12 OCTOBER 1996

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7f you can't beat 'em, join 'em.' L ady Thatcher, the former Prime Minis- ter, made a speech at the Conservative Party conference and embraced and kissed Mr John Major, the...

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JOHN MAJOR CBournemouth onferences are fought on the beaches of the English seaside. I was about 16 when I attended one for the first time. I can't remember much about it,...

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I was wearing a designer suit, so of course they thought I was new Labour PETRONELLA WYATT nce the Tories were the Landed Party, then the Stupid Party. Last week Conservative...

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BOLSHO-TORIES The Prime Minister is reasonable. So is most of his party. But then, says Bruce Anderson, there are the defeatists who think they are thinkers Sir Leon was not...

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Mind your language

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WHEN my husband makes a medical mistake, you find the result in the ceme- tery; when I make a grammatical mis- take, the consequence is in the post. A fortnight ago I wrote...

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Michael Heath


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Stewart Steven explains why Mr Al Fayed paid Neil Hamilton for help, and why the Harrods owner felt let down by the Tory MP I MUST declare an interest. I am chair- man of...

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Charles Mosley says Mr Blair's reforms of the upper house will make it far more illogical than it ever was IN THE wake of Labour's conference, it is more urgent than ever to...

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Second opinion

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I DON'T want to sound like a decon- structionist literary critic, but sometimes I wonder whether language isn't the means by which we all disguise our meaning from one another....

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Richard Moore points to the flaws and inaccuracies in the book, and serialisation, claiming to re-examine the Jeremy Thorpe case IT USED to be a characteristic of the English...

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Slavenka Drakulic travels heavy when she returns to her native Croatia. It's all a matter of post-communist manners Vienna ON the staircase of our apartment build- ing I...

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The conspiratorial woman turned out to be right about Poussin. Douglas Johnson asks if she was also right about Dreyfus WHO IS next for an official commemora- tion in France? As...

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James Srodes watches their debate and says that, though it may be different on election night, this time Bob beat Bill Washington BY ANY fair standard, Republican presi-...

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Tunku Varadarajan offers his personal, and drastic, solution to Pakistan's problems: abolish it PAKISTAN — Midnight's Child born on the wrong side of history's bed — has...

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Drumming Christian principles into imps of Satan — or angels PAUL JOHNSON he beatification last Sunday of Edmund Rice, founder of the Irish teaching order, the Christian...

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Sir: Although I would prefer that 'Britain's corporate scene' does

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not become dominat- ed by lawyers, I cannot agree with the rosy picture of the Takeover Panel which Caro- line O'Driscoll paints in her article. During my recent dealings with...

LETTERS Fair and accurate

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Sir: I see from your columns that a recent book by Mr George Urban criticises the accuracy of the summary of the Chequers seminar on Germany drafted by Sir Charles Powell...


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Sir: Caroline Driscoll's article (Now Brus- sels wants a job in the City', 28 September) has all the ingredients of another Euro- myth scare story. Surely, the point is not who...

Pride before a fall

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Sir: I agree with many of Milton Shulman's points (Teaching the truth about the war', 28 September) but Field Marshal von Rundstedt is not the proper source. The originator of...

For art's sake

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Sir: Simon Courtauld is quite right (Arts, 14 September) that we should go to Dres- den, see that magnificent city and help to restore its glory. However, the bombing of Dresden...

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Reviewer reviewed

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Sir: It must be a rare reviewer of a new publication who devotes only four words to the book under review (Jacqueline Bouvier: An Intimate Memoir, Books, 28 September), in this...

Non-opera-goer's plea

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Sir: It would be foolish to deny Dr Tanner's authority on Wagner; and I've no doubt that his strictures (Arts, 5 October) on the production of Covent Garden's Ring are as...

The beards of yesteryear

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Sir: In his review of the Runcie biography (Books, 28 September), John Grigg, com- menting on the possible translation of the present Bishop of London to Canterbury, asks, 'If...

A family affair

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Sir: Some readers may still be frustrated by your lack of photographic representations of columnists. Those curious to see Mary Killen in the flesh are welcome to visit the...

Parish pests

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Sir: May I draw to the attention of Ruth Rees (`My sexually turbulent priest', 5 October) that the species she calls 'priest- hunters' are not unknown in the Anglican communion?...

Bring back Rachel

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Sir: Rather than taking up the cudgels, Mr Varadarajan (Letters, 28 September) should see Mr Glover's point, which was to express sadness over the loss of Rachel...

Coarse source

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Sir: How odd that your leader (28 Septem- ber) on Lady Thatcher's James Bryce lec- ture failed to remark on the absurd contra- diction in her condemnation of contempo- rary...

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The Independent's past isn't as rosy as it's painted. But its future is not all black either STEPHEN GLOVER I can't really complain about this view of things, having written a...

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Laughter in the same room Philip Hensher THE LETIERS OF NANCY MITFORD AND EVELYN WAUGH edited by Charlotte Mosley Hodder & Stoughton, £25, pp. 531 E velyn Waugh and Nancy...

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Every Pinter tells a story

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David Sexton THE LIFE AND WORK OF HAROLD PINTER by Michael Billington Faber, £20, pp. 384 H indsight is seductive. Like the last light of the evening, it can make any mess look...

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Not a Bollywood fairy story

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Jonathan Ideates THE SILVER CASTLE by Clive James Cape, f15.99. pp 263 P assengers at my local underground station — or 'customers' as official consumer-speak calls them — can...

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No end of a lesson

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Theodore Dalrymple ALL MUST HAVE PRIZES by Melanie Phillips Little, Brown, £17.50, pp. 288 L ast week, I asked a girl aged 15 to multiply three by nine. One could almost hear...

