12 AUGUST 2000

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'This is her first lynching.' M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, his family, some friends and security men flew in an aircraft of the Queen's Flight to Italy where he has been...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 020-7405

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1706; Fax 020-7242 0603 ALE TO THEE H uge efforts will be under way today to vindicate Mr Hague's claim to have drunk 14 pints of beer in a day when work- ing as a teenage...

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Even the Republicans have to woo Americans who go to church and do not lock their doors BRUCE ANDERSON The book opens with a powerful insight: 'The country is so barbarously...

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ANDREW NEIL have decamped, as always, to my house in the south of France for August. It lies a mile or so east of Grasse in a secluded val- ley packed tight with trees, a safe...

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The Americans are still bombing Iraq, with the help of the British. Why? John Laughland says that the strikes are part of a policy of globalism directed by an increasingly...

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Mind your language

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'WHAT, no ice?' exclaimed my hus- band, like Mr Chad. This was most unfair, since he never defrosts the fridge, and, if someone hadn't, he would not have been able to prise the...

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Paul McKeever tells the terrible stoty of a 15-year-old girl who is beyond the help of society SIIE's a bit of a one-off, is Dawn. She is 15 and is shaped like a rectangular...

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Even former sceptics are now reconciled to the Scottish parliament, says Allan Massie, but the Union is not threatened TAM Dalyell, the most acute, persistent and principled...

Banned wagon

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A wee/4 survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit 'I AM the man, the very fat man, who waters the workers' beer,' sang Jim Callaghan at a Durham miners' gala. He, at...

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performer who dreamt of being a great parliamentary performer ROBIN Day wanted to make history and, by the standards of his generation, mak- ing television programmes, however...

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Tom Walker on how he and other journalists in the Balkans have become bounty hunters Podgorica, Montenegro I THOUGHT of it first back in 1998, lying in a log cabin, high in...

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Sarah Sands has discovered that it really is like getting a divorce; you even have to bribe the children MOVING house, along with divorce, is often cited as life's most...

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Leo McKinstry says that politicians should not be ashamed of changing their minds and 'betraying' their parties 'CONSISTENCY is contrary to nature, con- trary to life. The...

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Forget the ideology; all of nature is part of a providential plan PAUL JOHNSON It seems empty without them but other creatures, no doubt, welcome the respite. I heard tearful...

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Swiss VC

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From Mr H. G. Keown-Boyd Sir: The Dane, Major Anders Lassen, was not the only foreigner to win the Victoria Cross (High life, 22 July). Another was the rather unfortunately...

Courage is classless

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From Mrs P. Stiles Sir: I was greatly delighted to read James Delingpole (Arts, 29 July) on the pro- granune Secret History (Channel 4). The pro- gramme was followed by the film...

Harbour humour

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From Mr Simon Roberts Sir: Allow me to dredge up Joseph Mitchell from 'the bottom of the harbor' whither a somewhat tight-lipped Mary Wakefield seems to have dispatched him...

LETTERS Ken on euroautocue

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From Mr Conrad Black Sir: Kenneth Clarke (Letters, 29 July) invokes the usual farrago of eurononsense in opposition to my advocacy of Britain remain- ing in the European Common...

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Branson statue riddle

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From Mrs Caroline Kirk Sir: Talking, as Mark Palmer was (`How to cut your train fare', 5 August), of air-rifle time at the sight of Richard Branson's bal- loon, my daughter also...

No lasting victory

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From Mr Vivian Linacre Sir: David Hughes's review of Humphrey Carpenter's book That Was Satire That Was (Books, 29 July) perpetuates the myth that the uninhibited undergraduate...

Tiger's genes

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From Mr R.S.F. Campbell Sir: Simon Barnes (BA Oxon, perhaps) fails to understand the reason for Tiger Woods's success (Sport, 29 July). It is what the geneti- cists call hybrid...

From Mr Jeffrey Makala Sir: This is a response to

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Mr D. Raby's letter wondering why Americans travelling abroad are so universally disliked. The answer is simple, really: we are loud, vulgar and super- ficial. This puts us...

Yanks deserve our thanks

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From Mr Peter Macfarlane Sir: Those who are swift to denigrate Americans (Letters, 29 July) display an all too British condescension. We forget so quickly our continuing...

