1 JUNE 1991

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B ritish Telecom made record profits of over £3 billion, but said more jobs would have to go. Mr Robin Leigh-Pemberton, the Governor of the Bank of England, was given a 17 per...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 THE PRICE OF GORBACHEV L ast week Mr Gorbachev complained that he had...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY - RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £71.00 0 £35.50 Europe (airmail) 0 £82.00 0 £41.00 USA Airspeed 0 US$110 0 US$55.00 Rest of Airmail 0 £98.00 0 £49.00...

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Mr Major invites us to join a very unsurprising revolution NOEL MALCOLM K ing Lear does not make a very good role-model for any modern politician, or a very likely one for Mr...

Charles Moore is unwell and will resume his column in

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a fortnight's time.

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NICHOLAS COLERIDGE H ow little precision there is in the tim- ing of a baby's birth, even after the onset of labour. Would ours emerge into the world on Tuesday, Wednesday,...

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Sandra Barwick examines alarming evidence of the extent of women's involvement in sexual assaults on children IT IS, in its way, a comforting thought that sexual assaults on...

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One hundred years ago

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WEST London has had a striking warn- ing against the use of petroleum-lamps. On Saturday night, Lord Romilly was sitting in the drawing-room of his house in Egerton Gardens,...

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J. Enoch Powell thinks that India has passed beyond the reach of British criticism IN NO country has the news from India awakened deep vibrations in so many minds as in...

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William Dalrymple argues that the eulogies of Rajiv Gandhi are most inappropriate THE HOLY man looked like a cross between a tramp and an extra from Star Trek: he had a long,...

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Janine Di Giovanni meets the American negroes who claim to be a lost tribe of Israel Dimona, the Negev EVERYONE, it seems wants a piece of Israel. Not just the displaced...


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A reader received this letter: Dear Sir, It is a belief that the truly creative person, within their spectrum of prior- ity, neglects the homeostasis and the mediocrity of...

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Anne Applebaum finds that the monarchies of eastern Europe may still be useful WERE we living in a simpler, less deman- ding century, HRH the Crown Prince Alexander of...

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Simon Heifer explains why John Major has less choice than we think about the date of the general election THERE ARE more than 400 separate days on which the Prime Minister can...

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Earlier this year, Eric Helfer, who knew he was dying, gave a last interview, to Ian Buruma AT THREE o'clock in the afternoon, the bar at Dolphin Square was full of life: a man...

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If symptoms

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persist... WORKING in a ward to which all the self-poisoners, wrist-cutters, head- bangers and drunks are brought is like living in a soap opera with continually changing...

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on the misrepresentation of Margaret Thatcher The press: Paul Johnson IN ALL the comment about Bernard Ing- ham's autobiography, one point appears to have been overlooked: the...

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Votes for change

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THIS time, Bo-Peepism won't do. Lloyd's biggest customer, the world's shipping industry, is in secular decline. Lloyd's biggest market, the United States, has turned hostile to...


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It's question-time at Lloyd's of London - but don't ask Little Bo-Peep CHRISTOPHER FILDES filling to go anywhere and do any- thing, the advertiser in the Daily Telegraph's...

The awkward squad

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IT IS just as well that Lloyd's now has, in David Coleridge, a chairman who can con- template change with equanimity. Unusual- ly among Lloyd's chairmen, Mr Coleridge has run a...

Family silver

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NOW for my Downing Street wheeze. It is all that such wheezes should be, patriotic, headline-grabbing, no cost to the Treasury — are you with me, Gus, Sarah? It would also...

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Taste of France

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Sir: J. B. Kelly does not explain (`Touj ours la blague', 4 May) why he is so unhappily marooned in Marssac-sur-Tarn, near Albi in south-west France. His misanthropy is his own...

Sir: You were correct to point out that 'the United

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States spends more than four times as much per head on health as Great Britain, and Germany twice as much, yet their statistical indicators of health are, if anything, slightly...

Plane stupid

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Sir: Mary Ann Sieghart's experience at Heathrow (`Taken for a terrorist', 18 May) is not confined to United Airlines. As a very frequent traveller between London and the United...

LETTERS Doctor in distress

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Sir: You appear to believe that the NHS is overmanned (Leading article, 4 May), staffed by inefficient and unskilled workers and overburdened by non-productive staff. You seem...

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Southern discomfort

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Sir: I am so glad that Taki feels com- plimented when his views are described as politically incorrect. Hopefully he will feel equally flattered if I describe his comments on...

Affray found

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Sir: I find the letter from Mrs Shelford (Letters, 25 May) incomprehensible. I quote from Captain She!ford's own book, Subsunk, page 113. 'A squadron of Fri- gates fitted with...

Short memories

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Sir: Christopher Fildes's tribute to James Keogh does eloquent justice to his mem- ory. He was a true friend to the Discount Market, and in fact the best friend that we ever...

Sir: I can confirm everything in Captain Foster Brown's report.

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I was his Navigating Officer and we discussed in detail every aspect of the search. Assuredly no signal was received from DTA/SW and had the Captain re- ceived any private...

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Art for VAT's sake

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Sir: Your piece on 'how modern painters can still save the world' (Another voice, 27 April) raised the topic of contemporary art in a pugnacious manner. Auberon Waugh praised...

Ex Cathedral

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Sir . : Mr Wilton's letter (27 April) about Frederick Stocken's architectural oratorio The Cathedral has me 'confess', in my `lengthy' review, that I left during the work's...

Real relief

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Sir: Like many other of your readers, I am sure, I get bombarded with requests for charitable aid to Ethiopia and the. Sudan. Their plight is terrible, and I try to sub- scribe...

