22 JUNE 1991

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High Society M r Douglas Brand, jailed for 'spying' in Iraq, was freed by Saddam Hussein following secret negotiations with Mr Ed- ward Heath. The number of unemployed rose by...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 NOT AN OPTIMUM REGIME G overnments, like individuals, are li- able to...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY - RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK CI £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 World...

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JOHN MORTIMER W hat can explain the huge increase in telephone tapping in an allegedly free soci- ety? It seems unnecessary when, thanks to British Telecom, you only have to...

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The problem of women who say 'yes' when they really mean 'no' AUBERON WAUGH S ome weeks ago the Observer carried an excellent article by its Washington corre- spondent, Andrew...

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Euro-sceptics are not the real splitters in the Conservative Party IN THE fable, the little boy who cried `wolf ended up being eaten by one. Fables are simple things, with...

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John Laughland on the common themes of Nazi and modern German aspirations for Europe Paris MR Hans Dietrich Genscher is an honour- able man. The German foreign minister's...

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Ian Buruma explains the strange affinity between Red China and Hong Kong businessmen Hong Kong IT WAS a perfect, cloudless day in Hong Kong. We were sitting under a marquee on...

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Michael Heath


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William Dalrymple attains the goal of his journey on foot — Compostela Santiago THE monks were in their fields, planting cabbages with the air of old Edwardian gentlemen...

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Janine Di Giovanni took treatment to slow down the aging process and found she had fewer colds A FEW months ago, I received a letter in the post from Clinique La Prairie in...


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READERS are invited to indicate the grammatical errors in the following letter from the leader of the Liberal Demo- crats. A copy of Fowler's Modern En- glish Usage or a year's...

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S. J. Taylor meets the editor of the Sun and extracts some rare wisdom from him KELVIN MacKenzie, editor of the Sun, is approaching me rapidly, as I him, and we have quite a...

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Simon Blow finds that the Queen's own meeting has become socially absurd ROYAL Ascot is the Queen's own meet- ing. The ground it is held on is royal ground, following an...

One hundred years ago

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THE Omnibus Strike in London ended on Saturday, and on Monday the men returned to work. They have secured the shorter hours, and the right of a day's holiday in the fortnight...

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If symptoms

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persist . . . AS EVERYONE remarks who is about to generalise wildly, one must not gener- alise, especially about nationality. In- deed, one must not; but the plain fact,...

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The press: Paul Johnson on the way in which photographs are taking over quality newspapers ARE Britain's quality daily newspapers going downmarket? The question is worth...

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Banking on Murdoch

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MANCHESTER, as you may know, is the Osaka of the Occident. Watching the Murdoch press excoriate the banks — we name the guilty men, write to your chair- man now — I thought of...

Advantage ICI

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A MONTH into the phoney war, and Imperial Chemical Industries has the early advantage. ICI has assumed, ever since Hanson turned up on its share register, that this war is real....


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Rupert, Mary and I have a winning wheeze family silver for Number 10 RISTOPHER FILDES CH S ilvery tinkles bring me cheering news — my Downing Street wheeze is working! It...


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OH DEAR — the Securities and Invest- ments Board, which moved into its garish new office at the end of last year, is still stuck with its old one. Any takers for a...

Candid friend

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ALAN WHITTOME, knighted in the Honours List, booked his place in history in sterling's worst crisis, 15 years ago, when Britain had to make terms with the Inter- national...

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Divine ignorance Sir: A.N. Wilson (`The Kitty Kelley of Galilee',

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8 June) is fully justified in saying that 'you would be hard put to find one [professional theologian in the Western world] who believed that the historical Jesus claimed to be...

Sir: Ian Buruma (`Hopeless in Baza', 4 May) alleges that

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I accused Jewish Peace Now Activists opposing a new Jewish settlement in the Old City of Jerusalem of de facto fascism, proclaiming Hitler's doc- trine of Judenrein. His...

Justice for four

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Sir: I welcome your article on the case of the four unjustly convicted Armagh UDR men (Penalising Protestants', 15 June). As Sandra Barwick says, theirs has been an uphill...


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Israel's shout Sir: Painting the squalor and despair in the Gaza shanty towns with an artist's brush, Ian Buruma (`Hopeless in Gaza', 4 May) would not dream of pointing a...

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Guilty party

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Sir: Once again Antony Lambton (Books, 8 June) has gone to press on the subject of Lord Louis Mountbatten. The last time was on 13 May 1990, when the Times published a...

Sir: It is not true as Mr A. N. Wilson

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says (`The Kitty Kelley of Galilee', 8 June) `that nowhere in the New Testament is it stated that Jesus claimed to be God'. Jesus' reported words include 'he that hath seen me...

Grave matter

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Sir: I often admire articles written by Christopher Fildes and his recent commen- tary in The Spectator contained his cus- tomary balance (City and Suburban, 1 June). However,...

Spare the coppers

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Sir: Without wishing to become embroiled in any debate about 'government support for the police', may I make one or two points about Simon Heifer's article (`The Force is not...

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Early flight

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Sir: 'It is certainly a quotation all right', Colin Welch says in condemning the phrase 'the necessary killing' which he attributes to a `blood-chilling poem' by Auden (Books, 8...

Poor taste

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Sir: Hilary Corke exposes much of Heaney's verse as pretentious nonsense, and tells us that it is not poetry but `gestures towards poetry' (Books, 8 June). But poor judges in...

Sir: I think Colin Welch was looking at the wrong

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menu when he was tucking into Auden (Books, 8 June). He wasn't a fishcake in the snow, he was a wedding cake that had been left out in the rain all night. Much more elaborate....

