26 FEBRUARY 1994

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The Spectator

M r John Major, the Prime Minister, came out in favour of the age of consent for homosexual congress to be lowered to 18. The House of Commons voted for this by 427 to 162; a...

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The Spectator

The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 A DAM GOOD THING A 'd from one nation to another cor- rupts both the...

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Mr Heseltine prepares to show that honesty is the best policy SIMON HEFFER ne of the highlights of the long-run- ning show The Scott Inquiry, in which a fearless...

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The Spectator

RUBY WAX G od has been cruel to women. Femi- nists throughout the land will stick a fatwa on my head, but I know from bitter person- al experience, having only weeks ago deliv-...

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The Spectator

Black and white: end-games CHARLES MOORE Johannesburg ou have only to sacrifice the "nig- ger" absolutely, and the game is easy,' wrote Sir Alfred Milner, the British High...

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The Spectator

The future of the Independent is twenty-five times more important than that of Rolls-Royce Motors, according to the press. What arrogant nonsense, says Martin Vander Weyer...

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The Spectator

We have, perhaps, saved Sarajevo from slaughter Now we must restore its greatest heritage, argues John Simpson Sarajevo I HAVE come back here from the Serb- controlled heights...

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The Spectator

Edward Lucas invented a bogus Russian conspiracy. Unfortunately it was believed throughout the Baltic Vilnius THE BALTIC AMBASSADOR was in confidential mood. We were speaking...

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The Spectator

Alastair Campbell interviews the Employment Secretary, and attempts to find out what he really stands for THE ONLY record I could find of a recent lunch at which Mr David...

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The Spectator

Conrad Black takes exception to Ferdinand Mount's attack on Catholic triumphalism IT IS dismaying to read the editor of the Times Literary Supplement and former head of Mrs...

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The Spectator

Jack Holland argues that, far from bringing a financial dividend, peace in Northern Ireland would bring nothing but troubles Belfast IT WAS just before Christmas, and John...

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If symptoms persist. . .

The Spectator

0 CRIME! What liberties are commit- ted in thy name! Prison is, of course, by far the safest place to be for a law-abiding citizen like myself. At least I am protected there...


The Spectator

Paul Barker examines the battle between the Yorkshire literary establishment and those who want to sell the local air FRANK SCHOLEFIELD waves proudly across at the volumes of...

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Mind your language

The Spectator

'THEY'RE IDIOTS,' I heard my husband shouting from the kitchen, just after Farm- ing Today. It was too early in the morning for vulgar abuse, so I asked him to explain what he...

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The Spectator

Squashed strawberry leaves and the coward skulking in No. 10 PAUL JOHNSON J ohn Major has been complaining that he and his Back to Basics campaign have been made to seem...

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Life policy

The Spectator

EVEN DEATH affords no exit from Lloyd's of London. It has been tried, but Lloyd's open years prevail against it. They stretch far back into the past, with the results and the...

Liking to say Yes

The Spectator

IN THE wonderful world of corporate gov- ernance, as charted by Sir Adrian Cadbury, no company is more correct that TSB. It complies with 17 of his 19 recommenda- tions and will...

Once upon a dime

The Spectator

THE TIP was there all the time, if we knew where to look for it. I found it in the stony fortress of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which, improbably enough, pub- lishes...


The Spectator

A bank asks: why are my customers so beastly to me? CHRISTOPHER FILDES T he bank, although conscious of its dig- nity, was obviously distressed. In a low voice, it told of its...

• Lost in the wash

The Spectator

GOOD NEWS for jobsworths: a whole new Jobsworth Opportunity Scheme is coming Into force, appropriately enough on 1 April. From then on, every financial businesses will have to...

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Sir: Without the Roman Catholic Church there would be no

The Spectator

New College, Oxford, from which Richard Dawkins could spew out his crass vulgarity. D.R. Boyce 38 Greenwood Close, Morden, Surrey

Sir: In answer to your anti-Catholic corre- spondents: 1) Richard

The Spectator

Dawkins says I am 'not of independent mind' and that my mind 'is made up' for me 'by an elderly Pole'. He lies. The person who tells me what to think or write does not exist....

More means less

The Spectator

Sir: I hope it is not nit-picking to point out that the number of people who die every day in Britain is roughly double that of 890 given by Auberon Waugh in Another voice (19...

Chief cheer-leader

The Spectator

Sir: It is hardly surprising that Fergal Keane found Chief Buthelezi hostile to him considering his blatantly anti-Inkatha bias, of which the article 'Just another tinpot dic-...

Sir: Whatever the actual origins of the vir- gin birth

The Spectator

narratives and dogma, which have occasioned a rich and interesting critical literature, Richard Dawkins is mistaken in asserting so confidently that they arose entirely from a...

