25 APRIL 1998

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Cool for cats S elkirk Sheriff Court dismissed a case brought against a man accused of selling beef on the bone. It ruled that the Beef Bones Regulations 1997 were defective...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 THE ONE-YEAR ITCH cians and journalists are picking their part- ners for an...

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T he publicity is the hard bit. Even though Edna: The Spectacle is by far the most elaborate offering I have ever pre- sented in the West End, it's almost a breeze pushing the...

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On its fiftieth anniversary, Israel is visited by our lucky Prime Minister BRUCE ANDERSON S uccess breeds success. It was almost inevitable that Mr Blair would have a good...

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On coming to an old house as both restorer and destroyer MATTHEW PARRIS F rom the top of the cliff, as the track turned a corner, we could see the whole Mediterranean coast of...

Classifieds — pages 58, 59 and 62

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Help! the Guardian's Head of Press and Corporate Affairs has got physical with me FRANK JOHNSON I have received a threatening letter from a well-known firm, seeking to...

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Andrew Brown on who the next Pope might be, and the crisis of celibacy that he will face IT IS a mortal sin to wish for the death of a Pope, something which must have made it...

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Mind your language

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`WRONG again,' said my husband, plumping down on the kitchen table The Spectator open at the letter from Sir Julian Critchley (18 April) about my speculations on the origin of...

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Andrew Neil laments the break-up of the marriage of Anna and Rupert Murdoch WHEN the Evening Standard left a mes- sage on my voice-mail early on Tuesday morning asking me to...

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Second opinion

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WOMEN are the weaker sex, but they are getting stronger, or at least more vio- lent, by the day. Strength and violence are not necessarily identical, of course, but let us not...


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AWFUL Whitehall wants Peter Mandelson to have an even bigger role WHITEHALL'S attitude to ministerial reshuffles is like that of a grizzled sergeant-major towards a foolhardy...

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Kenneth Powell unveils some of the even more 'bizarre' millennium projects HE MAY have taken a back seat, but John Major is keeping a close and proprietorial watch on the...


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Michael Heath

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Robert Shepherd on how a notorious speech affected the friendship of two renowned Tories THE DEBATE about Enoch Powell's `River Tiber' speech was revived when he died in...

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How to save yourself 51 trips to the library . . . or over £41 on The Spectator If you're forced to share The Spectator with fellow students, then you'll know how difficult it...

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Julian Glover visits Africa's newest state to find its inhabitants surprisingly nostalgic for the days of Mussolini's occupation Asmara THOUGH the Italian army surrendered to...

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Henry McDonald finds that the Islamist party is adopting a more emollient approach particularly towards bibulous Westerners THE HEZBOLLAH spin doctor poked his mobile phone...

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Song before sunrise from an irritating but unrepentant idiosyncratic PAUL JOHNSON W e are approaching the time of year when I get up really early. I like to follow the sun,...

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List out of order

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EXPORTING is something we are good at — more than a third of our total output of goods and services is sold abroad — but you would not think so from the Queen's Awards for...

Up the hill, quick march

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WHEN Mr George was a junior subaltern, his seniors would rush out and march inter- est rates to the top of the hill. The idea was to show that, from there, rates could only...

Fysshey business

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I THOUGHT so: it's a hold-up on the Dart Valley Railway. A few weeks ago its share- holders were startled to hear from an outfit called Value Investments, offering to buy their...


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All this sitcom needs is a guest appearance by the grand old Duke of York CHRISTOPHER FILDES I t is time that the Duke of York was recalled to the colours. He is all that the...

Karki drill

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I APPLAUD the initiative of Kishun Dhoj Karki, who has smuggled himself and three kilograms of hashish into Australia by pass- ing himself off as the finance minister of Nepal....

An inspector calls

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WHAT a versatile chap Geoffrey Robinson is. Variously active at home and abroad or offshore, as he might put it — he is the government's resident tax reformer, signs its cheques...

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Big balls

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Sir: Peregrine Worsthorne writes of the British Empire, 'Terrible wrongs were done, not on the scale of the Holocaust but getting on that way' (As I was saying, 11 April). To...

Sir: I normally enjoy Sir Peregrine Worsthorne's articles, but he

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leaves me with a grey area and perhaps he would kindly comment. Was his beautiful Geor- gian manor house in fact built from the blood and sweat of the forebears of Mr Darcus...

