14 JUNE 1997

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Battle for the Tory party leader C onservative Members of Parliament voted for a new leader; Mr Kenneth Clarke, the shadow Chancellor, won most votes, but not enough under the...

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It's too soon for Mr Hague, but not for the Tory party BRUCE ANDERSON F rom the outset, it was almost certain that William Hague would become the leader of the Tory party....

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BORIS JOHNSON E very so often, in the course of the life- long struggle against our own natural incompetence, we know when we are licked. In five minutes they were expecting me...

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A man capable of apologising for the Irish potato famine should not avoid Hong Kong now MATTHEW PARRIS T he Governor will be there. The For- eign Secretary will go. The heir...

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Michael Gove goes behind the scenes of the ex-Chancellor's leadership campaign and finds it impressive but flawed KENNETH CLARKE started the cam- paign for the Conservative...

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Anne McElvoy reveals how the Lilley and Howard forces dumped Redwood and swung to Hague THE RESULT of the first ballot reached Peter Lilley in his room via the television a few...


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Michael Heath

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Samuel Francis on the strange death of politics in the United States IN the first six months of 1997, American politics suddenly acquired all the charm and interest of an...

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King Michael of Romania talks to Simon Sebag Montefiore about dining with Hitler, and other grim duties `RESTORATION', I say to the old King of Romania, 'is rather a...

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Second opinion

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LAST Friday, at midday precisely, I received a telephone call in my office. `Hello, this is Human Resources here.' I can't say I care much for being a Human Resource: it always...

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Mind your language

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`WHY are you reading that now?' I asked my husband as he summoned me from the kitchen to hear another snip- pet from The Gates of Memory, the memoirs of Sir Geoffrey Keynes,...

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Leo McKinstry identifies the perfect test to disprove those `ever-rising standards' WHAT, apart from the appointment of the excellent Chris Woodhead as Chief Inspector of...

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Profile: Margot Walmsley, whose salon is modest, but London's most cerebral SOME 20 years ago, a watcher in the shrubbery outside a Kensington terrace might have seen an...

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When is a contract not a contract? When a writer's heirs benefit PAUL JOHNSON T he British are suffering from an out- break of their old disease — envy. I don't entirely...

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Stop the millennium, I want to get off it's never too late to call time CHRISTOPHER FILDES I t is never too late to call time on a dud project, but it sometimes seems to be....

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Donkey business

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Sir: I do wish we could nail for ever the `donkeys and lions' myth about the first world war (Letters, 7 June). The exchange was first recorded in the front pages of Alan...


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Sir: Several persons of my acquaintance, as it happens on both sides of the Atlantic and old enough to remember my long descrip- tion at the time, in the TLS, of Cyril Con-...

My hero Hitchcock

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Sir: The Spectator recently seems to be indulging in a spot of Alfred Hitchcock- bashing (Arts, 10 May; Diary, 31 May), so I feel obliged to speak up in favour of the old master...

Sir: The strange point about the Irish famine literature (not

The Spectator

mentioned by Profes- sor Bew) is that there was a much worse famine in 1739-41, which almost no one, then or now, ever mentions. The Irish people multiplied (because of the...

LETTERS Further penance

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Sir: In return for one apology about a myth of 150 years ago, how about another con- cerning historical reality only 50 years ago? Having enjoyed the Prime Minister's con-...

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Punch drunk

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Sir: Our office is full of popping cham- pagne corks, thanks to Stephen Glover and his review of the new Punch (Media stud- ies, 7 June). This was punditry at its best:...

Fine distinction

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Sir: Twice in the last week I have read the phrase 'fine toothcomb' or 'toothcomb', most recently in your review of Lord Mel- bourne (Books, 7 June). Surely it should be fine -...

Not decent enough

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Sir: George Melly's reply to Peregrine Worsthome (Letters, 31 May) is as 'over- excitable' as the article that prompted it. Is Mr Melly really suggesting that when decid- ing...

Sir: I would much rather have a statue of Oscar

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Wilde than the one we have of Dou- glas Haig, a man who could not only coun- tenance the shooting of hundreds of shell- shocked adolescents but also exemplified the odious...

The truth at last

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Sir: Regarding the recent correspondence (and doubts) relating to the existence of Alice von Schlieffen, the name itself has a potentially interesting interpretation. The...

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The future of Paxo. Or, Newsnight becomes Newslite STEPHEN GLOVER J eremy Paxman, the Newsnight presenter who has become something of a national institution, despised and...

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A family and its misfortunes Philip Hensher THE THINGS WE USED TO SAY by Natalia Ginzburg Carcanet, £9.95, pp. 224 disappointingly little read in this country; aside from...

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For men must work and women must weep

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William Scammell A PASSIONATE SISTERHOOD by Kathleen Jones Constable, £20, pp. 313 N o man is a hero to his valet', said Byron. The point wasn't lost on Mrs Milton, Mrs...

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Our farmers round, well-pleased with constant gain

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Bryn Green THE KILLING OF THE COUNTRYSIDE by Graham Harvey Cape, £16.99, pp. 218 T he idea of the countryside and our love of it are both rather peculiar to Britain. The great...

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Dead men talking

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Nigel Nicolson A FRIENDSHIP OF CONVENIENCE by Rufus Gunn GMP, £8.95, pp. 171 T his is a novel about the gradual unravelling of Anthony Blunt. Although he is the central figure,...

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A voice crying in the wilderness

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Tobias Jones QUARANTINE by Jim Crace Viking, £16.99, pp. 243 I t's hard to imagine who will dislike Jim Crace's startling, beguiling novel more: atheists who resent his thick...

