1 JULY 2000

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The Spectator

Lord Levy's get-away-from-it-all tax haven M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, spoke in a video link-up to the White House, where President William Clinton of the United States...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 020-7405 1706; Fax 020-7242 0603 WELL DONE, PANDORA T here is a great gulf between science and science fiction, as...

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Why Britain should beware of being under the influence BRUCE ANDERSON H is health failing, Helmut Kohl is said to be sunk in elephantine gloom as the Ger- man prosecutors...

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ROBERT HARDMAN T he oiks have certainly done Tony Blair a favour. For some time ministers have been bracing themselves for humiliation on 6 July when Fifa, the lords of...

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Peter Oborne discusses the relationship between the Prime Minister and very rich men, and wonders whether Labour will suffer as a result of its closeness to big business NOT a...

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Mind your language

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HOW rude did Trollope mean to be? Everyone seems to be reading him these days, and a reader, Mr Bruce Lushington, writes to tell me of what he takes to be a bowdlerising...

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Nicholas Farrell acknowledges that he was in debt to the former US Marine, but doesn't think he should pay with his life Predappio IT WAS 8 p.m. or thereabouts last Friday,...

Second opinion

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HAVE patients these days no respect for doctors? I think not. My mobile phone was stolen from my office in the ward last week, and it must have been a patient who took it. There...

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The Spectator

Warwick Cairns reveals that J.K. Rowling is a signed-up member of the Forces of Conservatism THERE's a book in the shops called Why We Love Harry Potter. In it, dozens of...

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Justin Marozzi says that the thesps still ooze compassion, but they're not sure about New Blair SUNDAY evening at the Royal Court The- atre in Sloane Square. Suits, T-shirts...

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penalty in America — and against those who campaign to have it outlawed Washington WHEN the state of Texas, governed by putative Republican presidential candidate Governor...


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Michael Heath

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Banned wagon

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A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit THE popular musician Randy Newman once had a hit with a song entitled 'Short People', in which he laid virtually every...

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Anne Applebaum infiltrates a ministerial meeting in search of America's real agenda Warsaw ANYONE who has ever hovered around the outskirts of a grand international con-...

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Petronella Wyatt says that rich men would rather have a plain but clever businesswoman as a second wife than a bimbo A MATURE businessman acquaintance of mine recently...

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We are becoming less intelligent, and the machines help us kid ourselves PAUL JOHNSON T he completion of the first stage of the Human Genome Project opens up (it is said)...

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There's no need to go barmy, but we should complain like mad about BBC bias STEPHEN GLOVER I remember it very clearly. It was about quarter to seven on the Today programme on...

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In praise of men

The Spectator

From Doris Lessing Sir: In Miranda France's review of my novel Ben, in the World she said, 'the men are bad, the women good' (Books, 24 June). A major character leaves his job...

Cornish pride

The Spectator

From Mr Maurice Smelt Sir: Petronella Wyatt (Singular life, 24 June) says that the Cornish are a primitive bunch of idle, disobliging, spitting, grunt- ing, nose-picking,...

Skill of the dorks

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From Mr Alex Galloway Sir: Your analysis of English football (Leader, 24 June) was perhaps not best served by the example you chose (`The entire German team can speak English,...


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Jenkins's brown cap From The Rt Hon. the Lord Chalfont Sir: I am surprised that Lord Jenkins, in his interview with Boris Johnson (`Fwankly dis- appointed', 24 June), should...

From Professor Sir Michael Howard Sir: Anthony Torrance's suggestion that

The Spectator

'a new exhibition at the Invalides museum tells an unvarnished story of the Vichy years' is a considerable overstatement. There is in that exhibition one very small showcase...

Gallic retort

The Spectator

From Dr Francois Portier Sir: Anthony Torrance's piece on 'France's shameful past' (`Vichy business', 24 June) is not unjustified, even though one's initial gut response might...

Goose warning

The Spectator

From Professor Robin Jacoby Sir: I urge your readers to ignore Barbara Jackson's advice to eat Canada goose (Let- ters, 10 June). We had one shot for us here in the north...

