27 JUNE 1992

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`And now the latest news on the HIV lover . . M r Lamont, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, finally acknowledged that full recovery from the recession could take up to three...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 SANCTION OF WAR T he Foreign Secretary says that Yugoslavia will be...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY- RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 12 £74.00 CI £37.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £85.00 0 £42.50 USA Airspeed 0 US $120 0 US $60.00 Rest of .........Airmail 0...

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Wielding the axe in Whitehall; or, an old way to pay new debts SIMON HEFFER We are at that time of year when one not so much paddles as wades through the deluge of leaks from...

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T he interminable 'revelations' about the royal family which have filled the press in recent weeks hold a lesson so obvious that many people seem to have missed it. The moral is...

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Is there anything to be gained by wondering why? AUBERON WAUGH S hortly after something purporting to be the corpse of Robert Maxwell was fished out of the Atlantic Ocean,...

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Radek Sikorski spent 100 days attempting to weed out communist plotters from the Polish armed forces. This is his account Dw6r Chobielin, Poland IT WAS A FRIDAY afternoon. I...

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Alec Russell attends the burial of three young Bosnians, the latest victims of the battle for Sarajevo Sarajevo THE BLACK Mamba Club were burying their dead this week — an...


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Michael Heath

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If symptoms

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persist. . . I ARRIVED on the ward one day last week to discover the first bed occupied by a young girl with a ring through her nose (the second was occupied by an old lady who...

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A profile of Sir Michael Richardson, a man whose contacts finally let him down SO FAR Sir Michael Richardson has lived a most fruitful life. A Harrovian who had a good war in...

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Martyn Harris examines the myth of one man's omniscience, the basis of a publishing phenomenon IN A WEEK'S time from now Stephen Hawking's book, A Brief History of Time, will...


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A reader received this letter from Anglian Home Extensions of Rochester in Kent: Dear Mr Farbrother, Thank you for your letter of 24th September stating the experiences you have...

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Janine di Giovanni talks to the custodians of a great British institution which is set for extinction MR RAY CHARTER, keeper of the 13 big cats at the London Zoo, stared...

One hundred years ago

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RAVACHOL THE ANARCHIST, for whose murders as Anarchist the terri- fied Parisian jury found 'extenuating cir- cumstances,' was on Wednesday found guilty of a private murder at...

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Learning to be an old entertainer PAUL JOHNSON I t has just occurred to me that, for the first time, the holders of all the four great offices of state, Prime Minister, Home...

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Men and power...

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HE WOULD not find it difficult to find something more businesslike than the cum- brous council, 28 strong — it must remind him of old-style bank boards, which needed...


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THE EVENTIDE home for jokes which serves the Financial Times for a diary col- umn found room, this week, for a true vet- eran. This is the one about the job applica- tion —...

Keystone cops

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GEORGE STAPLE has something to learn. From the ordered calm of Clifford Chance, the lawyers, he has been plucked to preside over the Serious Fraud Office and has at once been...

...cash and charity

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BEFORE Lloyd's can plan its future, though, it needs to make sure that it will have one. It has a civil war on its hands. Until the other day the council was seen to be flying a...


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A signal in Morse that Lloyd's of London must change from the top CHRISTOPHER FILD ES L loyd's of London must be the only business in the world to stop production for the day...

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Pudding snub

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Sir: Petronella Wyatt wrote about summer pudding (Summer food and drink, 6 June). To economise on my fellow-contributor's blushes, may I say only that her principal sources...

Daft bucker

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Sir: Nigel Spivey ('Meditations on an F- theme', 20 June) belongs to a grand old Spectator tradition. I remember in 1949 or 1950 Wilson Har- ris using the Diary to deplore the...

Stick from Carrot

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Sir: I had feared my account of George Walden's mental acrobatics on Maastricht (`The turning of the Tories', 13 June) might draw a drop of blood; little did I expect to draw...


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Hard times Sir: Mr David Coleridge is lucky to have a son so prepared to leap to his defence (Tay up, pay up and play the game', 30 May). But in defending his father Nicholas...

Novel argument

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Sir: Further to Martyn Harris's attack on me (Letters, 13 June), I discover I owe him an apology. When I claimed he had said he found stretching his idea a big problem while...

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I t occasions me some embarrassment to review the new biography of Tony Benn MP, which describes me as (in 1963) his `personal friend'. Benn and I are frequently linked togeth-...

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One particular beauteous star

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Patrick Skene Catling MARLENE DIETRICH by Donald Spoto Bantam,f 16.99, pp. 306 I t is too much to hope that this 'un- authorised but surely definitive' biography may be the...

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Less deadly than P. Mayle

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Alexander Chancellor H igh summer is upon us, and the flights from London to Pisa are fully booked. It may not have been John Mortimer who invented the concept of...

