24 JUNE 2000

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It's all over F ifty-eight Chinese people (including four women) were found dead, suffocated in a sealed lorry at Dover; two men sur- vived. Mr Tony Blair, in Portugal for a...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 020-7405 1706: Fax 020-7242 0603 NOT VERY CLEVER When the Portuguese players wove their magic, it was as though...

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Mr Putin's KGB past may not be a problem BRUCE ANDERSON Moscow l otlot of Russians now fear that the KGB is back in control. When Vladimir Putin took office, he retained a lot...

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TREVOR McDONALD I t is probably nobody's fault but my own that I was born and brought up in a world of gentle innocence, but, England's Euro 2000 victory against Germany...

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It is fashionable to attack globalisation but, say John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, hamburgers, immigrants and Hollywood schlock can elevate our culture IT is hard to...

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Boris Johnson meets a monument of our culture and hears what the Prime Minister is doing wrong IT'S all right, it's all right, says Roy Jenk- ins, wreathed in smiles as he...

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Sixty years after Marshal Petain 'saved' the shameful record of collaboration `Francais, Francaises — vous avez la memoire courte': Marshal Philippe Petain, radio broadcast to...


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Michael Heath

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The law is a smart ass and, says Mark Steyn, it is making a chump of the Anglican Church in Canada New Hampshire EVEN IN a litigious society, it's important to know whom to...

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R.W. Johnson advises South African journalists not to pander to their rulers, for the good of their country and themselves A LITTLE while ago the world's media blinked hard...

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Banned wagon

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A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit FEW of us have not at one time or another, when faced with some minor irritation, cried out in frustration, 'Why isn't...

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How to get a European constitution past the sceptics: call it a 'charter of fundamental rights and freedoms. Be afraid, says Daniel Hannan IMAGINE that you are a committed...

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Splendid artistic reasons why the Austrians should tell the EU to get lost PAUL JOHNSON T he cold-shouldering of Austria by the other EU governments since the Haider affair...

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Why the Queen of New York would be better off without Blair's bauble STEPHEN GLOVER T ina Brown, the magazine editor, may be Britain's most famous export to Ameri- ca....

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From Professor Sophie de Schaepdrijver Sir: Colonel John Hughes-Wilson quotes

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me as having reminded delegates that the armies of 1914-18 were led to the slaugh- ter like so many great herds — with fear, and fear alone [of execution], keeping them in...

LETTERS Mutinous Contemptibles

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From Mr Julian Putkowski Sir: I must object to John Hughes-Wilson's splenetic denunciation of the ulterior motives of virtually everyone who attended the 'Unquiet Graves'...

Women's whims

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From Mr Andrew Thorpe Sir: Melanie Phillips has written a mature, forthright and courageous article (The rape of justice', 10 June). It appears that men are being displaced to...

From Mr John Hipkin Sir: As a British delegate to

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the 'Unquiet Graves' conference on executed first world war soldiers, held in Ypres last month, I read with interest Col. John Hughes-Wil- son's article. From the conference...

Celibacy and sodomy

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From Dr Alan Patterson Sir: Elton John (Letters, 17 June) presumes that Cardinal Winning is a 'solitary individu- al' and therefore cannot judge 'the deepest longings of the...

Hague's revenge

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From Mr Irfon Roberts Sir: Why are so many journalists starting to shed their hostility to William Hague (Media studies, 17 June)? It is partly because most of them like to be...

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Exploding holes

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From Mr HM. Thornton Sir: In rating Stephen Hawking much lower down the scale than Einstein or Newton (Who's afraid of Stephen Hawking?', 10 June), Robert Matthews asserts that,...

From Mr Alexander Hangaas Sir: 'Shopping and f ** *ing' is inconsistent

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indeed. I suggest `sh *** ing and f *** ing'. Alexander Hangaas Oslo, Norway

How Ike upstaged Monty

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From Mr David A. Wilson Sir: What on earth is all this talk of British `five-star' generals (Letters, 10 June)? Until the second world war at least, senior British officers were...

