17 OCTOBER 1998

Page 6


The Spectator

M r Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the week after the Bank of England had cut interest rates by a quar- ter of a percentage point, declared that he would not...

Page 7


The Spectator

The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 FARM IT OUT T en thousand miners marching through the streets of Blackpool during...

Page 8


The Spectator

How their Lordships ought to conduct their fight in the last ditch BRUCE ANDERSON It follows, therefore, that constitutional questions should be approached with humil- ity....

Page 9


The Spectator

n the night train from Moscow to Smolensk, I shared a compartment with a white-haired psychopath who sat on the bunk opposite in his Y-fronts and stared at me with burning eyes....

Page 10


The Spectator

For posterity, the problem is not indiscreet diarists, but discreet sources FRANK JOHNSON T hey have been in the Sunday Times these last two weeks. As I write, the last...

Page 11


The Spectator

Alison Weir explains what lies behind yet another surge of interest in Elizabeth I She has ever been so. Since she came to the throne in 1558, Eliza- beth I has endlessly fas-...

Page 12

Mind your language

The Spectator

I WAS wrapped up in a sort of horse blanket and standing in a field with Veronica by my side on the night of Thursday last week, ready to look at the spectacular shower of...

Page 13


The Spectator

Mark Steyn on some of the novel arguments of Mr Clinton's defenders New Hampshire AND ON it goes: a vote to inquire into impeachment, followed by a vote to impeach, followed...

Page 15


The Spectator

Irwin Stelzer on how the economy is changing the relative importance of Mr Brown and Mr Mandelson THE REVISIONISTS haven't waited until Gordon Brown leaves office; he has gone...

Page 16

Second opinion

The Spectator

I HESITATE to bring my own suffer- ings, terrible though they undoubtedly are, before the reading public, but I am actuated by a profound sense of duty in doing so. It would be...

Page 18


The Spectator

Toby Young on what suddenly made two unknown Britons known to all Manhattan New York WITHIN the small, close-knit group of British expats living here, something approximating a...

Page 19


The Spectator

Piers Paul Read speculates that Paul Johnson might be a heretic who risks excommunication ALTHOUGH I have known Paul Johnson for around 30 years, I cannot claim to be a...

Page 20


The Spectator

I HAVE lost count of the number of times I have expressed my strongly held view that electoral reform is central to the New Labour project. Roy Jenkins has convinced Mr Blair...

Page 24


The Spectator

Michael Heath


The Spectator

Henry McDonald dissents from his fellow liberal journalists' admiration for Dr Mowlam's performance ONE of the first people to shake hands with Mo Mowlam on her maiden visit to...

Page 26


The Spectator

Shaping up for a new moral catastrophe in the 21st century PAUL JOHNSON Strictly speaking, human germ-line engi- neering — altering a human sperm or egg to effect changes...

Classifieds — pages 68-70

The Spectator

Page 27

Sir: Richard Lamb assures us that Edward Heath is correct,

The Spectator

Frank Johnson is wrong and Munich was a disaster. But a disaster for whom? We now know, of course, what Hitler thought of Munich in retrospect (early 1945): 'From the military...

Our year of grace

The Spectator

Sir: Richard Lamb makes some telling points in support of the view that 'Britain and France were far stronger vis-à-vis Hitler in 1938 than in 1939' (Letters, 10 October), but...

LETTERS Tricks of memory

The Spectator

Sir: Simon Hoggart's article about the Troubles (The Thirty Years War', 10 Octo- ber) contained little to surprise regular readers of his Guardian column. In writing about...

Lady of the Left

The Spectator

Sir: I return to England after a month in France to find that the usual low standards prevail, exemplified by Sion Simon's child- ish abuse quoted by Liz Davies (Letters, 3...

Radio gaga

The Spectator

Sir: What is wrong with the BBC? Michael Vestey (Arts, 3 October) describes the technical incompetence and perverse rescheduling on Radio Four. I wonder if he has overheard the...

Page 28

Wrong sex

The Spectator

Sir: Michael Heath's 'amusing cover' on your 10 October issue has indeed been a conversation piece. I asked the man in my life, 'Why are all the images used to depict sex and...

The mysteries of recall

The Spectator

Sir: To return to that line from Phedre, Simon Gray energetically reminds us that it comes from a play and provides an admirable sketch of the dramatic context (Letters, 10...

Germany's debt

The Spectator

Sir: Mr von Reimann is asking for justice for the Prussians who for the most part fled before the advancing Russian armies (Let- ters, 10 October). He might reflect on the fact...

Good karma

The Spectator

Sir: Although I have been only recently persuaded of the religious advantages of Hinduism, I cannot be alone in concluding that in my next life a reincarnation as David...


The Spectator

Sir: Attending my first Conservative party conference in Bournemouth last week, I was more than a little disappointed to find that my car, which was parked in the Stakis Hotel...

