21 FEBRUARY 1998

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The Spectator

Hey, you! I told you to get out of my palace!' S inn Fein went to law, arguing that because it was not identical with the Irish Republican Army it should not be excluded from...

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The Spectator

The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 WET WORK NOT NEEDED T he cameras are ready to roll, the smart bombs are poised...

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The Spectator

Is Lord Irvine wise to treat Mr Mandelson like an office-boy? BRUCE ANDERSON M inisters bitching at one another, briefing against each other, openly ques- tioning their...

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The Spectator

DEBORAH DEVONSHIRE I suppose our friends are as honest as the next lot, but it is odd how books disappear. Not the fat and heavy biographies of politi- cians in two volumes...

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I accept that he's evil, but the alternative could be worse FRANK JOHNSON S ome people are old enough to remem- ber that the same sort of thing was said about Nasser. Once...

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Much of the media is afraid even to speculate. Edward Heathcoat Amory explains why and looks at the tycoon's prospects RICHARD Branson's corporate reputa- tion is built on a...

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The Spectator

Alan Cochrane suggests that the Lord Provost's only crime is to be old Labour THE Labour party is determined to clean up its reputation in local government; we know this...

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The Spectator

Mark Steyn says it takes a Gulf crisis to sort friends from 'European partners' New Hampshire LAST November, when Bill Clinton met the Mexican President Ernest Zedillo in the...

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The Spectator

Michael Heath

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The Spectator

William Cash on why a friend's behaviour visa vis Miss Hurley has not resulted in ostracism Los Angeles IN EVELYN Waugh's brutal novella The Loved One, first published 50...

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Mind your language

The Spectator

`PERHAPS', said the leading article (31 January), 'some of the focus group attendees who told the Prime Minister that reform was necessary will be invited back.' This sowed...

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The Spectator

Stephen Schwartz tells the inside story of the man who has won Hollywood's Miss Stone San Francisco WHO is Phil Bronstein, the San Francisco news executive who has managed to...

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The Spectator

Once they shouted 'Groundnuts!' Soon they will be shouting 'Dome!' PAUL JOHNSON H ere is a moral story with contempo- rary echoes. John Strachey (1901-63) was one of the...

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The Spectator

Gresham's Law in the High Court of Justice it's the great judicial inflation CHRISTOPHER FILDES T here is so much judicial inflation these days that it was a pity to...

Boots in the saddle

The Spectator

I AM not sure that I want the National Westminster Bank to be more like Boots the Chemist. The hosts of Midian are prowling round NatWest, and Lord Blyth, who runs Boots, is...

Theme and variation

The Spectator

HERE COMES a splendid addition to the Square Theme Park, formerly known as the City of London. Barclays had a hideous grey tower block on the corner of Fen- church Street,...

After you

The Spectator

THIS WEEK'S contribution to my Bad Investment Guide comes from Jojo Maki, chief portfolio manager at Nikko, which used to be one of Japan's big four brokers. (Yamaichi went...

A life of its own

The Spectator

AN OUTBREAK of domes and bouncy castles on Horse Guards Parade portends the arrival of Asem. Asem? This is the boondoggle that burst on my sight like a nova when John Major went...

George 1, Dragon 0

The Spectator

GOVERNORS of central banks are a threatened species. There are only 172 of them in the world, but last year 29 of them lost or quit their jobs. In the previous year 35 of them...

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Conspiracy theory

The Spectator

Sir: May I echo Lord Portsmouth's appeal for some public enquiry into the labyrinthine 'repatriations controversy' (Letters, 24 January)? Not of course that we are likely to get...

Stop this!

The Spectator

Sir: As a Canadian reader, I have two regrets about your otherwise excellent mag- azine. One is that so little appears in The Spectator about my own country. I am con- scious,...

Fathers and sons

The Spectator

Sir: I am reluctant to engage in a chain of correspondence of von Schlieffen propor- tions, but A.N. Binder's letter (7 February) about Englishmen as antipodean father- figures...

LETTERS Solutionism

The Spectator

. Sir: A few days before winning the 1979 election, Mrs Thatcher's Northern Ireland spokesman, Airey Neave, was murdered by the INLA and with him died the integra- tionist...

Date (the) rapist

The Spectator

Sir: Neil Collins Making for the call', 14 February) has been extremely fortunate in his recent experiences with the Katherine Allen Marriage Bureau. His dates all appear to...

