18 JANUARY 1992

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A n IRA bomb exploded in Whitehall: no one was injured. Part-time UDR sol- diers were called up to oppose an IRA bombing campaign against business premis- es in Northern...

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The Spectator, 56 Douifity Street, London WCIW2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706;

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Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 RULES OF THE GAME H owever many bombs the IRA explode, however many widows and orphans they create and however many people they maim, the Ulster...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK ❑ £71.00 0 £35.50 Europe (airmail) ❑ £82.00 0 £41.00 USA Airspeed 0 USS110 0 USS55.00 Rest of Airmail 0 £98.00 0 £49.00 World...

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An exposition of the unlikely benefits of taking the painful decision to tell the truth MATTHEW PARRIS I f the lie you tell is big enough, said the Shadow Chancellor, John...

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I t has been a very dull election, or 'pre- election', so far. That is what we should expect, since, whatever the outcome, we all know that we shall end up with a thunder- ingly...

One of The Spectator's regular contributors, Dr Anthony Daniels, was

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last week award- ed the Charles Douglas-Home prize, given in memory of the late Editor of the Times. The prize was in recognition of Dr Daniels' writing on, among other...

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`Child-centred' a treacherous word to adopt CHARLES MOORE C !early there are some people who simply do not want anything to do with "officialdom" if they can avoid it.' These...

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Christopher Fildes diagnoses a bad case of debt, and says that the medicine prescribed is making matters worse FIRST the binge, then the hangover, now the medicine — we have...

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black-on-black violence that will determine the fate of South Africa Pietermaritzburg, Natal AT 4.00 p.m. on 16 August last year a car pulled into a garage in the Zulu...

One hundred years ago

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THE INFLUENZA spreads so fast, and is becoming so deadly in its assaults on all weak constitutions, that any preven- tive which seems effectual deserves attention. A...

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If symptoms persist.. .

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I WAS ON duty at the prison last week- end. All was calm and quiet: as I inspect- ed the kitchens (I'm still not quite sure what for), a rapist offered me the apple crumble for...

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Marek Matraszek reports on how the vices of totalitarianism survive in a so-called free Poland Warsaw SOMEWHERE in Eastern Europe, an independent publisher leaves a secret...

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On the first anniversary of the Saddam Hussein Dictator of the Month THE BEASTs policy for the war, you may remember from Scoop, was a few sharp vic- tories, some conspicuous...

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Simon Courtauld feels that field sports are poorly served by the politicians THE BRITISH Field Sports Society's last Christmas card was a charming painting of . two foxes in...

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Candida Crewe meets Barbara Smoker, atheist, vegetarian and President of the National Secular Society `FOR TEN years I worried,' said Barbara Smoker. As she spoke, she was...

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Rory Knight Bruce finds that heterosexuality is becoming a problem for our great public schools BRITISH co-educational public schools are facing a grave dilemma. They are in...

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A reader sent us this leaflet contained in a leather sports bag. Quality Guaranteed If you have selected a high price of patchwork (by the handiwork) leather goods, that is,...

How to save yourself 51 trips to the library .

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or over £30 on The Spectator If you're forced to share The Spectator with fellow students, then you'll know how difficult it can be to track a copy down. Now you can save...

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The charge of the angry oldie brigade PAUL JOHNSON A great hate-young-people campaign is being organised to help the launch of a publication called the Oldie. The Sunday...

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Double infidel

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Sir: Richard Cockett's review of Brooks's: A Social History (4 January) reminded me of an unedifying experience a few years ago of the club's complacency. Bidden to dine with a...

LETTERS Slow train to justice

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Sir: Marcel Berlins accurately identifies many of the ills in our tottering litigation system (Threatening to break the law', 4 January). However, he is not nearly rough enough...

Of transcending average

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Sir: In his thoughtful and interesting review of Fred K. Prieberg's book, Trial of Strength: Wilhelm Purim:Mgler and the Third Reich (4 January), Geoffrey Wheatcroft cites...

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Sir: Denis Hills, reviewing Pamela Scott's account of settler life in Kenya (Books, 11 January), says that during cattle branding/castration 'a helping herdsman would sometimes...


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Sir: Though I am distinctly older than either Andrew Devonshire or Johnnie Buc- cleuch, I cannot recall the self-confessedly snobbish Simon Courtauld (`To Sir or not to Sir', 4...

Sir: Some time ago when Gretel Beer and I were

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younger working women, we went alone to Sweeting's restaurant in the city. All the waiters called us both 'Sir' as no other alternative seemed to exist for them. Julia...

Forms of address

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Sir: Deborah Boehm's article (`The garbled phrase as frozen music', 4 January) made me reach for my address book, bought in Suzuka several years ago. On the cover, a cat is...

Sir: Geoffrey Wheatcroft is entitled to ped- dle his familiar

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line of being nasty to Richard Strauss, but he really shouldn't trot out the old chestnut of Toscanini's remark: `To Strauss the composer I take off my hat: to Strauss the man I...

Turkish delight

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Sir: Michael Bloch's article 'Forbidden pleasures' (21/28 December 1991) revived a deep longing for the smell of a Sullivan Powell. I too used to buy mine from Bacon's in...

Sir: Now 60, I have long used 'Sir' for strangers

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over 30, who usually return it. The tiny courtesy works delightfully, often leading to the stranger, if asked for an address, to take you to it personally. The result is as...

Helping hand

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Sir: Would any of your readers like to join me in setting up a fund to ensure that Auberon Waugh realises his ambition to reside in Switzerland, permanently (Anoth- er voice, 11...