Sullied scribes

The Spectator

Sir: 'Absolute lack of power corrupts abso- lutely ... ' (Pierre Trudeau's comment on a Canadian journalist). Practitioners of today's investigative jour- nalism get out of...

The uses of literacy

The Spectator

Sir: How ungrateful of my former 'brother officer', Nicholas Lunt (Letters, 3 Octo- ber), to imply that I am, or was, illiterate. If he were to cast his mind back, he might...

LETTERS Acute embarrassment

The Spectator

Sir: Ian Ousby is right to reprove me for allowing the illiteracy `marechale' to appear in The First World War, which he reviewed last week (Books, 10 October). He is wrong,...

Page 30


The Spectator

Nice Mr Rusbridger sets that rough Camilla on us again STEPHEN GLOVER M y column last week about the Guardian contained an error which I shall come to. Let me first describe...

Page 32


The Spectator

Opium and oblivion Philip Hensher COLERIDGE: DARKER REFLECTIONS by Richard Holmes HarperCollins, £19.99, pp. 584 A t the end of Peter Weir's magnificent new film, The Truman...

All books reviewed in The Spectator are available through THE

The Spectator

SPECTATOR BOOKSHOP Tel: 0541 557 288

Page 33

DIARY 1999

The Spectator

£14 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 diary is 5" x...

Page 34

What dire effects from civil discords flow

The Spectator

Keith Cooper A HOUSE DIVIDED by Mary Allen Simon & Schuster, £16.99, pp. 304 F rustratingly, my review copy of Mary Allen's diaries had no index. Well, if you had worked with...

Page 35

A choice of first novels

The Spectator

Sophie Ratcliffe T hey're all in it, in Daniel Menaker's The Treatment (Faber, £9.99, pp. 269). Set in a Therapy Central pre-Prozac New York, Jake Singer, a depressed...

Page 38

A liberal icon

The Spectator

Maurice Cowling ISAIAH BERLIN by Michael Ignatieff Chatto, £20, pp. 338 I saiah Berlin was born in Tsarist Russia in 1909 and was brought up by adoring par- ents in Riga,...


The Spectator

RATES 12 Months 6 Months (52 issues) (26 issues) UK 0 £97.00 U £49.00 Europe CI £109.00 U £55.00 USA U US$161 0 US$82 Australia ❑ Aus$225 ❑ Aus$113 Rest of World CI £119.00 0...

Page 39

The flash of the knife

The Spectator

Anne Chisholm THE JOURNALIST AND THE MURDERER by Janet Malcolm Papermac, .E12, pp. 176 I t is not easy for other journalists and biographers to know what to make of Janet...

Page 40

How, why and wow!

The Spectator

Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy UNWEAVING THE RAINBOW by Richard Dawkins Penguin, £20, pp. 337 W ith a profound, completely original thesis to unfold, as in The Selfish Gene, Richard...


The Spectator

BookoftheWeek ft. Save E3 16.99 (rrp £19.99) Coleridge: Darker Reflections The first volume of Richard Holmes' biography of Coleridge, Coleridge: Early Visions, won the...

Page 41

The passing of Arthur

The Spectator

Cressida Connolly PRECIOUS LIVES by Margaret Forster Chatto, £16.99, pp. 232 O urs is not to reason why, ours but to do and die, is about as unfashionable an idea as hot...

Page 42

A cool father of fifteen

The Spectator

L. G. Mitchell GEORGE III S ubtitled 'a personal history', here is a biography that is a compilation of pleasant anecdotes. All the difficult bits are left out. Although its...

Excellent fun in Papua New Guinea

The Spectator

Philip Glazebrook THROWIM WAY LEG by Tim Flannery Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 326 T his jaunty book is an account by the Australian biologist Tim Flannery of 16 vis- its to Papua New...

Page 43

A choice of recent thrillers

The Spectator

Harriet Waugh R uth Rendell's A Sight for Sore Eyes (Hutchinson, £16.99) is a departure from her other psychological thrillers. There is a pithy, grim, satirical edge to her...

Page 44

A perfectionist in the wilds of Bohemia

The Spectator

David Hughes FRINK by Stephen Gardiner HarperCollins, £24.99, pp. 326 W hen in 1972 Elisabeth Frink suggest- ed 'doing my head', as she put it, I carried my bonce proudly...

Page 45

A short tall story

The Spectator

Nick Harman ZARAFA by Michael Allin Headline, £12.99, pp. 215 I f you think beauty is to do with due proportion, consider the giraffe and think again. The child was right to...

Page 46


The Spectator

Bringing Europe to England Simon Blow on how Henry James persuaded John Singer Sargent to go to London J ohn Singer Sargent must have con- tributed to Henry James's...

Page 47


The Spectator

Kaleidoscope of life Alastair Macaulay C ommon sense tells you that the avant- garde artists of yesterday ought to turn into the retrograde artists of today. With Merce...

