25 MAY 1996

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John Major fights EU beef ban — no more Mr Nice Guy! M r John Major, the Prime Minister, said, 'We cannot continue business as usual within Europe.' He was speaking after Mr...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N :LL Telephone: 0171-405

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1706; Telex 27124; Fax 0171-241 0603 THE TORTURED TRUTH A mnesty International has issued another report on torture. It is as horrifying as ever. But there is something about...

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The Zecites hope to embarrass Tony Blair can they avoid embarrassing Ken Clarke? BRUCE ANDERSON P olitical mood-swings often seem unre- lated to the real world. No one in...

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A.N. WILSON O ne of the things which makes me hold back from offering myself as a candidate for the Sir James Goldsmith Referendum Party is the frequency with which the...

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. . . but we shouldn't change it, says Rory Knight Bruce, however loudly David Hockney and other celebrities bark WHEN ALEXANDER Pope gave a shag- gy Iceland terrier to George...

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Alfred Sherman defends Lady Porter She was not gerrymandering, he says, she was trying to keep London civilised INSTEAD of being pilloried on the basis of trumped-up charges,...

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HENRY KING Michael Heath

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Damian Thompson says evangelical bigots, 'gay activists' and Anglican liberals all misunderstand homosexual clergy IT COMES as no surprise to learn that when he was Archbishop...

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. . . who feuded with a man who's bound to feud with Tony Blair, recalls Anne McElvoy TO LUNCH, as they say in Jennifer's Diary, with New Labour. The restaurant is...

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Mind your language

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IT IS getting more and more difficult to listen to the news on the wireless with full comprehension. I don't think it's just me. In one bulletin the other morning the BBC had...

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. . . because what was good for the Republican Senator wasn't always good for NOTHING can demonstrate more com- pletely the difference between the British and the American...

If symptoms

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persist. . . IT IS more than six years since I started chronicling the folly and misconduct of the human race for readers of The Spectator. This misconduct is, of course, an...

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Ten good reasons why Prague is the most delightful city in Europe PAUL JOHNSON T he first reason is that Prague is a story of success. The Czechs have transformed themselves...

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Love and lesbians

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Sir: It is not entirely clear what causal rela- tion Petronella Wyatt wishes to draw between being — or not being — lesbian, and being — or not being — 'in love' (Fur- thermore,...

Mozart rules OK

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Sir: Allow me, please, to trail a coat. The reason why so many people have now put Mozart ahead of Beethoven is far simpler than Michael Kennedy suggests (Arts, 18 May). Mozart,...

Sir: Michael Kennedy's article was fascinat- ing. It is, I

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understand, generally perceived that Mozart is more popular than Beethoven at present. Mr Kennedy makes suggestions as to why this should be while declaring himself still a...

Sir: Lord Hanson, when complaining about the media's cynical attitude

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towards politi- cians, states that 'our spending on the National Health Service has risen by 63 per cent in real terms since 1976 . . . though it might be hard to credit any of...

LETTERS Forever cynics

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Sir: Lord Hanson believes we are more cyn- ical about politicians than we used to be (`The age of cynicism', 18 May). The evi- dence he gives that this phenomenon is increasing...


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12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £88.00 0 £45.00 Europe (airmail) CI £99.00 0551.00 USA Airspeed 0 US$141 0 US$71 Rest of Airmail CI £115.00 0 £58.00 World 3 Airspeed 0 £99.00 0 £51.00...

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You may think me biased, but I'd just like to say what the Times didn't say about its circulation STEPHEN GLOVER Sounds good? Whenever newspapers sing their own praises they...

Last week I wrote that Rupert Allason is the MP

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for Torquay. This was incorrect. He rep- resents Torbay, which is not quite the same thing.

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It's not sexual harassment, it's just bad manners PETRONELLA WYATT h ere is no such thing as sexual harass- ment. This is not to say that there is no such thing as rape....

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A bore is a bore is a bore is a bore Philip Hensher SISTER BROTHER: GERTRUDE AND LEO STEIN by Brenda Wineapple Bloomsbury, £20, pp. 507 G ertrude Stein is, on the whole, an...

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Pulp fiction turns

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to true romance Tobias Jones ECSTASY by Irvine Welsh Cape, £14.99, pp. 276 R eading Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting, is like watching Tarantino: exciting, urgent,...

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The fatal step

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Hilary Mantel HEAT WAVE by Penelope Lively Viking, £16.99, pp. 224 W hen the heroine of Penelope Live- ly's new novel looks out of her window on to Middle England, she sees...

To order this book at the special discount' price of

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£13.99, call The Spectator Book- shop on 0181 964 9640.

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Many are the ways of love

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Raymond Carr LOLA MONTEZ by Bruce Seymour Yale, £20, pp. 408 I n 1990, Bruce Seymour, air force officer, wandering scholar, lawyer and baby-sitter, won $300,000 on a television...


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First the bad news - subscription rates to The Spectator went up on 1 May. The rising cost of print, paper and postage means that we now do need to charge more. The good news...

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Every day I am not there is a day lost

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Duncan Fallowell ST PETERSBURG: A CULTURAL HISTORY by Solomon Volkov Sinclair-Stevenson, £20, pp. 598 T his book is not quite what it seems. Although it is subtitled 'a...

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What a marvel!

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Francis King AGE A past president of the American PEN Center and of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and a recipi- ent of a life-time achievement award...

