30 NOVEMBER 1991

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The Spectator

Monkey on his hack M Ps voted by a majority of 101 for the Prime Minister to seek closer union with the EEC at its summit in Maastricht. The pound fell to its lowest level...

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The Spectator

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SPECTATOR The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WON 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 THE NOBLEST PROSPECT T he debate in the Conservative Party...

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Meanwhile, Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition has its own grief to bear SIMON HEFFER S earching the language for the most appropriate adjective to describe the condi- tion of Mr...

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The Spectator

WILLIAM DALRYMPLE ack to India, after seven months away, to find our flat looking like something out of Great Expectations: half an inch of dust on every surface, mythic cobwebs...

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The Spectator

Why is Mr Waugh on the Continental shelf? CHARLES MOORE We young people are notoriously hesi- tant to question the wisdom of our elders, but as The Spectator's spokesman for...

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The Spectator

John Laughland explains where the impetus for European federalism is really coming from IF ONLY everything in life were as reliable as a German. It is an unfailingly true law...

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The Spectator

Noel Malcolm reports from the last Soviet part of the Union Tiraspol WE DROVE eastwards across ex-Soviet Moldavia with a police escort, all flashing lights and ululating...

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Anthony Hartley on lies, damn lies and immigration statistics IN THE part of Vienna facing the canal there is a pedestrian precinct with narrow streets, filled with bars and...

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The Spectator

John Simpson thinks that Mrs Thatcher should worry less about sovereignty and more about economic achievement OUTSIDE the interview room, the gale was whipping the Aegean into...


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Michael Heath

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The Spectator

Neil Lyndon argues that the British people should be consulted about Northern Ireland IT MAY have been for expedient and self- ish reasons that Margaret Thatcher con- ceived...

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If symptoms persist.. .

The Spectator

LAST WEEK I went to Meadowlea, where so many of our vilest murderers are held (the more arcadian or botanical the name of a prison, the worse its inmates). Of course, I arrived...


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Charles Goodhart on the five possible lifestyles for sterling SEVERAL roads lead from Maastricht. We have got there by way of putting the pound into the European exchange rate...

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The Spectator

John Casey discovers that he is an ogre to his own students A FRIEND of mine recently overheard a don whispering urgently to another don in the Senior Combination Room of...

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The Spectator

A reader sent this letter from British Rail InterCity. It was a reply to his letter asking why British Rail 'insists on losing money by keeping 2nd class passengers out of the...

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The Spectator

Rory Knight Bruce argues that petty feuding is damaging serious journalism THE WEEK before this year's Tory party conference the telephone rang for me at the Evening Standard....

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The Spectator

For correctness doth make cowards of us all PAUL JOHNSON T here is a deep, ineradicable human need to be shocked by words or images, and therefore a corresponding urge to cen-...

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The Spectator

Parliamentarian of the year the winners T he eighth annual Highland Park/Spec- tator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards took place on Wednesday. The awards were presented by...

One hundred years ago

The Spectator

THE Influenza is reappearing in Europe. In Lemberg, in Galicia, it is reported that thirty thousand persons have been stricken by the pest, a num- ber which would suggest a...

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The cufflink dodge . . .

The Spectator

PAWNING the same thing twice is called the cufflink dodge. Cufflinks are suited for the purpose, because the pawnbroker may be persuaded to take the other half of the pair on...

. . . and Temple talk

The Spectator

BAD NEWS about Bob Maxwell, V oose- boot. Terrible, Snapdriver. They broke the mould when they made him. A great loss to the law. Yes, litigants don't come like that any more....

Call me, I'm lonely

The Spectator

POOR OLD Hawker Siddeley went down to defeat, advertising to the last. Ring UP this telephone number, the ads said, and let us tell you what our defence is. WhY couldn't the ads...

Return of service

The Spectator

THE CITY wine-merchants Conley & Bar- row have introduced Interclicquot — a telegraphic service which conveys your mes - sage round the world, accompanied by a bottle of Veuve...


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The pound goes down, for today's the day the bears have their picnic CHRISTOPHER FILDES H ere is something that was kept quiet when we joined the European exchange rate...

