4 MARCH 2000

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The Spectator

Stop whining M r Ken Livingstone tagged everyone along by delaying his decision about stand- ing for Mayor of London as an indepen- dent candidate. Mr Tony Blair, the Prime...

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The onanists, the stripper and the manic totalitarian BRUCE ANDERSON T ony Blair once had an unscripted meeting with some journalists and old Labour supporters. It took place...

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ANTHONY SAMPSON I have been back to South Africa as a jour- nalist 12 times over the last ten years; but this is the first time that I've visited with my fami- ly — an...

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The Guardian has taken a risk for peace. Gerry and Martin must not let it down BORIS JOHNSON M y relative scanned me closely. 'Are you all right, darling?' she asked. I can't...

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Justin Marozzi finds the most chilling possible explanation for a murder in Milton Keynes THE murder in Middle England has baffled everyone: the police, who are no nearer...

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Public money and professional wailers have ensured that Britain has a derisory film industry, says Alexander Walker IN Hollywood, if you want to make a film, you go to the...

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Petronella Wyatt on the astounding coincidence that has alarmed Dome insiders THERE was mystification all round when it was announced that Pierre-Yves Ger- beau was to take...

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Robert Hardman says that the Prince's warm reception in the Caribbean reflects his untrumpeted work with ethnic minorities Kingston, Jamaica WHEN the last Prince of Wales...

Mind your language

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VERONICA had spent half an hour sheltering from the rain in the green- house because I was delayed in letting her into the house by First Great West- ern (more like Last Great...

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Second opinion

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I RECEIVED a call last week from the clerk to the coroner's court. I like coro- ners' clerks; they seem to have a depth of character that is so often lacking in our superficial...

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Philip Delves Broughton on how Sinn Fein is raking it in on the back of its new-found 'respectability' New York STOOPED as though hearing a confes- sion, and with his hands...

Banned wagon

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A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit NO accident happens and no crime gets committed these days without the gov- ernment pushing ahead with a hasty set of...

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Michael Heath


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The global left-wing elite has found the ideal method of ignoring tiresome things like elections, says Mark Steyn New Hampshire CONSERVATISM is doomed. True, in the Eastern...

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Windows show us the world, but open into our souls too PAUL JOHNSON T here are true and false windows. An example of the false is television, which pur- ports to give you a...

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The Serbs are still being presented as the bad guys. So what's new in the news from Kosovo? STEPHEN GLOVER T en days ago up to 60,000 or 70,000 Albanians marched to the...

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From Mr Andrew McKie Sir: In his piece prompted by, but scarcely referring to, 'quite a reasonable book about Birtwistle' (Books, 26 February), Philip Hensher declares, 'Like...

LETTERS Pain leading to prosperity

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From Mr Allan Massie Sir: May I make some observations on Daniel Hannan's smug and superficial account of the 'strange death of Christian Democracy' ('Neither Christian nor...

From Ms Diana Gregson Sir: I have just read the

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article 'It's time to scrap the Millennium Don' (12 February) and find that it describes Cambridge 50 years ago. Have these young writers no respect for tradition? Diana...

Prison doctor, heal thyself

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From Mr and Mrs Paul Edwards Sir: As the parents of a prisoner, we suggest Theodore Dalrymple's characterisation of prisoners as members of a brutalised sub- class (`Killing...

Portraits of the Divine

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From Dr Sheridan Gilley Sir: I wonder if A.N. Wilson has missed the point of the National Gallery exhibition, Seeing Salvation, in remarking that `by mak- ing falsifiable, and...

Remote and ineffectual

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From Mr Bijan Omrani, Mr George Baily, Ms Catharine Gulick Sir: Professor Mayr-Harting (Letters, 19 February) claimed that 'the academic pro- fession . . . devotes itself to...

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The wrong Bum

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From Mr Rennie Airth Sir: I doubt the existence of Matthew Par- ris's General Lee Bhum Suk (Another voice, 19 February). It's an unlikely name for any Vietnamese. He may be...

From Mr John Jolliffe Sir: The excellent article by Peter

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Hitchens on 'political correctness' mentions switching off microphones in mid-speech. The Church of England threatens this in Wells Cathedral, of all places. The organiser of a...

Lessons of Vietnam

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From Mr John Colvin Sir: The similarity between the current nego- tiations with Sinn Fein/IRA and those between the US and Hanoi in 1973 continues to be overlooked. American...

Wet liberal Smith

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From Mr Stephen Goodson Sir: David Blair in his article on Ian Smith's schadenfreude over Robert Mugabe's refer- endum defeat (`Smith's jig of joy', 19 February) perpetuates the...

Arrogant architects

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From Mr Christopher Montgomery Sir: Viscountess Sidmouth suggests that my claim that 'few buildings prosper when their architect insists on knowing better than his client' is...

Intolerance of Tone

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From Frederick Forsyth Sir: Mr Peter Hitchens's critique (`As funny as an abattoir', 26 February) of Matthew Par- ris's article on supposed 'political soundness' CA lexicon of...

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The truth about Sir Stanley that I wouldn't tell if The Spectator were read on the terraces FRANK JOHNSON A friend, professionally involved in football, said something to me...

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Let's sell mortgages, and if our bank goes phut we'll sell it to the Bank of England CHRISTOPHER FILDES N ow here's a great business idea. Let's sell mortgages. Look at all...

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Old Britain flourishes and the spirit moves in Jamaica PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE I s there such a thing as a 'freebie' without commercial strings attached, or even, as in the case...

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Feud for thought Bevis Hillier STYLISTIC COLD WARS: BETJEMAN VERSUS PEVSNER by Timothy Mowl John Murray, £14.99, pp. 182 J ohn Betjeman once said that the only reason he took...

