31 OCTOBER 1992

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The Spectator

T he Government attempted to use pro- posals by Denmark to renegotiate the Maastricht Treaty to cow rebels before next week's House of Common's debate on Europe. It had earlier...

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To lose one leader was a misfortune, but to lose a second might be downright necessary S IMON HEFFER F or reasons I could not, at the time, fathom, I was bothered last...

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ALEXANDER CHANCELLOR A New York it so happened, practically the last person I saw in London last week before emigrating for a year to New York was the former Secretary of State...

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Murray Sayle traces the consumer debt crisis back to its origins and discovers that the rot started about 500 years ago QUITE APART from being the main- spring of market...

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Michael Heath

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Old-timer Jurek Martin says that sleaze is not new to American presidential elections: what's new is the way the media feed on it Campaigns generally end with a bang or a...

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Isabel Wolff argues that the Nobel Peace Prize has often gone to terrorists, but not this year OF ALL THE six Nobel prizes, the Peace Prize has always attracted the most...

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Stephen Fay argues that secrecy at the Treasury and the Bank of England has enabled incompetence to be perpetuated and protected THE FIRST rule of British economic management...

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Charlotte Joll explains why the hospital where her children were born should be closed down SIR BERNARD TOMLINSON'S report, published last week, carries with it the threat or...

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If symptoms persist.. .

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WHO'D BE a doctor? I arrived home last Friday evening gasping for a drink after a long and arduous clinic. I was just raising my glass to my lips when my radio-pager went off....

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Allan Massie finds extraordinary parallels between the prime ministerial styles of John Major and Harold Wilson The election was a crowning triumph for the Prime Minister....

One hundred years ago

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RUMOURS have been flying about all the week of dissensions in the Cabinet, and have attracted so much attention that a semi-official denial has been put forward. It is also...

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Byron Rogers tries to explain why women in the countryside were so easily persuaded to set fire to themselves THE MOST extraordinary case I have ever heard of has just ended. A...

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The darkness of Maastricht falls on Spain PAUL JOHNSON The Spanish are an extraordinarily attractive people who are totally without vanity but have deep-rooted pride. They are...

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Fat cats and sweet and sour mice meet the unforbidden city CHRISTOPHER FILDES Shanghai h avehave been bumped out of my hotel by the Emperor of Japan. Rank has its privi-...

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Sir: Defending The Tattooed Jungle, Tony Parsons claims that 'someone

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from Living Marxism . . . called Channel 4 to denounce the film as "a capitalist plot".' I was the `someone' who telephoned Right to Reply, and the words 'a capitalist plot'...

Sir: Thank you for your acknowledgment of my letter of

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last week. It was addressed to Mrs Peter Bottomley MP. In view of the importance clearly attached to the correct (or politically cor- rect) form of address, I apologise for...

Et tu, Brute

The Spectator

Sir: Dear me: poor Simon Heifer is a thin- skinned fellow. Perhaps he should pay less attention to what the press says about him. One teasing comment from me, and he devotes...

The class struggle

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Sir: Tony Parsons' problem is that he seems to believe genuinely that anyone who dis- agrees with his tarted-up rant about the working class must be a lentil-sucking liber- al...

Flat injustice

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Sir: John Martin Robinson ('When reform means ruin', 24 October) forecasts dire effects from our proposals for leasehold reform. But has Dulwich Village become s qualid as a...


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Girl talk Sir: Barbara Amiel's article, 'The secret agenda of gender' (17 October), is the best short history of late 20th-century feminism that I have seen, and also the best...

Sir: I agree with much of what Tony Par- sons

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said about the degradation of the working class (to which I belong myself) as compared with what we were like some decades ago. But this degradation has to a considerable extent...

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Simon Helfer adds: Both Bruce Anderson and I believe the

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other to be living in a fantasy world. For the last two years I have been writing relentlessly that the Government's policies would bring disaster. For the last two years Mr...

A question of size

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Sir: In the course of his first observations concerning the closure of the mines, Mr Heseltine told us that he couldn't 'allow his heart to rule his head'. This would have been...

Typically backward

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Sir: I should like to protest most strongly at Giles Auty's suggestion that Colonel Fred- erick Gustavus Burnaby, whose portrait by Tissot is reproduced in The Spectator, was a...

Greek hate

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Sir: In my article on Greek nationalism (The new bully of the Balkans', 15 August) I described the case of Hristos Sideropou- los, a Greek Slav who lost his job as a forestry...

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Another damned, thick square book Hilary Mantel THE OXFORD DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS edited by Angela Partington OUP, £25, pp. 1136 T his is a sumptuous book, but caviare to...

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She had a dream

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Peregrine Worsthorne THE ANATOMY OF THATCHERISM by Shirley Robin Letwin Fontana, f6.99, pp. 377 D e Gaulle had a certain idea of France and Mrs Thatcher had a certain idea of...

