19 NOVEMBER 1994

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The Spectator

`May I recommend a good lawyer?' T he Prime Minister, Mr John Major, said at the Lord Mayor's banquet that he would like to talk to representatives of Protestant terrorists...

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The Spectator

SPECTATOR The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 FAITH , HOPE AND LOTTERY he statues and carvings may be...

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The chances of survival in white-collar jobs are becoming almost as bad as those at Aspinall's zoo BORIS JOHNSON B alkash rose on his hind legs and put his front paws on...

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A.N. WILSON L ast week's Spectator contained no less than three articles bemoaning the state of the press and wondering what should be done about it. I view the nastier sides...

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The Spectator

Ronald Reagan calls brilliantly on the corniest of all movie images — going off into the sunset CHARLES MOORE An . id all the coverage of the American Congressional...

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A recent article in The Spectator has caused consternation in America. Dominic Lawson explains how two nations are becoming increasingly divided by a common language...

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Michael Heath

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Richard Stengel gives a personal account of the character of Nelson Mandela, whose autobiography is published this month NELSON IVIANDELA loves newspapers. He reads them...

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Alasdair Palmer reports from a state where euthanasia has just been voted onto the statute book Portland, Oregon THIS WEEK, Oregon became the first place on earth to allow...

Will of the week

The Spectator

Colonel Kenneth William Merrylees, of Blaize House, Church Street, Laven- ham, Suffolk, the water diviner, who worked during the second world war as a bomb-disposal expert when...

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If symptoms

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persist.. . LAST WEEK, a young man came to me and complained about his temper. 'A temper's a terrible thing,' he said. `You never know what it'll do next.' He spoke of it as...

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The dying of Newfoundland, once Britain's proudest colony, now seems to be an almost unavoidable calamity, says Simon Winchester Trout River, Newfoundland THE FOUR meals...

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Albert Reynolds has a face like a tortoise's armpit. But that is the least of his problems, argues Kevin Myers Dublin ONLY LAST WEEK Albert Reynolds, the Taoiseach of Ireland,...

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Patrick Bishop tracks the rollercoaster ride of General Sir Michael Rose's reputation Sarajevo SOON AFTER the Bosnian Serbs backed down in the face of threatened Nato air...

Mind your language

The Spectator

RICHARD HOUGH, who has recently published a biography of Captain Cook, wrote to me the other day about the word Borettoes which occurs in his book. I had suggested it was a...

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One hundred years ago

The Spectator

THE GENTLEMEN who wish to put down gambling by law, and especially to restrict it at horse-races, had an inter- view on Tuesday with Mr. Asquith, but went away rather...

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The Spectator

Edward Lucas moves to Austria and finds the country more backward than is popularly believed Vienna THE LEAFLET which dropped through our letter-box carried a sombre warning....

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The Spectator

Simon Courtauld investigates the great free-range racket, and argues that the British consumer is being short-changed TWENTY THOUSAND hens jostle for space on wire-netting, in...

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The Spectator

OF ALL THE 38 counties in England, Kent is the best. I say that because it is my county. If it were not, I would put it about fourth — after Dorset, Hereford and Cumbria —...

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The Spectator

Exploring a capitalist Jurassic Park in darkest Staffordshire PAUL JOHNSON S ome time ago in a remainder bookshop I came across a collection of reprinted jour- nalism. I was...

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Wishing well

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I SAY, what a bit of luck. We have found a money-well. Everyone will benefit, the Prime Minister says, and the country will be richer. This is better than finding oil under...

. . . Mus Cat

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OUTGOING Lord Mayors must avoid the limelight, but Sir Paul Newall turned out to be a star, and I hope that some more worth- while part will now be found him than a place in the...

Doubtful Detta...

The Spectator

AFTER THE Lord Mayor's Show, the Bar- bican. Lord Mayor Christopher Walford must take off his tricorn hat and scratch his head, wondering what to do about the City's most...

High cost of dying

The Spectator

THAT POINT is brought home to me by a Lloyd's member who is trying to save his heirs from the unresolved liabilities that would attach themselves, leech-like, to his estate....


The Spectator

Pilots, parrots, militants, receivers, believers vote early, vote often at Lloyd's CHRISTOPHER FILDES I am surprised that the Official Monster Raving Loony Party is not...

Sub up for Europe

The Spectator

I COULD have saved Kenneth Clarke the trouble of writing 330 letters to Conserva- tive MPs, urging them to vote even more money for the Euro-budget — just a £75- million...

