3 OCTOBER 1998

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The Spectator

Jesus wants us for a sunbeam . . I n spite of long delays aboard a Virgin train, the Labour party succeeded in gath- ering at Blackpool for its annual confer- ence. Reacting to...

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The OR The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 WHAT MR HAGUE MUSTN'T DO N ext week, when William Hague steps up to the...

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Mr Blair's enemy isn't within, it's ahead BRUCE ANDERSON t may have been the most successful conference speech that Mr Blair will ever make. It was well-delivered and...

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SION SIMON Blackpool n Sunday, I came on a Virgin hell- train that was two hours late for insuffer- ably banal reasons. The previous one had caught fire, with smoke in evidence...

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The Edward Heath I knew. Well, for one lunch, anyway FRANK JOHNSON W hen Diana, Princess of Wales, died, every editor who had ever been anywhere near her wrote of the Diana he...


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sponsors THE MEDIA SOCIETY DEBATE HOME RULE FOR ENGLAND? The Purbeck Lounge Bournemouth International Centre on Tuesday 6th October at 5.30 pm Chairman: Frank Johnson, Editor,...

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IT SOUNDS like the perfect 'modern' royal away-day to please the People. The Queen is to tour a vast new housing devel- opment and drop in on a pub. This is not just any old...

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Second opinion

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I SEEM to have an adverse effect on my patients. Far from making them feel bet- ter, I make them feel worse. For exam- ple, only the other morning I saw one of my patients...

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Nicholas Owen offers a television royal correspondent's view of the post-Diana monarchy THE BIG TEST for any spin doctors attendant upon Her Majesty may well come next year. The...

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Andrew Gimson on how Herr Schroder could stay in power for a dozen years Bonn THERE WAS free beer at the Social Democrats' election night celebrations in Bonn, but getting...

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New Hampshire SENATOR Patrick Leahy isn't bothering with 'attack ads' this time round. Up for re- election in Vermont, he's running a com- mercial showing himself dozing under a...

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Edward Heathcoat Amory hears some questioning of the belief that the '97 non-voters were Tory Eurosceptics THE FEW remaining big beasts in the Conservative political jungle...

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Mind your language

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`BET you don't know the answer,' my husband said over the breakfast table, looking up from a pile of propaganda and bribes from drug companies. I for- bore to mention that that...

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Peter Oborne offers the first profile of Michael Ashcroft as new owner of the Conservative party LAST SUMMER the Tory leader William Hague abruptly shifted his office. Instead...

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Douglas Johnson on why France mourns the political passing of Helmut Kohl Paris THE STATEMENT was made some years ago, but it is being recalled today: 'When Helmut Kohl ceases...

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James Srodes on how Paris has taken advantage of White House scandal to see off Washington in Africa Washington, DC THE world's rulers at last week's United Nations meeting...

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Hugh Thomas discovers that he can see much of the United States from his balcony Boston FROM the generously proportioned French window onto a balcony of the piso which the...

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Felix Pryor tells how he discovered that an `important archive' of Hemingway material consisted of forgeries LYING in my bath the other day, I heard on the Today programme...

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The Spectator

Doing good by stealth and doing evil by debauching charity PAUL JOHNSON H ere is a true tale, told to me on excel- lent authority. Some years ago, a senior civil servant died...

Classifieds — pages 67 and 70

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A sellers' market

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I TAKE my hat off to the boys and girl (Carol Galley, no less) at Mercury Asset Management. They have outsmarted the great Goldman Sachs at the difficult art at selling out at...


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Sibley's Law shows where the money goes, but this time the banks choose a hedge CHRISTOPHER FILDES I know I should keep a straight face, but the spectacle of banks finding new...


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GOOD NEWS for all those (or both those) who want to go by Tube from Canada Water to Canning Town: there is light at the end of the tunnel. London Under- ground has called in...

No problems

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SOMEONE in Goldman Sachs's back office is whistling to keep his partners' spir- its up. He is running a corporate ad which shows a stern and rockbound coast such as the Pilgrim...

Booted out

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I WONDER how many votes Helmut Kohl got in the Bundesbank's stony corridors. His country's central bank is or was its most respected institution and he has twice walked all over...

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Venus tout entiere

The Spectator

Sir: In response to the point raised in Frank Johnson's Diary (19 September), I think that the greatness of Racine's line has something to do with the alternation of open vowel...

Sir: If the partly Belgian Peregrine Worsthorne wants all the

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British nations to be nice to each other, then how is it he describes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard as a `slightly disreputable Welsh maverick' (As I was saying, 26 September)? Wasn't...

Race relations

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Sir: I agree with your correspondent, Michael Wyndham (Letters, 26 Septem- ber), about excluding the Scots from credit for England's military triumphs in the Mid- dle Ages and...

Sir: Peregrine Worsthorne (England don't arise!', 19 September) states that

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the loss of Scotland 'would be like the loss of a leg'. Not to this Englishwoman it wouldn't. It would be more like scraping the barnacles off the hull or cutting the ivy away...

