14 NOVEMBER 1992

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`Well, least she doesn't want to become a priest.' at T he Government was embarrassed by questions regarding its policy on exporting arms equipment to Iraq before the Kuwait...

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A moment of unnatural calm provokes constructive thoughts about the future SIMON HEFFER Mr Patten, the Education Secretary, was introducing the second reading of the Edu-...

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WILLIAM REES-MOGG I have been staying in New York at the Westbury Hotel, on 69th Street and Madi- son. At $190 a night, it seemed good value — such are hotel-room rates these...

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Are these American baby-boomers human, and does it matter? AUBERON WAUGH In the course of a speech at the National Press Club in Wellington I proposed that New Zealand should...

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Boris Johnson reveals the potent mixture of politics and personalities at the heart of the oil-seed feud between Brussels and Washington Brussels BY 8.40 ON THE NIGHT of Monday...

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John Simpson discovers that the collapse of Soviet communism has not liberated politics in the central Asian republics Samarkand THE ONLY real luxury available under communism...

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William Shawcross on the bittersweet life and times of Alexander Dubcek AT THE BEGINNING of 1990, a few weeks after Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revo- lution retrieved Alexander...

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The glamour has faded; California's British immigrants have never known such bad times, reports William Cash Los Angeles 'WE DON'T WANT any poor Englishmen hanging around...

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One hundred years ago

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THE CONTEST for the American Presidency ended on Tuesday in a great surprise. The people have found out McKinleyism, and the revolt against the high tariff has not only given...

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Anthony Daniels interviews Joe Slovo, leader of the South African Communist Party and the ANC's master tactician The ultimate aim of the Party is the building of a communist...

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Martin Weyer says that infrastructure spending for the sake of it is worse than useless: above all we don't need more roads TWO PYRAMIDS . . . are twice as good as one; but...

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If symptoms

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persist.. . THERE ARE many diseases, but only two kinds of suffering: self-inflicted and undeserved. Needless to say, the former is much the commoner kind, at least in the...

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Nicholas Farrell argues that the campaign to ostracise smokers is based on puritanism, propaganda, and Mr Roy Castle T he young woman emerged from the pub onto the streets of...

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Simon Courtauld argues that our our biggest health insurance company is losing its touch 'SIT BACK and relax,' Bupa's leaflet told me, 'your membership will be renewed...

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Tip from Hong Kong: don't sell UK short hang on for the bid CHRISTOPHER FILDES S afely returned, I can now disclose the secret purpose of my flight to the Far East. I was not,...

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LETTERS Con troppo brio

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Sir: Paul Johnson's polemics are always enjoyable to read (And another thing, 7 November), particularly when one agrees with the main thrust of his argument, as I usually do....

Nuclear cuckoo

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Sir: To be called cynical, inaccurate, wide of the mark, hopeless and obsessional by the British nuclear power industry (Letters, 7 November) is an honour of which I am deeply...

Nautical nuances

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Sir: I now understand why your magazine relies heavily on anonymous quotations. You don't know how to quote correctly. Here is the Dominic Lawson version of my comments (Diary,...

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Rejects of the system

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Sir: Alexander Chancellor's lament (Diary, 17 October) needs, I feel, some reinforce - ment. I share his fate, the two telephone numbers of my house having been omitted in the...

An empty room

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Sir: Up to a point, ministers have in fact shown the courage to take up the proposal, advocated by Russell Hanson (Letters, 24 October), that rents from property where the owner...

A matter of honour

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Sir: The last thing I wish is to be drawn into any controversy concerning Reuters, but Alexander Chancellor's review of Donald Read's history of the company raises ques- tions...

Platonic relationship

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Sir: Gavin Stamp recalls (Letters, 10 Octo- ber) Miss Melina Mercouri's 'histrionic campaign' in London for the return to Athens of the Elgin marbles. I was at a reception given...

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A bright particular star Samuel Brittan THE VIEW FROM NO. 11: MEMOIRS OF A TORY RADICAL by Nigel Lawson Bantam Press, £20, pp. 1119 L ord Lawson's book is by far the best...

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Evelyn Waugh shot W. H. Auden

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William Trevor A WORLD OF MY OWN: A DREAM DIARY by Graham Greene Reinhardt Books, £12.99, pp. 116 D reams are fascinating to the dream- er; rarely so to anyone else. Such...

