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PORTRAIT OF THE WEEK New spies exposed

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M rs Melita Norwood, a Communist 87-year-old great-grandmother living in Bexleyheath, Kent, was revealed to have spent 40 years, under the code-name Hola, giving nuclear secrets...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 CAPITAL PUNISHMENT B arring some unpredictable reversal, Lord Archer of...

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Chris Patten is guilty of a monstrous breach of faith BRUCE ANDERSON As one would expect in a divided society, the report's authors heard widely divergent opinions on the RUC...

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CRAIG BROWN V asili Mitrokhin has revealed that the KGB drew up plans to disrupt the investi- ture of the Prince of Wales, only to aban- don them 'for fear of being found out'....

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The sort of camelid that makes girls lie back and think of Bolivia MATTHEW PARRIS T hey don't make llama boxes, so we went to fetch Knap last Wednesday with a horse box: too...

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All modern Tories are liberals. That is why Peter Hitchens intends to stand against the Pretender of the Right HOW peculiar and fantastic it is that Michael Portillo,...

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Mind your language

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`LITTLE. Little. Little,' I was saying as the cat leapt up and began to make a sort of nest in a pile of correspondence on the kitchen table. `You all right?' asked Veronica,...

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Michael Gave says that Mr Portillo has not deviated from his right-wing principles MICHAEL Portillo's acknowledgment that he had homosexual experiences as a young man has been...

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Michael Heath

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Robbie Millen believes it was Alan Clark's love for his dog that stopped him becoming a Roman Catholic IT was the dog or, rather, the exact loca- tion of the dog. Understand...

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Mark Steyn says that a nation as childish as America cannot last long as a superpower New Hampshire THE UN troops may be too late to save East Timor but they may yet save the...

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Melita Norwood betrayed her country AS a Dubliner might say, she's not the worst. There were plenty of other men and women who, from greed or convic- tion, spied for Soviet...

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Owen Matthews on why many Muscovites believe that the Kremlin was behind the bombs Moscow I HAVE never seen anything like it in my life, and hope never to again. I have seen...

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The Chancellor's new tax wheeze, says Petronella Wyatt, has put domestic servants back within middle-class reach ONCE in a while, perhaps once in a gener- ation, a government...

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Where the Super Sopper soaks it up and the incunabula glow PAUL JOHNSON T here is something luxurious about enjoying, in a highly distilled form, two totally distinct — even,...

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On the contrary, Mr Murdoch, your private life is everyone's business STEPHEN GLOVER Even in the unexpurgated Vanity Fair interview Murdoch comes across, at least...

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Old Mr Porter From Mr P.J.W. Rowell Sir: Having recently

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reached 80 years of age, I'd be absolutely delighted (and able) to hump Miss Wyatt's baggage as required (Singular life, 4 September), should our paths cross in the future....

Ulster's big lie

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From Mr Michael Grenfell Sir: Not for the first time, Bruce Ander- son's preference for realpolitik over moral principle lets him down when he commends the 'morally flawed'...

Pogrom unparalleled

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From Lord Moyne S ir: Paul Johnson, as a distinguished histo- r ian, should know better than to suppose that the ethnic cleansing of the Ulster Protestants, if it occurred,...

Sweet smell of learning

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From Professor Norman Stone Sir: Mr John Carr, taking a swipe at me for my nasty remarks about his father, E.H. Carr, says that I had to creep conspue out of Oxford and could...

LETTERS Francophile follies

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From Gillian Willson-Bardinet Sir: While deploring, as does Sir Peregrine Worsthorne (As I was saying, 4 September), the abolition of Britain, I fear that some of his arguments...

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Now it can be told the shameful secret of Lord Tebbit FRANK JOHNSON I will say what I want to say. I had some homosexual experiences as a young per- son.' But Lord Tebbit's...

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After you, Reggie

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TOMATOES are cheap but houses are pricy. So retail price inflation (all those Marks & Spencer salads) is at its lowest since Reginald Maudling was Chancellor, and house price...

Sorry, Gordon

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SOMEBODY with a working memory ought to have warned Gordon Brown. He has allowed his fellow finance ministers to make him chairman of the International Monetary Fund's Interim...


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More law than equity as Equitable Life puts its good name on the line CHRISTOPHER FILDES he search is for three Lords Justice of Appeal who have not insured themselves with...

Clear the board

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THE Equitable's president, John Sclater, has been keeping his head down. His state- ment with the accounts was couched in pained terms — the Equitable had got used to applause,...

