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Not waving but drowning. M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, tried to prod his Cabinet into forgoing a £16,000 pay rise next year; one Cabinet min- ister said that it was all...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 THREE BLIND BLUFFS F ew pundits look to Wales as a barome- ter of national...

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Why Mr Blair encourages the party hardly anyone likes (not Labour of course) SION SIMON T he Cabinet committee which earlier in the summer considered the merits of intro-...

Bruce Anderson is away.

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The Spectator

T he only thing the Conservatives got right', one of Downing Street's most power- ful young Blairites whispered to me as he watched a plummy-voiced, tanned, dou- ble-barrelled,...

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The name's the same, and so's the blame FRANK JOHNSON P erhaps an apology is in order for my burdening readers with another regular contribution written by someone called...

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Mark Honigsbaum reports that the relationship between the Princess of Wales and the 'red-top' newspapers was not as one-sided as some people, including Earl Spencer, would have...

Page 12


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Kim Levine observes Lord Archer observing the mayor of New York New York `THAT GUY Jeremy, he wrote a book, didn't he?' Bill, the limo-driver, was inquiring about his current...

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Peter Bauer denies the truth of the great cliché perpetrated both about the British — and by them The author is professor emeritus of eco- nomics, London School of Economics....

Page 18


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Andrew Neil suggests the example which Scots Tories should follow if they are going to revive MY FIRST major assignment as a journal- ist was to cover the Scottish Tory party...

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Page 20


The Spectator

Ian Willmore, ex-Labour councillor in Hackney and still a party member, says sending a 'hit squad' there will fail LAST WEEK, the Education Minister, Stephen Byers, announced...

Page 24


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. . . the Guardian deputy foreign editor and the Ghanaian politician, that is. IMAGINE the scene. The place is Ghana. It is August 1983. Amartey Kwei, convict- ed of the...

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Mind your language

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`I'VE got it!' I exclaimed at midnight, nudging my husband in the ribs. `Keep it till the morning,' he replied drowsily. By then he had forgotten about it. But I hadn't. My...

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The 21st-century problem: bringing back God the Policeman PAUL JOHNSON It is odd that an American, and a distin- guished historian too, should imagine that democracy and a...

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Not a model

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THESE meetings featured a shoot-out between Dr Mahathir and George Soros: insults for two and coffee for one. Dr Mahathir says that his tiger economy has been wounded by selfish...

Stout party revived

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THE HEROES of the meetings are John Foulds and Mike Blackburne of the Halifax Bank (late building society). Like the rest of us, they had been looking forward to the party...

What corruption costs

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ONE feature of the Asian model is that those in power can do very well out of it. That goes for the African model too, as the achievements of the late Mobutu Sese Seko can...

An old soldier writes

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IT IS high time that the IMF gave me a medal. It could use some of its gold, or give me one of its Special Drawings Rights, which it says are just as good as gold and easier to...


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Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to bow down in the house of Mammon CHRISTOPHER FILDES Hong Kong THE banker looked up at Hong Kong's ever-soaring skyline and gaped. 'You...

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Essential research

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Sir: Academic conferences, as every hack knows, are a fine source of black comedy. Leo McKinstry (`Sending out research par- ties', 20 September) could have found plen- ty of...

Sir: I have never been to Holy Trinity Brompton and

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so cannot comment on the accuracy of Cristina Odone's assault on its style and its black and white morality. I was, however, surprised to see Donald Reeves, Rector of St...

LETTERS A broad church

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Sir: We at Holy Trinity Brompton are sad- dened that The Spectator has seen fit to publish an article about us based upon so much half-truth and prejudice CA conta- gious case...

Hurtful allegations

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Sir: William Cash told me he could not remember meeting Dodi Fayed but had been told he once attended a party at which Dodi was present. With these shining cre- dentials, he...


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12 Months 6 Months UK ID £93.00 ❑ £47.00 Europe (airmail) U £104.00 0 £52.00 USA Airspeed LI US$151 U US$76 Rest of Airmail U £115.00 U £58.00 World Airspeed L:1 £107.00 Cl...

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Sir: Regarding Tony Blair's reaction to the death of Diana,

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Princess of Wales, I think a point that should be made is that his early morning statement to the radio was in mea- sured tones, but his mid-morning statement to television and...

Cuckoo time

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Sir: How many dissenters are there (`Diana: the other nation', 20 September)? Mr Heathcoat Amory may rest assured that we run into many millions and that the mourning phenomenon...

