30 MAY 1998

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See what you can do if you by I n the referendum in Northern Ireland on the Stormont agreement, 676,966, or 71.12 per cent of a turnout of nearly 81 per cent of electors, voted...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WCI N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 SORRY POLITICS Aboriginal communities across Australia a utomatically receive...

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What Caroline Cox teaches us about the Africans and the British BRUCE ANDERSON W e British are a curious race. In try- ing to work out what it means to be one of us I start...

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JOAN COLLINS Am York erica's gone Viagra crazy. No New York dinner party is complete without an enthusiastic discussion of the wonder drug. They say it must be swallowed quick-...

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A.A. Gill explores a world where young men are excluded from anything important, told only what's obvious, and assumed to think only about their penises — but are deliriously...

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Michael Heath

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A 19-year-old has died for being thought English, and Scotland's love of England is dying too, says Katie Grant ON 22 NOVEMBER 1997, 19-year-old Mark Ayton, a middle-class...

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Mark Steyn on what causes American school shootings (not lax gun laws) New Hampshire FOR the news shows, it gets a little easier each time. The 'Slaughter In The School- yard'...

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Broadway Babies Say Goodnight: Musicals Then and Now by Mark

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Steyn can be ordered for £20 post-free from The Spectator Bookshop, 24 Seward Street, London EC1V 3GB. Or ring 0541 557288, fax 0541 557222. Please quote ref. SP030 when ordering.

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A vote in Hong Kong gives China its first official opposition, but exposes Britain's failure, says Jonathan Mirsky THE FIRST big fact about Sunday's over- whelming majority...

Mind your language

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MY friend and fellow lady columnist, Jennifer Paterson, once pointed out to me that most cookery writers spend their time copying out each other's recipes. So here are some...

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Second opinion

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THE ENLIGHTENMENT proposal that every human institution, custom and prejudice be judged by the light of reason has brought us to a pretty pass; but then, come to think of it, we...


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Blonde, Christian, Western-educated Marion McGilvary interviews the unlikely Mrs Arafat JUST Al-1 ER Yasser Arafat's surprise marriage to Suha Tawil, I was told that I looked...

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Christopher Walker speculates about why his Oxford Union invitation to speak on the Middle East was withdrawn Jerusalem THE initial invitation looked promising when it was...

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READER OFFER PERSONAL HEADED NOTEPAPER & VISITING CARDS First impressions still count... The perfect personal greeting. Each set of visiting Cards matches our Personal...

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You don't paint for the money: the joy is in the doing PAUL JOHNSON N ext week my new exhibition of paint- ings opens. Any readers of this column who have quarrels with my...

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Caught in crossfire

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Sir: I wonder if Michael Vestey (Arts, 16 May), who sounds remarkably cross, can tell us how we are now to 'stamp' on India as a means of preventing nuclear weapon...

LETTERS Fool Britannia

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Sir: What a busy little bee Chris Smith has been (Diary, 23 May) dashing hither and Yon, to Cannes, to Wales and to the BBC, Seeking to persuade us that Creative Britain is more...

Potwell and Colornendy

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Sir: Ross Davies (Letters, 9 May) is right to say that north Wales is not a gastronomic paradise. However, fortunately for one who lives there, there are more than a few...

In denial

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Sir: Max Clifford, who is often suspected of being a stranger to truth, says that he does not believe in the Resurrection, which is the miracle at the heart of the Christian...

Gross indecencies

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Sir: Max Davidson has written (`Expletives undeleted', 16 May) of the invasion of our world by a vocabulary of disturbingly crude verbal images. His concern is shared by many....

Pursuing justice

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Sir: May I add a brief coda to my article of last week on the case for a retrial of the two S cots Guardsmen, Fisher and Wright ( Scots free', 23 May)? I stated then that in his...

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Social security

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Sir: Your readers will be relieved to learn from Mr Mandelson that he had no hand in the rescinding of Paul Routledge's appoint - ment as political editor of the Express, or in...

