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M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, flew to New York for a day to tell the Unit- ed Nations about how Britain might use her armed forces in future and what might replace the...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405

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1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 TALKING RECESSION N ot long ago it was orthodoxy in the Labour party that the City of London was a parasitic organism, sucking the life-blood of the...

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Why Mr Mandelson's trick has not even deceived Mr Ashdown BRUCE ANDERSON R oy Jenkins is hard at work. The publi- cation date for his report on proportional representation has...

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SIMON HOGGART T he party conferences have just begun. As a young reporter, I used to be sent to help with the 'note', an earnest précis of the speeches made by delegates. No...

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I accept so many of their arguments, but I can't accept them MATTHEW PARRIS I cannot believe my ears. Conservative Europeanists are rocking the boat? Euro- peanists have...

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COMING TO DINNER George Trefgarne reports on the fear, justified or not, which now grips the 1990s boom business RESTAURATEURS are getting nervous. For five years they have...

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Mark Steyn says it was none other than the White House itself which put it around that the video would make Mr Clinton look bad New Hampshire AFTER the third hour or so, it...

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Andrew Gimson wonders if the Germans know whether they really want to capsize the big man at their helm Berlin HELMUT KOHL has always done better than the press thought he...

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Deepak Lal doubts if the Prime Minister is relying on the right body to beat global recession THE RECENT debate between Peter Bauer and Cranley Onslow and Clare Short in these...

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Mercy have failed to prevent the commercial exploitation of their former leader Calcutta A HUNCHED figure weaves his way through Calcutta's unending gridlocked traffic....

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As an American living here, Robert Haeger laments the surrender of Britain's weights, measures and light bulbs AFTER living in this country for some years, the...

Classifieds — pages 68-70

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Owen Matthews evokes a decadence now ending for lack of funds Moscow EARLIER this month, just as the rouble began its headlong plunge into oblivion, Vogue magazine was launched...

Mind your language

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AN eagle-eyed reader, Mrs Margaret Barman of Barton-upon-Humber (where there is a fine Saxon church), has set me a poser. Before I get on to that, let me men- tion, while I...

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Dulwich wakes up to salute the man who painted nothing happening PAUL JOHNSON I was first introduced to Pieter de Hooch (pronounced Hock) at the age of 14 by my history...

Subscription rates — page 70

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Treasure in heaven

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BANKERS share a patron saint with tax- collectors — he is St Matthew, who heard the call at the receipt of custom — but in these parlous times they could do with one of their...

Endangered monsters

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I WAS never quite sure why Shell needed two London head offices, one on each side of the Thames, and Shell does not seem to know either. Its art deco extravagance on the north...


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The hinge turns, and the markets swing away from greed and towards fear CHRISTOPHER FILDES M arkets, so Sir Patrick Sergeant taught me, are ruled by greed and fear, and the...

To the woods with Tony

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NEVER fear, Tony's here. The Prime Min- ister wants to see a new Bretton Woods agreement for the new millennium. The old one laid the foundations of the Internation- al Monetary...

Service suspended

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OUR OWN market has done no worse than to fall back to where it was a year ago. Com- pared to where it was two years ago, it has risen by 20 per cent. After two months of violent...

Paradigms regained

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THE WEST'S markets have risen so far and for so long that they are full of profes- sionals who believe that markets always do this. (Amateurs, too, of course.) Willing to be of...

Page 31

Sir: I suspect that most right-thinking Englishmen are just about

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sick to the back teeth of being lectured by the likes of Pere- grine Worsthorne on the undesirability of English nationalism. The intelligentsia of this country have for too...

Sir: Sir Peregrine Worsthorne's article with which I do not

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fundamentally disagree — would be more persuasive if it didn't dis- play his ignorance of history. He writes, inter alia, of foreign threats from Catholic Spain and Bourbon...

Sir: Peregrine Worsthorne, like most Englishmen condescending to our island

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neighbours, puts his foot in his mouth: 'I . . . gloried in the heroism of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace quite as much as that of the Black Prince or Henry V.' William...


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Hong Kong hostility Sir: You give prominence to a review by Henry Keswick of Chris Patten's East and West (Books, 19 September). You note that Mr Keswick has extensive interests...

