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M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister said that, with '12-year-old girls getting pregnant by 14-year-old fathers. . . we need to find a new national moral pur- pose'. Mr Jack...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 HAWK IN DOVE'S CLOTHING A t last Britain is 'acting' in East Timor. At last the...

Page 9


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MARY KENNY M y views on the smoking of cannabis have generally been neutral, or indiffer- ent. Hash-smokers are bores — even William Burroughs thought that — and the French word...

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The only abnormal thing about Alan is that he was normal FRANK JOHNSON A an Clark, at the time of writing, has had such a good send-off that revisionism must be imminent. If a...

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Christopher Montgomery says that the fuzz face a new and vocal foe: the British middle classes Not all right-wing rancour is without sub- stance. Most of us have had...

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Second opinion

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KNOWLEDGE is better than ignorance, though, oddly enough, the dissemination of information about contraception has not resulted in a decline in the number of unwanted children...

Page 13


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Bill Kauffman on the uninspiring jock who could be the next President of the United States WHITE men can't jump, but they can raise large sums of money from other white men:...

Page 14


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Victoria Mather complains that the playboy has been eclipsed by the cad IT is a truth universally acknowledged that a not-so-young man with a financial deficit must be in want...

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of Alan Clark whose death could signal the end of William Hague I HAVE long thought that the hollowest lines in the English language are '0 death, where is thy sting? 0 grave,...

Page 18


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Andrew Jack discovers that the French are yielding to perfidious Anglo-America IT'S probably a good idea not to speak English too loudly if you're planning to visit the...

Page 20


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Richard Kelly tells you everything you ever wanted to know about teachers EARLIER this year, the government backed a high-profile advertisement for school-teaching, one which...

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Charlotte Edwardes reveals that Hezbollah will soon be beaming into your home `THE revolution will not be televised,' Gil Scott Heron rapped, back in 1974. Sadly for Gil, it...

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Julian Manyon on American fury over John Paul Ws plans to make a pilgrimage to Iraq Amman HE may be 79 years old, bent, frail and suffering from what looks to many eyes like...

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Mind your language

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`I CAN'T help what the dictionary says,' my husband exclaimed, standing in the doorway. 'That's what it says in the literature.' By 'literature' he meant medical jour- nals —...

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How Blair is applying Balkan-style ethnic cleansing to Ulster PAUL JOHNSON I reject both these criticisms. My charge against Blair is inconsistency. If he is so strongly...

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Now is the time for Hugo Young to sack the man who has compromised his paper's integrity STEPHEN GLOVER 0 n the whole we should be glad that a number of very respectable...

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Ruritanian revolution

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From Dr Ian Olson Sir: Paul Johnson should not assume that his proposed countryside rebellion would LETTERS have found much sympathy in Ruritania (And another thing, 4...

From Mr C.A. Latimer Sir: George Szamuely says in his

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article that `no one could have predicted the rise of Hitler'. Giles MacDonogh (Don't let's be beastly to the Germans', 4 September) sug- gests that 'crude Vansittart...

Churchill's big mistake

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From Mr Richard Lamb Sir: With all respect to Lady Maclean (Let- ters, 28 August), James Klugmann did 'doc- tor' the reports from British liaison officers with Mihailovic. This...

LETTERS Germans and anti-Semitism

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From Mr David Kernek Sir: If George Szamuely (`The evil of banal- ity', 4 September) is right, my mother and uncle were forced to leave their home and family in Austria simply...

An old man's libido

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From Mr Sidney Viness Sir: It is impossible nowadays to read a review (Books, 28 August) about Hardy without the reputed remark by Hardy to Edmund Blunden that he was capable of...


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YOU KNOW IT MAKES SENSE to take advantange of our extremely competitive rates and reach our readers through the classified pages of the following SPECIAL ISSUES CITY AND...

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Confident in their ignorance

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From Mr Tom Burkard, Secretary, The Promethean Trust Sir: Yet another complacent teacher (Let- ters, 4 September) writes to defend a school system which leaves more than a...

From Brigadier (Retd) N.H. Cocking Sir: Regrettably I have never

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enjoyed the hospitality of the Hambros, but I am confi- dent that none of their guests, however well behaved, would say, 'Oh, thank you ever so much.' More common than he knew!...

Deconstructing Wiliam From Christina M. Brodie Sir: I would advise

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anyone to read The Water Babies or Just William for themselves and ignore Philip Hensher's comments about 'coprophilia' and 'sexual obsession' — which are, among other things,...

