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h e Queen agreed to pay income tax from next April and to forego the Civil List payments for all but the most senior mem- bers of her family. MPs denied themselves a planned 3.9...

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The prerogative of the Cabinet minister throughout the ages SIMON HEFFER N ot long ago, one of our more robust Cabinet ministers took me aside and dis- quisited on the need for...

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DOMINIC LAWSON H ow very unwise of Mr Norman Lam- ont to have taken on the banks. No sooner had our incautious Chancellor announced that he would investigate the way the banks...

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Never mind Access, Mr Lamont's political credit-rating is nil CHARLES MOORE M r Major's government is keen on 'contracting out'. It is part of the Citizen's Charter that...

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Ian Buruma examines the eruption of neo-Nazi violence, and argues that it stems from German hatred of fellow-Germans A YEAR AGO, on 9 November, anniver- sary of the breach in...

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John Laughland examines the primordial anti-Americanism of French politicians and intellectuals Paris WHEN NOT under siege, the French Min- istry of Agriculture is responsible...

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Otto von Habsburg dismisses the Euro -sceptics and argues that the powers of great nations will not be weakened by European union MY CONVERSION to the idea of a unit- ed Europe...

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Mark Almond provides a brief histog of the British presidency of the European Community IN THE LAST few months, the Prime Minister has been examined for political frailties...

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If symptoms

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persist. . THERE IS a great deal of money to be made from misery, and even more from vague dissatisfaction. First we doctors prescribe tranquillisers; then patients become...

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Tim Minogue on the strange mixture of hospitality and brutality that makes up everyday life in South Africa Johannesburg 'DON'T get me wrong,' the policeman says. `I'm not a...

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Raymond Bonner argues that an American plan to send 30,000 troops to Somalia is an affront to common sense Nairobi PROBABLY EVERYBODY knows by now that Washington has declared...

One hundred years ago

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THE TIMES' correspondent in Berlin evidently believes that the Anti-Semitic agitation in Germany is growing more serious. An excessively violent represen- tative of the party,...

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A profile of Michael Howard, best friend of and possible successor to, Norman Lamont THE ENVIRONMENT Secretary, Michael Howard, is currently struggling to convince Conservative...

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Nicky Bird reveals how big companies are now directing their marketing specifically at homosexuals To persuade ourselves that we are living a life somehow better than Mr and Mrs...

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Daisy Waugh spends a few days at the Central Criminal Court, and is suitably appalled WE ARE standing at the space-age gates to the Old Bailey Central Criminal Court, a young...

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Simon Courtauld wonders why politicians find it even more difficult to apologise than they do to resign AT LUNCH the conversation turned to the character of John Major. A senior...

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It's ITO Keynes's missing policeman turns up in Major's bonnet CHRISTOPHER FILDES J ohn Major must come to Edinburgh with a rabbit in his bonnet. Without it, this last stop on...

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The Spectator

The deathlike charm of Mr C. Fred Bergsten ot long before the recent election I found myself seated at a dinner party beside a woman who divided her time between throwing...

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Sir: It has always been obvious that Paul Johnson is

The Spectator

no real Conservative, being much too intemperate and zealous. Never- theless, to observe him week after week manfully perverting the bad passions of Jacobinism into the service...

LETTERS God business

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Sir: The Church of England is not exactly a nationalised industry, more a Crown Cor- poration, and one can empathise with its Board and Shareholders' Committee who have taken...

Starry chamber

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Sir: Your issue of 21 November contains an article by Paul Johnson (And another thing) in which he states he has rediscov- ered his radicalism. I sincerely hope that this...

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George is innocent

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Sir: I fear my memory played me false when in my piece last week (Taal, fatal, fatal', 28 November) I lumped George Walden together with Sir Edward Heath and Robert Adley as MPs...

All over my face

The Spectator

Sir: I notice with horror my omission from my recipe for Christmas pudding (Autumn food and drink, 7 November). My list of ingredients, inexplicably, does not contain a...

Sir: Reluctant though I am ever to disagree with John

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Simpson, and even sadder to do so after his brilliant and sympathetic piece about my country, I fear he is wrong on one point. The word `culchee', a pejorative term used by...

Papal myth

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Sir: I am afraid that Guy Evans, (Letters, 28 November) is well within the realms of Papal fiction when it comes to any discus- sion of a supposedly female Pope or indeed the...

Not robbed, rescued

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Sir: John Simpson's allegation that Richard J. Daley 'manipulated' the Chicago vote to carry that election of Kennedy in 1960 is at best ambiguous and at worst thoroughly...

Northern seriousness

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Sir: Nigel Nicolson's columns are a splen- did addition to The Spectator's regular fea- tures, an acknowledgment that you have readers whose memories go back before Harold...

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The Spectator

The battle-scarred bulldog M.R.D Foot COLLISION OF EMPIRES: BRITAIN IN THREE WORLD WARS, 1793-1945 by A. D. Harvey The Hambledon Press, £45, pp. 784 h e dreary and wasteful...

