4 MAY 1996

Page 6


The Spectator

The countryside in May M r John Major, the Prime Minister, would still lead the Tories into the next election despite their poor showing in the local elections, according to Mr...

Page 7

The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405

The Spectator

1706; Telex 27124; Fax 0171-242 0603 WHY THEY HATE MAJOR B y the time many readers see this, air- waves and public prints will once again be full of Mr Major's `future'; which...

Page 8


The Spectator

If the Tories do not stop approaching every problem with an open mouth, they're a' doomed BRUCE ANDERSON few years ago, David Steel tried to call his fellow Liberals to order....

Page 9


The Spectator

A ex Salmond, the leader of the SNP, said last weekend that Scotland should stop shilly-shallying over an elected assembly and move straight to independence. Those of us who...

Page 10


The Spectator

A devolved Scotland will throw up preposterous and sinister people. And they'll be English MATTHEW PARRIS P ausing recently at a small but by . a mountain path in Bolivia, we...

Page 11


The Spectator

Anne McElvoy says Germans believe that the American bestseller blaming so many of their forebears for the Holocaust is more to do with their future than their past Berlin TWO...

Page 12


The Spectator

Michael Heath

Page 14


The Spectator

Bill Hagerty meets the man at the helm of the world's most famous ship, and biggest public relations problem ON SUNDAYS the captain of the world's most famous ship conducts...

Page 15

Mind your language

The Spectator

OUR LIVES are measured out in acronyms. One frustrated reader even wrote to me recently to please tell her what aka meant and how it should be pronounced. The word acronym...

Page 16

If symptoms persist.. .

The Spectator

ONCE you've been on the sick long enough, you can't really afford to get well again. This is for two reasons: the first and less important is that, if you recover, they stop...

Page 20


The Spectator

I ONCE worked in an office where every- body was terribly gloomy. You could say it was because this firm published books, but I don't believe that had anything to do with it. My...

Page 21


The Spectator

MENTION THE WAR The paper of the French bourgeoisie has had plenty to say about its deceased owner, says Douglas Johnson, except what he did in 1940 I BECAME a student at the...

Page 23


The Spectator

The Death Wish on a collision course with the Selfish Gene PAUL JOHNSON THE MAJOR Government serves no pur- pose, except in one respect. It illustrates the psychological...

Page 24

Infernal combustion

The Spectator

The plan for cow-powered electricity, which I reported here last week, seems to have been anticipated by the French inventor Alphonse Allais. His self-propelled Necro- mobile,...

Gordon and George

The Spectator

THAT was George. The new Mr Brown is called Gordon. He too is full of ideas about how the economy ought to be run — vision, investment, the long view, the growth divi- dend —...


The Spectator

Brown studies how to ginger up the Treasury more vision and a new brass plate CHRISTOPHER FILDES T he long-lived Tory Government was tottering towards its end. Its Chancellor...

J. Rubber Chicken

The Spectator

WHEN J. Adair Turner worked for McK- insey, people used to pay for his advice. Now he is making it freely available, it is becoming a drug on the market. I could feel sorry for...

Don't tell Sid

The Spectator

FORGET Railtrack. Here comes the rail sale I have been waiting for. At long last Offrails (or whatever its acronym is) is offering the franchise to operate its railway on the...

Page 26


The Spectator

Sir: It was with no little disappointment that I noticed in your issue of 20 April yet another offering from Justin de Blank (Restaurants). Again Mr de Blank huffs and puffs at...

Sir: Sean O'Callaghan provides the most appalling example of complete

The Spectator

abdication of personal responsibility that I have had the ill luck to read in quite a while. Of course he does mention that murder is an obscenity, etc., and further that he can...

LETTERS True repentance

The Spectator

Sir: Mary Ellen Synon (Letters, 27 April) asks if Sean O'Callaghan is a liar as well as a killer. I know him, admire him and can vouch for his trustworthiness. Mr O'Callaghan...

Observing foreign news

The Spectator

Sir: Andrew King, who laments the space give to journalists' squabbles (Letters, 6 April), will not be happy; but I feel I have to respond to Mark Frankland's depiction of me as...


