27 JUNE 1998

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`10K I'll go to bed with you. But you'll have to help me with my homework first.' E lectors in Northern Ireland voted for a 108-member assembly by a complicated kind of...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 PITCH BATTLES nee again, France has been chosen as the principal battlefield for...

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The truth about the 'ring of fairies' around Mr Hague

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BRUCE ANDERSON W illiam Hague may well be the fittest man in the Commons, but fitness does not guarantee a permanent state of rude am- mal health. When Mr Hague was a junior...

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BARRY HUMPHRIES D uring my season at the Theatre Royal Haymarket I had a pretty hefty post: adulatory letters, importunate postcards, pathetically grateful notes and the occa-...

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Raymond Keene says the way to live longer is to rely on exercising your brain — not your body IT'S OFFICIAL. There is no space for the brain in modern Britain. That is, if we...

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David Hill, ex-Labour spin doctor, on _ how he would advise William Hague — one year on THE STARK truth is that, one year after being elected Tory leader, William Hague is not...

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Irwin Stelzer sees Chancellor leading Prime Minister forwards to the euro, backwards to Old Labour TONY BLAIR is blessed among prime ministers. Most spend their retirements...

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Peter Hall deplores what New Labour, in egalitarianism's name, is doing to the arts THE ARTS are in crisis. For many organi- sations it will prove terminal. Great orches- tras...

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Mind your language

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HERE we go again: 'A Sea Change is the second Olympic Arts Festival being held in the lead up to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games,' says a colourful hand- out sent to me from...

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In Wimbledon's first week, Buster Mottram the former British No. 1, explains why sex and tennis are inseparable THE well publicised, tightly fitting dresses which Mary Pierce...

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Setting the record straight about George Orwell's list of Soviet stooges PAUL JOHNSON T he sensational treatment of 'revela- tions' about George Orwell's anti-commu- nism does...

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Anglo-Saxon attitudes

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WHO WOULD have thought that the laws of supply and demand would get through to Oxford University's Honour School of English Language and Literature? The dons now think of...

Sleeping partners

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COMING shortly to the City: the Thread- needle Street Hotel. The planners have blessed it and the Merchant Taylors are behind it. (Their hall will be next door.) It must face...

Howard, come home

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IT'S THOSE regulators, you see. They COs! more and more, and all in the name of investor protection. This is why ABN Am ° i Asset Management says it is putting u p ts charges on...

Make Tokyo cheap

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VENTURING into Fortnum & Mason, I find myself charged by a phalanx of Japanese shoppers. They are worthy of their martial ancestors, and the weakness of their currency does not...


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Slipping into a hole, the Chancellor senses that he may have to dig again CHRISTOPHER FILDES t happens to chancellors, sooner or later. Like the privy-builder in The...

Last exit from Lloyd's

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Al , 1ER THREE centuries the members of Lloyd's are an endangered species. Their numbers are down by three-quarters, only seven new ones joined last year, the aver- age age...

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Under inspection

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Sir: Oh dear, Neil Hamilton clearly did not listen to Sir Humphrey during his time at the DTI ('Why I was furious with Mr Hes- eltine', 20 June). Had he done so, he would know...

If the cap fits . . .

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Sir: I always enjoy James Delingpole's televi- sion column, despite my not having a televi- sion. Last week, however, he struck a jarring note with his reference to 'that...

LETTERS War chest needed

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Sir: Peter Oborne's article (`Marching against EMU', 20 June) was unduly pes- simistic and rather misses the point. Personally, I draw considerable comfort from the fact that...

Not so greedy

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Sir: It would be interesting if you could explain why making marketable an asset which one already owns can be termed `one of the most blatant acts of collective corpo- rate...

Austria, of course

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Sir: I thought I had settled the question of the whereabouts of Ruritania (Letters, 20 June) in an article in the Times of 31 July 1976. Of course not the Balkans. What are the...

Gin and Horlicks

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Sir: Regarding Claudia FitzHerbert's review of a recent 'Diana' book (Books, 20 June), the injustice of Julie Burchill's attacks on the royal family is more obvious than her...