LETTERS Dawkins anathematised

The Spectator

Sir: Richard Dawkins' response to Paul Johnson's article (Letters, 19 February) is characterised by those simultaneous attacks of bile and apoplexy which always appear to...


The Spectator

12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £77.00 0 £39.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £88.00 0 £44.00 USA Airspeed 0 US$125.00 0 US$63.00 USA Airmail 0 US$175.00 0 US$88.00 Rest of Airmail 0 £111.00...

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Clumsy me

The Spectator

Sir: Your columnist Auberon Waugh has amplified a piece of clumsy phrasing in my Observer article on Stephen Milligan's death (Another voice, 19 February). I wrote that there...

Textual analysis

The Spectator

Sir: Now let's just get this straight. Accord- ing to Simon Courtauld (`No sex on the Rock', 19 February) 90 per cent of Gibral- tarians are Roman Catholic, and their bish- op...

Owning up

The Spectator

Sir: The letter from Michael Cole of Har- rods (Letters, 12 February) alerted me to a serious error in my article on his employer, Mohamed Fayed ('Rubbing shoulders with the...

After you

The Spectator

Sir: The Duchess of Devonshire and Mr Allen are both right (Diary, 5 February, Letters, 19 February). It depends on the circumstances and perhaps on the class of restaurant. The...


The Spectator

Sir: Could Harold Macmillan's penchant for travelling by public transport (M. L. de Zulueta, Letters, 19 February) be explained by the fact that, as a director of a pre-1948...

See page 18

The Spectator

Sir: I came on the following three excerpts on consecutive pages of a recent Spectator and a fourth in the London Review of Books:'. . . the dullest Anglican ear cannot fail to...

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The Spectator

Nothing if not witty James Buchan THE COLLECTED STORIES by Muriel Spark Penguin, .£6.99, pp. 360 T he first story in this collection, which is called The Portobello Road' and...

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The hero of another's novel

The Spectator

Barry Unsworth THE MASTER OF PETERSBURG by J. M. Coetzee Secker, £1499, pp. 250 his is a remarkable novel in several ways, not least in the boldness of its enter- prise. An...

A selection of recent paperbacks

The Spectator

Fiction: A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, Phoenix, £8.99, pp. 1474 Net of Jewels by Ellen Gilchrist, Faber, £5.99 Impossible Vacation by Spalding Gray, Picador, £5.99 Malefice by...

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Anti-Semitism can be fun

The Spectator

Frederic Raphael CONSTRUCTIONS OF THE JEW' IN ENGLISH LITERATURE AND SOCIETY: RACIAL REPRESENTATIONS, 1875-1945 by Bryan Cheyette CUP, £35, pp. 240 I f Mr Major had been less...

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Naming the guilty men

The Spectator

Tom Hiney THE EARTH MADE OF GLASS by Robert Edric Picador, £14.99, pp. 160 'The village died', the magistrate said. 'All is recorded here. Of a hundred and thirty souls,...

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Tempus edax rerum

The Spectator

Paul Johnson A HISTORY OF CIVILISATIONS by Fernand Braudel, translated by Richard Mayne Allen Lane, £25, pp. 600 T his book should not have been pub- lished here, at any rate...

Glimpses of the mystifying

The Spectator

Cressida Connolly THE PALACE THIEF by Ethan Canin Bloomsbury, £15.99, pp. 227 E than Canin is practically perfect. The four stories which comprise The Palace Thief reveal a...

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A beastly business

The Spectator

Anthony Daniels HOW WE DIE by Sherwin B. Nuland Chatto, £15. 99, pp. 278 N o matter how many times we are told by philosophers that life would be deprived of its meaning if we...

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I'm nobody's baby now

The Spectator

Anne Chisholm DADDY'S GIRL by Janet Inglis Constable, £12.99, pp. 393 O livia, the heroine of this unnervingly sexy, poignant and readable first novel is an ordinary,...

Still thinking continually

The Spectator

William Scammell DOLPHINS by Stephen Spender Faber, £12.99, £5.99, pp. 46 E r Yeats, Lowell and Spender alike, dolphins are a manifestation of happiness and delight. Spender's...

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Early, Late

The Spectator

Hopscotch through the maze of boughs long-tailed tits jink and flicker, calling to each other like girls on an outing, the flirty streamers of their tails preened for fiesta....

Awake, my soul, and with the son . . .

The Spectator

Francis King MERCY OF A RUDE STREAM: VOLUME I, A STAR SHINES OVER MT MORRIS PARK by Henry Roth Weidenfeld, £15.99, pp. 290 T he story of Henry Roth is a piquant and affecting...

The return of a native

The Spectator

Michael Bywater THE GREAT AMERICAN BUS RIDE by Irma Kurtz Fourth Estate, £6.99, pp. 318 A capable woman in her middle years has, e sua genera, a certain advantage lost to young...

