12 APRIL 1997

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This is Martin Bell, Westminster, central London.' M r Tony Blair, the leader of the Labour party, said in a pre-publicised speech: 'I certainly believe that where there is no...

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The Tories are fighting a good campaign, but does it matter? BRUCE ANDERSON I t is open to doubt whether election cam- paigns really matter. Back in 1979, the Tories were in a...

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NICHOLAS COLERIDGE CL et me ask you all something round this table: what are you personally doing to help win this election for the Conservatives?' This rather emotive question...

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Sarah Whitebloom finds that they were responsible for every Tory win since the war, and that a third of those of them who intend to vote are at present undecided for whom A...

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Roy Jenkins turns from the present election to the time when no one knew who would win, and the countly took a fortnight to vote IT IS a grateful thought that in three weeks...

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Hugh Trevor - Roper seeks to explain the mysterious joumeyings of a tragic German who died last week TO CROSS the lines once in a time of ide- ological war is common enough,...

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Neil Hamilton submits his personal financial records as proof that he didn't take Mr Al Fayed's cash DOES Martin Bell know that being shot down in Bosnia is as nothing compared...

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Simon Sebag Montefiore has noticed that an inordinate number of medical men become dictators IF THE Albanian President survives to write his memoirs, they will probably be...

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Michael Heath

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. . . said Mr Mandelson to Michael Horsley, who tells what it's like to be the great spin doctor's Tory opponent at Hartlepool WHEN I first met Peter Mandelson I was still a...

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Leo McKinstry questions Roy Hattersley's right to be granted elder status by the BBC STARTING this week, and continuing every morning until the election, Roy Hat- tersley joins...

Mind your language

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I WAS going to vacuum the drawing- room floor, but was prevented by an enquiry from Mr Colin MacIvor, who wrote to ask what spoonerisms were called before Dr Spooner (1844-1940)...

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Bruce Arnold on an electorate which much prefers the Prime Minister to Labour Dublin THE AINTREE bomb scare shamed Ire- land. It also enraged everyone. But it did that and...

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Why hunting, tolerance and democracy go together PAUL JOHNSON n Saturday morning the local foxhunt gathered for the last meet of the season in a field near our house in...

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Tax now and let the losers find out later here's how to get in on the ACT CHRISTOPHER FILDES T here is no such thing as a painless tax, but next to it is a tax that only...

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Wise Council

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S p ir : By mistakenly lambasting the British -.0 tincil for alleged desertion of the humble J tId book for the gleaming terminal, onathan Keates has done himself unneces- sar...

LETTERS Community charge

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Sir: Not surprisingly, knowing how unerringly the media so often strives to misinform, Nicholas Farrell (Thou shalt steal', 29 March) manages to miss com- pletely, as does Lord...


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Sir: It has only now been brought to my attention that someone called Sir Edward Heath has written to your publication (Let- ters, 15 March and 22 March). I am afraid that,...

That plan again

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Sir: In answer to Mr Damant (Letters, 5 April), I believe that I am not alone in arguing that my great-grandfather's plan would have triumphed had it not been fatally weakened...

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Waste producers

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Sir: What is it with right-wingers and human solid waste? Neil Hamilton (It is untrue', 29 March) describes Max Clifford as 'Fayed's effluent-spreader' (untrue), a Daily...

The price of houses

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Sir: What a refreshing change to read such a fair and balanced leader on Har-Homa (22 March). Your readers might not be aware that Har-Homa lies wholly within the municipal...

Sir: Whilst reading Frederick Forsyth's excoriating piece about The English

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Patient it was possible to detect the peculiarly intense tang of sour grapes. Could he secretly resent the critical success of Michael Ondaatje's book and the bravura with which...

Mistaken identity

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Sir: I enjoyed reading Frederick Forsyth's article, 'Impatient with The English Patient' (29 March). He might also have drawn attention to the fact that in October 1942 the...

Rara Avis

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Sir: Although he was born in 1918 of an American mother, Alastair Forbes may be unaware that American daughters are often given the same name as their mother. Thus the wife and...

Courageous Cradock

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Sir: Matthew Parris in his piece, 'The great betrayal' in the Times of 28 March, accused Sir Percy Cradock of a 'yellow streak', one attribute of which Sir Percy could never be...

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I hope the worst thing to say about Martin Bell is that he's a holy fool, but perhaps there's worse STEPHEN GLOVER A between Martin Bell and Neil Hamilton there can be no...

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The reason we are not looking to the national election is that we no longer look to the nation state PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE N ation state elections are not as impor- tant as...

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Lady with a parrot Steven Runciman ENCHANTRESS: MARTHE BIBESCO AND HER WORLD by Christine Sutherland Murray, f20, pp. 318 0 ne afternoon in February 1934, I was summoned by a...

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Cold, grey dawn of the morning after

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Robert Taylor THE STATE TO COME by Will Hutton Vintage, 14.99, pp. 125 P oor Will Hutton is going to be very disappointed with New Labour after 1 May if he really believes that...

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There may be trouble ahead

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Timothy Mo THE CLASH OF CIVILISATIONS AND THE REMAKING OF WORLD ORDER by Samuel P. Huntington Simon & Schuster, £16.99, pp. 370 W e live in interesting times. In fact, never in...

