3 MAY 1997

Page 4


The Spectator

`Well, who did you expect to win, old chap?' M r Tony Blair looked forward to being the kind of prime minister who is 'a modern man': 'I am part of the rock-and- roll...

Page 6


The Spectator

If Labour wins the election, Britain will come nowhere BRUCE ANDERSON DESPITE recent signs of strain, the Tory party has behaved better during this elec- tion campaign than...

Page 7


The Spectator

T ony Blair and I chat on his aeroplane, discussing the usual accusations he faces: the Left have been deceived and muzzled, the policies are vague, debate has been sti- fled,...

Page 8


The Spectator

Why Mr Blair will lose (respect and affection, that is) MATTHEW PARRIS W hen Faustus sold his soul to the Devil he received, in exchange, earthly power. By the time many of...

Page 9


The Spectator

Hardly anyone in Britain has noticed which two countries have really influenced the Labour leader. And, says Robert Taylor, neither of them is the United States MR TONY Blair's...

Page 10

Mind your language

The Spectator

MY HUSBAND took an exaggeratedly antipathetic attitude towards the elec- tion and unplugged the television. In the comparative peace (when Veronica was out) I turned over a few...

Page 11


The Spectator

. . . Petronella Wyatt was told by the woman in the Islington launderette who hopes Mr Blair will be moving out of the area TONY Blair is supposed to be Islington Man, or at...

Page 12

Second opinion

The Spectator

MY FIRST contact with the police was through the works of Enid Blyton. I had broken my leg in the school playground and was put to bed with Noddy Book Number 6, which had (as I...


The Spectator

. . . asks Sarah Whitebloom. Yes, says Robert Worcester. No, says David Carlton. Watch the silent Tories, says ICM FOR the last six weeks we have been look- ing at a 180-seat...

Page 14


The Spectator

Victoria Mather on the havoc caused by Pavarotti and a donkey on a plantation in Barbados THE SCENERY fell off the back of a lorry, 45 chickens intended for the cast's Sunday...

Page 17


The Spectator

. . . asked the Hezbollah man of John Casey, at the start of their chat about Mohammed, Christ, Hitler's Holocaust, etc IN THE courtyard of a mosque in which I was standing in...

Page 20


The Spectator

James Hanson says a Blair government would hand over more of education to the vet), people who have harmed it ONE of the more surprising aspects of this campaign has been the...

Page 22

The Spectator


The Spectator

For the first time, a French President has gone to the country a la Thatcher. Douglas Johnson says why IT IS Sir Vavasour Firebrace who springs to mind, Disraeli's worthy...

Page 26


The Spectator

What happens when a broadsheet editor loses his marbles PAUL JOHNSON 0 ne of the casualties of the election campaign, now mercifully ending, has been the reputation of the...

Page 28


The Spectator

Election? What election? Just a ritual going on at the other end of town from the City CHRISTOPHER FILDES T he frontier between finance and poli- tics runs north and south...

Page 29

Poor taste

The Spectator

Sir: Is Simon Hoggart all right? He takes a whole column (why?) to abuse a harmless new sitcom (Sunnyside Farm), savaging it with baffling intensity simply because it failed to...

Rich pickings

The Spectator

Sir: In Maurice Cowling's moving account of the dismissal of the trustees and presi- dent from Ade1phi University (Peterhouse `Well, I'm sorry, too, Myrna, but nobody made you...

LETTERS Members only

The Spectator

Sir: I regret to say that the article by Rory Knight Bruce, 'Hunters, don't listen to the press!' (26 April), refers to the MFHA fox- hunting study weekend which was a private...

Press freedom

The Spectator

Sir: ITN is suing Living Marxism magazine over its publication of the article by Thomas Deichmann about ITN's Bosnia reporting (`The picture that fooled the world', published in...

Meant to be funny

The Spectator

Sir: In his interesting article on the attitude of Labour's intellectuals towards Tony Blair (`Chattering against Mr Blair', 19 April), Robert Taylor includes a quote from me...

Music for the masses

The Spectator

Sir: Joan Bakewell's Diary of 29 March cru- elly emphasises the dread consequences of the decisions taken about funding the Royal Opera House. The £215 million raised for its...

