2 MAY 1998

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Role models F ive kilogrammes of enriched uranium from the former Soviet republic of Georgia were due to be sent to the Dounreay nucle- ar reprocessing plant in Scotland, in an...

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

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1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 ISRAEL AND BRITAIN A nglo-Zionist relations are usually written up as only having started with the 1917 Balfour Declaration. On Israel's 50th...

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Why even a recession may not defeat Mr Blair BRUCE ANDERSON I t has been a remarkable year; Mr Blair seems to have rewritten the political rule- book. A year ago, three...

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ANTHONY O'HEAR F rom 2 till 4 p.m. on Thursday, I was in the bowels of the BBC, recording The Can- didate, in which I was the 'expert', assessing the suitability of Douglas...

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has abandoned her impartiality to become the People's President, with a view on everything from smoking to Ulster THERE have been moments, over this past New Labour year, when...

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James Whitaker, Mirror royal correspondent, on the bitter feud that has embroiled the young princes, William and Harry AS IF the Princes William and Harry didn't have enough...

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Mind your language

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MY friend and far-from-token fellow woman columnist from right at the back has passed on an enquiry on a literally U and non-U matter. What, asks a reader from Berkshire who...

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. only this time in the United States. Mark Steyn on the Republican leaders' non policies New Hampshire WHAT is the Republican party for? Unlike their enfeebled Tory...

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Boris Johnson on how he got more than he bargained for when he appeared on BBC 2's Have I Got News For You WHENEVER we arrived in the country before 10 p.m. on a Friday, I...

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EMU will fail, which is why we're better off out of it THE Nigel Lawson Diet now seems to suit its inventor. Gone are the days when I had to defend him as chancellor against...

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Sion Simon becomes emotional again — a year later - about 1 May 1997 EVERYONE has an equivalent to the red box on the mantelpiece in my bedroom containing odd cufflinks,...

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Peter Oborne says Lord Hurd's new fiction resembles Lord Hurd's version of fact MANY POLITICIANS write autobiogra- phies when they retire which reveal noth- ing. Douglas Hurd...


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Michael Heath

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A message from Vienna: Europe should stop whining and start bonking PAUL JOHNSON e assembled in the Palais Ferstel to discuss whether European civilisation was being...

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LETTERS Cardinal sin

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Sir: Perhaps I am not the only one among your Catholic readers, of whom you must have at least several, to find offensive the hideous caricature of a pope, a cardinal and a...

Sun stroke

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Sir: Baldwin's famous attack on newspa- pers, borrowed from Kipling, as exercising power without responsibility is, as we should know, based on myth. In an adult democracy,...

A Dane explains

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Sir: Like your correspondent, Mr Samuel- son (Letters, 25 April), I also miss dear Aunty Alice (née Schlieffen). Alas, I am not myself a character in fiction, though there have...

Wet lot

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Sir: Peregrine Worsthorne's infatuation with his new (black) friend, Darcus Howe (As I was saying, 11 April), seems to have addled his judgment. I resoundingly sup- port Charles...

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Fake Picasso

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Sir: Robin Simon in his review (Arts, 18 April) repeats Picasso's supposed descrip- tion of himself as 'only a joker who had understood his epoch and has extracted all he...

Bon mot

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Sir: I don't take The Spectator regularly, but faced with a long train journey the other day I bought your edition of 18 April. Is it obligatory for your contributors to use the...

Welsh rarebit

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Sir: Sion Simon writes entertainingly about Le Monde in Cardiff (Restaurants as the- atre, 18 April) and captures, I think cor- rectly, the attractiveness of Cardiff's best...

Glass houses

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Sir: Paul Johnson was throwing stones from a very exposed glass house in so vehemently attacking 'the general depravity of Britain's awful press' (And another thing, 11 April)....

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At the Express and the Indie, nearly everyone's now in the wrong job STEPHEN GLOVER even weeks ago Tony O'Reilly and his Irish Independent group got complete con- trol of the...

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A second look at the faithful David Gilmour BEYOND BELIEF: ISLAMIC EXCURSIONS AMONG THE CONVERTED PEOPLES by V. S. Naipaul Little Brown, £20, pp. 439 S it Vidia Naipaul...

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Hideous progeny

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Andrew Barrow FRANKENSTEIN'S FOOTSTEPS by Jon Turney Yale University Press, £16.95, pp. 276 A bout 20 years ago, I had lunch with the actor Peter Cushing at his remote, sea-...

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Mosques and mischief

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Amit Chaudhuri FATIMA'S SCARF by David Caute Totterdown, £15.99, pp. 558 T his is a book that, as the publicity material points out in bold letters, 'no English publisher would...

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The first book of kings

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Steven Runciman THE ALMANACH DE GOTHA, VOLUME I compiled by Charlotte Pike and John Kennedy The Almanach de Gotha, £60, pp. 704 n this present age, which we are often told...


