17 JUNE 2000

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M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, and Jose Maria Aznar, the Prime Minister of Spain, wrote a joint article praising the 'suc- cess' of the European single currency, sin- gling...

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SPECI E ATOR The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone:

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020-7405 1706; Fax 020-7242 0603 WHIPPING THE DOCTORS H ardly a day goes by without its revela- tions of medical error or malfeasance. Indeed, to read the British press, one...

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Come on, William, give us a smile BRUCE ANDERSON F or three years, Jack Straw had a clear position on fox-hunting. While he would have been delighted if it had disappeared of...

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A rive for Aeroflot flight to Moscow Clutching a newspaper announcing that my dear, gentle brother is the United King- dom's `Spymaster'. Can't say I believe any- thing I read...

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If you want a look of profound reproach, try bumping into an elephant seal MATTHEW PARRIS anic is pointless when you are tremen- dous and have no legs; and an elephant seal...

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They've bought Rolls-Royce. They've sold Rover And now, calling the shots in the City AT the time of writing, the result of Satur- day's football match between England and...

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Lloyd Evans volunteers to canvass for the Labour party in Tottenham CALL me a fool but I like to take New Labour at its word. When I heard that 'opportunity for all' is now...

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Mind your language

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MY husband laughed in his unkind iatric way at a friend of mine who had said, 'If anything should happen to me.. Luckily he left it till after she was gone before saying, 'Of...

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Boris Johnson discovers that what gets the goat of the Labour MP Gordon Prentice is that people actually enjoy hunting WHEN the hounds have been turned into dogfood, and the...

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Philip Delves Broughton on why many Americans are not ashamed to admit they still love and revere Margaret Thatcher New York IT WAS a washed-out day, grey as dish- cloth, when...

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Banned wagon

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A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit One of the first acts of any autocracy is to ban newspapers. Though the present Prime Minister has often expressed his...

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Colonel Pinstripe on the social tensions now gripping the racing world THE Duke of Devonshire does not get about so much these days. His public pro - nouncements, never...

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THE most important single question fac- ing this countty is

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whether its disgusting, shallow, mannerless, uncouth, egotistical young people — of whom there are hun- dreds of thousands, if not millions — will grow up to be disgusting,...


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Tim Willcox joins the vets who select bulls for the corrida — and patch up their wounds Madrid IT is 11 o'clock in the morning and as we drain our second glass of fino we...

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Next, diamonds

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CAPTAIN John Bongo writes from Johan- nesburg, where he was sent by the late Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire on a mission to buy arms. This has left him with $250,000 in hand — a...

Stuart lands the odds

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I MET Stuart Wheeler at Oxford, where he was applying his disciplined mind to the odds at bridge and poker. He went on to take bets on gold. In the repressive climate of a...


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Gordon Brown stages his Good King Wenceslas act, and guess who's the lucky winner CHRISTOPHER FILDES T here must, so I thought, be a catch in it. Just answer a few simple...

Going round in cycles

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THE catch is, of course, that I have paid for my prize already. We all of us work for the Chancellor until the end of May, so I am not impressed to be told that at Christmas-...

Leave it alone

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STANDARD Life is the biggest mutually- owned life assurance office in Europe, so it must have done something right, and mutu- ality may suit it. That premise will be put to the...


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I MAY have spoken too soon in praising HSBC's prescient decision to sponsor Nor- man Foster's millennium bridge, which opened on Saturday, bounced, and has closed again. My...

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We are the guilty men who once mocked Mr Hague and are now having to eat our words STEPHEN GLOVER L et this column serve as a confessional for all those columnists who once...

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Italian bravery

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From Mr Niccolo Capponi Sir: I am of Florentine stock, but being most- ly British, Greek and Swiss, I think I can take an objective view of Nicholas Farrell's article (`The...

From Dr J.H. Ross Sir: Nicholas Farrell concludes his article

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with examples of Italian military successes and bravery. The very effective activities of the resistance groups in northern Italy in opposing the Germans during the last year of...

LETTERS Born to be gay

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From Sir Elton John, CBE Sir: I am astonished to be told by Cardinal Winning ('Why I must protest', 10 June) that my sexuality is not good for me. He argues that homosexuality...

Granny suffers too

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From Mr Clive Mather Sir: Melanie Phillips (`The rape of justice', 10 June) raises many valid points about the treatment of men by the legal system and government. There are...

From His Honour Judge Geddes Sir: 'Family court judges tend

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to force fathers to prove they are fit parents, prove they are not violent or feckless. By contrast, they assume that mothers are generally the best parent for the child to live...