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Rogues and peasant slaves

The Spectator

Philip Glazebrook RED ODYSSEY: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE SOVIET REPUBLICS by Marat Akchurin Seeker, £17.99, pp. 430 h is spirited, startling book will be of the keenest interest to...

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Two shocking testaments

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Bruce Bernard MAPPLETHORPE with an essay by Arthur C. Danto Cape, £60, pp. 380 SEX by Madonna, photographs by Steven Meisel Secker & Warburg, £25, pp. 120 A rthur C. Danto's...

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Sublime and ridiculous

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Michael Hulse SELECTED POETRY by Hugh MacDiarmid, edited by Alan Riach and Michael Grieve Carcanet, £18.95, pp. 284 SELECTED PROSE by Hugh MacDiarmid, edited by Alan Riach and...

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Hanging out the washing

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Rupert Christiansen KEEPERS OF THE FLAME: LITERARY ESTATES AND THE RISE OF BIOGRAPHY by Ian Hamilton Hutchinson, £18.99, pp. 344 T his is a book which I nearly wrote myself....

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What's wrong with Wales then?

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Byron Rogers THE WORLD OF KATE ROBERTS translated from the Welsh by Joseph P. Clancy Temple University Press, distributed by University of Wales Press, 6 Gwennyth Street,...

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The optimistic decade

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John Patten HIGH SIXTIES: THE SUMMERS OF RIOT AND LOVE by Roger Hutchinson Mainstream, £12.99, pp. 206 THE SIXTIES: A CHRONICLE OF THE DECADE edited by David Holloway Simon &...

Correction John Bowen's opening sentence (Books of the Year, 21

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November) should have read: I much admired The Children of Men by P. D. James (Faber, £14.99) for its command of narrative, for the exactness of its observation of people and...

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For a smaller readership

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Juliet Townsend hen I became engaged, my mother- in-law-to-be pressed into my hands, from some impenetrable motive, a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking. It is a concept...

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Partners in crime

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Harriet Waugh I t is with considerable pleasure that I can announce that Ann Cleeves has at last, after a determined detour projecting a mildly unsatisfactory police inspector...

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Forking out at Christmas

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Jennifer Paterson W e had better start with the two books most obviously to do with Christmas, as it will be over before you can say Twelfth Night. First there is Leith's...

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Exhibitions Sickert (Royal Academy, till 14 February) From sick to Sickert Giles Auty B efore passing on to the more agree- able task of reviewing 130-odd paintings by...

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Esclarmonde (Opera Comique) Impressions de Pelleas (Bouffes du Nord) Impassioned smooch Rupert Christiansen O pera in Paris, they say, c'est un bordel — a bloody mess which...

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Hay Fever (Albery) Annie Get Your Gun (Prince of Wales) Sing Noel Sheridan Morley W ritten at great speed in three days when he and the century were in their very early...

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London Contemporary Dance Theatre (Sadler's Wells) A present for the men Sophie Constant' M iddle-aged swingers are bearable, even good company, when they stick to their own...

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The Spectator

Al ive albums Martin Gayford I s jazz expiring? The question is not new. Indeed, it has been around for nearly as long as the music itself. In his excellent new book The Jazz...

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Pop music

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Record remedies Marcus Berkmann W ith television ads now awash with holly, ivy and suspicious-looking elderly men carrying sacks of 'toys', it is time once again to decide...

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The Spectator

Of Mice and Men (PG', selected cinemas) The Waterdance (15', selected cinemas) Softening the blow Vanessa Letts I n Bertolucci's version of The Sheltering Sky he took Paul...

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The Spectator

Absent fathers Martyn Harris J ulie Burchill once wrote that there are few personal problems which cannot be solved with strong drink and stubborn silence. It is the kind of...

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High life

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Talent scout Taki T New York his is as good a time as any to be in the Big Bagel, what with charity parties against racism, sexism, homophobia, eco- logical threats, sexual...

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Long life

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Simple pleasures Nigel Nicolson T here is no doubt that if I were a Bosni- an Muslim, left homeless and penniless in a refugee camp, and a family in Velden, Aus- tria, offered...

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The Spectator

I HAVE ALWAYS found Chelsea Har- bour a forbidding prospect. There is some- thing plastic and soulless about this vast estate of luxurious flats and white and glassy offices;...

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Raymond Keene A lexander Alexandrovich Alekhine, one of the greatest geniuses in the history of the game, was born 100 years ago. Compared with Lasker and Capablanca, his two...


The Spectator

Dreamboat Jasrnstos I n Competition No. 1756 you were in- vited to improve on a Graham Greene dream, recorded in his A World of My Own, featuring himself, Henry James and a...

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The Spectator

PORT GRAHAM'S PORT CROSSWORD A . first prize of £20 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 21 December, with two...

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Smith of Smiths Frank Keating UNLESS it was an obscure joke (or a sub- liminal advertisement exhorting large- breasted women to roll their own cigs), I nominate this as the...


The Spectator

Dear Mary. . . Q. A school-teacher colleague recently attended a Chippendales' concert' organ- ised as an end-of-term outing by a female member of the school staff, a physical...