.99, pp. 249 D on Simpson once asked a Hollywood writer what time...

Penguin Man in hard covers

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Alfred Sherman DARK CONTINENT by Mark Mazower Allen Lane/Penguin, £20, pp. 496 T he historian's job is to dispel myths, but he is not immune to capture by them. Mark Mazower's...

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Keeping the show on the road

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D. J. Taylor COAST TO COAST by Frederic Raphael Orion, £16.99, pp. 231 S ome years ago I published a book about English fiction of the post-1945 era called — unremarkably, it...


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RATES 12 Months 6 Months (52 issues) (26 issues) UK 0 £97.00 0 £49.00 Europe 10 £109.00 CI £55.00 USA U US$161 U US$82 Australia ❑ Aus$225 ❑ Aus$113 Rest of World 1 0 £119.00...

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Francis King THE SPELL by Alan Hollinghurst Chatto, £15.99, pp. 257 T he spell which gives its title to this arrestingly self-confident novel is that of addiction: the...


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The Day-Star of Liberty William Hazlitt's Radical Style by Tom Paulin Tom Paulin, places Hazlitt in his rightful place as one of the greatest English prose writers of the...

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Masters of mystification

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Douglas Johnson INTELLECTUAL POSTURES by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont Profile, £9.99, pp. 280 A lan Sokal is Professor of Physics at New York University, but his worldly fame...

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Failure on both sides

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Allan Mallinson THE WAR OF ATONEMENT: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE YOM KIPPUR WAR, 1973 by Chaim Herzog Greenhill, £18.99, pp. 320 C haim Herzog, who died last year, belonged to...

Upping the case

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Tom Utley A HARD TIME TO BE A FATHER by Fay Weldon Flamingo, £12.99, pp. 262 T hese 19 short stories are well written and beautifully constructed, and most have interesting and...

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As large and lusty as life

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Gavin Stamp BIG JIM: THE LIFE AND WORKS OF JAMES STIRLING by Mark Girouard Chatto, .f.30, pp. 400 I t is a curious thing that, however many knighthoods, peerages, royal gold...

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A great English experience P.J. Kavanagh on the little-known Stanley Spencer chapel in Hampshire S tanley Spencer, 24 years old, five foot two, joined the Army in 1915 as a...

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Monet momentum Susan Moore D oes it make any difference when and with what a work of art is sold? Christie's and Sotheby's think so. Last autumn, Christie's announced that...

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Josef Herman (Boundary Gallery, 98 Boundary Road, NW8, till 2 August; Flowers East, London Fields, Richmnd Road, E8, till 2 August) Moral imperative Andrew Lambirth T here...


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Lost soul Peter Phillips T he general thrust of Radio Three's recent advertising on its own account, and that of the Proms by extension, may be familiar to you. A leaflet...

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Whistle Down the Wind (Aldwych) Its life in your hands Sheridan Morley J ust what is it about the British and musicals? To be more specific, just what is it about London...

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Iris (Opera Holland Park) Mascagni in the park Michael Tanner W hat is the best way to revive a semi- forgotten opera, in a manner that does it justice without giving the...

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Mad City (15, selected cinemas) Sling Blade (15, selected cinemas) Dangerous power Mark Steyn T here are two kinds of America in motion pictures: in one, the electronic world...

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Local hero Edward Heathcoat Amory E ven before this government encour- aged me to explore my regional identity, I knew I belonged in the West Country. Born and bred on a farm...


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Excuses, excuses Michael Vestey I once made the mistake of driving the hundreds of miles from Washington to Charleston in South Carolina, a journey of almost unrelieved...

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Cambridge birth Philip Goodhart A the new Master of Trinity College, Cambridge was finishing his speech, at a dinner for graduates who had come up to the College 50 years...

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High life

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Making enemies Taki T hings sure ain't what they used to be. Last Monday, at Paul and Marigold John- son's garden party, I tried to introduce a very pretty girl to Alan Clark....

The turf

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Special Eclipse Robin Oakley N ever mind El Nino and soggy June. The turf has its own sunny micro climate provided by the people you meet when you go racing. For a start there...

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Country life

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Was he there? Leanda de Lisle Ramblers and hunters will never be Monet behaving badly . . . enthusiastic supporters of each other's causes. Mr Duke may be looking to the...

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MISS DELIA Smith has a new 'secret' pro- ject. She

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is to publish a book, and engage in a 22-part television series to teach the masses how to cook. The project will go back to basics. Apparently many of us know about Thai...


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Making it Andrew Robson NEW YORK based bridge professional Win Allegaert lived up to his name at the recent festival in Ajaccio, Corsica. He won the Paris (with Indian Jaggy...

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RESTAURANT AS THEATRE '•AaS% GWYNETH Paltrow was the first to

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admit it — Cool Britannia is as dated as a pair of last year's trainers. On a recent visit to London, she hated the wilting polenta and platform heels. Why could no one make a...

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Verb. sap. Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2041 you were invited to write a poem in which the rhyme words are all either abbreviations or acronyms. Again Harry Graham is...


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Rule Britannia Raymond Keene AS A USEFUL corrective to the spate of unratable events about which I have com- plained recently in this column and else- where, both Michael...

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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 July, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, the latest...

Solution to 1367: Curse

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ado on Emicarim a u 01310E1 Mai 01,1313harinprialpriu a. GE in ri rid jrill rin E rin El d n 0 000 a T mune aline it gra 0 Mariann El MI a rl arm news ninanaarlaria PAan...

No. 2044: A death too far

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In the light of the various silly, sentimental and tasteless suggestions for a way to com- memorate Princess Diana, you are invited to add to them in the form of a letter to The...

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Dear Mary.. . Q. I am shortly to open a small art gallery in a prosperous market town. I shall be dealing in the minor works of mainly dead artists. I shall be sending out...


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Seriously good Simon Barnes WHEN the great public has a close encounter with true excellence, it tends to purse its lips in a non-committal fashion and say, 'God, how...