12 NOVEMBER 1994

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The PM speaks. U lster Unionists were dismayed at an announcement by the Irish government that it would release some Irish Republican Army prisoners by Christmas. Feilim...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 MESSAGE FOR THE MEDIA I magine that, in a General election held...

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Mr Major has proved more difficult to assassinate than Rasputin BORIS JOHNSON S edition is amongst us again. It does not take much to get the Tory back benches muttering, and...

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WILSON W hen John Wain was retiring as Pro- fessor of Poetry at Oxford, he urged Philip Larkin to stand as his successor. Larkin asked why Wain should suppose that he would...

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Can the European Union save us from Murdoch? AUBERON WAUGH T he front page of this week's News of the World 'Britain's most popular newspa- per', was devoted to its 'World...

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Anne Applebaum reveals the extraordinary waste, duplication and pointlessness of the United Nations' Swiss-based empire of agencies Geneva NEON SIGNS sparkle from the tips of...

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Anne McElvoy discovers that the Rumanian authorities are spending $200 million to turn a dictator's folly into a parliament Bucharest THE HOUSE of the People echoes to the...

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Will of the week.

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Mr Lindsay Gordon Anderson, of 9 Stirling Mansions, Canfield Gardens, London NW6, the film and stage direc- tor, who died on August 30th last, aged 71, left estate valued at...

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Hunting for P r ection-

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Matt Frei reports from the front-line in a nation where modernisation has done nothing to eradicate superstition Rome A FRIEND of mine had told me that if I really wanted to...

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Alan Judd, who served with the British Army in Northern Ireland, argues that the cessation of hostilities is not an unmitigated joy THE FIRST British Army victim of the lat-...

Mind your language

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`IT WOULD never do for your argu- ments to profess to be irrefragable,' wrote Cardinal Newman to Wilfrid Ward. No, indeed, but how do your pro- nounce irrefragable? And how...

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DIARY 1995 £12 Plain £13 Initialled The Spectator 1995 Diary, bound in soft black leather, is now available. Laid out with a whole week to view, Monday to Sunday, the diary is...

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FALLING DOWN Roy Porter insists that, while there have always been moans about the capital, this time things are really serious IN HIS generous and astute review of my...

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IT WAS a tabloid story and even the more sober of their number reported it with unexamined hyperbole. 'The Boy Beyond the Law', screamed the front page of the Daily Mail. 'Death...

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If symptoms

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persist. . . EACH MAN, wrote Oscar Wilde during his spell in Reading Gaol, kills the thing he loves; but times have changed. Round here, each man punches the thing he loves on...

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One hundred years ago

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THE NEWS of the week is terribly bad for China. To put the matter broadly, neither the Chinese soldiers nor the Chinese sailors will fight for their coun- try. Marshal Yamagata...

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A Tory MP's Marriage Bill has quietly passed through Parliament. Even marriage has been ALONG WITH stripy deckchairs, register offices remain one of the last strands of 19...

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The brave new world of Max Clifford, Peter Preston and Torquemada PAUL JOHNSON 0 ne reason why we must tackle the low moral standards of the media is that its behaviour is...

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QTV at the Post Office

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THE POST OFFICE joins my list of British institutions which, like Lloyd's of London and the BBC, are said to be the envy of the world. Said, that is, by their supporters at...

No tax, please, we're British

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IN BETWEEN times, Mr McDonough's bank has been wondering why the Brits (well, all foreigners, but we are in the lead) keep buying American companies. The results are so awful...

Over and out

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HOW CURIOUS to see the Walrus and the Carpenter — Tiny Rowland and Mohamed Fayed — as companions in misfortune. At Lonrho, the company cre- ated in his image, Mr Rowland has...

A glass to Ansell

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I RAISE my glass in farewell to Ansell Egerton. Years ago, when the Times's front page still carried classified advertisements for Sister Allen's service of colonic irriga-...

Now we are six

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I COULD see why the previous Chancellor gathered his seven wise men around him. He needed a diversion. The central plank of his policy had given way and left the Treasury...


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Keep it simple, Mr McDonough you're talking to the CBI CHRISTOPHER FILDES W hat has long worried me most about the Confederation of British Industry is that it may represent...

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LETTERS The Producers

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Sir: William Cash's article (`Kings of the deal', 29 October) on Hollywood was both inaccurate in fact and disturbingly racist in content. Given that Mr Cash actually resides...