Sir: Peter Hitchens's ruminations on Blun- kett's origins in relation

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to his present edu- cational task touched on 'only part of a rev- olutionary daze which settled on South Yorkshire in the Blunkett era'. My abiding memory of that era was seeing...

LETTERS Educating Peter

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Sir: I'm pleased that Peter Hitchens has such an interest in the history of Sheffield (Blunkett past and present', 18 April). However, I do take issue with his ridiculous...

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Save our Statesman

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Sir: Time was when the New Statesman was referred to as a 'David amongst Goliaths'. It was at a time when the paper had also clocked up a circulation of over 90,000 copies; when...

Back to Front

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Sir: One reason for the increase in the Front National's vote at the regional elec- tions in France, to which Douglas Johnson refers in his piece, 'From Papon to Le Pen' (11...

Naffer than thou

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Sir: Matthew Parris travels frequently to Barcelona (Another voice, 28 March), I and my family to Madrid. I would say that Barcelona is a `naffer' destination, but I don't think...

Claus who?

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Sir: We all miss Alice von Schlieffen. Here is another question for the Almanach de Gotha experts: who is Claus von Billow? Michael Samuelson Harborne, Hailsham Road,...

LETTERS Church militant

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Sir: I read Anthony Daniels's 'The Third World in Britain' (18 April) with interest and some sympathy. However, I was aston- ished to read his final sentence, 'They will find...

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The letter to the Times which somehow didn't appear STEPHEN GLOVER I n war almost everyone slips up, and the Daily Telegraph has overreached itself once or twice in its battle...

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Without a city wall once more Richard Lamb FAUST'S METROPOLIS by Alexandra Richie HarperCollins, £29.99, pp.1107 T his engrossing book is published at an opportune moment,...

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Evil and poetry

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Harry Eyres THE TELLING by Miranda Seymour John Murray, f15.99, pp. 230 T he seed was sown, or the fertiliser spread, for Miranda Seymour's fourth novel by some murky events...

Love being in the state he's in

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Andro Linklater COLD MOUNTAIN by Charles Frazier Sceptre, £6.99, pp. 438 F or all the glamour of California, the grandeur of Montana and the glitz of Hawaii, I would rate North...

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Saner than sane

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Jane Gardam THE COMPLETE AUTOBIGRAPHY by Janet Frame Women's Press, £20.00, pp.435 W hen Janet Frame returned to New Zealand aged 40, in 1964, after seven years in Europe, she...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY- I I I I I RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £93.00 U £47.00 Europe (airmail) U £104.00 U £52.00 USA Airspeed 0 US$151 CI US$76 Rest of l Airmail CI £115.00 LI...

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Home was no home to him

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Francis King CALAMITIES OF EXILE by Lawrence Weschler Universtiy of Chicago Press, £19.95, pp. 192 N o doubt on the principle that one might describe Flaubert's Trois Contes...

By delayed exposure

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James Michie MASTER GEORGIE by Beryl Bainbridge Duckworth, £14.99, pp. 190 B eryl Bainbridge's new 'historical fiction' starts with a murky mystery in her own Liverpool, in...

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A Balkan Tragedy

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Liliana Brisby KOSOVO: A SHORT HISTORY by Noel Malcolm Macmillan, £20.00, pp. 442 N oel Malcolm's eagerly awaited history of Kosovo — the first of its kind — does not...

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The Famous Five at a loss

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David Irvine PARIS TRANCE by Geoff Dyer Abacus, £9.99, pp. 274 T here is an initial fear that a book called Paris Trance may join the ranks of the increasingly hackneyed...

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New man of letters

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William Scammell TOO TRUE by Blake Morrison Granta, £9.99, pp. 326 B lake Morrison's career is a standing refutation of John Gross's thesis about the death of the man of...

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To each his suff'rings

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Teresa Waugh A DEFENCE OF MASOCHISM by Anita Phillips Faber, £9.99, pp. 307 I t is not easy to envisage the readership at which Anita Phillips is aiming in A Defence of...


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In Michael Howard's review of Jeremy Black's Why Wars Happen (18 April) refer- ence was made to 'another 11 years, and 50 years of hideously destructive conflict'. This should...