Carry on abusing

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From Mr SiO'n Simon Sir: Yet again, you have published a letter from Frederick Forsyth in which he blatant- ly fails to insult me (Letters, 5 August). His previous missive even...

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New Labour's contemptible cowardice in the face of a tabloid lynch mob STEPHEN GLOVER T wo weeks ago I wondered whether we were not being a bit hard on Rebekah Wade; editor of...

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If you're not in business for fun or profit, you've caught the Cherie culture CHRISTOPHER FILDES R obert Townsend had the answer to the personnel department. His...

I'm on the bandwagon

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MY host at the Savoy Grill (or Dealmakers' Arms) rather pointedly ordered a bottle of mineral water. 'Do you find it difficult,' he asked, `to drink at lunch-time, these days?'...

Parting shot

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DEAR Mervyn (writes John Vickers, the Bank of England's chief economist), here's what you might like to say this week when You present the Inflation Report: We have been...

Custom and practice

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'OH, good,' said the bank chairman. 'I've got lots of customers they can have.' The build- ing societies, I had told him, were eager to spread their wings and lend to small...

With the Woolwich

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THE customers that Barclays seems to want are with the Woolwich. Word of a deal had got into the market and forced Barclays to declare its ardour. It wants to offer £5 '/2...

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The dead hand of historicism Philip Hensher THE JUSTIFICATION OF JOHANN GUTENBERG by Blake Morrison Chatto, £14.99, pp. 224 h ere's something odd about historical novels. They...

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Mountains and valleys of the mind

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Andrew Barrow THE ATLAS OF EXPERIENCE by Louise van Swaaij and Jean Klare, translated from the Dutch by David Winner Bloomsbury, 412.99, pp. 96 A first glance this looks like...

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A reluctant, well-fed agent

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Sam Phipps KINGDOM OF SHADOWS by Alan Furst Gollancz, .£16.99, pp. 274 A lan Furst has won high praise for his sequence of spy thrillers set in Europe during the 1930s and the...

Love in a violent climate

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Justin Marozzi THE RIGHTS OF DESIRE by Andre Brink Secker, £15.99, pp. 306 P ity the white liberals of South Africa. How must they feel now? All those years campaigning against...

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Murder to no purpose

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Alan Campbell ASSASSINATION by Miles Hudson Sutton, £19.99, pp. 256 T his is an interesting and stimulating book by an author whose earlier works have been concerned largely...

The gardener who dug deep

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Nicholas Harman A MONK AND TWO PEAS by Robin Marantz Henig Weidenfeld, £14.99, pp. 278 G regor Johann Mendel's great achievement is brilliantly memorialised in the limerick...

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STALINGRAD by Antony Beevor £21.99, 17hrs, 28 mins, unabridged WHILE

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listening to an audiobook to beat motorway boredom, the mind is in a flux of all those thoughts that swirl unbidden in the head as well as those required by the task in hand....

KILLING ME SOFTLY by Nicci French £17.99, 1 lhrs 30

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mins, unabridged NICCI French has captured a neat little genre: a well-researched social issue trans- lated into page-turning fiction. This, her third, is Woman Caught in...

Recent books on tape

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Rachel Redford MARA AND DANN by Doris Lessing £21.99, 19hrs 55 mins, unabridged THE place is Ilfric, and the time is the future, but with Africa currently so poignantly in the...


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Assassination by Miles Hudson Miles Hudson examines a fascinating range of political assassinations in which he attempts to establish whether or not these acts achieved their...

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Escaping from resentments

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Anita Brookner EVERY EYE by Isobel English Persephone Books, £10, pp. 119 I t would be easy to read these slender, elegant Persephone reprints as social histo- ry, dealing as...

A tank commander's story

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John Grigg REFLECTIONS, 1939-1945 by Charles Farrell The Pentland Press, £12.50, pp. 149 In a recent London Library lecture Sir John Keegan drew attention to the late flowering...

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Grandeur and wickedness

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Magnus Linklater THE LITERARY COMPANION TO EDINBURGH by Andrew Lownie Methuen, £9.99, pp. 194 R ichard Holmes, the biographer, kicked off a talk to the Edinburgh Book Festival...

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My criminal classmate

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Alan Judd KILLER ON THE ROAD by Wensley Clarkson Blake, £14.99, pp. 353 T he criminal career of Kenneth Noye, the M25 road-rage murderer, resembles those of Henry Fielding's...