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12 Months 6 Months (52 issues) (26 issues) UK I0 £97.00 0 £49.00 Europe CI £109.00 CI £55.00 USA 0 US$161 GI US$82 Australia ❑ Aus$225 0 Aus$113 Rest of World ❑ E119.00 0...

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The mother of all battles

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Nigel Nicolson STALINGRAD by Anthony Beevor Viking, £25, pp. 494 A German soldier in Stalingrad, sur- veying the misery around him, was heard to mutter, They must never know at...


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Bookortheke Fatima's Scarf by David Caute The novel no publisher would print `I think this book is brilliant. Fatima's Scarf is something very rare in English letters: a...

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A system without rules

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Robert Taylor CLASSES AND CULTURES, ENGLAND 1918-1951 by Ross McKibbin OUP, £25, pp. 562 T his often brilliant but frustrating book provides a graphic portrait of the social...

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In the grip of the plot

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Ian Sansom A WIDOW FOR ONE YEAR by John Irving Bloomsbury, £16.99, pp.547 T he opening sentence of a John Irving novel is set like a gin trap; it clamps to your wrist, or...

More than half way to the movie

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Sophia Watson THE LAZARUS CHILD by Robert Mawson Bantam, £15.99, pp. 346 R emember The Horse Whisperer, the book that had every hopeful author dream- ing of the big time, of...

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A deal of skimble-skamble stuff

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David Crane THE LATE MR SHAKESPEARE by Robert Nye Chatto & Windus, £16.99, pp.399 T here are certain books about which there can be no critical middle ground and Robert Nye's...

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An instinctively moral fantasist?

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David Profumo TOUGH, TOUGH TOYS FOR TOUGH, TOUGH BOYS by Will Self Bloomsbury, £14.99, pp. 244 A ny newcomer to the work of Will Self might understandably be deterred by this...

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Signs of the times Stephen Bayley on the influence and aesthetic qualities of posters M ilton Glaser, who founded New York's Push Pin Studio in 1954, is one of the great...

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Grand A one walks round the exhibition of Delacroix's late work, Les Demieres Armies currently at the Grand Palais, time and again one sees images of wild libidinal energy —...

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Parsifal (Royal Opera, Fesival Hall) Pain and rapture Michael Tanner 'T o show the identity of dreadfulness and bliss, these two faces on the same divine head, indeed this...

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Theme dream Susan Moore orks of art have always been com- modities. Never before have they been products. To today's auction houses they are like any other luxury goods. If...

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Sliding Doors (15, selected cinemas) Great Expectations (15, selected cinemas) Breakdown (15, selected cinemas) Two timing Mark Steyn T he last time I was conscious of Peter...

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The Real Inspector Hound/Black Comedy (Comedy Theatre) New Edna: The Spectacle! (Theatre Royal Haymarket) What a laugh! Sheridan Morley W hat could be better than a classic...

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Where are they now? Michael Vestey A fter 60 years of heroic failure and indolence as a Tory MP, Sir Plympton Makepeace lost his seat at the last election. How many Plympton...

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The turf

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Cool courage Robin Oakley I had backed the 16-1 shot Fine Thyne for the Whitbread Gold Cup, on the basis that it is a race often won by fresh horses rather than those who have...

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High life

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A shameless age Taki New York welve years ago, in the midst of the Iran-Contra brouhaha, I attended the White House Correspondents' dinner in Washington and sat next to Fawn...

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Country life

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Life isn't sweet Leanda de Lisle A I've said before, there is something of the big cat about our brown labrador and recently he's taken to playing with his prey. He dug up a...


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Happy return Andrew Robson AN expert defender usually 'knows the hand' by about trick four of five, based on his partner's signals and the way declarer is approaching the...

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NOT ONLY was it St George's feast day on 23

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April but the powers that be added Shakespeare's birthday and World Book Day. I took part in the latter, riding in a Harrods bus from bookshop to bookshop with lots of authors,...

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Royal game Raymond Keene ONE of the great opening highways of the 19th century was the King's Gambit, the Romantic opening par excellence. White sacrifices a pawn on move two...


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The passionate North Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2031 you were told that recently, in a Swedish old people's home, two men, aged 93 and 80, both in love with an 82-year-old...

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No. 2034: The cult of the Celt

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Imagine that both Scotland and Wales have become independent states, and that both have set up Statues of Liberty on their borders. You are invited to provide verses (maximum 16...


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

Solution to 1357: Intersection ' 5 M I T . 2 C

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4 F 2 A U I RC! T Milne D i2 C .1,.. 2 5 I 2 1‘1 L E 0 IIMMITIO T:ONOld '. 1 . ONGS l'X I N 111% OIX P -BERri ., . mituT 21 , R , I B A IN p I 31 P E A' IRAR T E I AN...

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A close shave Simon Barnes LORD MacLaurin, former chairman of Tesco and present chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, summed up the qualities he requires from the...


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Dear Mary. Q. Fifty-five years ago, when learning their language as an embryo cryptanalyst, I came a cross a passage in an old textbook explain- ing that the Japanese had...