5 AUGUST 2000

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Unhappy snaps: 'We vant to be alone' M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, held talks with Mr Carlos Ghosn, the presi- dent of Nissan, which said its decision to build a new...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 020-7405 1706; Fax 020-7242 0603 PRETTY VIRTUOUS I s this the most scandalous, the most depraved, the most immoral...

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How the Republicans are learning to win again with a little help from Al Gore BRUCE ANDERSON B ill Clinton loathes George W. Bush. At his Wednesday evening meetings with...

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AUBERON WAUGH few weeks ago, a friend on Private Eye told me that a journalist on the Inde- pendent on Sunday, with whose name I was not familiar, had been asking a lot of ques-...

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Do the wild cats of Kerguelen dream of cat-flaps and Whiskas with rabbit? MATTHEW PARR IS I Kerguelen, Cap Ratmanoff n the imagination of the tame, the call of the wild...

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Mark Steyn, reporting from the Republican Convention in Philadelphia, says that George W Bush's enlightened conservatism is just a ruse — but it might win him the White House...

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Mind your language

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I THINK I have been won over by a charming Dane. Gunner Pedersen sends an example of syntactical error (many of our pet gripes being semantic, or at least lexical) from the...

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Non-governmental organisations are more powerful than some governments. Justin Marozzi wonders how worried we should be TIME was when the words De Beers were synonymous with...

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John Laughland finds ambiguity in Oberammergau's revised — and politically correct — Passion play IN one of the most famous and dramatic encounters in human history, the...

Banned wagon

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A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit ANYONE who has followed this gov- ernment's crusade for gay rights might be forgiven for thinking that we are ruled by...

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Michael Heath

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Duke Maskell says that spending more and more money on universities makes us less and less educated OUR education system is in a mess, but not because classes are too large or...

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Second opinion

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THERE is said to be a good evolutionary reason why there should be two sexes rather than one — or three. But what- ever that reason might be, it doesn't seem to apply around...


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James Hanson says Prince William must be given a thorough political education if he is to be a good king NOW that Prince William is 18 and the photo-opportunists have had...

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Mark Palmer bluffs his way through the moral and financial maze of buying the cheapest rail ticket 'DAY return to Preston, please.' 'Leaving after 10 a.m.?' asked a uni-...

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Technology has liberated us but materialism the Concorde crash THE Concorde in Paris might have been brought down by nothing more extraordi- nary than pieces of its own tyre...

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The syllogism of the age: less God, more crime, police, prisons PAUL JOHNSON M oth-eaten politicians now go to weird lengths to avoid the obvious in explaining the decline in...

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Why leakers leak

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From Mr Frederick Forsyth Sir: In seeking to persuade us that the Labour leaker must have been a now- departed civil service bird of passage with vicious Tory tendencies, Sion...

LETTERS Hague's no-hopers

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From Mr Peter Ellis Sir: We easily recognise the person Stephen Glover describes in the opening part of his piece ('Listening for the Tory case', 22 July); we, switch-voters and...

Parson's pleasure

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From Sir Richard Parsons Sir: I enjoyed the upbeat column on National Service by Paul Johnson (And another thing, 22 July), whom I remember as an articulate, slim, carrot-headed...

From Mr B.N. Lenygon Sir: Stephen Glover was absolutely right.

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We are living in political times similar to those of the Wilson/Heath era, when if one voted Conservative it was only because of the alternative — not for any Positive reasons....

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From Ms L. Smith Sir: Mr Raby wonders why Americans

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are so universally disliked. My husband, who teaches business ethics, has always offered an answer to the closely related question, 'Why do people dislike Americans immedi-...

From Dr Netta M Goldsmith Sir: During the ten years

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that I lived in the United States, I came to like Americans for the following reasons: 1. They are direct. They have an instinct for the most straightforward and, therefore,...

Flawless floor

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From Mr Rolf Norfolk Sir: I was impressed by the photograph of Carl Andre's 'Glarus Copper Galaxy' in your Arts section (29 July). The ostensible subject is facile rubbish, of...