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The Spectator

Exhibitions Back to basics Giles Auty A Different Perspective: paintings by Lisa 0' Connor (Commonwealth Institute, till 13 March) John Lessore: recent paintings (Theo...

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The Spectator

Maxwell the Musical (Not at the Criterion) By Special Arrangement (Warehouse) Galileo (Almeida) Hare's Brecht Sheridan Morley B recht's Galileo has always been a work in...

James Huntington-Whiteley presents

The Spectator

A Hundred Works on Paper by Modern British Artists including Auerbach Bawden Craxton Eurich Gill Minton Moore Nash Nicholson Orpen Piper Spencer Sutherland Tunnard Vaughan at...

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The Spectator

The Spectator index for January to June 1993 is now available. This six monthly comprehensive alphabetical listing of subjects, titles and contributors is a necessity for...


The Spectator

Dance Bites (Leicester and touring) False teeth Sophie Constanti T he Royal Ballet's economy-sized, mis- leadingly titled new touring venture — Dance Bites — is both a...

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The Spectator

irw ARTS A monthly selection of forthcoming events recommended by The Spectator's regular critics MUSIC It promises to be a very good month for symphony concerts. The...

How to save yourself 51 trips to the library .

The Spectator

. . or over £35 on The Spectator If you're forced to share The Spectator with fellow students, then you'll know how difficult it can be to track a copy down. Now you can save...

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The Spectator

The Turn of the Screw (Tramway, Glasgow) Turandot (New Theatre, Cardiff) Cherubin (Royal Opera House) A gripping yarn Rupert Christiansen L ike Carmen and Eugene Onegin, The...

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The Spectator

A Bronx Tale ('18', selected cinemas) Wayne's World 2 (PG, selected cinemas) Heaven and Earth ('15', selected cinemas) News from nowheresville Mark Steyn A ccording to the...

The loss of a few words made nonsense of the

The Spectator

final paragraph of Robin Holloway's review in the issue of 19 February. The sen- tence in full should read 'For acuity of ear, quirky inventiveness, delight in sonority, sheer...

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The Spectator

Those were the days Martin Gayford J azz has developed a rather sedate aura of late. It occurs at the Barbican and the Royal Festival Hall. People get awards for playing it,...

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The Spectator

The drinking man's icon Martyn Harris T he idea of The Obituary Show (With- out Walls, Channel 4, Tuesday, 9 p.m.) is to profile a living person as if they were dead. It...

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High life

The Spectator

The original Maggie Mid his is a great place if one likes privacy and dignity. Take, for example, the Monte11 Williams television show. Williams is a black, shaven-headed...

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Low life

The Spectator

Harvest time Jeffrey Bernard S ometimes when the lifts stop on the landing where we smokers gather, their doors open and there is no one inside or anywhere about. But the lift...

Long life

The Spectator

Home-made preserves Nigel Nicolson I have never met Jeffrey Bernard, but having been his neighbour in these columns for the past two years, I would like to send him greetings...

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The Spectator

Something to dance about Auberon Waugh H ugh Johnson's Wine Companion puts Pezenas in the Herault, but I am pretty sure it is in the Aude, having motored through it many...


The Spectator

cio Lay & Wheeler Ltd, 6 Culver Street West, Colchester, Essex CO1 1JT. Tel: (0206) 764446 Fax: (0206) 560002 White I. Domaine de St Julien Blanc, Price No. Value Pezenas...

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AS WE have started Lent, most of the saints get

The Spectator

short shrift unless they are terri- bly important, but I have a childhoods interest in St Walburga, whose feast is on 25 February (or 26 in leap year. Why?). She is an English...

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The Spectator

Theatre of war Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1818 you were invited to supply an extract from an im- aginary actor or actress's autobiography in which rancour, rudeness and...

1 CHESS ,, ::DLOolutl az

The Spectator

SPAIN'S FINEST CAVA .. , o vo lothul, SPAIN'S FINEST CAVA Special Ks Raymond Keene THE LINARES TOURNAMENT, the Wimbledon of chess, started this week. Once again, the...

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Solution to 1145: 17A t I 'R r i c i s u M t.

The Spectator


No. 1821: Acrostic

The Spectator

You are invited to write an acrostic poem of 16 lines, the first letters of each line spelling out 'MAJOR'S GOVERN- MENT'. Entries to 'Competition No. 1821' by 10 March.

[ j GRAHAM'S H PORT 1148: 9D w. & J

The Spectator

CROSSWORD GRAHAM'S PORT by Mass A first prize of £25 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 14 March, with two...

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The Spectator

Tears without fears Frank Keating THE SECOND most raucously ecstatic cheer at the end of the palpitating rugby international in Cardiff on Saturday fol- lowed the public...


The Spectator

Dear Mary.. Q. Last weekend, for various reasons, I had only one guest bedroom in operation and no staff. While one friend left on Sunday afternoon, the other arrived on Sunday...