29 JANUARY 1994

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Political cartoon M r John Major, the Prime Minister, told the Commons: 'Events have forced us to raise taxes. I regret that.' Public pay- review bodies proposed wage increases...

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E OR The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 CORRECTING OUR ERRORS C We're here because we're here because...

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A taxing interlude for the man who would be king SIMON HEFFER T he ease with which Mr Kenneth Clarke cruised from the Department of Education to the Home Secretaryship, and...

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DEBORAH DEVONSHIRE S pring and autumn are the seasons of annual general meetings. The older I get the harder I find it is to sit through them. The words which go with committees...

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A promise that might turn Fleet Street's head CHARLES MOORE T he Tory press has now said almost everything that can be said against the Tory government, except one. It still...

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Ferdinand Mount argues that the Pope's big guns dominate the British media, and fires back an Anglican fusillade IS IT POSSIBLE that, after all, we shall come to think that...

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Damian Thompson confirms that relations between the Churches of England and Rome are much less friendly than we have been told Such journeys quite commonly lead individu- als...

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Mind your language

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`Every government needs a Willie,' Mrs Thatcher is alleged to have said. 'Now, it seems, we have a government which has Bobbitted itself,' writes Noel Mal- colm in the Daily...

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Stephen Robinson argues that Mr Warren Christopher is a very bad secretary of state, who should, and will, soon be replaced Washington EACH PASSING week we are faintly amused,...

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John Simpson is confused by the sudden approachability of the formerly ferocious Hezbollah Beirut SUDDENLY, it all seemed so easy. For years I had tried to think of ways to...

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If symptoms

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persist.. . WHEN I told a lady in the ward that I knew she drank heavily just by looking at her from the end of the bed, she was stunned. 'Is it as obvious as all that?' she...

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Celia Brayfield says that Michael Jackson is above all a victim of mass envy, marshalled by the press MICHAEL JACKSON jokes are back. A sample: What is the difference between...

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Gillie Gardner expounds the casual artistry of life without husbands BACHELOR LIVING is indeed an art worth mastering. Martin Vander Weyer was right to sing its praises in...

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Alasdair Palmer argues that a new film based on the Guildford Four succeeds only as fiction WHEN I worked for Granada TV on drama documentaries such as Hostages, I had plenty of...

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One hundred years ago

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Lord Lansdowne made his final speech in Calcutta on Tuesday, 23rd inst., in which he defended rather seriously his whole administration. He did not believe that the policy of...

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Well, strike me Pinker, if it isn't another quango PAUL JOHNSON J ohn Major, so I am told, has sworn a mighty oath, like Lars Porsena of Clusium, that he will not be 'hounded...

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The Iggles test

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I DRAW Michael Heseltine's attention to the Lord Mayor of London and his cat. A true heir of Dick Whittington, Lord Mayor Paul Newall considered that when he moved into the...

. . . in the dark

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THE CONFUSION may be deep-seated. NZ/hen railways first came to Kent, the citi- zens of Canterbury insisted that their line to Whitstable must have a tunnel. No self- respecting...

Off the rails and.. .

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THE PEOPLE of Kent appear to be fright- ened of trains. Perhaps they have not noticed any, lately. I can see how it hap- pens. Crossing their county the other evening, I found...

All things invisible

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NEXT WEEK the Lord Mayor (and, I hope, Iggles) will fling open the doors of the Mansion House to the bizarrely-named British ,Invisibles. It is 25 years since the Bank of...


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The Year of the Dog, or just a hair of the dog that bit us? CHRISTOPHER FILDES E very dog has its year, and last year it was the turn of that pedigree dog, the British...

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Sir: There is nothin g new about ri g ht-wing parties in power

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havin g difficulties with `Back to Basics'. An epidemic of divorces amon g party leaders was the subject of discussions between Hitler and Goebbels in February 1937. Adolf 'Back...

Too kind

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Sir: Giles Auty is En g land's best art critic. His only weakness is an undue leniency towards modern art. P.R. Bonnett 16 Short Close, Downham Market, Norfolk

Let us be

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Sir: You are swampin g us with articles den- i g ratin g the Prime Minister. They make amusin g readin g , but there is one basic assumption at which I balk. You seem to take it...

A gay egg

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Sir: I stron g ly suspect that some of my so- called 'farm fresh' e gg s are homosexual. This is because I have just read an article which says that nearly 10 per cent of all...

LETTERS Basic nonsense

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Sir: A fundamental tenet of `Back to Basics' seems to be that today's babe in a sin g le mother's arms is tomorrow's mu gg er, push- er, rapist or serial killer. We do not all...


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Sir: Simon Heifer, an Essex man, may never have travelled on a no. 12 westwards to Shepherd's Bush, and thus not witnessed the bus-conductin g of Tony Severin MBE, whose g entle...

The Sussex Ripper

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Sir: Arnold Butler (Letters, 22 January) reports that in Lowestoft Library Guardian readers are in the habit of cuttin g out items from it. Such crime has no boundaries. In the...