Intruder in the dust

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William Fiennes SERPENT IN PARADISE by Dea Birkett Picador, £16.99, pp. 299 hen Dea Birkett saw the film The Bounty one wet afternoon in Elephant and Castle she immediately...

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Who first put the swans on the lake?

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Giannandrea Poesio THE LIFE AND BALLETS OF LEV IVANOV, CHOREOGRAPHER OF `THE NUTCRACKER' AND 'SWAN LAKE' by Ronald John Wiley OUP, £45, pp. 306 A strategically placed subtitle...

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An ape and a parrot

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o n the evening of 5 January, 1895, Henry James set out from his house in De Vere Gardens for a visit to the theatre. The play he went to see was Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband,...

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They're changing guides to Buckingham Palace

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Christopher Howse CAN JANE EYRE BE HAPPY? by John Sutherland OUP, £4.99, pp. 232 F rom the man who asked: `Is Heathcliff a murderer?', 'What does Mr Hyde look like?' and, 'Do...

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But where

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do Igo to, my lovely . . .? Nigel Spivey CONFESSIONS OF A PHILOSOPHER by Bryan Magee Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 503 T he demons came when he was in the school chapel: It was not a...

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Georgia Peters Beware the heritage trap John Rowlands believes we should not be overwhelmed by a romanticised vision of the past H eritage is a word so variable in its current...

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Dangerous 1• • wing

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Desmond Shawe-Taylor writes to his predecessor Giles Waterfield about his first year at Dulwich D ear Giles, A year ago when you stepped down as Director of Dulwich Picture...

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`Cheesecake and raspberry tarts'

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was a contemporary description of a Robert Adam colour scheme. Annabel Ricketts investigates T he recent re-opening of the domed salon at Chiswick completes a series of three...

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Lots and lots Leslie Geddes-Brown T he day cannot be far off when an auc- tion house auctions its own catalogues. In the highly important and most magnificent bracket we will...

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Ellsworth Kelly (Tate Gallery, till 7 September) A free spirit Martin Gayford P aintings that look good in photographs aren't necessarily the good ones. Such is the...

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The drug of entertainment

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Simon Blow samples the pleasures of the Covent Garden Festival T he Convent Garden Festival which ended on Saturday is cause for personal celebration. I live in the heart of...

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Mutual admiration Ursula Buchan Lutyens and Jekyll' go together like love and marriage, urn, well, horse and car- riage at least. This was the most famous 20th-century...

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Le Nozze di Figaro (Glyndebourne) Happiness is . . Michael Tanner T hough it will be a sad day for humani- ty — we seem to be able to survive quite a few of them — when Le...

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All Things Considered (Hampstead) Damn Yankees (Ade1phi) Nocturne for Lovers (Chichester Minerva) Henry V (Shakespeare's Globe) Appalling manners Sheridan Morley A Hampstead,...


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The Fifth Element (PG, selected cinemas) The future? It's British Mark Steyn Y ou wait ages for an Ian Holm movie, then two come along at once. Hard on the heels of Big...

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Mark Morris Dance Group (London Coliseum) Sit back and enjoy Giannandrea Poesio A ccording to a juicy, behind-the-scenes rumour, an eminent dance personality recently claimed...

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Pressing problems Michael Vestey W hen Radio Four began broadcast- ing the first Test Match from Edgbaston on long-wave last week, the announcer kept urging listeners to phone...


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Tabloid crudity James Delingpole T here are few things more pathetic than chippy proles whingeing about the iniquities of the class system. It's there to be exploited, not to...

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Learning to speak sailing

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Lucy Fleming charts her progress in the Capetown to Boston race F or an actor there's a rather worrying time when the final dress rehearsal is over and there's an hour or so to...

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The turf

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Serious business Robin Oakley A gushing hostess once asked a depart- ing George Bernard Shaw whether he had enjoyed himself at her party. 'Yes, madam, and it was the only...

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High life

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Why should we pay? Taki P New York uerto Rican pride has to be the greatest of all oxymorons. It ruined my last week- end in the Bagel, as two million Puerto Ricans invaded...

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Country life

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Taking the plunge Leanda de Lisle A reader in Omaha writes to tell me that I have a 'fine touch with my sexual bits'. I'm not sure what he means by that, but I've decided to...

Low life

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On the move Jeffrey Bernard I'm not exactly sick of the flat that I live in now but I am getting just a little bored with living in a market street, something that most people...

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Optimist Andrew Robson IF you cannot make your contract unless a critical card is held by one opponent, then you must assume it to be so. Dealer North North-South vulnerable...

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Imperative cooking: eating in the USA

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YOU are a serious cook or eater going to the United States on business or holiday? Well, you can eat some very good food. America has good raw ingredients, excel- lent...

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j ,,, LE E,EEE ,L E H ELEE,., #

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ISLE OF J SIVA! Y URA llI ,01rH11:15,1 COMPETITION Reductio ad absurdum Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1986 you were invited to reduce the plot of a well-known piece of...


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IN-THE-STRAND SIMPSON'S IN-THE-STRAND CHESS Gambits galore Raymond Keene DURING MUCH of the 19th century, the Evans Gambit was one of the great high- ways of chess theory....

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

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Frailty, thy name is horse Simon Barnes I AM writing these words in the most terri- ble sulk. Entrepreneur did not win the Derby, you see. And it really is most fright- fully...


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Dear Mary.. . Q. Exquisite embarrassment looms: can you help? On exercise in Norway, our bat- talion second-in-command (never notice- ably sensitive to the feelings of junior...