30 MAY 1992

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The Spectator

B ritain's balance of payments, the worst for 15 months, recorded a deficit of over £1 billion in April. However, a survey from the CBI suggested that recovery from the longest...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 GAUCHE, RECHT... W hat we kept out of the Maastricht treaty is as...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY- RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £74.00 0 £37.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £85.00 0 £42.50 USA Airspeed 0 US $120 0 US $60.00 Rest of Airmail 0 £111.00 0 £55.50...

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Mr Clarke not only plans to prevent crime, but to prevent criminals too SIMON HEFFER F ive or six years ago I was buttonholed in the Commons' Lobby by an irate Tory MP,...

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M y relations with the popular press have been bitter and hostile for almost 40 years. Papers like the Mail, Express and Daily Telegraph have traduced and vilified me...

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The moving spirit and loudest voice of our time AUBERON WAUGH I t occurred to me as I sat down to write this week's Another voice that a man who has been publicly campaigning...

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John Simpson recounts how he almost expired amid the piranhas, jaguars and vampire bats of the Brazilian rain forest Rio Branco EVERYONE on board our canoe knew that a single...

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Matt Frei witnesses the effects of Serbia's policy of ethnic cleansing Ilok `THE UN soldiers just shake their heads and say "niet, niet", when we go up to them and tell them...


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A reader received this letter from Spec- trum Property Development Ltd/Spec- trum Planning Design Ltd of Balham Park Road in London: Dear Sir, I am in repect in the Property...

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Michael Heath


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Geoffrey Wheatcroft says the real heroes of the bombing of Germany were the voices of conscience SOME YEARS ago, I was walking through Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber. This small...

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Nicholas Coleridge wonders why Paul Marland MP is persecuting Lloyd's of London I FELT A gratifying sense of told-you-so last week when the Conservative MP for Gloucestershire...

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Robert Hardman argues that the British Summer Season is a myth that fools only foreigners STAND BY for the annual deluge of media euphoria about the string of events which, we...

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If symptoms persist.. .

The Spectator

WHEN, after a long cold winter, the weather turns warm and the evenings lengthen, a young man's fancy — in our neck of the woods — turns to riot. This proves conclusively that...

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Remember, there's no short cuts on t'fells PAUL JOHNSON I t is exactly 50 years since I first visited the Lake District and discovered the delights of walking on the high...

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Team spirit

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IT WOULD be fun, I think, to work for Holmwoods, the insurance broker and mar- ket leader in the insurance of schools, whose managers have raised £33 million to buy it out of...

... Yorksh i re ' s pigeon

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GOOD management is scarce enough in banks, but size does not have to go with it. Witness the Yorkshire, which but for infla- tion would still be called the Yorkshire Penny Bank....

Underwater swimmers

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GO BUST on a bank holiday and no one will notice — it is a time-honoured rule of commerce, followed to this day by directors who surprise their shareholders by calling a meeting...


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Come on my committee, Sir Adrian I'm going non-exec CHRISTOPHER FILD ES M y next career move is to go non- executive. I do not think this has been done before in journalism,...

Lloyds tries its luck ...

The Spectator

THE GREAT thing about the Monopolies and Mergers Commission is that you never know your luck. The oddest arguments can win. The Commission was persuaded that if the Kuwait...

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Metal basher

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Sir: I am writing to disagree strongly with your article on Pop Music entitled 'Heavy metal racket' (9 May) by Marcus Berk- mann. I am an 18-year-old student who pri- marily...

Cheaper than suing

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Sir: Noel Malcolm is entitled to hate my book, Downfall: The Ceausescus and the Romanian Revolution (Books, 23 May) but he's not entitled to accuse me of being an apologist for...

Sir: Your editorial 'Crisis, what crisis?' (25 April) is unfair

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to Africans and clearly fails to appreciate the realities of aid to Africa. Most of the aid directed to Africa is real- ly 'basic aid'. That is, aid intended to build roads,...

Good game

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Sir: Your competition setter Jaspistos seems to be cracking up. Or has he been hitting the Aberlour sauce again? He wants us to write a poem (Competition, 23 May) beginning with...

LETTERS Out of Africa

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Sir: I have read with interest your leader of 25 April and Lady Chalker's response (Let- ters, 9 May). You underestimate the aid a misleading euphemism for government-...

A croak from the pond

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Sir: As one of the frogs in the 'foyer' described by Michael Lewis ('Oh not to be in England', 23 May), I should welcome his suggestions on how to deal with members of the...

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The relics of learning James Buchan ENGLISH MUSIC by Peter Ackroyd Hamish Hamilton, £14.99, pp. 400 T his novel starts well. A boy stands in the glare of gaslight on the...

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Unable to change its sun spots

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John Spurling THE SILENT DUCHESS by Dacia Maraini Peter Owen, f14.99, pp. 235 T he heroine of The Silent Duchess is the deaf and dumb daughter of an 18th-century Sicilian duke....

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Never really an officer and a gentleman

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Francis King JOHN MASTERS by John Clay Michael Joseph, f20, pp. 372 O ne of my brothers-in-law, like John Masters a regular Indian Army officer, had briefly met him in Quetta...

