18 APRIL 1992

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`Pick yourselves up, brush yourselves down, and start all over again.' T he Conservative Party was returned to power for a fourth term with an overall majority of 21 seats in...

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SPECTATOR The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London Wel N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 LEFT OVER M r Kinnock's decision to resign the Labour...


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12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £71.00 0 £35.50 Europe (airmail) 0 £82.00 0 £41.00 USA Airspeed 0 US$110 0 US$55.00 Rest of Airmail 0 £98.00 0 £49.00 World Airspeed 0 £82.00 0 £41.00...

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Wanted: a few years of good old-fashioned Treasury government SIMON HEFFER I f you are fed up with reading about how the election result means that government policies must be...

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DOMINIC LAWSON N ext time I want to know who will win a general election I shall consult Jeffrey Bernard. About two weeks before polling day our Low life. correspondent placed...

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But who are these other people with our beloved in his garden? AUBERON WAUGH W en I first saw pictures of the Com- mercial Union Building next door to the Baltic Exchange in...

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John Patten argues that fear of damnation and hope of redemption must return, if Britain is to become civilised again This growth in secularisation, so evident since the second...

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A reader received this letter from the Enzian Ski Squash Golf Hotel in Ziirs, Austria: Sehr geehrte Familie Ashworth, Our well-feeling recipe, Take your best humour, go to the...

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the Maastricht treaty could be destroyed by the Irish hatred of abortion Brussels MR JUSTICE Rory O'Hanlon, until this week president of the Irish state Law Reform Commission,...

One hundred years ago

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SIR,—Among the educated classes, it is not the fact that the girls with money marry and the girls without money do not, but both alike frequently remain in spinsterhood. One...

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Not one serious piece of legislation has been passed since October's first fully free elections, reports Roger Boyes Warsaw THE OTHER day Jan Maria Rokita, a Polish MP with a...

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James Bartholomew on the shattered pride of the world's most overpraised economies FIRST GERMANY, now Japan. We have lost our last economic heroes. So many have already fallen...

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John Simpson defends the BBC against a muttering campaign from the fringes of the Conservative Party I CLIMBED out of the car, my legs cramped after being driven at 110 mph...

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SUBSIDIES! Geoffrey Wansell denounces pleas for government funds from his fellow British film producers EVERY SPRING the scene is depressing- ly familiar: at the British Film...

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If symptoms persist.. .

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I WAS consulted last week by a young patient whose mother was 'under the doctor with elliptic feet'. I was slightly puzzled by this information. Surely, if she were under...

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Robert Low explains why he horrified his friends and colleagues and voted Conservative ON 9 APRIL I strolled round the corner to my polling station in the Afro- Caribbean Day...

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A danger of tales left untold PAUL JOHNSON O ne of life's most agreeable pleasures, now in danger of disappearing, is reading a skilfully turned-out, highly professional short...

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Dews on the Rialto

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THE Corporation of London — which has learned to stand up for its ratepayers — is putting £1.5 million behind a campaign to bring Europe's central bank to the City. A subtler...


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The 'Treasury needs a man to say no or not tonight, Virginia CHRISTOPHER FILDES T he Chief Secretary must sit on the Treasury's cash-box until the iron enters into his soul....

Brass bands

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TREASURY ministers contemplating the path of virtue are tempted aside by an ignis fatuus, or bubble of marsh gas, known to its infatuated followers as the Narrow Bands. It is...

Can do better

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PETER LILLEY never looked comfortable in Whitehall's fastest revolving chair. Now centrifugal force and a: change of fashion have whirled him out of the Department of Trade and...

Bombed out

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I AM SAD at the destruction of the Baltic Exchange. An opulent mercantile cathedral built of purple marble, it seemed to reflect the Greek Orthodox taste of its ship-own- ing...

Cautionary tales

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IT WAS a good election for Hilaire Belloc and his Cautionary Tales. John Major must have read the tale of Jim, who ran away from his nurse and was eaten by a lion. The...

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Doubtful beneficiaries Sir: Your paean for Professor Hayek ('A heroic life', 28 March) so moved me that I felt it deserved a wider distribution, partic- ularly among those who...

Rosy memory

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Sir: Paul Johnson's weekly pastiche of blimp clichés is often delightfully subver- sive. But was the dear old Empire really red on maps (And another thing, 10 April)? 1 remember...

Sir: Robert Brenton Betts is, in my humble opinion, the

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gentleman in error. To the best of my knowledge, the 'doggerel' does in fact refer to the Lowells, the old Boston family which produced (among others) the poet Robert Lowell....

Diary tactics

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Sir: Keith Waterhouse (Diary, 14 March) asks what the policy of Spectator readers is on removing the names of dead persons from their address books. For what it is worth, mine...

Juicy fry-up

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Sir: I am a little surprised that the editor of Cosmopolitan should know so little about the 'grisly trade' in placentas produced by Russia's wholesale abortions but sympa-...

Poor defence

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Sir: The Revd Anthony Symondson SJ states that he initiated a process of reform at the Converts' Aid Society during the time in which he acted as secretary, 1966-8 (Letters, 4...

Talking to God

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Sir: While reluctant to contradict a fellow American in the correspondence columns of a foreign publication (Letters, 4 April), Robert Brenton Betts is in error when he says...

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A myth is as good as a male Hilary Mantel SHAKESPEARE AND THE GODDESS OF COMPLETE BEING by Ted Hughes Faber, f18.99, pp.5 17 I n an interview in the recent anthology New...