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LETTERS That Dutch place

The Spectator

Sir: It was gratifying to learn from John Simpson's article, 'English, our English' (16 November), that my effortkto instruct BBC announcers how to pronounce Maa- STRICHT had...

Norse, of course

The Spectator

Sir: George Chamier (Letters, 23 Novem- ber) seems even more confused than the drunken Belgian in an Aberdeen bar whom he quotes. Of course the culture of Orkney is not Gaelic...

The Eye and MI5

The Spectator

Sir: Paul Foot's sloppy review (Books, 16 November) of Smear!: Wilson and the Secret State deserves some comment. Foot accuses us of 'ascribing perfectly justifiable...

Foreign pigs

The Spectator

Sir: I thought both Auberon Waugh and Charles Moore would be interested to learn that it is illegal to call your pig 'Napoleon' in France. (You may, however, call your boeuf...

Lecturer lectured

The Spectator

Sir: The spectacle of Mr Peter Levi in the guise of an outraged scholai disposing of another 'daft' Life of Shakespeare is really rather comical. His review of Garry O'Con-...

Sophisticated argument

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Sir: Neil Lyndon has worked himself up into such a state that he cannot tell the dif- ference between debate and censorship (The wrongs of women', 23 November). I find Martin...

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Antony Lambton

The Spectator

The only new book I really enjoyed last Year was Anne Somerset's Elizabeth I ( . W eidenfeld, £20). I started it with trepida- t ion, as I know the authoress and, despite the...

J.G. Links

The Spectator

It is hardly stretching a point to call Anthony Powell's Dance to the Music of Time (12 volumes, Mandarin Paperbacks £3.99 each) a book of 1991. I read it straight through and...

John Whitworth

The Spectator

The Faber Book of Drink, Drinkers and Drinking (Faber, £15.99) is a very fat book, edited with erudition and good humour by Simon Rae. I love the doctor overheard by Martin...


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Books of the Year A further selection of this year's best or most overrated books, chosen by some of The Spectator's regular contributors Bryan Robertson Apart from...

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Mark Archer

The Spectator

In Pagan Virtue.• An Essay in Ethics (OUP, £12.50) John Casey contrasts the self- abnegation at the heart of the Christian ethic with the assertive tradition of the classical...

Anthony Blond

The Spectator

I liked the certain way in which Isabel Colegate in her twelfth novel, Summer of a Royal Visit (Hamish Hamilton, £14.95), picks you up and puts you down in the sleazy end of...

Andro Linklater

The Spectator

Despite the knobbly monotone of his writing, James Kelman's collection of short stories, The Burn (Seeker, £13.99), keeps its uncomfortable shape quite clear in my mind while...

John McEwen

The Spectator

In this year of the Japan Festival the most revealing book on the Western infatuation with Japan has been Wandering Ghost: The Odyssey of Lafcadio Hearn by Jonathan Cott (Knopf,...

Patrick Skate Catling

The Spectator

Wolf Mankowitz's valediction (he says it's his last book) is that rarity, an entertaining novel of ideas. A Night with Casanova (Sinclair-Stevenson, £13.95) is a thought - fully...

Anne Chisholm

The Spectator

For those who are beginning to feel that the biography bandwagon is out of control, David Marr's superb book about Patrick White (Cape, £20) should be a reassurance. He has...

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The Spectator

SPECTAT R SPECIAL OFFER "Why have we had to wait 20 years for this book? Like the glorious, festering piles of stone he draws, John Glashan is a great national monument that...

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Frederic Raphael

The Spectator

The Promised Land (Macmillan, £20) is Nicholas Lemann's study of the accelerated black migration from the southern states to, in particular, Chicago, with all its expected, and...

Richard Ingrams

The Spectator

A. J. P. Taylor's Letters to Eva (Century, £20) gave a fascinating picture of the man as historian and his complicated private life. Not only a touching love story but also a...

Alastair Forbes

The Spectator

Not, like Sir Raymond Carr (The Spectator, 23 November), possessing a beautiful bas-bleu ducal daughter-in - law (relationship undisclosed, doubtless for reasons of space) to...

