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The Spectator

Gridlocked B ritish lorry drivers and farmers, in imitation of French action, blockaded oil refineries and drove slowly on motorways to jam traffic, in response to the rising...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 020-7405 1706; Fax 020-7242 0603 RIGHT TO REVOLT In a few days' time, perhaps, we will hardly remember that...

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The Spectator

Has Blair found his Scargill, and Hague his Militant Tendency? PETER OBORNE Like many people who have come a very long way in life, Heseltine feels ambiva- lence bordering on...

Bruce Anderson is away.

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The Spectator

TONY PARSONS Amsterdam a mam a little worried about my future, so I have come to Amsterdam to relax for a few days. Big mistake. What made me think that Amsterdam was a city...

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How we are mocked by the greedy garagiste MATTHEW PARRIS L et us salute Paul Gizzonio. The ges- ture will not be widely understood among my countrymen — I realise that — but...

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Ross Clark scrutinises the fuel protesters' case and offers a hard shoulder to cry on WHEN the English set out to imitate the French, the result is rarely convincing. To soggy...

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Lloyd Evans joins the (mainly mild-mannered) men blockading Britain AS I write this, the gravest crisis in our island story is unfolding before my eyes. The great four-star...

Mind your language

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THE most annoying new words to catch my attention this year are Wap phone. This is partly because the thing itself is annoying. More than 200,000 have been bought, and now...

Page 15


The Spectator

No Dawnay believes his old school, Eton, should not be an academic hothouse A LONG, long time ago, in the days before curriculum league tables, when everyone wore macintoshes...

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Second opinion

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IN the 1970s a Russian author called Vladimir Voinovich published a memoir of his efforts to secure a larger apartment from the authorities, which he entitled The Ivankiad....

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Peter Hitchens on the interesting new injunctions of the Church of England MOST gentle Christian souls would proba- bly agree that the politburos and supreme soviets of...

Page 20


The Spectator

Simon Sebag Monte, on Russia's treatment of the Jews Moscow WHEN Russian security forces recently arrested Vladimir Gusinsky, one of the plutocrats known as the Oligarchs, an...

Banned wagon

The Spectator

A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit WHAT you can and can't do in public places reveals much about a society. For longer than anyone can remember, the...

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The Spectator

Geoffrey Robertson says the UN is acquiring a mailed fist New York ONLY two interesting new ideas emerged from last week's Millennium summit, and one of them came from the...

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Michael Heath

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The Spectator

Do not go gentle into that good autumn this year PAUL JOHNSON T he last match of the season is over. Cricketers oil their bats thoughtfully and ponder, 'How many more in my...

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The Spectator

Mandelson, not the media, ruined the Dome STEPHEN GLOVER T he government and its supporters are blaming the media for the disaster of the Dome. Last Sunday Peter Mandelson...

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No hatchet man

The Spectator

From Mr Michael Crick Sir: In your article on Michael Heseltine (Wane course', 9 September) you say that I began work on my biography of him 'deter- mined to do a hatchet job'....

Income tax must go

The Spectator

From Mr David J. Kidd Sir: Both Andrew Gimson (`Tories: don't be slaves to the free market', 26 August) and Professor Tim Congdon (Letters, 9 Septem- ber) are wrong; for both...

Blair's pathetic lies

The Spectator

From Mr David Watkins Sir: With regard to Stephen Glover's quizzi- cal little piece on James Naughtie and Sue LETTERS MacGregor (Media studies, 9 September), BBC News's...

Nil nisi bonum

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From Diana Lamplugh, OBE Sir: Ross Clark (Banned wagon, 2 Septem- ber) is incorrect in his assertion that I have written to the Home Secretary 'demanding a change in the law to...

LETTERS The bloody price of peace

The Spectator

From Mr John O'Byrne Sir: You raise some cogent moral concerns in your leader on the Irish peace process (9 September). As you point out, the Belfast Agreement has brought...

Page 31

Sex before lunch

The Spectator

From Anne Scott-James Sir: Much as I appreciate Mary Killen's witty and ingenious solutions to problems of etiquette, I sometimes think she is too sensi- tive to the feelings of...

Hungarian wastrels

The Spectator

From Lady Belhaven and Stenton Sir: In answer to Petronella Wyatt's intem- perate rant about the Polish monks in Faw- ley Manor (Singular life, 9 September), the Polish side of...

A cleaner London

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From Councillor Judith Warner Sir: I would like to commend Mark Palmer for having the courage to ask litter-bugs to pick up and dispose of their rubbish (`IDish- ing the dirt',...