Sir: Jews can crack anti-Semitic jokes, and blacks anti-black jokes,

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for the same reason that I can call my mother an old cow, but if you call my mother an old cow I'll punch your nose. Our right to be rude about our own families — and our...

Old flames

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Sir: Arthur Oliver of Palermo, British Intelligence officer in Sicily at the end of the second world war, and son of the ghost story writer Oliver Onions, told me strictly off...

Goys will be goys

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Sir: I enjoyed Michael Lewis (`The rising price of Jewish jokes', 25 May), but he misses the point. There is a strong, long tradition of self-denying Jewish humour. It's not...

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A novel approach to history Raymond Carr DEAD CERTAINTIES by Simon Schama Granta, f15.99, pp. 333 Y ou can't find out truth by writing history. You can only get at it by...

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The Rivers of no return

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Christopher Hawtree REGENERATION by Pat Barker Viking £13.99, pp. 249 With a sigh, Auberon Waugh put the final flourish to his latest free-verse epic, got up from the desk...

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Counting Her Steps

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She would still enjoy a head-to-head with Heidegger, but not the waiting for it. Her ardour for the sensual kept well in check (say, chaste Lucy Rie) is no less pronounced than...

Enduring what can't be mended

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Anita Brookner TWO LIVES by William Trevor Viking, f13.99, pp. 375 I find increasingly, as I read and re-read William Trevor, that the effect is terrifying. It is not that he...

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A naive and sentimental love story

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Francis King LAST LOVERS by William Wharton Granta, £13.99, pp. 387 T he American novelist William Whar- ton has already published seven successful novels, two of which, Birdy...

Keep up your bright words

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Mark Steyn THE POETS OF TIN PAN ALLEY by Philip Furia OUP, £14.95, pp. 322 P hilip Furia begins his book with a famous story so badly told it misses the point. 'Mrs Oscar...

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The end of something nice?

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Ben Pimlott POWER, COMPETITION AND THE STATE,VOLUME III: THE END OF THE POST-WAR ERA by Keith Middlemas Macmillan Press, £60, pp.500 hen did the post-war era come to a full...

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Disappearing in a puff of smoke

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Duncan Fallowell SOUVENIR PORTRAITS by Jean Cocteau translated by Jesse Browner Robson Books, (12.95, pp. 173 T his is a new translation into English of a book which Cocteau...

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The Body's Vest

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Often I wish a thief would steal it, or a tutting mechanic thumbs-down it, or the police clamp it, or the Lord, lowering a crane from the sky, up-reel it. Each morning it waits...

And then there was another life

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Christopher Monckton WALTER MONCKTON by H. Montgomery Hyde Sinclair Stevenson, £25, pp. 215 A .J.P. Taylor, in one of his essays on history, says that the first duty of the...

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Art Cause for Celtic celebration Giles Auty was at the opening of the new Irish Museum of Modern Art O nly a mile or so from the city centre, the driver of the taxi I had...

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Cosi fan tutte (Glyndebourne) Enchanted evening Rupert Christiansen T he morning after Glyndebourne's Cosi, I woke to find myself floating high on a tide of well-being, as...

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Birmingham Royal Ballet (Birmingham Hippodrome, then touring) Young and fresh Deirdre McMahon V alses Nobles et Sentimentales is one of the great cycle of post-war ballets...

A monthly selection of forthcoming events recommended by The Spectator's

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regular critics OPERA Gawain, Covent Garden (071 240 1066), from 2 June. Harrison Birtwistle's long-awaited new opera, with a libretto adapted by David Harsent from the...

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Guilty by Suspicion (`15', selected cinemas) Un-American hero Gabriele Annan G uilty by Suspicion is about a 1950s Hollywood director called before the House Un-American...

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New York theatre

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Lost in Yonkers (Richard Rodgers Theatre) All too real Douglas Colby I n dramatising the inner life of the emo- tionally crippled, to present reality by itself is not always...

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Black comedy Martyn Harris T here was a wonderful moment in this week's Relative Values (BBC 2, 9 p.m., Sun- day) when oil widow Dominique de Menil recounted how she first saw...

High life

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The party's over Taki t was an explosive week for parties in the Big Bagel, though I managed to miss the one blast I had been looking forward to for over a year. But first a...

Christopher Edwards will be back next week.

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New life

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To crown it all Zenga Longmore W hen Uncle Bisi telephoned and announced in a thunderous voice that he was coming over to the flat for an 'Extraor- dinary Family Meeting', my...

Low life

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Misty- Jeffrey Bernard T he last night of the play, followed two days later by my birthday and then a televi- sion interview and a newspaper one, has left me feeling...

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Pasta pie and make it snappy • e ' •

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DO YOU remember the magnificent de- scription of a traditional monumental macaroni pie in The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa? A mouthwatering bit of prose if ever there...

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Carnage Raymond Keene L ast week I gave the full results of the Watson, Farley & Williams/City of London Corporation tournament, currently the strongest tournament being held...


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COMPETITION Sonnet for a picture Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1678 you were asked for a sonnet thus entitled and given a rhyme-scheme to follow. The tenner I offered for...

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Solution to 1008: 4 into 4 = 8 0

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B E D S, 1 TIC ARO,TEN The eight-letter unclued across lights are formed by putting one four-letter unclued down light inside another, thus DI-abet-ES from 1513 plus 14D....

No. 1681: Hats and squiggles

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The circumflex and the tilde, officially, and the apostrophe, unofficially, are in danger of abolition or extinction. This seems the perfect subject for a pompous or jocose...


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A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of Chambers English Dictionary — ring the word 'Dictionary') for the first three correct...

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Ban on calming puffs Frank Keating NO SOONER had I read Auberon Waugh's appalled piece here last week about Telegraph journalists being forced to give up smoking in the office...