Sir: The English are a wonderful race. They have only

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one fault. They cannot under- stand why the rest of the world does not wish to become English too. Michael Grey 6 St Thomas Road, Edinburgh

Sir: The assertion in Mr Alan Ford's letter (26 September)

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that 'England has given more to Western civilisation in the arts, lit- erature, poetry, the sciences et al. than any other country' prompts one or two queries. Does he mean 'the...

LETTERS Shooting star

The Spectator

Sir: A man wins four gold medals for Eng- land at the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games, the second highest gold medal tally of the Games behind an Australian swim- mer. This feat...

Sir: Jonathan Wateridge's Scotsmen on your 15 August cover lack

The Spectator

authenticity in one particular only: at least three of the five have a full set of teeth. John Hughes Av. Roberto del Rio 1041, Depto 702, Providencia, Santiago, Chile

Sir: Racine is one of France's greatest poets and there

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are lines in his various plays that are justly regarded as the apogee of French poetic utterance, notably in Berenice. In Phedre Ariane, ma soeur! De quel amour blessee, Vous...

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Reading matters

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Sir: What a civilising influence your maga- zine must be, and how things change. Christopher Renwick feels sad that Alexan- der Rae's weekly highlight is reading The Spectator...

Not worth the risk

The Spectator

Sir: John Boyden's heartfelt and perceptive discourse on 'the destruction of great music by modern technology' (Arts, 26 Septem- ber) reminds me of a time before the advent of...

Sir: A couple of years ago, when I moved abroad,

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I pondered awhile as to which British magazines I should subscribe to, to keep me in touch with the old country. Being a fairly serious sort of chap, but with an anarchic...

LETTERS Kitchener's qualities

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Sir: I readily acknowledge Andrew Roberts's point that Queen Victoria opposed Kitchener's appointment as C-in-C India (Letters, 26 September), but her rea- sons may not have...

We're all screwy

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Sir: I'd like to congratulate Robert Haeger (`Screwed by Brussels', 26 September) on his sense of humour, which is not the case with most Americans. My great pleasure when I am...

Simple Simon

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Sir: Sion Simon knows absolutely nothing about me, my political beliefs or my activity in the Labour party, yet feels free to sug- gest that I am a liar, to denounce me as a...

Sir: If Christopher Renwick fails to under- stand why reading

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The Spectator can be the highlight of the week, he should try living in Bangladesh for a month or two. Bernard Bolton 3 K B Ismail Road, Mymensingh, Bangladesh

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The Spectator

Oliver Knox puts The Spectator's editor right about Racine Ce nest plus une ardeur dans mes veines cachee: C'est Venus tout entiere a sa proie attachee. (Phedre, Act I, scene...

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The Victoria Brittain drama (last act). She's failed STEPHEN GLOVER That action has now been ended on terms that should make the paper quite happy. Readers may recall that Mr...

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The miracle of survival Jane Gardam THE POCKET CANONS Canongate, each, or .£14.99 for a boxed set of 12 N ow that there is no such thing as a family Bible and carpenters like...

All books reviewed in The Spectator are available through THE

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SPECTATOR BOOKSHOP Tel: 0541 557 288

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The changing face of Marianne

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Sebastian Faulks PARIS AND ELSEWHERE: SELECTED WRITINGS by Richard Cobb, edited and introduced by David Gilmour John Murray, £20, pp. 276 A lthough his books of French history...

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Restoring a royal portrait

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John Vincent THE POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES OF EDWARD VII by Simon Heifer Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 342 E dward VII was a Good King. Unlike Victoria, he was deeply mourned by the...

Popcorn and Coke

The Spectator

Gilbert Adair GATES OF EDEN by Ethan Coen Doubleday, £12.99, pp. 288 I am, I think, a fairly rapid reader, but I have to say that Ethan Coen's collection of short stories,...


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12 Months 6 Months (52 issues) (26 issues) UK 0 £97.00 0 £49.00 Europe CI £109.00 0 £55.00 USA 0 US$161 CI US$82 Australia 0 Aus$225 0 Aus$113 Rest of World 0 £119.00 0 £60.00...

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The proper study of A Clark is Clark

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John Redwood THE TORIES by Alan Clark Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 494 A lan Clark is one of the great charac- ters of the day, a larger than life figure who refuses to be pushed...

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A great designer but not of her own life

The Spectator

Vicki Woods VIVIENNE WESTWOOD: AN UNFASHIONABLE LIFE by Jane Mulvagh HarperCollins, £19.99, pp. 402 T hough I am as keen on clothes as the next woman, I have never worn...

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An elegant sink of iniquity

The Spectator

Anthony Blond MACAO by Donald Pittis and Susan J. Henders OUP, £12.99, pp. 284 A weed from Catholic Europe, it took root Between the yellow mountains and the sea, And bore...

A bracing swim in words

The Spectator

P. J. Kavanagh THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF ENGLISH PROSE edited by John Gross OUP, £25, pp. 1012 hen asked to review this book how could anyone 'review' a book that is itself a...

