26 JANUARY 1991

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T he Prime Minister, Mr John Major, echoed American warnings that the war against Iraq could not be won quickly. He denounced as contrary to the Geneva Convention the parading...

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56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex: 27124; Fax: 071-242 0603 BOMBS BEFORE BR Those who desire constantly increasing government expenditure will...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY - Save 18% on the Cover Price! RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £66.00 0 £33.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £77.00 0 £38.50 USA Airspeed 0 US $99 0 $49.50 Rest of Airmail...

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Mr Major offers us blood, toil, adverbs and small print NOEL MALCOLM I n theory, a great war makes us forget about our own narrow interests: in prac- tice, the opposite...

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O n the night the war began I was in the Cape Town airport, waiting for my flight home to London. Our sortie was delayed, so we bivouacked near the gate. One of my three crew...

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We should all seek a cure for the Glaspie Syndrome CHARLES MOORE It is an appealing theory. And it may well be true that the doctrines which prevent the study of the works of...

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John Simpson reports on the unexpected effects of modern weapons on Baghdad and the people he has come to know there By the night of 16 January the main topic of conversation...

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Edward Mortimer forecasts a resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism when the war is over THE WAR may be just, necessary, and on balance worth fighting. But to anyone who knows...

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John Keegan sees difficult times ahead for the allies before Saddam Hussein's defeat AIRMEN fighting a war look for a 'target system' — something valuable to the enemy which...

One hundred years ago

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IT APPEARS that the Duke of Bed- ford, who was supposed to have been killed by the recent burst of cold, shot himself in his bedroom. He had latterly become so pronounced a...

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Michael Heath

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Con Coughlin in Saudi Arabia explains how journalists survive Saddam's Scuds THANKS to Saddam Hussein and his Scud missile batteries, our lives are dictated by the wail of air...

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Stephen Robinson talks to anti-war demonstrators on the streets of the American capital Washington IF A Berkely sociology professor had tried 12 months ago to devise a model of...

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Stephen Handelman reports on the futile Soviet repression of small republics Vilnius IT MAY be the saddest sight we have seen so far this year. The Lithuanian parlia- ment, a...

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Anne McElvoy sees the fall of Lothar de Maiziere as an insult to all east Germans Berlin YOU MAY not remember Lothar de Maiziere. Chancellor Kohl, his Christian Democrats and...

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We are nicer to our Iraqi prisoners than we are to our own innocent ones, argues Nigel Burke WHATEVER happens to our prisoners of war in Iraq, the Coldstream guardsmen whom we...

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Vicki Woods finds the airports empty as American civilians hide from the war THE HAUTE couture collections taking place in Paris next week will be sparsely attended,...

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If symptoms persist . . .

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I REALISED the situation in the Gulf was serious when Dr V started to speak again to Dr F, something which hadn't happened for several years though they share the same wards. In...

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The media: Paul Johnson on the nuances of the greatest show on earth WRITING to the Times, as Chairman of the History and Archives Specialist Group of the Royal Television...

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. . . pay as you earn

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I AM in the Hogg camp. I cannot think that boards or shareholders do themselves any good in turning their backs on reality. Facing it may well be, as it was at Courtaulds, the...

Blast of last resort

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ROBIN LEIGH-PEMBERTON, Gov- ernor of the Bank of England, is an amenable chap and an admirable public speaker. So people keep asking him to make speeches and he keeps saying...


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THE bankers of Lombard Street complain at the use of 'Lombard' as an acronym. It stands for that familiar City type, the well-heeled chump — Loads of Money But A Right Deadhead....

Hogg on dividends . . .

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WHEN Sir Christopher Hogg became chairman of Courtaulds, he took the axe to it. I watched the numbers come over the tape: £100 million write-offs, seven major plants shut, the...


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The City's cheery champagne generals are softened up by carpet bombing CHRISTOPHER FILDES T he City is full of champagne-bar generals, and some bizarre ideas have lodged under...

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Sir: Congratulations on being the first editor of a national

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magazine to publish yoN Hitherto we had witnessed full media coverage of seal culls but self-imposed media censorship of abortion techniques. The human species would appear to...