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. . . kinks and Princes

The Spectator

Sir: Apropos your remarks (Leader, 14 February) that 'Kinks in Mr Clinton's pri- vate life . diminish the self-esteem of ordinary Americans,' so do the deceit and adultery of...


The Spectator

101 Corve Street, Ludlow, Shropshire

Dumbing Browne

The Spectator

Sir: How Colin Browne (Letters, 14 Febru- ary) can have the nerve to talk of 'leaner' teams beats me, for it is common knowl- edge that since John Birt took over at the BBC...

Whipped into shape

The Spectator

Sir: Paul Johnson (And another thing, 14 February) is not the only one whose father was against his talent for artistic creation to develop into a profession not considered safe...

All at sea

The Spectator

Sir: In order to clear up the confusion over wheel and helm orders in the Titanic film, Mr Norm Cleland (Letters, 7 February) should know that in the early days ships were...


The Spectator

Sir: May I plead for a moratorium, even a brief one, on letters from ranting, racist, macho-but-terribly-easily-hurt, bloody-mind- ed, bloody boring, adjectival ockers? John...

Of Clints .

The Spectator

Sir: Mark Steyn has become as boring as Taki; their reactions to any news about Clinton is so adolescent and puritanical that one wonders, Is this penis envy? Only Peregrine...


The Spectator

RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK ❑ £93.00 01 £47.00 Europe (airmail) C/ £104.00 0 £52.00 USA Airspeed Ll US$151 0 US$76 U £115.00 0 £58.00 Rest of '1 Airmail World Airspeed .....

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The Times: was it murder? Yes, by Rupert Murdoch STEPHEN GLOVER Only last week the Guardian ran a leader criticising Mr Murdoch for his price-cutting policies. Now it emerges...

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The Spectator

An icon bereft of worshippers Raymond Carr B ack in Paris after a visit to the Soviet Union, Jean-Paul Sartre, whom D. M. Thomas dismisses as an 'idiot savant', wrote, `There...

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He came, he saw, he settled

The Spectator

Paul Johnson OVER HERE by Raymond Seitz Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 372 F ormer ambassador Raymond Seitz prides himself on his knowledge of British ways, and his book is a display of...

No easy riding for those who stayed behind

The Spectator

Robert Oakeshott AFRICA: BIOGRAPHY OF A CONTINENT by John Reader Hamish Hamilton, £30, pp. 840 Several strands of evidence — fossil, genetic and linguistic — point...

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When the Wall came down

The Spectator

Michael Hulse HEROES LIKE US by Thomas Brussig, translated from the German by John Brownjohn Harvill, £9.99, pp. 250 E very nation likes to look at itself in the mirror....

A chip off the old Blocj

The Spectator

David Profumo ARMADILLO by William Boyd Hamish Hamilton, £16.99, pp. 310 F or his seventh novel — a comic thriller as entertaining as anything he has written — William Boyd has...

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Art in a cold climate

The Spectator

William Joll PATRICK PROCKTOR by John McEwen Scolar Press, £25, pp. 96 N o one familiar with the painters who have lived and exhibited in London in the last 40 years could fail...

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An awkward tango

The Spectator

Tony Gould BAD TIMES IN BUENOS AIRES by Miranda France Weidenfeld, £18.99, pp. 209 M iranda France was awarded The Spectator's Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for travel writing...

The sublime and the ridiculous

The Spectator

Frank Kermode LAUGHTER AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS by Michael Screech Penguin, £30, pp. 328 M ichael Screech, a world authority on Rabelais, Erasmus, Montaigne — in fact on the...

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The magnificent Micks

The Spectator

Allan Mallinson THE IRISH GUARDS IN THE GREAT WAR (THE SECOND BATTALION) by Rudyard Kipling, edited by George Webb Spellmount, £24.95, pp. 223 T wo outstanding regimental...


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koft e Over Here by Raymond Seitz The subjects of Raymond Seitz's scrutiny are delightful- ly divergent, his comments are insight. ful and his compar- isons with America...

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An unlikely couple

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Anne Somerset PARTICULAR FRIENDS: THE CORRESPONDENCE OF PEPYS AND EVELYN edited by Guy de la Bedoyere Boydell & Brewer, £25, pp. 352 T he correspondence between John Evelyn and...