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RATES 12 months (52 issues) UK Europe 0 £115 USA 0 US$175 Canada 0 £129 0 Australia AusS240 Kenya, South Africa, 0 1135 Zimbabwe RM. of World 0 1129 Please enter my...

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Country House horrors Michael Tanner calls for an end to the spread of opera in the countryside h e dreadful weather we have had this summer will have served a useful purpose...

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The goodness of Guinness

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Mark Steyn remembers Sir Alec, who died late last week A ec Guinness was an occasional con- tributor to The Spectator and a regular reader of it, though for some years I was...

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Millennium makeovers

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Martin Gayford visits the Gilbert Collection at Somerset House and the Wallace Collection A id still the millennium museum openings and refurbishments roll on. Tate Modern is a...

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THE state rooms at Buckingham Palace were opened again to

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the public at the weekend. For the first time, paying visitors are able to see the ballroom (right), which was completed in 1855 to the designs of James Pennethorne and Ludwig...

M us ic

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Googlies in China Peter Phillips I n the catalogue of unlikely cultural matches, the most extreme example that I can think of is the one involving Latin- texted Renaissance...

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Beguiling mix Stuart Nicholson I s there such a thing as European jazz? On the face of it a perfectly straightforward question but, like so many straightforward questions in...

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A Small Family Business (Chichester Festival Theatre) Pageant (Vaudeville) The Pirates of Penzance (Open Air, Regent's Park) Slaying and staying Sheridan Morley F irst (and...

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American beauties Marcus Berkmann A lly McBeal (Channel 4) is now almost wholly about sex. Not that it was exactly chaste in the past, for Ally herself has spent...


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Bruises and Boaden Michael Vestey liked the sound of Helen Boaden, the new controller of Radio Four, when she appeared on the radio complaints pro- gramme Feedback (Friday),...

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The turf

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Unfulfilled dream Robin Oakley L ife has its disappointments, as I was reminded the other day when told the tale of the son who phoned his Jewish mother. How was she? 'Fine,'...

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Food for thought

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Only gentry can eat 'em Simon Courtauld I used to grow tomatoes in, for me, quite a big way. During spring and summer one quarter of the greenhouse was taken up with the...

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High life

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Raker's progress Taki L Rougentant ooking out from my window I see an old, white-haired lady raking the field. Once she has collected the grass in neat piles, her husband, a...

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No life

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Class struggle Toby Young 0 ccasionally, friends of mine ask why this column is called 'No life'. I'm engaged to a beautiful woman, I'm solvent and in good health and, judging...


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Fine finesse Susanna Gross I'VE BEEN rather shamefaced this week, after making a 'psyche' which went horribly wrong. Playing for £10 per hundred, I picked up a foul hand. My...

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IT's my birthday! And my partner is taking me out for the sort of slap-up dinner that would have been the most brilliant and gor- geous surprise, had I not had to arrange it and...

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Babbagery Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2148 you were invited to write a letter of tiresome pedantry to a famous writer, in the spirit of Charles Babbage's one correcting...

dbeg The Ultimate Islay Malt.

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CHESS Rdbelq www.ardbes.com Favourites Raymond Keene THE top two ranked players in the Smith & Williamson British Chess Championship at Millfield School in Street, Somerset...

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No. 2151: Ruthless rhyme

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You are invited to provide a 'ruthless rhyme' which recounts the death by misad- venture of an incompetent professional on the job. Maximum 12 lines. Entries to 'Competition No....

1 9 9 4

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GRAHAM'S I. B\ PORT CROSSWORD A first prize of 130 and a bottle of Graham's award-winning, Late- Bottled Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 28 August, with...

Solution to 1473: Conclusions

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EMU' , rldrin iIao ' Pala . H FIMMIN o OEM P 71. Ilia mina R al s II T lia. rwri il A Is III nriermeri 21 Nem [lanolin di.. a A immeri . riariumnRanns. 0 . rim...

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His kingdom for such a horse Simon Barnes IT sounds a bit daft to say that you feel sorry for a sheikh, and presumptuous to say that you know how he feels, but T do; and every...


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Dear Mary. . Q. Recently I had some guests to dinner. I did not know them very well. I enjoyed the evening but at around one o'clock felt decidedly tired. What is the polite...