Surtee's admirers From Mr Jeremy Lewis Sir: I was thrilled

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to read Paul Johnson's wise words about R.S. Surtees (And anoth- er thing, 29 July). Quite right, too. Surtees's novels are notoriously hard to track down in the second-hand...

Where's the splendour?

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From Mr John Crookshank Sir: Observing Conrad Black ('Westward look, the land is bright', 15 July), Kenneth Clarke (Letters, 29 July) and other contem- porary worthies...

A club for proles

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From Mr Leo Cooper Sir: I have always been under the impres- sion that, in the circles in which I move, the Royal Automobile Club was, and is, known as the Chauffeur's Arms...


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From Mr Robert W.G. Dyce Sir: How right is Tam Dalyell when he con- cludes that politicians who embark on mili- tary action have a duty to sustain their con- cern CA game of...

Pro- and anti- Yank

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From Mr Michael Hugill Sir: The American quoted in Mr Raby's let- ter (29 July) is clearly not typical. Neither were the two Americans sitting behind me on a bus from Rome to...

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The press is not trivial and intrusive at least in the case of the Blair children STEPHEN GLOVER Last Sunday seven national newspapers ran photographs of Leo at his baptism in...

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All change as Maarten comes out of his Shell and Lloyds decides to go Dutch CHRISTOPHER FILDES I do hope that Lloyds Bank has not got Dutch Elm Disease. There is a lot of it...

Right off the scale

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THE trouble is that he is running short of offices to shut. National Westminster had a beauty, but the Competition Commission would never have let him near it. Across borders,...

Pearson goes nap

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THE publishers of the Financial Times have taken a hint from my friend who had a runner in the Derby, financed by the fees from his prosperous college. Education, they realise,...

S-commerce clicks

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THERE goes Clickmango. Not click, clunk. This lovely dot.com company (featuring Joanna Lumley) offered to bring to your door a cornucopia of health foods, bubble baths and other...

Smell of success

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THE durian fruit tastes quite nice but smells of drains in which a rat has died, so the Malaysian government, as governments do, needs a policy. Already it has identified...

High-tech Pale

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QUESTION: what is a high-tech Pole? An Irishman? You guessed it. Now I am pleased to have the point confirmed by Jim O'Leary, chief economist at Daly, Dublin's leading...

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The getting of wisdom Raymond Carr HOW TO READ AND WHY by Harold Bloom Fourth Estate, £15.99, pp. 283 arold Bloom is among the most revered and prolific of American critics....

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Seeing evolution through unblinking eyes

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Philip MacCann TRILOBITE!: EYEWITNESS TO EVOLUTION by Richard Fortey HaiperCollins, £15.99, pp. 269 W ordsworth once attacked geologists for being boring. But 200 years later...

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Andrea, get your gun

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Michael Moorcock SCAPEGOAT: THE JEWS, ISRAEL AND WOMEN'S LIBERATION by Andrea Dworkin Virago, £22.50, pp. 454 I magine the despair felt by an idealistic Protestant in...


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Dr Johnson's London by Liza Picard This book is the result of a passionate interest in the everyday details of life in London between 1740 and 1770. Based on every possible...

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Submerged in elegance

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John de Falbe LONG HOT SUMMER by Barbara Anderson Cape, £15.99, pp. 263 I t is 1936. Lorna Hopkins is at the beach with her three children for the summer; her husband Derek...

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The bottom line of the balance sheet

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Richard West S ince Saigon fell to the communists in April 1975, the left-liberal consensus about Vietnam has gradually been dissolving. Up until that point it was the accepted...

The wild boy

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Brian Masters GROWING UP SEVERELY AUTISTIC: THEY CALL ME GABRIEL by Kate Rankin Jessica Kingsley, £12.95, pp. 208 D o not be put off by the title. It is the subtitle which...

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Wigs, patches and gin

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Lucy Moore DR JOHNSON'S LONDON by Liza Picard Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 362 I n the preface to Dr Johnson's London, Liza Picard describes herself as 'an inquisi- tive, practical...