Capitalist Che

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From Paulo Lowndes Marques Sir: I was amused by Christopher Fildes's notes on Che Guevara becoming governor of the Central Bank of Cuba (City and sub- urban, 19 August)....

Sandhurst slandered

The Spectator

From Mr R.D. Vernon and others Sir: We, the undersigned, are all ex-warrant or non-commissioned officers formerly on the staff of the RMA Sandhurst. We were most disturbed to...

Spinsters to be

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From Mr John Gill Sir: Eleanor Mills's article (`Too busy to have babies', 9 September) was timely and quite shocking. These first-generation empowered ladies are cock-a-hoop....

RAF's wonder weapon

The Spectator

From Mr Peter J. Farrell Sir: As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the true story of that battle should be told. It was not the Spitfires nor the...

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The Spectator

Blair vs. Brown an epic feud that Homer would have been proud of FRANK JOHNSON T he Observer's serialisation of Mr Andrew Rawnsley's new book about the government tells how...

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The Spectator

No bid for the Dome, but it's never too late to call time on a dud CHRISTOPHER FILDES I don't think I shall bid for the Dome. I have to stop somewhere, and if its man- agement...

Open City

The Spectator

NEXT weekend, a treat. Saturday and Sun- day are Open House Days, when the City's most splendid buildings will welcome us in. The Governor will open up the Bank of England. The...

The bankers play away

The Spectator

THE townsfolk of Prague have been urged to go and stay with their relations in the country. The international Monetary Fund and World Bank are coming to town. For two years in...

Naming the profiteer

The Spectator

WE always tell the pollsters that we like pay- ing taxes. How happily would we pay more, so we say, in support of such sacred cows as the Health Service. Gordon Brown may have...

It's niX to iX

The Spectator

I MAY not have to bid for the Stock Exchange, either. There, the penny has dropped and the fiX called iX has been called off. The Exchange sees no need, after all, to tie itself...

A mug's game

The Spectator

THE STRONG pound has been mugged. Only a chalk outline on the pavement and an ugly splotch or two still show where it stood and where it fell. This will come as a shock to the...

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The Spectator

Boy's own story David Hughes LIFE IN THE JUNGLE: MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Michael Heseltine Hodder, £20, pp. 560 Y es, but what is he like? A political memoir is rarely kiss, let...

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The making of a deadly cocktail

The Spectator

John Colvin THE BALKANS by Mark Mazower Weidenfeld, £14.99, pp. 135 M ark Mazower's work, the first in the superb 'Universal History' series from this publisher, compresses the...

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Beyond God on the Riviera

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Patrick Skene Catling SUPER-CANNES by J. G. Ballard Flamingo, f16.99, pp. 392 E ver since the Japanese interned him as a small boy in wartime Shanghai, an experience so well...


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The Undergrowth of Science By Walter Gratzer 15.99 (rrp £18.99) `How do we know that our own dear professors, educators and leaders today are not swayed by false, pernicious...

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Travels with a favourite aunt

The Spectator

Anne Chisholm VIRGINIA WOOLF by Nigel Nicolson Weidenfeld, £14.99, pp. 165 hen in 1928 Virginia Woolf was writing Orlando, her tribute to her friend and lover Vita Sackville...

History is not bunk

The Spectator

John Jolliffe OLD NEW WORLD: THE OLD-FASHIONEDNESS OF AMERICA by Lucinda Lambton HatperCollins, £19.99, pp. 174 L cinda Lambton's highly personal vision of America, lovingly...

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Aiming high, scoring low

The Spectator

Nicholas Fearn THE BOOK OF KINGS by James Thackara Duckworth, £19.99, pp. 773 T he Book of Kings is written as a great novel in the old-fashioned way. It belongs to the period...

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Blind alleys and dead ends off the main road

The Spectator

John Michell THE UNDERGROWTH OF SCIENCE by Walter Gratzer OUP, £18.99, pp. 328 R eligious people are always being reminded of the dreadful things that have been done on behalf...

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The strange passion for equality

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Samuel Brittan A hurdle which some of us face with even the most serious political books is that they are written for people of the author's own persuasion. Others are welcome...

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Fact or fiction?

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Francis King THE GARDEN OF SECRETS by Juan Goytisolo Serpent's Tail, £14.99, pp. 152 T he pivot of this brief, brilliant novel, adroitly translated from the Spanish by The good...

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International marriage a la mode

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Raymond Carr DEMOCRACY IN EUROPE by Larry Siedentop Allen Lane, £18.99, pp. 254 L arry Siedentop has no doubts. Feder- alism is the right goal for Europe. But it must be truly...