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Sir: Olga Polizzi's Diary (20 June) is bril- liant. She

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is a born diarist (her new forte) as well as a born hotelier. Please persuade her to give us a weekly column, appropri- ately positioned between Taki, Leanda de Lisle and the...

Academic predators

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Sir: Paul Johnson's article on the piratical manner in which some newspapers appro- priate the intellectual property of their authors (And another thing, 13 June) is timely and...

Yobs, and proud of it

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Sir: I would like to join with Alan Clark's recent remarks defending the English we' cer fans in France. We are a nation of yobs- Without that characteristic how did we colonise...

Olga's forte

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Sir: Wasn't the Diary in your 20 June issue put in the wrong place? Surely it ought to have been at the back in the classifieds, under Cornwall in the holidays and travel...

Thanks for the TA

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Sir: I have always greatly admired Heath- coat-Amory MP for his courage in resign- ing from the last government and for his Eurosceptic views. However, I was horri- fied to read...

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Two Eagles and a lot of birdies Bevis Hillier LIVING WITH EAGLES: MARCUS MORRIS, PRIEST AND PUBLISHER by Sally Morris and Jan Hallwood Lutterworth, £25, pp. 311 W hen I was an...

books reviewed in The Spectator are available through THE SPECTATOR

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BOOKSHOP Tel: 0541 557 288 _

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Sense but less sensibility

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Mark Steyn MARILYN, HITLER AND ME by Milton Shulman Deutsch, £18.99, pp. 375 W ho would you say was the odd one out? Sure, Marilyn, the late Hollywood pin-up gal, and Adolf,...


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Marilyn, Hitler and Me . The Memoirs of Milton Shulman The memoirs of Milton Shulman, London's longest running, most controversial critic are thought provoking, challenging,...

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A dodgy, bewildering maze

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Nicholas Harman TRESPASS by D. J. Taylor Duckworth, £15.99, pp. 223 h e first sentence conveys a whiff of Proust (no marks for spotting that one). In the third sentence the...


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12 Months 6 Months (52 issues) (26 issues) UK ❑ £97.00 0 £49.00 Europe ❑ £109.00 CI £55.00 USA 0 US$161 0 US$82 Australia ❑ Aus$225 ❑ Aus$113 Rest of World 0 £119.00 0 £60.00...

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The Republic of Revenge

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John Colvin THE ACCURSED MOUNTAINS: JOURNEYS IN ALBANIA by Robert Carver John Murray, Z18.99, pp. 339 P addy Leigh Ferrnor, invited by the author to nominate a destination free...

Croesus in league with Jesus

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Antony Rouse TITAN: THE LIFE OF JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER, SR by Ron Chernow Little, Brown, £25, pp. 774 J ohn D. Rockefeller, at one time the richest man in the world, always felt...

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Clerihew Corner

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Pepys Was one of those conceited creeps Who record in esoteric notation Even the most banal fornication. James Michie

The feel-good factor

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Anita Brookner A PATCHWORK PLANET by Anne Tyler Chatto, £15.99, pp. 288 O ne of Anne Tyler's earlier novels was entitled Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, and it is...

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Mumsy chatter from Milton and Rose

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Christopher Fildes T his book tells us what Milton and Rose Friedman did on their holidays. They went to Bangkok, where the people seemed very pleasant and decent. In the...

A selection of recent paperbacks

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Non-fiction: Longitude by Dava Sobel, 4th Estate, £5.99 The Last Governor by Jonathan Dimbleby, Warner, £9.99 The Origins of English Nonsense by Noel Malcolm, Fontana, £7.99 As...

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The Heywood Hill literary prize

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Philip Glazebrook I daresay most writers remember very clearly what applause greeted the publica- tion of their books — the acclaim, the appreciative reviews in major journals...

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Casts of thousands John Spurling on the celebrations marking the centenary of Henry Moore's birth T he centenary of Henry Moore's birth falls on 30 July, but he died less than...