Plain and able

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Sir: Paul Johnson may well be correct about the failin g s of John Major, but it is both impolite and unfair to make jud g ments on our Prime Minister's brother (And another...

Back to school

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Sir: Sir Harrison Birtwhistle was a recent contributor to Desert Island Discs (Radio 4, 21 January) and, while his choice of music was thought-provokin g , his choice of book...

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Greek gift

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Sir: Taki's description of himself as 'a loyal future husband of the Princess of Wales' (High life, 11 December) may not be as preposterous as it sounds. His fellow coun- tryman...

Sir: I was commissioned in 1989 by Hutchinson to write

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a biography of Primo Levi, and I have now returned from over a year in Italy conducting initial research. Although there is no authorised biography of Primo Levi, I do have...

Orange campaign

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Sir: Charles Moore's claim that 13 US pres- idents are of Ulster Protestant descent (Another voice, 27 November) is a nice bit of Unionist propaganda — or would be, if there...


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Sir: One is awe-struck to think of the size of the bunch of winter-sweet that can scent Andrew Devonshire's 'whole house', (Diary, 22 January). Jane Moth Field View, 27 New...

Cut to size

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Sirl was sorry to see Charle's Moore (Another voice, 15 January) repeat the old canard, as though from the mouth of John Aspinall, that the Zulus 'defeated the entire British...

Chinese whispers

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Sir: The 'Chinese' paintings that were on show at the Marlborough Gallery are a complete chimera as Chinese art (And another thing, 4 December). A few of them may rank as a...

Papers, please

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Sir: On behalf of the estate, I am putting together the collected writings of Angela Sir: On behalf of the estate, I am putting together the collected writings of Angela Carter....


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12 Months 6 Months UK ❑ £77.00 ❑ £39.00 Europe (airmail) ❑ £88.00 ❑ £44.00 USA Airspeed ❑ US$125.00 ❑ US$63.00 USA Airmail ❑ US$175.00 ❑ US$88.00 Rest of Airmail ❑ £111.00 ❑...

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Kilimanjaro I hate climbing Daisy Waugh A tour guide tiptoes into the dormitory to wake them, although, of course, they haven't been asleep. The final climb — the last 3,000...

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Seduced in a trice Tahitha Troughton M ike was there, he said, to learn humility. Andrew was looking for enlight- enment. Jenny had come to help the poor, although she...

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Madeira Tomb with a view Anne Applebaum find the tomb of a 15th-century Polish knight. A graveyard filled with Victorians hardly seemed like the place to start. We thanked...

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National smell of urine Christopher Howse S in is always different abroad. In Mexico there are still seven deadly ones, but the temptations are foreign to an English tem-...

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'Frans-Siberian Railway

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Cabbage soup and champagne Isabelle Brotherton-Ratcliffe F or those concerned about the rate of world tree-felling, a trip on the Trans- Siberian railway is reassuring: the...

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On the right track Simon Courtauld I n the railway carriage a sign showing a cigarette with a line through it and the words No Fumar was prominently dis- played. Unconcerned,...

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A drop of the soft stuff Simon Heffer I t is almost certainly offensive to most Irishmen to say so, but there are some of us who can never think of Dublin as being anything...

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Poor Tom's retold James Buchan HARDY by Martin Seymour - Smith Bloomsbury, £25, pp. 886 by Martin Seymour - Smith Bloomsbury, £25, pp. 886 'Justice' was done, and the...

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A cool study of passion

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David Nokes THE RATIONALIST by Warwick Collins Heinemann, f9.99, pp. 319 A ppropriately for a novel called The Rationalist, this is a book without romantic frills or literary...

National Trust

The Spectator

We wander round, amazed. Bed where a czar once slept. Stuffed bear. Victorian stays. Embroidered screen. All kept. Ten generations, more, Have gathered all that's here. Bronze...


The Spectator

Where nothing was But space alone A fireplace is Revealed in stone Which shapes and garlands The hearth's void The empty centre. With what pride The mason smiles Who has let be...

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Eager to avoid the gutter, but looking at the stars

The Spectator

John Bowen JOSEPH LOSEY: A REVENGE ON LIFE by David Caute Faber, .£20, pp. 592 R eviewing a biography, one is inevitably to some extent reviewing its sub- ject, so let's get...


The Spectator

The Spectator index for January to June 1993 is now available. Name Address Postcode r This six monthly comprehensive alphabetical listing of subjects, titles and...

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A touch crankish or quirkish

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John Fowles ALICE'S MASQUE by Lindsay Clarke Cape, £14.99, pp. 246 I didn't much like Lindsay Clarke's first novel, the West African Sunday Whiteman; but his next, the East...

A frontier settlement at heart

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Raymond Asquith KIEV: A PORTRAIT, 1800-1917 by Michael F. Hamm Princeton University Press, £21.95, pp. 304 K iev has been to Russia as Jerusalem to the Crusaders, a source and...

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Going down the tubes

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Christopher Hudson POEMS ON THE UNDERGROUND edited by Gerard Benson, Judith Cherniak and Cicely Herbert Cassell, £5.99, pp. 188 E arth has not anything to show less fair than 9...