English nationalism Sir: Although Peregrine Worsthorne deplores the break-up of

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the United King- dom (`England don't arise!', 19 Septem- ber), I feel I should point out that the sec- ond paragraph in his article displays the sort of insensitive English...

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Indian lament

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Sir: Theodore Dalrymple is correct in what he writes (`India goes native in Britain', 12 September). I am saddened, even more so when I recall that only some years ago almost...

Victoria's values

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Sir: In an otherwise impeccable review of John Pollock's new biography of Lord Kitchener (Books, 12 September), Allan Mallinson was wrong to state that Queen Victoria was...

Stone unturned

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Sir: Taki is entitled to his opinion of the American journalist I.F. Stone, whom he consigns to hell (High life, 12 September), but he makes a mistake when he says Stone 'turns...

LETTERS Haig's achievement

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Sir: I too am one of the 'dwindling genera- tion' whose fathers served in the Kaiser's war (mine was an NCO and WO in an infantry battalion), but I write to protest against the...

An uninvited guest

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Sir: Your leading article (12 September) commenting on the granting of asylum to a Romanian homosexual appears to be bend- ing over backwards (forwards?) in an attempt to...

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Instead of Max, Paul sacked Jonathan, while Max sacked Adam but will Max be sacked next? STEPHEN GLOVER Alas, events have made a nonsense of my resolution. There have been...

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For Woodward-Bernstein, read Evans-Pritchard PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE I t is an ill wind that blows nobody any good, and the destruction of President Clinton — if and when it...

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One-man think tank John Keegan ALCHEMIST OF WAR: THE LIFE OF BASIL LIDDELL HART by Alex Danchev Weidenfeld, f25, pp. 369 B asil Liddell Hart was, in his heyday, one of the...

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In sickness and in health

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Anthony Quinton IRIS by John Bayley Duckworth, £16.95, pp. 189 A theme that comes up in a number of Iris Murdoch's novels is that of the destruction of some treasured object:...

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Who boiled the potatoes?

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John Bayley THE GUEST FROM THE FUTURE by Gyorgy Dalos John Murray, £17.99, pp. 250 This book is the story of a single night, the night of Isaiah Berlin's visit to Anna...

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A diet of hatred and revenge

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Margaret Forster MONTENEGRO by Starling Lawrence Black Swan, £6.99, pp. 410 B osnia, Herzegovina, Albania, Serbia . . . is this a news report? No, it's a novel, and the fact...

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All expectations confounded

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Norman Stone RUSSIA'S WAR by Richard Overy Penguin, £20, pp. 394 I n 1988, as the Soviet collapse was start- ing, you could see at Sheremtevo airport great plane-loads of...

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Battling for beauty

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Diana Mosley THROUGH WOOD AND VALE by James Lees - Milne John Murray, f20, pp. 325 A re diaries 'true'? Jim Lees-Milne's are a long and fascinating novel, of which he is the...

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Grappling with the untouchable

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Brian Masters HAPPY LIKE MURDERERS by Gordon Burn Faber, f17.99, pp. 390 O ne piece of genuine literature emerged from the disgusting case of Fred and Rosemary West in...

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The consequences of a stroll

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Anita Brookner J ust occasionally I want to read a novel in which the tone is measured and courte- ous, the protagonists equally so, the story well researched and believable,...

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Dirty tricks among the birch woods

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Douglas Hurd ARCHANGEL by Robert Harris Hutchinson, £16.99, pp. 432 They listened on the radio to the news at ten o'clock. The Communists and the National- ists in the Lower...

Clerihew Corner

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As a Petersburg party trick, Nabokov Used to pull one sock off, Then slowly, using only his teeth, put The sock back on the foot. James Michie

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`Edward of Unique Achievement'

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Evelyn Waugh The following story, subtitled 'A Tale of Blood and Alcohol in an Oxford College, was first published in Cherwell in 1923 and has not been reprinted in Britain...

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BooksoftheWeek East and West by Chris Patten Chris Patten writes frankly and directly, and for the first time, about his experiences as governor, about why he adopted the...

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The politics of Year Zero

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Robert Taylor T his week's Third Way seminar in New York was supposed to provide the belea- guered President Bill Clinton and his num- ber-one fan Tony Blair with a splendid...

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Finding fault with perfection John Boyden argues that modern recordings are destroying great music R ecently, while listening to a recording of a Bruckner symphony, made at a...

