22 AUGUST 1992

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P olice in London seized a van containing a 300lb IRA bomb believed to be destined for an attack on the West End, but five people arrested in connection with the find were later...

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J uly and August are the months for the annual church fête, an institution which seems to hold its popularity despite the reduction in church-going. When I see how much hard...

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Two voices heard in a Suffolk health farm AUBERON WAUGH I had intended — and still intend — to address myself this week to a cosy domestic issue: should working-class or...

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Anthony Daniels has lunch with the London representative of the world's most brutal political party, and explores the links between murder and idealism Un ripe de atazid en...

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Stephen Handelman leaves Moscow after five years, and describes how freedom has not brought happiness Moscow AN OLD Moscow friend told me a bitter story the other day. Walking...

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If symptoms

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persist.. . MY OLD FRIEND Dr B— called me last week from the prison to ask whether I could do sick parade the following morning. All the regulars — doctors, that is — were...

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Jani Allan gives her considered verdict on the man who revealed her secret fantasies to Court Fourteen GEORGE ALFRED CARMAN QC is the most feared criminal barrister in the...

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Michael Heath


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Robert Simpson gives medical advice to those who no longer wish to work, but need a regular income I PROPOSE to set myself up as a consul- tant to advise patients who want to...

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The last adolescent squeal of the Republican Party Houston he discovery by American adolescents that it was cool to be conservative was one of the less plausible events of the...

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Why Eve decided to give up nudism PAUL JOHNSON H uman beings need mysteries. The more sophisticated the species becomes, the more we need them. The advance of science lays...

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Touch of the sun, or Chancellor's dream of a surprise package CHRISTOPIIER FILDES N orman Lamont and I have been tak- ing the Italian sun, and I think it may have gone to our...

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Sir: Do Mrs Fermor-Hesketh's insights have any bearing on Lord

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Hesketh's public life? By publishing her letter you suggest they do. I would disagree, but in any case I am in a position flatly to contradict the impres- sion she gives. I was...

LETTERS Talk of Alexander

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Sir: A distant relation by marriage, I would like to attest the 'legendary charm' of Lord Hesketh, disputed by your correspondent, the Hon Mrs Fermor-Hesketh, his sister-in- law...

Great Lyons sausage

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Sir: Jeffrey Bernard observes that there should be a law against Grand Prix racing drivers spraying good champagne after a victory (Low life, 8 August). For the 1924 French...

Value for money

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Sir: I was not surprised to read that passen- gers on a train raised no objection when a couple carried out acts of gross indecency and protested only when they lit up after-...

Sir: Surely Jeanne Fermor-Hesketh's derogatory letter about the personal quali-

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ties of her brother-in-law should have been consigned to the wastepaper-bin. You may have started another downward trend: there will be no shortage of sisters- in-law, first...

Marital advice

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Sir: I am sorry that Digby Anderson's young middle-class friends have attended such an unfortunate and improbable sam- ple of weddings (`The gang-nosh: a social problem', 25...


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Sir: 'A-wop-bop-aloo-bop-a-wop-bam- boom', indeed! Brian McDermott (Letters, 8 August) and the critic he seeks to correct (Television, 25 July) are both talking non- sense....

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Sex, death and cups of tea James Buchan FRAUD by Anita Brookner Cape, £14.99, pp.224 F or all its virtues, Anita Brookner's new novel falls prey to excessive scruple and...

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Finding a father, losing a son

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John Bowen RICHARD AND PHILIP: THE BURTONS by Philip Burton Peter Owen, f16.50, pp. 184 T his memoir may be the last of the Burton books. Richard Burton died in 1984 and had...

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My Turn

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My turn? OK. I throw the dice, get ten, Glance down to see where boot is on the board, Then count the squares from Pentonville and land Slap bang on Vine Street with hotel. Oh...

While there's death there's hope

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Julie Burchill STEPHANIE by Winston Graham Chapmans, f14.99, pp. 301 A fter more than 30 novels translated into 17 languages, with seven of them filmed — most notoriously as...

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A view from the back of a giant tortoise

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Tom Shone SMALL GODS by Terry Pratchett Gollancz, f13.99, pp. 250 G enre fiction lends itself well to parody. Both Stephen King and James Herbert, for instance, have in their...

