15 FEBRUARY 1997

Page 4


The Spectator

Stand-up comedian M r John Major, the Prime Minister, disowned Mr Stephen Darrell, the Secre- tary of State for Health, as unofficial spokesman on the British Constitution after...

Page 5

The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405

The Spectator

1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 STAY WEST, YOUNG MAN N ato was formed half a century ago to protect free Europe from Soviet imperial aggression. It enjoyed support across the Western...

Page 6


The Spectator

She should have called for more mine exports. Instead, she used Angola as a catwalk BRUCE ANDERSON E Africa semper aliquid malt. But even in the bloodstained history of...

Page 7


The Spectator

O ver a hundred years have passed since F.W. Maitland said we were becom- ing a 'much-governed nation'. Since then the process has accelerated. Few claims are more dishonest...

Page 8


The Spectator

Socialism is now 'downshifting' but it hasn't shifted its desire to punish the more privileged PETRONELLA WYATT T here is a new fashion called downshift- ing, or downsizing,...

Page 9


The Spectator

Giles Whitten reports that the Four Weddings hero has failed in his attempt to become a star in America. It's also to do with women (though not that prostitute) Los Angeles IN...

Page 11


The Spectator

As Germany's troubles return to worry a misreading of the past TIMES change, Germany alters its physi- cal shape and its geopolitical significance for Europe. One of the few...

Page 12

IT'S AN ill wind that blows nobody any good: this

The Spectator

indisputable truth, after all, is the rock, the granite foundation, upon which all journalistic careers are ulti- mately founded. If the world were a bet- ter place, there...

Page 13


The Spectator

Alan Cochrane lives in a Scottish glen. But that doesn't mean he wants more Scottish news AS SOMEONE who lives in what the southern English are pleased to call 'the regions',...

Mind your language

The Spectator

MY HUSBAND doesn't like me leafing through his medical books. I think he thinks it feeds my hypochondriasis, though I haven't asked him, since I don't want him to think I think...


The Spectator

SUBSCRIBE TODAY— RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK ❑ £88.00 0 £45.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £99.00 ❑ £51.00 USA Airspeed 0 US$141 ❑ US$71 Rest of Airmail 0 £115.00 ❑ £58.00 World...

Page 15


The Spectator

Alastair Forbes offers a memorial, after his fashion, for the life and work of Pamela Harriman I WAS opening for a great-niece a very Pretty tin of 'Dorset Gingers' (the lid...

Page 16


The Spectator

Toby Harnden on the campaign in the Dublin media, and some British, against a repentant IRA killer for sending the 'wrong' message IF PROOF were needed that truth is stranger...

The Spectator

Page 18


The Spectator

John Griffith puts a socialist case against something most socialists, and liberals, now believe in TO a democratic socialist like myself, the enactment of a Bill of Rights on...

Page 20


The Spectator

A 16th-century book on manners still makes sense today PAUL JOHNSON C an you imagine a male teenager today copying out, by hand and of his own choice, 110 rules about good...

Page 21


The Spectator

The pound now buys a matchless opportunity to make the same mistake twice CHRISTOPHER FILDES T he pound is now so strong — well, everything is relative — that if it gets any...

Salvage at Lloyd's

The Spectator

YOU can go to sea in a sieve, like the Jum- blies, or you can join the wrong syndicate at Lloyd's of London. The luckless members of Lloyd's watched as the water rushed in, and...

Millionaires' Row

The Spectator

THIS week's assertion that one in every 550 of us is a millionaire goes to show what statistical definition can do. A friend of mine who was the business partner of a minister...

Going down the drain

The Spectator

THIS week opened with the nation's sim- plest train set out of order, to nobody's sur- prise, least of all its users'. The set has two stations, one at each end. They are con-...

First class, City style

The Spectator

WE should be following the first rule of takeover finance: you can afford to pay a premium for something that is badly man- aged. We shall teach our railway to discard the...


The Spectator

IT is a bit rough on Sotheby's to put them in the frame just because some nondescript picture has wandered out of Italy, as pic- tures always have. The same sort of thing...

Page 22

Zappa the brave

The Spectator

Sir: Michael Henderson (Arts, 1 February) reveals his prejudices in his dismissal of Frank Zappa's contribution to 20th-century art. More's the pity, as he invokes Zappa in...

War games

The Spectator

Sir: I entirely agree with Sarah Gainham (Letters, 8 February) that it was yet another astonishing omission of the BBC television series 1914-1918 to fail to summarise the...

LETTERS Hanratty's innocence

The Spectator

Sir: In case any Spectator reader takes seri- ously the two pages you devoted to Sir Louis Blom-Cooper's perverse views on the Hanratty case (The unproven guilt', 8 February),...