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I care for nobody, no, not I . • • Hilary Mantel A PROFILE OF JONATHAN MILLER by Michael Romain CUP, £32.50, f10.95, pp.229 I t may be that Renaissance men have never been...

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At last we found a house that had a room And squeezed the car beside a cow-shed stall. The sun a green half-bitten apple sank Precisely then between black writhen whips, Sooty...

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Another pudding without a theme

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Philip Glazebrook THE INNER SEA: THE MEDITERRANEAN AND ITS PEOPLE by Robert Fox Sinclair-Stevenson, f19.95, pp. 549 I t is evident that Robert Fox has exten- sive knowledge and...

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Good with buffaloes as well

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M.R.D. Foot A TALENT FOR ADVENTURE by Andrew Croft S.P.A. Ltd, £14.95, pp.286 A ndrew Croft's life has been far out of the ordinary, yet his fascinating memoirs are written in...

German to the issue

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John Biffen AGAINST A FEDERAL EUROPE by William Cash Duckworth, £7.99, pp.138 T he creation of the European Community in the late 1950s was intended to provide a Franco-German...

The Lid

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Clanging the lid of the stainless steel teapot she contained the rising steam of what it is like to be on your own in a silent house with your husband cremated. Christopher...

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Watching society scampering past

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Henry Porter THE MANSIONS OF LIMBO by Dominick Dunne Bantam, £14.99, pp. 268 W hen journalists write about high society for American magazines they feel it necessary to imply...

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The dead hand of the past

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Christopher Hawtree THE PRECIOUS GIFT by John Bowen Sinclair-Stevenson, £14.95, pp. 188 I f a new Stephen King had not been rushed out to catch the Christmas market, then...

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Novel and unwelcome coincidences

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Susan Hill I am not yet so paranoid as to believe that the fates are conspiring against me that way madness lies — but the theory of the collective unconscious is beginning to...

And so beguile thy sorrow

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Christopher Howse A BOOK OF CONSOLATIONS selected by P. J. Kavanagh HarperCollins, £16.99, pp. 238 S chopenhauer (although, as Jeeves pointed out to Bertie Wooster, he was fun-...

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Exhibitions 1 Face to face Elizabeth Mortimer I s it a painting or a person? Responses to portraits have always been ambiguous, ranging from the cherished substitute for an...

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Exhibitions 2

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American Art 1930-70 (Lingotto, Turin, till 31 March) Unmistakable evidence Giles Auty Turin My predilection for hospitals in less than convenient places continues. Nor, the...

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Viol virtuosi Peter Phillips T here is a film sweeping through Paris at the moment, which opened just before Christmas, entitled Tous les Matins du Monde. I have no idea...

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Little Man Tate ('PG', Odeon Haymarket) A little stranger Mark Amory I t's quiet ... too quiet,' was a favourite cliché of Westerns (often heralding a near- miss with an...

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The Gigli Concert (Almeida) Dynamic duo Christopher Edwards T his is the much-heralded English pre- miere of a play by the Irish playwright Tom Murphy which was first...


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In pursuit of Daphne Ursula Buchan I usually come across it at the beginning of the fifth drive, when we have finished beating the fields and just gone into the wood. As we...

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High life

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Post Mort Taki loria Steinem used to be a sexy babe with marvellous long legs, streaked peek-a- boo hair and a pair of outsize glasses which became her trademark. Oh yes, I...


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Following our leaders John Diamond T he world turned upside down: Labour sends a nuclear sub to defend a tiny fleck of empire, grumbles that the new Tory gov- ernment is...

Martyn Harris is away.

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New life

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Upstairs downstairs Zenga Longmore M uch as we are delighted to have escaped from the hippies-next-door by moving to Harlesden, we cannot help but wonder who our new neighbours...

Low life

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Read all about it Jeffrey Bernard P erhaps hate is recycled love. Graham Lord, now 45,000 words into my wretched biography, tells me of a woman I lived with for nearly seven...

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r Imperative cooking: restaurant versus home eaters 1

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nroLALARtt• I MUST be getting soft: I actually enjoyed dinner in a restaurant the other day. Good domestic cooks, of the Imperative sort, do not, of course, like restaurant...

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A philosophy for the end of civilisation Auberon Waugh T he last two offers of Pierre Andre wines from Longford — in January and September 1991 — were so successful that I...


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c/o Longford Wines, Spithurst, Barcombe, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 5ED Tel: (0273) 400232 Fax: (0273) 400624 Price No. Value Red Domaine de Varennes 1990, Beaujolais 12...

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COMPETITION V1 VAS RECV 2 YEAR OLD SCOTCH WHISKY Ask a silly question . . . Jaspistos SCOTCH WHISKY I n Competition No. 1710 you were in - vited to supply an article,...


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Fiat lux Raymond Keene T his week I give the answers to the problems set in the Christmas competition. In general the standard of entries was exceedingly high and clearly a...

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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') for the first three correct solutions...

No. 1713: Forging backwards

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You are challenged to produce a maximum of 16 lines of verse or 120 words of prose which might fool the experts into accepting them as part of a lost Elizabethan or Jacobean...

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The generous genius Frank Keating I HOPE the packed throng will sing one of his own hymns at John Arlott's memorial service at Alresford on Monday. Perhaps the one he used to...

YOUR PROBLEMS SOLVED I am a retired art director from

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the Kodak Company, and if your correspondent with the embarrassing photograph (30 Novem- ber 1991) cares to borrow the picture for a week or two, I should be very pleased to...