A style for every story

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Francis King THE BRIDE OF TEXAS by Josef Skvorecky Faber, £15.99, pp. 606 L ike those dust-jackets which boast that this or that author has been 'nominat- ed' for the Booker...

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A wealth of material

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Duncan Fallowell A LIFELONG PASSION: NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA, THEIR OWN STORY by Andrei Maylunas and Sergei Mironenko Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 667 S o much could be said about this...

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The life and hard times of a squeeze-box

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Caroline Moore ACCORDION CRIMES by E. Annie Proulx Fourth Estate, £16.99, pp. 381 M any of those who admired E. Annie Proulx's magnificent second novel, The Shipping News, must...

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Too many doors and corridors

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A. A. Gill THE BLACK BOOK by Sara Keays Doubleday, £15.99, pp. 313 T he chap in my local bookshop set out a pile of Sara Keays' first novel, The Black Book, between towers of...

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On painting and being painted

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Francis Wyndham LUCIAN FREUD edited by Bruce Bernard and Derek Birdsall Cape, £75, pp. 360 T he work of Lucian Freud, unlike Francis Bacon's, does not automatically lead...

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What did you do in the long war, Gerry?

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C. D. C. Armstrong BEFORE THE DAWN: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Gerry Adams Heinemann, £17.99, pp. 347 D o not be fooled by the title. Before the Dawn is not a trashy romantic novel but...

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Spend! Spend! Spend! Martin Bailey urges the Royal Collection to buy more — and less 'safe' — works of art P rince Charles, recalling his childhood at Windsor, remembers...

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Exhibitions 1

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Robert Mapplethorpe (Hayward Gallery, till 17 November) Lust for fame Edward Lucie-Smith P icture this: I am sitting on the floor in an almost totally unfurnished room in the...

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Exhibitions 2

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Tiepolo (Ca' Rezzonico, Venice, till 8 December) Painter of exaltation Martin Gayford T here are artists who travel well — just as there are wines — and artists who don't....

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Moving story

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Richard Shone wanders round the art galleries in London A last, something has happened for which I've been waiting for years. The Directors of the Tate and National Gallery have...

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Exhibitions 3

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Rachel Whiteread: Shedding Life (Tate Gallery, Liverpool, till 5 January) Solid space Andrew Lambirth W hen Rachel Whiteread's most famous sculpture, a plaster cast of the...

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Complex decisions Peter Phillips W ith the publication of Richard Rogers's latest masterplan for the South Bank complex, the size of the task facing those responsible for the...

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Don Quixote (English National Opera) Idomeneo (Scottish Opera) Iphigenia in Aulis (Opera North) Human nobility Michael Tanner I t has been a week of and about high-...

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Shopping and Fucking (Royal Court Upstairs/Ambassadors) Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Queens) Cash on Delivery (Whitehall) Something nasty in the basement Sheridan Morley D...

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Arts diary

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Booker bungles John Parry S ince its creation in 1969, the Booker Prize has always been controversial, never more so than in recent times. Lovers of lit- erature, book critics...

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Favourite fillers Simon Hoggart A t home we get 46 channels on cable television, with others on the way. Many of them transmit around the clock. It's not surprising that more...


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Jack (PG, selected cinemas) Grow up, Robin Mark Steyn J ack is one of that select group of films so ghastly they're mesmerising. It's directed by Francis Ford Coppola, who...

Cartoon Exhibition

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The Spectator and Aquascutum are holding a selling exhibition of work by Spectator cartoonists. A percentage of the proceeds from the sale will go to the Save the Children...

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Gaffes galore Michael Vestey T he late Jack de Manio made some- thing of a name for himself when, settling in front of the radio microphone to announce the title of a...

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The turf

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The rise and rise of the agent Robin Oakley S ome say Mattie Cowing's job as Frankie Dettori's agent is a bit like having a money tree in the garden which you can go out and...

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High life

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Women and children first Taki I beg to differ with Stephen Glover's media column of last week where he claims the Guardian has scored 'the biggest victo- ry of any...

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Low life

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I could scream Jeffrey Bernard I t was with a tremendous effort of will that I managed to control my thirst last weekend and so did not have to be taken utterly breathless by...

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Country life

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Good intentions Leanda de Lisle I t's not vety cool to be one of those country women who sit on charity commit- tees, but my reluctance to become a living cliche was...


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BRIDGE Indefensible Andrew Robson DECLARER must have fancied his sur- roundings — he was playing in luxurious surroundings at Deauville's summer bridge festival — more than...

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THE party conferences are more or less over, and so

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is the annual three-week assault on our stomachs. There are some reporters who have their meals planned weeks beforehand — the right senior politicians invited to join them at...

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Off course Jaspistos i SISGLE EMT SCO1rH %NMI ISLE OF � lu wA HIS LE 5511 E 0111114 51555 IN COMPETITION NO. 1953 you were given 12 words (all golfing terms but not to be...


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IN-THE-STRAND SIMPSON'S IN•THE-STRA ND CHESS Golden age Raymond Keene THE UNDISPUTED star of the English team in the Erevan chess Olympiad, which finished last month, was...

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CROSSWORD 1282: On the whole by Columba

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A first prize of £25 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1990 Port for the first correct solution opened on 28 October, with two runners-up prizes of £15 (or, for UK...

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Last chance for victory Simon Barnes OCCASIONALLY you meet impressive, strong-minded characters, the sort of peo- ple who can watch Play Misty for Me all the way through....


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Dear Mary. . . Q. Can you help me? My friend always comes up to see me even if I tell her to go away. When she is in my house she never plays with me or listens to me. She...