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The Spectator

How will they get Major out? M r John Major, the Prime Minister, wore a cable-knit jumper at a meeting of the Cabinet at Chequers held to decide upon which policies to fight...

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The Spectator

The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 THE THIN BLURRED LINE T he Prime Minister's ' detractors are asking why he does...

Page 8


The Spectator

Just when Mr Portillo was looking seaworthy again, he's fallen overboard BRUCE ANDERSON Assuming that there was to be a replace- ment for Britannia, the question was who...

Page 9


The Spectator

JEREMY ISAACS F rom snow in Suffolk to the coast of Coromandel — to get away from it all. There was only one board member of the Royal Opera House in the hotel. Madras, capital...

Page 10


The Spectator

The row over the royal yacht illustrates nothing more than the ignorance of the British public PETRONELLA WYATT W hat a yacht of fuss! What a yacht of discord! According to...

Page 11


The Spectator

But how many votes? SIR James Goldsmith breezed into Britain's European debate in September 1995, announcing that he intended to field candidates against any MPs of all parties...

Page 14


The Spectator

Sandy Gall, on the campaign trail with the cricketer-politician, finds him disdaining extra security Lahore THE FIVE small boys, aged at a guess between eight and ten, had...

Page 16


The Spectator

On the fiftieth anniversary of Al Capone's the underworld's outstanding statesman AL CAPONE, the most famous gangster of the 20th century, died 50 years ago this month. He was...

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Mind your language

The Spectator

'MUMMY'S made a mistake!' chanted Veronica. 'Do shut up, 0 Scrapings of my Womb,' I replied. 'It is not surprising with you jigging around the kitchen when I'm trying to write....

Page 19


The Spectator

The Labour Leader's welfare reforms, says Conrad Russell, amount to an unacceptable proposal for moral tyranny His gentle spirit rolls In the melody of souls - Which is...

Page 20

Second opinion

The Spectator

THE British Medical Journal these days is obsessed with inequalities in health. The Christmas edition of that august publication was largely devoted to the subject, to which it...

Page 21


The Spectator

Surprisingly, Alan Clark won because of the Wets who were for Nicholas Scott. THE FOUR final candidates for Kensing- ton and Chelsea's Conservative candidacy had addressed the...

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The Spectator

Eurocrats rush in where Hitler and Verwoerd feared to tread PAUL JOHNSON 13 ritain is quite right to veto the propos- al to establish the 'European Union Centre for Monitoring...

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Pictures in the hall

The Spectator

MOST bankers (says the poet Ogden Nash) dwell in marble halls, Which they do to encourage deposits and discourage with- drawals. Now that they have got plenty of money and would...

The patriot's reward

The Spectator

YEAR by year in BZW's pages I follow the piteous fate of the soldier who, returning from the wars in 1945, patriotically lent his gratuity back to the government. He invest- ed...


The Spectator

TRY this way of thinking on Barclays de Zoete Wedd and you find that they see no trouble with prosperity at all. In fact, they rather enjoy it. Their annual Equity-Gilt Study,...

Ein? Nein

The Spectator

I RESPOND with apprehension to the Deutsche Bank's new advertising slogan: `EM Europa, eine Bank — Deutsche'. Uber alles, I suppose. Or alles except the insubor- dinate Nicola...


The Spectator

As between Goldilocks and the three bears, I'm on the side of the bears CHRISTOPHER FILDES B oston ladies of a certain age complain about the modern thunderstorm. It does not,...

My kind of yacht

The Spectator

I DO not care for yachts, finding them draughty and ineffectually plumbed, but for Britannia I make an exception. She is my kind of yacht. I last boarded her in New York...

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Deprived by PC

The Spectator

Sir: Sir Peter Hall is not alone (`Censorship: then and now', 11 January), but at least he managed to get his series off the ground. We have been trying for some time to raise...

Unclaimed treasure

The Spectator

Sir: I like The Spectator and usually like Petronella Wyatt. However, I bridled a lit- tle when I read the item in her Diary (25 January) about the von Trapp daughters, five of...

LETTERS Telling the truth

The Spectator

Sir: In your leader of 25 January, you repeated a number of inaccurate and out- dated assertions concerning the Referen- dum Party first reported by the London Evening Standard...

Fur's not on

The Spectator

Sir: Knowing nothing about this creature called Petronella Wyatt — sounds vaguely similar to that other animal Cruella De Vil — I feel compelled to put pen to paper in response...