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LETTERS Letter-writing cabal

The Spectator

Sir: The reaction to my article pointing out that Hollywood's feudal power structure is predominantly Jewish (`Kings of the deal', 29 October) has been wholly misconstrued. If I...

Sir: William Cash's article about Jewish influence in Hollywood has

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caused a great deal of offence and outrage. His suggestion that the founders of a new studio venture are more likely to succeed if they are Jews is bizarre. Several of the...

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Irish spies

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Sir: It may or may not be true, as Oleg Gordievsky states in his review of Oleg Kalugin's book (Books, 22 October), that the KGB administered brain-damaging drugs to the...

A small step for man

The Spectator

Sir: While passing through the UK recently, I heard the Prime Minister declare that progress in some matter or other had 'made a quantum leap forward'. To the best of my...

Sir: William Cash worries about 'inevitable shrieks of "anti-Semitism" '

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as a conse- quence of his anti-Semitism. Not to worry. People as powerful as us have no need to shriek. We will bide our time and silently see justice done. Maybe before...

Reductive logic

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Sir: When Auberon Waugh, Paul Johnson and Simon Jenkins all devote their columns to furious condemnations of the News of the World (as they did in the 12 November issue), then I...

Mrs Right

The Spectator

Sir: Mrs David Millett (Letters, 12 Novem- ber) is proud to be known thus. That is her right. Mrs Virginia Bottomley has made it clear that she wishes to be known thus. That is...

Fat chance

The Spectator

Sir: From a review of some 1,200 words, (Books, 29 October) John Goodwin, an old friend and former PR supremo at the National Theatre, plucks just one to charge me patronisingly...

Sir: Brits who think like Cash belong to an ungrateful

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and pathetic lot. They forget that were it not for the American Jewish community's efforts before World War II pushing for American aid, and later entry in the European theatre,...


The Spectator

12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £80.00 ❑ £41.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £91.00 0 £46.00 USA Airspeed 0 US$130 0 US$66.00 USA Airmail ❑ US$175 LI US$88 Rest of Airmail 0 f111.00 0...

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The Spectator

Dr Mawhinney's secret traffic plan for London: random congestion SIMON JENKINS N o emblem of authority enrages the modern Briton as does the motorway cone. These dunce's caps...

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Francis King

The Spectator

My most impressive book of the year is Before Night Falls (Viking, £16), the posthumously published autobiography of the Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas. Arenas suffered...

Alan Judd

The Spectator

Having contributed a chapter on Lamb House to Writers and their Houses, I returned this year to Henry James: The Wings of the Dove and The Golden Bowl. The exhilaration of...

Peter Levi

The Spectator

James Lees-Milne has produced a diary (A Mingled Measure, John Murray, £19.99) so sparkling and readable, so surprising and so wise and often so funny it has cheered me all day...

G. Cabrera Infante

The Spectator

Here is the shortlist of the best books I've read this year. Loving Garbo by Hugo Vickers (Cape, £29.99). Probably the most entertaining biography of the year, This...

Christmas Books

The Spectator

A selection of the best and most overrated books of the year, chosen by some of The Spectator's regular contributors Anita Brookner For me the most rewarding novel of the year...

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Hilary Mantel

The Spectator

I would like to recommend a novel by a young man from Glasgow . . . no, don't make those retching noises and run out of the room, just calm down and listen for a second; this...

David Caute

The Spectator

For late-night laughter I have been sus- tained by Garrison Kelllor's The Book of Guys (Faber, £14.99). The general thesis is that any male foolish enough to venture into adult...

Nigel Nicolson

The Spectator

I liked Nelson: A Personal History by Christopher Hibbert (Viking, £20) because it is a perfect example of how to humanise greatness, and happily Nelson had enough faults to...

P. J. Kavanagh

The Spectator

Shusaku Endo is the leading Japanese writ- er of his generation (b. 1923) and his The Girl I Left Behind (Peter Owen, £14.99) is a remarkably convincing study, without irony or...

Giles Auty

The Spectator

It is reassuring to learn how difficult or even impossible life seemed at times to another long-term critic for The Spectator: this paper's lively and controversial review- er...

Frederic Raphael

The Spectator

Roger Scruton's Modem Philosophy (Sinclair-Stevenson, £25) was the most use- ful book I read this year: it combines verve with reliability and reminds us that, with the decline...