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The Spectator

Firm but unfair STOP PRESS...STOP PRESS...STOP PRESS The Spectator website has arrived http://www.spectator.co.uk Log on now to discover what's in this week's issue, find out...

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Taking the whip to language

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Gabriele Annan HEAVY WATER AND OTHER STORIES by Martin Amis Jonathan Cape, 114.99, pp.256 T he nine short stories collected in Heavy Water were first published between 1976 and...


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The terror of the Thames Valley

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Andrew Barrow THE SOUND OF TRUMPETS by John Mortimer Vikin& L16.99, pp. 273 T his extremely lurid tale, which success- fully concludes the Titmuss trilogy, is as much concerned...

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Victims unmindful of their doom

The Spectator

Y ou're the kind of writer who'll be famous after you're dead,' said a friend the other day. Since she is old enough to have had lunch cooked for her by D. H. Lawrence (the main...

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The heart of the matter What are the right ingredients for making a blockbuster film? Michael Harrington investigates W hen autumn starts, Hollywood exec- utives examine the...

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Battling on Alan Powers Popular taste tends to be dismissed by architecture's existing champions as neces- sarily wrong when it fails to coincide with their own, but, despite...

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Speed (Whitechapel, till 22 November) That dizzy feeling Martin Gaylord P oor Harry,' one of Henry James's relations once unkindly remarked, 'he always chewed more than he...

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The Blue Room (Donmar Warehouse) Mum (King's Head) Star Struck (Tricycle) Don't be so patronising Sheridan Morley I have somehow failed to catch the Nicole Kidman fever...


The Spectator

Flight (Glyndebourne Touring Opera) Dove takes off Michael Tanner T he idea of the airport as metaphor for modern life, or as modern metaphor for life, is an obvious one, and...

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The Spectator

Cube (15, selected cinemas) Not so square Mark Steyn T here's a scene in John Maybury's new film Love is the Devil in which Francis Bacon has an orgasm watching Battleship...

Pop music

The Spectator

No sex, please Marcus Berkmann I t was possibly the catchiest record of the Summer That Never Was. 'Sex On The Beach' by T-Spoon was a staple of subur- ban disco, a guaranteed...

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The Spectator

Getting hitched Michael Vestey M any of us will have been impressed by the versatility of Tony Benn in his new role as a Mongolian throat singer on the Today programme...

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DIARY 19 9 9

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£14 Plain £ 15 Initialled The Spectator 1999 Diary, bound in soft red goatskin leather, is now available. Laid out with a whole week to view, Monday to Sunday, the diary is 5"...

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The turf

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Stick to your guns Robin Oakley I t is getting a little late in life to learn some of those things which I had always promised myself I would, like dry-stone walling, playing...


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The waiting game Edward Heathcoat Amory T he real contest at this year's Tory Party Conference is not in Bournemouth, but beyond the fringe, on the silver screen, where Chris...

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High life

The Spectator

Some party Taki T alk about a picture being worth a thou- sand words. Mo Mowlam taking the floor in the arms of the grotesque Chris Evans (at the Palace nightclub in Blackpool...

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Country life

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Away days . . if only Leanda de Lisle I don't suppose I'll ever get to the Bruce Oldfield fashion show I've been invited to in London either, and that's a pity. Until now the...


The Spectator

Elementary Andrew Robson AFTER every trick each player holds the same number of cards. If declarer has only two cards left, then an opponent also holds only two cards. If one...

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Imperative cooking: Land of the free?

The Spectator

IT HAS been a month of surprises: an unpleasant American one, a splendid Span- ish one and a reassuring French one. Imperative cooks always travel with a bottle of claret....

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LINDSAY HOUSE Alice Thomson THE BEARS arc loose in London's kitchens, according to George Trefgarne, writing in The Spectator last week. The first casualty of any economic...

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COMPETITION Bouts-rimes Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2053 you were invited to write a poem with 15 rhyme- words in a certain order. The rhyme-words came from Browning's...


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Best by . . . Raymond Keene KASPAROV'S projected match against Alexei Shirov has collapsed, with the Spanish ex-organisers running around hurl- ing imprecations at one...

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No. 2056: Double troubles

The Spectator

`The trouble with geraniums/is that they're much too red./The trouble with my toast is that/it's far too full of bread.' You are invit- ed to write a poem (maximum 16 lines) in...

CROSSWORD 1382: Point-to-point by Dumpynose

The Spectator

A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 19 October, with two runners- up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, the...

Solution to 1379: Who got rhythm?

The Spectator

nEldrA rlieharlearlarla COWBEI clarICOCIA J430E1310 UM ID COE11313 14 n . Docriacrm dri T Dane murmaildrima dim Emma aminnari a. cleric amino neoriormarranni arliPnT in,...

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Lord's and ladies Simon Barnes I HAVE seen the future, and it looks well, at first sight it knocked the present and the past into a cocked hat. She was black and comely,...


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Dear Mary.. . Q. I am contemplating travel abroad with my recently retired, 60-year-old, proud and not well-off bachelor cousin who has been an ever-present Christmas and...