12 JULY 1997

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`They say they've been marching here for the past billion years!' T here was rioting in several towns in Northern Ireland after a parade of Orange- men was allowed to march in...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405

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1706; Telex 27124; Fax 0171-242 0603 LEARNING TIME U ntil election day, Sir David Simon was chairman of BP. Then Mr Blair made him minister in charge of trade and com-...

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Dr Mowlam's errors will not cost votes: only lives BRUCE ANDERSON S ince the general election, there has been an interesting change in the British political mood. It would...

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T he confluence of the 500th anniver- sary of Cabot landing in Nova Scotia, 100th anniversary of the Diamond Jubilee, 50th anniversary of Indian independence and last week's...

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What I'd like my friends to do when I'm disgraced MATTHEW PARRIS I t really is most unhelpful of Neil Hamil- ton not to have been a member of his local Conservative...

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Politicians are hailing Nato's enlargement as the beginning beneficiaries will be spies, East and West Moscow CANNY OLD MI6 has so far chosen not to follow its domestic sister...

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Second opinion

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WHEN Jason hit Wayne with a baseball bat four years ago, Wayne applied for, and was granted, legal aid to sue Jason, though Wayne had started the fight in the first place and...

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will cut Russia off from Europe instead of bringing it closer Washington DC WHEN historians, decades from now, consider the 20th century they will proba- bly be struck by how...


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Michael Heath

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Mind your language

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`FOR YEARS,' writes Mr Tony Rus- sell Wayman plaintively from Plac- erville, California, 'I had smugly and priggishly assumed my superiority over those authors, proof-readers...

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Cape Town I FIRST went to the University of Cape Town in 1967 to study physics and then went back in 1984 to study mechanical engineering. I saw two vivid changes when I...

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But, for this particular audience, they were the wrong ones, Nicholas Farrell reports IT WAS the 48th annual dinner on Friday, 4 July of the organisation which represents...

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Charlotte Eagar risked class warfare and blisters on the Countryside March THE LITTLE row of faces stared at me, eyes wide with sympathy. 'Is it raw?' asked Nathan Oldham, the...

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Charles Hindlip, chairman of Christie's, describes the aftermath of that alleged grope in New York PLATFORM two, Haslemere station, 4.30 p.m., Monday. 'There will be a short...

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New York, Mr Mayor, is a single Big Apple, not a bunch of ethnic cherries PAUL JOHNSON F requent visitors from Europe to New York, like myself, have reason to be grate- ful to...

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Let us raise our glasses to the ten-franc kir while we still have the chance CHRISTOPHER FILDES T his is a proud moment for me. The ten-franc kir has come. All last week the...

Let's not meet again

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THE prime beneficiary of the strong well, stronger — pound is Gordon Brown. He can scarcely touch the runway at Heathrow without taking off again. He came back on Monday evening...

Bridgework by Brown

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THE budget, when it came, turned out to be a bridge over troubled deficits, to a design made familiar by Kenneth Clarke. The abutment on this side is built out of taxes and...

Flight of fancy

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ROBERT Ayling, British Airways' embat- tled chief executive, has lost two City cus- tomers. At Garsington, they were dis- cussing Jonathan Aitken's libel suit and the fatal...

Dome of Discovery . . .

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A COUPLE of digits fell off the wire last week and reduced the cost of the Green- wich Gasworks Dome to £7 million. If only. It was last guessed at £750 million and ris- ing....

. . . Palace of Variety

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THE natural solution — no, don't thank me, Peter — presents itself. Down the road from the gasworks is a site with grass, trees, river and a building ready built. The prime...

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Aitken and I

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Sir: To judge by his dyspeptic Diary piece on me (28 June), Boris Johnson did not have a good day at the races. Can I set the LETTERS record straight on a couple of points?...

Sir: In the interest of preserving Paul John- son's remaining

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blood vessels, permit me to confirm that Mr Mohamed Al Fayed has never met Mr Alan Rusbridger. The only thing Mr Al Fayed has asked of the Guardian is honest and fair reporting....

LETTERS When sympathy is cheap

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Sir: The soul-searching — if what Paul Johnson writes can be dignified with such complexity — displayed by him and Sir Peregrine Worsthorne over Jonathan Aitken's problems (And...

Sir: Paul Johnson's hallucinations about the Scott Trust, the Guardian

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and its editor have to be diagnosed as an incurable ill- ness. I have discovered over many years that Johnson is as uninterested in verifying facts before he publishes them as...

Snide and sneering

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Sir: Once a gossip columnist, always a gos- sip columnist. Paul Johnson is right to draw attention to the malignant influence over the years at the Guardian of its putative...

