15 JULY 2000

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Subsidence: the process of subsiding, settling, or sinking 0 rangemen blockaded streets after a parade following a church service at Drumcree continued to be denied passage...

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S P E CTAT T HE OR The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL

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Telephone: 020-7405 1706; Fax 020-7242 0603 RANK IGNORANCE S ir Vidia Naipaul's passionate denunci- ation this week of the present government for its cultural vandalism was...

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Abandoning the pledge to cut taxes will make a tax-cut policy more plausible BRUCE ANDERSON T hough Mr Hague is in favour of hunt- ing with hounds, he is also prepared to...

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DOUGLAS HURD I n one corner, the leader of the Opposi- tion, proclaiming tougher sentences with- out once mentioning the prisons which he proposes to overcrowd still further. In...

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Conrad Black says that Britain must reach beyond Europe and embrace its Atlantic vocation THE floundering over Britain's European policy is the most undignified shambles that...

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Pascal Lamy tells Boris Johnson where Britain's destiny really lies PASCAL Lamy makes a noise; a cross between a gurgle and a bark. It is the sort of noise you might expect to...

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Richard Jenkyns looks back at how their Oxford experiences may have moulded Tony Blair and Bill Clinton SO Balliol College, Oxford managed to turn away both Bill Clinton and...

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A new BBC documentary shows lobby journalists to be indistinguishable from those they write about, says Robert Peston THE darkling world of Westminster jour- nalism and Downing...

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Mind your language

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I DO not want to be unkind to Mr Blair, but when he was being nice and human, post-Euan, on Newsnight, he was reminded of a previous undertak- ing and said that Labour had...

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Tony Parsons examines the extraordinary appeal to the opposite sex of his novel Man and Boy, which he conceived as a guy book YOU know that novel you have inside you? Well, if...


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Michael Heath

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Classifieds —pages 52 to 54

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PILL Andrew Gimson talks to a Hungarian, conscripted by the Wehrmacht, whose love for Germany has turned sour Baden-Baden ANDOR Preyer, an aged and infirm Hun- garian living...

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'The party's over' can mean a lot of different things PAUL JOHNSON A nother London season gone, and peo- ple are beginning to slink off to the hills and beaches. It used to be...

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A sad fate for the once great Express: a bit-part player in the machinations of TV moguls STEPHEN GLOVER A " day now Stephen Byers, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry,...

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LETTERS Not that barmy

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From Mr Colin Campbell Sir: Charles Wheeler's article (The barmy army', 8 July) makes a valid point regarding the drawbacks of peacetime National Ser- vice in that it tended to...

From Mr John Young Sir: Certainly basic training was unpleasant,

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but it was short-lived, and the rest of Nation- al Service, except for those sent to fight in places like Korea and Malaya, was a bit of a doddle, with plenty of sport and...

Liberal, not lickspittle

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From Mr John D.Battersby Sir: R.W. Johnson (`Stand up and be count- ed', 24 June) accuses me of being a 'guilty white liberal-turned-ANC supporter'. I have never belonged to...

From Dr George Marshall Sir: As a former National Serviceman

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(1955-57) I found in Charles Wheeler's account a description of a world that I fail to recognise. We recruits were shouted at, it is true, and during the first few weeks we had...

Disembodied Doyle

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From Mr John O'Byme Sir: Michael Vestey's puzzlement as to how the creator of such a super-rational detec- tive as Sherlock Holmes could have believed in fairies (Arts, 8 July)...

War and PC

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From Mr John Hughes-Wilson Sir: While I fully anticipated the well-co- ordinated wails of protest from some of the 'Pardons' brigade, furious that someone has LETTERS at last...

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Learning worn lightly

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From Mr Bruce McDougall Sir: Poor old Paul Johnson (And another thing, 1 July). He thinks that people are less intelligent than they used to be. To Prove his point, he refers to...

Split personality

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From Mr James Young Sir: Here's a rum thing. In the 1999 edition of Who's Who, the entry immediately above Tony Blair's is that of one 'Sir Alastair Campbell Blair'. What can...

