25 JANUARY 1992

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`Thank you, Mr Brooke, we'll let you know'. S even construction workers were blown up by the IRA as they journeyed home from work at an army barracks in Omagh, Northern...

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SPECT THE AT OR The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WCIN 2LL

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Telephone: 071 - 405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 THE GIANT STUMBLES ould you rather be dominated by a weak Germany or a strong Germany?' That is a hard question to...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY -- RATES 12 Months 6 Months U K ❑ £71.00 0 £35.50 Europe (airmail) 0 £82.00 ❑ £41.00 USA Airspeed 0 US$110 0 US$55.00 Rest of Airmail 0 £98.00 0 £49.00 ,...

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The Irish question: as good a time as any to ponder the rules of disengagement MATTHEW PARRIS A. a possible hung parliament looms, there is a sense in the Commons this week of...

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LUDOVIC KENNEDY T he nicest Christmas present I had this year came from, of all places, the Bar Council: a decanter with my name inscribed on it in appreciation of my inquiries...

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Let us all decide how we will vote and shut up about it AUBERON WAUGH S o the softening up process has started. The current issue of the British Medical Journal carries an...

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John Laughland reports that France's aspirations to influence Europe are being wrecked by an orgy of high-level corruption Paris THE TOMB of the Emperor Napoleon, whose...

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Robert Fox witnesses the latest struggle between Islam and the West on the Mediterranean shore Algiers EARLY this month my friend Mohamed joined the march of 100,000 through...

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Michael Heath

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Antony Beevor reveals the pressure the royal family is applying in the fight to save historic regiments WHEN, last year, it became apparent that the planned government cuts...

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Janine Di Giovanni meets the men who are trying to make Jews believe in Jesus WE ARE now in the second year of the so-called Christian Decade of Evangelism. British Muslims...

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If symptoms

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persist.. . DEATH is a terrible thing, of course, and I advise most of my readers to have nothing whatever to do with it. I am glad to report that nearly all my patients take...

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J. Enoch Powell suggests ways in which the Government can prove to the IRA that it cannot win `ONCE the IRA is recognised as a quasi- military enemy, it can be dealt with' in...

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A profile of Richard Ryder, Chief Whip and enigma at the heart of the Government CONSERVATIVE nerve at Westminster from now until the General Election is in the hands of...

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A reader received this letter from Cus- tomer Services, South London Lines, Victoria Station. Thank you for your letter of 13 December 1991. I was most concerned to learn of...

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A National Painting Competition for Professional Young Artists Adam & Company Bankers and The Spectator are pleased to announce the launch of their Fifth Annual Art Prize,...

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Flying monks and green-eyed monsters PAUL JOHNSON 0 ne of the nastier features of our times is the skilfully mounted smear cam- paign in the media. Among the victims last week...

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Autumn double

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I FEAR that Norman Lamont has let the Treasury fall back into its bad old habit of timing the Budget for Champion Hurdle day, Well, there goes the racing man's vote. I shall now...

Boring for Britain

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INVESTMENT is no substitute. A misdi- rected or unmanaged business can absorb any amount to no effect, as we saw with steel (and with British Leyland.) From sta- ble direction...

Cut price money

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WE NOW have two prices for money one that the Chancellor and the Bank of England try to keep up, and another, set by supply and demand, which is lower. Follow- ing Abbey...

Cold cure for Lloyd's

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COMPLACENCY is the besetting sin of Lloyd's of London, and fright the best tonic. I just hope that Lloyd's is now fright- ened enough to get down to the business of change...


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Twenty years of resolute government that's how to run a railway c II R ISTOPHER FILDES G erard Fiennes was the railwayman who announced at King's Cross station: 'We regret the...

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Hat's enough of hat

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Sir: Michael Kennedy's letter (18 January) states that Toscanini never said, 'To Strauss the composer I take off my hat; to Strauss the man I put it on again.' I was close to...

African calamity

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Sir: Paul Johnson's article, 'Time to stop chattering about Aids' (7 December), dis- misses Aids as a scare promoted by the homosexual lobby in order to extract money from the...

LETTERS A child's second chance

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Sir: Charles Moore is quite right to take a dim view of the Department of Health's recently published discussion paper on intercountry adoption (Another voice, 18 January). Of...

The sedge is wither'd

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Sir: I would like to thank Paul Johnson (And another thing, 18 January) for telling us that 'Keats had completed his life-work when he died, aged 26, five years later'. Now...

Duff information

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Sir: Contrary to what I said in my review of Kate Fleming's book about her mother (Books, 23 November), it was Duff, rather than Rupert, who wrote the Hart-Davis biography of...

Powys redivivus

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Sir: As a long-time devotee of the works of John Cowper Powys I was delighted to read that A.N. Wilson has now discovered this great British writer (Diary, 11 January). Powys...

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Too much interest on junk James Buchan DEN OF THIEVES by James B. Stewart Simon & Schuster, £16.99, pp. 494 INSIDE OUT: AN INSIDER'S GUIDE TO WALL STREET by Dennis B. Levine...

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When my heart heaves like a hooked fish and breath creaks crooked as hairpins from my lungs, I remember Francis, our sweet- tempered cat who — poisoned by Christian neighbors -...

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Never judge a spy by his cover

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Harriet Waugh NEVER JUDGE A MAN BY HIS UMBRELLA by Nicholas Elliott Michael Russell, f14.95, pp.201 N ever Judge a Man by his Umbrella must be one of the rummest...