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Fair dos all round

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Geoffrey Owen JOBS AND FAIRNESS by Robert Oakeshott Michael Russell, £35, pp. 710 M ost people accept that an industrial enterprise is likely to perform better if the people...

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The first commandos

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Geoffrey VVheatcroft ADRIFT ON THE OPEN VELD: THE ANGLO-BOER WAR AND ITS AFTERMATH, 1899-1943 by Deneys Reitz Stormberg, £14.99, pp. 560 J ust 100 years ago, the Boer war had...

Very rum shipmates

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John de Falbe ENGLISH PASSENGERS by Matthew Kneale Hamish Hamilton, £15.99, pp. 448 I n his pamphlet A Proof Against the Atheisms of Geology, the Reverend Geof- frey Wilson...

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The man

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who can't explode Miranda France MR PHILLIPS by John. Lanchester Faber, £16.99, pp. 247 T his follow-up to John Lanchester's much-garlanded The Debt to Pleasure charts one day...

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The wrong side of the curtain

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Sam Phipps MILA AND MERVUSYA: A RUSSIAN WEDDING by Mervyn Matthews Seren, £10.95, pp. 214 he catalogue of suffering under the Soviet regime is so full and varied it some- times...

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A bird in the bush is worth two in the

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hand Evelyn Joll WILLIAM MACGILLIVRAY by Robert Ralph Merrell Holberton/The Natural History Museum, £29.95, pp. 128 D idn't he have something to do with Audubon?' is as much...

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All you

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need is love William Georgiades MISS WYOMING by Douglas Coupland Flamingo, £9.99, pp. 272 ouglas Coupland's first novel, Gener- ation X, published nine years ago, acciden-...

Attractive Indian assets

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Philip Glazebrook THE NIZAM'S DAUGHTERS by Allan Mallinson Bantam, £16.99, pp. 320 T his enjoyable novel is not an Indian episode in the life of a young Englishman who happens...

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Leading us up the cul-de-sac

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Robert Taylor THE THIRD WAY AND ITS CRITICS by Anthony Giddens Polity, £25, £7.99, pp. 189 A ithony Giddens is the self-styled intellectual promoter of Tony Blair and his...

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West End story Sheridan Morley on the reopening of the Royal Court and the plight of theatreland T hree years, £25 million (give or take a bob or two) and hallelujah the Royal...

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Anglo-Saxon interference

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Martin Gayford on how Ruskin helped stop the restoration of St Mark's in Venice 0 f the many literary talents of John Ruskin, the centenary of whose death is celebrated this...

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Op e ra Romeo et Juliette; La Boheme (Royal Opera)

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Old favourites Michael Tanner I t looks as if the period of teething trou- bles at the Royal Opera is over, and all concerned must be relieved that the sched- ule has now...

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Bauhaus Dessau (Design Museum, till 4 June) Fighting for the future Alan Powers Club armchair B3, 1925, Marcel Breuer T he architects Herbert Tayler and David Green, working...

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Tumbleweeds (12, selected cinemas) Running out of road Mark Steyn T he last really good tumbleweeds film I saw was Rovin' Tumbleweeds (1939), with Gene Autry, and before...

JACK VETTRIANO In our article 'What you see is what

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you get' (19 February) we referred to an alle- gation published in the Daily Record last December that Jack Vettriano had pestered an Edinburgh businesswoman. Mr Vettriano...

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Pop music

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Star shortage Marcus Berkmann T he Brit awards are here again, and as ever the judges have shown that they have their fingers on the pulse of popular music. Three of the five...


The Spectator

Inside Televisionland Simon Hoggart 've become quite a devotee of the Radio Times. Here's the RT take on Monarch of the Glen, the drama series which began this week on BBC 1:...

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Role models Michael Vestey t first I groaned when I heard Michael Buerk introducing the Moral Maze last week (Wednesday) with the words, `Which is the most famous — Posh or...

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Not motoring

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That wonderful Wheel Gavin Stamp T here is much to be said for the round trip: going on a journey and coming back to the starting point. But I am thinking not of metropolitan...

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High life

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Writing wrongs Taki n Tuesday, Count Balthasar Klos- sowski de Rola gave a masked ball in his Rossiniere chalet, and a wonderful party it was. For any of you unfamiliar with...

The turf

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Searching for superlatives Robin Oakley I t was as an undergraduate during my university finals that I first learned that you really cannot beat the system. We all heard the...

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No life

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Talking bulls Jeremy Clarke A t Taunton the train was going to be half an hour late and the platform was in cold shadow, so I went outside and stood in the sun. I stood with...

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Country life

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Pleasing cheeses Leanda. de Lisle A n owl hooted as we arrived at THE pIG IN M CK for the masters versus earth stoppers skittles night. I knew 'masters' meant masters of...


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Blockade Andrew Robson TO HOLD good trump support for part- ner can hardly be a bad thing in itself. But if all your strength is in trumps and the rest of your hand is barren,...

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• Robert Hardman IT is now so rooted in the restaurant rip-off process that most of us have given up notic- ing it. Ask for water and the reply will come `Fizzy or still?' It...

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a ` ti Rd b e The U Itimate Islay Malt.

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CHESS Piket's strike Raymond Keene A SIGN of things to come is a recently concluded tournament held on Garry Kasparov's website. This was a knockout event featuring Kasparov...


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Poly and mono Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2125 you were invited to present a dialogue between a person addicted to polysyllables and one who uses only monosyllables. To my...

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

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Wrong time to be so talented Simon Barnes BRIAN LARA stands before the world as a classic example of a man who, in finding his heart's desire, found despair. Lara gave his all...


The Spectator

Dear Mary. . . Q. I know you have already dealt with the problem of social spitting, but my dilemma is a variation on the more usual theme. I am a spectacle-wearer and want to...