23 MAY 1998

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The Spectator

M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, enlisted the help of Mr Bill Clinton, the President of the United States, to appeal to voters to approve the Stormont agreement in the...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 DESPITE MR BLAIR YES T here is only one rational explanation for the government's...

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CHRIS SMITH O ne of the great dangers of ministerial life is that you can become far too London- centric, and it's essential to try to get out around the rest of the country on...

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What the G8 needs is a kick from Old Nick BRUCE ANDERSON G 8 meetings have rarely been produc- tive affairs, for obvious reasons. The lead- ers of the world's foremost...

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Why the idle rich are no longer with us MATTHEW PARRIS I s this the first age when the rich work harder than the poor? My question is Prompted by two observations. The first...

Classifieds — pages 60-62

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It will be for the same reason that he backed New Labour, says Derek Draper — because he always wants to be on the side he expects will win `WHAT IF. . ? ' the gruff...

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On the 100th anniversary of William Ewart more leaders like him IN the United States, it has become some- thing of a cliché of political life that ex- presidents are...

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Ludovic Kennedy demands a retrial for the two Scots Guardsmen, Jim Fisher and Mark Wright THE CASE of the two Scots Guardsmen, Jim Fisher and Mark Wright, now in the sixth...

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Edward Heathcoat Amory defends the Queen's decision to honour the Emperor of Japan Tokyo THE GRAND Master of Ceremonies for the Imperial Household Agency, Yoshio Karita, met...

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Henry Kelly is angry about what he suspects is Mr Blair's preference for pop over classical YOU'LL PARDON me if I'm angry. You see, in the last few weeks the following things...

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As the cricket season gets under way, David Hill, veteran Labour spin doctor, spins for England LET'S be under no illusion, no matter how good a relationship the England...

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Mind your language

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THEY were saying on the news on telly (that tidemark round the bath of lan- guage) that some provision of the Stor- mont agreement might end up a dead letter. I thought I saw my...

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A Maytime hymn of praise to the glory of God the Creator PAUL JOHNSON This common is a spot made sacred by Coleridge and Wordsworth, and especially by Dorothy Wordsworth, who...

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The tidal wave is bringing down our sea walls, so you'd better read the crib CHRISTOPHER FILDES N ow, class, pay attention. Today's sub- ject is Eurospeak, so don't think you...

. . . so everything must go

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NOW, on to lot three, the finest surviving example of an English vintage car maker, no, hang on, I'll rephrase that, anyway, on the market by order of Vickers, what am I bid for...

Close harmony

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IN FACT, you'll find Mr Leach's book is good reading. I like his entry for Luxem- bourg: 'The smallest and richest state of the European Union and one of the founders of the...

Down, down, down

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THE MILLENNIUM Hole in the City of London — site of that hideous block on the corner of Fenchurch Street, before Bar- clays pulled it down — has set a good example. The...

White, pure white inside

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I OPEN a harmless-looking letter in a pure white envelope and find that it is from the Inland Revenue. It might at least have made a ticking noise. We all know the tax- men's...

It's the Albion sale .

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AT ALBION CASTLE, the auctioneers are in. This will be the country-house sale of all time and make Mentmore and Hackwood look like jumble sales in parish halls. Lot one, a fine...

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. . . more German

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Sir: My attention has been drawn to Michael Tanner's review of Scottish Opera's Ariadne auf Naxos (Arts, 28 March), in which he complains of 'one or two poor German accents,...

Ironic lesson

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Sir: In your article 'The Archbishop calls on Max' (16 May), you report that the Arch- bishop of Canterbury met with Mr Max Clifford. This is incorrect. We were sur- prised that...

LETTERS Mandelson on truth

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Sir: Not for the first time in the Spectator, Stephen Glover has made an allegation about me (Media studies, 16 May) which he could not substantiate because it is totally...

Boris good enough

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Sir: Has Boris Johnson got news for us ( 41 was stitched up', 2 May)? Twenty years ago, disappointed to read in the New Statesman that the plausible etymologies in Call MY Bluff...

Aitken and truth

The Spectator

Sir: Jonathan Aitken is accused of lying under oath in court — a serious matter. He is further accused of persuading his daugh- ter to do the same — more serious still. Not so,...

Sir: I do not always agree with Paul John- son,

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but I do go along with his arguments in the RusbridgerfFayed versus Aitken affair. Jonathan Aitken has already paid a high price, in his personal life and fortune, for his libel...

A strong team .

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Sir: May I make one comment, of a number I could make, on Edward Heathcoat Amory's article 'The end of the supermar- ket queue' (16 May)? I do not believe a large retail...

Less German . . .

