21 MAY 1994

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The Spectator

'But, officer, I only want to know the time!' J ohn Smith, the leader of the Opposi- tion, died of a heart attack, aged 55. The Labour and Conservative parties said they would...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 THE ORAL MAJORITY Most people do not have to bother taking Paula Jones...

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Normal disservice will be resumed as soon as possible SIMON HEFFER A fter last week's sad events it was inevitable someone would seek to yank out the plug of the ensuing warm...

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couple of weeks ago the Wash-Out- Wife was let loose on this page and com- mitted a foul calumny at my expense, which seems to have won her a large number of admirers. Anyway, I...

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The Spectator

The Government claims it has introduced the rigours of the market into the NHS. This is a lie, says Dr Theodore Dalrymple FIVE YEARS ago there were three offices for nurse...

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Adam Zamoyski believes it is high time the West stopped lecturing others about their racialist tendencies. We are, if anything, worse A COUPLE of years ago I attended a con-...

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Tony Scotland discovers why Tasmania is the latest state to feel the wrath of the United Nations Hobart, Tasmania THE GENTLE Australian state of Tasma- nia, the law-abiding,...

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Edward Whitley explains why, to the dismay of 2.3 million investors, the share price of Britain's biggest business has collapsed THE TELEPHONE is our favourite toy. From my...

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flSt It comes to you

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Matthew Parris finds that the obituarist's air lends a freshness to his view of John Major IF MR MAJOR'S accident on Tuesday had not had the tragic consequence it did, there...

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Tabitha Troughton visits Butlin's of Bayswater to savour the Great British Experience THE LIGHTS had gone down. The three old men had staggered off stage clutching their...

One hundred years ago

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There is nothing in the whole world so expensive as a Radical improvement made in the interests of economy. It appears from a Parliamentary paper just issued, that during the...

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Mind your language

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'WHAT'S THE matter?' my husband asked, when he found me sniffling next to the wireless in the kitchen. I admit that I did weep when I heard that Mr John Smith, the Leader of...

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What happens when you're too mean to get your turkey cooked in the Ritz PAUL JOHNSON I t is always good sport when a self-satis- fied quality paper produces a real journalis-...

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Code up the nose

The Spectator

DIRECTORS ALL over the country are wondering what to do about the Cadbury Code of Corporate Governance. One answer is to comply by going on each oth- ers' boards, for extra...


The Spectator

PAUL KRUGMAN in his new book Ped- dling Prosperity puts forward the economic theory of reincarnation: 'If you are a good economist, a virtuous economist, you are reborn as a...

What Labour favours

The Spectator

FAILING THE ERM, Labour is in favour of training. Who isn't? It has a fiscal policy. It is in favour of stopping up loopholes — this was its contribution to the budget debate....

Tremors at the Treasury

The Spectator

I AM NOT surprised that the Treasury is falling down. As Sir Terence Burns, its Per- manent Secretary, says, it has taken a bash- ing. Besides, it hates to spend money on...


The Spectator

Come back, rancour, come back, asperity the political economy needs you CHRISTOPHER FILDES O ne week's truce, and then normal service can resume — what F.E. Smith defined with...

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Sir: Ian Buruma is wrong to suggest that the French

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tend to ignore the second world war because they lost or collaborated. It is all the other way: Britain is the country where there is nothing to show that there ever was a war...

Normandy revisited

The Spectator

Sir: On two recent occasions contributors to The Spectator have referred to the casu- alty figures for the D-Day landings: Robert Harris in the Diary for 23 April and Ian Buruma...

Myths and maths

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Sir: Need The Spectator really devote itself to perpetuating the myth that the 1960 election was 'stolen from [Nixon] when the Democratic Party machine in Illinois stuffed the...

LETTERS Stately care

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Sir: Alasdair Palmer is almost entirely cor- rect in his denunciation of care in the com- munity ('Carnage in the community', 7 May), and Virginia Bottomley is almost entirely...

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Delighted read

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Sir: Regarding boring book titles (Letters, 30 April), I don't think one should rush to judgment without at least opening the book. For example, take Modem Pigsticking by Major...

Rather cost-effective

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Sir: Bryan Appleyard is, of course, entitled to his opinions about The Late Show, but last week's tirade contained some funda- mental errors that I would like to correct. The...