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The road beyond Damascus

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Raymond Carr PAUL: THE MIND OF THE APOSTLE by A. N. Wilson Sinclair-Stevenson, £17.99, pp. 273 E ven a non-believer must accept that Jesus Christ existed and was crucified by a...

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Talking ghosts

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John Fowles THE OATMEAL ARK by Rory Maclean HarperCollins, £16.99, pp. 337 hen I first began teaching in Hamp- stead I was under a Canadian, of whom I was very fond....

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The judge who retired unhurt

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Alan Watkins TAKEN AT THE FLOOD by Patrick Devlin Taverner Publications, £11, pp. 173 P atrick Devlin was one of the outstanding lawyers of the second half of the century. He...

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A coach with a cargo of sex

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Penelope Lively EUROPA by Tim Parks Seeker, £9.99, pp. 261 h e format of Europa is an exotic gloss on the country-house detective novel — a finite group of characters...

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The golden age of the bishops

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William Trevor GOODBYE TO CATHOLIC IRELAND by Mary Kenny Sinclair-Stevenson, £11.99, pp. 320 hen the last British soldiers retreat- ed in the early 1920s from what was to...

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A very late Victorian

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Jasper Griffin HORACE: A LIFE by Peter Levi Duckworth, £25, pp. 270 h e British have always felt that they had a special affinity with the great lyric and conversational poet...

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Whitney's art-free zone Roger Kimball believes that the museum's 1997 Biennial show has sunk to an all-time low S ome exhibitions are born bad, some achieve badness, and some...

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Exhibitions 1

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The Berlin of George Grosz (Royal Academy, till 8 June) Gross Grosz Martin Gayford W ho was George Grosz? Frank Whit- ford asks the question in the catalogue of the current...

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No hiding place Peter Phillips T o musicians of every persuasion these days, the principles of authentic perfor- mance are familiar. Whether we are indeed trying to recreate...

Exhibitions 2

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Clough Williams-Ellis (RIBA Heinz Gallery, till 5 May) Boo to the Octopus Alan Powers A s the early blossom blows and the leaves unfurl, it is good to think of rural England,...

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Everyone Says I Love You (15, selected cinemas from 18 April) Woody's weedy wobbly warblers Mark Steyn H e blew it. Woody Allen's first musical sings only of new...

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The Damnation of Faust (English National Opera) Betraying Berlioz Michael Tanner O f the great myths which have obsessed modem Western man, and espe- cially artists — Don...

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A fiver well spent

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Alan Brownjohn enjoys a week's theatre-going in Bucharest A whole week's theatre-going in Bucharest costs you about a fiver, for excel- lent seats and the price of all the pro-...

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Lady Windermere's Fan (Haymarket) Popcorn (Apollo) All about Oscar Sheridan Morley I congratulate you on your perfor- mance, which suggests you still think more highly of my...

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Women at war Michael Vestey I t must be hard trying to juggle being a mother and a terrorist at the same time, raising children while blowing people up. This variation of the...

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Saint becomes a beast Harry Coen F at, effete and 50, I left it rather late in life to become a football fan. If that means I am playing a part in the much-decried...


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Grave old gaffers Simon Hoggart M ary McGrory, my favourite political columnist on the Washington Post, liked to be physically present at important events. Even when she was...

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Breeding counts Alan Judd M y wife has an image problem. She wants a car that is reliable, safe, capacious, nippy .. . and glamorous. It must cope with the shopping, with the...

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The turf

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Ten to watch Robin Oakley The annual's 1,160 pages are a marvel of compression. Could anyone tell a life story more concisely than that of the three-year- old bay filly by...

High life

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Lords of the Night Taki New York Le Last Party is a history of Studio 54, the disco decade and the culture of the night. The author is none other than Anthony Haden-Guest,...

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Low life

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Sick of losing Jeffrey Bernard B y the time the Grand National finally did get under way, I had come to the con- clusion that no bet was the best bet. Noth- ing stood out to...

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Country life

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Who's fooling whom? Leanda de Lisle I would love to have read about the roots of the Green movement — an archaeology of their ideas. The Green movement in Germany spent 20...


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All is known Andrew Robson JUST as the serve at tennis and the drive at golf are crucial in determining the out- come, the first trick in a hand of bridge is the most...

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By David Fingleton Tate Gallery, National Gallery and V&A THE ART gallery restaurant is a pleasing idea. To eat and drink in an agreeably dec- orated room while visiting an...

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IN-THE-STRAND SIMPSON'S IN-THE-STRAND Babes and sucklings Raymond Keene LAST WEEK I chronicled the exploits of nine-year-old Gawain Jones in defeating international master...


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URA ISLE OF i U RA thGEE 4 411 SCOTCH 11XI58I COMPETITION That is the question Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1977 you were asked to provide a light-hearted song, the first...

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CROSSWORD 1306: Mass medium by Columba

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A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1991 Port for the first correct solution opened on 28 April with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK...

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National pain Simon Barnes I TOLD you sport mattered. I told you it was important not because, as Sherlock Holmes rightly sneered, it is so very remarkable that one horse can...


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• • Dear Mary. Q. I do not like the mocking manner of a girl at least ten years younger than me who works in my office and who tries to insult me every time I pass her desk. I...