2 AUGUST 1997

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The pound in the pocket. M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, said in an interview with the Daily Mirror 'I think it is very important Princess Diana is allowed to carry on the...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2:4 Telephone: 0171-405

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1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 MR BLAIR REACHES 100 W orldly wisemen will say that there is something 'arbitrary' about assessing a new government 100 days after its taking office....

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The Tories are reduced to hoping that something will turn down BRUCE ANDERSON A Russian prince once observed that between the revolution and the firing squad, there is always...

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I was a little miffed that Cherie wasn't at the reception given by the PM at No. 10 for 'leaders in design'. Modesty prevails on me to use the inverted commas. One fellow...

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Mr Blair's purpose is to stay in office for ten years (at least). What could stop him is that he may have no purpose other than that, says Peter Oborne THERE WAS never meant to...

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There are few places for observing how Britons and Germans live side I HAD been invited to a wine-tasting by Rosalind Edmonds, a wealthy widow who lives in Karaman, a village...

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Jenny McCartney rejects the accepted wisdom that mothers shouldn't bring their babies to the office AN employer, an employee, and a baby. There are three of them in this...

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ALL THE press comment on the Dearing Report on Higher Education has concen- trated on what is close to the hearts of middle England — tuition fees. That is understandable, but...

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Michael Heath

The author is a fellow of Gonville and Caius College,

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and a lecturer in English at Cam- bridge University.

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William Cash says Britons and continental Europeans can no longer be superior about American wine, but they still try Los Angeles IN DIPLOMATIC circles, Californian chardonnay...

Mind your language

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I SHOULD think that most of us in speech use they to mean 'he' or `she'; it comes in handy when we do not wish to specify the sex. I have just come across a nice exam- ple of...

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Pauline Borghese's feet, Wordsworth's legs and thoughts about calves PAUL JOHNSON I have been thinking about feet — my feet in particular, but also feet in general. The reason...

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Site values

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THE WRAPS have come off two contribu- tions to the City's townscape, on two sites that deserve nothing but the best. Opposite the Mansion House Lord Palumbo has planted his...

N Dearing himself

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IT WAS at this stage of his draft that N Dearing got up steam. How, he asked, could universities expect to charge for teaching when they were in that business less than half the...

Taking cover

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ANXIOUS as I am to keep up with Japanese innovation, I turn to the Nikkei Weekly's page on new products and ser- vices, but get no further than the headline: CONDOM FIRM...

Bouncing banks

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THIS WEEK and next the big four banking groups will amble forward to explain how they have just made £6 billion in six months. Their version is awaited by the scion of a City...


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Sir Ron can't solve the riddle of the funds, so send for his smarter brother CHRISTOPHER FILDES I t is not widely known that Sir Ron Dear- ing, the panjandrum, has a smarter...


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I SUPPOSE that gazundering has gone away. It worked when house prices were falling and the buyers would revise their offers, downwards. Now prices are rising, the sellers are...

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Sir: I hope Digby Anderson is a better food writer

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than social commentator. The lower- class habit of cupping one's hand while holding a lighted cigarette to take drags (not gasps, for goodness' sake) is alive and well in the...

Loyalist's lament

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Sir: Whenever there is an inquest on a Con- servative debacle, we get wailing sing-songs about the inadequate presentation of the party's message: leaders without charisma,...

Sir: It so happened that while reading Digby Anderson's article

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my dustman was whistling away as he carried out his nasty job. While whistling may not any more fig- ure largely among their activities, the work- ing classes have changed few...

Sir: Digby Anderson's article about work- ing-class habits is wrong

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in at least one respect. The 'rhetorical question tag' as in `I was just gonna do it, wasn't I' is extremely common on television, which Dr Anderson probably doesn't see much,...

Not the final whistle

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Sir: As one who earns a crust from practis- ing the art of generalisation on a daily basis, I take my hat off to Digby Anderson for his efforts last week in constructing an...