Better news

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Sir: David Parsons (Letters, 18 May) has either fallen into the etymological fallacy or failed to notice that English words often have more than one sense. Certainly, following...

Prudent limits

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Sir: I refer to your editorial 'The limits of Prudence' (18 May). The Americans have attempted an imaginative solution to the paradox of declining wages and benefits for workers...

Sic joke

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Sir: There is a special hell reserved for those who thank God that they are not as other men are through the use of `(sic]'. Occasionally, however, Nemesis catches up with them...

Race row

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Sir: It is a pity that your comment on the John Drummond v. Nigel Kennedy bout should begin with two errors of fact (Lead- ing article, 15 June). John Drummond did not...

Good idea

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Sir: Rory Knight Bruce, wearing his hat as editor of the Evening Standard's London- er's Diary, writes of his distaste for Hew Kennedy's escapades with his siege engine...

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New maps of Hell Andrew Roberts HITLER AND STALIN: PARALLEL LIVES by Man Bullock Harper Collins, £20, pp. 1179 S i monumentum requiris, circumspice', ended Alan Bullock's 1952...

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Fear no more the frown o' the great

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John Zametica OPEN LETTERS: SELECTED PROSE by Viclay Havel Faber, £17.50, pp. 415 T here is a famous story about a meeting between Stalin and Bela Kun, the Hungari- an...

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She put it up her nose and blew it

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Christopher Hampton YOU'LL NEVER EAT LUNCH IN THIS TOWN AGAIN by Julia Phillips Heinemann, £15.99, pp.650 O nce upon a time producers were dis- creet men in suits whose talent...

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Bright with names that men remember

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Peter Quennell PORTRAITS FROM LIFE by Edmund Gosse Scolar Press, £25, pp.200 I n his later years, Sir Edmund Gosse, once Librarian to the House of Lords, was evidently well...

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Flights of fancy

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Parviz Radji MAJESTIC FAILURE: THE FALL OF THE SHAH by Marvin Zonis University of Chicago Press, 129.95, pp.350 O t the mass of books that have appeared since the Iranian...

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The making of an Englishman

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Nicholas Coleridge SLIDE by James Buchan Heinemann, £12.99, pp.135 J ames Buchan has written a very slim book, described on the cover as a novel, but actually a collection of...

A dance on the precipice

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Cristina Monet A DANGEROUS WOMAN by Mary McGarry Morris Macmillan, £14.99, pp. 358 A t an early performance of The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams awaited with trepidation...


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You come back late and listen to a CNN reporter, mike extended through a window, wafting the sounds of war into the shelter of your living room — alliterative bombs or 'Triple...

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The passionate intensity of a classicist

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Hugh Brigstocke A nthony Blunt's view of Nicolas Poussin as pictor philosophus was originally conceived as a direct riposte to Roger Fry, who had brushed aside the French...

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Art Capital fellows British School at Rome T he balmy pleasures of spending a recent weekend staying at the British School at Rome were spiced somewhat by learning on my...

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Mu s ic

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Genius loci Robin Holloway O ne advantage of the Aldeburgh Festi- val (others being the continuing adventur- ousness of the programmes and the flair with which they are...

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Catch the running gag Gabriele Annan J ames Dearden's A Kiss Before Dying is a smooth, efficient thriller with a firm moral stance and no heart. Not that thrillers need...

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A lass unparallel'd Alec Guinness remembers 50 years of friendship with Peggy Ashcroft I am pretty sure that Peggy Ashcroft con- sidered the high point of her career to have...

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Theatre 2

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The White Devil (Olivier) Black and white Christopher Edwards T he White Devil's combination of tech- nique and bleak moral perspective seems dislocating, especially to...


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Seeing blue Martyn Harris T he men from Cable London arrived this week to drill a hole in our garden wall: our magic doorway from the sleepy hamlet of BBC and ITV out into the...

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Low life

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Under pressure Jeffrey Bernard A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to move into a good flat in Swiss Cottage. I turned it down in favour of another in Soho. It was...

High life

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Blood, sweat and oil Taki I find it splendidly ironic that the Naval and Military Club, once the home of Lord Palmerston at 94 Piccadilly, may be forced to vacate the premises...

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New life

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Mal de mere Zenga Longmore T he French food is great, like. You get this amazing lamb chop thing with sauce. Wish I could recall the name something French, if I remember...

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`I MEAN, OK, I understood there was a recession on,' I overheard one man say to another in the Groucho Club the other night, 'but I didn't believe it had got this bad: do you...

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The game of the name Raymond Keene I have a modest proposal, namely that in order to accelerate the process towards official recognition, started by the citizens of St...


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Hats and squiggles Jaspistos 1 12 YEAR OLD SCOTCH WHISKY I n Competition No. 1681, in view of the fact that the circumflex and the tilde, officially, and the apostrophe,...

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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 1011: Hear! Hear!

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'IN MOM ilil 21 aneminn riatirmill Ft °nein /4 In T LIT E Lrelarr 411 n Fuer. c% R E U E a r r c B 011T E re E ari En ill a I a 1119 E 19 r ATM K el a mien . E mamas,...

No. 1684: Malediction

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Belloc's poem against the 'remote and ineffectual Don/ That dared attack my Chesterton' was, in his words, 'a Rhymed Octosyllabic Curse'. You are invited to write one of up to...

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Just getting down to it Frank Keating THE belated CBE for Cyril Washbrook in the birthday honours list was doubtless dreamed up one drizzly day at Old Traf- ford by John Major...