18 MARCH 2000

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The Spectator

The routing of Mandelson T he German car manufacturer BMW made plans to sell Rover, which provides 50,000 jobs in England, principally in the West Midlands. The government said...

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JAMIE SHEA M arch 24 will mark the first anniversary of Nato's intervention in Kosovo. I am gird- ing myself for this moment. From what I have seen in the newspapers and on...

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A Secretary of State who is unfit to remain in office BRUCE ANDERSON E ven if Peter Mandelson left politics tomorrow, his place in history would be secure. He helped to make...

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Huh, I thought. Double Income, No Kids. That's what we have here. Bastards BORIS JOHNSON T he plane was full of middle-class Brits, tanned by the alpine sun, fit, in so far...

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Stephen Glover on how democracy is being stifled by the dumbing down of current affairs television NEWSNIGHT and News at Ten were once the twin pillars of my evening. The...

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Mind your language

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I THINK we have had quite enough of Mr Livingstone for the time being. I shall only add a semantic consideration — that the Standard newspaper in Lon- don announced in 112-point...

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Sion Simon on how New Labour has found an unexpected source of riches EVER wondered what Tony does next, now that he has gone beyond politics? I'll tell you. He takes Labour...

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ERGO SUN Exclusive: David Yelland celebrates our great island story THERE'S a depressing vignette in Alan Clark's Diaries which recounts a dinner at Brooks's just after the...

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Justin Marozzi on how Mahathir Mohamad rescued his country and made fools of the IMF USING a Frank Sinatra song might seem an odd way to justify one's political and economic...

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Second opinion

The Spectator

I ONCE lived next door to a man whose wife was a terrific drinker. Dominating their sitting-room was the largest bottle of Scotch (or of anything else) I have ever seen....

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P J. O'Rourke examines the great con trick behind the Clinton and Blair regimes NOT to be American and dense about this, but I had no idea there was an actual political theory...

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Brian Cloughley on the children killed and maimed by the arms manufacturers of East and West IN front of me as I write is a dud butterfly bomb. It is just over four inches...

Banned wagon

The Spectator

A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit BEWARE the government which offers you a beer: there's usually something nasty waiting at the bottom of the glass. One...

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Richard John Neuhaus on a near - death experience that taught him that `everything is ready now' THE operation took several hours and was an unspeakable mess. The tumour had...


The Spectator

Michael Heath

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Ross Clark on the positive discrimination that dare not speak its name YOU don't have to be Peter Tatchell, or even gay, to admit that there was a heroic stage in the struggle...

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Hail, the ten wonders of the new economy which of them will be called Polly? CHRISTOPHER FILDES I wonder which of the newcomers to the FT-SE Index will turn out to be the next...

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LETTERS Kosovo's 'virtual' war

The Spectator

From Mr R.W.J. Walker Sir: Nato was right to act in Kosovo, and K- For has done much good, but you are cor- rect to describe its failure. However, your leading article (11...

Rejecting the ermine

The Spectator

From Mr John Papworth Sir: When Peter Oborne (`Chamber of hor- rors', 11 March) suggests that Michael Foot's refusal of a peerage is a possibly unique exception to the rule of...

No defeat for IRA

The Spectator

From Mr Jonathan Freedland Sir: One hates to pour cold water on such an imaginative thesis, but now that Stephen Glover has repeated his eccentric claims about the Guardian...

The bombing of 'journalists'

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From Ann Cooper Sir: Charles Glass ('When it's OK to kill a hack', 5 February) infers a position that the Committee to Protect Journalists never took: namely, that because CPJ...

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Defending Ruskin

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From Mr Bernard Dunstan Sir: It would be a great pity if anyone were to be put off reading Tim Hilton's Ruskin by Philip Hensher's review (Arts, 11 March). Hensher seems fixated...


The Spectator

From Dr L. C. Laming RNVR (ret'd) Sir: I am indebted to Mr Evan Williams (Letters, 11 March) for drawing my atten- tion to the preposterous claim by Jaspistos that there are no...

God or conscience?

The Spectator

From Mr Giles Wardle Sir: Messrs FitzGerald and Massie-Blom- field ask, 'Can a godless society be sur- prised when some of its members behave in a godless way?' (Letters, 11...

