22 MAY 1993

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`Horrible, horrible Copenhagen.' T h e Maastricht Bill went to a Third Reading in the Commons. Lord Tebbit and Lady Thatcher promised to fight it in the Lords, pressing for a...

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An attempt to divert the argument from the distractions of class war SIMON HEFFER h e Financial Times last Saturday pub- lished a Prime Ministerial 'hate list' of prominent...

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he latest round of allegations of royal bugging and leaking has somehow been the most shocking. This is not because of the tone of the leaked conversation itself: even its...

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Everything's great, really, so gissa littoo dosh AUBERON WAUGH W should, I suppose, be gratified to learn that £3 million has been set aside to preserve the habitat of one of...

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William Shawcross reports on the violence, confusion and fear that bedevil Cambodia's attempt at democracy in the face of the Khmer Rouge Phnom Penh THERE IS a run on the...

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Boris Johnson on how a scheme to use cheap wine as an alternative to petrol was thwarted by the oil barons Brussels IT STANDS forlorn on the harbour-front at Botlek,...

Mind your language

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PEJORATIVE words come in all colours, and change them just as easily. Just as Tory was once a term of abuse, so now critics of the Prime Minister are called snobs. This word...

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If symptoms persist.. .

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WHEN I was a very young man I thought I understood people. All human conduct was attributable in the last ana- lysis to one or two simple motives, whose workings it required...

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Robert Cottrell discovers a goldmine of indiscretions in the diaries of M Jacques Attali, Mitterrand's former confidant Paris Brezhnev is dying. The next general-secre- tary...

One hundred years ago

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To all appearance, the drought has bro- ken up. In the South of England it has been one of the longest on record, hav- ing lasted some seventy-eight days, i.e., two months and a...

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Michael Heath

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Sue Cameron reports on fear and loathing in Whitehall, as market forces intrude on life at the top THE PERMANENT secretary, who I sup- pose I must call Sir Humphrey, shook his...

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From mines to Maastricht, the courts are usurping the power of ministers, and the role of the Opposition, argues Marcel Berlins `HARDLY a political question arises that is not...

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Don't count Balkan raindrops, look out for the eastern typhoon PAUL JOHNSON O ne of the great diplomatic lessons of the 19th century is that the great powers should not waste...

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Now we know that the plan doesn't work, let's all sign up for it CHRISTOPHER FILDES I suppose it is all right for the Danes and us to sign up for Maastricht so long as we...

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Small and ravishing

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Sir: Giles Auty is a hypocrite. It is he who is trying to shock us by displaying his unwill- ingness to understand the art you employ him to report. As her dealer, I can vouch...

Disgusted and proud

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Sir: I am writing to express my absolute dis- gust at Charles Moore's malicious diatribe in the 15 May issue of The Spectator (Another voice). It seems that there is some sort...

Cook's slicing edge

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Sir: Reviews are very much the luck of the draw, good or bad, but when three novels on the same theme are published together — A Dead Man in Deptford by Anthony Burgess, The...

LETTERS Bogus honker

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Sir: There is no mystery about my mistrust of Alan Clark. It is not the product of sexu- al jealousy, as Taki (High life, 15 May) claims. I was not aware of his sexual prowess,...

Sir: In your issue of 1 May (`Truth might out'),

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you say, 'If Alan Clark had been com- pletely honest with Customs and Excise, the [Matrix-Churchill] prosecutions could not have been started'. You may be right in your belief,...

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Quite fathomable

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Sir: What does Dot Wordsworth find 'mys- terious' about Shakespeare's use of 'sea- change' in The Tempest (Mind your lan- guage, 15 May)? Ferdinand has already been told that...

Legal ethnic cleansing

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Sir: Could anyone (especially John Simpson in 'Empire of the senseless', 15 May) tell me what was illegal abut the Chinese occu- pation of Tibet in 1950? Which states recognised...

Last morsel

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Sir: If your egomaniacal reviewer Miss Julie Burchill (Books, 15 May) can produce a single book in whose index she is 'sand- wiched between Anthony Burgess and William...

Never forget Japan

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Sir: Nigel Nicolson writes (Long life, 15 May): 'In the autumn of 1989 it was gloomily forecast that we were in for six years of commemorating the 50th anniver- saries of every...

Stop press

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Sir: The phrase 'Croatian-Slovenian territo- ry' in my letter in the 15 May issue was a misprint. It should have read 'Croatian- Slavonian'. Noel Malcolm 1 Canada Square,...

A moderate proposal

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Sir: Mr Parfitt, the environmental health officer who wants to send a publican to jail for smoking a pipe, is a symbol of every- thing that is wrong with England. It is not...

Sir: I always find Dot Wordsworth's remarks about language interesting.

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How- ever, the subject can easily give rise to strong passions and in her disparagement of 'self-deprecating' she must have pro- voked many right-minded people (Mind your...

