20 JUNE 1992

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T he Prime Minister, back from Rio, tried to reassert his authority over Euro- pean policy within the Cabinet and the Conservative Party. The Social Security Secretary, Mr Peter...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 THE BIG LIE T he first rule of propaganda is that if a lie is only...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY- RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £74.00 0 £37.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £85.00 El £42.50 USA Airspeed 0 US $120 0 US $60.00 Rest of Airmail 0 £111.00 0 £55.50...

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To have one opposition is a misfortune, but to have two looks like carelessness SIMON HEFFER W ithin hours of the Prime Minister's return from South America last weekend word...

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JOHN OSBORNE W 11, it's been a funny old week, all right. No, it's been an unmitigated, alarm- ing, yet reassuring bitch of a week. Here I am, in the Scott Fitzgerald black,...

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The womb of time will bring in its revenges CHARLES MOORE Y ou now know the result of the Irish referendum on the Maastricht Treaty. As I write, I do not, but, either way, the...

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Theodore Dalrymple, a sometime prison doctor, argues that violent criminals are rotten to the core, and rarely repent THERE IS nothing quite like a little con- tact with...

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In a new introduction to his book, Alan Watkins defends his account of the events that led to Mrs Thatcher's fall SEVERAL REVIEWERS of the original edition of A Conservative...

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One hundred years ago

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TABARD STREET FACTORY- WOMEN'S HOME SIR, — May I again plead the needs of this institution? This is now its seventh year of continued existence. It consists principally, as many...

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Michael Heath


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Jane Thynne talks to the American preacher who is about to become Britain's first tele-evangelist IT WAS THE kind of invitation that's hard to resist. 'Shall we call on God to...

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A reader received this letter: To the residents/owners of properties adjoining Biscay Motors premises; from Mr Keats of Margravine Gardens: You may know that I am the freeholder...

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Dominique Jackson explains why the shares of Rupert Murdoch's British company have quadrupled in value IT IS March 1991, and in Tucson, Arizona, Rupert Murdoch is seeking...

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Nigel Spivey believes swearing is childish and unimaginative and that expletives should be outlawed from front-page reporting THE GULF war did it. Verbatim reports from the...

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Simon Courtauld on Seville's obsession with the ageing bullfighter, Curro Romero AT LA CONSULA, their villa near Mala- ga in southern Spain, Bill and Annie Davis used to keep...

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Epiphany of a little man with jug ears PAUL JOHNSON I f I were an American, my vote would go to Ross Perot. There are four reasons for my choice. First, I like the look of...

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Weatherstone's Law...

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ONTO MY desk flops a stockbroker's note on J.P. Morgan, the bank that bankers most admire. The broker disagrees: 'We do not consider Morgan to be a strong beneficiary of a...

Jacques, Robin, Helmut

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IT WAS FUN to watch Europe's central bank governors on the day the Danes sprung their mine under monetary union. Jacques de Larosiere (Banque de France) was all for going...


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Freedom from Maxwell cheap at the price of a case of Bollinger CHRISTOPHER FILDES I t was late, and I was, as I thought, alone in the industrial slum which then served the...

Down, Neddy

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NEDDY outlived its usefulness by 30 years — that is, ever since the day it was born. As a cosy, chummy name for a portentous quango, the National Economic Develop- ment Council,...

... Morgan's tapestry

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ON MY WAY to the house of Morgan I called at J.P. Morgan's house — the som- bre midtown mansion, now a museum, where the great financier would do business amid his Florentine...

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Sir: Bravo to The Spectator for your article on the

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attacks against the Royal Family by the media (Tact, fiction and the royal rats', 6 June). It must take great courage for any periodical to lash out against Rupert Mur- doch's...

Bombe reprise

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Sir: My article on bombing was `so full of inaccuracies that it is difficult to know where to start correcting it,' Mr Hough writes (Letters, 6 June). Having started, he...

Sir: One way to deal with Morton, Mur- doch and

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Neil would be a Bill of Attainder. There are, no doubt, enough loyal peers and MPs to ensure its passage. It has the advantage of using much the same methods against them as...

LETTERS Facial prejudice

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Sir: While not disagreeing with his assess- ment of the unattractiveness of the person- ality and editorial policy of Andrew Neil ('New Briton, or Caliban?', 13 June), I take...

Diplomatic language

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Sir: In his little tilt at me over Europe Mr Heifer describes me as a `rootless intellec- tual' (`The turning of the Tories', 13 June). Simon's well dug in all right. Root him...

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Outraged of Genoa

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Sir: I am an Italian citizen, I live in Genoa and am not blind to the many and serious problems afflicting this city and its inhabi- tants, but, in my opinion, and in the...

Only eight dictators

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Sir: Alan Watkins flies wildly in the face of the truth, and is dangerously misleading, in describing the Commonwealth as 'substan- tially a collection of more or less corrupt...

Sir: Geoffrey Wheatcroft spoils an other- wise excellent article on

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the bombing of Germany in World War Two ('Barbarous in the extreme', 30 May) by his careless ref- erence to 'When England stood alone in July 1940'. As a Scot living in the US...

Who's at the wheel?

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Sir: Would you be kind enough to reveal the identity of the taxi driver who is writing your editorials? Chris Nancollas Fairview, Yorkley Wood Road, Yorkley, Glos

Bring back Bonita

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Sir: Christopher Fildes is right (City and suburban, 2 May). The BBC does think money and markets are vulgar. This may not matter much in London but hurts those of us whose...

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Cool, calm and collector Paul Fussell REFLECTIONS IN A SILVER SPOON: A MEMOIR by Paul Mellon with John Baskett John Murray, £19.95, pp. 444 I n the United States there are two...