The numbers game

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Sir: Mark Steyn's new economic rule — any business, there's only room for three major players, plus a few piffling "niche servers" ' — is absolute codswallop (`Three's company',...

Old school ties

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Sir: Your leader of 16 May refers to Peter Mandelson as 'only dimly aware of the pools of poverty, indolence and human decline'. While it is fashionable to jump on the bandwagon...

Sins of the fathers

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Sir: For one moment I had hoped that Andrew Brown, in his article on the next Pope (Hume? A Czech? Or an undry Mar- tini?, 25 April), might be a rare exception among modern...

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I work for Lord Hollick, but I'll still dish the dirt on Mr Blair SIMON WALTERS T here's nothing I like more than giving Tony Blair a hard time. It's nothing person- al. I...

Classifieds — pages 60-62

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The man who stayed put Norman Lebrecht I SHALL BEAR WITNESS: THE DIARIES OF VICTOR KLEMPERER, 1933-41 translated by Martin Chalmers Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 500 S omewhere on my...

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The Miller's Tale

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David Caute DARK HORSES by Karl Miller Picador, i16.99, pp. 389 F or 40 years Karl Miller has been a seri- °Its, erudite, and morally charged influence 9Il British literary...

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Women behaving badly

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Claudia FitzHerbert BITCH by Elizabeth Wurtzel Quartet, £12.50, pp. 426 C M en pretty much do as they will, and women pretty much continue to pick up the slack. That's why...

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Loyalty and betrayal

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Miranda France HEADING SOUTH, LOOKING NORTH by Ariel Dorfman Hodder, £17.99, pp. 320 NIL A riel Dorfman's new autobiography shows how political upheaval has forced nomadism...

More blood and thunder

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Raymond Carr CUBA LIBRE by Elmore Leonard Viking, £16.99, pp. 343 E lmore Leonard is, for the present generation, what Chandler and Simenon were to the generation of the 1930s:...


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12 Months 6 Months (52 issues) (26 issues) UK CI £97.00 0 £49.00 Europe CI £109.00 Cl £55.00 USA CI US$161 CI US$82 Australia ❑ Aus$225 Cl Aus$113 Rest of World CI £119.00 Cl...

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Credible magic from the north

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Kate Grimond THE ISLAND OF THE WOMEN AND OTHER STORIES by George Mackay Brown John Murray, £16.99, pp. 320 F ey and Jandreck and their wives, Vrem and Aort, are the names of...

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A question of upbringing

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David Nokes A GOVERNESS IN THE AGE OF JANE AUSTEN: THE JOURNALS AND LETTERS OF AGNES PORTER edited by Joanna Martin Hambledon, £25, pp. 372 S ydney Smith was in no doubt about...


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BookofthAee k

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Out on a limb in India

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Simon Camel! HULLABALOO IN THE GUAVA ORCHARD by Kiran Desai Faber, £14.99, pp. 209 R eclined beneath a rickety electric ceiling fan, in his stifling family home in the northern...

A doubting pilgrim's happy progress

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Gareth Howell-Jones THE RINGS OF SATURN by W. G. Sebald, translated from the German by Michael Hulse Harvill, £15.99, pp. 304 L ying in a hospital bed, 'in a state of almost...

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Too odd not to be true

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James Delingpole THE PECULIAR MEMORIES OF THOMAS PENMAN by Bruce Robinson Bloomsbury, £14.99, pp. 256 O ne of the worst hazards of male puberty is the random erection. How well...

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Whose i art is it anyway? Forget who owns what. Museums should lend or swap their collections, says Martin Gayford I f you walk up the Cannaregio canal from the railway station...

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A 'cheerful, roaring lion'

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Robin Simon on the architectural historian John Harris T he libretto of Haydn's Creation describes an array of what might well be forms of art-historical life: 'the host of...

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Break this silence

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Annabel Ricketts on the damaging uncertainty over that other Greenwich building W hat's going on at Greenwich? No, not the Millennium Dome, the Royal Hos- pital, Britain's...

