14 AUGUST 1999

Page 4


The Spectator

DIARY 2000 £15 Plain £16 Initialled The Spectator 2000 Diary, bound in soft red goatskin leather, is now available. Laid out with a whole week to view, Monday to Sunday, the...

Page 6


The Spectator

r Charles Kennedy was elected lead- er of the Liberal Democrats after a compli- cated vote in which he finally got 56.6 per cent against 43A per cent for Mr Simon Hughes, who is...

Page 7


The Spectator

The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 DARKNESS VISIBLE Yes, this was just three spheres which happened to be...

Page 9


The Spectator

T he annual English pilgrimage to Scotland has imbued unlikely places with romance for a century and a half. Framed in our loo is a characteristic piece of dog- gerel, written...

Page 10


The Spectator

John Major tried to persuade the lunatics not to pull down the asylum but he failed BRUCE ANDERSON N o prime minister was ever treated so shabbily by his own party. For most...

Page 11


The Spectator

Duke shoots cowboy, hits Indian FRANK JOHNSON F or once, a Buckingham Palace spokesman's explanation was plausible. According to the Times, 'A senior royal source later...

Page 12


The Spectator

Alan Cochrane exposes the Scottish parliament's plans for a reign of terror IT IS said that during the height of the boycott of South African goods a posh, middle-class woman...

Page 13

Second opinion

The Spectator

THERE is an old prison adage: if you can't do the time, don't do the crime. Like most sententious adages, it is excel- lent in theory, but not always put into practice. Quite a...

Page 14


The Spectator

Charles Moore recalls the idiosyncratic genius of Jennifer Paterson ONE summer afternoon I was sitting in the garden of The Spectator when the sash from the top-floor kitchen...

Page 15


The Spectator

Julian Manyon fears that the main threat to Russian democracy is now inside the Kremlin Moscow SERGEI Stepashin has the puffy, expres- sionless face of the typical Russian...

Page 17


The Spectator

Michael Henderson believes that football represents all that is most repugnant about modern Britain FOOTBALL returned to the towns of England last week with a reassuring pre-...

Page 20


The Spectator

A.A. Gill deplores our national obsession with jokes FOR the benefit of foreign visitors, I'm thinking of compiling a list of commonly used phrases that mean exactly the oppo-...

Page 21


The Spectator

Michael Heath

Page 22


The Spectator

Tom Walker explains how Cupid's darts are more lethal than bullets ALAS for the girls of Kosovo, and their inevitable summer of heartache. The British paratroopers are gone...

Page 24

Mind your language

The Spectator

`ARE you saying,' began my husband in a dangerously cheerful tone, 'that the Encarta dictionary spelled angstrom wrong?' `No, no, I spelled that wrong myself. It's just that...

Page 25


The Spectator

It's not so easy as the envious suppose to flaunt your riches PAUL JOHNSON T here is a whiff of envy in the air again as continuing prosperity focuses eyes on the antics of...

Page 26


The Spectator

I fear my old friend Mr Stothard has met a tougher cookie than himself STEPHEN GLOVER I am a little anxious for my old friend Peter Stothard, editor of the Times. I was away...

Page 27

Anti-Catholic dogma

The Spectator

From Mr Simon Caldwell Sir: James McDonald's letter (7 August) merely confirms that anti-Catholic preju- dice is alive and well. His distorted attack on my article seems to...

A good reputation

The Spectator

From Mr Wynn Wheldon Sir: Some years ago my father, Huw Whel- don, found himself sitting next to a German broadcaster at a large international televi- sion bash in New York. The...

LETTERS Tito, traitors and treachery

The Spectator

From Sir Ian Fraser Sir: Hugh Thomas's thought-provoking profile of Alexander of Yugoslavia (`King's move', 31 July) brings back other memories of the extraordinary behaviour of...

Page 28

Allied atrocities

The Spectator

From Mr David J. Kidd Sir: Re Professor Vincent's letter (7 August) about the Germans' natural ten- dency to atrocity': George Orwell records in his wartime diary for 21...

Darwin's origin From Professor Stephen Jones Sir: I am grateful

The Spectator

to Hugh Lawson-Tancred for his generous review (Books, 31 July) of Almost Like a Whale, my attempt to update The Origin of Species. However, I must dis- claim any credit for the...

Massage solution

The Spectator

From Mr Nicholas Lunt Sir: I am a non-executive director of a high- ly successful chain of 'specialist massage' parlours here in Brussels. One of my main non-executive tasks is...

Slavic squiggles

The Spectator

From Mr Christopher Butler Sir: No self-respecting Baltic or Slavic lan- guage would be without its diacritics (Mind your language, 7 August); largely, it seems to me, because...

