13 JUNE 1992

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The Spectator

T he Prime Minister, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Press Complaints Council condemned the wave of press spec- ulation concerning the marriage of the Prince and Princess...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 PRIVATE LIVES T he most recent intrusive and specu- lative treatment...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY- RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £74.00 0 £37.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £85.00 0 £42.50 USA Airspeed 0 US $120 0 US $60.00 Rest of Airmail 0 £111.00 0 £55.50...

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I think it was the French historian, Michelet, who said of someone that they wrote in a style in which it was impossible to tell the truth. Politicians, naturally, have always...

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What the rest of the world seems to have forgotten AUBERON WAUGH 0 ne of the more encouraging develop- ments of the last two weeks has been the almost universal derision which...

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Simon Heifer charts the destruction of the Conservative Party's fragile unity on Maastricht, and considers the lessons for the Prime Minister THREE WEEKS ago 336 MPs, over 300...

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John Simpson finds terrorised Colombia more appealing than conference-ridden Brazil Bogota IT WAS SUCH a relief to leave Rio de Janeiro and the Earth Summit, if only for a few...

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If symptoms persist. . .

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I WAS CALLED to the casualty depart- ment last week. A 15-year-old boy had taken an overdose and was being obstreperous — from habit, I hasten to add, not from the toxic...

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Noel Malcolm on the secret files that haunt post-communist Rumania Bucharest LECTURES organised by the Goethe- Institut in Bucharest do not normally hit the Rumanian...

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A reader received this postcard from the Belgian Travel Service in St Albans: You don't know how lucky you are to be living in these modern times and being able to visit Bruges....

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Frank Keating meets a much loved Englishman in the prime of life CAKES ALL round on 24 June. It is Brian Johnston's 80th birthday. By splendid fluke it coincides with the Eton...

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Charles Moore recalls the time when Andrew Neil apologised for personal intrusions ON EASTER DAY, 1988, I was sitting in the country enjoying myself, until I read the Sunday...

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Edward Whitley argues that the City of London, not recession, was the main architect of the Reichmanns' downfall WHEN I wrote in The Spectator last year (`Hijacking the...

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Damian Thompson on unease in the Church about the Archbishop of Canterbury's headline-grabbing SHELTERING from the Roman sun in the garden of the Venerable English Col- lege...

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One hundred years ago

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A LETTER in the Calcutta Englishman gives a curious account of what is oddly termed the "criminal career" of a leop- ard, which in twenty-one months killed 154 human beings,...

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Lions, unicorns, harlots and the mumbling classes PAUL JOHNSON T he monarchy has lost a lot of ground in recent years. Criticism seems to come under three heads. First, almost...

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Onwards and upwards to my goal the $2 martini CHRISTOPHER FILDES New York I live in hope of the $2 martini. As the exchange rate inches up towards the mea- gre figure of $2 =...

Knowing when to stop

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THE shoot-out for the Midland Bank was fought at long range, from Toronto. William Purves of the Hongkong & Shang- hai, presiding over the International Mone- tary Conference,...

Green and pleasant

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GEORGE BUSH could take lessons from John Major in the art of looking green and pleasant. It was all they had to do when in Rio for the Earth Summit, but it is not the...

Brit for Gatt

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I SUPPOSE we could always have a Gener- al Disagreement on Tariffs and Trade. Would it be a private fight, or could anyone join in? While we have what purports to be a general...

The Bells toll

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JOHN PRESCOTT and I, fellow members of the Hull Telephone Fan Club, must mourn the death of William McGowan. Hull is Britain's last surviving local tele- phone company. The...

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Sir: You are quite right in your editorial ('Full of

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Cantuar', 23 May). All populations know how to limit family size. They are par- ticularly successful in South America, where more than half of all conceptions overall end in...

Life of Brian

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Sir: Having noted in this morning's publica- tion of the dissolution Honours List the elevation of Sir Ian Gilmour and Nigel Lawson, the first being the financial saviour of The...