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Wrong turning — left or right

The Spectator

David Pryce-Jones THE FOUNDING MYTHS OF ISRAEL by Zeev Sternhell, translated by David Maisel Princeton University Press, £25, pp. 419 T h h e state of Israel is about to...

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Mind the gap Peter Phillips investigates the waning influence of the central European musical tradition T he public no longer as reliably flocks to hear the music of composers...

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Exhibitions 1

The Spectator

Pierre Bonnard (Tate Gallery, till 17 May) In Bonnard's world Martin Gayford I n conversation a great living painter remarked to me that in the first years of this century...

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Exhibitions 2

The Spectator

To Observe and Imagine: British Drawings and Watercolours 16(10-1900 (The Pierpont Morgan Library, till 3 May) Pot-pourri of drawings Roger Kimball T he Pierpont Morgan...

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The Spectator

Flight (National Theatre) Cause Célèbre (Lyric Hammersmith) Macbeth (Orange Tree, Richmond) Pageant of retreat Sheridan Morley O ne of the requirements, indeed desig-...


The Spectator

Spanish thrills Giannandrea Poesio I n 1837, the French balletomane, jour- nalist, dance writer, poet and novelist Theophile Gautier praised Spanish dancing for being a true...

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The Spectator

Spinners of dreams Ursula Buchan I f you want to know why there has been such an explosion in interest in gardening in the last decade or more, look no further than the...

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The Spectator

The Postman (15, selected cinemas) What a bummer Mark Steyn I was going to say that, instead of doing post-apocalyptic wasteland epics like Waterworld and The Postman, Kevin...


The Spectator

Billy Budd (Welsh National Opera) Three men in a boat Michael Tanner I n a performance and production as magnificent as this new one in Cardiff, unveiled on St Valentine's...

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Travels with Auntie Michael Vestey A re we impressed when we switch on the radio and hear: 'The World This Week- end. This is James Cox in Washington . . .'? I can't say I am...

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The Spectator

Conversion problems Simon Hoggart T he partition walls of television are being knocked through faster all the time. We used to have sitcoms; now the fashion is for situation...

The turf

The Spectator

He's got the bottle Robin Oakley S harpical's victory in the Newbury Tote Gold Trophy was yet another testament to the skills of Nicky Henderson, who beamed afterwards, 'He's...

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High life

The Spectator

Hot and bothered Taki Despite the terrific sunshine — I do not remember such beautiful weather in the 40 years of coming here — the drums of war are beating even in this...

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Country life

The Spectator

Codes of conduct Leanda de Lisle I didn't know that the RSPCA had an animal rights agenda until I read that the Charity Commissioners had suggested they drop it. Their...


The Spectator

Makable? Andrew Robson NORTH-SOUTH crawled into 44. Could declarer make it on •A lead and best defence thereafter? Dealer North North-South vulnerable 4 A 9 6 V A 2 • J 107 6...

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Imperative cooking: drivel about drizzle

The Spectator

THERE IS now more drivel talked about olive oil than about wine — and this col- umn was about to add to it. For some rea- son I conceived the idea of collecting dif- ferent...

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Odd man out Raymond Keene A MIGHTY tournament is due to start in Linares, Spain in the coming week. From 22 February to 9 March, seven of the world's top players will joust in...


The Spectator

Dome pome Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2021 you were invited to write a poem in praise or mock- ery of the Millennium Dome. Though a few hurrahs were raised, the consensus...

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w. & .J.

The Spectator

GRAHAM'S CROSSWORD A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 9 March, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or, for...

No. 2024: Spilling the old beans

The Spectator

`A heavy, loutish-looking youth', expelled from Eton, sent down from Oxford and inclined to petty theft, the Hon. Freddie Threepwood was Lord Etnsworth's least favourite son....

in Solution to 1347: Cryptic

The Spectator

`F 2 A U 'R E 4 T li E 6 A 7 T I I. N I O Y I SHOP811 F jc t hEEDYAIOTREI ERE A9 D S ISA CEIUP tyCL ICII ' ill K ; ST A E A E FAEA rIR SE V N G R I ANilt riA 'I....

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Ruud awakening Simon Barnes WHEN Ruud Gullit became manager of Chelsea 18 months or so back, I wrote that he was the first black man to become the manager of a Premiership...


The Spectator

Dear Mary.. . Q. I suspect I am like most Spectator read- ers in that I pronounce the place where I keep my car or have it repaired as the garage, with a soft 'g' in the second...