New diary, new danger

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Sir: Thank you for printing Derek Draper's Diary (20 September). It has confirmed my worst fears as to what New Labour is really like. R. C. Battams Rustam, Upperfield, West...

Respect for bulls

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Sir: In the course of writing a book on bull cults in antiquity (to be published later this year under the title The Power of the Bull) I have researched into the curious...

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The Spectator

Actually, the people these few weeks have been bad for are the republicans PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE I t was boredom that finally drove the French people to do away with their...

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The Spectator

In splendid isolation Jane Gardam THE BRONTES: A LIFE IN LEITERS by Juliet Barker Viking, 120, pp. 415 J uliet Barker has lived all her young life within a few miles of...

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Good conversation is essential

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Alain de Botton HISTORY OF MY LIFE: VOLUMES 1-12 by Giacomo Casanova, translated by Willard R. Trask Johns Hopkins University Press, f66 T he only thing everyone knows about...

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A dream made flesh

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Alice Thomas Ellis TWO FAT LADIES RIDE AGAIN by Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson Ebury Press, £17.99, pp. 192 Y ears ago on first meeting Jennifer Paterson when...

Farewell, my lovely

The Spectator

Anita Brookner NIGHT TRAIN by Martin Amis Cape, £10.99, pp. 149 T he psychotic confidence of Martin Amis's new novel is no less worrying because its subject is psychotic...

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The first time I saw Paris

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William Boyd AROUND AND ABOUT PARIS, VOLUMES I-III by Thirza Vallois Iliad Books, £12.95 each I first went to Paris in 1969, when I was 17, with my best friend, Charlie Bell....

Tread safely into the little-known

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Simon Jenkins LITTLE-KNOWN MUSEUMS IN AND AROUND LONDON by Rachel Kaplan Abrams, £13.95, pp. 215 T here is an upstairs room in an old museum in Hampstead from which I have...

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Confessions of a hooligan

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Philip Marsden THE POLISH HOUSE by Radek Sikorski Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 255 I first heard about him in 1989, in the Unita-held territory of southern Angola. At the time, Unita's...

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The Slade runner

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John Hoyland MATTHEW SMITH by Malcolm Yorke Faber, f25, pp. 204 I remember Clement Greenberg saying in the mid-Sixties that the worst painters in New York were better than the...

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Not Fanny Price, more Mary Crawford

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Nigel Nicolson I t is not difficult to explain the continu- ing popularity of Jane Austen's novels: they are love stories that improve with every reading. More puzzling is the...

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According to Norman

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Nicholas Harman THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE SON by Norman Mailer Abacus, £14, pp. 242 THE LAST PARTY by Adele Mailer Blake, £16.99, pp. 380 N orman Mailer was born to...


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A choice of over 100,000 books — including those reviewed in this issue Telephone: 0541 557288 Facsimile: 0541 557225 E-mail: telegraph@bms.ftech.co.uk We accept payment by...

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Casting a long shadow

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John Vincent THE STRANGE DEATH OF LIBERAL ENGLAND by George Dangerfield Serif, £14.99, pp. 364 D angerfield', as this book is often called, ignoring the author's six other...

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There but for the grace of God goes God

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Bruce Anderson STAFFORD CRIPPS: THE FIRST MODERN CHANCELLOR by Christopher Bryant Hodder, £25, pp. 534 S tafford Cripps was one of the ablest men of his generation. A...

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Swimming cheerfully against the tide

The Spectator

Jonathan Cecil A KENTISH LAD by Frank Muir Bantam, £16.99, pp. 386 I n a much publicised decision, made ear- lier this year, the controller of Radio 4 rejected Frank Muir's...

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The many failings of post-modernism

The Spectator

Samuel Brittan IN DEFENCE OF HISTORY by Richard J. Evans Granta, f15.99, pp. 307 H istorians should stop behaving as if they are researching into things that actual- ly...

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Here writes one whose name is writ in water

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L et me begin with a literary anecdote, `a true saying and worthy of all men to be received', concerning the poet Tennyson. When, at some time during the 1880s, His Laureate...

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The Spectator

1998 Diary and Wallet The Spectator 1998 Diary, bound in soft dark navy blue leather, is now available and at the same prices as last year. Laid out with a whole week to view,...

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The Spectator

The poet and the playwright A.E. Housman appears an unlikely subject for a Stoppard play. Harry Eyres investigates A E. Housman, always an unlikely dra- matic hero, has...

