15 FEBRUARY 1992

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The unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable. J ohn Major, the Prime Minister, said once more that he thought the end of the recession was in sight, and his Government...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 CAN PAY, WON'T PAY T he British insist on regarding the National...


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How twice the crime is twice as much reason to play the law and order card SIMON HEFFER W ith a bravery that might better be seen as recklessness, the Conservative party will...

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W ho said, on television last week, 'All of the democracies are bankrupt now, because of the way the services have been planned for people to grab'? Milton Fried- man? Margaret...

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Ulster will fight, and England will be wrong CHARLES MOORE W hat is the biggest political disgrace in Western Europe today? It is the way Northern Ireland is governed. The...

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E.W. Swanton remembers the Allied surrender in Singapore, exactly a half century ago, and the captivity that followed THIS WEEKEND sees a sombre jubilee. I suppose that the...

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Robert Cottrell discovers some enticing reasons for wanting to be the last governor of Hong Kong Hong Kong GRANDEE WANTED. Must be of vice- regal bearing, thick-skinned,...

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Michael Heath


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Roderick Conway Morris meets Luciano Benetton, the acceptable face of a controversial company Treviso BENETTON IS such stuff as the Italian economic miracle was made of: a...

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A reader sent us this advertisement for a post with the Welsh Development Agen- cy: LEAD THE STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT Attractive Remuneration and...

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John Simpson is not going to join any gathering to mark the third year of a writer's internal exile IT WAS an awkward moment. A small, earnest man in a turban, with the wide,...

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Kate Berridge on her experiences in the tough and loveless jungle of a boys' public school `AN UNNECESSARY part of human behaviour.' You would think that this view of sex came...

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Jane Thynne watches the BBC and ITV prepare for the general election 'WE'VE LOST Malcolm Rifkind. What the hell's happened to Malcolm Rifkind?' David Dimbleby's familiar...

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If symptoms persist. . .

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I'VE NOTICED recently that in publica- tions by pusillanimous American aca- demics the pronoun he, when used to refer to a person of either sex, has been replaced by she: an...

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being a non drug abuser in a bail hostel ON 14 December 1991 I was arrested in the Queen's Hotel, Southsea, and charged with obtaining services by deception, i.e. using someone...

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Carriage folk and chauffeur persons PAUL JOHNSON o r over two centuries, the great divid- ing-line between those who were really well off and the rest was whether you kept...

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LETTERS Choosing life

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Sir: Ludovic Kennedy, in his polemic against anti-euthanasia campaigners, con- veniently overlooks a vital fact (Diary, 1 February): that both hospice doctors, who totally...

Slower still

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Sir: Michael Frayn missed out on two optional extras during his enjoyable session changing money at the Banque de France at Laon (`The root of all delay', 1 Febru- ary). 1)...

Too slow

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Sir: Susan Hill's story is a writer's night- mare (Books, 18 January), but having writ- ten four novels in four years, I can't help feeling that she was inviting trouble. By...

Art on the move

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Sir: James Hamilton's article on touring exhibitions (Arts, 1 February) gives a some- what misleading picture. My announcement of 6 January made no attempt to mask the fact...

Name calling

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Sir: I hope Ms Duff-Information (Letters, 8 February) isn't seriously invoking the appalling Gowing's sensitivity about his name in support of yet more censorship. In my years...

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Not at all boring

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Sir: Hugh Massingberd's article (`AI! the Queen's men', 1 February) calls Harold Laski a 'doctrinaire Socialist bore'. I sat at Laski's feet for three years after the war a...

Sir: The philosophy which underlies the claim by Lord Mackay,

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the Lord Chancel- lor, that public funds can be preserved by cutting out 'unnecessary administration' is surely admirable. Where it falls down, how- ever, is when the cutting...

Divine inspiration?

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Sir: Ludovic Kennedy's description of his atheistic stance leaves me gasping (Diary, 8 February). How could so intelligent a man be content with such an unintelligent basis to...

Still more balls

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Sir: I too enjoyed balls near Athens 30 years ago (Letters, 8 February). They mas- queraded under the name of `ameletita', or 'unmentionables' (`carnations' was an alter-...

Legal eagles

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Sir: It was good to see the letter from the Lord Chancellor (Letters, 8 February). So often Government politicians' point of view is not properly recorded by the media to the...

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BOOKS I n October 1894 a representative of the French General

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Staff called at an apart- ment on the Avenue de Trocadero in Paris, and told the young woman who received him 'I am on a sad mission.' Though her husband was employed sedately...

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A Dark Blue Day

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I have to call it something like despair, Forgetting the name of somebody who came Across a room, and very suddenly Set herself down in an opposite chair And placed her two...

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Calling the new words into existence

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Oliver Bernard GRANDCHILDREN OF ALBION: VOICES AND VISIONS OF YOUNGER POETS IN BRITAIN edited by Michael Horovitz New Departures, Bisley, Glos, GL6 7 BU, £9.99 ( plus fl p &...

Sublime or sublimated

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John Whitworth THE LITERARY COMPANION TO SEX by Fiona Pitt-Kethley Sinclair-Stevenson, f18, pp.419 T his anthology of verse and prose was commissioned by Fiona Pitt-Kethley's...

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An Elizabethan odd couple

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Caroline Moore FIREDRAKE'S EYE by Patricia Finney Sinclair-Stevenson, f14.95, pp. 263 I f the past is another country, its travel writers are either heavily encumbered with...

Unhappy in their country's way

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Francis King MOTHER RUSSIA by Bernice Rubens Chapman's, £14.99, pp. 443 T he genesis of this book — for some reason revealed neither on the title-page nor anywhere else — is a...