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Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears

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Francis King THE MOMENT UNDER THE MOMENT by Russell Hoban Cape, £14.99, pp. 260 B y his own admission in his foreword to this collection of stories, essays, sketches and a...

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Sometimes I sits and thinks . . .

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Nigel Spivey DIDEROT: A CRITICAL BIOGRAPHY by P.N. Furbank Secker & Warburg, £25, pp. 524 D iderot saw himself as a second Socrates. It is a sign of failed aspirations that,...

A Novel in Three Quatrains

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Once she was thin, and given to hysterics. She missed her meals and claimed to have TB, But rallied through a taste for aging clerics; Sat at some righteous feet; scraped a...

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Take with a pinch of salt

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Cressida Connolly PILLARS OF GOLD by Alice Thomas Ellis Viking, £14.99, pp. 181 T his novel is the literary equivalent of good plain cooking. It is reassuringly famil- iar and...

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Adders Multiplying (A Prothalamion)

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A sudden movement, then a startling sight — There in the grass two adders reared erect Affording me a rare chance to inspect Their Op-art, zig-zap markings, black on white. Two...

Minding his own business

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Christopher Edwards C oleridge wrote 'There have been three silent revolutions in England; — first, when the professions fell off from the Church; secondly, when literature...

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Looking back on Lucky Jim

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David Lodge The following is a shortened version of an introduction to a new edition of Lucky Jim which Penguin are publishing this week in their 'Twentieth Century Classics'...

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I help the midwife make the bed, a sheet Of

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plastic first, to keep the mattress clean, And then the draw-sheet, folded twice. I void The thought of beds they dig by spade and fix My mind on how to count the gaps between...

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Photography Innocent pleasures Tanya Harrod Faces with Voices: Portraits from an English Community (Gainsborough's House, Sudbury, Suffolk, till 21 June) T here are ways and...

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The concerts this season are given in St John's Smith

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Square by the Tallis Scholars (6 May), the Nash Ensemble (20 May) and the Songmakers' Almanac (3 June), who take as their cue Zweig's vision of a united Europe. The lectures...


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Treasure trove Peter Phillips T he Stefan Zweig series of concerts lec- tures and exhibitions, sponsored annually by the British Library, is surely one of the more imaginative...

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Joan Eardley (Mercury Gallery, till 9 May) Brian Ballard (Waterman Fine Art, till 30 April) Sven Berlin (Belgrave Gallery, till 23 April) Armed for warfare Giles Auty J oan...


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Pygmalion (Olivier) Trapped on the ascent Christopher Edwards T his is a splendidly produced revival of Shaw's Pygmalion. It will give support to those who believe this play...

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Enormous baked potato Hardy Amies enjoys a rousing production at the Easter Festival T here was as great a feeling of relief here on the first night of Solti's Salzburg regime...

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Hook (`U', Odeon Leicester Square) Sexual hang-up Vanessa Letts I f children of your acquaintance prevail upon you to take them to the cinema, this is what you can expect of...

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Shock tactics Ursula Buchan There is something faintly amusing about other people's puppy problems, I know. Ha ha, silly fools, we say, they should have thought about the...


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Classic ingredients Martyn Harris W henever I consider murdering one of my nearest and dearest it is always the images of the Edwardian murder which occur. The drop of arsenic...

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High life

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Party politics Taki T New York wo great parties back to back is as much as one can wish for nowadays, but with an upset election victory thrown in for good measure, the week...

Long life

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The great diagonal Nigel Nicolson Sydney s urprisesurprise myself by this address. Previ- ously I had never been further east than Calcutta nor further south than Miami. Now...

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111 111 11111111t1111111 111 1

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Mega-Kalamaras IT'S STRANGE to think that Greek food was once held in exactly the fashionable, awed esteem now reserved only for Italian cooking at its most robustly rustic....

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The good, the cheap and the won ky Auberon Waugh I THINK we've seen this Château de la Tuilerie Blanc before. It has come from the Costieres de Nimes — a fairly new...


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c/o Averys of Bristol Ltd 7 Park Street, Bristol BS1 5NG Tel: (0272) 214141 Fax: (0272) 221729 White 1. Code No. 118 Château de la Tuilerie Price No. iihie 1990 12 Rots....

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Three sisters Raymond Keene I t is somewhat surprising for me that until recently there has been no book in English on the three prodigious Polgar sisters from Budapest, the...


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12 YEAR OLD SCOTCH WHISKY COMPETITION 03.VAS R EG 4t 12 YEAR OLD SCOTCH WHISKY A is for . . • Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1723 you were in- vited to produce a 26-line...

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Solution to 1052: Aintree iik, 0 nrr a E on

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A in 0 rhinnil don n niljr En on d on R on 1 0 nr It i r r hifinr1 11111r till . NI on lei . mom a o a illiarnOmildn adorergAmnA TnirrrriiiirtrI rico n 8 0 Pr Inl E ni A...

No. 1726: Look, no e's

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Georges Perec's La Disparition, a 300- page novel written without the use of the letter e, was recently published in Paris. You are invited to supply an extract (maximum 150...


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1055: Shades of meaning by Smokey A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of Chambers English Dictionary — ring the word 'Dictionary')...

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All change Frank Keating MATTHEW ENGEL becomes the 13th editor of Wisden, the cricketer's 'bible', when he takes over next year's 130th edi- tion. An average span of 10 years...


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Q. I am retired and my wife and I live in a small estate where the front gardens do not have fences. Our neighbours, with whom we have always been on good terms, acquired two...