Tracing grandmother's footsteps

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Anita Brookner I LOCK MY DOOR UPON MYSELF by Joyce Carol Oates Blackstaff Press, £6.95, pp. 98 J oyce Carol Oates is a writer much appreciated in her native America — John...

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Old-fashioned war in Burma

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J.L. Carr QUARTERED SAFE OUT HERE by George Macdonald Fraser Harvill, fI6, pp.225 B y and large, this is an account of what happened during 1945 to a 20-year-old foot-soldier...

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Country and western from Seventh Avenue

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D.J. Taylor THE KINKY FRIEDMAN CRIME CLUB by Kinky Friedman Faber, f14.99, pp. 468 T he puff by Joseph Heller and the jack- et photo of an immensely cool dude in a fedora...

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Hounds of hell, or perhaps not

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Caroline Moore BLACK DOGS by Ian McEwan Cape, £13.99, pp. 174 I an McEwan has a passionately meticu- lous imagination, whose high-pressure power forces his (and our) minds to...

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We parted; but, half-hoping She might perhaps relent, She might perhaps have spoken words She had not really meant, Over my shoulder, now and then, I looked back as I went....


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Of that long stairway leading to my heart's Most sweet, most secret door, He whom I longed to see ascend the steps Scarce managed three or four.

What's in a name?

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Mark Archer FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS: THE LESSON OF LLOYD'S OF LONDON by Jonathan Mantle Sinclair-Stevenson, £18, pp. 358 I n a week in which Lloyd's is expected to report...

How close a comrade to myself I feel, How never

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more near, Lone in the wetness of this raining morning Standing here Watching the small path through the graveyard taper,


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What agony, our dream-encounters. Can you not understand How pitiably a man is torn, How utterly unmanned, To wake with hands stretched out for one Beyond all reach of hand?...

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0 ne of the more unusual exhibitions of the year began last week at Deborah Gage (38 Old Bond Street, W1). I doubt I have attended such a cheerful opening, crowded with...

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Six Degrees of Separation (Royal Court) As You Like It (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park) The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Cottesloe) The right connections Sheridan Morley...

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`See me I'm scum' Anne Smith on why Glasgow loves to hate Rab C Nesbitt e takes hammers to the walls, the bairn.' A woman patted her son's head with affectionate sympathy as...


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The Player ('15', selected cinemas) The real tinsel Mark Amory uiet on the set,' says a voice, a clapperboard cracks and the first shot is away, pulling back from a telephone...

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oi - cl'*IuLTUcrt

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tte.IRTS DIARY A monthly selection of forthcoming events recommended by The Spectator's regular critics OPERA Caritas, Queen Elizabeth Hall (071 928 3(102), I, 2 July. Robert...

Vanessa Letts is.away until August.

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Hung up on the past Martin Gayford I t is often observed that they don't write songs any more the way they used to, and I fear the observation is largely true. The classic...

Exhibitions 2

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A History of Maritime Ipswich (Isaac Lord Warehouse, Ipswich, till 27 September) The bales of St Clement's John Henshall T he parish of St Clement's, Ipswich, Suffolk, must...

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Local colour Martyn Harris I n Town Hall on Tuesday (BBC 2, 9.50 p.m.), Lewisham Council found itself with one of those surprises which have been a feature of London's Labour...

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High life

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A thumping bore Taki I had a funny feeling during the first two days at Wimbledon that the party was over. Maybe it was the sparse crowd, or the fact that I walked around in...

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Low life

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Back to the office Jeffrey Bernard F or the last three days of my stay in Majorca I moved into my ex-wife's house and stayed with her. The man who would eat sardines on toast...

Long life

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A better class of soap Nigel Nicolson I have developed the habit of talking to total strangers in shops and buses. One day this may lead to my arrest, but so far it seems to...

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1. 4iluzil

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Eating in Los Angeles THE JOKES about Californian cuisine are numerous and well rehearsed. It's generally conceived as little more than an absurdity, nouvelle cuisine on acid....

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T he chess Olympics in Manila turned out to be an effortless parade for the Russian team, doubtless inspired by the superb performance on top board of Kas- parov. With a round...

‘ ,.30 L o y

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l'I'HE HIGHLAND MALT ) +I MI 1,41i.k, COMPETITION HIRE HIGHLAND MALT If YIIINNY \\ v , R L 00 4 ) Shooting g allery Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1733 you were in- vited to...

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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...

Solution to 1062: All shook up

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Each clue was an anagram of the solution plus an anagram indicator. Winners: K. B. James, Taunton (£20); C. A. Hely-Hutchinson, Lud- low; Timothy Stewart, Huntingdon. T A NI'...

No. 1736: Extra pilgrim

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You are invited to suppose that the Wife of Bath's fifth husband was alive, not dead, and described by Chaucer in the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales. You are free to write in...

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SOME FOLK will go to any lengths to pro- mote their new book. But in all publishing history no ruthless and inventive profes- sional publicist could have dreamed up the...