Page 30

A nod and a wink

The Spectator

Sir: It has been brought to my notice that you carried an article by Alan Cochrane, `Outed by his aM folk', on 5 April regarding Sir Michael Hirst's resignation as chairman of...

Sir: The antics I obliquely referred to are, for General

The Spectator

Thompson's benefit (Letters, 26 April), Gallipoli, the Somme, Passchen- daele and March 1918. If the BEF played the major part in the Allied advance between July and October...

Sir: Is Alice von Schlieffen making fun of us? Does

The Spectator

she even exist? David Damant Agar House, 12 Agar Street, London WC2

Still no answers

The Spectator

Sir: Alice von Schlieffen lays down smoke (Letters, 12 and 26 April). No moral judg- ment was being made about her great- grandfather's plan to invade neutral Bel- gium. The...

Page 31


The Spectator

If there were more London fox-hunters, Mr Major would have had Max's support as well as his vote STEPHEN GLOVER A fter most elections enlightened people usually agree that...

Page 34


The Spectator

How Sir Claus Moser has helped me make up my mind how to vote PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE W hat would your reaction be if told that the top 20 to 30 per cent of Britain's schools...

Page 35


The Spectator

The best novel of the decade Philip Hensher MASON & DIXON by Thomas Pynchon Cape, £16.99, pp. 773 V ery grand and mad and beautiful, Thomas Pynchon's Mason & Dixon finally...

Page 36

The pleasure as well as the pain

The Spectator

Andro Linklater LORD HIGH EXECUTIONER: AN UNASHAMED LOOK AT HANGMEN, HEADSMEN AND THEIR KIND by Howard Engel Robson, £16.99, pp. 256 F ollowing the gory death of Pedro Med- ina...

Page 37

The grave, with gravity

The Spectator

Hilary Corke THE UNDERTAKING by Thomas Lynch Cape, £9.99, pp. 226 THE CHANGING FACE OF DEATH edited by Peter C. Jupp and Glennys Howarth Macmillan, £40, pp. 202 E liot was...

You're only middle-aged once

The Spectator

Thomas Blaikie MID LIFE: NOTES FROM THE HALFWAY MARK by Elizabeth Kaye Fourth Estate, £12, pp. 186 A reluctant 39-year-old like myself is not well placed to respond reasonably...

Page 38

Neighbours become good friends?

The Spectator

M. R. D. Foot FRANCE AND BRITAIN, 1940-1994 by P. M. H. Bell Longman, £42, £14.99, pp. 320 W e know all too well that we have a common frontier with our former Irish colony...

Page 40

On the rocks

The Spectator

James Simmons SUN DANCING: A MEDIEVAL VISION by Geoffrey Moorhouse Weidenfeld, f18.99, pp. 241 T his is a strange piece of work. The first half consists of imagined scenes of...

Casting a giant shadow

The Spectator

John Bowen JOHN WAYNE: THE POLITICS OF CELEBRITY by Garry Wills Faber, £.20, pp. 380 T his book is vexing but endearing. Both qualities are shown from the beginning when Wills,...

Page 41

It's not just a game

The Spectator

James Michie GOLF DREAMS by John Updike Hamish Hamilton, £13.99, pp. 201 G reat writers don't often interlock or overlap with the game of golf. Trollope had a stab at St...

Page 42

The language of her imagination

The Spectator

Jane Gardam THE SELECTED bD STORIES OF MAVIS GALLANT Bloomsbury, £25, pp. 888 I t is odd that Mavis Gallant, for decades publishing fiction in the New Yorker, widely...

Page 43

Only the sloppy leave a trace

The Spectator

Nicholas Harman LAST POST: THE END OF EMPIRE IN THE FAR EAST by John Keay John Murray, £22, pp. 385 A book called The Last Post should not have to fill most of its first page...

Page 44

Knowing the place for the first time

The Spectator

Patrick Skene Catling MY FOREIGN COUNTRY by Trevor Fishlock John Murray, £18, pp. 276 M ulligrubs' is a rare word dating from the 16th century. In Britain in 1997, however,...

Into the `promised' land

The Spectator

Robert Blake THE GREAT BETRAYAL by Ian Smith Blake Publishing, £20, pp. 418 F rom 1965 to 1980 Rhodesia was in the eye of the international storm. I was there during brief...

