16 JANUARY 1999

Page 6


The Spectator

Relaunch M r Robin Cook, the Foreign Secre- tary, was said by his ex-wife in a book to have drunk too much, have had half a dozen affairs and like Mr Tony Blair, the Prime...

Page 7


The Spectator

The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 AUNTIE BETRAYS HER CLASS A new era in broadcasting arrived unheralded this week,...

Page 8


The Spectator

Is Mr Cook the worst Foreign Secretary of all time? Only before lunch BRUCE ANDERSON I n private life, Robin Cook's real failing was meanness of spirit. As regards adultery,...

Page 9


The Spectator

h ere was huge rejoicing in this house when we heard that Nigel Hawthorne had been awarded a knighthood in the New Year's Honours List. I am far from alone in our profession in...

Page 10


The Spectator

Sion Simon argues against the general assumption that Mr Cook's former wife has destroyed his career — quite the opposite LAST WEEK I called on Robin Cook in the sumptuous...

Page 11

Second opinion

The Spectator

THE PHILOSOPHER David Hume, for whom I have nothing but the greatest of admiration and respect, wrote in his Treatise that 'the distinction of vice and virtue is not .founded...

Page 12


The Spectator

Patrick West recalls a declaration of war on Britain 60 years ago SIXTY YEARS ago this week, the Irish government declared war on Britain. A proclamation was relayed to the...

Page 13


The Spectator

Hugh Thomas explains why Cuba is looking forward to its first visit from the present Spanish royal family IHUGH THOMAS tiene la palabra!' (Hugh Thomas has the floor). I love...

Mind your language

The Spectator

YOU DON'T let up. Here is a pet hate from Olivia Bell, from Oxford. 'I have a linguistic bugbear: the phrase "he was diagnosed with cancer, whooping cough, etc.". Surely he was...

Page 14


The Spectator

Michael Heath

Page 16


The Spectator

Sue Cameron spots an unnoticed effect of the recent resignations WHITEHALL is back. Sir Richard Wilson and his civil service knights are poised to reassert their grip on...

Page 17


The Spectator

Shiva Naipaul was one of the most gifted and accomplished writers of our time. After his death in 1985 at the age of 40, The Spectator established an annual prize in his memory....

Page 18


The Spectator

Mark Steyn on the contest between American presidential aspirants to say nothing that could be understood New Hampshire LAMAR ALEXANDER re-emerged last week. He's the former...

Page 20


The Spectator

WORSHIP WHILE YOU WORK George Trefgarne discovers a surprising religious revival in the City of London IN the City of London, the Bishop is back in the Deanery for the first...

Page 21


The Spectator

Rafael Garcia-Navarro on why the American novelist does not need a lesson from Margaret Cook MOST SEASONED readers know what to look for in Philip Roth. Uncompromising, often...

Page 23


The Spectator

Mrs Robin Cook, Miss Wendie Deng and the Prince of Darkness PAUL JOHNSON P erhaps the publication by Rupert Mur- doch's Sunday Times of Mrs Robin Cook's memoirs, revealing...

Page 24

Sir: Mr Malim mentions the influence of Oxford's uncle, Arthur

The Spectator

Golding, who trans- lated Ovid; another uncle (by marriage) was my ancestor Sir Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517-1547), who, as well as his other accomplishments, was a gifted...

LETTERS The true Will

The Spectator

Sir: I am in complete agreement with Richard Malim's identification of Edward de Vere as the • true Shakespeare (They haven't the necessary Will', 9 January). Most interested...

The enemy within

The Spectator

Sir: I can't help with Alice Miles's specula- tion about the source of the Guardian's Mandelson loan scoop (Friends, enemies and a parcel astray, 9 January). But I should point...

Sir: The spelling of my surname was the most accurate

The Spectator

point in Derek 'Dolly' Drap- er's long whinge. The disgraced lobbyist got that wrong (it's Maguire, not McGuire), so I leave readers to judge the accuracy of the rest of his...

History lesson

The Spectator

Sir: Just for the record, I feel obliged to make a couple of factual corrections to Robert Taylor's excellent article on the Labour party's amnesia about its own histo- ry...

Hung for a lamb

The Spectator

Sir: I was bewildered to read a piece by Derek Draper (Media studies', 9 January) in which he claims that he and I had a tele- phone conversation about the 'Notting Hill Gate'...

Toping and Niagara

The Spectator

Sir: Peter Paterson complains (Harold was a toper too', 9 January) that in a Mail on Sunday article I did not say at what time in the evening of 14 March 1968 I answered, in the...