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It's strange when you think of it, just how few Poems in journal, quarterly or review Draw on the Bible or Book of Common Prayer. I mean, you'd imagine poets might still care...

But baby look at you now

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James Walton SEPARATION by Sally Emerson Scribners, £14.99, pp.248 A t a time when so much British fiction is mediocre, it is always refreshing to come across a novel which is...

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They order more pictures in France

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Jane Munro RICHARD PARKES BONINGTON:`ON THE PLEASURE OF PAINTING' by Patrick Noon Yale, £60, pp.288 W hen Richard Parkes Bonington died in 1828, one month short of his 26th...

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There was a star danced

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Richard Buckle MARTHA: THE LIFE AND WORKS OF MARTHA GRAHAM by Agnes de Mille Hutchinson, £20, pp.509 W hat Walt Whitman was, what Emily Dickinson was for America, Martha...

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Distant footsteps echo through the corridors of time

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David Gilmour S panish poets seldom generate books about themselves in English. To induce three, as Lorca has done, all written by the same person, is thus extremely unusual....

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Not Sand

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Not dribble of sand through neck of a glass but the shift of scree beneath the tread of a man as he makes his traverse, as he climbs between the sheer heights in a resonant...

An improbable headmaster

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John Dancy S it Walter Oakeshott published the first edition of this anthology in 1950 when he was headmaster of Winchester. It is now reprinted by the Friends of Winchester...

What is so bad about feel-good

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William Boyd THE DEVIL'S CANDY by Julie Salamon Cape, £15.99, pp. 434 A mongst the many gobbets of received wisdom that make up what purports to be the lore and logic of the...

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Exhibitions 1 Something on their minds James Hamilton Lucian Freud: Paintings, Drawings and Etchings (Tate Gallery, Liverpool, till 22 March) L ucian Freud presents...

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The Columbus connection Peter Phillips T he musical anniversaries which may be celebrated in 1992 (Rossini, Howells and so on) are not of the sort to catch the head- lines....

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Exhibitions 2

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Sarah Raphael (Agnew's, till 6 March) Christopher Bramham (Marlborough Fine Art, till 29 February) Stirred but not shaken Giles Auty D uring much of the year I see such a...

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Exhibitions 3

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Along the Golden Road to Samarkand: Photographs of Monuments in the Middle East by A.W. Lawrence, T.E. Lawrence and Robert Byron (Courtauld Institute, till 1 March) Tombs with...

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Night of the Iguana (Lyttelton) Faith Healer ( Royal Court) Tropical outpouring Christopher Edwards T he Night of the Iguana was the last major work Tennessee Williams wrote...

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The Pleasure Principle ('18', selected cinemas) The Pleasure Principle ('18', selected cinemas) Urga ('PG', Curzon Mayfair) Trivial pursuit Vanessa Letts T he posters for The...


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Question time Ursula Buchan T he life of a professional gardener is an anxious one. There are days when I have to choose between sowing onion seed or mulching the fruit trees...

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Pussies galore John Diamond Y ou're English, right?' said the cab driver on the way out of Milwaukee airport last week. 'Tell you what, though. That English stuffs the best TV...

Marlyn Harris is away.

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High life

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Temporary hitch Taki U nlike my father, who I assume slept with all his private secretaries, I have yet to bed down any of mine. Not for lack of try- ing, however. Aris, my...

Low life

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In the mood for romance Jeffrey Bernard U ntil now I always thought that Mike Tyson would end up in a mental hospital. Who probably will end up in the bin though are the poor...

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New life

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Murder they said Zenga Longmore I n a misguided moment, I had agreed to babysit for a Nigerian couple who lived in Harlesden's much maligned Stonebridge estate. With grim...

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Imperative cooking: time to kick out Mr Waldegrave

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GOOD AND amusing news for all who are worried about health and, more especially, food fascism: a recent research finding claims that the whole population is short of vitamin D....

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S erious Burgundians will notice some- thing very odd about this list. Not only are the wines spectacularly cheap by burgundy standards but they are village wines offered...

ORDER FORM SPECTATOR WINE CLUB c/o Laytons, 20 Midland Road,

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London NW1 2AD Tel: (071) 388 5081 Fax: (071) 383 7419 Price No. hilue I. Santenay Les Gravieres 1984 12 Bots. f71.76 Santenay 1985 12 Boa f89.78 Savigny Les Beaune...

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I t is one of the mysteries of chess that India, the most likely birthplace of the game, has produced so few masters of the art. In the 19th century there was the Brahmin...


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12 YEAR OLD SCOTCH WHISKY COMPETITION coVAS RE% 12 YEAR OLD SCOTCH WHISKY Come back, please Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1714 you were asked for an elegiac lament in...

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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 first three correct solutions...

No. 1717: Lovely list

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Lists (as anthologists have found, also see above) can be exciting or memorable. You are invited to provide such a list under the heading of your choice. Maximum 100 words....

Solution to 1043: For and agains 'orG E 'L U

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S 0 R A i iIC T0 R S 'v f O• CAT • I IIWIT 'E S 0 N S ' A A.N E E ABtOil TEY{SLUB , T A ▪ iljli ls E NINE 'I • EIT u T 1,9 sw A N I E D N T X t 0 R OIDIO ▪ P L U N jT „ A N...

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THE BIZARRE and pretentious kitsch (as it came over on television) of the Winter Olympics' opening ceremony underlined once more the need to ban such vulgar tomfoolery from the...


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Q. Can you suggest a way of tactfully telling a work colleague that he has very bad body odour? P.W, South Norwood A. The offence given to others by the poor hygiene routines...