Rupert Christiansen

The Spectator

Nothing, nothing can match for me the charm and fascination of One Art (Chatto & Windus, £25), a selection of letters by the American poet, Elizabeth Bishop, as rich a record...

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Martin Vander Weyer

The Spectator

I am doomed to read a lot of dull stuff about the financial world, but occasionally there is something more flavoursome. Adam Raphael's Ultimate Risk: The Inside Story of the...

A.N. Wilson

The Spectator

Lawrence James has written what I have long wanted: a readable, intelligent history of the British Empire in one volume. I heartily recommend The Rise and Fall of the British...

Philip Glazebrook

The Spectator

Reading a book aloud surely tests it in every particular, and the least flawed book I've read this year (silently or aloud) has been Moonfleet by J. Meade Falkner. An adventure...

Oleg Gordievsky

The Spectator

I have found that the best books of 1994 were Spies and Other Secrets by Nicholas Bethell (Viking, £18) and Conflict of Loyal- y by Geoffrey Howe (Macmillan, £25). Bethell,...

Caroline Moore

The Spectator

A Change of Climate (Viking, £15) is anoth- er excellent novel by Hilary Mantel, subtle as well as shocking. She writes of evil and the loss of faith, and is bleak, funny and...

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Nigella Lawson

The Spectator

At times this year I thought I'd never get beyond the instructions printed on the side of the Pampers packet. And when time to read is difficult to find, the effort has to be...

M. R. D. Foot

The Spectator

I would have liked to include Mirjam M Foot, Studies in the History of Bookbinding (Scolar Press, £69.50), but suppose that being married to the author ought to inhib- it me....

Amit Chaudhuri

The Spectator

James Kelman's A Disaffection (Seeker, £11.95, Picador, £6.99) is the best novel I have read recently. Kelman uses pidgin Glaswegian to evoke the deluded, selfish, and...

Mary Killen

The Spectator

The Letters of John Betjeman, Volume I edited and with vivid linking passages by his daughter Candida Lycett-Green (Methuen, £20, £9.99) give hours of happy reading. Wayland...

Richard Cobb

The Spectator

The two books which I have most enjoyed reading in the course of this year are both by Oxford teaching historians, both published by the Oxford University Press and are both...

Nigel Spivey

The Spectator

It is with a sense of revenge placated that I have been reading Louis-Jean Calvet's Roland Barthes: A Biography (Polity, £29.50). What, Roland, of la mode de l'auteur? You who...

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Trouble with endings

The Spectator

Philip Hensher PUSHKIN here's a good game to be had finding characteristic sentences in novelists. Not sentences which sum anything up; rather, sentences which seem completely...

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Horse Chestnut

The Spectator

Grandfathers who have spiky outsides Can be fun inside: a gallows humour, Hanging their youth out to be hit By kids who have not had to bake Or save, but possess proud fivers On...

Lord of the rueful countenance

The Spectator

John Jolliffe SPIES AND OTHER SECRETS by Nicholas Bethell Viking, £18, pp. 397 T he author of this book is brave enough to quote in an arresting opening paragraph a letter he...

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Crucified, moustache and all

The Spectator

Patricia Craig FROM THE BEAST TO THE BLONDE by Marina Warner Chatto, £20, pp. 458 T he fairy tale has proved an extraordi- narily rich source of analysable emblems: not only a...


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Make sure of your copy of The Spectator every week by asking your local newsagent to save or deliver it. Complete the form below and hand it to your newsagent Please...

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Making a meal of it

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Francis King ONCE UPON A TIME by John Barth Sceptre, £16.99, pp. 398 by John Barth Sceptre, £16.99, pp. 398 n a 'Program Note' to this book, John Barth writes that it 'is not...

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Bringing up baby

The Spectator

Adam Zamoyski THE NAKED PRESIDENT: A POLITICAL LIFE OF LECH WALESA by Roger Boyes Secker & Warburg, f20, pp. 324 L ech Walesa was too good to be true. The doughty little...

Lipograms that laugh and hide

The Spectator

William Scammell A VOID by Georges Perec, translated by Gilbert Adair Harvill, £15.99, f7.99, pp. 284 T erminal anarchy breaks out in the Introduction. A country like France...

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And we have come into our Hermitage

The Spectator

Evelyn Jon THE STATE HERMITAGE: MASTERPIECES FROM THE MUSEUM'S COLLECTIONS edited by David Hemming and Mark Sutcliffe Booth-Clibbom Editions, two volumes, f150, pp. 1,571 I n...