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Books in General

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A mong voluminous column inches devoted to the Ulster peace process, President Clinton's over-indulgence in what the Italians call 'Turkish practices' or the circumambient...

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Weekend with Wagner Michael Tanner goes to Berlin and hears one of the best Meistersingers ever E ach of Berlin's three opera houses had a Wagner opera on over the Easter...

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Aalto appeal Alan Powers T o judge a building, there is no substi- tute for seeing the real thing. To see the most important works of the Finnish archi- tect Alvar Aalto...

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U-Turn (18, selected cinemas) Farce for acid freaks Mark Steyn V anity Fair's James Wolcott calls the genre `scuzz cinema', which sounds about right. You know the sort of...

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John Wonnacott's East Anglian Coast (Wolsey Art Gallery, Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, till 10 May) Essex man Martin Gayford S t Ives is not the only spot in the United...

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The Iceman Cometh (Almeida) Our Lady of Sligo (National Theatre, Cottesloe) Shared terror Sheridan Morley T he Iceman Cometh, Eugene O'Neill's great, flawed masterpiece,...

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Stressed out James Delingpole A part from The Adam and Joe Show, the best thing I've seen on television this week is Tomb Raider. As the sadder among you will be aware, this...

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Famous faces Michael Vestey I t was almost a shock to hear Kate Adie's measured tones linking despatches in the newly extended From Our Own Correspon- dent on Radio Four...

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Not motoring

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Plane talk Gavin Stamp A 'rports are not places to linger as the experience of air travel on the ground is usually anxious, confusing — and ugly. As buildings (`architecture'...

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The turf

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My flat favourites Robin Oakley P yramus never yearned for Thisbe nor even Bunter for his postal order with quite the ardour with which each year I await my first glimpse of...

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High life

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Artistic antics Taki uring the late-Fifties, I was a regular at El Morocco, the trendiest and chicest nightspot of the Bagel. Elmo's was zebra- striped, had a strict hierarchy...

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Country life

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Excuses, excuses Leanda de Lisle L ast year I praised Anthony O'Hear's essay 'Against Nature', which was pub- lished by the Social Affairs Unit. It attacked environmentalists...


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Discouraging Andrew Robson WHEN a defence has gone astray, it is more constructive to ask `What could I have done to make it easier for partner?' than 'Why am I playing with...

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Some like it old Auberon Waugh IF I had not insisted on including the last wine on the list — the Château Tourteran 1989 — we could have kept the average price of the mixed...


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cio C.G. Bull & Taylor 2F Hewlett House, Havelock Terrace, London SW8 4AS Tel: (0171) 498 8022 Fax: (0171) 498 7851 White Domaine de la Croix Senaillet, Price No. Value...

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By David Fingleton Paris THIS is the time to be dining in Paris. When I wrote about Parisian restaurants early last year there were just eight and a half francs to the pound,...

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Title deeds Raymond Keene THE WORLD chess championship does matter. That is, unless one accepts the cyni- cal view of Viswanathan Anand that after Kasparov's defeat by Deep...


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Funny ha-ha Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2030 you were challenged to write a comic piece ending with a given, apparently tragic sentence taken from a modern novel. The...

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W. & J. GRAHAM'S PORT A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 11 May, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or,...

No. 2033: Bouts rimes

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You are invited to supply a sonnet with these end-rhymes in this order: swarm, Paul, all, harm, alarm, relief, beef, gen- darmes, fraud, any, many, king, thing, out- lawed....

Competition entries

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To enable competitors to economise on postage, entries for one or more weeks of the competition and/or crossword may be posted together under one cover addressed 'Competition...

Solution to 1356: Stationary R 'A. M 'I , I 'A

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N S e C H 7 1 9 5 T 9 R D 10 A T111_ Al 13 . 741 55l. ' 9 1 LIDO VE 1 EL N 0 L i b L A hEIS O N E T L AP AIT LE URe 1E E U T A D RI AD , lAtS R13 I P ' . b A AR S 7...

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Au revoir, Eric Simon Barnes THE football season is on its last knock- ings, and across the land football's follow- ers sort out the Man of the Season from the rest. It seems...


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Q. I have trouble remembering names of the 300 to 500 students who take my classes each year. I feel badly when we meet on campu s — and years later — and see faces fall when I...