1 AUGUST 1992

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`Christ I hate society! Look how long it takes them to write out our DHSS cheque!' M r John Patten, the Education Secre- tary, published proposals for nearly all sec- ondary...

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Why the classless society should not be the end of the peer show SIMON HEFFER Patronage in the Upper House has become more staid since then. That does not mean the Lords is...

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P . D . JAMES M r Mellor should, of course, have remembered the advice of Arthur Hugh Clough: Do not adultery commit, Advantage rarely comes of it. There is, however,...

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Why journalists have become better dressed but too big for their boots CHARLES MOORE W hen I joined the Daily Telegraph in 1979, it was a rule imposed by the then pro-...

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From domestic VAT rates to the recognition of Croatia, Britain is now meekly falling in with German policies. Boris Johnson explains why we have given up so much WHEN John...

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John Simpson explains how Saddam Hussein keeps hold of power in Iraq, and suggests an antidote THE OTHER night, when the United Nations had reached its agreement with Saddam...

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If symptoms

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persist.. . I WAS ON my way to my rounds at a prison last week when I noticed a Nean- derthal youth by the side of the road, thumbing a lift. I stopped to pick him up, for, in...

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G.M. Tanuis politely asks the West to keep out of eastern Europe, until it has understood the region IT IS NOTORIOUSLY difficult to under- stand eastern Europe, and not only...

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Michael Heath

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Richard Pendry argues that the campaign to release a murderess has more to do with feminism than justice SARA THORNTON'S trial in 1990 attracted little interest from those not...

One hundred years ago

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THE volcanic disaster in Sangir Island — the island between the Celebes and Philippine group — on which we com- mented a week ago, has evidently been, as we suspected, much...

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Clare Hodges discovers that doctors are prevented by law from prescribing the best treatment for her multiple sclerosis AFTER A couple of years of doctors try- ing to find out...

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Shouting with a mob for all seasons PAUL JOHNSON O ne of the darkest observations on pol- itics was made by the benevolent and sup- posedly innocent-minded Mr Pickwick....

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No gold for Britain as we all fall down in the Financial Olympics CHRISTOPHER FILDES W hizzing high over the City and com- ing down to earth with a thud, a symbolic blue arrow...

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Tough questions

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Sir: If Paul Johnson really knew what aca- demic philosophers talk about these days (And another thing, 18 July), his bile might rise more than it does now. As a lecturer in...

Sir: As well as worrying his curly head over `What

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is philosophy for?', Paul Johnson might like to ponder a raft of similarly unanswerable questions. What is physics for? What is sculpture for? What are sym - phonies for? What...

Sir: I am not surprised that the Bishop of St

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Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane claims to be receiving letters about John Gummer from the spirit world (Letters, 25 July). My memories of him in St Andrews include the occasion...

LETTERS Noise in church

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Sir: If Mr Selwyn Gummer would only pause for a moment and listen he might learn that it is not only trendy liberals who support the ordination of women. So do a considerable...

The very notion

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Sir: When I was working for Punch in the 1950s, Evelyn Waugh offered to send us an article suggesting that Tito was in fact a woman. Malcolm Muggeridge, then the editor, wisely...

Feet of clay

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Sir: I don't like to see your reviewer Flew bad-mouth John Kenneth Galbraith (Books, 13 June). Professor Galbraith is a pillar of the East Coast establishment and a true...

Fatal flaw

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Sir: Simon Heffer (Politics, 25 July) slurs British politicians when he writes that David Mellor is disliked by them for his superior ability. By general consent, it is his...

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Medikal effiks

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Sir: GOD ELP ENIWUN HU (anyone who) GOWS TO Th— D— (If symptoms persist, 25 July) IN HIZ PROFESHNAL (professional) CAPSTY (capacity) WIV SUM EMBRASIN SOWSHAL DIZEEZ. HEEL PROBLY...

The Viking connection

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Sir: Mr Alf Bjercke (Letters, 4 July) states that . there has never been a Viking hel- met with horns', and alleges that 'the first such helmet was created in connection with...

Big and small thieves

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Sir: R.M. Lacy's letter (18 July) says that in the Maxwell case the normal law as regards stolen property does not apply, `so long as the lenders were innocent of knowledge of...

Sir: If Jeff Bernard can afford £32 for a taxi

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(Low life, 27 June), who needs high life? Victor Mathias 30 Brookdene Drive, Northwood, Middlesex

Leg-pull or gaffe

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Sir: I don't think that Auberon Waugh is subtle enough to be pulling our legs in pro- claiming portentously that 'carbon dioxide is produced by vegetation' (Another voice, 13...

Trousers out of the blue

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Sir: Jeffrey Bernard hs recycled two excel- lent stories, virtually intact, told by his friend Guy (Low life, 4 July). However, in the version 25 years ago, the man on the...

