16 MAY 1992

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Africa redrawn T he Foreign Secretary, Mr Douglas Hurd, told fellow foreign ministers in Brus- sels that it would be folly for Britain to abandon border controls on the advent...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 GERMANY FALLING R eports of the death of the German economy are...


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The salvation of British sovereignty: it all depends on plucky little Denmark SIMON HEFFER N ext week the Opposition parties will have one of the best opportunities to defeat...

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arold Nicolson relates somewhere that his father, when Ambassador to Con- stantinople, witnessed the first minister of the Ottoman Empire running alongside the Sultan's coach...

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No more than a simple case of inflatio ad absurdum AUBERON WAUGH T he Editor has asked me to write about the theological and ecclesiastical aspects of Bishop Casey's...

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Marek Matraszek reveals that the Polish president has fallen under the baleful influence of his former communist enemies THERE WAS a trial in Poland last week. It was not of...

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Anthony Blond's complete guide to who's who in French society, and why Bellac ARRETEZ le train, je suis la cousine du Roi des Beiges!' The station was Le Buisson in the Dor-...

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Robert Seely reports on the involvement of Cossack men — and women — in a Slavic border dispute Kiev WAR IS a serious business in Trans - dniestr, as Anya the Cossack is...


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A reader in Singapore found this notice in his letterbox. DATE: April 13, 1992 TO: All Residents FROM: The HillCreste Managemen t RE: Recurring Pet Incidents in the elevator...

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as ever, best friends with the Prime Minister OATHS ARE proclaimed, parchment crunched and nobles bow: John Wakeham, great fixer, man of secrets, confidant of Margaret Thatcher...

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Sheridan Morley on the Marlene Dietrich he knew NOW THAT I come to think of it, I knew her for almost 40 years. Not intimately, certainly not as intimately as some of the...

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Sue Lawley reveals the real reasons for the termination of a television series I'VE BEEN axed. I know I've been axed because it said so in the Daily Star. 'Sue Lawley's...

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If symptoms persist. . .

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LAST WEEK, I was quietly exercising the inalienable right of every doctor to read the newspaper in his consulting room while his patients queue up outside waiting to see him,...

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Don't let's be beastly to the Germans PAUL JOHNSON B ritish gloating about German industri- al and economic troubles is understandable but it is also ignoble and it does not...

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Good evening, Governor. Evening, Archbishop. How's your stipend? All right, thanks CHRISTOPHER FILDES I wonder what the Archbishop of Canter- bury will say to the Governor of...

Field narrows...

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MR LEIGH-PEMBERTON'S term as Governor runs out in June next year, and later this year his successor will be chosen by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. The process...

Hull down

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IT IS A PLEASURE to agree with John Prescott, my fellow-member of the Hull Telephone Fan Club. He has been telling the House of Commons, where he repre- sents Hull East, how...

... money matters

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THE BANK badly needs to get BCCI behind it, for it has a job to do. With its name and promise to pay on every ban- knote, the Bank has to believe and needs to say that money...


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DELIGHTED though I am that Michael Heseltine (or Prezza Hezza) should have revived for himself the historic title of Pres- ident of the Board of Trade, I must draw his attention...

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LETTERS Brussels expert

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Sir: I read Noel Malcolm's article on the debate stimulated across the European Community by the process of ratifying the Maastricht Treaty on European Union ('We'd better find...

A question of merit

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Sir: I agree with Hugh Massingberd (Dull hearts and coronets,' 9 May) that the Hon- ours system needs 'a thorough overhaul'. I disagree with his view that we should revive...

Beachy Head memories

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Sir: I am sorry that my friends Michael Cockerell and Alan Watkins should have fallen into dispute as to what Jim Callaghan said, or I said, or I said that he said, about Moses,...

Sir: In his article on the Honours system, Hugh Massingberd

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cites his cousin, Dame Veronica Wedgwood, as being the only author to hold the Order of Merit. I think he should apologise to Sir Isaiah Berlin, who is the author of a whole...

Marlene in a housecoat

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Sir: Some 20 years ago — give or take a few years either way — I was asked, in Paris, to LETTERS have dinner with Marlene Dietrich in her flat. There were three other guests...

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Young people today

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Sir: Your correspondent Martyn Harris (Arts, 2 May) condemns the 'shocking level of ignorance of young Japanese people' about the activities of the Japanese Army in the second...


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Sir: I was concerned to read of Taki's diffi- culties in running with a pistol(High Life, 9 May). The simplest solution is a 'Beat Bag', being a device intended to permit the...

Essex ethics

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Sir: The parasitic life of Auberon Waugh and his colleagues depends ultimately on the industry of Essex man and Essex woman and he would do well for a change to pay homage as I...

Coward's courage

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Sir: Earlier biographers should probably hold back here, but though I am inclined to agree with almost all of John Osborne's damnation of the Clive Fisher Noel Coward (Books, 2...

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An ironic hand in a velvet glove Blair Worden FROM COUNTER- REFORMATION TO GLORIOUS REVOLUTION by Hugh Trevor-Roper Secker, £25, pp. 331 H ugh Trevor-Roper is the leading...

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Gloominess kept breaking in

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Christopher Bray THE DIARIES OF SIGMUND FREUD 1929-1939 edited by Michael Molnar Hogarth, £35, pp. 326 P erhaps because of his beautiful prose, Sigmund Freud has always been...

Phil and the Peacock

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It was not old age; she was always lame, born in Argentina, to the dazzling dawns, then polio, which caged her in a limp. She did not marry. She bought children cards till she...