Urbi et Orbi

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POINTERS to his chances can be found in the pages that follow — Urbi et Orbi, as I reluctantly decided not to call them. Sir Alan Walters says that the best way to reform the...

Rover's wooden nickels

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PRICING kirs in Avignon this month, I got my timing wrong. The ten-franc kir has returned as the euro resumes its decline. (Germany's elections haven't helped.) Never mind, its...

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A I I bMPTS to overhaul the great engines of public service have two characteristics. They take ten years and they generally don't work. We can't wait ten years for reform in...

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Or if that's too difficult, lending all that money Washington DC FOUNDED in 1944 and financed by gov- ernments, the International Monetary Fund was intended to support a system...

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He's lucky and clever, says George Trefgarne, but the chancellor could yet make his own misfortune THERE is bad news for Hugh Grant. Gor- don Brown does not like his new film,...

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Geoffrey Owen says that the City has been made the whipping-boy for the economic sins of others THE City of London has long been a favourite whipping-boy for the `declinist'...

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Subscribe NOW! Free Phone 0800 214 363 Have the wittiest, most intelligent companion to the week's news delivered direct to your door. RATES 12 months (52 issues) 6 months...

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David Marsh explains what's happened to Nicholas Ridley's ill-fated forecast NINE years ago Nick Ridley told The Spectator that the euro was a 'German racket' and, such was...

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Asia's recovering, but don't bank on its banks, says Steven Irvine Hong Kong IF you've ever met a Korean prosecutor you'll know they don't mess around. Like the country's...

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Stanislas Yassukovich warns us not to take its strengths for granted SOME of us can remember when the City was not a fashionable cause in the con - i- dors of power. During...

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Rebecca Barrow meets Haruko Fukuda, Japan's best export to Britain HARUKO Fukuda wears enough gold to restore Britain's declining reserves. If the government rues its decision...

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but some bars deserve to be shut YOU could say that I am a fairly deter- mined drinker in the City, in the sense that I have been at it pretty solidly for the past 15 years. So...

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R obert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, was a toff if ever there was one. If John Prescott had been in charge Lord Salisbury would never have made it....

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Purple pants and even purpler prose

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Rupert Christiansen GEORGE SAND: A WOMAN'S LIFE WRIT LARGE by Belinda Jack Chatto, £20, pp. 412 H ere is a book which may unwittingly mark a new retrograde trend in the writing...

Recent paperbacks

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Non-fiction: The Langhorne Sisters by James Fox, Granta, £8.99 Sir Vidia's Shadow by Paul Theroux, Penguin, £7.99 My Year Off: Rediscovering Life after a Stroke by Robert...

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Spitting images of distinguished diggers

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Sara Paton FACES OF ARCHAEOLOGY IN GREECE by Rachel Hood Leopard's Head Press, £26 (+ £3.50 p&p), pp. 304. Orders to The Knossos Trust, P.O. Box 5, Little Milton, Oxford, OX44...

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An elaborate plant

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Emma Tennant A RUM AFFAIR by Karl Sabbagh Allen Lane, £16.99, pp. 223 A Rum Affair tells a strange, and in many ways a sad, story. It concerns the life's work of John Heslop...

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The Holy Fool of the desert

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Roger Lewis GOD'S FUGITIVE: THE LIFE OF C. M. DOUGHTY by Andrew Taylor HarperCollins, £17.99, pp. 351 I often wonder whether the presiding genius of the 19th century wasn't...

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The shadowy father of Oscar

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Philip Glazebrook RAFFLES AND HIS CREATOR by Peter Rowland Nekta Publications, £11.95, pp. 306 T his audacious biography — the life of a writer who left no 'papers' — breaks...

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Roundheads and Cavaliers

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Daniel Hannan THE COUSINS' WAR: RELIGION, POLITICS AND THE TRIUMPH OF ANGLO-AMERICA by Kevin Phillips Basic Books, £24.50, pp. 707 T he English civil war, the American...

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Piecemeal social engineering

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Maurice Cowling ALL LIFE IS PROBLEM SOLVING by Karl Popper Routledge, £30, pp. 171 POPPER'S OPEN SOCIETY AFTER FIFTY YEARS edited by Ian Jarvie and Sandra Pralong Routledge,...

Running away to Greeneland

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Anne Chisholm WITH YOUR CROOKED HEART by Helen Dunmore Viking £16.99, pp. 249 H elen Dunmore is a gifted writer and this novel, her fifth, displays her talents to the full; it...


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Salisbury: Victorian Titan by Andrew Roberts Writing with complete access to Salisbury's archive at Hatfield house, as well as the papers of Salisbury's contemporaries, Andrew...