LETTERS Bear-baiting

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Sir: It now seems fashionable to knock the enlargement of Nato (`The Bear at bay', 12 July). Susan Eisenhower reacts as if the West never lifted a fmger to help Russia. What...

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Blooming beautiful

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Sir: Among Philip Hensher's numerous dis- gruntled remarks about Ulysses (Books, 26 July), I was particularly surprised to learn that he found the book 'unfunny in the extreme'....

No infant prodigy

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Sir: Andrew Roberts (Diary, 26 July) says that the Master of Caius College, Cam- bridge, discovered 'the long-lost mid-18th- century plans Sir John Soane drew up for an...

Wellington's beef

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Sir: The paranoid attitude of some modern politicians towards an often hostile press, highlighted in Kelvin MacKenzie's article (`Hair yesterday, gone today', 19 July), is one...

Sir: I read with interest Simon Barnes's article on South

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African rugby being the game of apartheid. Actually, it is the game of all true South Africans and, but for them, Simon Barnes's black leader, clad in the sporting uniform of...

Sports retort

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Sir: I found Simon Barnes's account of the Lions' rugby tour, and the attitude of South Africans to rugby football interesting and fairly accurate (Spectator sport, 12 July). He...

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The end of the foreign news empire STEPHEN GLOVER N ot so long ago all of our newspapers took foreign news very seriously. And not just the upmarket ones. The Daily Express,...

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The divine right of votes which threatens our freedoms PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE I t says a lot about Britain's political arrangements that most of us go through life without...

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If thou wilt, remember Paul Jarmin ROBERT SOUTHEY: A LIFE by Mark Storey OUP, f25, pp.383 I f the name Robert Southey (1774-1843) means anything to the present generation of...

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Include me out

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Alberto Manguel EXTRAVAGANT STRANGERS edited by Caryl Phillips Faber, £15.99, pp. 260 T hose who require definitions of nationality should follow the example of Mr Podsnap,...

Clerihew Corner

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About George Brown Goode We know about as much as we should. He was — and I've checked the date US fish commissioner in 1888. James Michie

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The Jew who became a Nazi

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Carole Angier EUROPA EUROPA by Solomon Perel Wiley, £15.99, pp. 230 I never saw Europa Europa, the film based on this book. But it won a Golden Globe; and your literary editor,...

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Events that become history

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Stephen Gardiner A CENTURY OF IMAGES: PHOTOGRAPHS BY THE GIBSON FAMILY by Rex Cowan, introduction by John le Carre Deutsch, £19.99, pp. 135 T his story of the fairytale Scilly...

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Beneath a rougher sea

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Jane Ridley HENRY AT SEA: PART ONE OF THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN HENRY NAPIER, RN, 1789-1853 by Priscilla Napier Michael Russell, £19.95, pp. 352 W hat a cursed, volatile, fiddling,...

Death of the gunfighter

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Philip French THE CROWDED PRAIRIE: AMERICAN NATIONAL IDENTITY IN THE HOLLYWOOD WESTERN by Michael Coyne I. B. Tauris, £25, pp. 239 T he only movie most people can name earlier...

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And then there were two

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Dot Wordsworth RECOLLECTIONS OF A TOUR MADE IN SCOTLAND by Dorothy Wordsworth Yale, £19.95, pp. 233 S ate for half-an-hour in Lady Perth's shed,' remarks Dorothy Wordsworth at...

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Judge thou my course

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John Cornwall GUNS, GERMS AND STEEL: A SHORT HISTORY OF EVERYBODY FOR THE LAST 13,000 YEARS by Jared Diamond Cape, £18.99, pp. 400 D o you know why the keyboards of the world...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY SUBSCRIPTION RATES 1 Year 6 months UK £93 £47 Europe £104 £52 USA (2nd class) $151 $76 USA (1st class) $175 $88 Rest of World (2nd) £107 £54 Rest of World...