Page 45

Gentlemen lift the seat

The Spectator

Francis King GENTS by Warwick Collins Marion Boyars, f11.95, pp. 156 T hat its publishers should describe this book, little more than 20,000 words in length, as a novel, is the...

Page 46


The Spectator

Losing that shine David Helfgott's piano recitals have generated bitter controversy. Denis Dutton explains why Wit h the musical reputation of David Helfgott now in tatters,...

Page 47


The Spectator

Donnie Brasco (18, selected cinemas) Quietly does it Mark Steyn O ne of the few endearing qualities about Hollywood execs is their habit, for all their much-vaunted insider...

Page 48


The Spectator

The Glory of Byzantium (Metropolitan Museum, New York, till 6 July) The power and the glory Martin Gayford Icon with Moses before the Burning Bush, Byzantine (Mount Sinai?),...

Page 49


The Spectator

The Admirable Crichton (Chichester) The Caucasian Chalk Circle (National) An island story Sheridan Morley B efore his work was effectively ruined for consecutive generations...

Page 50

Pop music

The Spectator

Super coincidence Marcus Berkmann I t's a coincidence too magnificent to ignore: brand new albums by Supergrass and Supertramp, released on the very same day. Supergrass,...

Page 51

O pera Samson et Dalila (Scottish Opera) L'Elisir d'Amore (Covent Garden)

The Spectator

Don't resist temptation Michael Tanner S urely no one can resist Samson et Dalila if it is as well sung and acted as it is by Scottish Opera in Glasgow at the moment but...

Page 52

Solving a dastardly crime

The Spectator

Adrian and Marina Berry don their deerstalkers and settle down to a new computer game M ost people use personal computers merely as super-secretaries. But there is a rapidly...


The Spectator

Electing for music Michael Vestey I t was a pleasure to hear that Vanessa Redgrave had not abandoned politics. This fine actress, a revolutionary Marxist, had decided to vote...

Page 53


The Spectator

Friday night fillers James Delingpole M aybe he said it just to keep me happy, but I was awfully impressed when Dirk Bogarde told me once that he wasn't averse to a spot of...

Page 54

The turf

The Spectator

Weighty problems Robin Oakley . N eeding to take a small diversion into the nearest branch of Coral's to tend to my investments this week, I encountered a par- ticularly...

Page 55

High life

The Spectator

Misplaced power Taki B oth Plato and Aristotle thought very little of democracy. And the Ancient Greeks, in their infinite wisdom, practised it selectively. In The Republic,...

Low life

The Spectator

Hooked on baguettes Jeffrey Bernard L ast week I went to a restaurant, new to me and extremely good and with a very pleasant atmosphere, called Maison Novel- li at Clerkenwell...

Page 56

Country life

The Spectator

Let's be honest Leanda de Lisle I was fortunate enough to have been brought up by parents who had many for- eign friends: Europeans, Chinese, Arabs, Persians and Indians, but...

Page 57


The Spectator

Chicken? Andrew Robson I GAVE the following bidding problem to a number of experts and no one stood on the fence. Essentially the problem boils down to one of philosophy: you...

Page 58

BY the time this is out, the fate of the

The Spectator

nation will, I suppose, have been decided, and thank God all that tommy-rot that goes on in the media will cease. Meanwhile, we have had the very important feast day of St Zita,...

Page 60

ISLE OF I J SINGIF 11 , 1IT 1C0Itli • mr,,,,

The Spectator

1 ISLE OF le SISGLI %ALI X01(1111111111 COMPETITION Sheer torture Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1980 you were invited to construct from the name of an author and the title...


The Spectator

IN-THE-STRAND SIMPSON'S IN-THE-STRAND CHESS Wundergreis Raymond Keene THE GERMAN term Wunderkind has entered the English language, particularly in the realms of music,...

Page 61


The Spectator

A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1991 Port for the first correct solution opened on 19 May, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK...

Page 63


The Spectator

Interesting times Simon Barnes HE WAS given the nicknanie of 'Interest- ing' because they thought he was in fact very boring, but the nickname is appropri- ate because Steve...


The Spectator

Dear Mary. . Q. My old nanny is now retired but lives round the corner. My problem is that she is so kind: every time I tell her a friend of mine is expecting a baby, she...