Faith and science

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Sir: In his review of P. Sudolplatov ('McCarthy was right', Books, 14 May), Norman Stone gratuitously links his claim that many Soviet scientists were foolish about communism...

Ad nauseum Sir: Simon Jenkins refers to me as part

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of an 'intervention lobby' over Bosnia (Centre point, 14 May), and implies that I wrote my history of Bosnia in order to persuade the West to intervene there. No such sugges-...

Sir: In last week's Spectator Simon Jenkins laments the lack

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of foreign intervention in the forthcoming bloody and potentially destabilising civil war in Yemen. Clearly Simon Jenkins is not aware of the Foreign Office's lour-stage...

No crown for a saint

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Sir: I am afraid that Jennifer Paterson's recipe for crown roast of lamb (Food, 23 April) was inappropriate for St George's Day as it is American and comparatively modern. It...


The Spectator

12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £80.00 0 £41.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £91.00 0 £46.00 USA Airspeed [I US$130 0 US$66.00 USA Airmail El US$175 0 US$88 Rest of Airmail ID £111.00 0 £55.50...

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Perhaps I should join the Mooneys on the field of cloth of denim SIMON JENKINS B el Mooney — Mrs Jonathan Dimble- by — jets down from Granadaland to fast for Mother Earth....

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Envoy truly extraordinary Alastair Forbes MANDARIN: THE DIARIES OF NICHOLAS HENDERSON, 1969-82 Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £20, pp. 517 T he very last of the photographs included...

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Sexuality and deception

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Lesley Glaister THE MOUNTAIN OF IMMODERATE DESIRE by Leslie Wilson Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £15.99, pp. 374 I n The Mountain of Immoderate Desire, Leslie Wilson has re-created,...

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after Gerard de Nerval Winter has its pleasures, e.g. Sunday. Earth is blanched and gentled by low sun and you can step out smartly with the one-day- a-week girl cousin . . ....

Tranquillity recollected in chaos

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Anne Applebaum THE VIEW FROM THE KREMLIN by Boris Yeltsin HarperCollins, £18, pp. 316 O f the many peculiar things about this autobiography, not the least peculiar is the fact...

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If My Sentence

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If my sentence could be annulled I said I'd pray each day, but still the car turned round moving down that drive, its brake lights glowing red, as it reached the gate with...

Goodbye Amis, hello Virgil

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Michael Bywater OLIVER'S TRAVELS by Alan Plater Little, Brown, £15.99, pp. 315 H ere we are in a New University, and — dear me! — in South Wales, too. You might think Mr Plater...

Wine, women and hey-toly-loly-lo

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Fiona Maddocks PETER WARLOCK: THE LIFE OF PHILIP HESELTINE by Barn , Smith OUP, £25, pp. 347 D ebauched in the extreme and with a strong whiff of satanism about him, the...

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Yesterday I suffered, today I loved

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Frederic Raphael WOTAN, MY ENEMY by Leo Abse Robson, £18.95, pp. 274 I t may have the least catchy title since Howard Jacobson's Roots, Schmoots, but Leo Abse has, I am afraid,...

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A writer pursued by a scholar

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Francis King SEAN O'FAOLAIN by Maurice Harmon Constable, £16.95, pp. 326 W hen I first met Sean O'Faolain, he was already in his eighties. Spry, quizzical and elegant, he had...

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Between flights of fancy

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Gillian Tindall GHOSTS OF MANILA by James Hamilton-Paterson Cape, £14.99, pp. 278 T he outsider's arrival by anonymous jet, descending into an exotic location which is about to...

Something spooky this way comes

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Gabriele Annan POLANSKI by John Parker Gollancz, .E.18.99, pp. 287 T he list of Polanski's films . . . belies a patchwork of tensions that were running through his own life and...

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Making tracks to all points

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Nicholas Faith THE RAILWAY EMPIRE by Anthony Burton John Murray, £19.99, pp. 264 T he tales of imperial derring-do in the great rush which resulted in the construc- tion of a...

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Art The art of criticism Richard Shone thinks it is time for art critics and their editors to pull up their socks I t seems we are all art critics now. In the last several...

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Profits from a masterpiece Henry Lydiate explains who owns what in the visual arts C opyright theft is rife in the UK. Last year, over £500,000 was paid in copyright licence...