What Hopkins meant

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From Mr Richard Orders Sir: Bruce Anderson's casual reference to the initial words of the opening line of Ger- ard Manley Hopkins's great sonnet (Poli- tics, 10 June) is both a...

Proof positive

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From Mr Ross Clark Sir: Of course Geoff Boycott is innocent ('He did not bat her', 8 July). The prosecu- tion alleged that he got in 20 blows, all at once. If Boycott had really...

Is not a Patron. . . ?

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From Judith Bingham Sir: Peter Phillips (Arts, 8 July) is right to point out the merits of Sir William Glock as well as his notorious downside. But in many ways he was no...

Rafish description

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From Mr David Watkins Sir: It seems that Dot Wordsworth (Mind your language, 8 July) is younger than I unthinkingly assumed, else she would have immediately picked up the New...

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Mr Blair and The Mysterious Affair of Crime and Crony FRANK JOHNSON M r Blair has made it known that, in view of our criminals' persistence in commit- ting crimes, he intends...

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The good, the bad and the ugly Hugh Lawson-Tancred ALAS, POOR DARWIN edited by Hilary Rose and Steven Rose Cape, £17.99, pp. 292 hat a splendid subject for a 17th- century...

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Form versus function

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Brian Sewell AUTOMOBILES BY ARCHITECTS by Ivan Margolius Wiley-Academy, £27.50, pp. 160 H ow rare it is to put down a book with the sense of pleasure satisfied, the mind...

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Daring and dying in the service of the Raj

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Anne Chisholm SOLDIER SAHIBS by Charles Allen John Murray, £22.50, pp. 368 I t is curious how the very phrase 'North- West Frontier' has retained the power to thrill, even in...

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Joint heroes

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who only met once Simon Courtauld VILLA AND ZAPATA by Frank McLynn Cape, £20, pp. 405 T he Mexican Revolution (1910-20) was not like others: it did not derive from defeat in...

Four hundred and counting

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Julian Mitchell LOST YEARS: A MEMOIR, 1945-1951 by Christopher Isherwood, edited by Katherine Bucknell Chatto, £25, pp. 388 C hristopher Isherwood was a lucky man. He went to...


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Subscribe NOW! 6 months (26 issues) O £49 O £55 O US$82 o Aus$113 0 /Too Please enter my subscription as indicated above ▪ ] enclose my cheque for (Eurocheques, USS and...

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The impossibility of keeping a good man down

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Brian Masters AN UNCERTAIN VOYAGE by Anthony Babington Barry Rose Law Publishers, £21, pp. 509, tel: 01243 783 637 hen the author was a 24-year-old soldier 'towards the end of...

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Max the mad manipulator

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Frank Egerton THE PUPPET SHOW by Patrick Redmond Hodder, £10, pp. 470 P atrick Redmond's first novel, The Wishing Game, was a disturbing thriller about a public school in the...

Doing the business

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Harry Mount BODIES IN MOTION AND AT REST by Thomas Lynch Jonathan Cape, £10, pp. 240 ho wants to be an undertaker? Well, for quite a while in his youth, Thomas Lynch certainly...

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Still absolutely wizard

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Christopher Nicholson HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE by J. K. Rowling Bloomsbury, £14.99, pp. 636 W e missed the midnight opening, but early on Saturday morning my...

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Successfully too clever by half

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Lucy Hughes-Hallett A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS by Dave Eggers Picador, £9.99, pp. 375 T here's only one possible criticism you could make of Dave Eggers's book...


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The passionate polymath John Parry on the astonishing achievements of Sir George Grove A a centenary celebration, a recent concert at the Royal College of Music was a...

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Exhibitions 1

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The Scottish Colourists 1900-1930 (Royal Academy, till 24 September) Missing the mark Andrew Lambirth T he four Scottish Colourists whose work makes up this exhibition are...