Page 23

Naughty boy

The Spectator

Sir: Mr Glover (Media studies, 6 February) is fantasising again in suggesting that at any time I have had any conversation with any member of the Evening Standard staff about...

Degrees of crime

The Spectator

Sir: Michael Harrington is right (`The big- hearted killer', 1 February) to underplay Al Capon's gangsterism in Chicago in the 1 920s. He might have prayed in aid a quo- tation...

In praise of Oti

The Spectator

Sir: Christian Hesketh (Rugby, 8 February) was puzzled as to why the Twickenham crowd sang 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' as opposed to 'God Save the Queen' during the game. I will...

Sir: Stephen Glover is quite wrong to assume that I

The Spectator

regard the Evening Standard as 'somewhat below the salt'. On the con- trary, I am an enthusiastic reader of the Standard and an admirer of its distin- guished editor, Max...

Sir: For a journal which believes in a civili- sation

The Spectator

grounded on the rule of law, which one assumes The Spectator does, what can be the motive for publishing an article enti- tled 'The big-hearted killer', subtitled 'trib- ute to...

Friendly federalist

The Spectator

Sir: I am grateful to Sarah Whitebloom (Wet kiss for Al', 1 February) for record- ing my vain request to give the massed Conservative selectors in Kensington and Chelsea the...

Gut loathing

The Spectator

Sir: Anne McElvoy incorrectly quoted me as having described David Mellor as 'a revolting little man' (`Spies, leaks, rows and lawyers' letters', 1 February). A rather grand...

Page 24


The Spectator

For a nation obsessed by Germany, it's hard to find out anything important about the Germans STEPHEN GLOVER H ow big a mess is Germany in? I have scoured British newspapers...

Page 25


The Spectator

There should be zero tolerance for drugs, not alcohol and tobacco PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE Nero tolerance', as we have all recently learnt, is the theory that if the police crack...

Page 26


The Spectator

Enjoying a certain following David Sexton MILES AND FLORA: A SEQUEL TO HENRY JAMES' `THE TURN OF THE SCREW' by Hilary Bailey Simon & Schuster, £15.99, pp. 280 A trick title,...

Page 27

Since I cannot prove a lover

The Spectator

Harriet Waugh STALKING FIONA by Nigel Williams Granta, £15.99, pp. 272 N igel Williams has created a very strange heroine in Fiona, a secretary to three accountants, Peter,...

Page 28

Communism and other disasters

The Spectator

Adam Zamoyski VOLCANO AND MIRACLE: A SELECTION OF FICTION AND NON-FICTION FROM `THE JOURNAL WRITTEN AT NIGHT' by Gustaw Herling, selected and translated by Ronald Strom Viking...

Men impressing men

The Spectator

Peter J. M. Wayne AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A MURDERER by Hugh Collins Macmillan, £15.99, pp. 202 N early 20 years ago, I was a direction - less young prisoner serving a 12-month...

Page 30

Trials and tribulations

The Spectator

Richard Lamb NUREMBERG: THE LAST BATTLE by David Irving Focal Point, £25, pp. 362 A fter the first world war there was strong public demand in France and Britain for the Kaiser...

Page 31

Alone poor maid

The Spectator

Penelope Fitzgerald HIS ARMS ARE FULL OF BROKEN THINGS by P. B. Parris Viking £16, pp. 275 C harlotte Mew, the poet, was born in 1869 and killed herself by swallowing...

Four studies in prejudice

The Spectator

Francis King THE NATURE OF BLOOD by Caryl Phillips Faber, £15, pp. 213 T hrough this comparatively short book, the author now strides and now stumbles down the intersecting...

Page 32

Why didn't she get a nanny?

The Spectator

Charlotte Moore THE ANGEL OF TWICKENHAM T he year is 1990. The World Cup approaches, Saddam will soon invade Kuwait, and the skating stars Yoevil and Kean have been kidnapped...

Page 33

The spirit imbuing a regiment

The Spectator

Juliet Townsend THE IRISH GUARDS IN THE GREAT WAR by Rudyard Kipling, edited by George Webb Spellmount, £24.95, pp. 320 O n 4 August, 1914, Carrie Kipling wrote in her diary,...

Page 34

He done her wrong

The Spectator

A sked last year to nominate its favourite modern poem, as a follow-up to the triumph of Kipling's 'If' as top choice among the classics, the nation selected some lines by the...

Page 35


The Spectator

Witchcraft and hysteria in Salem Does it matter if historical fact merges with fiction in films? Frances Hill believes it does T he source of most people's knowledge of one of...