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From Sir John Nutting, Bt, QC Sir: Lord Hanson is surely justified in tak- ing Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill to task (Letters, 10 June). Writing is a means of communication for...

From Mr Mark Jowitt Sir: Might I suggest the use

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of parentheses? The editor thus depicts the true statement and plays at leaving the reader the option to ignore; also denoting that the word is actually totally (fucking)...

From Mr Philip Thomas Sir: Could not the Revd John

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Fellows take a leaf out of television's Father Ted and sub- stitute lecking' should he feel the need for expletives? Phonetically the word has much the same impact, and when...

LETTERS Such a dim Cabinet

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From Mr Frederick Forsyth Sir: Mr Sion Simon's observations on the invisible shadow spokesmen (`The phantom shadow Cabinet', 10 June) were, alas, too accurate and presented with...

New Axis powers

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From Mr James Whitwell Sir I would like to hazard an answer to the question you posed to Tony Blair in your leader (10 June): 'Is Russia part of Europe?' The British response...

From Mr Rolf Norfolk Sir: I am grateful for the

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editor's invitation to offer guidance on the use of the F-word. Without wishing to be characterised as prudish, I should like to observe that it seems to me that your magazine...

Fecking euphemisms

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Sir: You invite readers (Letters, 10 June) to suggest a solution to the editorial inconsis- tency applied to the nation's favourite four- letter word. Why? May individual...

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The Rembrandt of the Parterre and a cheerful Rothschild duck pond PAUL JOHNSON L ord Rothschild's invitation to see his new carpet-bedding at Waddesdon Manor on its hilltop in...

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PM sick after course of WI treatment; spin doctor refuses to accept blame FRANK JOHNSON G MC in dock over second gynaecolo- gist: Another "Butcher" Doctor'. Thus Sat- urday's...

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THE irrational exuberance was great fun. When London finally discovered the Inter- net economy towards the end of last year, style soon began outscoring substance. From October...

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Morality and the Internet

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Beware the censors Felipe Fernandez-Armesto IS the Internet bad for you? The govern- ment certainly thinks it is bad for it. The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Bill...

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A bleak future

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Holes in the Net Michael Wolff New York WHY now? Why has a circumstance that has been perfectly open and above board throughout the present Nasdaq boom — that dotcom companies...

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Student entrepreneurs Don't let exams ruin it Harry Mount IN 1854 there was a great row over the building of the University Museum that holds Oxford's natural history...

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Online religion

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Is the Pope a Catholic? Michael McMahon LOOKING for God? Log on to the Inter- net. I did. Typing His holy name into the meta-search engine Ixquick turned up 5,612,142 hits....

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I t is strange that the name of Dr Arthur Scherbius should remain so completely unknown. The other great innovators of the Weimar Republic during the 1920s, people like Gropius...

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A case of arrested literary development

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Nicholas Fearn HOW THE DEAD LIVE by Will Self Bloomsbury, £15.99, pp. 404 R . eading a Will Self novel is uncannily like listening to someone recount their dreams of the...

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The queens across the water

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Nicky Haslam DANCING WITH THE DEVIL THE WINDSORS AND JIMMY DONAHUE by Christopher Wilson HarperCollins, £16.99, pp. 270 P oor Wallis Windsor. First she's labelled ill-born,...


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Enigma by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore It is now well known that the breaking of the German Enigma code played a crucial role in the outcome of the Second World War. To break Enigma,...

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No easy answers

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Martin Gayford LOOKING BACK AT FRANCIS BACON by David Sylvester Thames & Hudson, £29.95, pp. 272 S hould the critic be the friend of the artist, or not? The contrary argument...

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That damned elusive Pimpernel

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M. R. D. Foot SECRET SERVICE by Elizabeth Sparrow Boyden, £25, pp. 459 o r years, the Public Record Office used to say — it would be interesting to know whether tongue-in-cheek...

Getting better all the time

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James Buchan ROAD TO RICHES, OR THE WEALTH OF MAN by Peter Jay Weidenfeld, .£20, pp. 383 Ev er since economic philosophers dis- pensed with final causes, at about the time of...

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Pursued by the Furies

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Jane Gardam THE HUMAN STAIN by Philip Roth Cape, £16.99, pp. 400 W hat ish my nation?' asks the drunken, disillusioned Macmorris in Henry V after Agincourt. `Ish a villain and...

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Fractured middle-class manners

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D J. Taylor THE WILD by Esther Freud Hamish Hamilton, £14.99, pp. 256 L ike her first novel, Hideous Kinky, Esther Freud's fourth work of fiction is built on the observations...

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Charles Causley is a winner

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Susan Hill T he poet Charles Causley has won this Year's Heywood Hill Prize. The Duke of Devonshire is the benefactor. Hurrah for both, then. But it is extraordinary how this...

