28 FEBRUARY 1998

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`Well, at least we now won't have those townees coming down here and ruining our countryside with their ugly houses.' S inn Fein, the political face of the Irish Republican...

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SPECT THE AT OR The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL

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Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 THE PRICE OF DIGNITY M r Kofi Annan has brought back a form of words from Baghdad. Casual read- ers and viewers of the Western...

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No need to rush. It's only 87 years since the government announced its policy BRUCE ANDERSON T he British constitution is now unsta- ble. Not since 1689 has so much fundamen-...

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CHARLES MOORE L ord Whitelaw now lives in retirement. Here is the story of his last contribution to public life. It occurred when John Major took the odd decision to stand...

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Now I understand why Enoch so much wanted to explain himself to me MATTHEW PARRIS E noch Powell spoke immediately before me in the Debate on the Northern Ireland (Homosexual...

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THE Duc de la Rochefoucauld, touring England in the 1780s, remarked upon the peculiar affection of the English aristocracy for blood sports: 'They are all quite mad about them....

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Second opinion

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WORLDLY fame is all too fleeting. A name which is a household word to one generation may produce merely the wrinkled brow of puzzlement in the next. Literary celebrity is...

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John Humphrys on how he became a farmer — only to worry about what other farmers were up to I WAS brought up believing that soil was a greyish, dusty colour with lots of...

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Mind your language

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IT IS all a matter of register. Mr Gerry Adams burst out the other day with: 'I am absolutely pissed off with trying to make this thing work, and those who have no interest in...

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Dean Godson on how the Ba'ath party enjoys hunting (not just its enemies) CAN `Bambi' and the 'Butcher of Bagh- dad' find common ground? Yes, is the answer to the diplomatic...

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Alec Russell talks to the new Afrikaner poor Johannesburg THE TALE of Benjamin Kok is the classic riches-to-rags story of the 'new' South Africa. For over a decade he had his...


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Michael Heath

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Trevor McDonald on what it's like to interview Iraq's dictator (eventually) TO BE given one of the rare opportunities to interview President Saddam Hussein is to be allowed a...

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The King, the Cardinal, the bogeyman and the paper tigers PAUL JOHNSON T he exploits of Lord Chancellor Irvine, and the relationship between him and his young master, Tony...

Classifieds — pages 52, 53 and 54

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Gordon Brown crashes the Treasury's gears it's time to consult the owners' manual CHRISTOPHER FILDES he men in grey suits now filtering through the revolving doors at 1...

Cats' cradle

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HERE is a formidable political figure who had been shadowing the Treasury for five years, did his homework most thoroughly, and brought his small team of homework- ers to the...

Mandarin mismatch

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WHERE this leaves Sir Terence Burns, the Permanent Secretary, is a matter of conjec- ture in the Reform Club and out. In We Are The Treasury, its candid-camera television...

Budd, Gus, Balls

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HE has not always made it easy for himself. He inherited a chief economic adviser (and Second Permanent Secretary) who was known as the Treasury's conscience. This was Sir Alan...

Knocked off the cycle

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BY THEN, too, the next crisis will have come to knock Chancellor and Treasury, homeworkers and all, off their perches. That is not so much a forecast as a matter of actuarial...

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Not an easel man

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Sir: Would you ask Mr Heath, your cartoon editor, to inform Mr John Glashan that M. Pierre Bonnard did not use an easel, but pinned his canvases to the wall. Duncan Oppenheim...

It's tough down under

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Sir: Ralph Berry (Letters, 14 February) must take a reality check (or a brain trans- plant). Whilst I do understand that his 'harsh environment' is one in which tickets to the...

Covered with glory

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Sir: No doubt you have already had a mass of correspondence on the subject, but may I say that I think that Jonathan Wateridge's recent Spectator cover pictures are abso- lutely...


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

An honest prince

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Sir: Why does Anne Critchley (Letters, 21 February) tax Prince Charles with deceit, when he has openly and courageously admitted to a fault shared by a large pro- portion of the...

Sad life

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Sir: Nobody can replace Jeffrey Bernard. In Toby Young (`St Valentine's Day Mas- sacre', 14 February), however, you have a writer whose style, mood and subject mat- ter (though...

LETTERS Filled with mistakes

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Sir: In attempting to discredit Virgin and myself Os Branson falling?', 21 February) Edward Heathcoat Amory uses an array of facts that are just not true. One telephone call to...

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A Chinese storm is about to break over Mr Murdoch STEPHEN GLOVER This story was a tip-off from a freelance. By any standards it was a sensation. On the day it appeared an item...

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Don't sit on the same chair as Aubrey Philip Hensher AUBREY BEARDSLEY by Matthew Sturgis HarperCollins, £19.99, pp. 404 AUBREY BEARDSLEY by Stephen Calloway Victoria & Albert...

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The dark is light enough

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Sargy Mann PLANET OF THE BLIND by Stephen Kuusisto Faber, £9.99, pp. 194 S tephen Kuusisto, the author of this unusual autobiography, was born three months premature and his...

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Redistributing the laurels

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Allan Mallinson THE WATERLOO CAMPAIGN: WELLINGTON, HIS GERMAN ALLIES AND THE BATTLES OF LIGNY AND QUATRE BRAS by Peter Hofschriier Greenhill, £25, pp. 398 hen Lord Acton...