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Deals within deals

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Robin Harris THE LAST GOVERNOR by Jonathan Dimbleby Little, Brown, £25, pp. 480 T elevision has recently made Chris Patten a household name with a touch of glamour. But this...

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Steps towards oblivion Scottish Ballet will die if the Scottish Arts Council withdraws its funding. John Parry reports I f what is already in place is allowed its allotted time...

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Goliath (Bush) Kiss Me Kate (Open Air, Regent's Park) Revolting Nineties Sheridan Morley A the Bush, Goliath is a hugely impressive solo 90 minutes by Nichola McAuliffe in...

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Exhibitions 1

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Hiroshige: Images of Mist, Rain, Moon and Snow (Royal Academy, till 28 September) Japanese master Martin Gayford W alk into Monet's elegant dining- room at Giverny, and you...

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Exhibitions 2

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Sculpture at Goodwood (Hat Hill Copse, near Chichester, open Thurs, Fri, Sat, 1 March-30 October) New Art Centre Sculpture (Roche Court, East Winterslow, near Salisbury, open...

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Addicted to Love (15, selected cinemas) Men in Black (PG, selected cinemas) Trapped in a stinker Mark Steyn I f Addicted to Love has any kind of future, it's as a film-school...

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On the brink of disaster Simon Hoggart H ostile Waters (BBC 1, Saturday) was made not only by the BBC, but also by Home Box Office in the United States, a company, called UFA...

Pop music

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Generation problems Marcus Berkmann Y ou probably have to be of a certain age to enjoy Classic Albums (BBC 1, Mon- days). You probably have to be of a certain age (50), of a...

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Why change our habits? Michael Vestey B y now you will know the details of the major changes to Radio Four announced by the network's controller, James Boyle, on Wednesday,...

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A bit on the side Alan Judd P rejudices and idiosyncrasies should not be discarded lightly. Indeed, the more irra- tional or unreasonable they are, the more they should be...

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The turf

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I should have listened Robin Oakley T here was, at a conservative estimate, more than £30 million-worth of horseflesh parading under the Ascot limes and chest- nuts before...

High life

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A true democrat Taki T Athens his is a city that thrives on rumours. Once upon a time, 2,500 years ago, rumour served to destroy one's political enemies. It still does. King...

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Low life

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Doing time Jeffrey Bernard I 'm not quite sure why but, at the time of writing, it seems almost certain that Ronnie Biggs is going to be extradited from Brazil to Wandsworth....

Leanda de Lisle is on holiday.

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Weak response Andrew Robson I remember a hand from The Macallan — possibly the world's premier invitational tournament held in London every January — in which every single...

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IN DEFERENCE to the valued views of Ms Ritchie and

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Mr Wellman, I thought the time had come for a spot of Third World, ethnic feeding, and to start the survey I decided to investigate the latest arrival on central London's Indian...

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COMPETITION 115 LE OF jj SINGLE 114LT SCOTCH 1,111911 URA IN COMPETITION NO. 1993 you were invited to supply an extract from the sort of novel that features 'contented,...


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IN-THE-STRAND CHESS SIMPSON'S IN-THE-STRAND MIGUEL Najdorf, who died last month at the age of 87, was one of the great charac- ters of chess. Born in Poland in 1910, he went...

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No. 1996: Local member

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William Plomer wrote an enjoyably grue- some poem entitled 'The Dorking Thigh'. Your are invited to present a poem (maxi- mum 16 lines), gruesome or ungruesome, with a kindred...


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W. & J. GRAHAM'S PORT A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1991 Port for the first correct solution opened on 18 August, with two runners-up...

Solution to 1319: 26

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Racing for love Simon Barnes RACING OFTEN calls itself an industry rather than a sport. Perhaps so, but it is a pretty rum one. For a start, it is the only industry I know...


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. . Dear Mary. Q. I was gripped by Jeffrey Bernard's obser- vation (5 July) that when the police called on him about the possibility of his having witnessed a murder, the only...