Sir: Rather than reveal anything newswor- thy or insightful, William

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Cash's promise to investigate the success of Jews in Holly- wood' succeeds only in conjuring up time- tested anti-Semitic stereotypes, which we had hoped would be beneath The...

Sir: As a screenwriter who works in Holly- wood, it

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comes as something of a surprise to discover that what I should have been doing is pretending to be Jewish. There are many valid criticisms that can be levelled at the American...

Sir: When the maddening yet lovable William Cash first telephoned

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me (`the one Brit of any level of executive significance in all the major studios, and he is Jewish'), I became really quite stroppy. He wanted to write 'a really rather...

Sir: As to William Cash's allegations of a Jewish cabal

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running the United States film industry, I would draw his and your readers' attention to the backgrounds of those stal- wart Gentiles without whom there would not have been a...

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Pillow talk?

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Sir: Just as most of us believed that the modern wife possessed an admirable inde- pendence of thought, not influenced by the masculine prejudices of her nearest and dearest,...

Tyrolean tale

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Sir: Like most of your readers I am totally ignorant as to the ultimate historical truth of the events relating to the automotive Anschluss between Sebastian Shake- speare's...

Unavoidable absence

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Sir: John Ware's unpleasant piece about Dame Shirley Porter was, I suppose, what one must expect these days from a BBC employee (`The brass neck of Dame Shirley Porter', 8...

Light blue waters

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Sir: Fritz Spiegl (Letters, 29 October) ought not to be surprised at Alan Watkins's misattribution of the invention of the news- paper interview to W.T. Stead. For in the very...

Field studies

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Sir: While slamming other theatre critics for failing to appreciate Sid Field properly, Sheridan Morley goes too far in saying that `Field, and Field alone' played characters in...

Sir: I regret that the frequently provocative William Cash has

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quoted me entirely out of context in his recent article on Hollywood Jewry. I had cited the incident of the Har- vard Brahmin trying to dress in a more flamboyant, 'show...


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12 Months 6 Months UK ❑ £80.00 ❑ £41.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £91.00 0 £46.00 USA Airspeed 0 US$130 0 US$66.00 USA Airmail 0 US$175 0 US$88 Rest of Airmail ❑ £111.00 0 £55.50 World...

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Come now, chaps

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Sir: John Simpson, in his spiteful report about the CIA (Intelligence is hardly the word for it', 29 October), claims to have been present (more than 30 years ago) when a CIA...

Lucky Mr Millett

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Sir: I am not widowed. I am not divorced. In fact, I am delighted to be my husband's wife and proud to bear his name. I do wish, therefore, that women such as Ms Christine...

Don't leave it to Smith

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Sir: Alan Watkins's experience at W.H. Smith (Diary, 29 October) is not uncom- mon. When I was younger it was said that one entered W.H. Smith only to enquire the way to the...

Sir: In recent days I have seen, on televi- sion,

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Peter Preston, Tony Benn and Lord Lucan's sister, wearing shirts with but- toned-down collars — a fashion which I had associated with Americans. Could there be a CIA factor...

Jacques was all right

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Sir: John Laughland's article on Jacques Delors' youth (Were you all right, Jacques?', 29 October) attributes several quotes to Delors, without sourcing them. Some of these bear...

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You can slam one manhole cover shut, but the force of the sewage will push up somewhere SIMON JENKINS C an nothing be done about the British press? The answer is easy....

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Knowledge of two lifetimes Bevis Hillier P etro Torrigiano, who modelled the bust of Henry VII for Westminster Abbey, was expelled from his native Florence for breaking...

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Hit with a Blunt instrument

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Noel Annan LOOKING FOR MR NOBODY by Jenny Rees Weidenfeld, L18.99, pp. 291 H alloween has come and gone and the skeletons of the Cambridge spies are still dancing. Three books...

Sex is the crux

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Andro Linklater THE PRINCE OF WALES: A BIOGRAPHY by Jonathan Dimbleby Little, Brown, f20, pp. 620 A princely marriage is the brilliant edition of a universal fact', observed...

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He wouldn't a-wooing go

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John Whitworth WHO WILL RUN THE FROG HOSPITAL? by Lorrie Moore Faber, f14.99, pp. 148 his is a short novel, and somewhere round it the word 'poetic' beats its bat-like wings....

To the High Court of Parliament

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November 1994 Where's probity in this - the slither-frisk to lordship of a kind as rats to a bird-table? England — now for genius the eidolon - unsubstantial yet voiding...