The Spectator

Sir: In his interesting article (Politics, 27 April), Bruce Anderson did not tell your readers what he believes the long-term future of a Federal European Union will be. Would...


The Spectator

SUBSCRIBE TODAY— RATES I2Months 6Months UK ❑ £88.00 ❑ £45.00 Europe (airmail) ❑ £99.00 ❑ £51.00 USA Airspeed ❑ US$141 ❑ US$71 Rest of l Airmail ❑ £115.00 ❑ £58.00 World J...

Page 27


The Spectator

We all remember Northcliffe and Rothermere, but who has heard of Kennedy Jones? STEPHEN GLOVER Sally Taylor has received the assistance of the present and third Viscount...

Page 28


The Spectator

Some incidental advantages of an absurd illness PETRONELLA WYATT At the hospital they gave me a gown and told me to lie on my stomach. The doctor took out a magnifying glass....

Page 29


The Spectator

Down on the farm David Sexton NEXT OF KIN At his wife's funeral, Robin Meredith was asked by a woman in a paisley headscarf, whom he didn't immediately recognise, if he...

Page 30

Read all about it!

The Spectator

Nicholas Coleridge THE FOURTH ESTATE by Jeffrey Archer HarperCollins, £16.99, pp. 550 W ith this novel, not very loosely based on the careers and rivalries of Rupert Mur- doch...

Left hand, right hand

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart BLOOD SPORT: THE PRESIDENT AND HIS ADVERSARIES by James B. Stewart Simon & Schuster, £16.99, pp. 479 T his is an astonishingly boring book, which is why I read it...

Page 32


The Spectator

A little striped hymenoptera hugging a drugged green worm buzzes into my face three times. (Her nest is just under the sill I'm leaning on.) So I move, and wait till she's made...

A splendid mess

The Spectator

Tom Hiney THE POPE'S RHINOCEROS by Lawrence Norfolk Sinclair-Stevenson, £14.99, pp. 608 L ong novels should earn their weight, and this one does on several counts. The Pope's...

Page 35

Teaching the teachers

The Spectator

Kate Hubbard MAVIS BELFRAGE: A ROMANTIC NOVEL WITH FIVE SHORTER TALES by Alasdair Gray Bloomsbury, £13.99, pp. 158 T his is a small volume — a novella and five stories, which...

Irish fields, London drawing-rooms

The Spectator

Isabel Colegate A PECULIAR MAN: A LIFE OF GEORGE MOORE by Tony Gray Sinclair-Stevenson, f20, pp. 344 ghastly dinner supposed to be literary,' wrote Harold Nicolson is his...

Page 36

Boy, oh boy

The Spectator

Simon Raven SATYRICA by Petronius, edited and translated by R. Bracht Branham and Daniel Kinney Dent, £18.99, pp. 184 P etronius' Satyricon is a jaunty piece of picaresque,...


The Spectator

To order any book reviewed please send a cheque payable to: Spectator Bookshop 29 Pall Mall Deposit, Barlby Road, London W10 6BL or Telephone: 0181 964 9640 Facsimile: 0181 964...

Page 37


The Spectator

Letter to my successor Giles Waterfield, who is leaving Dulwich Picture Gallery after 16 years as its director, writes to Desmond Shawe-Taylor On my first day at Dulwich...

Page 38

An idealistic film-maker

The Spectator

David Hare remembers his friend Louis Malle, who died last year I first met Louis Malle at a rehearsal of a play of mine in Paris in 1971. I turned round in the beautiful...


The Spectator

Megabash in Times Square Peter Phillips M EGASTORE OPENS ON TIMES SQUARE, BUCKS TREND. So the New York Times headline might have run, announcing the opening of the largest...

Page 39


The Spectator

Barb Wire (18, selected cinemas) Rebecca (PG, Everyman) Copycat (18, selected cinemas) Pambo, the role model Mark Steyn I 'm not as devoted a student of Pamela Anderson Lee...

Page 40


The Spectator

Fidelio (English National Opera) Beethoven sold short Rupert Christiansen O pera producers do make life difficult for themselves — even sensible, practical ones like Graham...