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Gospel of Uplift ruins the Cult of Friendship

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P. N. Furbank ANGLO-INDIAN ATTITUDES: THE MIND OF THE INDIAN CIVIL SERVICE by Clive Dewey Hambledon Press, f25, pp. 292 T his admirable book arose from a long- delayed stroke...

The Bat

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It was flapping and banging round, a huge black moth circling the light — no, amazingly, not banging, never hitting, skittering far out by walls and cupboards. Suddenly it...

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The romance of a commonplace dumpling

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J. G. Links INTIMATE LETTERS: LEOS JANACEK TO KAMILA STOSSLOVA edited and translated by John Tyrrell Faber, £25, pp. 397 I nscrutable though the love affairs of others...

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That's why the Lady was dysfunctional

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Patrick Skene Catling WISHING ON TF1E MOON: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BILLIE HOLIDAY by Donald Clarke Viking, £16.99, pp. 468 S ome books, they say, make readers laugh out loud. If...

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Telling the same old inside, somewhat exaggerated truth

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Anthony Howard GANGLAND: HOW THE FBI BROKE THE MOB by Howard Blum Hutchinson, f16.99, pp. 349 W hat with its most famous director allegedly waltzing inside New York's Plaza...

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Architecture Dutch cultural munificence Gavin Stamp visits the very latest in architectural fashion in the Netherlands A nsterdam is to Rotterdam as Edin- burgh is to Glasgow....

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Wall to Wall (Serpentine Gallery, till 27 February) The Bigger Picture (McLellan Galleries, Glasgow, till 4 April) Prime spaces Giles Auty T here are weeks in the year when a...

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February Art s Diary

The Spectator

A monthly selection of forthcoming events recommended by Tice Spectator's regular critics OPERA Der Rosenkavalier, London Coliseum, (071 836 3161) from 2 February. A...

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September Tide (Comedy) Unfinished Business (Barbican Pit) An Absolute Turkey (Globe) Staff and Stuffing Sheridan Morley D aphne du Maurier's September Tide, which ran...


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Mrs Doubtfire (12, Selected cinemas) Lipstick and pantyhose Mark Steyn a recent Eddie Murphy movie (I for- get which, but it's easily done), the hero and his pals sit around...

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High life

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Reader, I raped her Taki I have a terrible confession to make. While flying to the Bagel last Sunday on the Concorde, I noticed a woman in the back of the airplane who was...


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Funnier than the news Martyn Harris W hen Monty Python began to parody the TV news in the late Sixties there was a sense of shock alongside the giggles. People like Peter Cook...

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Long life

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Difficulties with royalty Nigel Nicolson M y mother's mother once dressed her in her smartest clothes because an impor- tant and very rich gentleman was coming to lunch. His...

Jeffrey Bernard hopes to be back next week

The Spectator

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MY DEAR friend Tom Hartman gave me a fine and

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suitable book for Christmas: A Calendar of Saints, by James Bentley, who was born in Lancashire, curiously enough, as you will see later. I was delighted to find my own patron...

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Don't tell Sir Kingsley Auberon Waugh F or some time I have been receiving letters from people who are fed to the teeth with colonial chardonnays in all their rich- ness,...


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c/o Laytons, 20 Midland Road, London NW1 2AD. Tel: (071) 388 5081 Fax: (071) 383 7419 White I. Bourgogne Blanc 1992 (Chantron Price No. I irlue et Trebuchet) 12 Bots....

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SPAIN'S FINEST CAVA CHESS P)1ID VIVI at)), SPAIN'S FINEST CAVA ' All aboard Raymond Keene AS EXPECTED, Kamsky, Salov. Anand and Kramnik sailed through their Fide...


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National failing J aspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1814 you were given Canning's opening line, 'In matters of commerce the fault of the Dutch . . and invited to carry on,...

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No. 1817: Diary of a Nobody

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What sort of diary would today's Mr Pooter keep, wherever he lived? You are invited to provide the entries for three days of a week (maximum 150 words). Entries to 'Competition...

Solution to 1141: Humbly yours 'L .11,:u ;_t ti s c ,..L.N. li c•

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../.. 4 6 Lee 4o 11 i ti L e LIA,1 4 E . X4.N,,F.C.14 CIY111.12.P ilA11111.0 P H e j4 A 1 II I :All V E 6t4SIHI EININ fi U IA I 11 1 411 .. ' I L 0 0 T iL LT .L.0 D A I ILIA RI...

W. & J.

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GRAHAM'S PORT CROSSWORD GRAHAM'S Zpii's PORT 1144: Non-U by Doc A first prize of £25 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first correct solution...

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A nation mourns Frank Keating A SOLITARY piper's lament which pref- aced the pin-drop silence of a throng of 45,000 at Old Trafford on Saturday was far more touching than all...


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Q. I wonder whether you can help me solve a variation of the problem noted by P. W. of Bosham: the unwanted companion on a train. On my way up to Oxford from Paddington Station...