30 AUGUST 1997

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Some suggested designs for the Millennium Dome D owning Street announced the forma- tion of an 'action group' of civil servants who will meet at the Foreign Office to deal with...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 0171-242 0603 WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE DOME O ur cover last week, depicting the...

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A faraway island of which we know nothing is a guide to events at home BRUCE ANDERSON M ontserrat is a faraway island of which we know nothing. Yet it may now have entered the...

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A week's exposure to the unnatural stimulation of the Edinburgh Festival being a serious risk to one's mental stability, we make for the hills. The drive through the Trossachs...

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James Delingpole on the children's television show in which adults see drugs, Hitler, religious ritual and a gay icon IN a grass-covered underground bunker, a smiling foetus...

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Mind your language

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LET US start with a puzzle. The distin- guished publisher Tom Hartman has written in piteous tones to ask the meaning of a phrase he found in Lord David Cecil's life of William...

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YOU'RE NICKED Roger Rosewell on the growing tendency of the police to charge those in the public eye READING UNIVERSITY professor John Cottingham was lucky. Last month a jury...

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Stephen Glover unravels the case of the Guardian journalist with Libyan money in her bank account THROUGHOUT the recent skirmishes between my colleague Paul Johnson and Man...

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Michael Heath


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Brian Masters reveals hitherto unpublicised clues suggesting that French country people are shielding Caroline Dickinson's killer THE MURDER of Caroline Dickinson in the early...

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How to save yourself 51 trips to the library . . . or over £41 on The Spectator If you're forced to share The Spectator with fellow students, then you'll know how difficult it...

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Lighting a Wordsworthian candle in a dim and philistine world PAUL JOHNSON C hris Smith, Secretary of State for Cul- ture, Media and Sport, said last week that the book he...

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Cheaper in Biarritz

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NOW THAT the French have given up on the ten-franc kir, I suppose that I must fol- low their example. This will placate those readers who have patiently explained to me that...

Once and future King

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SCOTCH in one airport bag, socks in another, I reach the departure gate, where a bizarre sight awaits me. Has my aircraft been camouflaged, or has it been painted in British...

. razor-toothed lawyers

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FIRST the good news: British Telecom has won itself a £3 billion discount on its excit- ing new purchase in America. Clearing the deal with the regulators took so long that BT...


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I LIKE the notion of celebrating the mil- lennium on the Heights of Abraham. They are (of course) near Matlock, and the plan is to make them 250 feet higher. A tower with a...


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Poor, nasty, brutish and not even solitary it's a dog's life for Theo CHRISTOPHER FILDES A finance minister's life, said Ronnie de Mel of Sri Lanka, who tried it, is poor,...

Rubber bands and . . .

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THE FIRST Mr Smith had a really good business idea. In 1828, so he noticed, The Spectator was refounded. The London & Birmingham Railway followed nine years later. Put the two...

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Sir: John Gummer, in his attempt to sound the death-knell

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of the Church of England, echoes the words written in 1832 by Arnold of Rugby: `The church as it now stands, no human power can save.' Only a year after that, the Oxford...

Sir: Sion Simon's account calls to mind another dome which

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also failed to generate the political capital which Peter Mandel- son's great-grandfather and colleagues had hoped would result. The 1951 Festival of Britain exhibition on the...

LETTERS Support for the dome

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Sir: Sion Simon's fly-on-the-Cabinet-wall exposé of the millennium dome saga (`How New Labour was made to love the dome', 23 August) rests on a false premise which only appears...

Facts under fire

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Sir: It was in fact my father, R.H.C. Steed, then Sefton Delmer's Berlin assistant, who telephoned the news of the Reichstag fire to the Daily Express office in London (Media...

Church matters

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Sir: John Gummer (Divorced from reality', 23 August) writes with all the fervour of a recent convert. The young American woman unfortunately married into the Kennedy dynasty...

Those were the days!

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Sir: When my old friend Paul Gane (Let- ters, 16 August) and I were members of Harry Hanson's Court Players at the White Rock Pavilion, St Leonards-on-Sea, Hast- ings, I was...

Just another oik

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Sir: Simon Blow (Packages of misery', 23 August) regrets the age of mass tourism, but his own youthful expedition to Tunisia to stay in the villa of wealthy Europeans was an...

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Humanity and markets Samuel Brittan BRINGING THE MARKET BACK IN by John L. Kelley Macmillan Press, £45, pp. 270 WELFARE AND VALUES edited by P. Askonas and S. Frowen...

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Nothing to declare except genius

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Main de Botton SURFING THE ZEITGEIST by Gilbert Adair Faber, £9.99, pp. 272 F ora the outside, this promises to be a very hip book, a celebration of youthful culture sure to...

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A man for marvels

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D. J. Enright THE MERRY HEART by Robertson Davies Viking, £20, pp. 385 T he Merry Heart — something that `doeth good like a medicine' (Proverbs) — is a collection of pieces by...

Clerihew Corner

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Neville Chamberlain Neither brought peace in his time. James Michie

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Something nasty in the peat-shed

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William Scammell THE BOY IN THE MOON by Kate O'Riordan Flamingo, £12.99, pp. K ate O'Riordan's second novel opens with the rather too symbolic sight of four- year-old Sam...