A gifted intellectual bully

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Simon Heller LIBERTY, EQUALITY AND FRATERNITY by James Fitzjames Stephen Chicago University Press, f11.95, pp.394 I f all one knows of James Fitzjames Stephen is that he was...

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Al excellent report

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Robert Kee PRISONER OF HOPE by David Wild The Book Guild, f12.95, pp. 276 hen the German guards drifted away from the camp in which the civilised and sympathetic author of this...

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More means worse but not less

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John Whitworth KID by Simon Armitage Faber, £5.99, pp. 88 XANADU by Simon Armitage Bloodaxe, £5.95, pp. 64 I n the little world of Po-Biz Simon Armitage is the new Keats. I...

Protest movement into art

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Raymond Carr IN SEARCH OF THE FIREDANCE by James Woodall Sinclair-Stevenson, £16.95, pp. 333 B y a curious concatenation of acciden- tal circumstances my wife and I spent the...

Correction James Blair Lovell's Anastasia: The Last Princess, reviewed by

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Alastair Forbes on 18 July, was the American edition and not the updated English edition which will be published by Robson Books next month. We apologise to the author and his...

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Creating utopia in Dorset

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Richard 011ard FIRE FROM HEAVEN: LIFE IN AN ENGLISH TOWN IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY by David Underdown HarperCollins, £17.99, pp. 308 A ll David Underdown's books, various and...

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Opera The trouble with Harry David Mellor visits Bayreuth, loves the music, but not the production I f 1984 was the year of the Great British Disaster at Bayreuth, then...

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No hiding place Giles Auty found the view from the subject's chair illuminating yet uncomfortable I t is more a matter of surprise to me than pride that a number of artists I...

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Unknown quality Peter Phillips H enry Wood wrote in 1938: 'Every- thing is commercialised. There must be a "star" conductor — Toscanini or Furtwan- gler — and this famous...


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Hush (Royal Court) Street of Crocodiles (National ) Transfer time Sheridan Morley A the Royal Court embarks on one of the longest change-over periods in theatre history...

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A couple of gems Alistair McAlpine A utumn wonders to come are now being heralded by sale-rooms after the dullest of summers in London. Christie's have two important sales....

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Lethal Weapon III (`15', selected cinemas) What larks! Vanessa Letts L ethal Weapon III is an amazingly loud film. If you go to see it you are faced with a choice. Either you...

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Hampton Court

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Popular pleasure Ruth Guilding argues that the 'People's Palace' is . trying to follow public taste A couple of weeks ago, the railway car- riage in which I travelled from...

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Terrible talent Ian Hislop M ost television turns out to be disap- pointing but Eldorado (BBC 1, 7 p.m., Mon, Wed, Fri) is a welcome exception. It Is just as bad as everyone...

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Long life

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Rest and perfect ease Nigel Nicolson A everyone seems to be on holiday except me, I shall write about holidays. This is not said in any mood of self-pity, for there will come...

High life

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A nose by any other name Taki Gstaad h ehe Swiss may not be the.most exciting people in Europe, but they're certainly among the wisest. I say 'among' because, of late,...

Low life

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One last bite Jeffrey Bernard T his may not be Custer's last stand but I think it is almost certainly mine. From where I sit it looks quiet enough out there with the flag atop...

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SINCE I have eaten for scarcely above f20- ish a

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head for the past couple of months, I gave in without guilt to the sudden desire for extravagance. Although, on reflection, it isn't really extravagance: Salloo's may be...

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Record breaker Raymond Keene T his year's British Championship at Plymouth lacked the big names. No Short, no Speelman, no Nunn and no Chandler. Even local boy Michael Adams...


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COTrIl 1 ,3, f,RLON, PURE HIGHLAND MALT SCOTCH WHISKY COMPETITION Rum place Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1741 you were invit- ed to describe part of a visit to a strange...

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G RAHAM'S L i w. & J.

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PORT C 1 GRAHAM'S PORT CROSSWORD A first prize of £20 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 7 September, with two...

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Dear Mary.. . Q. My wife and I are getting on in years but still like to entertain. However, my wife will insist on telling (in a droning voice) long and convoluted stories,...


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Bigger and better Frank Keating IT IS ALMOST two years since the death, at 74, of one of cricket's grandest knights, and in Len Hutton Remembered (Witherby, £16.99) his...