Technical failure

The Spectator

Sir: I have the advantage over Hamish Tay- lor (Letters, 2 January), who responded on behalf of Eurostar to Alistair Home's com- plaints about his journey to Waterloo. Mr Taylor...

Page 25

Scrape on, Guardian!

The Spectator

Disregard your Mr Young STEPHEN GLOVER H ugo Young of the Guardian is no mere columnist. He inhabits the journalistic equivalent of Mount Olympus, and has very little...

Page 26


The Spectator

Do not attempt this at home Philip Hensher COLLECTED FICTIONS by Jorge Luis Borges Allen Lane, £20, pp. 565 B orges is a splendid oddity in litera- ture, like Quevedo or...

All books reviewed in The Spectator are available through THE

The Spectator

SPECTATOR BOOKSHOP Tel: 0541 557 288

Page 27

Hitler, Freud and Mr Pooter

The Spectator

Alan Judd MY GERMAN QUESTION by Peter Gay Yale, £15.50, pp. 208 T his book is about the author's child- hood and adolescence with his Jewish parents in pre-war Nazi Berlin....

Page 30

The dry martini tone

The Spectator

Rupert Christiansen THE HIGHER JAZZ by Edmund Wilson University of Iowa Press, £16.95, pp. 240 I n his cool, sharp and tensely erotic col- lection of short stories, Memoirs...

Food for puzzled thought

The Spectator

Andrew Barrow FAIR EXCHANGE by Michele Roberts Little, Brown, £15.99, pp. 246 T his short and extremely juicy historical romance starts with a French peasant woman called...


The Spectator

(52 issues) (26 issues) UK ❑ £97.00 01 £49.00 Europe ❑ £109.00 CI £55.00 USA ❑ US$161 CI US$82 Australia ❑Aus$225 ❑Aus$113 Rest of World U £119.00 CI £60.00 Please enter a...

Page 31

Our lost legacy

The Spectator

Stephen Logan AN INTELLIGENT PERSON'S GUIDE TO MODERN CULTURE by Roger Scruton Duckworth, £14.95, pp. 152 R oger Scruton's career as a philoso- pher has prepared him for being...

Clerihew Corner

The Spectator

Poor old Aleister Crowley Tried devilishly hard to be unholy, But . . . 'The Great Beast 666'? Fiddlesticks! James Michie

Page 32

Hey, big spender

The Spectator

Patrick Boyle HEY MR PRODUCER by Sheridan Morley and Ruth Leo Weidenfeld, £25, pp. 192 I love musicals. Even the bad ones inspired moments or something that m the evening...


The Spectator

Bookoftheliee WAL NG ON THIN ICE In Purs of the North pole Essential rea g for all armchair explorers, this is the extraordinary story of an obsession to explore the most...

Page 33

A globe-trotting dirty dozen

The Spectator

Oleg Gordievsky UNDERCOVER LIVES: SOVIET SPIES IN THE CITIES OF THE WORLD edited by Helen Womack Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 308 A couple of years ago the KGB's Trav- el Guide to the...

Page 34

Improving on Ptolemy

The Spectator

M. R. D. Foot T wo good books quite different in style cover two aspects of the same subject: the profound, continuing ignorance of western Europeans about that long-standing...


The Spectator

Holidays & Travel Special 30 January 1999 G.ET TN THE SWIM! Make sure your holiday property appears in our bumper annual Holidays & Travel Special — then sit back and wait for...

Page 35

Up Parnassus with rod and gun

The Spectator

P. N. Furbank LIVES OF THE POETS by Michael Schmidt Weidenfeld, £22, pp. 939 M ichael Schmidt, the poet, publisher and editor of PN Review, has produced what is in a sense an...

Days of elegance

The Spectator

Anita Brookner NEW YORK MOSAIC: THREE NOVELS by Isabel Bolton Virago, £12.99, pp. 482 I sabel Bolton, who was really Mary Brit- ton Miller, died in 1979 at the age of 92. She...

Page 36

The incomparably unco-operative Max

The Spectator

William Camp The author of The Glittering Prizes recalls that his own dealings with Lord Beaverbrook proved less enjoyable than those described by Robert Rhodes-James in The...

Page 37


The Spectator

Don't be afraid of ridicule T here is now a well entrenched conven tion that anyone who dares to criticise, condemn or even question the meaning of the work of many...

