30 OCTOBER 1999

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T he Lords passed the third reading of the Bill to abolish the voting rights of heredi- tary peers by 221 to 81. The Earl of Burford, heir to the Duke of St Albans, leapt from...

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We can't defeat the French by thinking with our stomachs BRUCE ANDERSON There are moments when most of us feel like that, and it would be so easy to give way to our emotions....

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CHARLES MOORE A the end of last week, I went shooting (pheasants) in Northern Ireland. To take a legally held shotgun into the province, you have to fill in a form many weeks...

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The hard truth about honesty which Mr Blair will discover in stormier times MATTHEW PARRIS A n incident can be minor in itself, but illuminating. One such occurred last...

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Sadakat Kadri investigates the moral schizophrenia of James Palumbo AS trendsetters go, James Palumbo is a strange fish. The erstwhile Etonian, Oxoni- an and City high-flier...

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The Knights of St John's claims to 900 years of uninterrupted tradition are bogus, says Damian Thompson 'BLOODBATH led to 900 years of care for the sick' announced the headline...

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Geoffrey Owen on what really caused the death of the British-owned motor industry THE Wimbledon syndrome was again in evidence at the London Motor Show last week. An array of...

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Toby Young pours scorn on a raging American debate on masculine 'identity' New York ARE American men in the throes of an identity crisis? Until last week, the so- called...

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Contrary to propaganda, mass graves in Kosovo are a myth, says John Laughland IT was a lonely job, being Prime Minister, Tony Blair told the Labour party confer- ence. He had...

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Damien McCrystal laments the ousting of the traditional bouncer by a chi ppy new breed of 'security consultants' BEING thrown out is not a new experi- ence for me. It is...

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Michael Heath

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After the discovery of an illegitimate Royal, Rachel Johnson explores the Belgian national fixation on conspiracy Brussels 'I THINK we've been burgled,' I said as I came...

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The juggernaut lurches but stays on the road with a little help from its enemies CHRISTOPHER FILDES O ne of the few pleasures of opposition must be to loosen the wheels of a...

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We are promised a great spectacle: Mr Al Fayed's first appearance in a British court STEPHEN GLOVER It all seems a very long time ago, part of another world. The Tory party...

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Honest Oswald

The Spectator

From Mr Rupert S. Mynah Sir: Mr Paul Johnson knows that Oswald Mosley consistently put his political propos- als clearly, frankly and openly to the people (when allowed to do...


The Spectator

Presume not God to scan From Mr Richard Ritchie Sir: Andrew Roberts should be more care- ful (Diary, 23 October). Lady Mosley is theo- logically sound in claiming that she does...

Haider is no liberal

The Spectator

From Mr Nigel Jones Sir: Lest silence be taken for consent and your readers deceived, may I take up a small space to answer Professor von Zug- bach's lengthy diatribe promoting...

Disney v. Eurotrash

The Spectator

From Mr Nigel Rodgers Sir: Matthew d'Ancona ('Disney is the New Shakespeare', 16 October) is surely com- paring chalk and cheese. Disney films may be brilliant in their own...

Too hard on Railtrack

The Spectator

From Mr Michael Wadman Sir: I suppose that it was inevitable that Alan Rusbridger (Diary, 16 October) would toe the government line and blame Railtrack for the Ladbroke Grove...

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Hanging offence

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From Mr Basil H. Pinsent Sir: I always enjoy 'Country Life'; I was sur- prised, however, to see that Leanda de Lisle (16 October) may have allowed her young son to eat the...

Bellicose bonehead

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From Mr Randhir Singh Bains Sir: Bruce Anderson argues (Politics, 23 October) that military rule may be good for Pakistan, provided it is headed by a man like General Franco or...

From Mr Edmund Coxhead Sir: On the subject of ludicrous

The Spectator

rail excuses, I have always savoured the rather surreal 'pickpockets at Sloane Square' heard on the Circle Line about 20 years ago. More recently, on the Intercity to Euston, I...