Duncan Fallowell's One Hot Summer in St Petersburg is published

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in paperback by Vintage at £6.99.

To order this book at the special discount price of

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1 6, call The Spectator Bookshop on 0181 964 9640.

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Judge a book by its title

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C. D. C. Armstrong THE FIGHT FOR PEACE: THE SECRET STORY BEHIND THE IRISH PEACE PROCESS by Eamonn Mollie and David McKittrick Heinemann, £8.99, pp. 393 T he title of this book,...

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An American in Berlin

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None of these details would be specially remarkable had not Amy Fay, at the suggestion of the poet Longfellow, subsequently decided to publish her letters home. Under its...

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The proof is in the wrinkles When is a Rembrandt not a Rembrandt and vice versa? Martin Bailey investigates T he Queen must be pleased to have her Rembrandt back again....

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Theodora (Glyndebourne) Danger: Sellars about Rupert Christiansen P eter Sellars has done it again, and I'm spitting. This immensely talented American director — indecently...

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Think singles Ursula Buchan N plant is an island, entire of itself. In the wild, plants grow in groups or colonies, sometimes so numerous that their commu- nities stretch for...


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Cultural indoctrination Peter Phillips R umours concerning the demise of the classical recording industry, which only a few months ago were restricted to general talk about a...

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Reputations on the line Nicholas Joicey picks this year's winners and losers at the festival F or some reason, commentators on Cannes always profess surprise at the absence of...

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Sylvia (Apollo) Portia Coughlin (Royal Court) One man and his dog Sheridan Morley R. Gurney has always been among the most intriguing of modern American playwrights. And if...

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Primal Fear (18, selected cinemas) A spelling error? Mark Steyn I f memory serves, this particular formu- lation took off with Fatal Attraction, in whose wake came such...


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Don't look now Harry Eyres T he week began in horror. Faced with a choice between a documentary on Rwanda (Witness: The Betrayal, Channel 4, Thurs- day) and UEFA cup soccer, I...

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That nagging feeling MIchael Vestey T here's been a power cut at The News Quiz on Radio Four, or someone has switched off the lights. It's not just the vol- untary departure...

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Not motoring

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Monorail mania Gavin Stamp T he monorail, that curiosity of industri- alised locomotion, clearly still has a grip on the modern imagination — at least to judge by the...

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The turf

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Restoring the Derby's magic Robin Oakley A cot may be grander, Goodwood prettier, Newbury more customer-friendly, but Epsom on Derby Day still has some- thing special. The...

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High life

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Petronella rejected me Taki H ere we go again. Less than three months ago, I took la bella Petronella to task after she wrote that modern Italian men were wankers. Without...

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Low life

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King for the day Jeffrey Bernard I have always made a little too much of a fuss about my birthdays. I have another one — quite miraculously — this coming Monday, and I say...

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Country life

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Merry misery Leanda de Lisle E very now and then we have one of the animals from our outdoor pig unit butchered for our freezer. The last one arrived in two large bin liners...

„d - Areeia

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MADEIRA BRIDGE Surprise tactics Andrew Robson South West North East 14 pass 24 pass 24 pass pass 34 pass 44 all pass 4 9 7 6 5 48 4 3 2 Q J II A K 10 9 2 • J 9 4 W...

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We have had various Chilean whites before at various prices, but the Montes Sauvignon Blanc 1995 from Curico( 1 ) is unmistakably a star. I notice how members of the panel...


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c/o Smedley Vintners Rectory Cottage, Lilley, Luton, Bedfordshire LU2 8LU Tel: (01462) 768214 Fax: (01462) 768332 White Montes Sauvignon Blanc 1995 Price No. Value...

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Harvey Nichols: the Foundation Bar

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I WAS predisposed to like the Foundation Bar. Newly constructed in the basement of Harvey Nichols, it earned my gratitude — even before I had eaten in it — for displac- ing the...

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ISO - COMPETITION t SI, LI SILI11.011.111111150 ISLE OF IN COMPETITION NO. 1933 you were invited to supply a piece of historical romantic fiction of the pre-Buchan era...


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IN-THE•STRAND A 771.7 SIMPSON'S IN-THE-STRAND THE QUEST for a perfect defence against the opening move 1 e4 is the chess equiva- lent of the search for the Holy Grail. At...

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CROSSWORD 1262: Fowl fly or walk by Ascot

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A first prize of 125 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1989 Port for the first correct solution opened on 10 June, with two runners-up prizes of 115 (or, for UK...

No. 1936: The forgettable seven I know a man who

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regularly makes money by betting people that they can't name the seven dwarfs in Snow White on the spot. To forearm his victims, you are invited to pro- vide helpful mnemonic...

Solution to 1259: Mixed doubles A IT S A R

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d 4 of l A THR I L 1.11 L 2IA L K I E" NESEU 0 A T O l y A Li .1 ERIE 241, 2 .1 1 A 0 I A T A 3 E I L. L U 110UTO N CEL ESANDERI SE M0E0TELE M I ° I t T R C R El I 1, 1 .14 A...

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SEAN EDWARDS has a nose like a Bowie knife. Everything about his nature and his appearance seems to involve a multiplicity of sharp, cutting edges. He stands about...


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Q. A few years ago now, upon her retirement, my aged mother took a holiday in Europe. The high point of the trip was for her, I think, the time she spent in the Black Forest....