Breach of confidence

The Spectator

From Mr Alan Rusbridger Sir: I was surprised to read Stephen Glover's detailed, if inaccurate, account of Martin Walker's resignation from the Guardian (Media studies, 7...

From Mr David Kirke Sir: Re Gill versus Taki: to

The Spectator

avoid further abuse of timber we would be happy to arrange a duel between your two petits garcons. Considering their affectation of fearless sportsmanship, locomotives from...

Page 29

Bottoms up

The Spectator

AIR ZULU may be repainting its tailplanes in British Airways' colours, but there is an obstinate streak of red in the profit and loss account. It shows up in the figures for the...

Closed shop

The Spectator

I HAD been lunching in France on St Valen- tine's Day when I was hailed by a reader on the platform at Lille station. 'Backward lot, they are here,' he observed. 'Sunday, and...


The Spectator

Searching for clues in the Bank's twilit landscape, I think that our luck's running out CHRISTOPHER FILDES T he eclipse overtook the Bank of Eng- land on Wednesday morning and...

Open warfare

The Spectator

I MAY be an unrepresentative shopper (though an accurate monitor of fishcakes) but, if there is a cosy conspiracy in the High Street, I have missed it. All I can see is...

Wires in a twist

The Spectator

BANGALORE in India is the world's capi- tal of wiring. Its technicians are in a class of their own and, where accuracy and the command of modern systems count, draw business to...

Unspoiled by failure

The Spectator

RUSSIA may not be as bust as it looks, which is good news for the International Monetary Fund, which would otherwise be bust, too. A year ago Russia welshed on its debts,...

Page 30


The Spectator

An amused student of empire Philip Hensher J. G. FARRELL: THE MAKING OF A WRITER by Lavinia Greacen Bloomsbury, £25, pp. 264 T here is a view of the English novel that claims...

All books reviewed in The Spectator are available through THE

The Spectator

SPECTATOR BOOKSHOP Tel: 0541 557 288

Page 31

The man with qualities

The Spectator

Rory O'Keeffe h ose of us who happily discovered Flight Without End and then impatiently tracked down every other book that Joseph Roth had written, becoming as we thought a...

Page 32

The soul of man under socialism

The Spectator

David Caute PROPERTY AND FREEDOM by Richard Pipes Hamill, £22.50, pp. 352 A remarkable proportion of end-of- century political thought carries a lingering odour of mid-century...


The Spectator

J.G. FARRELL The Making of a Writer by Lavinia Greacen Based on her access to J.G. Farrell's family and friends, as well as his notebooks and personal correspondence, Lavinia...

Page 33

The French disconnection

The Spectator

Robbie Millen MY PHANTOM HUSBAND by Marie Darrieussecq Faber, £9.99, pp. 153 I t has not been a glorious century for the French. The Dreyfus Affair, Verdun, the Fall of Paris,...

A god without a toothbrush

The Spectator

Jane Gardam JESUS: AUTHORS TAKE SIDES edited by Richard Ingrams HarperCollins, £16.99, pp. 186 S eated one Easter day at the organ, R ichard Ingrams became convinced of the...

Page 34

What went on in the closet

The Spectator

John McEwen GLYN PHILPOT by J. G. P. Delaney Ashgate, £39.95, pp. 179 D elaney's previous biography was of the Edwardian painter, Charles Ricketts. Now he has written one of...

Page 35

Virus-hunting in the Arctic Circle

The Spectator

Tony Gould CATCHING COLD by Pete Davies Michael Joseph, £12.99, pp. 320 P te Davies's enthralling book presents the reviewer with a problem. The subtitle is `1918's forgotten...

Subscribe NOW!

The Spectator

RATES 12 months (52 issues) 6 months (26 issues) UK 0 597 0 £49 Europe 0 £109 0 £55 USA 0 US$161 0 US$82 Australia 0 Aus$225 0 Aus$113 Rest of World 0 £119 0 £60 Please...

Page 36

Time, memory, love

The Spectator

Patrick Skene Catling THE HORIZONTAL INSTRUMENT by Christopher Wilkins Doubleday, £10, pp. 272 T he narrator of this marvellous novel, Robert Garrett, is a mathematical prodigy...

Gunslinger back from the grave

The Spectator

James Gardner THE RETURN OF LITTLE BIG MAN by Thomas Berger Harvill £15.99, £11.99, pp. 320 O n the superhighway of popular cul- ture, you will find no more spectacular...