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Sir: Unskyll, Herr von Billow! Like Hamlet I 'took you for your better', supposing you to be 'more an antique Prussian than a Dane' (Letters, 2 May). The von Billows have long...

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Double bastardy

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Sir: With reference to Damien McCrystal's article 'Hived off hyphens' (16 May), the feminist retention of the maiden name dates back much further than Hillary Rod- ham Clinton....

Y Byd and Y Ddysgl

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Sir: Jilly Allenby-Ryan (Letters, 16 May), in the latest addition to a discussion on eating in those parts, claims that Le Monde is not the only good restaurant around the Welsh...

Sir: Clearly little has changed on the Cardiff catering scene.

The Spectator

Thirty years ago, we found ourselves in the city on the final evening of a Welsh holiday. We wanted it to be special, a treat that would compen- sate our daughters for ten days...

Frank's good deed

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Sir: Among the eulogies to Frank Sinatra and the many accounts of his bad connec- tions and misdeeds, I would like to add the following story, which presents a very dif- ferent...

LETTERS Church Times

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Sir: I could not refrain from a wry smile on reading Stephen Glover's 'Once again it looks as though he [the editor of the Times] cannot bear to carry criticisms of his paper or...

New York stories

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Sir: As a lifelong resident of New York City, I must take issue with Andrew Neil's Diary (18 April) in which he praises the `Giuliani effect'. He obviously didn't notice the...

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A word to those two heavyweights, Black and Murdoch — box on! ANDREW NEIL Y ou now need a degree in applied mathematics and a PhD in Fleet Street Kremlinology to work out who...

Peter Mandelson letter — page 28

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A late Indian harvest Philip Hensher RUMER GODDEN by Anne Chisholm Macmillan, £20, pp. 333 R uiner Godden is the last, perhaps, of a splendid line of novelists, the thoughtful...

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A very serious joker

The Spectator

Jane O'Grady FROM WODEHOUSE TO WITTGENSTEIN by Anthony Quinton Carcanet, £25, pp. 360 0 n Radio Four's Quote Unquote, Anthony Quinton told the story of how a man met the moral...

Great gas and gaiters

The Spectator

Richard 011ard TWELVE MILES FROM A LEMON: SELECTED WRITINGS AND SAYINGS OF SYDNEY SMITH compiled by Norman Taylor and Alan Hankinson Lutterworth Press, £19.50, pp. 224 I f one...

Clerihew Corner

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All his life Soren Kierkegaard Thought gloomily and hard, And suffered from bad breath. His last work was Sickness Unto Death. James Michie

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Orlando found himself in front of a charming little hotel

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called the "Hotel of the Golden Cat", and as it was getting late he decided to stay the night. They gave him the best bedroom.' From Orlando, the Marmalade Cat: A Trip Abroad by...

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Military feet of clay

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Anthony Rouse CHASING THE BEAST by George Greenfield Richard Cohen Books, £16.99, pp. 212 G eorge Greenfield has been a novelist, publisher and literary agent. In June 1939, he...

New Age punters

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Andrew Barrow ON THE EDGE by Edward St Aubyn Chatto, £10.99, pp. 234 E dward St Aubyn made his name with three short, much talked about, wickedly autobiographical novels, which...

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koftheWeek Dream Children by A. N. Wilson This is a disturbing book focusing on the relationship between a little girl and a philosopher. '...surely the most accom- plished...

Hot writing in a cold climate

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Tony Gould EMPIRE WINDRUSH edited by Oneyekachi Wambu Gollancz, £10.99, pp. 320 T he arrival of SS Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks in 1948 heralded the beginning of a new era...

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Ugly Ribbon development

The Spectator

Robert Powell-Jones HOW TO MURDER A MAN by Carlo Gebler Little, Brown, £16.99, pp. 373 T his powerful and sombre novel is set in Ireland in the 1850s in a desolate tract of...

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That most human of frailties

The Spectator

L ong ago when the world was young, Gaetano Donizetti wrote an opera entitled The Lady Novelist. In the list of his works it appears as La Romanziera e L'Uomo Nero, but we know...


The Spectator

12 Months 6 Months (52 issues) (26 issues) UK U £97.00 CI £49.00 Europe ❑ £109.00 ❑ £55.00 USA 0 US$161 0 US$82 Australia ❑ Aus$225 ❑ Aus$113 Rest of World ❑ £119.00 U £60.00...

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A country without frontiers

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Philip Glazebrook INVENTING RURITANIA: THE IMPERIALISM OF THE IMAGINATION by Vesna Goldsworthy Yale, £19.95, pp. 254 H ere is a book spilling over with its author's knowledge...