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Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling Gloomsbury

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Frances Partridge A CEZANNE IN THE HEDGE AND OTHER MEMORIES OF BLOOMSBURY edited by Hugh Lee Co//ins & Brown, £16.99, pp. 191 Y et another book about Blooms- bury!', some will...

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Sunny side up for the laureate

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Hilary Corke RAINCHARM FOR THE DUCHY AND OTHER LAUREATE POEMS by Ted Hughes Faber, £12.99, f4.99, pp. 64, limited edition, £75 A t the moment my favourite line of Hughes is...

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Falling between the titillating and the solemn

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Anne Chisholm CRYSTAL ROOMS by Melvyn Bragg Hodder, £14.99, pp. 342 A dvance publicity for this book has lodged two facts in the reader's mind: it was written initially as a...

Stan Laurel

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011ie gone, the heavyweight Balletic chump, and now His turn to bow out, courteous, A perfect gentleman who Tips his hat to the nurse Or would, that is, if he were Still in...

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Nor any drop to drink

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Janet Barron WATERMARK by Joseph Brodsky Hamish Hamilton, ,C12.99, pp. 135 I f J. Alfred Prufrock had been posted to Venice, this is the sort of lovesong he might have...

The lord of the ringlets

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Caroline Moore OUT WITH THE STARS by James Purdy Peter Owen, ,C14.99, pp. 192 T his is the first novel by James Purdy that I have read, though according to the publisher's...

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With a dagger, in the bedroom

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Felix Pryor I n one of his letters, Keats describes how he is sitting with his back to the fire, with one foot rather askew upon the rug and the other with the heel a little...

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Seeing for himself

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Philip Glazebrook TYRANTS AND MOUNTAINS: A RECKLESS LIFE by Denis Hills John Murray, £19.95, pp. 261 I t is hard to imagine a set of circum- stances in relation to which the...

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Eliminating the goof factor

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Dean Godson KEEPER OF THE GATE by Selwa 'Lucke Roosevelt Quartet, £1 5.95, pp. 386 I f the Queen of Thailand told you, 'I have fought the Communists all my life, but I cannot...

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A selection of recent paperbacks

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Non-fiction: Summer Meditations by Vaclav Havel, Faber, £6.99 A Sultry Month: Scenes of London Literary Life in 1846 by Alethea Hayter, Robin Clark, £6.95 The People of...

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Exhibitions 1 Documenta IX (Kassel, Germany, till 20 September) The biggest show of all Adrian Dannatt T he midnight train from Paris to Kassel is packed, every sleeping...

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Under the weather Rupert Christiansen I t began sounding a touch under the weather — a strange thing for a bracing, wind-swept opera like Der Fliegende Hol- lander. But it was...

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Dejàvu (Comedy) Still snarling Christopher Edwards N ot even John Osborne's greatest sup- porters (and there remain a few — mauled no doubt, but loyal to the old bruiser),...

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Exhibitions 2

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Painting Degree Show (Royal College of Art and Cooling Gallery, till 20 and 30 June respectively) Poles apart Giles Auty O pening my post last week, the items struck me as...


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Straight Talk (PG', selected cinemas) The Lawnmower Man ('15', selected cinemas) Johnny Suede ('15', selected cinemas) Fascinating bosom Vanessa Letts T he way Dolly Parton...

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M usi c

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Grand young man Robin Holloway T he English like their musical icons old and weathered; our paradigm is the Grand Old Man. A mere 40th birthday doesn't normally receive more...

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Literary leanings Alistair McAlpine I n a season when all should be buying and selling, when antique fairs open at Grosvenor House and Olympia and when the sale-rooms reach a...

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High life

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The prince and the playboy Taki Southampton, Long Island There is a terrible joke making the rounds, and yours truly is the butt of it. It goes like this: What is the...


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A day in our life Martyn Harris B y the autumn of 1966 the screaming at Beatles concerts was so loud that Ringo Starr could no longer hear his own bass drum: 'All I could do...

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Low life

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Fishy story Jeffrey Bernard ISarraco, Majorca came over here for a ten-day break at the suggestion of my ex-wife Jill, the moth- er of my daughter, who fixed me up with a...

Long life

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Man of letters Nigel Nicolson I always answer letters, and pay my bills, by return of post. If that sounds like a boast, it is intended as a boast: it is some- thing on which...

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My royal scoop I

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TODAY (20 June) is the Feast Day of Saint Alban. He is the protomartyr of Eng- land and should really be our patron saint. He was beheaded at Verulam, now St Albans, for the...

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1.:6t RLOti*

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PUSS NIGILAND MALT SCOTCH WHISKY COMPETITION PURE HIGHLAND MALT Filthy dozen Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1732 you were in- vited to incorporate 12 words, in any order,...


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Champion's revenge Raymond Keene A s I feared, the Manila Olympics have turned out to be very much of a field day for the manifold teams from the old Soviet Union. As I write,...

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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 solutions...

Solution to 1961. 40A ochuniart ananania 113 ..n.in 1 s A r io l ,

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SESEI BROBV: pc via . i PONSER LIAEIE Y lijanN it U Oen o aijian Epp R 11.3Z 8 SUIDE21 EDO a K arm la n TIBIDEpodcp, ClbjeiplialliaT REID Ewa R T I N d A pp v...

No. 1735: Devant les enfants

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I have been enjoying a long bygone history of the lives and works of great writers written for young children, in which the author has continually to resort to evasion,...

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To the honour born Frank Keating THE Prime Minister has begun well in sort- ing out the anomalies in the honours that matter. His first stroke last year, you might remember,...


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Q. My wife makes a most unpalatable fudge which she offers to guests, urging them to spoil themselves and take several pieces. For their ensuing discomfort my only reme- dy has...