18 JANUARY 1997

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DIARY 1997

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£ 13 Plain £14 Initialled The Spectator 1997 Diary, bound in soft `pillarbox' red leather, is now available and at the same prices as last year. Laid out with a whole week to...

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Leaders of the parties mime their election promises M r John Major, the Prime Minister, hinted during a visit to Pakistan that he had hopes of persuading his European Union...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405

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1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 EXPLOSIVE PRINCESS Ac cording to strict diplomatic protocol Diana, Princess of Wales, has committed a solecism by calling for the immediate out- lawing...

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BARRY HUMPHRIES R eaders of a recent New Yorker are exhorted to visit Gallery 292 and admire the 'sensuousness' of some photographs by the evocatively named Fawn Potash. Ms...

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Mr Hurd disapproves of Mr Howard because Mr Howard does not dislike his own party BRUCE ANDERSON P risons are depressing places. They fill any thoughtful visitor with a sense...

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The dangers of being idealistic about the Balkans PETRONELLA WYATT E arly last Sunday I walked to the bridge in Sarajevo over which the Archduke Franz Ferdinand would have...

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Mr Brown and Mr Mandelson of course. But quite a few of the others too. It's nothing political, Michael Gove explains, just personal NEW LABOUR may have abjured class conflict...

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And it will come from its version of sleaze, Anne McElvoy forecasts, if greed and patronage replace belief LAST YEAR, in the eye of the storm about Neil Hamilton's Parisian...

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Second opinion

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THE more I see of Man, the more I admire dog-owners. It seems to me that the relationship between man and dog offers hope of a better world. If only the non-dog-owners would...

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Michael Heath


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Correlli Barnett regrets that the latest BBC series on 1914-18 was content to trot out the same old stuff STRAIGHT AWAY I must declare an interest. I wrote eight out of the 26...

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Francis Pike on the surprising power, and varied duties, of Japanese women `WHAT IS the most common problem you have to deal with?' I asked the young Japanese psychoanalyst....

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Mind your language

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I SHOULDN'T be surprised if there were people who read all the way through The Lord of the Rings without knowing that ent is the Old English for a giant. Philology is not to be...

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It led someone who was then an MP to become the angriest of those TV republicans. He tells Nicholas Farrell why ALAN Amos, a former MP, delivered per- haps the most...

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An age when the foolish but crooked virgins beat the wise but innocent ones PAUL JOHNSON A n article in last Friday's Le Monde tells Inc that L'Institut National de la...

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Pulling together

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Sir: In his review of Matt Ridley's excellent book, The Origins of Virtue (Books, 11 Jan- uary), Keith Ward accuses Dr Ridley of being 'held captive by the metaphor he has...

LETTERS Misleading card

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Sir: In March 1995, I queried the rate of exchange used on a large foreign transac- tion on my NatWest Visa card. Because the rate they had used was outside the high and the low...

Personal opinion

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Sir: I am a great admirer of Matthew Par- ris's journalism and nearly always find his contributions to 'Another voice' invigorat- ing. Sometimes, however, his tone strikes me as...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY- RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK U £88.00 ❑ £45.00 Europe (airmail) ❑ £99.00 ❑ £51.00 USA Airspeed 0 US$141 LI US$71 Rest of 1 Airmail U £115.00 U £58.00 World J...

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Wrong again

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Sir: Alastair Forbes is in fact mistaken again (Letters, 11 January), just as he still is about his story of Eden and Fulke Warwick. My house is not the one formerly owned by...

A Hewison speaks

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Sir: All right, for a considerable number of years Sheridan Morley and I collaborated on the weekly drama review page of Punch, he producing the words, I the caricature drawing...

A matter of time

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Sir: I have no intention of entering into a debate with Nicholas de Jongh (Letters, 11 January) about which of us admired Jack Tinker's personality more or which of us will be...

Not that titillated

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Sir: Had I known my handwriting was so unreadable I would not have forgotten to put my address on my letter to you (11 January). Had I done so, I might have anticipated a flood...

Duke Ali

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Sir: A reader asks, who is Alastair Forbes (Letters, 11 January)? An artist friend of mine (and Ali's) went to America, where Ali has connections, and asked about him. `If we...

The fur flies

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Sir: Petronella Wyatt's ill-informed and big- oted Diary condemning anti-fur activists as `anti-human' (11 January) was rife with alle- gations and insults but — not...

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To two who played the columnist, I bring them tribute STEPHEN GLOVER L ast week the two most famous colum- nists of their era were dethroned by their newspapers: Bernard Levin...

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Strangers and a brother David Sexton THE COLLECTED STORIES by Paul Theroux Hamish Hamilton, £20, pp. 660 P aul Theroux, a great placer himself, is oddly difficult to place....

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Under the influences

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Caroline Moore BLESS THE THIEF by Alan Wall Secker, £15.99, pp. 212 T his is Alan Wall's first novel. The only other work of his I have read, Jacob, was a rich, strange and...

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So great a cloud of witnesses

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Caroline Moorehead SECRETS OF LIFE AND DEATH: WOMEN AND THE MAFIA by Renate Siebert Verso, £45, £14, pp. 333 I could leave and find the smallest hole in the world and stay in...

Getting ideas above his station

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Paul Barker NO DISCOURAGEMENT: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY by A. H. Halsey Macmillan Press, £40, £15.99, p.263 T his is the story of a railway child, who eventually got society to play...