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At the limits of the expressible

The Spectator

Francis Wyndham A CLUE TO THE EXIT by Edward St Aubyn Chatto, £12.99, pp. 196 E dward St Aubyn's novels are so intoxi- catingly witty that their high seriousness may not be...

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DIARY 2001

The Spectator

15 Plain 116 Initialled The Spectator 2001 Diary, hound m soft red goatskin leather, is now available at the same price as last year. Laid out with a whole week to view, Monday...

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The Spectator

Blurring the boundaries Tanya Harrod on the innovative work of Ron Arad I t is unusual for the V&A to honour a living designer with a major retrospective, and the museum has...

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The Spectator

More of the same Giannandrea Poesio soon as the curtain fell on the opening night of Irek Mukhamedov & Company last week, an elderly bal- letomane commented rather loudly,...


The Spectator

Gerrit Dou: Rembrandt's First Pupil (Dulwich Picture Gallery, London SE21, till 19 November) Fleeting beauty John Spurling T he Dutch Republic was very prosper- ous in Gerrit...

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The Spectator

Riveting Rattle Michael Tanner A rather lean operatic season at the Proms this year, with only Glyndebourne's sadly lacklustre Figaro and an lolanthe, ended magnificently with...


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The Mystery of Charles Dickens (Comedy) Hamlet (National/Lyttleton) They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (Apollo) Martin Night (King's Head) Vintage victuals Sheridan Morley L ike...

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Hell is other people Simon Hoggart T his week Big Brother (Channel 4) reaches its climax. In the same way, I sup- pose you could argue that the moment when the paint actually...

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The Spectator

A world unfurled Michael Vestey B efore leaving for a holiday in Italy I realised I had some unanswered letters and e-mails from readers to deal with, and amusing some of them...

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The turf

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A cry of pain Robin Oakley T ry as I may, I still feel a little bit sorry for myself when the horse I have backed to win finishes second. Indeed, it happens so often that I...

High life

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No regrets Taki Southampton, Long Island I have finally seen the light. Southamp- ton is a great place to be at after the great unwashed have departed. Which means September....

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No life

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Beyond words Jeremy Clarke I was just in time for the film, planting my backside in the crimson tip-up seat as the lights went dim. Before they were total- ly extinguished I...

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Country life

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In for the long haul Leanda de Lisle T here was a time when small business- men looked to the Conservative party to champion their interests, and workers to the Labour party....


The Spectator

Classic subterfuge Susanna Gross IT CAME as no surprise to learn the other day that 'Nasty Nick', whose duplicitous behaviour on Big Brother won him such renown, is a keen...

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The Spectator

CUBAN CIGARS SPECTATOR WINE CLUB T: 020 7730 1790 W: www.tomtom.co.uk E: tom@tomtom.co.uk 63 Elizabeth St. London SW1 W9PP Nicholas Soames READERS of this column will, I...


The Spectator

do Corney & Barrow Limited, 12 Helmet Row, London EC1V 3TD Tel: (020 7) 539 3200 Fax: (020 7) 608 1373 email: christine.baldwin@corbar.co.uk Price No. Value White Domaine...

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Rdbe The Ultimate Islay Malt.

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CHESS izdbeq www.ardbeg.corn Beholder's eye Raymond Keene WORLD Championship matches often pro- duce outstanding examples of chess art, despite the fact that the players...


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Old Roman dozen Jaspistos In Competition No. 2153 you were given 12 words or phrases to incorporate into a plausible piece of prose, in any order. I owe this competition to...

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Solution to 1478: Off course

The Spectator

pa d ers.A A • On A T fl1111111 R O rb p rinri rifi r l eimihmir e rivieriTo Ell E P A 1111 . i ,, L . 14 ,„ AIRE nd deel I 1 . RIM 11 MI% G L narl u T T p 1 s JENA T d m...


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\ I \ 1481: Double vision by Doc A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's award-winning, Late- Bottled Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 2 October,...

No. 2156: Wobbly verse

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The famously bad Scotch poet, McGonagall, wrote a poem on the ill-fated Tay bridge. You are invited to supply a poem he might have written on the Millennium bridge. Maximum 12...

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The Spectator

Slow motion, high glamour Simon Barnes IT was one of my longer and more convo- luted anxiety dreams — something to do with lost accreditation and then getting lost myself. It...


The Spectator

Q. My sister has indulged her husband's neuroses to the extent that he now declares it physically impossible to get up in the morning unless someone coaxes him awake by bringing...