Sense of humour

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Sir: I refer to your Dear Mary column (II April), in which she gave advice to some- One who has just installed a swimming-pool in their garden and is worried about others...

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The best of all possible worlds James Buchan T his book, which consists of fragments of academic autobiography embedded in dense speculation about knowledge, may not pass all...

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Slayer of tyrants and saviour of Sicily

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Jasper Griffin A CHOICE OF MURDER by Peter Vansittart Peter Owen, £14.99, pp .216 I f history were a more moral business, it would perhaps not be Alexander of Mace- don whom we...

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Thirty years on

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Julie Burchill MARILYN'S MEN by Jane Ellen Wayne Robson, £16.95, pp. 217 QUEEN OF DESIRE: MARILYN MONROE — A FICTION by Sam Toperoff Picador, £14.99, pp. 276 MARILYN AND ME —...

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A Nietzsche of sweetness and light

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Herbert Lomas THE DREAM OF INTELLIGENCE by Sebastian Barker Littlewood Arc, £15.95, pp. 215 P robably no one hates Nietzsche more than I do, yet here is an exalting book about...

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Thoroughly modern thriller

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Christopher Hawtree THE PELICAN BRIEF by John Grisham Century, £14.99, pp. 371 S oft! We are observed. Gone are the days when Richard Hannay could leap aboard a long-distance...

As good

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as any in Europe David Ekserdjian THE SCULPTURE OF JACOPO SANSOVINO by Bruce Boucher Yale, 2 volumes, £95, pp. 652 T he long shadow Michelangelo casts over sculpture in...

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First novels concerning children

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Celestria Noel UNSUITABLE ARRANGEMENTS by Keverne Barrett Serpent's Tail, 1'8.99, pp. 339 THE DISAPPEARANCE OF RORY BROPHY by Carl Lombard Fourth Estate, 1'8.99, pp. 241 BLUE...

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They that rule in England

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in stately conclave met William Thomas RIOT, RISINGS AND REVOLU- TION: GOVERNANCE AND VIOLENCE IN EIGHTEENTH- CENTURY ENGLAND by Ian Gilmour Hutchinson, f25, pp. 504 T he...

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Exhibitions 1 Neo-classical and Romantic: German Drawings of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Fitzwilliam Museum, till 13 September) Mountains, forests and waterfalls Celina Fox...

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Royal Ballet (Covent Garden) Match- Sophie Constanti M atchmaking is the ballet world's favourite in-house sport. And no other bal- let encourages our premature blessing of a...


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Columbus and the Discovery of Japan (Barbican) Shades (Albery) History rewritten Sheridan Morley I t is one of those weeks when you feel like chucking in your Critics' Circle...

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rts , Diaily A monthly selection of forthcoming events recommended by The Spectator's regular critics MUSIC Highlights at the Proms this month: on the 19th the Moscow Soloists...

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Exhibitions 2

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Photography in Russia 1840-1940 (Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, till 25 October) Hidden agenda Giles Auty T he summer creeps on and even those private galleries which have...

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Eloquent memorial Marina Benjamin visits a new museum of the Great War in France N estling amidst trees on the quiet banks of Lake Cam behind the ruins of the old château at...

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Domesticated bliss Martyn Harris A s an enthusiastic meat-eater I was sure, until a few years ago, that animal rights was a passing fad of pampered West- erners. A society...


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Far and Away (`12', Empire Leicester Square) It's a free country Vanessa Letts T om Cruise has a short neck, short arms and a short arse. Add slabs of muscle all over the...

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High life

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Olympic freak show Taki T he high point of the opening ceremony In Barcelona — at least for yours truly was seeing Princess Elena crying as the Spanish team entered the...

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Long life

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A taste for speed Nigel Nicolson I cannot claim much in common with the brilliant Mansell except a Christian name , but there are few of us who have not expe - rienced from...

Low life

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Water torture Jeffrey Bernard A ll is quiet on the West End front. Norman has gone to the French Riviera for a holiday and I have been in bed for most of the week suffering...

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Imperative cooking: how

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to shop no. 5: the larder ipt k jolkaAlk , _ AL THE BASIC lesson about shopping in England is that lots of sources are needed. It's true of meat, fish and the things which live...

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Stuck with it

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Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1738 you were in- vited to supply a poem or music-hall song lamenting the state of being stuck with your own tattoo(s). Like 'that encyclopaedia,...


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Stupor mundi redux Raymond Keene I n a press conference in Belgrade last week, the sensational news was announced that Bobby Fischer is to emerge from his two decades of...

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A first prize of £20 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 17 August, with two runners-up prizes of £10 (or, for UK...

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Victor ludorum Frank Keating THE FOOT-RACE distances on the Olympics track are, in metres, 100, 200, 400, 800, 110 hurdles, 400 hurdles, 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000. Each of those...


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. . Dear Mary. Q. Every year for the last seven years my husband and I have given a dance on our shared birthday at the end of September. This year we cannot afford to spend...