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Placebos and panaceas

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Alfred Sherman INSIDE THATCHER'S MONETARIST REVOLUTION by Gordon Pepper Macmillan' lEA, £15.99, pp. 248 T his book has been written ... to correct the popular impression that...

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How best to disturb silence

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Lucy Hughes-Hallett THE BEAST IN THE NURSERY by Adam Phillips Faber, £14.99, pp. 133 A dam Phillips begins his essay 'A Stab at Hinting' with three lengthy quotations: one of...

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Singer of victories

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If, however, I were to take my sixth- former literally, there is one poet to whom I should always want to turn for some sort of solution to the enigma. This man's life, though...

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Redressing the balance of the old

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Alain de Botton THE DICTIONARY OF GLOBAL CULTURE by Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates Jr Penguin, US, pp. 712 I ve been trying to work out why this book is annoying....

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Making dudes crawl

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Peter J. M. Wayne ARMED ROBBERIES IN ACTION by Richard T. Wright and Scott H. Decker Northeastern University Press, L35.95, £14, pp. 154 I t comes as something of a joy to read...

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C'est magnifique, c'est Guerre Sheridan Morley on why he believes the days of the epic musical are over — for now T oday, Saturday, fully 16 months since he first opened it at...

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Stepping out Giannandrea Poesio on the challenging features of the Royal Ballet's Dance Bites S ome inveterate balletomanes might look at the Royal Ballet's Dance Bites as a...

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Exhibitions 1

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Portraits: Tete a Tete (National Portrait Gallery, till 7 June) Europeans (Hayward Gallery, till 5 April) Master of the moment Martin Gayford G enerally speaking, photography...

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Homage to Elgar Robin Holloway T he event of the decade in English music is the rescue of Elgar's 3rd sympho- ny. It has been handsomely handled: the BBC, who originally...

Exhibitions 2

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Michelangelo and His Influence (Queen's Gallery, till 19 April) Burnt into the memory Bruce Boucher T he riches of the Royal Collection have proved inexhaustible as source...

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Naked (Almeida) Much Ado About Nothing (Barbican) Henry VIII (Young Vic) Nanny trouble Sheridan Morley A t a time when fringe theatres all over London are fighting for their...

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Amistad (15, selected cinemas) What a dinosaur Mark Steyn A mistad, says Steven Spielberg, is 'an extraordinarily important film' — and, as he's the director of it,...

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Recording brilliance James Delingpole W hen Gilbert Adair declared that The Simpson (BBC 2, Monday) was the finest work of art currently being produced in any medium, he ended...


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More jokes, please Michael Vestey W hen Gore Vidal appeared on Radio Four's Start the Week last year to discuss the thesis of a lecture he was giving that evening, I thought...

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Not motoring

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Guides ancient and modern Gavin Stamp The need for such a guide was recog- nised at the beginning of the Railway Age. The earliest I have dates from 1846 and charts the...

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The turf

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Thuggish but sensitive Robin Oakley T he heavy morning mist was hanging wetly over the fields. Chaffinches darted in and out of the trees and a green woodpeck- er was yaffling...


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Brooding on victory Richard Ryder M iddle England's hard core and crushed concrete tendency rejoiced after the Welsh rout at Twickenham. Inside the stadium, spectators gulped...

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High life

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The shipping news Taki ast Sunday evening I took a much- needed break from the unending round of dinner parties — this is Gstaad in February, and the place resembles the...

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Country life

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Please don't let it rain Leanda de Lisle I t's another beautiful day. Most odd. It's always been my ambition to spend Febru- ary abroad, but this month the sun has shone and...


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Cool Andrew Robson BIDDING a slam missing two cashing aces is always embarrassing. Here North's youthful 6V bid was responsible. He fell in love with his void in the...

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One white among the reds Auberon Waugh A n unusual offer with only one white wine, and also the first Sancerre( 1 ) I have offered in years and years. Every cellar should have...


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c/o Longford Wines Great North Barn, Hamsey, Lewes, Sussex BN8 5TB Tel: (01273) 480761 Fax: (01273) 480861 Price No. Value White I. Sancerre Le Chatillet, 1996 Joseph...

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GONE are the days when eating Italian- style took place

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under fish-nets and straw- covered Chianti flasks in a trattoria staffed by swarthy waiters wielding macho pepper- grinders. Italian restaurants have become as style-conscious...

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All's fair Raymond Keene AFTER much prodding from the interna- tional chess press, a movement in which I hope this column has also played a part, an initiative is now in...


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Trivial travel Jaspistos IN COMPE 11 1TON NO. 2022 you were invited to write a travel piece which leaves the reader little wiser about the place visited. Thirty years ago I...

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Solution to 1348: Parkland

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nano . go O.. wangle TrIE I L CI w s 1 0 N EnicheLmic ',Boring 1 . ner 0 ©'G me s 0 dErl II o !MEd % elaleinEl El EINIIII.112 Q©e ouri% c c An aki se II °Las Mlle v span ....

No. 2025: Smooth cueing

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You are invited to incorporate the follow- ing words or phrases, in any order, into an entertaining piece of prose: queer, qui vive, Qatar, queasily, quod, quotient,...


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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 16 March, with two runners- up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, the...

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In love with horses Simon Barnes I SUPPOSE it's an absurd story, really, if you put it to any exacting intellectual scruti- ny, which makes it rather absurd of .me to be...


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Dear Mary.. . Q. I am in a similar position to your corre- spondent R.T. (14 February), since I was awarded a CB which is, of course, quite hard to distinguish in conversation...