Two types of robber baron

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From Mr Claus von Billow Sir: Your leading article on 4 September, Russian roulette', expresses the hope that Russian robber barons will one day give way 'as happened in the...

Bile from a Stone

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From Mr J.H. Carr Sir: Any person reading Norman Stone's review of The Vices of Integrity, a biography of E.H. Carr by Jonathan Haslam, must be left marvelling at how proudly...

Ever so common

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From Mr Philip E. Roe Sir: Taki writes (High life, 28 August) that the behaviour of Neil Kinnock and his wife would have made his female friend 'die of shame if she had been...

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Party of choice

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GORDON BROWN is easing off. When the International Monetary Fund and World Bank stage their meetings in Wash- ington this month, he will just hop on an aeroplane and go there....

Banking on basics

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NATWEST has made its mistakes but at least they stopped short of Crocker. This was the Californian bank bought by the Midland on the principles of me-too and...


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The boys must have their toys, so Nat West asks Papa to stump up £10 billion CHRISTOPHER FILDES T o be chairman of a High Street bank, as Sir David Rowland is discovering, is...

The bell tolls

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THE sound of a bell ringing could be heard this week from the Bank of England. Its Monetary Policy Committee unexpectedly made up its mind to raise interest rates, an example...

Putting on the Ritz

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MY PLANS to sell my house and move into the Ritz are beginning to take shape. Already the arithmetic looks good. I would like to think that, as a regular customer, I could...

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Stranger than he himself knew Philip Hensher RUDYARD KIPLING by Andrew Lycett Weidenfeld, £25, pp. 659 K ipling, in some ways, is a vulgar flirt. Half or more of his immense...

All books reviewed in The Spectator are available through THE

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SPECTATOR BOOKSHOP Tel: 0541 557 288

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Presenting the past as another place

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John Redwood THE ABOLITION OF BRITAIN by Peter Hitchens Quartet, £15, pp. 354 I picked up Peter Hitchens's book with apprehension. Would I tire of those famil- iar arguments...

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Not all gas and gaiters

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John Vincent STANLEY BALDWIN: CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP AND NATIONAL VALUES by Philip Williamson CUP, £25, pp. 378 B ooks about prime ministers may now concentrate as much on...


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Irish Gardens by Olda Fitzgerald The gardens of Ireland have a special appeal—wild and romantic, and home to a wide range of exotic plants that flourish in the mild, damp...

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A real-life detective story

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Montagu Curzon THE ROAD TO UBAR: FINDING THE ATLANTIS OF THE SANDS by Nicholas Clapp Souvenir, £18.99, pp. 272 ands are supposed to contain riddles, if only to compensate for...

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The boy's

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own stories Juliet Townsend CAESAR, THE LIFE STORY OF A PANDA LEOPARD and HUSSEIN: AN ENTERTAINMENT by Patrick O'Brian British Library, £50 (limited edition, £125) G oing...

Hell in the suburbs

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Andrew Barrow FORTYSOMETHING by Nigel Williams Viking, £15.99, pp. 403 T his novel, four hundred and some- thing pages long and compiled entirely of diary items, is a massive,...

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Hearing giggles in the Vatican

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Jonathan Keates WITH GIS SING IN ITALY: THE MEMOIRS OF BRIAN BORU DUNNE edited by Paul F. Mattheisen, Arthur C. Young and Pierre Coustillas Ohio University Press, £40.30, pp....

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Fumbling for the key of the cosmic mechanism

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Hugh Lawson-Tancred BETWEEN INNER SPACE AND OUTER SPACE by John D. Barrow OUP, £18.99, pp. 288 W hat importantly happened in the 20th century? The universe grew up. New- ton's...


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Subscribe NOW! RATES 12 months 6 months (52 issues) (26 issues) UK 0 .W7 0 £49 Europe 0 £109 0 £ 55 USA 0 uss161 0 US$82 Australia 0 Aus$225 0 Aus$113 Rest of World 0 S,119 0...

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Clumsy sponsors of freedom

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Anthony Daniels THE IMMACULATE INVASION by Bob Shacochis Bloomsbury, £16.99, pp. 422 A ccording to the Clintonian-Blairite view of the world, war is the continuation of social...

Puppy dogs' tails

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Frances Partridge FIRST CHILDHOOD by Lord Berners Weidenfeld, £12.99, pp. 233 hen I was asked to review this reissue of Lord Berners' record of his child- hood, my heart leaped...