Lost for an excuse

The Spectator

From Mr Hamish Blyth Sir: Here's one for the crass excuses collec- tion (Letters, 16 October): 'The late depar- ture of the train at platform 2 is because the driver of the...

Rugby's empty stadiums

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From Mr Mark Dowie Sir: The headmaster of Dover College's let- ter ('Not so soft', 16 October) on that school's abandonment of rugby in favour of soccer cites only the symptoms...

Claws and effect

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From Mr John Hindle Sir: Sift Simon seemed to enjoy his meal at Offshore (Restaurants, 16 October). What a pity he didn't know what he ate. Moreton Bay Bugs are not yabbies....

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Whited sepulchres, spin-serpents, the world, the flesh and the Devil PAUL JOHNSON T he Archbishop of Canterbury is so dis- mayed by his Church's public image, and his own,...

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The triumph of bourgeois complacency PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE N owadays I seem to spend my working life — regrettably a diminishing slice of my real life — desperately searching...

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The compromising photographs that reveal Mr Blair's youthful indiscretions FRANK JOHNSON r Geoffrey Robinson is letting it be known to friends that he is in possession of...

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HOW TO BLOW A MILLION Luxury Goods Special

The Spectator

You've been framed David Lee on how a cabal of 17 manipulate the art world to their own financial benefit LET us suppose you are a man or woman of taste, and not short of a...

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Lucia van der Post attacks the prevailing fashion for attacking the fashion industry IT IS odd how many otherwise apparently intelligent people persist in thinking that fashion...

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Martin Vander Weyer on what the man of the world can get for just £286,725 I KNOW several small boys who could identify the marques of passing sports cars long before they...

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Lyall Watson says there's nothing like a good sniff WE may be naked apes but there is anoth- er, more fundamental way in which we dif- fer from our nearest relatives. We have...

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Petronella Wyatt charts the rise of the 'designer sale' boutiques THERE comes a time in every woman's life when she finds herself staring into the window of a second-hand dress...

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Elinor Goodman on the Arcadian pleasures of buying a horse in Ireland I DIDN'T, it has to be admitted, actually need to buy a horse. It hits me, now that the deed is done and...

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Not a lonely genius Philip Hensher REMBRANDT'S EYES by Simon Schama Allen Lane, £30, pp. 768 S imon Schema's enormous and exhaust- ing book is a wilfully old-fashioned exami-...


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The description of Queen Philippa's husband as Edward II instead of Edward III in Christopher Tyerman's review of Trial by Fire by Jonathan Sumption last week was our slip, not...

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Every picture a Person from Porlock

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Mary Keen BRITAIN THEN AND NOW by Philip Ziegler Weidenfeld, £25, pp. 432 N ancy Mitford's Sun King was the first example of the serious illustrated book. Since then, readers...

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Top marks all round

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Anita Brookner A TIME TO BE IN EARNEST: A FRAGMENT OF AUTOBIOGRAPHY by P. D. James Faber, £16.99, pp. 266 C harmed lives are rare, but they do exist and they exert an awful...

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The blessed Arnold

The Spectator

Jonathan Sumption LORD GOODMAN by Brian Brivati Richard Cohen Books, £20, pp. 304 T his account of postwar England's most famous fixer was obviously intended to be a hatchet...

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A patrician's view from the high moral ground

The Spectator

Rupert Christiansen IN HOUSE: COVENT GARDEN by John Tooley Faber, £25, pp. 318 T hroughout the first 200 pages of this guarded and dignified volume of memoirs, Sir John Tooley...

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Playing the game A. N. Wilson

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A MAN OF CONTRADICTIONS: A LIFE OF A. L. ROWSE by Richard 011ard Allen Lane, £20, pp. 367 T here was an artless, if spirited article recently in one of the popular papers with...

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Flaubert's parrot singing a new tune

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Gilbert Adair GEMMA BOVERY by Posy Simmonds Cape, L14.99, pp. 106 G emma Bovery was initially published as a daily serial in the Guardian. In that form, I have to say, and...