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Changing places

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Why did the general director of English National Opera resign? Rupert Christiansen reports 1 111 through the spring and summer, as the Royal Opera House wilted under the...

The Invention of Love is previewing at the Cottesloe Theatre;

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it opens on 1 October.

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The Spectator

Sensation (Royal Academy, till 28 December) Is the game up? Martin Gayford I t seems to be a feature of life these days that at regular intervals one is deluged by a tidal...

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The Spectator

Contact (PG, selected cinemas) The Full Monty (18, selected cinemas) Profoundful moments Mark Steyn C ontact is Robert Zemeckis's first film since Forrest Gump, and frankly...

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The Spectator

Choral uplift Robin Holloway T he second half of the Prom season was dominated by Requiems: the Brahms and the Verdi were already scheduled, and Faures replaced the first half...

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Theatre 1

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An Enemy of the People (Olivier) Othello (Cottesloe) Epic opening Sheridan Morley T revor Nunn, who this week becomes the fourth director of Britain's National Theatre, has...

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Theatre 2

The Spectator

Henry V (Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford) Cyrano de Bergerac (Swan, Stratford) A brace of supermen James Treadwell T he RSC's autumn season at Stratford opens with two...

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The Flying Dutchman (English National Opera) Making waves Michael Tanner T he ENO was determined to give its audience, for the opening new production of the season, a taste...

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The Spectator

Defining terms Ursula Buchan F rom time to time a phrase or buzz- word captures the imagination and atten- tion of a restless (I beg your pardon, receptive) gardening public....

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The Spectator

What a joke Michael Vestey W hen I glance with masochistic plea- sure at Willy Rushton's cartoon of the BBC director-general John Birt I see a mask: the familiar vacuous smile...


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Gripping gossip Simon Hoggart Y ears ago That Was The Week, or one of its successors, satirised television's obsession with matching a visual image to every spoken word. A...

Page 62

The turf

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A matter of survival Robin Oakley I t's not every trainer who has a supple- mentary career making him available for lunches, dinners and, I would guess, any bar mitzvahs with...


The Spectator

King of the off road Alan Judd E veryone notices a Range Rover. Vil- lains escape in red saloons or blue hatch- backs but witnesses are never vague about Range Rovers; if it...

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High life

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Culture of meanness Taki I t seems almost obscene to be back in London, a grimy, big city and, in the words of the great Paul Johnson, 'perverted, bru- tal, degenerate,...

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Country life

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Parents and pop stars Leanda de Lisle M y parents' house is about to feature on MTV. Spice Girl types sing about the place where they grew up, which is now sadly run down. The...


The Spectator

Subtle point Andrew Robson EAST put up one of the most brilliant defences I have ever seen on this week's hand. He was fortunate to be playing against a good enough declarer...

Page 65

MY colleague Christopher Fildes will be pleased to know that

The Spectator

his Gastrodome Fac- tor (City and suburban, 13 September) is alive, well and positively flourishing in Brompton Cross. There, Mr Ahmadi, pro- prietor of the bustling brasserie...

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The Spectator

SIMPSON'S IN-THE-STRAND CHESS 1 ,1,. 0 n SIMPSON'S IN-THE-STRAND Bottom line Raymond Keene YOU MAY think that Jeffrey Bernard would have had little to do with The...


The Spectator

13 511111 MALT 5 ,ITCH 4HISk1 COMPETITION J SI%GLE MALI SCOTCH MAISKI URA Animal crackers Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2001 you were invited to fill the bill as the...

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CROSSWORD 1330: Rumour has it . . . by Columba

The Spectator

A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1991 Port for the first correct solution opened on 13 October, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK...

No. 2004: A game with the great

The Spectator

Ford Madox Ford played golf, the aged Tolstoy took up tennis. You are invited to give an imaginary account of a sporting contest played against a famous person, regardless of...

Solution to 1327: Leading lights ciii

The Spectator

Emir° .0 EN ammo a E 1312.3 I L E IDEI A CM I la A it U© °I. CIIII r El fa iii N I. a R A au E D CI ADNA n L Houk anlin R con ici 0 kil 0 R I DE E'1 13241 i T I...

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Fashion and passion Simon Barnes BARNES'S first principle of golf is that no game in which people wear pink polyester trousers is worthy of a serious person's con- sideration....


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Q• We have recently moved to a new vil- lage where my father is referred to as `Chris' by most residents. I find this abbreviation extremely irritating as he is not the 'Chris'...