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Degrees of martyrdom

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John Grigg OSCAR WILDE'S LAST CHANCE by Mark Hichens The Pentland Press, £18.50, pp. 204 T he case of Oscar Wilde and the Dreyfus case are both familiar stories. Millions of...

A score of blessed plots

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Rosanna James IRISH GARDENS by Olda Fitzgerald Conran Octopus, f30, pp. 224 I find it hard to read descriptions of gar- dens. No sooner do I come across 'another winding path...

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The party that exploded

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Sophia Watson AN ALMOST PERFECT GENT by Horace K. Kelland Wyrick & Co., $24.95, pp. 306 W ell, this is a funny one: a traditional rite-of-passage sort of a novel, the kind you...

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Closed for business Desmond Shawe-Taylor on running a public gallery when all its pictures are gone here does the priest go when the church is chiuso per restauro? What do...

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Miller delights Michael Tanner El . nglish National Opera's last season this millennium opened with a revival of Jonathan Miller's production of that lengthiest, most...

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Summerfolk (National) Inherit the Wind (King's Head) Stones in his Pocket (Tricycle) The Triumph of Love (Almeida) Glory from gloom Sheridan Morley F or those of us who have...


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Eyes Wide Shut (18, selected cinemas) I wish I hadn't seen it Toby Young I t's a pity Stanley Kubrick died a day after turning in his final cut of Eyes Wide Shut since it...

Mark Steyn returns next week.

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Sleeping Beauty (Cullberg Ballet, Edinburgh Playhouse) Time for a change Giannandrea Poesio T o be the son of Birgitt Cullberg, one of the pioneers of modern European...

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Right and wrong noises Peter Phillips T he aura of the Proms seems to be working its magic on the concert-going public as reliably as ever. Night after night I have attended...

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Fake tension Simon Hoggart T he nice thing about a holiday in France is that you don't need to see their ghastly television, with its endless self-ref- erential discussions....


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Vicious attack Michael Vestey O ne of the most astonishing develop- ments in my lifetime has been the increas- ing viciousness of a section of the media, particularly the...

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Not motoring

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University challenge Gavin Stamp Well, I would still rather go by train whizzing along the Great Western main line and then on the branch to Oxford, crossing and recrossing...

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The turf

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Weight watching Robin Oakley H aving taken up the habit at the age of eight and given it up at ten, smoking the mixture of camel dung and floor scrapings that passed for...

High life

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We're not all idiots Taki Rougemont `friends of Frederick who disclosed his cocaine abuse had decided to come for- ward because of concern about Prince William's position . .....

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Country life

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A time to talk Leanda de Lisle 'D o boys still get "the headmaster's talk" when they leave prep school?' a friend asked, knowing my eldest son was to begin his first term at...

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Singular life

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Dress to impress Petronella Wyatt e are what we eat, say some people. In my view, though, the truth is closer to this one: we are what we wear, or eogito dresso sum (is that...


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Not obsolete Andrew Robson ONE OF the more elegant conventions in bidding is the Grand Slam Force, some- times known as 'Josephine' after its inven- tor, Josephone Culbertson....

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IN France this summer, lunches were spent poking our little

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darlings every time they deviated from the vertical and hiss- ing: 'Look, why can't you sit straight like that little French boy over there? No, over there; the one with the...

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1620 and All That Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2101 you were invited to deal with the history of America (chronological leaps allowed) in the style of the authors of 1066 and...


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David and Goliath Raymond Keene THE final day of the Mind Sports Olympiad at London's Olympia Conference Centre was enlivened, to put it mildly, when eight-year-old David...

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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 September, with two run- ners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, the...

Solution to 1427: Over the Styx

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ir a al ri O 13 d10 a la Mir NEC[ d r Uri t . E a rl comma I Do c ". El E ME E o 01 v N II A 1 r L or . . . or EICIAntrEha IL El T 113 u me U Eikliarl E...

No. 2104: Conduct unbecoming

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You are invited to write a poem (maximum 16 lines) deploring the ungentlemanly behaviour of Major James Hewitt as an ex- lover of the late Princess of Wales. Entries to...

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Dear Mary. . Q. When I am eating a sandwich or a cer- tain sort of biscuit or cake and replace it somewhere during the process of inges- tion, I sometimes see that the imprint...


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Jumping into tragedy Simon Barnes EVIL things come in threes. This is a cher- ished belief and it was being clung to with some urgency at Burghley Horse Trials. I was there on...