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The Sickert de nos jours

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Andrew Lambirth talks to the artist, scholar, teacher and writer Jeffery Camp I n this year's Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, Jeffery Camp will show six drawings of...

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A reform too far

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Changes in tax-emption rules for works of art will benefit only the auctioneers, says Susan Moore D oes the Labour government realise how important capital tax reliefs have...

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On the trail of stolen goods

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Katrina Burroughs reports on the latest initiatives to help track down works of art O ne chilly day in January, police seized 34 stolen ceramics before they could be auctioned...

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Mark Rothko (National Gallery, Washington, till 16 Aug) Deeply seductive Roger Kimball Hamlet: Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel? Polonius: By th'...

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Afterglow (15, selected cinemas) Mismatched couples Mark Steyn S eventy years ago, a Broadway actress called Ann Preston Bridgers went to the great George Abbott with a wacky...

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Nabokov's Gloves (Hampstead) Sweet Charity (Victoria Palace) The Betrayal of Nora Blake (Jermyn Street Theatre) Much ado about nothing Sheridan Morley T he title of Peter...

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Opera Orfeo (Theatre de la Monnaie, Brussels) Cosi fan tutte

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(Glyndebourne) Uninhibited intensity Michael Tanner I n Brussels, in the lovely Theatre de la Monnaie, Rene Jacobs has been conduct- ing a series of superb performances of...

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News addicts Edward Heathcoat Amory I n this age of compassion, there is a sup- port system for nearly every addiction, from titled kleptomaniacs caught with an Hermes scarf...


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Sheer purgatory Michael Vestey T he other day I was asked what I thought was the most boring programme on the radio. Although competition for this is considerable I knew the...

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The turf

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Ice-creams all round Robin Oakley Five minutes before the first, having backed Sean Woods's My Learned Friend, I encountered Epsom trainer Roger Ingram, who fancied his...

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High life

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Watch out, you editors Taki elegantly written pages of the English- speaking world) you have been warned. The poor little Greek boy is joining your ranks, and not a moment too...

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Country life

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Shopping and flowering Leanda de Lisle W e forgot to get tickets for the Chelsea Flower Show six months ago — or Whenever it was that we were supposed to get the m — and by...


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Close shave Andrew Robson THE spring 1998 St George's Hall Teams Ladder was won by Christine Brazier and Tom Postlethwaite. But it was only fine defence by Tom on the very...

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RESTAURANT AS THEATRE THERE ARE only three places my hus-

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band, Ed, likes to spend the weekend: Lon- don, Devon and Scotland. So I knew it was going to be difficult convincing him to take an inevitably rain-soaked bank holiday break in...

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Pentecost, SUNDAY we have the great feast of rentecost, or

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Whit Sunday, derived from White Sunday, so called because it was a season during which there were many bap- tisms, for which the candidates wore white garments. During the week...

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Fresh blood Raymond Keene THE ANNUAL MATCH, sponsored by The Spectator and supported by the Brain Trust Charity, between the House of Lords and the House of Commons took place...


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Telly turn-offs Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2035 you were invited to recommend, in typical TV critic's style, three programmes which nothing would induce you to watch....

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No. 2038: Writer's block

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You are invited to provide a poem (maxi- mum 16 lines) with the above title, using `block' as a rhyme-word and containing at least five other fellow rhyme-words. Entries to...


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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 15 June, with two runners-up Prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, the...

Solution to 1361: Snapper

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l A 13 nom° arlfiale an 1 P IR IMMO 'Him OSP !no EC H UMW T CID LIE r E AR Tri E1120 R 111311:11‘ 4E101 S I N CIO el an A ' aR AN nricileariljE D a R A allICICIEI r i...

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The talent that never was Simon Barnes I1 THE first si g n of sprin g is the sound of Chris Lewis mendin g his ways, the infallible confirmation that summer is finally upon us...


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Dear Mary.. . p. Quite often I stay at my widowed father- In-law's lar g e and hospitable house. Each tune, I am badly bitten by bedbu g s. I have taken to sleepin g in my...