The Spectator

Salad Days (Vaudeville) The Designated Mourner (National) Tartuffe (Almeida) Fresh, free and charming Sheridan Morley A the curtain fell, perhaps about 20 minutes later than...

Page 41

Pop music

The Spectator

The great divide Marcus Berkmann T he Atlantic ocean grows ever wider. A month or two back a friend of mine who reviews records for a Serious Rock Maga- zine was on his way to...

Page 42


The Spectator

A streetwise approach James Delmgpole Y ou don't need to be working class, Scouse, Cockney or Mancunian to appreci- ate British soap opera but it certainly helps. I know it's...

Page 43


The Spectator

Suitable case for treatment Michael Vestey I n One Fat Englishman, Kingsley Amis sets Roger Micheldene loose in America determined to hate everything he finds. In A Retiring...

Page 44


The Spectator

Burglars at work Alan Judd T he first sign that something was wrong as I hurried home to my Range Rover in the station carpark was that the side lights were on. Next I found...

Page 45


The Spectator

In step with the hills Emma Bagnall I n the space of eight days I walked (or should I say staggered?) more than 40 miles, drank over 15 different wine vari- eties, knocked...


The Spectator

Masters of the cape Simon Courtauld I n England the Queen Mother likes to go racing; in Spain she — Doha Maria de las Mercedes de Borbon y Orleans, La Conde- sa de Barcelona —...

Page 46

The turf

The Spectator

The Irish threat Robin Oakley T he blazing sunshine at Sandown on Whitbread Gold Cup day provided the per- fect final flourish to the jumping season, and gave the top of the...

Page 47

High life

The Spectator

Telling all Taki New York This must be the literary scoop of the century: Jan Cushing is penning her mem- oirs. For any of you who may be unaware of la Cushing, she was born...

Low life

The Spectator

Sickened by myself Jeffrey Bernard M y weekend evening home-help is a very nice, very large West Indian woman I call Cynthia. Last night, she called out to me through the...

Page 48

Country life

The Spectator

Ghoulies and ghosties Leanda de Lisle M y husband claims he can smell tobacco outside the library and insists it belongs to the late Sir Thomas Cope. As Peter smokes like a...


The Spectator

BRIDGE Hard times Andrew Robson IN THE second round of this year's Gold Cup (Britain's primary open teams tourna- ment), my team, captained by Rodney Leach, trailed by 30...

Page 49

MAY DAY, May Day, May Day has passed without danger,

The Spectator

I hope, and beloved St Joseph can stop being a worker and return to happy home-making and joy- ful deaths. On 4 May I have found a beau- tiful girl saint, Pelagia, who had the...

Page 50


The Spectator

u RA t J , 11,lt .1.1 ',01(.1.1 'AMMO I 1 S u l E R O A F j COMPETITION 4/CI SCOTCH %HMI A modest proposal Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1930 you were invited to make a...


The Spectator

.; • •■•=_ SIMPSON'S IN-THE-STRAND Top form Raymond Keene THE YOUNG Bulgarian grandmaster Veselin Topalov is rapidly making a name for himself in international...

Page 51


The Spectator

W. & J. GRAHAM'S PORT 1259: Mixed doubles by Dumpynose A first prize of £25 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1989 Port for the first correct solution opened on...

Solution to 1256: 9 Plli m

The Spectator

mannam.n..i9 1 . CYO° Rile MORT H t a 'A i . , cnOlri aTnNkiT i onneaRnEer, o P Errig n im E BM:Sin 7 E , a . F El, n ariE jIMPEri E Nadal. aim E r 111 Atilric NIP A...

No. 1933: Moggery

The Spectator

Sir William Rees-Mogg has confessed that he dreams of writing historical romantic fiction in the style of the pre-Buchan era, and offers the rousing sentence: "The ace of spades...

Page 55


The Spectator

THIS is the weekend of the Badminton horse trials, and I am inexorably reminded of a cricket match I played in one afternoon in west London. Let us call it the Ballad of Piers...


The Spectator

Q. I am finding it increasingly difficult to get hold of sock suspenders. I deem them to be an essential item of clothing as my calves are rather long and I do not like to see...