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Amazing Grace and gracelessness

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P. J. Kavanagh W.G. by Robert Low Richard Cohen Books, £18.99, pp. 312 N othing changes: England's cricketing relations with Australia began as they intended to go on. In only...

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Desire and pursuit

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Anita Brookner ENDURING LOVE by Ian McEwan Cape, £15.99, pp. 247 D e Clerambault's syndrome, named after the French psychiatrist who first isolated and identified it in 1942,...


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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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Still almost on target

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Rupert Christiansen VIRGIN ISLANDS: ESSAYS, 1992-1997 by Gore Vidal Deutsch, £17.99, pp. 320 S ome years ago, a ridiculously handsome young photographer friend of mine told me...

Unroll that map ...

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Jonathan Clark MAPS AND HISTORY by Jeremy Black Yale, £25, pp. 267 H istory is about chaps; geography is about maps.' In the days when England was run by self-important old men...

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Those magnificent men

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Montagu Curzon TUMULT IN THE CLOUDS: THE BRITISH EXPERIENCE OF THE WAR IN THE AIR, 1914-1918 by Nigel Steel and Peter Hart Hodder, £20, pp. 352 ne tries the usual defences: it...

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Standing the test of time Michael Tanner believes that repeated scrutiny of the classics ensures their survival E veryone agrees that there is some- thing called the test of...

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Stephen Cox (Dulwich Picture Gallery, till 28 Sept) Uneasy affinity John Spurling I n spite of its outstanding collection of Old Masters and its handsome yellow-brick...


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Good, bad and drab Robin Holloway A halfway round-up of such Proms as I've been able to catch from an intelligent, well-balanced season deftly framing diversi- ty within...

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Great moments of joy

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Martin Vander Weyer explains how a theatre was built on the edge of the North York Moors I n 1992 we decided to spend £5,000 on a feasibility study for what is now our thriv-...

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Austin Powers (15, selected cinemas) Freeze frame Mark Steyn A ustin Powers, International Man of Mystery is the best British film in years. Unfortunately, it's not exactly...

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Lies, damned lies . . . Michael Vestey W henever I reported on politics for the BBC I always liked to think that politi- cians were intrinsically decent people who in order to...


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The Seagull (Donmar Warehouse) An Ideal Husband (Theatre Royal, Haymarket) Choosing Chekhov Sheridan Morley M ore than one Seagull is flying around London this late summer:...

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Mumbo- Simon Hoggart I t's been a bad week for the paranormal on television, I'm pleased to say. Dreadful programmes such as Beyond Belief — char- latans claiming superhuman...

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Prove me wrong Alan Judd T he new Range Rover arrives today. It's not mine, unfortunately, but belongs to the manufacturer and is on loan for a week's test. In this execrably...

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The turf

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A perfect gent Robin Oakley The Racing Post said ungenerously, `3,500 (Irish) gns foal from a stable hardly associated with first-time out winners.' `This first outing will...

High life

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The end of elegance Taki Gstaad H istory makes clear that societies which embrace casual dress policies do not fare well. The downfall of many civilisa- tions was due not to...

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Country life

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Local Hero Leanda de Lisle M y husband Peter has always loved dogs, but he hadn't had one of his own until, on his 24th birthday my in-laws pre- sented him with a black...

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Delaying tactics Andrew Robson A n experienced declarer loses his cer- tain losers early in the hand and delays broaching suits in which he has decisions to make until as late...

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THE FIRST foreign food I, like most peo- ple of

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my generation, ate was Indian, not in my home town — for Indian restaurants started to proliferate after the early 1950s — but when I went away to the university. Chinese...

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IF J ,C.I.t .41.1S(0i041.,,, .. COMPETITION 6 SISGIF 1110 , ,I, .11. 1 ISLE OF Art with a capital F J aspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1997 you were shown a reproduction of a...


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IN•THE-STRAND CHESS .v' 4NI SIMPSON'S IN-THE-STRAND New talent Raymond Keene THE MIND Sports Olympiad, which fin- ished last week, attracted a host of world champions and...

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No. 2000: Millennial madness

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You are invited to report, as an eye- witness, three startling events or incidents which might suitably or unsuitably occur in the Year of the Millennium. Maximum 150 words....


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A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1991 Port for the first correct solution opened on 15 September with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK...

Solution to 1323: Dusty

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i3 ii 0 ilEhtEln*P 'UMW ligrl ECM 'PIM rE61A OrIFI T Non UnE METIE:IC CEIMUCIOT In 0 R V n n rrivIEMEEIrlorlAtlec rErLinMEGLICI nail N runner La s 1 C A ill P Flo L...

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Singular men Simon Barnes ONE of the odd things about team sports is the extraordinary attraction they hold for people who seem utterly unsuited to them. Goalkeepers, for a...


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Q. My niece is employed as a nanny by a well-known media couple who are ostenta- tiously New Labour. They are forever writing about their working-class origins, and one would...