Page 36

Exhibitions 1

The Spectator

Young Gainsborough (National Gallery, till 31 March) Brilliant and elusive debut Martin Gayford D amn Gentlemen,' wrote Thomas Gainsborough to his musician friend William...

Page 37

Exhibitions 2

The Spectator

Alma-Tadema (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, till 2 March; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, from 21 March to 8 June) Glimpse into the ancient world Martin Bailey A ma-Tadema's...

Page 38


The Spectator

Parsifal (Amsterdam Muziektheater) Lohengrin (Covent Garden) Wagner double Michael Tanner T o conduct Parsifal as one's first com- plete Wagner opera suggests either reck-...

Page 40


The Spectator

Fierce Creatures (PG, selected cinemas) In Love and War (15, selected cinemas) Circle of friends Mark Steyn T here was a moment when I wished I liked Fierce Creatures more....

Hughie O'Donoghue (born Manchester 1953) paints on a grand dramatic

The Spectator

scale. Pas- sionately elemental images of landscape and the figure dominate, resonantly personal (`Being Here III', 1996, above). Moody, expressive, lushly but exactly painted,...

Page 41


The Spectator

Whistle down the Wind (National Theatre, Washington) National celebration Sheridan Morley T his has not perhaps been the greatest of weeks for Andrew Lloyd Webber, who last...

Page 42


The Spectator

The mechanic as hero Michael Vestey I n bored moments in the 1920s, Cyril Connolly would conjure aphorisms like this: 'The best-seller is the golden touch of mediocre talent.'...


The Spectator

Rainbow colours Ursula Buchan I t is not difficult to tell which families of flowers have been a very long time in culti- vation, for they often have names taken from Greek...

Page 44


The Spectator

The pleasure principle Alan Judd S pectator readers being thinking hedo- nists with a lively appreciation of life's little luxuries, this month brings another in the...


The Spectator

Rwanda horror Simon Hoggart F ergal Keane is rapidly becoming our newest secular saint. The surprise best-sell- ing book this Christmas was his Letters to Daniel, despatches...

Page 45

The turf

The Spectator

Could do better Robin Oakley I t wasn't Charlie Swan's week. At Ascot Sound Man gave him a nightmare ride in their much publicised confrontation with One Man, jumping like a...

Page 46

High life

The Spectator

Swiss shame Taki Although there is no crime to speak of in Switzerland, Swiss jails are bursting at the seams and have been for generations. Like Swiss hotels they are full of...

Page 47

Low life

The Spectator

Banana split Jeffrey Bernard A fter more than 20 years of attending the Middlesex Hospital as an out-patient and in-patient, I have begun to take more notice of the food...

Page 48

Country life

The Spectator

A lesson in scrambling Leanda de Lisle I t's true. There are families out there who really do live entirely off ready-made meals — and I mean entirely. The chil- dren's new...


The Spectator

Double trouble Andrew Robson YOU would feel confident if you had six trumps against a grand slam contract. Most of the time you would be right! Would you double? Dealer...

Page 49

Quaglino's, Daphne's, Langan's Brasserie, San Lorenzo

The Spectator

WHEN the editor suggested that I wrote about overrated restaurants I took him to mean those subject to media 'hype', socially ` 1 11', hard to get into and overpriced. Taking a...

Page 50


The Spectator

tsLE of juRA COMPETITION Dirty dozen Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1969 you were invited to incorporate 12 given words, in any order, into an entertaining piece of prose....


The Spectator

IN-THE-STRAND CHESS ';!'‘ Erg SIMPSON'S IN-THE-STRAND AS THE knowledge and science of chess advances, it might be thought that top play- ers would be less prone to quick...

Page 51


The Spectator

1298: On and on ... by Ascot A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 19 90 Port for the first correct solution opened on 3 March, with two runners-up...

Solution to 1295: Tattoo

The Spectator

agoirkunacr. mama A •du acinEnci 0 gi u ARAB 3 BS E T I MO mum sof:1E Dna 13 o , A . riachan on . no cr poa.np E D 131311 JO Ellij 0 In M INIO T la ljr10010 allirl . T O 3...

No. 1972: Agony uncle

The Spectator

Jeffrey Bernard has told us that he once stood in for an agony aunt in a newspaper. Let us assume he has resumed the job in his own name. You are invited to provide a distressed...

Page 55


The Spectator

The art of finishing Simon Barnes ENGLAND win cricket match shock! A nation does not mourn! Yes, it finally hap- pened. England took 20 wickets in a single Test match and...


The Spectator

Q. I am the proud owner of the most adorable Cavalier King Charles spaniel. He is not only the most perfect companion, he is also wonderful with children. The Only snag is that...