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Picasso: Painter and Sculptor in Clay (Royal Academy, till 16 December) Acceptable gifts Martin Gayford A friend of mine once asked a distin- guished artist to his wedding....

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Empress of the Blues

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George Melly visits the former hospital where Bessie Smith died ould you like to see where Bessie die?' asked Frank `Rat' Ratcliffe, propri- etor of an African-American hotel...


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The Magic Flute (Scottish Opera, Edinburgh) Madam Butterfly (ENO) Full marks, almost Michael Tanner I am more steadfast than Tamino himself in searching for an, adequate...

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Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick (National Theatre) Love Upon the Throne (The Bush) A wonderful carry on Sheridan Morley N ot since John Osborne's The Enter- tainer, and...

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Feeling tempted Robin Holloway C urious but true how faint the impulse to listen to classic works in one's record collection however wonderful the perfor- mances. Especially...

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The filthy, funny Farrellys Mark Steyn P eter and Bob Farrelly gave us Dumb and Dumber and Ben Stiller starred in Flirt- ing with Disaster, two fine low comedies. But yoked...

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Critics on critics Michael Vestey I have appeared in Private Eye only once, as far as I know. It was in the late Sixties when I worked for the Sunday Express and before I...


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Between East and West Susan Moore I n June, Sir Robert and Lady Sainsbury sold Modigliani's portrait of Baranowski, a marriage gift from husband to wife, to endow a Unit for...

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A sense of duty James Delingpole A gloomy play about a dead seagull. A long book about a woman who throws her- self under a train and an even longer one about war and peace...

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Make your own . . . Alan Judd S hould we emulate the Queen and the deputy prime minister — if that is still cor- rect precedence — and go for gas? Liquid petroleum gas — LPG —...

The turf

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A winning mover Robin Oakley F ashionable eyes were turned last weekend on Stravinsky's amateurish show- ing in France and on Always Alight's victo- ry in the Ayr Gold Cup....

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High life

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Missing Jeff Taki Jeff left us 13 months ago, and the saint- ed editor wrote a fine tribute to him on the anniversary of Princess Diana's death. Along with George Solti and...

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Country life

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Star- Leanda de Lisle Pictures get sold as well as collected and the best way to deal with the pain of the former is to raise the maximum funds and have your house re-hung. On...


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Lead astray Andrew Robson THE question of whether to lead an unsupported ace against a small slam is one that has vexed experts over the years.There is no right or wrong...

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DESPITE George Trefgame's concerns about the imminence of recession in

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the capital's restaurant business (p. 11), within the precincts of the City of London itself, optimism still seems to prevail. Earlier this year, Gary Rhodes opened his City...

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When youth and pleasure meet Auberon Waugh FOR SEVERAL years now I have been railing against the wine and restaurant trades for selling their wine too young. On 9 August 1998...


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c/o El Vino Co. Ltd. 1 Hare Place, Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1BJ Tel: (0171)353 5384 Fax: (0171) 936 2367 Price No. Value White I. Bordeaux Sauvignon 1997 12 bots £53.04...

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Craftsmen Raymond Keene THE ROYAL ACADEMY in Piccadilly started its career as the London residence of Lord Burlington, aesthete, Maecenas, collector, architect, connoisseur,...


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COMPETITION Medical memories Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2052 you were invited to write a poem in praise of some old-fashioned remedy or patent medicine. Ouch, how you made...

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Solution to 1378: Bear up

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onanarman dolman a V 0 13171111:111 II 0 CI El 111 al a E Fr 0 N on Huai. ainlarmaa El. mu E 0 fa C ©u P E lln t lijeja . nem r E _R _N C11111Eeiil A kiN E nrimincons a T...

No. 2055: Patagonia rules, OK?

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Recently a Frenchman, the self-styled King of Patagonia, at the head of an army of four men, invaded an uninhabited Channel Island and planted the Patagonian flag there. You are...


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A first prize of £30 and bottle of Graham's Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 12 October, with two runners- up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, the...

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Binge and bust Simon Barnes TONY Adams has challengingly called his new book Addicted: observe the double entendre. For Adams, the England and Arsenal centre-half, is not only...


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Dear Mary. . A. Q. I live with my parents and younger sister in a large house near the local sixth-form college. For many years, we have had lodgers boarding with us. In the...