Critic criticised

The Spectator

Sir: It's ironic to have my Lawrence Durrell biography attacked for inaccuracy by an ex- Oxford professor of poetry who makes so many errors of his own in the space of so short...

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The Spectator

The Spout, Gratton, Bakewell, Derbyshire

Apt anagrams

The Spectator

Sir: Regarding the identity of Alastair Forbes, perhaps D.P. Dick (Letters, 11 Jan- uary) is on to something. The proven tech- nique of anagram analysis reveals that while...

Tall stories from Japan

The Spectator

Sir: Not long ago you published a story by a woman who claimed to have been the vic- tim of a rape attempt by a geisha in Japan (`Girls will be boys', 17 September 1994). Now...

Sir: Being Japanese, I now know what duties my son's

The Spectator

godfather, Francis Pike, expects of me, even if I no longer know what to expect of him. Kimiko Barber 11 Chepstow Villas, London W11

The war goes on

The Spectator

Sir: For Lindsey Platt to accuse me of `descending to personal abuse' (Letters, 11 January) is pretty rich, considering that his very first letter accused me of being informed...

Mass missed

The Spectator

Sir: I am shocked and saddened that this is Mass's final crossword in your paper. Mass is my favourite of all crossword setters; I am always assured of several hours of plea-...

In praise of Ted

The Spectator

Sir: I was sad to read Paul Johnson's per- sonal attack on Ted Heath (And another thing, 25 January). Ted Heath may be cur- mudgeonly, but he is also a loyal, kind and patriotic...


The Spectator

SUBSCRIBE TODAY— RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £88.00 0 £45.00 Europe (airmail) U £99.00 0 £51.00 USA Airspeed U US$141 12 US$71 Rest of Airmail U £115.00 £58.00 World...

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The Spectator

A grammar school judge, and having to be in Woolwich on a Friday. Is Max to be spared nothing? STEPHEN GLOVER It was a year ago that he gathered up the reins at the Standard,...

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The Spectator

Something I said made the Prince of Wales put his head in his hands, but I think I've been proved right PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE S hould the Prince of Wales break the habit of his...

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The Spectator

Mon semblable, mon frere David Sexton AS IF by Blake Morrison Granta, £14.99, pp. 256 M e too! Me too! Here's a thriving new literary genre, taking up the slack left by the...

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Spoiling a good story

The Spectator

Carole Angier THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL: ANNE FRANK THE DEFINITIVE EDITION edited by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler Viking £16, pp. 338 I s this new edition of Anne Frank's...

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Cool as a mountain stream

The Spectator

William Fiennes CLINT EASTWOOD by Richard Schickel Cape, £17.99, pp. 557 C lint Eastwood's face, which Norman Mailer has called 'presidential', is ageing well. It is, if...

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The Nile-man and the Roman

The Spectator

Peter Jones THRESHOLD OF FIRE by Hella S. Haasse Allison & Busby, f8.99, pp. 255 A nyone who tottered up to Martin Amis and ordered him to write a novel featuring these...

A tale of three cities

The Spectator

Philip Mansel 1815: THE ROADS TO WATERLOO by Gregor Dallas Richard Cohen, £25, pp. 544 T he present mood of insolent national - ism is only one Conservative tradition. As...

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People like me

The Spectator

Christa D'Souza WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE by Nicholas Coleridge Orion, £16.99, pp. 374 S et in the world of magazines, Nicholas Coleridge's first novel, With Friends Like These,...

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Arms and the woman

The Spectator

Teresa Waugh THE LAST THING HE WANTED by Joan Didion Flamingo, £15.99, pp. 227 T o those who are unused to reading very much American literature, the open- ing few pages of...

Horses and donkeys

The Spectator

Allan Mallinson A HISTORY OF THE BRITISH CAVALRY, 1816-1919, VOLUME VIII by the Marquess of Anglesey Leo Cooper, £40, pp. 397 A lan Clark shares, or did, Luden- dorff's opinion...

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Did the doctors do it?

The Spectator

Blair Worden UNNATURAL MURDER: POISON AT THE COURT OF JAMES I by Anne Somerset Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 434 T he death of Sir Thomas Overbury, apparently from poison, in the Tower...

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He was a camera

The Spectator

Patrick Skene Catling THE PARDON OF SAINT ANNE by William Palmer Cape, £9.99, pp. 252 R eality may seem more manageable in still, two-dimensional slices. Like Isher- wood in...

