23 MARCH 1991

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'The more this goes on, Lord Lane, the more convinced I become of your innocence.' I n his first Budget Mr Norman Lamont raised value added tax by 2.5 per cent, to pay for a...

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56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex: 27124; Fax: 071-242 0603 SENSELESS CONSENSUS F or the natural party of government, the Conservatives' recent...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY — Save 18% on the Cover Price! RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 /66.00 0 /33.00 Europe (airmail) 0 /77.00 0 £38.50 USA Airspeed 0 US $99 ci $49.50 Rest of...

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ALASTAIR FORBES I must say I found it impossible not to feel twinges of sympathy for Lady Thatch- er when reading of her round-the-clock bleating in America about the pains she...

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Mr Major shows the tired face of democracy CHARLES MOORE T he press decided at the weekend that Mr Major is tired and not feeling well, and Mrs Major confirmed it. This was an...

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ALL SHIPSHAPE AND TOPSY-TURVY Noel Malcolm laments Lamont's neglect of the working-class Tories 'MANY honourable Members have press- ed the case for helping two specific...

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LET'S HEAR IT FOR SOCKS AND SHARES Christopher Fildes likes a Budget for business's new owners THIS country is still in business, but watching the House of Commons you would...

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Stephen Handelman argues that the Soviet referendum has weakened not strengthened Mr Gorbachev Moscow THE PEOPLE have spoken. Mikhail Gor- bachev's extraordinary experiment in...

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Michael Heath

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John Simpson doubts that a Middle Eastern settlement is even possible FOR A place so numinous, it is remark- ably unimpressive: a metal bridge, rickety and small, whose unfixed...

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Murray Sayle on the long Asian pedigree of a short Gulf war Tokyo SOME very powerful names were invoked before, during and especially after the Gulf war, now so victoriously...

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The Richard Dimbleby prizewinner is no stranger to manipulation, argues Derek Tonkin PERHAPS no television award has aroused quite so much controversy as the decision by the...

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One hundred years ago

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The Court of Appeal on Thursday gave a most important decision. Mr. Jack- son, of Clitheroe, had vainly urged his wife to live with him, and, after obtain- ing a decree for...

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Zimbabwe's policy of killing elephants benefits both animals and people, Jonathan Manthorpe reports Harare THE groundsmen have done splendid work. There is no longer any sign...

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Vicki Woods recalls her time with the eccentric social chronicler, Betty Kenward I ALWAYS thought Mrs Betty Kenward would die in harness on Ladies' Day, but there you are. She...

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Candida Crewe fears there is no peace for the buried CREMATION or burial — which it is to be? The question concerns us all, and is difficult to resolve. Take cremation. You...

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If symptoms

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persis • t • • IF THE poor in spirit ever inherit the earth, some of my patients will be the lords of creation. At the moment, howev- er, they seem to me more like sheep, whose...

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The press: Paul Johnson deplores ill-informed attacks on a great public servant ONE OF the most unpleasant aspects of the media campaign against Margaret Thatcher was the...

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LETTERS Science in profit

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Sir: Having written the leading article (`The brainless drain', 23 February) to which A. R. King (Letters, 2 March) took exception. I wish to rebut his points. First, I am not a...

Twelve just men

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Sir: I am sorry Virginia Utley (`Jury in the dock', 23 February) has despaired of the jury system but can only say this conflicts markedly with my own experience. Having done...

Native prejudice

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Sir: George Chowdharay-Best suggests (lord Salisbury's black man', 16 Febru- ary) that the great Conservative Prime Minister was encouraging racial prejudice with his comments...

Farcical facts

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Sir: Your report on India, 'Thuggery rules', by William Dalrymple (8 December 1990) has caught up with me only now. The Indian political situation is farcical enough in all...

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Silken dalliance

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Sir: I have no doubt that Roger Shaw (Letters, 16 March) speaks Spanish fluent- ly; but is it not he, and not Edith Gross- man, who has boobed? In his assertion that the Spanish...

Illegal tender

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Sir: HM Treasury is correct in its assertion that, 'Legal tender is a specialised legal concept with little practical significance for the acceptability of a currency.' Tim...

Cowardly practice

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Sir: I am delighted that Craig Brown (Diary, 2 March) has taken up a cause long dear to my heart, the red uctio ad absurd urn of the epithet 'cowardly' to denigrate actions of...

Designer error

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Sir: The Australian embassy in Paris was designed by my father, Harry Seidler, who is, appropriately, Australian and not by Marcel Breuer as stated by Alan Powers (Arts, 23...

Maxim mutiny

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Sir: Mr Simpson's sympathetic article 'Not just the Maxim gun' (9 March), is marred in one respect. I doubt if he can have read 'The Modern Traveller' in whole or in part. He...

Tea and Methodism

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Sir: I have read Charles Moore's percep- tive article (Another voice, 9 March) on trends in the Anglican Church with the greatest interest. Their resemblance to the...

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How noble in reason Colin Welch THE HOLY FOX: A BIOGRAPHY OF LORD HALIFAX by Andrew Roberts Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £25, pp. 348 h ose who recall the Thirties will retain a...

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When can his glory fade?

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William Scammell THE LETTERS OF ALFRED LORD TENNYSON, VOLUME III, 1871-1892 edited by Cecil Y. Lang and Edgar F. Shannon Jill- OUP, £60, pp. 534 nnyson is a broad church....

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Around My Stony Cradle

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Illyes did not like Budapest — of course, he lived in Budapest at the time and not where he said the worthwhile people lived. For my part, cruisin g these streets some fifty...