Obstinately separate lives

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Philip Glazebrook LONELINESS AND TIME: BRITISH TRAVEL WRITING IN THE 20TH CENTURY by Mark Cocker Secker, £17.99, pp. 293 I don't know why I didn't enjoy this book more. It is...

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Eight million characters in search of an author

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Tom Shone THE MALE CROSS-DRESSER SUPPORT GROUP by Tama Janowitz Picador, £8.99, pp. 314 E ighties junk fiction is showing its paunch. 'The ancient tallow of fast food' hangs...

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A bit of the other

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David Nokes THE OTHER PEPYS by Vincent Brome Weidenfeld & Nicolson, f2D, pp. 343 PEPYS by Richard 011ard Sinclair Stevenson, f25, pp. 411 C onsidering his fondness for so many...

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Did they or didn't they, or don't we care?

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Raymond Carr THE LETTERS OF ARTHUR BALFOUR AND LADY ELCHO edited by Jane Ridley and Clayre Percy Hamish Hamilton, £25, pp. 370 T he fascination of this exchange of letters...

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In which our hero becomes an addict

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Celestria Noel BAD NEWS by Edward St Aubyn Heinemann, £13.99, pp. 217 T here is a legendary opening sentence for a novel which goes: 'I was more than usually drunk the night my...

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How do I miss you? Let me count the ways

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Frank Kermode COLLECTED POEMS by P.J. Kavanagh Carcanet, £18.95, pp. 224 P . . J. Kavanagh recently remarked, in an Ingenious little poem, that he has come to expect 'bored'...

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Sale-rooms Neither a buyer nor a vendor be Nicky Bird ponders Sotheby's decision to raise their buyer's premium W as it panic? Last week Sotheby's announced that on 1 January...

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Mr and Mrs Andras Kalman Collection of English Naïve Art (The Fine Art and Antiques Fair, Olympia, till 24 November) Norman Blarney (Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, till 28 Novem-...

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The Last of the Mohicans (`12', selected cinemas) Boomerang ('15', selected cinemas) Fine and dandy Vanessa Letts T he makers of The Last of the Mohicans have played fast and...

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Modernism at home Alan Powers on the case for preserving Erno Goldfinger's Hampstead house H ercule Poirot would not have felt particularly at home at 2 Willow Road,...

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Round in circles Ursula Buchan O n New Year's Eve, a thousand bea- cons will be lit across the countries of the European Community to celebrate the advent of the Single...


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No Man's Land (Almeida) Our Song (Apollo) An evening with Harold Sheridan Morley N o Man's Land 'will not change or grow old or move — it remains forever icy', says Harold...

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High life

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Hug for victory Taki C New York onservatives are not the gloating type, chez William and Pat Buckley, at least. The Buckleys had given up on President Bush a long time ago,...


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Soft news Martyn Harris A nerican network news has moved steadily over the last 20 years from provid- ing information to reassurance. The grey- ing warhorse figure of the...

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Low life

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Flak from the rat pack Jeffrey Bernard G od save me from censorious col- leagues, not that there is much hope of having that prayer answered. Luckily, most of the flak aimed...

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Long life

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Up the wall Nigel Nicolson English Heritage can take some credit, but Mr Stevens goes too far in claiming that 'if it had existed in the 1950s and 1960s it is inconceivable...

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I FIRST ATE at First Floor the August before last.

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It was late one Saturday after- noon and I was stranded in Portobello Road, with everywhere else full or bullishly stopped serving. A year and a quarter is a long time to wait...

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Brilliance and blunders Raymond Keene N o one believed that it could possibly happen. After two decades in the wilder- ness, the mercurial American genius, Bob- by Fischer,...


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What next? Jaspistos 1 Nt OTt N ONIONY n Competition No. 1753 you were invit- ed to supply real items for inclusion in the following imaginary anthologies: The Penguin Book...

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A first prize of £20 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 30 November, with two runners-up prizes of £10 (or, for UK...

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Springbok romance Frank Keating IN SPITE of all, it is good to see a Spring- bok rugby side back at Twickenham after their banishment of almost 23 years. Such a feeling comes,...


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Dear Mary. . . Q. Our friends from Queensland came to stay a couple of years ago and we soon noticed that their clothes, dresses and suits had a strong smell of mildew. I...