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I am influenced, you are influenced, the American video artist Bill Viola is influ- enced, as he acknowledges: `I think we exist on this earth,' he says, `to inspire each other,...

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Nixon returns in triumph Michael Tanner T he new production of John Adams's Nixon in China by the English National Opera is an almost unqualified triumph, making the best...

THE centenary celebrations of Surre- alist Eileen Agar (1899-1991), already

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headlined by museum exhibitions in Edinburgh and Leeds, have finally reached London with a selling show at the Redfern Gallery, which includes 'Bouquet', 1965, left (until 29...

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The Sleeping Beauty (English National Ballet) The Sleeping Beauty (The Kirov Ballet) Brace of Beauties Giannandrea Poesio C reated by the Italian dancer Enrico Cecchetti, the...


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Sweeney Todd (Bridewell) La Cava (Victoria Palace) Hard Times (Haymarket) Dreyfus (Tricycle) Brilliantly vicious Sheridan Morley A a time when huge and appalling musicals...

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Frequency (15, selected cinemas) Deliberate mistakes Mark Steyn A you may have noticed, my apprecia- tion of John Gielgud a couple of weeks ago was not exactly unblemished by...

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Free spirits Michael Vestey T here was a moment in Between Our- selves on Radio Four this week (Tuesday) when I hoped that Martin Bell, MP, and the Independent's Robert Fisk...

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Right-wing musings James Delingpole T he longer I live in Blair's hideous new Britain, the more right-wing I find myself becoming. And I don't like it particularly. First, as...

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The turf

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Courageous stayers Robin Oakley I f your selection is going to get beaten, then let it be like that. I had urged readers to back Sakhee for the Derby because he was a toughie,...

High life

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History of lies Taki W riting in the Sunday Telegraph, my old friend (and frequent recipient of Greek munificence) Geoffrey Wheatcroft says that were the Elgin Marbles to be...

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No life

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Social indicators Toby Young S hortly after I moved back to London, after five years in New York, I decided to have my flat valued. I wasn't expecting it to be worth much....

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Country life

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Daily terror Leanda de Lisle Y ou write so much that I can relate to,' I am told in a letter from rural Zimbab- we. 'You can well imagine that I am quite horrified by the...

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Singular life

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In debt to the great H.L. Petronella Wyatt I have been asked, to my astonishment, to lecture in America. Ho, ho, you snigger, which part of America? Las Vegas? Reno? South of...


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Rough justice Susanna Gross ALL AMBITIOUS bridge players dream of having a convention or tactical move named after them. Men like Sam Stayman, Oswald Jacoby and Theodore...

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t om - rom

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CUBAN CIGARS ,SPLCTATOR WINE CLUB T: 020 7730 1700 W: www.tomtom.co.uk E: tom@tomtom.co.uk St. THE Spectator Wine Club has for some years now had a most agreeable...


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c/o Yapp Brothers Limited, Wine Merchants Mere, Wiltshire BA12 6DY Tel: (01747) 860423 Fax: (01747) 860929 Email: sales@yapp.co.uk; Website: vvww.yapp.co.uk Price No. Value...

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SO, off to the Ivy_ Ha! Ha! Ho! Ho! Caught you out! Again! This time, I did go to the Ivy. I did! But enough about me. The food is the thing, after all. Don't want to waste all...

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Lead balloon Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2140 you were invited to supply an extract from an imagi- nary speech at a wedding by a best man who fails to find the right tone of...

IT IS good to see that international chess has returned

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to the city of Sarajevo. Not so long ago the place was a real battlefield; now the conflict has been confined to the 64 squares, infinitely more civilised. Sarajevo was a...

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No. 2143: Bosie and Bron

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In a recent Sunday Telegraph, two lines, one of poetry and one of prose, by Lord Alfred Douglas and Auberon Waugh, leapt at me from the page: 'Here's a short life to the man I...

Solution to 1465: Censored

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do , man 11 0 MI I ila IIR A NWT gynornignichamanann E 1:1 rirl ri riallifithil 1 ID 0 III p E 1111 c E II 12 19 il 0 In n kir' R NE T T MIMI T II E ri In d 0 15 rl 111 A...


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CROSSWORD 1 0, A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's award-winning, Late- Bottled Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 3 July, with two runners-up...

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THE England football team have become the biggest set of drama queens in national life. They are to a man so addicted to wild mood swings that they are no longer capa- ble of...


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Q. As I grow older I view with increasing irri- tation the almost universal practice of callers Prefacing any telephone conversation with a formal inquiry as to my state of...