Loyal supporter

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Sir: If it be the case that the British public vote in the best and most suitable govern- ment for the circumstances of the time, then Paul Johnson is right to support all of...

Paul Johnson writes: Hugo Young and Alan Rusbridger did not

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go to Hong Kong as mere journalists. There were indeed Guardian people present in that humble capacity. But Mr Young and his friend went there as media grandees, as members of...

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Taxation by proxy

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Sir: The decision to charge insurance com- panies for hospital treatment for victims of road accidents, like many populist gestures, has more implications than appear at first...

The art of deceit

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Sir: Claus von Billow suggests that the art of deceit when belonging to the serial adul- terer is as likely as that of the regular poker-player, 'whose very skills depend on...

The arts need business

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Sir: I hope that you will ensure that Charles Osborne apologises to the business commu- nity for his disgraceful remarks about 'cor- porate trash' (Arts, 28 June). I attended...

Look outside London

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Sir: Bruce Anderson believes that 'we may be having too much of a good thing' because 'in London, new galleries and restaurants seem to open every day, plus shops which sell...

Is it a joke?

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Sir: Trying to follow the correspondence originated by Alice von Schlieffen has simi- larities to interpreting the rules of a game called `Mornington Crescent' presented by...

Adult entertainment

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Sir: While I welcome digital television with multi-channels (Media studies, 5 July) and, hopefully, some specialist choice amongst the rubbish, I wonder if BBC World will be...

Shocking overindulgence

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Sir: I am appalled by David Fingleton's article about his Parisian orgies (Restau- rant, 5 July). It is uninteresting and disgust- ing to read details of his sampling two...

Sir: Whenever I read a letter from Alice von Schlieffen

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in your magazine the name David Irving comes into my mind. I wonder if any other of your readers have had a sim- ilar experience? Peter Knightley 8 Holmdene, Burghfield...

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Old Express, New Labour but not necessarily new readers STEPHEN GLOVER So what, you may say. It is a long time since educated, sensible or fashionable people even looked at...

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A horrid pair Philip Hensher SOMERSET MAUGHAM AND THE MAUGHAM DYNASTY by Bryan Connon Sinclair-Stevenson, £20, pp. 320 T here's nothing so remote to us, I suppose, as the...

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cheque payable to: Spectator Bookshop, PO Box 1992, Epping, Essex, CM16 6JL or Telephone: 0541 557288 Facsimile: 0541 557225 E-Mail: telegraph@bms.ftech.co.uk Orders over £35...

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Giants and pygmies

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Philip Glazebrook LIBERTY OR DEATH: INDIA'S JOURNEY TO INDEPENDENCE AND DIVISION by Patrick French HarperCollins, £20, pp. 456 I n this vigorously written book Patrick French...

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From caviar to cold tripe

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John Colvin FOREIGN FIELDS by Peter Wilkinson I. B. Tauris, £19.95, pp. 250 ti ter Wilkinson was at school with Philip Toynbee. Unlike Lord Lambton, he did not knock him down...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY SUBSCRIPTION RATES 1 Year 6 months UK £93 £47 Europe £104 £52 USA (2nd class) $151 $76 USA (1st class) $175 $88 Rest of World (2nd) £107 £54 Rest of World...

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Bedbugs and cockroaches

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Gabriele Annan CHEKHOV: A LIFE by Donald Rayfield HarperCollins, £25, pp. 674 N ovember 1896 at Melikhovo, Chekhov's country estate near Moscow: Lika . . spent four desolate...

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The hunter and the hunted

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Alan Judd MAN WITHOUT A FACE: THE MEMOIRS OF A SPYMASTER by Markus Wolf, with Anne McElvoy Cape, £17.99, pp. 367 M arkus Wolf was head of East Germany's foreign intelligence...

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Giving him The Birds?

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Mark Amory ME AND HITCH by Evan Hunter Faber, £3.99, pp. 96 H itchcock has been mentioned almost as often as William Hague in recent Specta- tors. Michael Harrington (10 May),...

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No, she went of her own accord

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Anthony Blond A LIFE WORTH LIVING by Lady Colin Campbell Little, Brown, £18.99, pp. 344 S he gazes fondly out of the jacket photo, as wrinkle-free as an advertisement in Elle,...

Lucky Master Jim

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Andrew Barrow ANCIENT AS THE HILLS by James Lees-Milne John Murray, £20, pp. 228 T his proud new volume of Jim Lees- Milne's diaries covers just two years, 1973 and 1974, and...