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A tale of one village

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Ross Clark ULVERTON by Adam Thorpe Secicer, £14.99, pp. 382 A dam Thorpe belongs firmly to the 'selection box' school of literature: he presents us not with a single narrative...

Half Wilde and wholly tame

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Robert Bernard Martin JOHN GRAY: POET, DANDY AND PRIEST by Jerusha Hull McCormack University Press of New England, £23, pp. 318 I n her biography of John Gray, Jerusha Hall...

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Speaking with forked tongue

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James Teacher THE EDUCATION OF LITTLE TREE by Forrest Carter Rider, £14.99, pp. 231 h e Education of Little Tree is a captivat- ing chronicle of a Cherokee childhood spent in...

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Getting into someone's bad books

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John Whitworth 0 f course we all know about Litera- ture and how it is aistinguished from mere books. Literature is the stuff that improves you, whereas books simply pass the...

Not a blockhead but writing for nothing

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Alan Bell THE LETTERS OF SAMUEL JOHNSON edited by Bruce Redford OUP, three volumes, £25 per volume, pp. 431, 385, 399 S amuel Johnson's letters were last collected 40 years...

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An unnecessary, rejuvenating city

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Hugo Vickers SYDNEY by Jan Morris Viking, £16.99, pp.246 T his book served me well on a visit to Australia, when I found myself giving what I had hoped would be a light and...

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A stranger

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in the Capitol James Simmons THE COLLECTED POEMS OF JOHN HEWITT edited by Frank Ormsby Blackstaff Press, Belfast, £25, pp.784 • J ohn Hewitt was born in Belfast in 1907, the...

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The passing of a gentle titan

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Daniel Johnson MY LIFE IN POLITICS by Willy Brandt Hamish Hamilton, £20, pp. 498 E arly in May 1974 I was 16, I had just arrived at a Hessian village to spend a term...

The Covetous Cat

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Because the common is remote they walk along hand in hand. On the path ahead of them some bird-lover has scattered bread and in the middle of it a plump cat crouches chewing at...

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Exhibitions The Rural Poetry of Three English Women Artists (Crane Kalman, till 14 June) Romantic Spanish Painting (Long & Ryle, till 6 June) Rural poetry comes to town Giles...

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BAIOUI (London Coliseum) Dead loss Rupert Christiansen I never got very far with Ancient Greek at school, despite the efforts of a retired Scots headmaster who came in twice...

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Basic Instinct ('18', selected cinemas) Base instinct Vanessa Letts S omeone must have rung up the boys at Titles Inc. After Fatal Attraction, Double Impact, Total Recall and...


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Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 (Barbican) From a jack to a king Christopher Edwards T he RSC's fine staging of both parts of lietuy IV has now moved into the Barbican. The separate...

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Proms problems Peter Phillips M urmur reached me even before the prospectus itself that this year's Prom sea- son was going to be dull. How quickly these rumours form and...

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Stage- Ursula Buchan L ast week I went to the theatre. I enjoyed it enormously, for it was a lively and colourful production, staged before an appreciative, even deferential,...


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Women with attitudes Martyn Harris I n Germany, according to this week's Panorama (BBC 1, 9.30 p.m., Monday), it is the height of bad manners to talk about house prices at...

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High life

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Unwarranted smear Taki his used to be a sleepy fishing village bordered on either side by Nice and Monte Carlo, with a small casino, two de-luxe hotels, a tennis club, a tiny...

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Low life

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Rattling old skeletons Jeffrey Bernard T here was a piece in last Monday's Evening Standard's Londoner's Diary about my brother Oliver, to which my attention was drawn by...

Long life

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Something rather lovely Nigel Nicolson T his, I think, is the best time of year for gardens. But I'll say that again on 20 June, 11 July and 15 September. The delight of...

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Park Hotel, Vitznau

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OF COURSE it is right and proper that food should be the restaurant critic's chief concern. But it would be foolish to insist that it alone accounted for a restaurant's appeal....

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Fruit of the land of Canaan Auberon Waugh Château Pierrail is a property on the eastern fringes of Bordeaux, beyond St Emilion. Its white wine is made from the traditional...


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cio Chateaux Wines The Green, Olveston, Bristol BS12 3DN Telephone and Fax: (0454) 613959 Price No. Value White 1. Château Pierrail 1990 12 Bois. £55.68 Macon Villages 1990...

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Sunspots? Raymond Keene T he conventional image of a chess grandmaster is that of a cold calculating machine, seeing many moves ahead and never making tactical blunders. By...


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( lx. V A RL 04 PURE HIGHLAND MALT COMPETITION Belloc country Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1727 you were given two lines by A. E. Housman and invited to carry on in your...

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A first prize of L20 and two further prizes of L10 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of Chambers English Dictionary — ring the word 'Dictionary') for the first three correct solutions...

Solution to 1056: Small print ' E 'I. A r 0

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7 WINIII 1011.00 NPITN 'i M . A T tit E KIN't tRIGANErlitt 'f A r kin . ' All ' Al r E . 2 0 1 . A 4 6 , 1LiAi.L.S.LA . T 3 8 PA A R E L L V o LE RIIVLIGIONPAREIL...

No. 1730: Spry Struldbrugs

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In the USA some people believe that soon the span of human life will be doubled, with little deterioration of the faculties towards the end. You are invited to im- agine a young...

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'Oh, I say' Frank Keating EARLIER IN the week, John Motson had admitted, 'Vocabulary, that's my biggest failing. I try very hard to think of something clever or witty to say...


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Q. My co-worker is a continual irritant, staring and looming over me with a daily barrage of criticism, self-puffery, interfer- ence and unsolicited advice. Responding increases...