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Decoding the planners

The Spectator

CRACKING the human genetic code is kindergarten stuff compared to cracking this country's planning regime, as the Wellcome Trust, the world's largest medical research charity,...

Edison's leading light

The Spectator

A FRIEND of mine has made enough money out of education to own a runner in the Derby, so it can be a good business. Benno Schmidt thinks so, too. He gave up running Yale to...

Monte Carlo or bust

The Spectator

IF I had bet my old age on a policy from Standard Life, I would vote (so I said before the poll) for leaving things alone. The mem- bers have bet that way, too. They voted...

Shopping around

The Spectator

UNFAIR and harmful are words often used about their competitors by people who can- not compete. It is harder than it was, though, for high-tax countries to make their writs run...

Order of release

The Spectator

TI-IIS week's good cause is War Loan. There must still be some patriotic holders who have stuck to it through thin and thinner. Sixty-eight years ago — on 30 June 1932 Neville...


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The tax haven in Paris sets out to bully a microdot in the South Seas CHRISTOPHER FILDES I denounce the Organisation for Econo- mic Co-operation and Development. It is a tax...

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A very English trajectory Main de Botton SIDETRACKS: EXPLORATIONS OF A ROMANTIC BIOGRAPHER by Richard Holmes HarperCollins, £19.99, pp. 420 I t's astonishing how people have...

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Behind the Indian screen

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Philip Glazebrook A NEW WORLD by Amit Chaudhuri Picador, £12.99, pp. 200 T he first thing to be said about A New World is that it is a very clever, very suc- cessful piece of...

Close but strined relations

The Spectator

Peter Porter ANGLO-AUSTRALIAN ATTITUDES by Michael Davie Secker, £17.99, pp. 250 i ll the line stretch out to the crack of doom?' — not of Banquo's issue but of books about...

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Walking and talking

The Spectator

P. J. Kavanagh THE VINTAGE BOOK OF WALKING edited by Duncan Minshull Vintage, £8.99, pp. 340 M any years ago my friend Jaspistos (now competition provider for this maga- zine)...

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Nine portraits of the artist

The Spectator

Patrick Skene Catling DOUBTING THOMAS by Atle Naess Peter Owen, £14.95, pp. 159 A fter the prolixity of Peter Robb's M, his 567-page biography of Michel Angelo Merisi da...

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Larva and butterfly

The Spectator

Elizabeth Lowry TRIMALCHIO: AN EARLY VERSION OF THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald, edited by James L.W. West III CUP, £30, pp. 192 FLAPPERS AND PHILOSOPHERS by F. Scott...


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SPBW TO ORDER: call 0870 155 7288 fax 0870 155 7225 or post to The Spectator Bookshop, 24 Seward Street, London, EC1V 3GB r Expiry date: L Name: Address: Postcode: 0 I enclose...

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Mythomaniac who hated lies

The Spectator

Philip French STROHEIM by Arthur Lennig University Press of Kentucky, £25, pp. 540 E rich von Stroheim's greatest creation was himself. The legend, as developed and burnished...

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Recent audio books

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Charlotte Moore T he Restraint of Beasts by Magnus Mills (read by Greg Wagland, Isis Audio Books, 6 cassettes, 6 hours 45 mins unabridged) is a novel — possibly the only...

Mad but north-northwest

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Jane Ridley A MONKEY AMONG CROCODILES by Brian Thompson HarperCollins, £19.99, pp. 304 T he true story of Georgina Weldon's life is far stranger than Victorian fiction. It's a...

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So near and yet so distant

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Olivia Glazebrook DIAMOND DUST by Anita Desai Chatto & Windus, f12.99, pp. 207 D iamond Dust is a lovely, honest read, a book full of humour, confidence and kindness. Anita...

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Amazing continuities by the banks of the Nile

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William Dalrymple THE PHARAOH'S SHADOW by Anthony Sattin Gollancz, £20, pp. 234 A few years ago, Anthony Sattin was heading on donkey-back for an obscure Pharaonic tomb cut in...