Sir: Reading about the unpleasant side of chiropody, I'm always

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surprised that the Austrian method is not more widely used. On arrival, the client is given a warm soapy footbath and left to soak for ten minutes at least. This not only...

LETTERS Unborn cries

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Sir: Amanda Craig's eye-witness report (5 January) of seven abortions at the NHS Samaritan Hospital in Marylebone Road is all the more thought-provoking for its objective...

Sweet feet

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Sir: Our attention has been drawn to Candida Crewe's 'The sour smell of chir- opody' ( 22/29 December), where we think it is a shame she based her assessment of our profession...

Retribution for Lloyd's

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Sir: I was delighted to see in your Christ- mas issue that Hew Kennedy's splendid efforts in constructing a trebuchet have finally been recognised ('When pigs do fly', 22/29...

By any other name

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Sir: I have just seen some dozen British Telecom vans clamped by various kerb- sides near your offices. My initial amusement, however, was attenuated by the thought that the...

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Vines' sour grapes

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Sir: Basking in the euphoria of having my autobiography hailed as Book of the Year (Books, 24 November 1990) I eagerly read Mr Vines' criticism (Books, 19 January) in your...

True Scot

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Sir: With reference to your High life column (Party poopers, 12 January), I am amused — indeed, flattered — that Taki should imagine that I should be the repor- ter of his New...

Firbank unfulfilled

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Sir: In his review, 'In search of Ronald Firbank' (Books, 22/29 December). D. J. Taylor is wrong, I think, to claim for Firbank's novel Prancing Nigger that it is `set in...

Siegmund's ringlets

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Sir: That earnest young chap, Rupert Christiansen, is, of course, entitled to think I looked a 'wally' in my 'silly wig', when singing Siegmund in the City of Birming- ham...


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Sir: As a mere spectator, would other readers agree that the role of prime minis- ter ideally Suits Mr Major? Stephen Mayer Winden, Mill Lane, Holcombe, West Sussex

Sovereign solution

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Sir: The debate over a unified currency for the European Community, one of the major topics at the recent Inter- governmental Conference in Rome, cen- tres primarily on two...

Cooper's cookbook

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Sir: Roger Cooper's proposed jail cook- book (Leading article, 22/29 December) has an earlier precedent. Civilians interned in Changi during the Japanese occupation dulled their...

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AND EASTERN EUROPE Dominic Lawson writes: Two years ago we appealed to our readers to buy half-price subscriptions to The Specta- tor which we undertook to send to people in...

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Rag-dolls in the Amazonas Matthew Parris A t first I thought they were actors in some macabre street theatre. In a variety of strange and awkward poses — some frozen in...

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Christmas in Oz

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Extremes of wrath Ludovic Kennedy I t is absolutely forbidden to bring plants into Australia,' said a notice at Cairns airport — a nice touch when you recall that was just...

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W riting as 1 do in the days of Mr Gorbachev's dangerous and inept crack- down on the Baltic States, it is difficult not to wonder what could have motivated Sir Ralf Dahrendorf,...

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High in the night sky Over London, the War God Conjoins the Weeping Sisters, Glowing the same red In Washington and Baghdad, In Sumeria Five millenia ago. Mars, Warrior Lord,...

New work by old master

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David Ekserdjian LORENZO MONACO by Marvin Eisenberg Princeton University Press, £55.45, pp.242 G raceful, luminous, delicate, and a touch sentimental — a thumbnail sketch of...

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Fuller's earth is dry as dust

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John Whitworth SPANNER AND PEN by Roy Fuller Sinclair-Stevenson, £16.95, pp. 190 I s it a refreshing dryness that begins Roy Fuller's second volume of autobiography with a...

Labouring in vain

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Peter Mullen THE CLOPTON HERCULES by Duncan Sprott Faber, £13.99, pp. 220 W ho now, under the brown fog of a winter dawn, sits in T.S. Eliot's chair at Fabers and publishes a...

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Truth is more bitter than fiction

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Anthony Blond IS THERE ANYBODY THERE? SAID THE TRAVELLER: MEMOIRS OF A PRIVATE NUISANCE by Simon Raven Muller, £14.99, pp. 198 T his book is neither more nor less...