Page 38


The Spectator

DIARY 1999 ElLI Plain £ 15 Initialled The Spectator 1999 Diary, bound in soft red goatskin leather, is now available. Laid out with a whole week to view, Monday to Sunday, the...

Page 39


The Spectator

Julian Schnabel (South London Gallery, 65 South Peckham Road) Glitzy or generous? Martin Gayford I s it time to revive the 1980s? The mere question may make some of us —...

Page 40

Theatre 1

The Spectator

Perfect Days (Hampstead) The Memory of Water (Vaudeville) Merchant of Venice; The Tempest (Barbican) Mothers from hell Sheridan Morley I f 1999 carries on the way it has...

Theatre 2

The Spectator

The Winter's Tale (Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford) Crucial timing Patrick Carnegy N o play better bears out Dr Johnson's view that Shakespeare's 'tragedy seems to be...

Page 41


The Spectator

Little Voice (15, selected cinemas) The Opposite of Sex (18, selected cinemas) Voice over? Mark Steyn I n Follow the Fleet (1936), there's a scene where Fred Astaire has to...

Page 42


The Spectator

Island fever Edward Heathcoat Amory F rom Pickwick to Pevsner, from Mr Sponge's Sporting Tour to Three Men in a Boat, Britons have always had a literary appetite for guided...

Page 43


The Spectator

My new love Michael Vestey T he unthinkable has occurred. I've been listening to a programme about com- puters. I shall tune in every Friday after- noon when Loved On appears...

Page 44


The Spectator

Everything comes in threes Alan Judd I wound up the old Rover the other day to take her for a spin. In fact, she's not mine but my uncle's and, being a 1973 P6 3500S — the...

The turf

The Spectator

Just desert Robin Oakley I nstead of heading for Sandown on Sat- urday I was bouncing across the Kuwaiti desert past the tented encampments of so many Bedouin Pop Larkins....

Page 45

High life

The Spectator

Only half a dozen Taki I was sitting in the Palace Hotel's grill when the news of Margaret Cook's revenge came in. A South American friend of mine was appalled. He first tried...

Page 46

Country life

The Spectator

`Lovely day' tyranny Leanda de Lisle T rigger the hamster is back . .. After an absence of three weeks she turned up in a bucket in the nursery. Not the one with food in it...

Singular life

The Spectator

He didn't even nibble Petronella Wyatt I first met Mr Cook at a racecourse. Cheltenham to be precise. It was in the Grandstand, though I'm not sure it was quite grand enough...

Page 47

Solution to Jumbo Crossword: Christmas games

The Spectator

'H ' 0 E I6 C A '1( 4 _0 6 C E 6 S A 'R E 6 A N 'B R la A S 1 li 'b OVTIAPI I A''TUSOCiTR I K LEO! 6 14 I O T SRBORbOREL OUSNO1 221 AB 2 bRIDOR...


The Spectator

Young not easy Andrew Robson YOUTHFUL bidding combined with bril- liant card reading saw declarer land the following most unlikely slam. It is hard to see how he managed it,...

Page 48

HERE wego, another new year leading to the terror of

The Spectator

the millennium bug when aero- planes are meant to drop from the sky, all monies are lost in confusion, hospitals lose all their records etc., etc., woe, woe. It sounds like the...

Page 49


The Spectator

J. SHEEKEY', said our friend's father, when we told him where we were going to dinner that night. 'I remember going there the night my wife gave birth to our first child. I ate...

Page 50


The Spectator

Revelations Raymond Keene THIS WEEK I give the answers to my Christmas quiz, which focused on four positions from previous tournaments at Hastings. I was most gratified by...


The Spectator

Lords a-weeping Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2067 I drew the picture of Belloc's Lord Lundy composing some lachrymose octosyllables on the impending fate of peers such as...

Page 51

CROSSWORD 1396: Rhyme-scheme by Columba

The Spectator

A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 1 February, with two runners- up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, the...

No. 2070: Midwinter madness

The Spectator

A friend has just received from abroad a travel brochure, full of spelling mistakes and fractured English, offering him a win- ter holiday 'complete with guilt-edged beaches' (a...

Page 55


The Spectator

Money worries Simon Barnes PROFESSIONAL sport depends for its following — that is to say, its very existence — on its audience's willing suspension of disbelief. The audience...


The Spectator

Dear Mary.. . Q. I am a man of a certain girth, recently warned by God and my doctor to improve my eating ways and take exercise. I have Joined numerous expensive gymnasiums...