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The Spectator

When words lose all meaning Michael Henderson regrets the elevation of pop music journalism to such heights I t was the late Frank Zappa who thought that pop music journalism...

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Exhibitions 1

The Spectator

Braque: The Late Works (Royal Academy, till 6 April) Meditative calm Martin Gayford A cross many of Georges Braque's later works there flaps a huge bird. It means nothing,...

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Exhibitions 2

The Spectator

Houghton Hall: T he Prime Minister, the Empress and the Heritage (Kenwood House, till 20 April) Stately grandeur Annabel Ricketts his Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, was...

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The Spectator

Looking for Richard (15, selected cinemas) Al's cry for help Mark Steyn A Pacino has appeared on stage as Richard III several times, so presumably, if he'd wanted, he could...


The Spectator

Actions, not (many) words Giannandrea Pomo N ot unlike contemporary dance, the art of mime, within the last 20 years, has become a multi-layered theatre genre that encompasses...

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The Spectator

The Homecoming (National) Fascinating Aida (Vaudeville) Territorial imperative Sheridan Morley W hy were we always so afraid to laugh at, or at any rate with, Harold Pin-...

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Pop music

The Spectator

Breakfast shambles Marcus Berkmann 'Exalting trivia to the level of profun- dity' isn't the sole preserve of pop critics (thanks, Michael). When it comes to the employment...


The Spectator

The two Arthurs Michael Vestey W hen Irene Thomas reminded us on Desert Island Discs last Sunday that Round Britain Quiz had been dropped from Radio Four, the fearful symmetry...

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The Spectator

Motty, our pal Simon Hoggart I watched two big football matches last Sunday. The first was Chelsea versus Liver- pool. At half-time, Liverpool were winning 2-0, but Chelsea...

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Not motoring

The Spectator

He wasn't seduced Gavin Stamp t remains to use the motor-car as a challenge to our houses and our great buildings,' wrote that sinister beguiler, Le Corbusier, in Towards a...

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The turf

The Spectator

Hons and rebels Robin Oakley I do, occasionally, find myself bothered by the sort of people with whom you would be careful not to share a railway carriage• Conspiratorial...

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High life

The Spectator

Call in the clowns Taki New York This is my last week in the Bagel, but for the first time in donkey's years, I am sad to be going to good old Helvetia. There's something...

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Low life

The Spectator

Back inside Jeffrey Bernard L ast Friday I came in here to the Mid- dlesex Hospital for a routine dialysis ses- sion and they decided to keep me in because the entry point,...


The Spectator

No more to say Andrew Robson IT is a sound rule of bidding that when you have described your hand to partner, you should leave bidding decisions to him. Thus, if you have...

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By David Fingleton Fifth Floor and Oxo Tower

The Spectator

SOME YEARS ago now, before the Wall came down, I went to West Berlin, and While there visited the city's largest depart- ment store, KdW, which had the then unique distinction...

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The Spectator

CHESS SIMPSON ' S IN-THE-STRAND Natural selection Raymond Keene KIRSAN Ilumzinov, the President of the autonomous Russian Republic of Kal- mykia, has now been president of...

j 5ISGli M1115(0101 'MISk

The Spectator

URA COMPETITION II ISLE Of RA sma msu swum w siso One rhyme only Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1967 you were invited to write a verse fable using only one rhyme. This...

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Solution to 1293: Terra nova

The Spectator

eiriejIMMIZIIVICIEcirim mayoral ircirmr , . rawsneEllHA nemoro Ever . if., I Er NE sreirl Nnriz IMMO Or N ram ur jearamnErr jrB °Celan A kil 1 ri prong:1e mil , aro , S A...

No. 1970: Sour Auburn

The Spectator

Goldsmith's 'Deserted Village' (`sweet Auburn') powerfully describes the degen- eration of the quality of life in a rural com- munity of his day. You are invited to do the same...


The Spectator

A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1990 Port for the first correct solution opened on 17 February, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK...

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The Spectator

The stuff of novels Simon Barnes SPORT? How can you possibly spend your life writing about sport? To admit to liking s port is to declare yourself an intellectual PYgmy....


The Spectator

Dear Mary.. . Q. My husband has an old friend who is not very keen on me. This does not worry me unduly except that I know they would like to see each other. My husband misses...