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Journey to the world's end Marc Stengel on an exhibition which shows the conquering spirit of the Viking Age T here are loot and booty and spoils of war. There are feats of...

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Ion (Almeida Festival) The Beggar's Opera (Guildhall School) Against the gods Michael Tanner P aram Vir's new opera Ion is not yet completed, but it was, in its fragmentary...

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Kirov Ballet (Royal Opera House) Kirov magic Giannandrea Poesio J ames M. Barrie's 1920 play The Truth about the Russian Dancers was not just a satire on the ballet craze...


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Chicken Run (U, selected cinemas) Breaking out Mark Steyn I 've been a fan of Nick Park, Peter Lord and Aardman Animation since one Sunday ten years ago when, a couple of...

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Singin' in the Rain (National) Speaking in Tongues (Hampstead) A Busy Day (Lyric) Let it rain . . . Sheridan Morley S hould the National Theatre be hosting a West Yorkshire...

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Pop music

The Spectator

Weed spotting Marcus Berkmann A rid now on BBC 2, the Glastonbury Festival. Followed at 10.30 by the Glaston- bury Festival. And after midnight, high- lights from today at the...

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Spread too thin Michael Vestey I t's easy to be an armchair critic. We can sit there pointing out what is wrong without the need actually to do anything about it. Those of us...


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Glastonbury experience James Delingpole U rgh! I have just rolled my first cigarette of the day and it did that horrible thing where there isn't quite enough tobac- co at the...

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Food for thought

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A wondrous thing Simon Courtauld A friend wrote the other day to com- ment on the 'raspberry' I had got in print from a reader who sought to correct my reference to an ancient...

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The turf

The Spectator

Age benefits Robin Oakley W e have the most boring football team in the world and the most boorish fans. But English racing, thank God, still shines with quality and good...

High life

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Sporting times Taki W here was I? Yes, it's Wimbledon time and all that, but first one final word about football. Last week's Spectator lead- er, 'Not very clever', was the...

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No life

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Crumbs! How important Toby Young I have to confess that when I first saw a scientist on Newsnight banging on about the Genome Project I thought it was yet another instance of...

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Country life

The Spectator

Conquering fear Leanda de Lisle I magine if someone had a fear of ... bluebells,' my second son reflected as we walked out of the back door of my par- ents' house. 'They'd...


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Cool play Susanna Gross WHAT could be nicer in all this sunny weather than taking refuge in a cool, air- conditioned bridge club? Other people may want picnics in the park,...

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FOOD Deborah Ross

The Spectator

OK, the game's up. I admit it. I don't know anything about food. Worse, I like salad cream. Sometimes, even, I yearn for salad cream and can feel quite faint for the lack of it....

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The Ultimate Islay Malt. CHESS Rdbeq www.ardbeg.corn Deus ex machina Raymond Keene THE Fritz computer program, running on a Primergy K800 system, has established itself as...


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Very different story Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2142 you were invited to take a headline from a recent newspaper and supply your own very dif- ferent news item to fit it. I...

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CROSSWORD 1470: Bank statement by Columba A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's award-winning, Late- Bottled Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 17...

No. 2145: Damning with praise

The Spectator

You are invited to supply an extract from a review of an imaginary book, film or play in which the reviewer's enthusiasm has an off- putting rather than turning-on effect....

Solution to 1467: Court circular

The Spectator

Circuit lights were TENNIS-BALL and six shots played in tennis. First prize: P.D.H Riddell, London. Runners-up: Keith Williams, Cheltenham; Cynthia Gee, North- iam, East Sussex.

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Q. I dwell in a tiny village on the west coast of Scotland, where a well-known actor — a very well-known actor, indeed, who even co- starred in a recent Bond film — has...


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Pouting diva, under-achiever Simon Barnes I WAS once described in the Guardian as 'a respected tennis commentator'. This is clear- ly defamatory as well as untrue, and I...