19 APRIL 1997

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PORTRAIT OF THE WEEK Not Masters M any Tory candidates for

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election expressed opposition to a single European currency in their addresses to constituents; these included two junior ministers and Dame Angela Rumbold, the vice-chairman of...

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Even the ranks of hackery could scarce forbear to cheer but will it do the PM any good? BRUCE ANDERSON 0 n Tuesday and Wednesday, the Tory party went off message. Central...

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S imon Sebag Montefiore, you're a wicked fellow,' said Sir James Goldsmith, as he spotted me among the press while he campaigned in Newlyn, the Cornish fish- ing port. 'Yes, you...

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Where the Tory candidate's cause is contemptible, and Labour's candidate has no cause at all MATTHEW PARRIS To the Memory of Rachel Charlotte O'Brien ... Her death was...

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Minor public schoolboy . . . mere consumerism . . . raging egomaniac. Labour's intellectuals tell Robert Taylor what they really think about the Labour leader for whom most of...

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Second opinion

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I RECOGNISE, of course, that perfectly decent people may disagree profoundly about euthanasia, just as they may dis- agree as to whether Bronzino was a bet- ter painter than...

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Anne McElvoy reveals how the spin doctor's revolving finger pointed to Labour's real election rivalry IF LABOUR'S election campaign is suc- cessful, it will have been won in...

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. . . said the female heckler with the raised umbrella when Petronella Wyatt explained that she wasn't Tory filth but press YOU can only be sure with the Conserva- tives',...

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Nicholas Farrell discovers that authority is discouraging a kind of loving on Hampstead Heath IT WAS pitch-black and ice-cold on the night I went to the woods on Hampstead Heath...


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Michael Heath

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Mind your language

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I BRING good news from an unlikely source. In 1952 Andre Deutsch pub- lished Chamber of Horrors, a compila- tion of official jargon by `Vigilans', who I've always thought was...

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Douglas Johnson says that despite what they really think of each other, France and Germany dare not retreat from unity HELMUT KOHL is staying on. He will stand in the...

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Rory Knight Bruce recalls joining a unique club at the same time as being asked to shoot his own stepfather by the founder IT IS 12 years since the death at 65 of Sir Iain...

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Rottweilers, hack-yobs and a host of other unclean creatures PAUL JOHNSON I remember vividly all the elections since 1945, and this has been easily the sunniest so far. The...

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Always chum up to an elephant before you share a bath with it CHRISTOPHER FILDES I suppose that Tony Blair's friends in business were picked for him by his adver- tising...

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Viva Italia

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Sir: I am outraged, but amused, by Miss Wyatt's vitriolic attack on my compatriots (Another voice, 29 March). I have known Petronella since we were both in our teens, when she...

LETTERS Where there's much . . .

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Sir: Neil Hamilton has more brass than Benares. He tells a tale worthy of Dickens at his most sentimental, full of late-night vigils as he toils over lost tax returns to prove...

Sir: I wish Stephen Glover would stop say- ing that

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I admitted in my oral evidence to Sir Gordon Downey that I lied to Michael Heseltine. I did not. Mr Glover is merely repeating one Guardian lie. Another is that I admitted tax...

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Sir: I just wish to express my sympathy with Miss

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Wyatt's views about Italians. They are absolutely correct, as any Italian would confirm in a private conversation. Publicly, particularly if you are an ambassador, the stance is...

Not long enough

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Sir: If S. Runciman (Books, 12 April) is to succeed A. Forbes, he must not only criti- cise others' name-dropping, he must length- en his sentences. Christopher Taylor 5 Park...

Sticking to the Plan

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Sir The correspondence with Alice von Schlieffen points to a matter far more important than the military details of the events of August and September 1914. One does not have to...

Out of character

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Sir: I am writing on behalf of Mr Victor Herman, who has on occasions helped me, voluntarily, by playing the bagpipes at func- tions that I have organised for students here. I...

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Labour's spin doctors have turned against the BBC because television is now bad for their patients STEPHEN GLOVER A few weeks ago Charles Lewington, the Tories' communications...

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Brussels, the City, big business, even the police they'll all back the rule of Machiavelli Blair PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE 'There are some political minds', wrote Michael...

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Yankee doodling dandy Philip Hensher THE OXFORD MARK TWAIN (29 volumes) OUP, £240 M ark Twain was always presenting himself as a plain-speaking, ordinary sort of fellow, with...

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All his life in the blink of an eye

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Philip Glazebrook THE DIVING BELL & THE BUTTERFLY by Jean - Dominique Bauby Fourth Estate, £9.99, pp. 129 T his grave and intensely interesting book is the account of his own...

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Politics and charades

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John Jolliffe RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN by Linda Kelly Sinclair-Stevenson, f25, pp. 365 S heridan's character and life were an unusually violent mixture of sparkling qualities...

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In search

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of a better self Teresa Waugh HOW PROUST CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE by Main de Botton Picador, £12.99, pp. 215 L urking in the world of letters there must somewhere be someone who...

The sins of the father

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Selina Hastings THE KISS: A SECRET LIFE by Kathryn Harrison Fourth Estate, £14.99, pp. 207 T he story Kathryn Harrison tells in The Kiss is so terrible that I felt guilty at...