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You spotted snakes with double tongue

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David Hannay THATCHER'S DIPLOMACY by Paul Sharp Macmillan Press, £42.50, pp. 269 I was once unwise enough to suggest to Margaret Thatcher that European negotia- tion was a bit...

A selection of recent paperbacks

The Spectator

Fiction: The Tailor of Panama by John Le Cane, Coronet, £6.99 The Guest by Charlotte Cory, Faber, £7.99 Worst Fears by Fay Weldon, Flamingo, £5.99 Altered States by Anita...

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Has the Arts Council had its day? Should it be scrapped, shaken up or absorbed into a new Culture Ministry? John Parry investigates I t is always difficult talking to people...

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Verdi Festival (Covent Garden) Was he right? Michael Tanner T he annual attack of Verdementia is sweeping the capital. Normally sane critics are hanging on every first...

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Exhibitions 1

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Seurat and The Bathers (National Gallery, till 28 September) Dots with dash Martin Gayford F actory chimneys smoke in the distance beside the suburban river. A train puffs...

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Exhibitions 2

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Maggi Hambling: A Matter of Life and Death (Yorkshire Sculpture Park, till 10 August) Keep on questioning Andrew Lambirth O ne of the most tedious aspects of contemporary art...

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Let the women sing Peter Phillips T he idea that women should ideally sound like boys in the singing of any sopra- no music written before the advent of grand opera is one of...


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Follow these artists thannandrea Pomo T he end of a season is the right time for celebrations. Last week, the Royal Ballet School presented a memorable Jubilee per- formance...

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Into the sunset

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Mark Steyn remembers Robert Mitchum and James Stewart who died last week J ust in time for the Fourth of July, Robert Mitchum died and then, on the very next day, so did James...

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Tallulah (Minerva Theatre, Chichester) The Provok'd Wife (Old Vic) Skylight (Vaudeville) Star gazing Sheridan Morley 0 f all forms of modern theatre, one of the hardest to...

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Hooked on heritage James Delingpole N ever mind the huntin', shooting' and pension-payin' classes, New Labour's real victims are the nation's weaker alternative comics. For 18...

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Corrupt practice Michael Vestey E very so often your hear someone on the radio referring to how sleaze brought down the Tory government as if it's now an accepted fact. It is,...

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High life

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Where's my peerage? Taki U nlike the cowardly Salman Rushdie, I am not about to demand protection from the Home Secretary. In fact, I have just saved the British tax-payer...

The turf

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A hard time Robin Oakley T here were as many people round the saddling enclosure before Sandown's Coral-Eclipse as you would find normally around the parade ring. Like me,...

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Low life

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Bored by the box Jeffrey Bernard T hank God, the tennis at Wimbledon is over and the place can get back to normali- ty and running what I consider to be the best greyhound...

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Country life

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Debts of gratitude Leanda de Lisle The official explanation for this is that the message from Glorious was too garbled to make sense of. However, the documen- tary film makers...


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Establishment Andrew Robson FOR over a decade the two strongest counties in British bridge have consistently been London and Kent. This year's Tollemache — the County...

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Imperative cooking: fruits of the sea

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SPANISH fish markets on the south-west coast — the Atlantic — sell some 50 vari- eties of fish. You can just about get through them in two weeks if you eat two courses each for...

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j ,1_,,,ii, ,),,,,,,,, 11JA. ,111 11SLE OF q, LE 141LT SCOILX *MAI U R.A r.‘ COMPETITION Tales in school Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1990 you were invited to provide an...


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v CHESS SIMPSON'S IN-THE•STRAND AN ACUTE irony is underscored by a recent photograph from an elite chess tour- nament. Two strong grandmasters, Zoltan Almasi and Viktor...

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Solution to 1316: Goosefoot

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lilk N Inn V M E L In arliariall en oral= II 0 Or N 5G laliglelari 10 ifl 0 A I- elle ERIC a t' k31:1 T 11 Er] U m Ensv II Ian EMU Vri REM"! rim CI 0 1:11:111111 N...

No. 1993: Roses, roses, all the way

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An advertisement offers 'anyone who loves an old-fashioned, good read' a new novel featuring 'contented, loving pets in front of a crackling log fire, hot crusty bread fresh...


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

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National pride Simon Barnes THE BRITISH Lions have come to the end of their tour of South Africa, leaving the rugby-playing Afrikaner heartlands feeling a little bruised, with...


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Q. I am a journalist on a national newspa- per. Recently, a clutch of faintly malicious and inaccurate stories has appeared about me in other newspaper diary columns and m...