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People say the life is the thing

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Anne Chisholm THE SILENT WOMAN: SYLVIA PLATH AND TED HUGHES by Janet Malcolm Picador, £14.99, pp. 224 I n 1989, Janet Malcolm, a New Yorker journalist, read Bitter Fame, a...

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Preserving upper houses

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John Smith I t is to the credit of the National Trust that its history is so boring. Only twice have there been any ructions. It was founded by three idealists, Sir Robert...

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A Mediterranean passion cooled

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Lisa Chaney HARVEST OF THE COLD MONTHS by Elizabeth David Michael Joseph, £20, pp. 413 T he last word from the doyenne of British cookery writers, Elizabeth David, has finally...

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Make sure of your copy of The Spectator every week by asking your local newsagent to save or deliver it. Complete the form below and hand it to your newsagent Please...

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Stars shine in his prose

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William Gaskell KENNETH TYNAN LEI I ERS edited by Kathleen Tynan Weidenfeld, f22, pp. 669 hat about Anna Magnani for Mother Courage?' — a memo arrived on my desk when I was...

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Interview Minister of too many affairs Rupert Christiansen talks to Stephen Dorrell about his vision, or lack of vision, for the arts I t's been a damp start. Since leaving...

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Look at it this way Melanie Phillips 0 h dear. The National Theatre's warning that Alice's Adventures Under- ground is not recommended for children under 12 means one thing...

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CHRISTMAS GIFT SUBSCRIPTION Give a gift subscription of The Spectator to a friend and we will give you a full size bottle of ten year old Glenmorangie Single Highland Malt. But...

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Arthur Boyd: the Lady and the Unicorn (Corbally Stourton Contemporary Art, till 30 November) Garry Shead: Kangaroo, D.H.Lawrence Paintings (Dover Street Gallery till 30...


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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (15, selected cinemas) All the monster faces Mark Steyn I n Mel Brook's Young Frankenstein, the Doktor demonstrates that his monster is a...

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Hamlet (Gielgud Theatre) The Editing Process (Royal Court) Molly Sweeney (Almeida) Great Danes Sheridan Morley P eter Hall's third Hamlet is far and away the most...

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There can be few greater combinations than those of classic, bottle-matured Port and the finest English Blue Stilton Cheese when both are in peak condition. The Spectator Port...

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Are the wings missing? Ian Hislop t elevision has been in revisionist mode this week. Lord Lucan is innocent and Moth- er Theresa is guilty. The Lucan programmes (on most...

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High life

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Boxing stupid Taki New York B y far the best night of last week was Saturday night, when I stayed home in front of the telly and watched George Foreman strike a blow for every...

Low life

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Paying the price for a drink Jeffrey Bernard was beginning to feel fairly smug at the beginning of my seventh week without a drink but apparently I am still on God's...

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Office life

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Essential gossip Holly Budd O ne reason for being a wage-slave is participation in that great stock exchange of humanity, office gossip. I'm not particularly fond of it...

Long life

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Brotherly love Nigel Nicolson B oth Pope-Hennessy brothers were my contemporaries at Oxford, John three years older than James, and both are now dead. John last week. What a...

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GEOGRAPHY is not my strong point. When, at school, it

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was made compulsory up to 0 level for some ludicrous reason, my mother flew to the rescue, writing furiously to the headmaster that `Nigella is far too highly strung for a...

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410 ,

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;,01Doilio SPAIN'S FINEST CAVA CHESS 494 SPAIN ' S FINEST CAVA Palermo variations Raymond Keene THE SICILIAN DEFENCE thematic tournament in Buenos Aires has ended in a...


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JURA 51 . 1GLE YALT MICH il105[1 COMPETITION ISLE OF i J SI,Gif VALI 1.,/ii11,1 M:■al No golf, please Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1855 you were given 18 words (a full...

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Solution to 1182: 13D

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No, 1858: Reflective

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You are invited to write a poem (maximum 16 lines) entitled 'On Looking in a Mirror'. Entries to 'Competition No. 1858' by 24 November.

R A:14 j A m 's 1 ) PORT w. & J.

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GRAHAM'S PORT CROSSWORD A first prize of £25 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 28 November, with two runners-up...

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Golden oldies Frank Keating GEORGE FOREMAN wins world heavy- weight boxing title at 45. Do you whoop or weep? It is not often a professor of geriatric medicine is doorstepped...


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Dear Mary.. . Q. I work for Sotheby's, and often meet friends for lunch in London during the week. When the bill comes, there is the usual tussle over who will take whom out....