A to B blues

The Spectator

From Verity Kalcev Sir: Dot Wordsworth wonders about the use of 'customer' instead of 'passenger' by rail companies (Mind your language, 11 March). It's not new: British Rail...

From Sir Ludovic Kennedy Sir: Charles FitzGerald thinks I am

The Spectator

clever to be an atheist. Not so, but at least honest in declining to pay lip-service to a creed I can- not subscribe to. He says he misses 'the guid- ance from above — the...

Archer's revenge

The Spectator

From Mr John Owen Sir: 1 was interested to see that recent stressful events have had no effect on Jef- frey Archer's literary skill; his Diary (11 March) was a real...

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When the Boneless Wonder and Greedyguts danced a hundred years ago PAUL JOHNSON I t is, I suppose, almost exactly 100 years ago since Toulouse-Lautrec completed his life's...

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The Royal College of Spin Doctors plans to make gynaecological history FRANK JOHNSON L ast week I suggested, in this space, that trouble lay ahead for the Prime Minis- ter's...

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Enough to make a hog whimper Boris Johnson on The Spectator's first-ever Political Wine Lunch NICHOLAS Soames looked at the wine list. He counted them slowly. There were seven...

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Red wine

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Red is beautiful Robert Hardman THE link between champagne and celebra- tion is one of the greatest advertising cons in history. It has been rooted in the public consciousness...

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Political soaks

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Drinking on the benches Sion Simon MY favourite anecdote concerning a politi- cian and wine is from the Alan Clark's Diaries. I was going to open this article by quoting it....

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Sobriety in the Commons

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Time, gentlemen Simon Hoggart COMPLAINING the other day about drunkenness in the House of Commons, Sir Teddy Taylor suggested that there should be breathalysers in the...

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Affordable wine

The Spectator

Mulling over plonk Michael McMahon BEGGARED by the burden of school fees and the insecurity of self-employment, I head a household characterised by a rustic shabbiness that is...

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The House of Krug

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A flute symphony Jon Ashworth IT IS a tradition in the Krug champagne family that a newborn baby is kept from its mother until a few drops of Krug have touched its lips. Only...

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Pudding wines

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Just desserts Petronella Wyatt IT is customary these days to assume that a guest will, uncomplainingly, eat their pud- ding with the remains of the claret or Bur- gundy. This...

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The Spectator

Dirty work at the crossroads Patrick Marnham THE LIFE AND DEATH OF LORD ERROLL: THE TRUTH BEHIND THE HAPPY VALLEY MURDER by Errol Trzebinski Fourth Estate, £18.99, pp. 364 T...

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Confessions of a couch potato

The Spectator

Byron Rogers MRS SLOCOMBE'S PUSSY by Stuart Jeffries Flamingo, £12.99, pp. 378 o r a while I thought this was going to be one of the most original books I had ever read....

A patrician's withering scorn

The Spectator

Jonathan Keates DIARY OF A MAN IN DESPAIR by Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen Duck Editions, £12.99, pp. 240 he single infuriating aspect of those late-autumnal requests from...

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Seeing Dad right

The Spectator

Cressida Connolly FATHER! FATHER! BURNING BRIGHT by Alan Bennett Profile, £3.99, pp. 94 THE CLOSER WE ARE TO DYING by Joe Fiorito Bloomsbury, £15.99, pp.321 B oth of these...

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The case for the defence

The Spectator

Rupert Christiansen VAUGHAN WILLIAMS by Simon Hoffer Weidenfeld, £12.99, pp. 152 C A passable imitation of a composer' is how my A-level music master, a bright- eyed...

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But where is Molly?

The Spectator

P. J. Kavanagh FOOL OF THE FAMILY: A LIFE OF J. M. SYNGE by W. J. McCormack Weidenfeld, £25, pp. 500 J ohn Millington Synge (1871-1909), play- wright, was a Protestant, as were...

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Mission not successful

The Spectator

Nicholas Fearn SAVAGE by Nick Hazlewood Hodder, £12.99, pp. 359 C ultural relativism never quite recovered from the blow unwittingly administered by the pop-star Sting. Some...

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Teeny-weeny ego trip

The Spectator

Vicki Weissman MY WEEK WITH MARILYN by Colin Clark HarperCollins, £14.99, pp. 159 T his has been a good week for Now It Can Be Told'. We've had Sir Walter Mon- ckton's papers —...