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Failure on three counts

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Michael. Howard CRIES UNHEARD by Gitta Sereny Macmillan, £18.99, pp. 416 T his is a very puzzling book. The author seems aware that its existence needs justifi- cation. Indeed...

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Rushing to judgment

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Maurice Cowling GUILTY MEN by Hywel Williams Aurum Press, £19.95, pp. 280 I n a foolish article published a couple of months after the general election of 1997, Mr Hywel...

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Cinema's crisis of confidence Will the Italian film industry ever emerge from its state of coma? asks Andrew Wordsworth R ome, 1975. While Fellini was dream- ing up the...

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Exhibitions 1

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Rene Magritte (Musees Royaux des Beaux Arts, Brussels, till 28 June) Pieter and Jan Brueghel (Koninldijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, till 26 July) The marvellous in...

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Exhibitions 2

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Man of letters Alan Powers I s lettering an art? The conventional answer would be no. With its dependence on conventions of the alphabet, and the need to communicate a...

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Eugene Onegin (Opera North, Leeds) Manon (Coliseum) La Traviata (Albert Hall) Take three women Michael Tanner C ritical reaction to Opera North's new production of Eugene...

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Major Barbara (Piccadilly) Three by Harold Pinter (Donmar Warehouse) Rent (Shaftesbury) Man and the arms Sheridan Morley I n a week when dubious arms deals are back in the...

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Sinatra remembered Mark Steyn T he Italians came out for Frank this last week. De Niro said not a day passed when he didn't listen to Sinatra; Scorsese that Sinatra made it...

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Hearing voices Michael Vestey T he King's life is moving peacefully towards its close.' By today's standards, Stuart Hibberd's radio announcement of the last hours of George V...

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Not motoring

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Extraordinary experience Gavin Stamp Joseph Conrad knew the place well in the days of the wool-clippers, and he recalled how Circular Quay looked in 1880 — 'no walled...


The Spectator

I'm amazing - so are you! James Delingpole S o I didn't get eaten by the sharks in the end. Which was nice. Except the annoying thing is, my ordeal by great white sharks...

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The turf

The Spectator

Go for the gamble Robin Oakley A ttendance at the G8 summit in the much-maligned city of Birmingham, which had only a week before survived the Euro- vision Song Contest,...

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High life

The Spectator

Defining ethics Taki New York eople are gasping over Taki's outra- geous remarks on the next family to occupy the White House. In the London Spectator he writes of Hillary...

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Country life

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The nesting instinct Leanda de Lisle F rightened by the scale of the work needed to turn our acres of lawn into gar- dens we have focused our attention on the inner courtyard....


The Spectator

Two imposters Andrew Robson TEAMS bridge is an especially enjoyable form of the game. Even if you have a disas- trous result, your team mates may have rescued you by doing...

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IN postwar London, half a century ago, the finest restaurants

The Spectator

were found in Mayfair, Piccadilly and St James's. Curzon Street had the Mirabelle; Arlington Street, Le Caprice; Berkeley Street, the Empress; with Le Coq d'Or around the corner...

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Grand cru giveaways Auberon Waugh THIS would have been a very cheap offer indeed if I had not recklessly decided to add a grand cru St Emilion and a premier cru burgundy at...


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c/o Nethergate Wines Ltd. 11/13 High Street, Clare, Suffolk C010 8NY Tel: (01787) 277244 Fax: (01787) 277123 Price No. Value White 1. Rolleston Vale Reserve Chardonnay 1997...

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The cult of the Celt Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2034 you were asked to imagine that an independent Scotland and Wales had set up Statues of Liberty on their borders, and...


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Schools of thought Raymond Keene THERE ARE two opposing approaches to the problem of defending as Black. Some players prefer to neutralise and block White's initiative and...

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CROSSWORD 1363: Family circle by Columba

The Spectator

A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 8 June, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, the...

No. 2037: Crap weekend

The Spectator

There was once a country house weekend party for children. Among them was a lad of ten who, although his peers enjoyed themselves and everything was done to please him, remained...

Solution to 1360: Here we go

The Spectator

el di di ilitlarliirlidelakirl D A it E R 111,1 n N A 13 D o MIMI% iiirpnrina ammo. Eal gin A n R 1 drIMIn R !mg dry ILIA is Endrimmai rindatirlii nnejnril El de rim d...

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Well managed Simon Barnes HAD last Saturday's Cup Final taken place two seasons ago, Newcastle United would have been the darlings of the watching world, Arsenal the cynical,...


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Dear Mary.. Q. Mary, some guidance, please. Recently I saw a patient in my surgery. I greeted her with my usual courteous introduction to new arrivals: 'Hello, I'm Dr wel- come...