The quality of proof

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From Mr Simon Malloch Sir: Alas, the Oxfordians are at it again. Mr Christopher H. Dams (Letters, 3 June) asserts that there is no evidence that `Shakespeare of Stratford ever...


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From Beryl M Goldsmith, OBE Sir: How spot-on was Dominic Lawson's diary piece about Norman Tebbit (10 June). As his personal assistant since 1985, I can only confirm that as a...

Priceless information

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From Dr David Whittle Sir: I am not at all bothered by Deborah Ross's failure to describe the food at the Ivy (Restaurants, 17 June). What does con- cern me is her failure to...


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From Mr Christopher Basten Sir: Many years ago the editor of Norman Mailer's novel The Naked and the Dead solved the problem of how to deal with the `F' word by substituting...

From Mr Christopher Joll Sir: There is a simple and

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elegant solution to the problem of the 'F' word. Exercise your editorial discretion, turn to Shake- speare (Othello, Act 1, Scene 1) and simply substitute the word `tup' (and...

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How you can tell that these hooligans aren't up to conducting a serious foreign policy FRANK JOHNSON T he most interesting remark so far about these present tumults was that...

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Euro 2000 is Wim's idea of a beautiful game but the Brits play by different rules CHRISTOPHER FILDES B ritain faces exclusion today as the bars and restaurants of Brussels...

Last orders, stout fellows

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THE British beerage found its laureate in Calverley: 0 beer! 0 Hodgson, Guinness, Allsopp, Bass! Names that should be on every infant's tongue.... So they were, until a...

Red Robins, Grey Gordons

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THE Fiera game was a triumph for the Grey Gordons, not only over their nominal oppo- nents, but over the Red Robins. With a fine show of sustained awkwardness, culminating in a...

Out of commission

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THIS high-minded government is taking another swipe at British exporters. The Home Office wants to make it an offence to offer bribes in foreign countries. The exporters will no...

All change, please

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DENNIS Tunnicliffe, London Under- ground's long-serving chief executive, has concluded that now is the time to press the green button and step off the train. If John Prescott or...

Liberal incentives

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THE Financial Services and Markets Bill is limping on to the statute book after 2,000 amendments, which the Treasury seems to think is enough. When Lord Alexander of Weedon...

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Casting a cold eye Richard Shone BEN NICHOLSON: THE VICIOUS CIRCLES OF HIS LIFE AND ART by Sarah Jane Checkland John Murray, £25, pp. 486 T he preface and acknowledgments to...

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A truly beastly hero

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Miranda France BEN, IN THE WORLD by Doris Lessing Flamingo, £16.99, pp. 178 T welve years ago, Doris Lessing pub- lished a cautionary tale about a kind, liber- al couple with a...

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Minding one's peace and Qs

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David Pryce-Jones ONLY YESTERDAY by S. Y. Agnon Princeton University Press, £22, pp. 674 THE SILENCE OF HEAVEN: AGNON'S FEAR OF GOD by Amos Oz Princeton University Press,...

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Mating on thin ice

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Zenga Longmore ONLY PRETENDING by Sophia Watson Hodder, £16.99, pp. 309 W hat a refreshing read Only Pretend- ing makes. How thrilling to find a modern female novelist who is...

Seedy side up

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Andrew Barrow THE LAST LAMPLIGHTER: A SOHO EDUCATION by Stephen Fothergill London Magazine Editions, £10, pp. 144 Q uentin Crisp once described the author of this book as Mr...

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Joining the facts to the fiction

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Mary Keen THE LETTERS OF CHARLOTTE BRONTE edited by Margaret Smith OUP, £65, pp. 650 I t is only now and then that I wish for a wider world than Haworth,' Charlotte Brontë...

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Over here but overdue

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John Grigg THE DOUGHBOYS by Gary Mead The Penguin Press, £20, pp. 494 I t is not at all clear why Gary Mead chose to write this book. For ten years he was a reporter with the...