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Flight of the Christians

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Philip Marsden FROM THE HOLY MOUNTAIN by William Dalrymple HarperCollins, £18, pp. 483 F or several hundred years, under the capricious thumb of the sultan, the peoples of the...

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A selection of recent paperbacks

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Fiction: The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester, Picador, £5.99 Last Orders by Graham Swift, Picador, £5.99 Brownout on Breadfruit Boulevard by Timothy Mo, Paddleless, £5.99...

More than a hero

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Charles Douro WELLINGTON: A PERSONAL HISTORY by Christopher Hibbert HaglerCollins, f20, pp. 404 T be asked to review a biography of an ancestor is a challenge. The fear of not...

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Unremittingly seeking Peggy

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William Buchan THE SECRET WOMAN: A LIFE OF PEGGY ASHCROFT by Garry O'Connor Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 236 T he author of this biography has been unfortunate in that its publication...

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A still small voice

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Michael Hulse CASTLES BURNING by Magda Denes Doubleday, £16.99, pp. 350 P art of me fell in love with the voice of Magda Denes and part, flipping back more frequently as the...

What's in a name?

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Christopher Hart NOW ALL WE NEED IS A TITLE: FAMOUS BOOK TITLES AND HOW THEY GOT THAT WAY by Andre Bernard W W. Norton, £7.95, pp. 127 B leak House would still be one of the...

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Al errant knight

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Philip Ziegler UNDER TWO FLAGS: THE LIFE OF MAJOR GENERAL EDWARD SPEARS by Max Egremont Weidenfeld, £25, pp. 370 G eneral Spears was intelligent, brave, clear-sighted,...

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Look! He has come through!

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William Scammell OUT OF SHEER RAGE by Geoff Dyer Little, Brown, f16.99, pp. 244 To everyone else on the island it looked like I was in deep thought, wrestling with...

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The corpse's favourite reading

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o pera addicts, if you ask them nicely, will tell you three things about Daniel- Francois-Esprit Auber's dramatic master- piece, La muette de Portici, first produced in 1828....

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Glasgow's miles worse Redundancies, funding cuts, closures: the city institutions are in a mess. Felicity Owen reports I n the central hall of Kelvingrove, Glas- gow's great...

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Lohengrin (Chatelet Theatre, Paris) Brought back to reality Michael Tanner couple of months ago, reviewing Covent Garden's excellent revival of Lohengrin, I commented that...

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Turner in the North of England, 1797 (Harewood House, Nr Leeds, till 8 June) Go north, young man John Whitley I t's rare to be able to spot exactly the moment an artist jumps...

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The cutting edge Ursula Buchan e it or not, there are basic differ- ences between the sexes. Apart from the obvious ones (women cannot remember football results for longer...

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Tom and Clem (Aldwych) The Critics — Up For Review (Battersea Arts Centre) Marlene (Lyric) Top-level meeting Sheridan Morley M ichael Gambon is not only one of the greatest...

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The Saint (PG, selected cinemas) Twin Town (18, selected cinemas) Ring of no confidence Mark Steyn M y memory of The Saint boils down to little more than...


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I had to have her James Delingpole I can't remember how many times a minute men are supposed to think of sex, but, whatever it is, I fear I have a similar problem with my...

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There was a soldier . . . Michael Vestey S ometimes radio can transform the familiar into the exceptional, a thought which occurred to me when I heard Tunes of Glory...

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The turf

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Happy ever after Robin Oakley R acing people, particularly those who still go jumping on a Saturday in mid-April, are mostly unashamed sentimentalists, the sort who take in...

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High life

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The truth hurts Taki once wrote in these pages that, whenev- er a tank comes up against a student, I root for the tank. It was, I admit, a bit over the top, prompting a couple...

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Country life

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The secret garden Leanda de Lisle W ho are the dotty people who write to problem pages and magazine colum- nists? People like me, I'm afraid. When I'm writing I feel like a...

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Rash youth Andrew Robson WHY is bridge attracting so many young players in Europe yet so few in America where the game is in danger of dying a slow death? The average age of...

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Imperative cooking: for richer, for poorer

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DOES affluence make for better cookin g and eatin g ? Let's put the q uestion rather more narrowly: do those of you who are now middle-a g ed and middle-incomed cook and eat...

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i ,, it 1I4l , COICH %HIV) P I S OF I ,9,,,R,_,A,, COMPETITION Mid-Victorian madness Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1978 you were invited to supply a scene from a melodra-...


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IN-THE-STRAND SIMPSON'S IN-THE-STRAND CHESS Mind-bending Raymond Keene CHESS is more than pure calculation. It also involves qualities of imagination, cre- ative leaps and...

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CROSSWORD 1307: Everything but by Ascot

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A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1991 Port for the first correct solution opened on 6 May, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK...

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Tiger burning bright Simon Barnes LAST Tuesday was Jackie Robinson Day. Robinson was the first black player to play major league baseball in the United States. This is the...


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Dear Mary. . Q. I have recently returned from a skiing holiday in Switzerland, where one of our Party insisted on bringing his mobile tele- Phone onto the slopes. The contrast...