16 MAY 1998

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The Spectator

M r Robin Cook, the Foreign Secre- tary, said that there had been `no ministeri- al approval for the activities of Sandline', a company that helped restore to power Pres- ident...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 A TRUANT DISPOSITION T he government is to deploy much coercion — police and...

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AMANDA FOREMAN T he Internet may be agonisingly slow at t imes, but it hasn't deterred me from wast- ing large chunks of the day in search of npw websites. It's how I keep up...

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It is time that Mr Blunkett gave Mr Cook some homework guidelines BRUCE ANDERSON T he debating skills which have often served Robin Cook well came to his rescue on Tuesday. He...

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Edward Heathcoat Amory on the Thatcherite Sainsbury who presided over a rise, and the Blairite one who quit after a fall THIS is a tale of two cousins, some honest English...

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Damien McCrystal on why double-barrelled names are no longer good for business IT IS ALWAYS a dicey business identify- ing a trend, but I think that the double- barrelled name...

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New Hampshire THE first Jeep I ever bought caught fire on the Fourth of July a few years back. At the time, my loved one and I were in the midst of a heated argument when she...

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Petronella Wyatt discovers that Dr Carey has just consulted the notorious Mr Clifford THE ARCHBISHOP of Canterbury has been to see Max Clifford. Dr Carey recent- ly consulted...

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Max Davidson says that on stage, screen and in print it's now impossible to escape swearing THERE is a revealing moment in the new Woody Allen film, Deconstructing Harry....

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Mind your language

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WHY, Professor Antony Flew asks me, do Anthonys such as the Prime Minis- ter spell their names with an h? This stumped me. As the philosophi- cal professor points out, the name...

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Peter Hall shows how a 1905 play is about this week's news IT HAS been the week of Arms for Sierra Leone. It has also, to my joy, been the week when George Bernard Shaw once...

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Michael Heath

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Sue Cameron says that the Sierra Leone affair will encourage the government to create an Americanised' civil service THE ROW over what Foreign Office offi- cials did or did...

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The newspaper editor, the police and the dyslexic teenage girl PAUL JOHNSON T he great forensic miracle of our age is the improvement of public order in New York City, which...

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If George Shultz had known this would happen, he would have sat on his tiger CHRISTOPHER FILDES B irmingham is not my idea of where to spend a weekend, and certainly not this...

The Pru lays an egg

The Spectator

I GRAVELY fear that the Prudential has been overrun by logo merchants. These plagues of business life must have crept in when the Pm hit on the idea of starting its own bank....

Stuffed again

The Spectator

BUMPING and boring in racing's big race. The new chairman of the British Horserac- ing Board is Peter Savill, which was not the result that the Jockey Club intended. The...

A treeful of owls

The Spectator

PROFESSOR Charles Goodhart came back from an arduous lambing season on his Exmoor farm and felt better. So he changed his mind about interest rates, and took the view that they...

A better class of enemy

The Spectator

THE APTEST tribute to Ian Hay Davison was the list of those not present when, this week, he collected the Founding Societies Award, his fellow accountants' highest accolade....

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Summit table

The Spectator

Sir: I have been following with interest the correspondence on the subject of restau- rants in Cardiff (Letters, 9 May). It is sim- ply not true that there is only one restau-...

Sir: As a fellow Welshman I normally have nothing but

The Spectator

admiration for the journalism of Sion Simon. His restaurant review of Le Monde in Cardiff was excellent and spot on (Restaurants as theatre, 18 April). However, I am afraid I...

LETTERS Bell toll

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Sir: It may well be true that the publication of Gitta Sereny's study of Mary Bell, Cries Unheard, cannot be justified in terms of the distress caused to the victims' families....

Ugly greed

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Sir: One doesn't become and remain a Spectator subscriber (as I am) just to read articles one agrees with, but the silliness of Sion Simon does raise the blood tempera- ture a...

Boxing Glover

The Spectator

Sir: As one autodidact to another, allow me to express my growing irritation with your media commentator, Stephen Glover. The fact is, he has annoyed me for years. Now, though,...

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Mr Mandelson the Palmerston of our time (the Disraeli too) STEPHEN GLOVER S omething extraordinary has happened at the Express. I have already written about it elsewhere but I...

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Order in the House of Mammon Bevis Hillier SOTHEBY'S: BIDDING FOR CLASS by Robert Lacey Little, Brown, £20, pp. 354 here are just a few living writers whose work, when you...


The Spectator

(52 issues) 12 Months 6 Months (26 issues) UK 0 £97.00 0 £49.00 Europe Cl £109.00 0 £55.00 USA LI US$161 Cl US$82 Australia ❑ Aus$225 ❑ Aus$113 Rest of World ❑...

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Sotheby's: Bidding for Class by Robert Lacey The inside story of Sotheby's and the great auction wars, from the 18th century to the Windsor sale. Robert Lacey has not only...

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The eternal thickening plot

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Nigel Spivey CONSPIRACY by Daniel Pipes Free Press /Simon & Schuster, £16.99, pp, 258 H illary Clinton's claim of a right-wing plot to supply a trail of sleaze-raddled houris...