The Use of Nothingness

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En-felloe thirty staves, and there's a wheel: But the worth of the wheel derives from the hole in its hub. Take clay: a lump of muck until it's moulded To the hollow worth of a...

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Marred by reticence

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Piers Paul Read REMINISCENCES AND REFLECTIONS: GROWING UP IN GERMANY by Golo Mann Faber, 125, pp. 338 I n 1933, when Hitler came to power, Thomas Mann, lecturing abroad, deemed...

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The W. C. Fields of English Literature

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Roger Lewis THE AMIS COLLECTION: SELECiED NON-FICTION 1954-1990 by Kingsley Amis Hutchinson, £16.99, pp.400 C riticism, being a declaration of taste, may be the most...

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Three centuries of decline

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F. W. Walbank ALEXANDER TO ACTIUM: THE HELLENISTIC AGE by Peter Green Thames & Hudson, £35, pp. 970 T he three centuries from Alexander the Great to the defeat of Antony and...

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Not always to the swift but to the quick

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Robert Temple THE NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS: LITERATURE, VOLUME 1 1901-1926; VOLUME II 1927-1961; VOLUME III 1962-1987 edited by Frank N. Magill Salem Press, USA, distributed...

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Opera All together now . . I t would be hard to think of a cosier audience or a cosier atmosphere than that for the Royal Academy of Music's 'Sing- along' at the Barbican last...

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Richard Artschwager, Cindy Sherman, Richard Wilson (Saatchi Collection, till July) Faith-killing furniture Giles Auty A first effect of war is to banish complacency. All of a...

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Henze's law Robin Holloway T he recovery of German composition from the ruins of the second world war makes a tangled tale. The advanced music proscribed by the Nazis,...

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Betrayal (Almeida) Controlled oomph Christopher Edwards W hen Harold Pinter's play was first performed over ten years ago at the National Theatre, the reviews were mixed....


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The Mozart experience Deirdre McMahon A s is clear from the programme for this year's festival, the world of mime has many mansions. There are magicians, acrobats and...

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Postcards from the Edge (`15', Odeon Leicester Square) The veneer underneath Mark Amory I n less than ten minutes an actress, Suzanne Vale (Meryl Streep), has been ticked off...

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A matter of timing Alistair McAlpine L ast Tuesday, Phillips the auctioneers sold, from an extremely glossy catalogue, the contents of a London office building. No ordinary...

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High life

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Target Hollywood Taki New York Good old Hollywood. I knew that as soon as the shooting started it wouldn't fail to disgust. The first person — and I use the word broadly — to...


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Hack tactics Martyn Harris B y Day Three the war was all over, won painlessly for us by clever little bombs that climbed down chimneys. By Day Five we were on the brink of...

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New life

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Woe is me Zenga Longmore T his week, for me, can only be com- pared with the third act of a Russian play. Life has become so grim that I half-expect to find bearded men in...

Jeffrey Bernard is unwell.

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Imperative cooking: A Spectator food club?

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,,__SLALA • I RECENTLY received a food parcel from Lady Clarke, who runs something called Natural Life Foods at Treehill Farm near Okehampton. The idea is that she finds local...

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O n Sunday 27 January the needle match between Nigel Short and Jon Speel- man commences which will determine the British qualifier for the second leg of the new world...


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The biter bit Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1660 you were in- vited to parody any single regular item in Private Eye. This was good foul fun. The two most elusive targets...

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Solution to 990: Entente non-cordiale ElEILII,1011210ErR LIE a3 Lauri wiri

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TEEE-p 13810nEed Ca 8 U 8 I E ana= a I 8 FIC D E R TT 1) Erl laDEI 13 111 Ei El 1112 110 E C 0101 T A El Y rl e 013 E M aEl ErE Y annuoaorl :lam 8 nem E 413 C 11 1 El ikl...

No. 1663: Valentine

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Away with cynicism, though not with wit! You are invited to offer a heartfelt Valen- tine (maximum 12 lines). Entries to 'Com- petition No. 1663' by 8 February.

CROSSWORD 993: Review board by Doc

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A first prize of £20 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...

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IT WAS a merry old how-d'you-do down in the concrete dungeons under Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday evening after the England rugby team's morose and muscle- bound victory over...