Dung in a silk stocking

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Piers Paul Read THE LIVES OF ELSA TRIOLET by Lachlan Mackinnon Chatto & Windus, £18, pp.216 E lsa Triolet was the first woman to be awarded the Prix Goncourt. Her novels are...

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Pseudo-history under a pseudonym

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Patrick Skene Catling CHIEF OF STAFF by William Coyle Chatio, £14.99, pp. 426 NOW AND IN TIME TO BE: IRELAND AND THE IRISH by Thomas Keneally, with photographs by Patrick...

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Magic in the air

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Francis King RADIO ROMANCE by Garrison Keillor Faber, £14.99, pp. 401 h e title of this novel is doubly apt. In the first place, Keillor is writing of a quarter-century period,...

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Dangerous to presidents

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Anthony Howard J. EDGAR HOOVER: THE MAN AND THE SECRETS by Curt Gentry Norton, £19.95, pp. 846 h ere is only one secret that the world now wants to know about J. Edgar Hoover,...

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Wherefore re-Joyce?

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Bruce Arnold O n the cover of the new Penguin printing of James Joyce's Ulysses it is claimed that the book is being published `to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Joyce's...

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At the Edge

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Was it the blouse-and-skirt combination, the cut Of the fair hair of the near-silhouette Against yellow sea, that made me peer and stare? I walked by white cliffs with my son...

'tinting is all that's worth living for

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Raymond Carr T e contempt in which the literary establishment holds the works of Robert Smith Surtees is only equalled by the con- tempt in which his readers, like myself, hold...

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Exhibitions 1 In the midst of life . . . The Art of Death: Objects from the English Death Ritual 1500-1800 (V & A, till 22 March) I n the midst of life we are in death.' These...

Robert Smith Surtees by Frederick Watson (118.60, including p&p, pp.298)

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is available from: Mrs Fordham, The R.S. Surtees Society, Tacker's Cottage, Nunney, Nr Frome, Somerset BAH 4NP. Tel: (Nunney) 0373 836442. Cheques payable to The R.S. Surtees...

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Exhibitions 2

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The Skeleton at the Feast: the Day of the Dead in Mexico (Museum of Mankind, till late 1992) ...we are in death John Henshall enjoys the Mexicans'. exuberant commemoration of...

Giles Auty is away.

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JFK (`15', selected cinemas) Conspiracy to confuse Mark Amory O nce more we wander on the grassy knoll, once again scan the windows of the Texas School Book Depository....


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Der ferne Kiang (Grand Theatre, Leeds) Bewitching flim-flam Robin Holloway T he Artist's suffering Life, transmuted and fulfilled by his Work, is a common- place of the...

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Caught in the act Martin Gayford N ot only have astonishing quantities of jazz been recorded — I sometimes wonder whether a major musician has blown an undocumented note in...


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Spread a Little Happiness (King's Head) Sophisticated Ladies ((lobe) Innocent charm Christopher Edwards F ew songwriters can have been victims of as many shifts in popular...

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Exit, pursued by a table Alistair McAlpine T he year ahead does not look very promising for the art trade, but then it is one of the characteristics of that trade to find...

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High life

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Hard to get Taki Barbados In hot if futile pursuit of what I perceived to be a 19-year-old but who turned out to be a disappointing 22, I find myself in the Sandy Lane Hotel,...


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Grown men crying John Diamond I t is commonly understood that the American language takes its rhythm and its cadence, as well as much of its vocabulary, from the various...

Marlyn Harris is away.

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New life

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The beginning of the end Zenga Longmore 'My wife left me for a vacuum cleaner.' open of lockless council flat doors. Here in my ground-floor Harlesden flat, even the most...

Low life

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Melting moments Jeffrey Bernard I cooked a portable radio last night. I had moved it from a chopping-board to make room to prepare a meal, placed it on top of the stove and...

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10 11 11111111111111

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Snows on the Green MOST restaurateurs have taken the Nor- man Lamont line on the recession. That is to say, however much they may moan amongst themselves, they try and act, for...

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COMPETITION c vaVAS REG4 4 12 YEAR OLD SCOTCH WHISKY Lear improved Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1711 you were in- vited to take the first line of a Lear limerick and carry...


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Russian roulette Raymond Keene T he strongest tournament to be held regularly in the United Kingdom is the Foreign & Colonial grandmaster section at Hastings. This year the...

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A first prize of L20 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...

Solution to 1040: Soap opera T 2 C)1 3 1:1 . 1 . 1 * T 0A: 0

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4°A E UIL IME%ERVERC I " FIRKINIIYEING , D;OM TIVREENCL P I L L E , ,,,ARsE 49 NIS1113 R 0 '1'4 UNNIEH O O R 1 0 TN - , 011A9' T 1ASEMENT L r 111 L t JT T E Y R ' P R A...

No. 1714: Come back, please

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Spats, telegrams, mutton pies — everyone mourns something that was once familiar but now rare or unobtainable. An elegiac lament, in verse please (maximum 16 lines), for the...

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Greatest hits Frank Keating THE FIFTIETH birthday 'tributes' to Muhammad All read like obituaries. A shame. Okay, the great man may be victim to that unique sidebar and...


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Q. Immediately outside my office is a small public park with benches upon which a col- lection of scruffy motorcycle messengers have recently started to appear while they wait...