LETTERS Birth and the earth

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Sir: It seems to me that Dr Andrew Purkis of Lambeth Palace (Letters, 6 June) is in a muddle about population. Indeed, I think he would be well-advised to avoid the expression...

Unsettled out of court

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Sir: When George Galloway ascribes Ceausescu's oppressive social policies to 'puritan ideals' (Letters, 30 May), he is grotesquely misusing the English language. It was not any...

Waking thoughts

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Sir: Would Henry Porter consider writing a sequel to his excellent piece on the tabloids' royal correspondents ('Fact, fic- tion and the royal rats', 6 June): one on the future...

Sir: Your article, 'Full of Cantuar', (23 May) is a

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travesty of what Dr Carey actually said. Any debate on birth control is a mine- field — but your explosive riposte really did The Spectator no credit. It is difficult to find...

Pure ignorance, madam

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Sir: I read Hugh Massingberd's tilt at the Upper House (Dull hearts and coronets', 9 May) with interest and a lot of agreement. But it doesn't have to be so mindlessly...

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Ball bearings

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Sir: John Osborne refers to my friend Rory Knight Bruce in the most unflattering detail (Diary, 30 May). I have always found Rory to be a kind and generous creature if sometimes...

Points decision

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Sir: For a minister of the Crown to keep writing in like this betrays, I think, a certain sense of insecurity. Can it be that Mr Garel-Jones (Letters, 9 May, 6 June) has...

Cricketing critic Sir: For many years I believed that Giles

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Auty was appointed art critic of your jour- nal because he was good enough at tennis to make a pair with Taki and a sufficiently expert batsman to open for your cricket team. It...


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Sir: It was very kind of that nice Mr Keating to write about me last week (Sport, 6 June). But I should just say that my birthday is the day after Frank Woolley's and two days...

Spray and poop

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Sir: Alan Watkins' (Diary, 9 May) ginger torn may have sprayed just twice in six years in his house, but I'll bet his neighbours haven't been so lucky. That is because cats,...

Joking apart

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Sir: Thank you for Christopher Bray's excellent review of my novel The Mother-in- Law Joke (Books, 6 June). As he refers to me throughout as `Martyn' I fear he may be an old...

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The Spectator

ON THE night of Easter Monday, 1 April 1975, two armed policemen and two securi- ty officers arrested me in my flat. They put a bundle of my papers, including the 40,000-word...

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Tyrants and Mountains: A Reckless Life will be published by

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John Murray on 18 June (f19.95).

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Shaping the legend Hilary Mantel VITA AND HAROLD: THE LETTERS OF VITA SACKVILLE- WEST AND HAROLD NICOLSON 1910-1962 edited by Nigel Nicolson Weidenfehi, f20, pp.452 I n 1973...

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He went in the new-painted ships. All his good food quickly left, rolled in the stomach of those endless dips. Then there were orchards where they spent short evenings after...

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An unhappy family with a dog

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Cressida Connolly THE TAP DANCER by Andrew Barrow Duckworth, £14.99, pp. 181 P ople who like dogs — most of the British population, in other words — feel as strongly about...

Rediscovery of a comic masterpiece

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Christopher Hawtree THE MORTDECAI TRILOGY by Kyril Bonfiglioli Black Spring Press, £7.99, pp. 527 W hen first published, a note at the beginning of After You With the Pistol,...

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Complications in Afghanistan

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John Colvin THE BEAR TRAP by Brigadier Mohammad Yousaf, and Mark Adkin Leo Cooper, £18.50, pp. 243 T he Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan either as a 'defensive-offensive', to...

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Swallowed alive but not digested

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Julian Duplain THE SADDLED COW: EAST GERMANY'S LIFE AND LEGACY by Anne McElvoy Faber, £14.99, pp.258 T wo-and-a-half years on from the year of the latter-day European...

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Sun-birds at Seria

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In wicker chairs with whiskeys in their paws The ex-patriates sit. Less savage than it seems, The sun, obedient to its natural laws, Shines on their talk of tax-avoidance...