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C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas Daguerre

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Bruce Bernard OUT OF THE SHADOWS: HERSCHEL, TALBOT AND THE INVENTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY by Larry J. Schaaf Yale, £45, pp. 187 T he collaboration between William Henry Fox Talbot...

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Stirring up

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a WASPs' nest Amanda Craig THE SECRET HISTORY by Donna Tartt Viking, £14.99, pp. 544 O ver-hyped, over-paid and over here, the American brat pack has been one of the most...

The pig who abolished the future

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Christopher Potter GENIUS: RICHARD FEYNMAN AND MODERN PHYSICS by James Gleick Little, Brown & Co, £18.99, pp. 531 D espite the recent success of perhaps half a dozen popular...

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Two writers are better than one

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Mark Illis LEVIATHAN by Paul Auster Faber, £14.99, pp. 245 I t is disheartening to find that the subject of a novel is a writer. This novel is about two writers. It is also by...

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Out of darkness

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Robert Oakeshott AFRICAN LAUGHTER: FOUR VISITS TO ZIMBABWE by Doris Lessing HarperCollins, f16.99, pp. 442 It's hard to remember all the new names. I sometimes say Salisbury...

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The passing of the Fifth Floor up

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Kenneth Rose WILLIAM CAMROSE: GIANT OF FLEET STREET by his son Lord Hartwell Weidenfeld, £17.99, pp. 362 I t is just 40 years since I went to work for Lord Camrose at the...

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The great Arsenal of democracy

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J.L. Carr FEVER PITCH by Nick Hornby Gollancz, f13.99, pp. 247 I ts title tells all. Fever is constant, only the pitch changes in this chillingly wry case-history of a...

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Not many people want to know this

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Julie Burchill WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT by Michael Caine Century, f16.99, pp. 473 I f Michael Caine did not exist, The Spectator would have to invent him. Or the Telegraph, or one...

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Exhibitions 1 Bill Jacklin: Urban Portraits (Marlborough Fine Art and Marlborough Graphics, till 28 November) Rainer Fetting: 'America' (Raab Gallery, till 25 November) Big...

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The beam in Spain's eye Christopher Howse on the desecration of Saragossa We tend to see our own worst faults in others. I have recently seen some in Saragossa. The great...

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Merce Cunningham Dance Company (Queen Elizabeth Hall) Cunningham cult Sophie Constanti T o suggest that the current popularity of the Merce Cunningham Dance Compa - ny might,...

Op e ra Julius Caesar (Theatre Royal, Glasgow) Falstaff (Wimbledon)

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The Rake's Progress (Sadler's Wells Porgy and Bess (Covent Garden) Handel with care Rupert Christiansen T o a hardened Romantic like myself, the shallow and self-regarding...

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

The Spectator

regular critics THEATRE No Man's Land, Almeida (071 359 4404), 2 November. Harold Pinter with Paul Eddington in his own play, first seen with Gielgud and Richardson. Our...

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The Spectator

Kiss of the Spider Woman (Shaftesbury) Which Witch? (Piccadilly) A musical with muscle Sheridan Morley K iss of the Spider Woman is far and away the best thing to have...


The Spectator

Husbands and Wives (`15', selected cinemas) Strictly Ballroom (`PG', selected cinemas) Wobbly man Vanessa Letts H usbands and Wives should come with a health warning. People...

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Hard board Martyn Harris F or anyone with painful memories of their university interview there were plenty of knee-crossing moments in Doctors to Be (BBC 2, Monday, 8.10...

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Low life

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Me and my teddy bear Jeffrey Bernard I was just getting used to Vera's holiday stand-in, the shy Irish girl I called County Claire, when she was struck down with flu. Her...

High life

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Strangle hold Taki I hadn't realised what a great sense of humour the Duke of Westminster and Lord Cadogan have. Both men are said to be angry at the communist Government of...

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Long life

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Accustomed as I am . . . Nigel Nicolson T he most dramatic speech I have ever made, and therefore the most successful, was to an audience of 12 men sitting in darkness on an...

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IT IS ABOUT time Martin Saxon had his own place.

The Spectator

But that sounds churlish. The truth of the matter, certainly, is that Saxon's emergence as proprietor, rather than his usual front-of-house manager, is as welcome as it was...

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Raymond Keene M odern tournament chess faces a crisis caused by computers. Although they have still made no serious impact in tournaments, they are quite capable of perfect...

P s R L ON ,

The Spectator

PURE HIGHLAND MALT PURE HIGHLAND MALT COMPETITION Story of the limericks Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1751 you were invit- ed to write a narrative poem in the form of three...

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G RA: 1 -1 8" AM'S

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GRAHAM'S PORT r CROSSWORD 1083: A byte of the apple by Doc A first prize of £20 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on...

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Test of time Frank Keating ALAS, I HAD to miss John Woodcock's retirement supper thrown by the Times at Lord's on Monday. I rang up the dear fel- low to wish him a good do on...


The Spectator

Dear Mary.. . Q. The publishers of my book are very kindly giving a party for me next month and are about to send out invitations. I am looking forward to it, but wonder what...