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The perilous Afghan road

The Spectator

Sara Wheeler AN UNEXPECItD LIGHT by Jason Elliot Picador, £16.99, pp. 396 T he toponyms of Afghanistan are freighted with romance — Nuristan, Badakhstan, Iskazer — conjuring...

Masters, mistresses and mysteries

The Spectator

John Michell DOGS THAT KNOW WHEN THEIR OWNERS ARE COMING HOME AND OTHER UNEXPLAINED POWERS OF ANIMALS by Rupert Sheldrake Hutchinson, £16.99, pp. 300 s a child Rupert...

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The new face of horror Every so often this film genre needs to be revitalised, says Michael Harrington W hy does a horror film such as The Blair Witch Project achieve such a...

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Renaissance Florence: The Art of the 1470s (National Gallery, till 16 January) Golden decade Martin Gayford T he past, notoriously, is another coun- try. But some parts are a...

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Celebrating Strauss Robin Holloway I n 1964, for the centenary of Richard Strauss's birth, his publishers issued the complete songs with piano in three vol- umes, completed by...

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King Priam (Coliseum) Trusting in Tippett Michael Tanner K ng Priam is Tippett's most sustained, though in its first two acts also highly com- pressed, attempt to demonstrate...

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The Blair Witch Project (15, selected cinemas) Spooking and swearing Mark Steyn I was hoping London's film critics would decline to roll over in the face of The Blair Witch...


The Spectator

Mukhamedov & Company (Sadler's Wells) Dance Umbrella (Queen Elizabeth Hall) Talent spotting Giannandrea Poesio I am always wary of performance titles that pair the name of a...

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The Lion King (Lyceum) Spend Spend Spend (Piccadilly) Moonshine (Hampstead) Out of tune Sheridan Morley S ince I seem to be the only critic, or indeed human being (the two...

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Two bad men James Delingpole T hough I have mostly been quite big and grown-up about my broken ankle, there was one night last week when I went into major panic mode. My leg...

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Cyclical crashes Michael Vestey A e we heading for another financial crash? Who knows? The BBC's economics editor Peter Jay obviously thinks so because at the end of a Radio...

Food for thought

The Spectator

Artichoke appeal Simon Courtauld begins a new monthly series on edible garden produce I first came across the Jerusalem arti- choke many years ago, while shooting pheasants. A...

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The turf

The Spectator

Listen to Willie Robin Oakley E nd of season flat-racing, in gambling terms, is no more than a matter of keeping your head above water as everything is flung on the racecourse...

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High life

The Spectator

Fathers and daughters Talc' New York 0 [der readers may recall when Harry Truman, as president of the United States, threatened to punch a music critic in the eye for having...

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Country life

The Spectator

Into the woods Leanda de Lisle I 'm not very attractive at the moment. My back has gone again and I look less like a maiden in distress than the kind of hideous old crone who...

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Singular life

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Week of agony Petronella Wyatt T he gossip columnist had me pinned behind a door. The questions kept coming, insistent and accusatory. The situation was becoming as sticky as...


The Spectator

Cashing in Andrew Robson IN MANY bridge tournaments, particular- ly in America, there is no money at stake. The prize for winning is honour, and possi- bly a berth on the...

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Peter Barnes Yoo THERE is a delicious unfairness about being a restaurant reviewer. Every week, I craft original and thought-provoking analy- ses of British politics and public...

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Vicarspeak Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2108 you were asked for an extract from Tony Blair's address to the nation in his fourth term of office, assuming that his...


The Spectator

SINGLE ISLAY MALT SCOTCH WHISKY CHESS Hoc opus, hic liber est Raymond Keene I HAD expected to close my review of cur- rent chess books last week, but the unex- pected...

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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 November, with two run- ners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, the...

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Shame is the name Simon Barnes I PICKED up the papers on Monday morn- ing to learn that boxing had been 'shamed'. This was not the first time I had read such a thing. Perhaps,...


The Spectator

Dear Mary. . Q. Most of my cousins have taken early retirement. This is inconvenient for their wives as they get in the way of the hoovering. So, several of them have been...