J. L. Carr

The Spectator

Penelope Fitzgerald's The Gate of Angels (Fontana, £4.99) is a marvellous story told lightly. (Much artifice always needed to pull that off.) Then Ellis Peters' Summer of the...

Fiona Maddocks

The Spectator

Letters from a Life: Selected Letters and Diaries of Benjamin Britten edited by Donald Mitchell and Philip Reed (Faber, two volumes, £75) was a mighty achieve- ment, but hardly...

Francis King

The Spectator

The most remarkable, though not the best, book of the year was John Osborne's Almost a Gentleman (Faber, £14.99). A Japanese scientist once described to me, during a fuel...

Harriet Waugh

The Spectator

The best first novel of the year is undoubt- edly Fraser Harrison's High on the Hog (Heinemann, £13.99). It follows the fortunes of the Albion family, who are pig farmers, over...

Ross Clark

The Spectator

Although the gross overproduction of biographies continued apace this year, I have to admit to enjoying Adrian Vaughan's new life of Brunel. Although not a great literary work,...

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Jennifer Paterson

The Spectator

I particularly enjoyed a curio of a book called Can't Quit You Baby, written most touchingly by Ellen Douglas (Virago, £ 4 .99). It tells the story of a faithful black servant...

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The way he lived then

The Spectator

Raymond Carr TROLLOPS by N. John Hall OUP, £25, pp. 581 T rollope's own industry — he wrote some 70 books — has been matched by that of his recent biographers. What with...

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Alive and accurate enough

The Spectator

James Michie EPIC TO EPIGRAM: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CLASSICAL VERSE translated by Peter Hadley Duckworth/ Bristol Classical Press, £6.95, pp. 128 S hakespeare, according to Ben...

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The hope of the poor

The Spectator

Paul Foot NEVER A YES MAN: THE LIFE AND POLITICS OF AN ADOPTED LIVERPUDLIAN by Eric Heifer Verso, £16.95, pp. 242 T he awful news that they had only a few months to live had...

No Lesson

The Spectator

A class, the class, and in the know we wait, Absurdly still, behaving, eyes ahead Because we know and picture what we know: the pail above the door. The found dead Curled in the...

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A whopper landed by central casting

The Spectator

Sidney Vines I f this book were a horse it would be called Fly Fishing by Michael Russell out of Yellow Pages: veterinary surgeon — Peter Lapsley. It all had its origins in a...

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Brief life is here our portion

The Spectator

Bryan Robertson SELF PORTRAIT by Patrick Proctor Weidenfeld, £18.99, pp. 191 s i nters and sculptors almost invariably write clearly and vividly without apparent strain. They...

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He should have died hereafter

The Spectator

Andrew Clifford NO HEROICS PLEASE: UNCOLLECTED WRITINGS by Raymond Carver £13.99, pp. 239 CARVER COUNTRY: THE WORLD OF RAYMOND CARVER photographs by Bob Adelman, introduction...

A gift for making and spending money

The Spectator

James Lees-Milne GRAND DUKES AND DIAMONDS: THE WERNHERS OF LUTON HOO by Raleigh Trevelyan Seeker ci Warburg, £20, pp.356 ""loolmmir I n a foreword to this rather lengthy book...

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A fair deal for a daemonic polecat

The Spectator

Roy Jenkins LONE STAR RISING: LYNDON JOHNSON AND HIS TIMES, 1908-1960 by Robert Dallak OUP, £25, pp.721 N ot only the subject but every other aspect of this book is very...

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A catalogue of error and defeat

The Spectator

Philip Ziegler POLITICAL DIARIES, 1932-197 1 by Patrick Gordon Walker edited by Robert Pearce The Historian's Press, £20, pp.335 ..0 P atrick Gordon Walker stares from the...

The bonfire and the phoenix

The Spectator

John Jolliffe THE LAST EMPRESS: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ZITA OF AUSTRIA-HUNGARY by Gordon Brook-Shepherd HarperCollins, £20, pp. 347 T he Empress Zita's background was not so...

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A selection of recent children's books

The Spectator

Juliet Townsend U sually the books I request for review arrive slowly and at intervals. This year they are descending on me with the relent- less profusion of Milton's autumnal...