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Frances Partridge reaches her century

The Spectator

Anne Chisholm hen Frances Partridge, diarist, translator and keeper of the secrets of old Bloomsbury, learned, earlier this year, that she had been awarded the CBE, she was...

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Exorcising the inner demons of war

The Spectator

Kate Grimond THE CODE OF LOVE by Andro Linklater Weidenfeld, £16.99, pp. 235 he mind, apparently, strives to discern a pattern in the strange or the incompre- hensible. This...

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Through Ruskin's eyes Martin Gayford questions whether a critic's views should be the subject of an exhibition T he pretension of a great critic,' wrote Walter Sickert kindly...

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Parsifal (Scottish Opera) Trusting in Wagner Michael Tanner • sifal, the first ever north of the border, undertaken and carried through magnifi- cently in the face of...


The Spectator

Salt (Sadler's Wells) Game of contrasts Giannandrea Poesio I n the old ballet world, a female dancer with both an extraordinarily powerful tech- nique and an ability to sail...

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Changing habits Ursula Buchan I suppose I shall always be one of life's urchins, pressing my nose up against the sweet-shop window. I know the value, superiority and appeal of...

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The Cider House Rules (12, selected cinemas) Issues and tissues Kim Fletcher T he narrator's voice over the opening scenes is strangely familiar. Surely it can't be. It is....

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Bowled over Michael Vestey MnK MacKenzie's cage was so rattled last week that he fell off his perch, beak- dived into the sand and could only gnaw dementedly at the cuttlefish...


The Spectator

Baby Doll (National) Helpless (Donmar Warehouse) Bruised angel Sheridan Morley T he turn of this century is proving an amazingly rich time for the National The- atre to...

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Seeking perfection Simon Hoggart P eople often say, 'Oh, there's nothing on television,' and esteem themselves high- ly for not watching it. Actually, there's an awful lot on...

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Seething with rage Alan Judd ong my daily picturings of the guis- es the Grim Reaper might assume when he calls, there is one that is becoming a fix- ture: I fear I shall die...

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High life

The Spectator

The amazing . awocato Taki T Rougemont hat was a very nice touch last Sunday in Melbourne when the Ferrari mechanics hoisted a sign saying 'Ciao Gianni'. It was meant for...

The turf

The Spectator

Taking control Robin Oakley W hen I asked the Prime Minister how he felt about squaring up to Vladimir Putin, given that his host last weekend had spent most of his career not...

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No life

The Spectator

Leaving home Jeremy Clarke W ell, that's that then. The last old lady left yesterday, led out through the front door by her daughter. They tried as hard as they could not to...

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Country life

The Spectator

Dating tips Leanda de Lisle M atchmaking is a popular pursuit in the countryside. Newly married women recently arrived from the towns look about, see a number of lonely single...

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Singular life

The Spectator

Rooms without views Petronella Wyatt I was at Covent Garden a few days ago for a performance of La Boheme. Only I missed some of it. Actually, I missed all of it. This was...


The Spectator

Not the points Andrew Robson `POINTS, SCHMOINTS'. Mary Bergen used this wonderful, Yiddish catchphrase as the title of a book, and players and teachers us it to partners and...

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Kr0 . 40440 n . 14 AV ,10,10

The Spectator

Robert Hardman AT LAST, the architects of Cool Britannia have a local canteen of which they can be proud, a Westminster restaurant fit for our most style-obsessed legislators....

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/ . r, 3 \ W ,

The Spectator

COMPETITION Making meanings Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2127 you were given ten proper names and invited to incorporate them in a piece of prose as if they were ordinary...

; Rdbeg

The Spectator

The Ultimate [slay Malt. Rdbe www.ardbeg.com CHESS Gridlock Raymond Keene THE Linares tournament did little to resolve a series of vexed questions in the chess com-...

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The Spectator

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 April, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or,...

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Dear Mary.. . Q. I was invited for lunch in a decent-look- ing French restaurant by a chap from a well- known investment bank. His secretary tried to phone me six minutes...


The Spectator

A thing of beauty, not duty Simon Barnes ALAS, poor Bestie. George Best, seriously ill, has been taken to hospital; and it was the cue for the massed and melancholy...