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The Italian Few

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Montagu Curzon TAKE-OFF by Daniele del Giudice, translated by Joseph Farrell Harvill, £7.99, pp. 122 A direct descendant of the Saint-Exupery school of aeronautical/...

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No need for invasion yet

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Norman Stone DEMOCRATIC ROYALISM: THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE BRITISH MONARCHY, 1861-1914 by William M. Kuhn Macmillan, £35, pp. 180 T he only way to get an English bureau- cracy...

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Not just one story after another

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Joshua Rey THE LADY WITH THE LAPTOP by Clive Sinclair Picador, £12.99, pp. 183 by a book of short stories? Granted, after reading Forster's novels it's interest- ing to see...

The last time I saw Paris . . .

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Main de Botton LE DIVORCE by Diane Johnson Chatto, £14.99, pp. 308 A s the interior decorators of the Dome and Café Rouge restaurants have discovered, it isn't hard to evoke a...

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This small masterpiece

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Teresa Waugh ORIGINAL BLISS by A. L. Kennedy Cape, £14.99, pp. 311 P erhaps it has something to do with the time of year, with the crippling cold and all those horrible germs...

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The unbearable heaviness of being sober

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Anne McElvoy MOSCOW STATIONS by Venedikt Yerofeyev Faber, £14.99, pp. 144 A few years ago, when Viktor Yero- feyev produced his novel about Brezhnev's Soviet Union, The Russian...


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The final sentence of Richard West's review of two books on European history (4 January) referred to "digital TV ", which offers a main wide-screen film plus a "side-bar" of...

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Facing the unfaceable Simon Blow explores the link between Tennessee Williams and Streetcar's Blanche DuBois I s the fantasy condition of Blanche DuBois — the tragic heroine of...

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Exhibitions 1

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Paul Nash: Aerial Creatures (Imperial War Museum, till 26 January; Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno, 15 Feb-3 April) Reaching for the sky David Lee P aul Nash was 50 years old when...

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Exhibitions 2

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John Campbell: Rediscovery of an Arts and Crafts Architect (Prince of Wales's Institute of Architecture, till 5 February; Architecture Centre, Bristol, 26 February till 4...

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The Preacher's Wife (PG, selected cinemas) Some Mother's Son (15, selected cinemas) On the side of angels Mark Steyn Ai yone remember the Pepper's Ghost? In 1863, it was the...


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Cherubin (Covent Garden) Tasteful frippery Michael Tanner T hough it would have surprised and possibly dismayed Massenet, his frothy confection (as it is obligatorily...

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Ring the changes Michael Vestey A late as the 1960s, an applicant for a telephone would be asked, why do you want one? Often people were told curtly that they'd have to wait...

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Mind your manners Alan Judd T hose fortunate enough to have been automotively aware 40 years ago will recall the Morris Oxford Series III, a sturdy four- seater saloon,...


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Canada calling Simon Hoggart A n American magazine once ran a list of famous names, including Dan Aykroyd, Pamela Anderson and Michael J. Fox, and asked its readers, 'What do...

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The turf

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Racecourses RIP Robin Oakley W e all lament the passing of the land- marks of our youth, in my case especially the demise of the old Hurst Park race- course in East Molesey. I...

High life

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Lost for words Taki New York Athur Schlesinger is the short, bald historian who has been the keeper of the Kennedy flame for the last 35 years. Arthur became a jet-set icon of...

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Low life

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The suffering classes Jeffrey Bernard T ony Blair isn't the only man who is off beggars. I have disliked most of them for about the last ten years and it was about then that...

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Country life

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Travellers' tips Leanda de Lisle Those few spare moments when I haven't been listening to yet another India buff telling me that I must visit the tomb at dawn, when it's...


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Trick exit Andrew Robson THERE is a certain magical nature to the way cards work that never ceases to fascinate — watch South turn two seemingly inescapable losers into one....

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Paris restaurants

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IT IS some time now since Paris was the gastronomic Mecca for visitors from Britain. Gone are the days when restau- rants there were leagues ahead of anything to be found in...

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IN.THE•STRAND CHESS cr SIMPSON'S IN-THE-STRAND Short shrift Raymond Keene NIGEL SHORT has fully recovered from the battering he received at the hands of Garry Kasparov in...


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i U SI■GlE VILT SCOICN WIIIS 1 COMPETITION I S LE OF JU RA ',INGLk MALT 5(011.11NNI5K 1 Useless information Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1965 you were invited to supply a...

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A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1990 Port for the first correct solution opened on 3 February, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK...

The solution and winners of the Christmas Jumbo Crossword appear

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on page 54.

No. 1968: Under new management The Roman Empire was once

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bought at auction by a billionaire. Perhaps the same thing will happen to our monarchy. Assum- ing it has, you are invited to provide a max- imum of 150 words from the Accession...

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Solution ARD 97, Mrs cott, 66, 'A 2 B 3 I 4 N 5 S ° E C 2 7 I g C I 9 D _ E 1 % 11 C 12 A 13 13 1:1 E 14 T T 15 A I t E N 0 13 C A 1 1-I A R ADES()...

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Mad managers Simon Barnes THERE are two kinds of jobs. You can work on the talking side, or on the doing side. In fact, most careers involve a gradu- al transition from the...


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Dear Mary'.. Q. My father has recently caused me great potential embarrassment at school (to which I return this week) by writing a letter to you in which he implied that I...