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Lies, money, ghosts and dirt

The Spectator

Helen Osborne BENEATH MULHOLLAND by David Thomson Little, Brown, £20, pp. 300 I t's the Pacific Blues,' said Christopher Isherwood when I mentioned that my sunny disposition...

Four studies in scarlet

The Spectator

William Fiennes RIVERS OF BLOOD, RIVERS OF GOLD by Mark Cocker Cape, £20, pp. 416 W hen stout Cortes marched on Tenochtitlan in November 1519, the popu- lation of the Mexican...

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It's the culture as well as the market

The Spectator

Robert Oakeshott THE WEALTH AND POVERTY OF NATIONS by David Landes Little, Brown, £20, pp. 650 In countries like India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nigeria and Ghana, I have always...

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Great Whig glamour puss

The Spectator

Simon Sebag-Montefiore GEORGIANA, DUCHESS OF DEVONSHIRE by Amanda Foreman HaiperCollins, £19.99, pp. 463 A manda Foreman's biography of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire is a...

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What Bobs knew

The Spectator

Jonathan Keates DREAM CHILDREN by A. N. Wilson John Murray, £15.99, pp. 218 S omebody somewhere has clearly desig- nated 1998 the Intemational Year of the Paedophile. We are...

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A painter's painter but popular

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth JOHN SINGER SARGENT: THE EARLY PORTRAITS by Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray Yale, £35, pp. 278 T he American painter John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) was...

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Let them be Don't ask pop stars for their opinions, leave them to their music, says Marcus Berkmann S o farewell, then, Cool Britannia. Though you have left us, no one is quite...

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Masters of Light: Dutch Painters from Utrecht in the Golden Age (National Gallery, till 2 August) Tender touches Martin Gayford I t is surprising how much remains to be...

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Theatre 1

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Cleansed (Royal Court) Saturday Night Fever (Palladium) Piling up the horrors Sheridan Morley W ere we now to compile a profit and loss account for the director Stephen...

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Theatre 2

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Bad Weather (RSC, The Other Place, Stratford) Rough crossing James Treadwell H ere's an outline of what happens in Robert Holman's Bad Weather. Three teenagers from...

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Lolita (18, selected cinemas) Unacceptable love Mark Steyn T hree years after Lolita was published in 1955, Hollywood had no problems with Louis Jourdan salivating over ......

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Would Banks approve? Ursula Buchan T here are many things for which we should be grateful to Sir Joseph Banks, the explorer and botanist. In 1804, together with the son of...

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Fighting talk Michael Vestey I am not a hearty but I have hearty ten- dencies. Normally, and prudently, I keep them suppressed but occasionally, as with a late father-in-law...

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The turf

The Spectator

Losing a friend Robin Oakley I t was a Chas 'n' Dave tape on the way to the Lingfield Derby Trial (we all have weaknesses and cockney rock is one of mine) which finally...

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High life

The Spectator

Out of control Taki t has rained 12 days in a row in the Bagel, and, when I say rain, I mean rain. None of that spitting London stuff. Thanks to El Nino, this has been...

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Country life

The Spectator

Animal magic Leanda de Lisle The stockman muttered something about regulations and cursed the supermarkets which proved to be the theme of the day. `Is she organic?' I asked,...


The Spectator

Aces first Andrew Robson ONE relatively common situation that all bridge players hate facing is whether to lead an unsupported ace against a slam. The more distributional the...

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The Spectator

I HAVE discovered the most effective diet in the world — so simple anyone can follow it. All you have to do is run a marathon and follow that up with a trapped nerve in your...

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Imperative cooking: dangerous mummies

The Spectator

THE beef on the bone episode is a clear warning that we cooks and eaters are not going to be left alone. Food has been a quiet backwater until now untouched by politics. The...

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Fifty years back Raymond Keene THIS WEEK I celebrate the achievement of the Soviet grandmaster Mikhail Botvin- nik in winning the world championship half a century ago. In...


The Spectator

Bouts limes Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2033 you were asked for a sonnet with given end-rhymes in a given order. The tenner I offered for the source of the end-rhymes...

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Solution to 1359: Cold medals manhari • E We pm,. o i l_ rl

The Spectator

mon Ala I norR '% I, pp P 1 EMI V 19 II a R la NOB L E 11 II i t A 11 I riremme E '6 R ,EIrRnoiE SIRED 1 A L Delp or 0 la mg w Cm emone owienv n A ad E 14 uriemirtuou r...

No. 2036: Queer trade

The Spectator

Membership of G.K. Chesterton's fictional Club of Queer Trades was confined to per- sons who have invented a novel, eccentric way of earning a living: the trade must be the sole...

W r& J .

The Spectator

GRAHAM ' S P C.) R T CROSSWORD A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 1 June, with two runners-up prizes of...

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Horse sense Simon Barnes LESTER Piggott is not a sentimental man. But even he is guilty of it. Anthropomor- phism, I mean. His brutally unsentimental statements about horses...


The Spectator

Dear Mary.. . Q. May I pass on a tip to readers? When we go out to dinner locally, rather than hiring a baby-sitter for the night, we save the money by bringing our...