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The Amis phenomenon

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Richard Bradford N ever before have a father and son achieved literary eminence comparable with that of the Amises. Last month two books were published, Kingsley's Letters and...

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Tales for our time Simon Reade believes a reworking of Ovid has re-ignited our desire to know the truth T hose chilling euphemisms of the 1990s — 'ethnic cleansing' and...

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This Happy Breed (Man in the Moon, Chelsea) Kiss of Death (Mill at Sonning) The Heiress (National) A Midsummer Night's Dream (Open Air, Regent's Park) Personals (Apollo) A...


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Aldeburgh pickings Robin Holloway F irst inspection of this year's Aldeburgh Festival brochure seemed to threaten out- right banality: the Borodin quartet com- mencing a...

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On the move Ursula Buchan T he life of the gardening writer is one of almost constant and unadulterated plea- sure. Almost, but not quite. The greenfly in the ointment is that...

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Madonna and child Mark Steyn P ossibly The Next Best Thing lives up to its title if you schedule it immediately after colorectal surgery. But for the rest of us it's about as...

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Voices fr©m the past Simon Hoggart T his week I went to the annual tug-of- war between the Lords and the Commons, won for the 13th time in a row by the peers, The commentator...

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Caught out Michael Vestey H ow I was looking forward to it: the first of a new Test series against the West Indies; the sun was actually shining for once and the trees in the...

Not motoring

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Boots beneficence Gavin Stamp I mminent arrival in certain cities is announced by the sight of a great architec- tural landmark. At Durham, of course, it is the distant view...

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The turf

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Irresistible lure Robin Oakley A recent survey of trainers by the Rac- ing Post found them pretty disillusioned with the racing game. It is not an easy life. First, the horses...

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High life

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Engaging events Taki A hell of a week, starting with the bash at Conrad and Barbara Black's summer party for gentlemen hacks, writers, royals, politicians and domestic and...

No life

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Museum distractions Jeremy Clarke I 've been in Spain a lot recently, for the bullfighting. As you may or may not know, they do quite a bit of it over there. But, as most...

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Country life

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Scenting danger Leanda de Lisle T he phoney war is over. With the publi- cation of the Burns report and the announcement of a government bill on hunting with hounds, the...

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Singular life

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Cornish loathing Petronella Wyatt C ornwall is the poorest county in the British Isles. This is because the Cornish of which I am one quarter — loathe every- thing except...


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All work . . Susanna Gross IT'S SURPRISING how many people manage to take time off from work to play bridge. At my club, TGR's in Bayswater, on any given afternoon you may...

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Robert Hardman -

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FOR a place teeming with diplomats, roy- alty and hacks, Kensington High Street is not overburdened with good eating places. It is just like any other high street — the usual...

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Cor! Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2141 you were invited to supply a plausible piece of prose incorporating 12 given words in any order. At the cost of some plausibility, a...

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The Ultimate Islay Malt. CHESS Rdbeq www.ardbes.com Sarajevo 2 Raymond Keene THIS week I give the full results of the important Sarajevo tournament. Although they achieved...

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Solution to 1466: Exchange of letters

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AIM URD, el 112 0 111 7 /1 ONSI orharemariana rielliZrillenlIn11120 anti drop 0 Fl E Ft A Me In ri 0 arRIntla 0 L ',donor M Mil rii is v Bann niinr liNnami a A I MI nn...


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to:999.,0„ WINE A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's award-winning, Late- Bottled Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 10 July, with two runners-up...

No. 2144: Rerouting

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`They buck you up, your mum and dad. ' You are invited to transform the first line of a well-known poem by a single misprint and then rewrite up to 15 lines in the new direction...

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Battle hymns of the invaders Simon Barnes IT is not the drink that's the problem; it's what the drink leads to. And as night fol- lows day, heavy drinking leads to singing and...


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Dear Mary.. Q. During the reception following a fash- ionable wedding near Godalming last week I was fallen on with great enthusiasm by a man who seemed to know me very well,...