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Exhibitions 2

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Kingdom of the Soul: Symbolist Art in Germany 1870-1920 (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, till 30 July) Emotional reactions Angela Summerfield F ighting shy of the perverse...


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Bucluninster Fuller (Design Museum, till 15 October) The American dream writ large Alan Powers I f one American characteristic is excess, then Richard Bucicminster Fuller...

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The Patriot (15, selected cinemas) Perfidious Albion Mark Steyn M el Gibson's back and this time, just to stretch himself, he's playing a plucky, heroic man of the people who...

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Theatre 1

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All My Sons (National) On Raftery's Hill (Royal Court) Miller's tale Sheridan Morley A ttention, as Willy Loman's widow says in Death of a Salesman, must be paid: and if...


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Khovanshchina; Semyon Kotko (Royal Opera House) Power play Michael Tanner A uden once suggested to Stravinsky a category of anti-opera, of which PeIleas, From the House of...

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Theatre 2

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Romeo and Juliet (Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford) Henry IV Part 2 (Swan Theatre) La Lupa (The Other Place) Tough love Patrick Camegy as Romeo and Juliet ever recovered...

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Leaking and spinning Michael Vestey I had to laugh last week when I awoke to Today and heard the BBC swallowing the story of the so-called leaks about the disas- trous...


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A dying breed James Delingpole I n The Real Queen Mother (Channel 4, Monday), we were told that beneath those distinctive hats and behind that 'fairytale' and 'beatific'...

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The turf

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Battle of the oldies Robin Oakley W ho could have predicted that what is likely to turn out as the best finish of the season would be fought out between two substitute jockeys...

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High life

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Requirements for happiness Taki T o Sebastian Taylor's terrific spread in St Tropez for a weekend of sun and games. For the poor little Greek boy, the rays are as important as...

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No life

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Making mischief Toby Young O ne of the miseries of getting older is that you get told you look like less and less glamourous celebrities. When I was 16 it was Kevin Bacon, the...

Country life

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So much to fret about Leanda de Lisle W e have the best — if also one of the most politically incorrect — beauty compe- titions around. The models have beautiful eyes, big...

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Singular life

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In a hole Petronella Wyatt M y friends have accused me of hubris. They say last week's column was an exercise in pathetic attention-seeking vainglory. Personally I have always...


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What a coup Susanna Gross The Bidding West North East South pass 14 pass 1NT pass 3NT all pass Garozzo led the V10, on which East played the 113 after some thought (which to...

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Deborah Ross I AM writing this with the most appalling, head-thumping, dry-mouthed, revolting, serves-me-right hangover. Or 'hanging over', as my young son always has it. 'No....

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Rerouting Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2144 you were invited to write a poem beginning with the first line of a well-known poem, altered by a single misprint, and to continue...

Rdbeq The Ultimate [slay Malt.

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CHESS Rdbeq www.ardbes.com Takeaway Raymond Keene RELIEVED of the weight of responsibility of having to challenge Garry Kasparov for his world throne in this year's title...

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No. 2147: Notting Hill again It is hard to believe

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that this is Notting Hill Gate. . . . ' So begins the second paragraph of a futuristic novel by R.C. Sherriff. You are invited to early on in imaginative mode. Maximum 150...

- CROSSWORD A first prize of £30 and a bottle of

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Graham's award-winning, Late- Bottled Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 31 July, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, the latest edition of...

Solution to 1469: Familiarity

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ast , rim n Meefill ei El L MIA Ipmananascnelmian0 MM9,11,00en1Roons OROIRTMOMMROp annennmadmenn. unannenmeaonen annedadnenN AndollmnAMIUMOd TE,,,npainnie. anenen..ann...

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Pete's boring, winning ways Simon Barnes AND yet there are still people who tell me that Pete Sampras is boring. I find it an astonishing judgment. There are few people I have...


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Q. Stresa on Lake Maggiore in early June is truly lovely. English is the second language and The Spectator is on sale by Saturday afternoon, so civilisation seems secure....