1 AUGUST 1998

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The Spectator

There will be 200 more television channels by the autumn M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, reshuffled the Cabinet, admitting to it Mr Peter Mandelson as Secretary of State for...

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SPECTAT THE OR The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL

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Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 WHAT BIRT REFORMS? D inner ladies perform a vital function in society, which, like the army, marches on its stomach. This autumn,...

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Why Mr Mandelson's ideas for the DTI may not be Mr Brown's BRUCE ANDERSON I n some respects, the reshuffle strength- ened the government. The Cabinet minis- ters who got the...

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SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE 'T Odessa his', I joked as I surveyed the plush private sauna with its humid pine walls, swish bar and damp smell, `is exactly the sort of place where...

Classifieds —pages 51 and 54

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Tara causes a London sensation (not Palmer-Tomkinson) MATTHEW PARRIS F irst the dramatis personae. Tara is an orphan lamb — well, not quite an orphan, for she does have a...

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As officials came and went, and ministers rose and fell, the Chancellor talked to Petronella Wyatt IT WAS five o' clock on Monday afternoon and the Prime Minister was in the...

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James Srodes on what British agents did to help lure the United States into the second world war Washington, DC IT'S A TALE better than any spy fiction. Details of how Winston...

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Kenneth Baker envisages a time when the English should have their own Parliament TONY BLAIR will be remembered for the dismemberment of the United King- dom. Apart from the...

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William Shawcross defends 'mercenaries', and an FO man, against the Legg Report IN SIERRA LEONE, the repulsive hood- lums who usurped power until they were driven out last year...

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Irwin Stelzer, one of Mr Murdoch's associates who listened to Mr Brown, was unpersuaded New York BY suggesting that the Prime Minister's increasing support for British...

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Michael Heath

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What it's like for a reporter to be there when news happens, not afterwards NICHOLAS OWEN There have been a few exceptions in the more than 30 years of my career: an explo-...

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Critics run for cover when a popular artist starts to become an Old Master PAUL JOHNSON John Updike, writing in 1990, said he looked at a 1950 Rockwell painting `Shuf-...

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Walking the plank

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A GOOD JUDGE in the City described Tiny Rowland as the most dangerous man he had ever met. One of his faithful share- holders called him a buccaneer, until I pointed out that...


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ALL RESHUFFLES have winners and losers, but this one was remarkable for its survivor. Geoffrey Robinson stays on as Paymaster-General to contribute his unique experience of tax...

Back to the Old Cock

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THE MUTUAL societies have to show that they can do things differently and better, and even that, as the Nationwide has found, is no guarantee of safety. There are cries for...


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Some day soon the Bank of England will reopen as a gastrodome and no one will turn up CHRISTOPHER FILDES O liver St John Gogarty wanted to reform the Irish banking system by...

It's a blow-out THE GASTRODOME Factor was pretty well the

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only indicator that the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee failed to monitor, but the Governor ought to have taken them all out out to lunch and shown them what was...

Our mutual friends

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I WAS SAD to think, so I told my audience of building society chieftains, that this was the last time we should meet in the Backscratchers' Hall, or whichever City hall it was....

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Off message

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Sir: 'The joys and hopes, the griefs and anx- ieties of the men and women of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these too are the joys and hopes,...

Clear as a bell

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Sir: I have nothing but admiration for the beauty of our London Royal Parks, espe- cially since their semi-privatisation in 1992 and the arrival of David Welch as chief...

A bankrupt genre

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Sir: I am indebted to Hal Colebatch for his letter (18 July) about Michael Harrington's brilliant description of the science fiction genre. I had intended to write and compli-...

LETTERS Bored by Bridget

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Sir: 'The initial reluctance to accept Bridget [Jones]', writes Vicky Ward, 'wasn't simply anglophobic' ('OK, you can write about Britain', 25 July). She then quotes from a New...

Union dues

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Sir: I don't want to give the impression that I am a Little Scotlander bridling at any imagined slight by an Englishman. I happen to believe passionately in Scotland continu-...

Plain speaking

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Sir: Perhaps the reason that Patrick Ten- nant (Letters, 25 July) does not understand my 'blather' on the Tennants is that he descends from those Tennants who remain...

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For less than this, I once had an ink-pot thrown at my head PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE Then about three months later the tele- phone rang and it was an ebullient Darcus Howe on the...

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Moles and peacocks Philip Hensher THE CHANCELLORS by Roy Jenkins Macmillan, £25, pp. 497 C hancellors of the Exchequer divide neatly into moles and peacocks, number- crunchers...

All books reviewed in The Spectator are available through THE

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SPECTATOR BOOKSHOP Tel: 0541 557 288

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The higher the tower

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David V. Barrett WAR IN HEAVEN by David Zindell Voyager, £11.99, pp. 618 A k most people why they read science fiction when they were teenagers, and the answer will probably...

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A slippered pantaloon

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Helen Osborne A SERIOUS MAN by David Storey Cape, £16.99, pp. 288 h at about me?' wails put-upon Etty, putative New Woman and daughter of Richard Fenchurch, the eponymous...

Up a gum tree

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Michael Hulse EUCALYPTUS by Murray Bail Harvill, E12.99, pp. 264 M urray Bail publishes his sly, impec- cable novels at intervals as long as Philip Larkin's once were between...


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12 Months 6 Months (52 issues) (26 issues) UK U £97.00 0 £49.00 Europe U £109.00 0 £55.00 USA GI US$ 161 0 US$82 Australia U Aus$225 U Aus$113 Rest of World U £119.00 0 £60.00...