Page 37


The Spectator

north- Nicholas Fearn LOSING NELSON by Barry Unsworth Hamish Hamilton, £15.99, pp. 320 I n fiction as in life, the insane can make tedious companions. Yet the story of a...

Getting away with it

The Spectator

Thomas Karshan A FRIEND LIKE HARVEY by Teresa Waugh Gollancz, £16.99, pp. 223 Everyone has their Harvey — a person whose charm lies in their hopeless self- mythologisation,...

Page 38

Smiles and shoeshines

The Spectator

Cris tina Monet W henever one reads, as one inescapably does these days, of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman (voted most significant play of the millennium by the National...

Page 39


The Spectator

Petipa's Beauty awakes Robert Greskovic on the Kirov Ballet's newly researched Sleeping Beauty E arlier in this decade of surprising occurrences within Russia, the tricolour...

Page 40

Exhibitions 1

The Spectator

Collage: The Pasted-Paper Revolution (Crane Kalman Gallery, 178 Brompton Road, SW3, till 7 September) Cut and paste Andrew Lambirth C ollage' has other meanings than sticking...

Page 42

Exhibitions 2

The Spectator

Moving Objects (Royal College of Art, till 19 September) Street culture Stephen Bayley S o, I was standing outside the Royal College of Art in the roar of Kensington traffic...


The Spectator

Boris Godunov; Vintage drama Michael Tanner T he Bolshoi Opera's short visit to Lon- don last week brought one undoubted suc- cess, and one interesting but utterly...

Page 43


The Spectator

Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell (Old Vic) Easy Virtue (Chichester) Coward revealed Sheridan Morley U nquestionably the triumph of the Coward Centenary thus far, Maria Aitken's...

Page 44


The Spectator

Wild Wild West (12, selected cinemas) With attitude Mark Steyn W ild Wild West is based on the popular TV show that no one remembers. Holly- wood's run out of big hits to...

Page 45


The Spectator

Name dropping Ursula Buchan 0 ne of the more unfortunate conse- quences of being a professional gardener, particularly one partly trained in a botani- cal institution, is that...


The Spectator

How embarrassing Simon Hoggart F unny how nobody remembers Ford cars. Minis and Morris Minors all have their devotees who spend hours a week cherishing them. But who ever...

Page 46


The Spectator

Still angry Michael Vestey M uch of women's history, until recently, has passed almost unnoticed,' said Anna Ford on Radio Four this week. Not on the BBC it hasn't, I thought....

Page 47

The turf

The Spectator

A sorry saga Robin Oakley T he racing world is managing to keep its perspective on sex around the stables, even if the tabloids can't. At a recent Lam- bourn dinner party one...

Not motoring

The Spectator

Graveyard of ambition Gavin Stamp T he trains to Southampton are very fast as massive earthworks keep the line straight and level: all thanks to the great engineer Joseph...

Page 48

High life

The Spectator

Boo, Boris Taki o, this is how it ends. One telephone call from the new editor and it's all over. Twenty-two years of writing in this space wind up with the following dreaded...

Page 49

Country life

The Spectator

Dignity in death Leanda de Lisle V iolent deaths seemed to punctuate our time in America. The first took place far away, but then, unfortunately, they began to occur closer to...


The Spectator

Size matters Andrew Robson THE FIRST bridge partner of my life was my brother James, who retired from the game at the tender age of 19. But James proved that bridge is like...

Page 50


The Spectator

Party pieces Raymond Keene FOR many years now The Spectator has sponsored the annual match between the House of Lords and the House of Commons. This year's contest assumed an...


The Spectator

I beg your pardon? Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2097 you were invited to supply one side of a telephone conversation composed entirely as if with the aid of an English...

Page 51


The Spectator

A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham ' s Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 31 August, with two runners- up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, the...

Solution to 1423: Kinder

The Spectator

LOISICIFICIECE 'ca m r gm z 9 . 13 DIEI 13 la Er, MI o Marl El II rinuma rooduijraL E On i. 11 CI El al o El i rillrl o ri ri mud neon Erl 1110111r1111 Ell an 13 14 Unn...

No. 2100: World-beater

The Spectator

You are invited to supply an imaginary newspaper account of a new and bizarre feat which has won entry in The Guinness Book of Records. Maximum 150 words. Entries to...

Page 55


The Spectator

Steroid superstars Simon Barnes LAST weekend brought us the finest sprinting performances ever seen on this damp and chilly island: the fastest man and the fastest woman ever...


The Spectator

Dear Mary.. . Q. Another door-opening problem. After exiting from the elevator to my office, one is almost immediately confronted by a large and heavy glass door. When leaving...