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Gold was the lure

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Jonathan Sumption PRINCE HENRY 'THE NAVIGATOR': A LIFE by Peter Russell Yale, £20, pp. 448 P . ortugal is one of those countries whose history comprises a brief period of...

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Rendered forever memorable

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P. J. Kavanagh O ne hundred and thirty-seven years of Wisden come to life as we relive some of the most dramatic and strangest moments of cricket history in this entertaining...

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DIARY 2001

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£15 Plain £16 Initialled The Spectator 2001 Diary, bound in soft red goatskin leather, is now available at the same price as last year. Laid out with a whole week to view,...

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A winning line-up S ensing my discomfort as we waited for the VVIPs to emerge from the Old Beijing Tea House, a student assured me that in her home town of Wuhan the climate in...

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Exhibitions 1

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All the fun of the fair Martin Gaylord I n the mid 1930s, having largely given up art in favour of chess, Marcel Duchamp resorted to various expedients to earn a liv- ing. One...

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Exhibitions 2

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In need of a shake-up Andrew Lambirth T he Royal Society of British Sculptors was founded in 1904. It's a registered chari- ty that promotes the art of sculpture, and...

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Pop music

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Just ask George Marcus Berkmann D ownloading music from the Internet: now there's a subject to get the heart rac- ing. Have you ever tried it? Once you've realised you have...


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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Barbican) Mr Peters' Connections (Almeida) Moving On (Bridewell) The Gift (Tricycle) Flying high Sheridan Morley W hen the RSC, in the...

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Gone in 60 Seconds (15, selected cinemas) Relentlessly shallow Mark Steyn , the annual Jerry Bruckheimer sum- mer blockbuster. And this year Jerry, pro- ducer of The Rock,...

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Contempt and humiliation Simon Hoggart T elevision programmes divide into two groups — those which are made with love, and those which are made with contempt. Obviously...

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Jumbo mumbo Michael Vestey N ot many people fail and come away with £.2 million and the need never to work again. Bob Ayling did, of course, having been sacked as chief...

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The turf

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Scintillating brilliance Robin Oakley ne of my favourite moments in the racing year is standing under the lime trees watching the equine superstars parade before the King...


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Shall I, shan't I? Alan Judd T he most popular new car choice among National Lottery winners is Mer- cedes, followed by BMW and Porsche. Then come the 4x4 Jeep, Ferrari, Rolls...

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High life

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Look back in gloom Taki T Rougemont he sun is out, it's cool and good old Helvetia is the only country in Europe not moving in the direction of EU totalitarian sameness. There...

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No life

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Tide and tested Jeremy Clarke Last week, however, I saw a small fishing boat advertised in the local paper, rang up, went to see it, and bought it. It wiped me out...


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Never give up Susanna Gross ONE OF the great pleasures of bridge is watching the opposition squirm (all too rare an experience for non-experts like myself). Nothing induces a...

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Rdbeig The Ultimate Islay Malt.

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CHESS R d b e www.ardbes.com Modern times Raymond Keene WHEN this article appears, the Smith & Williamson British Chess Championship at Millfield School in Somerset will be...


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Notting Hill again Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2147 you were given an opening sentence from a futuristic novel by R.C. Sherriff and invited to carry on in imaginative mode....

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No. 2150: The way to the top

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You are invited to write a poem offering cynical advice to a beginner on how to suc- ceed rapidly in a profession or trade. Maximum 16 lines. Entries to 'Competition No. 2150'...

Solution to 1472: Pikestaff

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n klrld . El 400.0E dawn nisr 4 F i D minim raki , ! Alt - , Lria - rn. . . mrsrine. wo RI . drum mail ail Trio N L 1HRE nl i q el el n and E 0 E n il L drilill . mania t...


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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 21 August, with two runners-up prizes of £20...

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Bickering at the wicket Simon Barnes RIME Benaud called cricket 'the most controversial of games' and he is not wrong, for there is a deep history that lies both in and...


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Dear Mary.. Q. A close friend of mine aged 40, let's call her Bridget, has a friendship with a neigh- bour aged 54, let's call him Nicholas. They first bonded a year ago when...