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Infusing him with self and vain conceit

The Spectator

Giles Foden GREY AREA by Will Self Bloomsbury, £9.99, pp.287 ill Self is 'the hottest young novelist in England', according to the Los Angeles Times, which must have a man on...

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The Spectator

American way of digging Ursula Buchan N o other nation can teach us about gardening. With our wonderfully temperate climate and our love of gardens — a love ingrained as...

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The Spectator

Leave Elgar in the air Robin Holloway T here is always curiosity value in the birthplaces and residences of the great, even when they fail to create an atmo- sphere that...

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The Spectator

CHRISTMAS GIFT SUBSCRIPTION Give a gift subscription of The Spectator to a friend and we wi 1 give you a full size bottle of ten year old Glenmorangie Single Highland Malt. But...


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A Song at Twilight (Greenwich) True West (Donmar Warehouse) A Passionate Woman (Comedy) Alice's Adventures Under Ground (National) Cowardly swansong Sheridan Morley I t is...

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The Spectator

Presents for the Cabinet Alistair McAlpine ust occasionally a sale-room has a run of sales that break away from their normal activity of selling money for more money- Bonhams...


The Spectator

Airheads (`15' selected cinemas) Sick or what? Mark Steyn W en Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers was released in America, it briefly toppled Forrest Gump as the week's box-...

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The Spectator

Bring back the bounce Nigella Lawson E mbarrassed watchers of soap operas, keen not to be seen subsisting on a diet of prolefeed, nervously protest that 'really, you know,...

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High life

The Spectator

Trading in snow Taki New York T he Olden Hotel in Gstaad is even more famous than the Palace. It is located in the middle of the main street, and is a veritable architectural...

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Low life

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The Grouch() Papers Jeffrey Bernard T he start of the new series of Martin Chuzzlewit didn't irritate me at all, but the spin-off from both amateur and profession- al litgrati...

Long life

The Spectator

Trust a sloppy Joe Nigel Nicolson Her book might do more damage if it were better written, and contained more bricks and less straw. It is ill-composed, ill- argued,...

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Office life

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Piles of bin ends Holly Budd T he week our wastepaper baskets were needlessly replaced the computers began to `Yes I suppose the cat is quite big. Why do you ask.' go down....

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The Spectator

Count your blessings Auberon Waugh D ike all Corney & Barrow offers, this one conies with generous — sometimes awe-inspiring, but never alarming — dis- counts from the...


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c/o Corney & Barrow 12 Helmet Row, London EC1V Tel: (071) 251 4051 Fax: (071) 608 1373 Price No. Value White I. Chardonnay Cores Cara lanes 1992 12 Bots £5220...

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I Imperative cooking: pleasure L not potatoes

The Spectator

A; plan to make every citizen eat 1,095 egg- sized potatoes every year has been mixed. The Guardian's was the most irrelevant. That is not as predictable as you might think....

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liSLE O A F u R j

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)INGLE MALI SCOICHI1XISK1 ISLE OF i U RA SI‘GLE MAC I OIL/I MOW COMPETITION Tall (or tiny) story Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1856 you were invited to imagine yourself...


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CHESS rAtrong19 SPAIN'S FINEST CAVA Vive l'attaque! Raymond Keene KASPAROV'S PLAY is at its most appealing when he launches on grand adventures, with incalculable results,...

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& J .

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URAHAM'S m PORT CROSSWORD GRAHAM'S PORT A . fi rst prize of £ 25 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 V intage Port for the first correct solution opened on 5 December,...

No. 1859: Downer, not upper

The Spectator

You are invited to write a 'letter of condo- lence' on the misfortune of an acquain- tance which, intentionally or not, would have the effect of lowering rather than rais- ing...

Solution to 1183: Badgerman

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i V 14 Gi I's 'HIE 's s l A E N H viOe A M g IP b B I L M A GEt TB V RAP H A R ti RIAFT X 1SVET T IH I u K kI 0 A D MET AL fTE M IIIIME P...

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Four strutting giants Frank Keating AFTER LAST week's thoughts on ageism, a reader's postcard wonders how long since such a (stubbled) greybeard went out to bat for England in...


The Spectator

Dear Mary.. . Q : Earlier this year I sublet my flat to a friend — who moved in with his girlfriend while he wrote a film script. Now that they have relinquished their tenure...