Greek cross

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Sir: I am not surprised that J. Paul Getty Jr does not understand English; after all, he's an American. In his letter in 1 May issue, he says I claim to have known him. I have...

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If you are solitary, be not idle James Buchan DEATH PLUS TEN YEARS by Roger Cooper HalperCollins, 177.50, pp. 330 F or anyone depressed at the decline in this country's...

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North Cape, on an Anniversary

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The sea curved like a cutlass, Through pines a presentiment Of blue.Invisible till 2' He instructed, and stuck to it Regardless, back to the view. Later, visibility restored,...

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Between the desert and the deep blue sea

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David Profumo CLEOPATRA'S SISTER by Penelope Lively Viking, £14.99, pp. 282 P erhaps it is because she knows how to write for children, but whatever the reason Penelope Lively...

A soft, honest, put-upon killer

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Frederic Raphael MR CAPONE by Robert J. Schoenberg Robson, £22.95, pp. 480 ess time separated the Great Fire of Chicago in 1871 from the era of Prohibi- tion than separates us...

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Little blest with , the soft phrase

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Stan Gebler Davies HAUGHEY: HIS LIFE AND UNLUCKY DEEDS by Bruce Arnold HarperCollins, £17.50, pp. 308 T he subtitle is from Othello. The con- text, I think, will be more...

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Unravelling the problems of the world

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Nicholas Henderson OLIVER FRANKS: FOUNDING FATHER by Alex Danchev Clarendon, £25, pp. 234 h at is a great man? This question keeps coming to mind in reading Alex Danchev's...

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I've got a little list

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James Walton GRANTA 43: BEST OF YOUNG BRITISH NOVELISTS edited by Bill Buford Penguin, £7.99, pp. 320 I t must have seemed a harmless enough idea at the time of its conception....

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Empty box, empty seats Rupert Christiansen Capriccio (Berlin Staatsoper) Wozzeck (Grand Theatre, Leeds) Les &wades (City of Birmingham Touring Opera) T he split in Berlin's...

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James Lynch (Maas Gallery, till 28 May) Farrokh Fathi (Rebecca Hossack, Piccadilly, till 5 June) Ana Corbero (Long & Ryle, till 28 May) Lands of dream Giles Auty L ast week I...

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After the revolution Robin Holloway B liss was it in that dawn to be alive/ And to be young was very heaven.' Not exactly! It's all too easy, in commemorating 1968, to mock...

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Royal Ballet (Covent Garden) Mint Imperial Sophie Constanti T he Royal Ballet's current triple bill Balanchine's Ballet Imperial, David Bint- ley's Still Life at the Penguin...


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Redeeming Vices (New End Theatre) The Chinese Wolf (Bush Theatre) Saki and sinister Sheridan Morley L ike the Omar Khayyam from whom he stole his pen-name (And when like her,...

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The genius of Miss Jekyll Ursula Buchan T here are few surer, if more arcane, pointers to a gardener's know-how than the way he or she pronounces Gertrude Jekyll's surname. To...

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Noam truths Martyn Harris N oam Chomsky is hated by many jour- nalists. He says we are liars who distort the news in favour of ruling elites. He says this with authority and...


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Indecent Proposal (`15', selected cinemas) Wild West (`15', selected cinemas) Moral mayonnaise Vanessa Letts Q . Would you pay Demi Moore $1 mil- lion to have it away with...

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High life

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Health hazard Taki Playing tennis in the Athenian smog can be far more dangerous for one's health than smoking, yet I see no government warnings about 55-year-olds competing...

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Low life

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Humpty- Jeffrey Bernard L ast week's fall resulted in a faintly ridiculous little drama. I crashed over back- wards in the hall of this flat and as luck would have it fell...

Long life

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The right candidate Nigel Nicolson In those days, vast Conservative majori- ties on the south coast were cast-iron. The true election was not on polling day but seven weeks...

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Give me some seafood, Mama

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I WAS IN Cambridge for the feast of St Joseph the Worker, doing a recording for a food quiz called A Matter of Taste, a nice, light-hearted affair. I had Anthony Worrall...

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Indian sign Raymond Keene NIGEL SHORT has an uncanny knack of winning the decisive game in the last round. In this respect he recalls Emanuel Lasker, always at his most deadly...


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Franklin's tale Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1779 you were invited to exemplify, by a story in verse or prose, the truth of Benjamin Franklin's maxim 'Three keep a secret,...

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A first prize of £20 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 7 June, with two runners-up prizes of £10 (or, for UK solvers,...

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Getting a grip Frank Keating A FORMER editor of Mr Maxwell's Daily Mirror, Roy Greenslade, has the brass neck in his fortnightly whinge in a magazine called the Oldie to...


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Dear Mary. . Q. We have recently inherited a family estate and have moved to the country. We are regularly asked out to dinner and, country society being small, we seem to find...