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The Spectator

Exhibitions 1 Palaces of Art: Art Galleries in Britain 1790-1990 (Dulwich Picture Gallery, till 1 March) Pictures for the people Ruth Guilding T he great British public's...

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The Spectator

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Barbican) Hammered horror Christopher Edwards R obert Louis Stevenson ' s short novel has been adapted for the RSC by David Edgar...

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Exhibitions 2

The Spectator

Paul Mount (New Art Centre, till 24 December) Cabinet Paintings (Gillian Jason, till 20 December Scale and polish Giles Auty L ast week I delivered a minor pane- gyric on...

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The Spectator

Top of the bops Martin Gayford R ecently I have been having a dis- agreement over new jazz recordings with my friend Gavin who runs a record shop in Cambridge. He thinks there...

7 - 1 71 -, s , I A t 7I wv

The Spectator

11 Alt A monthly selection of forthcoming events recommended by The Spectator's regular critics OPERA Die Fledermaus. London Coliseum (071 836 3161). from 2 December. Fresh...

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Indian art

The Spectator

The little dancing gem Juliet Reynolds he discovery of the Indus civilisation in the 1920s, under the leadership of Sir John Marshall, was one of the most important moments in...

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The Spectator

Hot Shots! (12', Odeon Leicester Square) The Indian Runner (`15', Cannon Tottenham Court Road) Secret weapon Harriet Waugh O ne might be excused for thinking from the...

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The Spectator

Hopkins and historicism Alan Powers on the refurbishment of Bracken House T hen the building got listed,' said Michael Hopkins, architect of the nearly Completed additions to...

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The Spectator

We're quite nice, honestly Martyn Harris D o Men Hate Women?' was the sub- ject of this week's Everyman (BBC 1, 10.05 p.m., Sunday) and was prefaced by the usual gloomy...

High life

The Spectator

Proud to be Greek Taki A everyone who has ever attended boarding school knows, dishing it out but not being able to take it is the quintessen- tial sign of the bully. Having...

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New life

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Wrong number Zenga Longmore S aturday afternoon brings so many interesting scenes to Brixton market that only the most determined shopper can think of actually buying...

Low life

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Vodka and water Jeffrey Bernard Barbados h avehave never known a sunshine break to equal this one. It has rained solidly — if that's possible — for eight days. A freak...

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1 4 111 1M R

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Leoni's Quo Vadis THE APPEAL of novelty is the critic's weakness: it is not simply a case of the jour- nalistic impulse to document the new, hut, less commendably, there is...

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Thoroughly modern Xavielly Raymond Keene T he phrase 'Hypermodern Chess' often Crops up in annotations and it is worth explaining what this means. In brief, hypermodernism was...


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ceiVAS REGAL 12 YEAR OLD SCOTCH WHISKY c_cyLIVAS REG Az W: 12 YEAR OLD SCOTCH WHISKY Cute Kids Dept Jaspistos to provide a sickening example of arch or se ntimental talk...

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No. 1707: Whopping porkies

The Spectator

This week, in Cumbria, seven people were competing in a tournament to decide who is the most fluent, fantastic and amusing liar in the country. You are invited to join in...

Solution to 1034: Many a OP ii°kITLetALLT_M NETEdyilThi'S E R

The Spectator

uL I. J.., N _LI sil Nit U_ I _F 1 A .!' Dl. IL E d_ E .1., A_ T ja. Fl..§.- STRAD_OLELE "SL'he. unclued lights are synonyms of GIB 14 D 1 Jj IA it 211 M l. U 021 El - mi...

CROSSWORD 1037: Partners in rhyme by Ascot

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A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of i10 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of Chambers English Dictionary — ring the word `Dictionary') for the first three correct solutions...

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Pugnacious Little John Frank Keating FRANK BRUNO'S tedious bandwagon hardly gets back on the road before the wheels are seen to be wobbling. The erst- while pantomime clown's...


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Dear Mary. . . Q. Can you please recommend a suitable Christmas present to be given to a very become person? My husband's father has uecome almost pathological about saving...