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Analysis of dreamland

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Frederic Raphael THE NEW AMERICAN CINEMA edited by Jon Lewis Duke University Press, £18.95, pp. 392 J ust under 30 years ago I flew out to Los Angeles in order to kiss hands,...

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In the pot, nine days old

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Digby Anderson CONSUMING PASSIONS: FOOD IN THE AGE OF ANXIETY edited by Sian Griffiths and Jennifer Wallace Mandolin, £9.50, pp. 208 D o you remember the English curry? It was...

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A romantic outsider

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John McEwen T his handsome monograph devoted to the 73-year-old Karl Weschke is overdue, but all the more welcome for it. The reason for the delay is a tribute to the artist...

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Rogues and peasant slaves

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Patrick Skene Catling THE LAND OF GREEN PLUMS by Herta Muller, translated by Michael Hofmann Granta, £9.99, pp. 242 M ilan Kundera, in Testaments Betrayed, complained that...


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BookoftheWeek The Emotional Brain by Joseph LeDoux Far-reaching in its implications for our understanding of human nature, The Emotional Brain is a surprising and...

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Clerihew Corner

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Severiano Ballesteros Is one of my great golfing heroes. When the stewards shout 'Stand back!'

How we are wired

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Hugh Lawson-Tancred THE EMOTIONAL BRAIN by Joseph LeDoux Weidenfeld, £1 8.99, pp. 384 I n the last moments of Virgil's Aeneid, Aeneas, whose whole life has turned him into a...

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The Cuban Kafka

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Raymond Carr THE COLLECTED STORIES of Calvert Casey, edited by Ilan Stavans Duke University Press, 115.95, pp. 193 H itherto an unknown figure to the English-speaking world,...

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SPECilhAl' 'OR

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READER OFFER PERSONAL HEADED NOTEPAPER & VISITING CARDS First impressions still count... The perfect personal greeting. Each set of Visiting Cards matches our Personal...

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Rejecting the idea of continuity Andrew Wordsworth questions whether Siena is the right place for a modern sculpture exhibition T he people of Siena are busy preparing for the...

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Exhibitions 1

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Bruce Nauman (Hayward Gallery, till 6 September) Aesthetic mugging Martin Gayford I would have to cope with noise, disrup- tion, and a constant stream of irritations, my...

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Exhibitions 2

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John Wells: The Fragile Cell (Tate Gallery, St Ives, till 1 November) Eminent Edwardian John Spurting J ohn Wells, the writer and comedian, died in January at the sadly early...

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Dr Dolittle (PG, selected cinemas) Animal crackers Mark Steyn T here was a book out in America recently by Peter Biskind called Easy Rid- ers, Raging Bulls: How the...


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Play it again Michael Tanner T he Proms have begun in a highly oper- atic vein this year, as if to make up for defi- ciencies elsewhere in London. Berlioz's La Damnation de...

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park) Closer Than Ever (Jermyn Street Theatre) Cabaret (Pizza on the Park) Inventing America (Barbican) Bury the jewels...

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Are you still there? Michael Vestey 0 ne of the pleasures of living where I do, on the border between Wiltshire and Dorset, is that Sunday lunches can last until midnight. The...

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The first estate Alan Judd • e many essentially useless and superfluous persons, I venerate utility. The fact that something does its job well, is durable and achieves a...


The Spectator

A bit of a nightmare James Delingpole Y ou know how, when you get back from your summer holidays, you feel brain- dead, aghast at how little has gone on in your absence, and...

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The turf

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Buzz of expectancy Robin Oakley T he best way to remember your wife's birthday, it has been said, is to forget it once. Those of us who were there for the 1997 King George VI...

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High life

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Hairy and horny Taki I Athens t is 41° C in the shade, and even the horny Greek Lotharios have had to take cover. In fact, it's so hot a girl can walk alone and unmolested...


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Lonely. heart Andrew Robson SOUTH cannot have envisioned making a slam after his partner had passed as dealer and then responded in his singleton. But North reckoned...

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1837 at Brown's Hotel, The Savoy Grill

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IT IS ODD how hotel dining-rooms almost invariably remain hotel dining-rooms, whatever may be done to them. Given any number of make-overs and refurbishments, the impression...

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A death too far Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2044 you were invited to add, in the form of a letter to The Spectator, to the silly, sentimental and tasteless suggestions being...


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Mystery man Raymond Keene KIRSAN ILUMZINOV, the enigmatic president of both Fide, the World Chess Federation, and the autonomous Russian Republic of Kalmykia, continues to...

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1373: White House by Dumpynose A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 17 August, with two runners- up prizes of...

Solution to 1370: Snapper II

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Clernirlialniar Z. fei AMMO r mik4 I N nrin R 1 nr 111 1 An A Dr ra i En E R t t OM N On LeIrrifirli erijr1 N il I IIT UNPIN we c non gtir ii Winn uri c our a , L R urd eon R T...

No. 2047: Bizarre books

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This week and next week I present you with two authentic titles of published works and invite you to provide an amusing extract from either. This week's titles are Cooking with...

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Dope and glory Simon Barnes THE TOUR de France is just a bike race, in the way that Test match cricket at Lord's is just a bat and ball game. Imagine learn- ing that the MCC...


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Dear Mary. . . Q. How should one most tactfully alert a colleague in a busy office to the fact that there is an irredeemable stain, of goodness knows what origin, in a terribly...