Danger from

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the past or an unwashed salad Francis King PERSISTENT RUMOURS by Lee Langley Heinemann, £14.99, pp. 294 I n this novel past and present are like trains routed on parallel...

A nudge is as good as a sneer

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Antony Flew THE CULTURE OF CONTENTMENT by John Kenneth Galbraith Sinclair-Stevenson, £14.95, pp. 195 T his latest and perhaps last book by an author whom, we are told, is...

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Sliding to extinction

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Jonathon Porritt GERALD DURRELL'S ARMY by Edward Whitley John Murray, f16.95, pp. 256 I n the week of the Earth Summit it is gratifying to read a book which describes a...

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Architecture Turning a corner Alan Powers on the challenges of city sites and urban villages City Changes (Royal Exchange, till 21 August) Ecstacity (Architectural...

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Cracow daze Peter Phillips I t was in vain, as I travelled to make my contribution to the European Cultural Month in Cracow, that I searched for evi- dence of the hopelessness...

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Philadelphia, Here I Come! (King's Head) Alive to paradox Christopher Edwards T his production is a revival of an early play by Brian Friel. Anyone who enjoyed Friel's...

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The 224th Summer Exhibition (Royal Academy, till 16 August) Apocalypse soon Giles Auty A disturbing conclusion has come to me of late: that greater numbers of people than I...

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Rush ('18', Empire and selected cinemas) The Playboys ('12', Odeon Haymarket) The big sleep Vanessa Letts R ush made me think of a kind of cha- rade where you mime a story...

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Criminal tendencies Ursula Buchan T rue gardeners are always willing to share a plant with a chum. That is what marks them out from the common, selfish herd and makes...


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Deep cover Martyn Harris T om Bower, our man in the Kremlin basement, was this week on the track of `illegals', the Soviet spies buried in deep cover throughout the West...

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Beloved of the gods

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Taki I n the Oresteia, Aeschylus never gives us the precise origin of the curse on the house of Atreus, but one can safely assume it had something to do with hubris. Sophocles,...

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Low life

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Dear Charles Jeffrey Bernard T he death three weeks ago of Charles St George came as a shock and a surprise. A shock because he was such a good and kind man and a surprise...

Long life

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How the battle was won Nigel Nicolson I drove from Kent to Yorkshire in a morning, playing the tapes of the Brontë novels, and timed it so well that as I arrived at Haworth...

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Time for Indulgence Auberon Waugh A befits the summer, a preponderance of white wines with, once again, th% mirac- ulous rosé from Château de Sours which no one will ever...


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c/o Corney & Barrow Ltd 12 Helmet Row, London EC1V 3QJ. Tel: (071) 251 4051 Fax: (071) 608 1373 White Price No. Value Notre-Dame de Landiras 1990 12 Bots. f64.60*...

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PURE HIGHLAND MALT .1 . 011 . 11.111. COMPETITION // PURE HIGHLAND MALT SCOTCH .111.” Not Kipling's If Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1731 you were in- vited to write a...


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Twelve Olympians Raymond Keene T his week saw the start of the 112- nation World Chess Olympics in the Philip- pine capital Manila. The Chess Olympics were founded at London...

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No. 1734: Toad-eating

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This week's Spectator goes to press on the 65th birthday of Jaspistos. You are there- fore invited, nay, commanded to write an ode commemorating the event (maximum 16 lines)....

Solution to 1063: Hornblower (3) The unclued lights, continuing the

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nursery rhyme, were suggested by SHEEP in the MEADOW (e.g. 1015 pastura-moo-ge) and cow in the CORN (e.g. 15A 0a-HEIFER-fS). Winners: Lucy Norgate, Halifax (£20); D. J. Adler,...


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1063: Laver by Mass A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of Chambers English Dictionary — ring the word `Dictionary') for the...

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Bowled over Frank Keating WHATEVER happens by the end of the summer, the official return of the leg-spin- ner has been a revelation and a joy for cricket. They were not...


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Dear Mary. . Q. How can one prevent people from ring- ing up and asking, 'Can I pick your brains?' I am a specialist bookseller. I have read an enormous number of biographies...