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Profitably painting a moral

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Nicholas Harman VICTORIAN PAINTING by Christopher Wood Weidenfeld, £40, pp. 384 O nce this millennium flimflam is out of the way a genuine centennial commemo- ration looms...

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The girl from Toulouse with nothing to lose

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Brian Masters LA GRAND THERESE by Hilary Spurting Profile, £7.99, pp. 119 H ilary Spurling's The Unknown Matisse, published last year, was not only a majestic biography,...

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Small is only sometimes beautiful

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S upposing I were remotely discontented with being a 52-year-old Englishman living in London at the end of the 20th century, then I should certainly have been happy to find...

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T hirty-two years ago, when Kenneth Clark was engaged on that ground-break- ing adventure Civilisation, Huw Wheldon, the controller of BBC Television, said that in future the...

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Exhibitions 1

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The Venetian Renaissance and Northern Europe (Palazzo Grassi, Venice, till 9 January) Creative ferment Andrew Wordsworth N atural barriers, however daunting, are often less...

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Exhibitions 2

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Van Dyck (Royal Academy, till 10 December) Unmistakable splendour Andrew Lambirth V an Dyck is back in London with a vengeance. On the 400th anniversary of his birth, Sir...

The exhibition is open every day from 10 a.m. to

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7 p.m.; closed on 24, 25 and 31 December and on 1 January.

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Master of melody Michael Tanner H ow can anyone not love Weber, and in particular Der Freischiitz, which even if it doesn't contain his greatest music, is cer- tainly his most...

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Treasure store Ursula Buchan King of the Pippins' by William Hooker W hatever happened about the Lindley Library? This question has surely been at the very forefront of...

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Drop Dead Gorgeous (12, selected cinemas) Hollywood ignorance Mark Steyn T he funny thing about all these mock documentaries — The Blair Witch Project, Waiting for Guffinan,...

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Quartet (Albery) Drummers (New Ambassador) Aging problems Sheridan Morley O ne of the major surprises, and there are not a lot, about Ronald Harwood's Quartet at the Albery...

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Busted flush Michael Vestey I n the spring I was listening to Radio Four's excellent coverage of the European election results when I heard that Bill New- ton Dunn had been...

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The turf

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Truth will out Robin Oakley P rhaps the time has finally come for me to confess as well. We all have our dark secrets, our youthful indiscretions, our moments of mistaken...


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Shocking business James Delingpole W ell, I did have loads of interesting things to say about Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? but I notice that Simon Hoggart has covered most...

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High life

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Not surprised Taki A though I was a friend of Alan Clark's for more than 25 years, I have nothing to add to the tributes he's received except to say that he well deserved...

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Country life

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Rural hatred Leanda de Lisle T he National Farmers Union and the Countryside Alliance have planned march- es during the Labour Party Conference. What they seek is justice;...

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Singular life

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Dishing the dirt Petronella Wyatt G olly. It beats the new Versace trousers; the Louis Vuitton mamba carry- all and even the cunning little gold-plated truffle grater from...


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It can be done Andrew Robson FREAK HANDS usually only occur in goulash deals (or in the minds of creative journalists seeking to sensationalise) but South's hand actually...

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San Sebastian THERE has been a curious trend recently to denigrate achievements of the past. In former times, hero-worship of the greats, in whatever field of activity, acted as...

IN COMPETITION NO. 2102 you were invited to take the

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first one or two lines of a well-known poem and continue in a frivolous direction. This was the most numerous entry I have ever been faced with. No comedian minds a big house,...

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Solution to 1428: Figure it out

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The unclued lights yield the sequence I to 9. Nine normal solutions are adapted before entry to include these nine figures: e.g. G1LTWOOD at 42 is entered as GIL2oo. First...

No. 2105: Raison d'être

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Prospective peers are being asked to pro- vide written reasons why they should con- tinue to exist. You are asked to imagine that the present or some future govern- ment has...

CROSSWORD 1431: And to follow by Doc

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A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 4 October, with two runners- up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, the...

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ALTHOUGH it has improved in recent years, the general standard

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of restaurants in Britain is still appalling. The reasons for this are widely misunderstood, though quite straightforward. Firstly, our culinary tradi- tion died with the first...

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`I HAVE a thousand books at home, but I don't read them,' says a character in the play Pravda, 'because my mind is made up.' I am in something of the same position myself. At...


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Q. In the 21 August edition of your excel- lent magazine an acquaintance of mine, M.M. from Shaftesbury, sought advice on how to deal with a delicate situation that had arisen...