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Aldeburgh vitality Robin Holloway T he Aldeburgh Festival enters its sec- ond half-century with the characteristic vitality and diversity that has kept it secure in the top...

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Paula Rego (Dulwich Picture Gallery, till 26 July) Rego's novel approach Martin Gayford M any modern artists and critics have evinced a morbid horror of narrative art, or what...


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Doctor Ox's Experiment (Coliseum) Punishing evening Michael Tanner I wish I could dissent from the general, though not universal, chorus of dispraise that has greeted this...

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Remembering Benny Green

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Sheridan Morley on the jazzman, critic, biographer and broadcaster who died this week T hey tell me George Gershwin is dead, but I don't have to believe it if I don't want to':...

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Mimic (15, selected cinemas) Marriage a la mode Mark Steyn I n The Object of My Affection, Britain's Nicholas Hytner (director of Miss Saigon and The Madness of George III)...


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Romeo and Juliet (English National Ballet, Albert Hall) Lovers' spectacle thannandrea Poem() U nlike other works from the 19th- and 20th-century repertoire, Sergei...

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Out of step Michael Vestey C E verybody's waiting for Louise,' said Kirsty Young on her Talk Radio breakfast show last Thursday. 'This morning, we're all waiting to hear...

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Caribbean connections Edward Heathcoat Amory It Hague will be searching for his coconut this week. Last year, he drank from one to great effect, creating a media sensation at...

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The turf

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Ascot parade Robin Oakley e has a nice farm a fellow H reporter once told me, indicating a passing Tory peer in the Members' Lobby, `... it's called Wiltshire.' At Ascot on...

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High life

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Dropping out Taki Going into The Collection — Luke John- son's newest acquisition, and the hottest restaurant around — we were attacked by the paparazzi. `Jemima, Jemima,' they...

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Country life

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Princely passions Leanda de Lisle Blue cotton is supposed to be one of the potentially 'green' selling points of genetic modification. You see, it won't have to be chemically...


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Ups and downs Andrew Robson BRIDGE is a game of fluctuating emo- tions. West's ecstasy at defending 5♦ dou- bled after his partner had opened the bidding quickly turned into...

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Magnificent Chileans Auberon Waugh MOST of the 24 wines specially chosen for this offer and presented to the panel in one of the most serious tastings I can remember were...


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c/o Smedley Vintners Rectory Cottage, Lilley, Luton, Beds, LU2 8LU Tel: (01462) 768214 Fax: (01462) 768332 White Hautenac Sauvignon 1997, Cotes Price No. Value de...

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THERE are three good British saints this week: John Fisher

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and Thomas More last Monday — both murdered by Henry VIII as they refused to acknowledge him as the head of the Church — then dear St Ethel- dreda (also called St Audrey). She...

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Song of a road-hog Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2039 you were asked for a poem entitled 'Song of a Road- hog'. Once, as old Lord Gorbals motored Round his moors near John o'...


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Balance of power Raymond Keene THE BOOKS on chess strategy may need to be rewritten! There is a clear trend in top-level international competition for games to be played at...

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Solution to 1365:

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Go on, then! ' A i. MIPS a A ono, A 131 R a r I. OM RMIIN ii E I T Fla R Flinn I T MS mamma E NNERIDIL MUIR Nan rliA E S id ri II A El s UMW t EILI LIM BEI o Y...

No. 2042: Soccerspeak

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You are invited to provide a parody (maxi- mum 150 words) of either a World Cup television commentary or a 'pundits" post- mortem (imaginary match). Entries to `Competition No....

CROSSWORD 1368: Littered by Doc

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A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 13 July, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, the latest...

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Poor man's game Simon Barnes TO DO the job properly, you need 30 or 40 plastic bags, about ten yards of string, a fair amount of skill and not a little love. You have to pack...


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Dear Mary.. . Q. I have just come across the inquiry from O.K., London W2 (2 May) concerning the pronunciation of the names Darby and Enroughty. By strange coincidence, about a...