Only the aborigines are original

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Francis King FLYING HERO CLASS by Thomas Keneally Hodder & Stoughton, £13.95, pp. 224 H ijacking is now a commonplace, not merely as an item of news but also as a theme for...

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Lasting effects of early training

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J.G. Links h e railways penetrated into every cor- ner of the Victorian world, concludes Professor Simmons. He has been writing about them for 25 years and, his publishers...

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A minor, difficult masterpiece

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Andrew Clifford THE MARKET BELL by T.F. Powys The bynmill Press, £14.95, pp. 322 R eading a dead author's unpublished novel offers an experience akin to that one sometimes has...

When the singing has to stop

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J.L. Carr JAUNTING THROUGH IRELAND by Roy Kerridge Michael Joseph, £15.99, pp. 324 M r Kerridge's musings, his revela- tions, fulfil an armchair traveller's every hope: he...

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First novels, modern rather than new

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Celestria Noel NEWS FROM A FOREIGN COUNTRY CAME by Alberto Manguel Harper Collins, £13.99, pp. 435 A HOME AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Michael Cunningham Hamish Hamilton, £13.99,...

Correction In Stephen Spender's review last week, it was not

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clear from the layout of the quo- tation that Robert Fagles's translation of the Iliad was in verse. We apologise to the author and the reviewer.

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We children had the freedom of the house, Wandered from room to room, at home in each, And felt no hiding place was out of reach; Fiercely awake, and yet oblivious; Till each of...

Rhyme is the rock

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Clive Wilmer STONE by Osip Mandelstam, translated by Robert Tracy Collins Harvill, £6.95, pp. 249 THE COLLECTED CRITICAL PROSE AND LETTERS by Osip Mandelstam, edited by Jane...

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Thoroughly modern Ganga Singh

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William Dalrymple A DESERT KINGDOM: THE RAJPUTS OF BIKANER by Naveen Patnaik Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £20, pp. 120 T wo years ago, the Indian writer Naveen Patnaik went to stay...

The Shepherd's Hut

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So there need not be a reason for this And neither did it ask for language, But I am led by something through the grass To where it stands by a gap in the hedge. It could not...

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Architecture Sir Christopher Wren and the Making of St Paul's (Royal Academy, till 12 May) The submerged cathedral Alan Powers S ir Christopher Wren had problems in...

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Sargy Mann (Cadogan Contemporary, till 6 April) Joy Girvin (Blason Gallery, till 3 April) Janet BouIton (Mercury Gallery, till 13 April) Fred Ingrains (Rebecca Hossack Gallery,...

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Lulu (Almeida) Amorality play Christopher Edwards T he Almeida, under Ian McDiarmid's artistic directorship, has put on several fine and ambitious productions of little-per-...


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The pitfalls of pastiche Robin Holloway S t Michael's Church Cornhill continues, with its fine tradition of choral singing ably sustained under Jonathan Rennert, to encourage...

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Penny wise Alistair McAlpine A quick look through the previews for March and February issued by Sotheby's and Christie's and it becomes very clear that Sotheby's are rather...

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Starry night Martyn Harris T wo hours into The British Academy Awards (BBC 1, 8.15 p.m., Sunday) Billy Connolly in Los Angeles announced, rather desperately, that he was...


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Awakenings ('1 2', Odeon Leicester Square) Chequebook appeal Gabriele Annan n a run-down hospital canteen, Dr Sayer asks his chief for extra money (this may sound topical)...

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High life

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Crowning glory Taki admit to being rather flattered at being compared to the Queen in last week's Spectator Diary. The only difference being, of course, that I write my own...

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Low life

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Turn that baby down Jeffrey Bernard I n the strange game of musical chairs that we play here in West Hampstead the new tenant upstairs who has replaced the great micturator...

New life

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Puppy love Zenga Longmore I f I were asked to sum up my week with a single word, that word would undoubtedly have to be 'doggie'. Omalara has become obsessed with a...

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Imperative cooking: kitchens )/A L )1Thip.jimk. )74,010L intib e I EXPECT it's the

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recession, but I keep getting telephone calls from people called Kirsty asking if I'd consider buying a new kitchen. The answer to unsolicited sales calls is to try to sell the...

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Distinguished drink Jaspistos CI ' VAS REGA L 12 YEAR OLD SCOTCH WHISKY iiu I n Competition No. 1668 you were in- vited to write a poem celebrating the sharing of a drink with...


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Ivanchuk the Terrible Raymond Keene V assily Ivanchuk, the 22-year - old Muscovite, has clearly and convincingly won what has been billed by the Spanish organisers as the...

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No. 1671: Homophonies

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You are invited to write a poem (maximum 16 lines) in which the rhymes are homophones — e.g. 'train' and 'reign'. Entries to 'Competition No. 1671' by 5 April.

Solution to 997: 40A Winners: Ian Ray, Loughton, Essex (£20);

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Mrs H. Benson, West Kirby; D. A. Nicholls, Chester. 1 PA 2 e XPEN 9 bE '0 T T OIK ILI T :_LERL6EPGIITR ASSEttOYAL N111 A C H E317 A —. N R j N}A'h TRUM A INT Y I ' Ari 1 F, c...

CROSSWORD 1001: Thirty-three by Jac

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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...

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Nice try Frank Keating TO THE loser, certainly the romantic spoils for posterity. England fully deserved their first clean-sweep rugby union cham- pionship for 11 years at the...