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Avigdor Arikha: Works 1992-93 (Marlborough Fine Art, till 4 June) The Art of Vietnam (Roy Miles Gallery, till 24 May) Economy of means Giles Auty A ikha is an odd phenomenon:...

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Steven Newell (Contemporary Applied Arts, till 25 June) Unbruised glass Tanya Harrod O ne of the most poetic objects I know is designed and made by the glass artist Steven...

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Falling Over England (Greenwich) Elgaes Rondo (Barbican Pit) No Big Deal (Orange Tree, Richmond) The generation game Sheridan Morley h ose who write plays about the upper...

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It comes to you

The Spectator

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The Spectator

Bathroom acoustics Peter Phillips h e lure of the Sistine Chapel to those brought up in the Western cultural tradi- tion is surely second to none. On visiting Rome one thinks...


The Spectator

A laugh a second Mark Steyn E ric Morecambe, currently back on our television screens, once remarked that in America they had funny lines but no funny men. To appreciate the...

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Only worth a gamble Alistair McAlpine C hristie's sale of Impressionist and modern paintings in New York did not go well, even most of the good paintings failed to sell. The...

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Adventures in Motion Pictures (Lilian Baylis Theatre and touring) Updating old favourites Sophie Constanti S ince Spitfire, his rougish parody of Pas de Quatre — Jules...

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Treat of the week Martyn Harris ick Broomfield's film, Tracking Down Maggie (Channel Four, Thursday, 9.30pm) was the treat of the week, a kind of docu- mentary shaggy dog...

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High life

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Bonding with the best Taki I t is a truth universally acknowledged that a Greek boy in possession of the right values will sooner rather than later be asked to debate in the...

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Low life

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Breeding winners Jeffrey Bernard P erched up here on the 14th floor as I am, a virtual prisoner, I am becoming bor- ingly obsessed by trivialities. In fact, I am beginning to...

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Long life

The Spectator

Lying abroad Nigel Nicolson I was brought up to believe that it is selfish to bother a British Embassy abroad. One should solve one's problems without expecting consular aid....


The Spectator

The Spectator index for July to December 1993 is now available. Please send copies of the following indexes at £6 each (UK), 27 (overseas) inc. p&p. July - Dec 1993 (vol.271)...

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A treat for the young and poor Auberon Waugh I t was ten years ago, in May 1984, that I first offered the (1977) Chateau Musar from the Lebanon. Since then I have offered it...


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c/o Chateaux Wines The Green, Olveston, Bristol BS12 3DN Telephone and Fax: (0454) 613959 Price No. Value White 1. 75 cl Chateau Pierrail Blanc Sec 1993 12 Bats. £59.88 2. 75...

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Saints and singer kjautiftLik-JOILIAL

The Spectator

APART FROM the great feast of Pente- cost this Sunday, we have some interesting runners-up. St Dunstan, on 19 May, who was the nephew of the Archbishop of Can- terbury in better...

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g.DDOilklii au SPAIN'S FINEST CAVA I SPAIN'S f INET CAVA Maginot Raymond Keene THE FRENCH DEFENCE enjoys a tradi- tional reputation for solidity. A key theme of the French...


The Spectator

Doggerel Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1830 you were invited to write a poem, either in doggerel or in the manner of A.A. Milne, on the subject of the Prince of Wales's lost...

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No. 1833: Stichomythia

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This means a poetic dialogue in alternate lines. You are asked for a maximum of 16 lines, rhymed aa, bb etc illustrating a typical domestic dispute. Entries to 'Com- petition...


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PORT PORT W6J. GRAHAM'S PORT CROSSWORD 1160: 28 14 12 by Mass A first prize of 125 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened...

Solution to 1157: Maypole dancers The circuitous forenames begin in

The Spectator

radials 7, 18, 28, 37, with GREEN- SWARD surrounding the imaginary pole. First prize: C. W. Hastings, Abing- don, Oxon; Runners-up: Erica Gut, London W8; I. S. Roberts, Lewes,...

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Boring the pads off Frank Keating CRICKETS irksome debate over ball- tampering resurfaces to bore the pads off everyone — although it must be admitted that the mix of...


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Q. I happen to lead a very quiet life in the countryside and after a hard day's work I usually retire to bed at about 9 o'clock. Unfortunately, I have a number of friends who...