Page 48


The Spectator

Beyond Minimalism (Royal Academy, till 1 November) Tony Fretton (Architectural Association, till 31 October) Communing with nature Alan Powers A soon as a style label is...

Page 50

Exhibitions 1

The Spectator

Aubrey Beardsley (Victoria & Albert Museum, till 10 January) Explicit eroticism Martin Gayford A ubrey Beardsley, the Studio observed percipiently in 1893, 'distilled the...

Page 52

Exhibitions 2

The Spectator

A surfeit of rapture Roger Kimball W hat if Vincent van Gogh hadn't suf- fered from epilepsy, hadn't cut off part of his ear after a quarrel with Gauguin, hadn't, at the age...

Page 54


The Spectator

Rich relations Susan Moore I t was always said in the Eighties that everything had its price. No more. Now even the auction houses have become rather choosy, preferring to...

Exhibitions 3

The Spectator

I Della Robbia e 1"arte nuova' della scultura invetriata (Basilica di Sant'Alessandro, Fiesole, till 1 November) Family business Bruce Boucher L cy Honeychurch, the heroine...

Page 56


The Spectator

Mary Stuart (Coliseum) Hard act to follow Michael Tanner E NO's opening performance of their new production of Mary Stuart began 46 hours after the Royal Opera's GOtterdlim-...


The Spectator

You and yews Ursula Buchan T he village has been slow to catch Mil- lennium Fever. Although invited, even exhorted, by both parish council and parochial church council to...

Page 57


The Spectator

West Side Story (Prince Edward) A Huey P Newton (Barbican) A weary retread Sheridan Morley T he imminence of a recession can often be judged in direct proportion to the num-...

Page 58


The Spectator

A Perfect Murder (15, selected cinemas) Missing the point Mark Steyn T he first thing Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder has going for it is a hit title, which is about 30...

Page 59


The Spectator

Sixties twaddle Michael Vestey W hen, in 1966, I fancied myself as a drama critic, I was sent by a magazine, London Life, to review a play called US or `us' staged at the...


The Spectator

Hymn to a small town Edward Heathcoat Amory I n small-town America, if we believe Hollywood's cinematic anthropologists, children are born into home-made popcorn American...

Page 60

The turf

The Spectator

Poor old Rhaps Robin Oakley Y ou don't go to Worcester for cham- pagne and caviar, more the sustaining curry and chips available in the main bet- ting-hall bar. (Indeed you...

Page 61

High life

The Spectator

Struggling writers Taki Soldier's Daughter Never Cries, an autobiographical novel about growing up as the daughter of the author James Jones, has inspired the latest film by...

Page 62

Country life

The Spectator

Lessons in loving Leanda de Lisle M y mother-in-law has a series of pho- tographs of her eldest son as a toddler, looking very blond and angelic, with a fluffy little chick...


The Spectator

A tiny error Andrew Robson IT was breakfast time when Edith Dawson collected her prize for winning the Individ- ual Tournament at the summer bridge teachers' jamboree. While...

Page 63


The Spectator

0.: BLACKPOOL AND BOURNEMOUTH N N `N.N. Alice Thomson LONDON, Paris, New York. Breakfast at Claridge's, lunch at La Coupole, dinner at Le Cirque. The life of a fashion...

Page 64

By Jennifer Paterson

The Spectator

Oz and under I HAVE been away again in Australia and Jamaica, hence my lack of a contribution last month. I was so involved with various forms of jet-lag that I totally forgot...

Page 66


The Spectator

Patagonia rules OK? Jaspistos RECENTLY the self-styled King of Pata- gonia, a Frenchman, with an army of four `marines' formally occupied an uninhabited islet for a day. In...


The Spectator

Saint Matthew Raymond Keene IN SPITE of having sent what is most likely their strongest team ever to the Olympiad, England (officially designated the British Chess Federation...

Page 67


The Spectator

A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 2 November, with two run- ners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, the...

Solution to 1381: Sundry

The Spectator

org ' A 0E10 4 ad im prom % R E 1113 Linn Un LI El id Tie a . n , 14 E R R riaridECIUM DENACCIECIa ", ri v ide III L. On 0 CI no E An imam A 1311MCMCIUEM L einallar...

No. 2058: Mental slugging

The Spectator

You are invited to provide a radio com- mentary, in the breathless style of a boxing or football commentator, describing a 'lightning' chess match in which each con- testant has...

Page 71


The Spectator

Winter promise Simon Barnes I THINK on the whole it's my favourite race of the year, the Dewhurst Stakes this weekend, a handful of horses hammering down the brutal...


The Spectator

Dear Mary.. . Q. Your correspondent in Sydney wanted to know how to ascertain someone's age without causing offence. This is how it can be done. Say, 'Think of a number (say...