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Thy words are like a cloud of winged snakes

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Peter Levi THE TWO FORGERS by John Collins Scolar Press, £27.50, pp. 331 T J. Wise was a wicked fellow, a cynical blackmailer, a fraud and a thief, who was clever enough to...

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A DILLONS BOOKSTORE HATCHARDS / SPECTATOR ORDER FORM Orders received using this form will be posted and delivered free of charge to Spectator readers within the United...

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Brothers and partners

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Ruari McLean WILLIAM NICHOLSON: THE GRAPHIC WORK by Colin Campbell Barrie & Jenkins, £40, pp. 256 I n 1900 the German art periodical Die Inset reproduced a woodcut by William...

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His master's voice

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Rupert Christiansen PETER PEARS by Christopher Headington Faber, £20, pp. 351 4 1 am sensitive and not a fool singer', the young Peter Pears reflected in 1936. 'How wrong it is...

The defence of Malta

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Nicolas Barker TORPEDO LEADER by Patrick Gibbs Grub Street, £16.95, pp. 206 `Dammit, man, we usually do this sort of thing on the grass', said the Wing Commander to Gibbs when...

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On the Ascension

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Ah, holy shepherd, how can you leave your flock alone here weeping, deep in the valley, dark, while you break through the pure air of the sky home to eternity? They were so...

Not everything succeeds in excess

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Cressida Connolly THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS by Ernesto Sabato Cape, £15.99, pp. 435 T he Angel of Darkness is the literary equivalent of a painting by Francis Bacon. It is troubled...

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I Puritani (Covent Garden) Zaide (City of Birmingham Touring Opera) Good Gluck Rupert Christiansen T aut and vibrant, plunging and soaring fearlessly between emotional...

by contemporary connoisseurs and patrons, would also have been readily

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understood by anybody entering a Renaissance church. Today they appear to be impenetrable to the average undergraduate. Contrariwise, any modern 'soap' of the most basic kind,...

Robin Simon is editor of Apollo.

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The Long Day Closes (`12', Curzon West End) The Dark Wind (`15', selected cinemas) Wayne's World (`PO', selected cinemas) Bad mood piece Vanessa Letts T erence Davies is one...

Deirdre McMahon is away until September.

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Magritte (Hayward Gallery, till 2 August) Battle of the Belge Giles Auty A while ago, a brace of bright young critics asked me to divulge my career strat- egy. 'I try to...

A monthly selection of forthcoming events recommended by The Spectator's

The Spectator

regular critics EXHIBITIONS Turner and Byron, Clore Gallery, Tate, London, from 3 June. Illustrations by one master of works by another. Romantic fellow travellers. David...

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Body and Soul (Albery) The Blue Angel (Globe) The lady and the Bishop Christopher Edwards I n Roy Kendall's new play the familiar dilemmas of the modern Church of Eng- land...

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High life

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Coup de grace Taki Athens o ror once I got it exactly right. Just as I had feared last week, I missed the Worces- ter party in London and bit the dust in the singles in Athens...


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Cold charity Martyn Harris T he Brain Game on Channel Four (9 p.m., Monday) was billed by its host Jonathan Dimbleby as `TV's first interactive celebrity charity quiz', which...

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Low life

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Happy birthday Jeffrey Bernard ixty at last. I can't quite believe it but here it is in today's Times alongside some oddballs who make me even more sceptical of astrology:...

Long life

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Battle of the Brontes Nigel Nicolson T he Brontë Society is the most energet- ic and successful of all our literary soci- eties. It owns Haworth Parsonage and a superlative...

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Brasserie du Marche aux Puces

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I ALWAYS feel vaguely guilty reviewing restaurants near me, as if somehow the dis- tance travelled to a place were in direct proportion to the column-worthiness of it. This is...

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r 3,,S,R1,04 - 1

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PUNE HIGHLAND MALT 111•1111 111111i,, COMPETITION PUNE HIGHLAND MALT NI .111 .111/1” Park theme Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1729 you were in- vited to write a piece of...


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Obstacles Raymond Keene T wo men now stand between Nigel Short, the world title and the possibility that a British citizen could become a multi-millionaire solely through his...

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Solution to 1058: Dancing-girl

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'BUSH .--. i3 A n 111 n C E .-..: ..-. .. 9 A P ERGI VI O V N IISIL a ILE '3 AIR T A , L LIN 1110 n L LAt . ri l A U_ A 0 A R AM C n , CR A3 1 .-9-.. /( _ L E r it 1E lw...


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A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of' Chambers English Dictionary — ring the word `Dictionary') for the first three correct...

No. 1732: Filthy dozen

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I say 'filthy' rather than 'dirty' because this is, I hope, more difficult than usual. Please incorporate the following words, in any order, in a plausible piece of prose:...

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The bigger splash Frank Keating GRAHAM GOOCH, the England cricket captain, was always going in to bat on a Gabba sticky once he agreed to write his new book Captaincy (in...


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Q. I recently attended an international seminar at a most prestigious country house. I shared a bathroom with a col- league whose bedroom also adjoined it through a separate...