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`Confess!' M r Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was met at a meeting of European Union finance ministers by a scheme hatched by Mr Oskar Lafontaine of Germany and...

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

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1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 LOCAL LOTTERY M aybe, just maybe, you will not win the Lottery but instead be chosen to help hand out some of its cash. Electors, select- ed at random,...

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P reparing to leave for Seville, I am filled with foreboding. I have to chair a small conference but the foreboding is nothing to do with that. My fear is that I shall have to...

Page 10


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How South African judges undermined the rule of law in Britain BRUCE ANDERSON It had seemed unlikely that their Lord- ships would act in this way. In his earlier ruling, the...

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How Oscar's selfishness would have coloured a London winter MATTHEW PARRIS W eather attacks in many guises. The grey of a grey November day in London is not a gentle greyness,...

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Labour is exploiting the BBC's natural political sympathy to control the Corporation, argues Michael Vestey PICTURE, if you can, the venerable figure of Sir Robin Day, his...

Page 14


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Blair and Schroder should harmonise their troublesome Chancellors, says Sion Simon IN THE GLORY days of the Eighties, when smart one-liners were the only thing Labour had to...

Page 15


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John Hickman, former ambassador to Chile, rejects the arguments for the Pinochet arrest UNTIL the Law Lords' split decision on 25 November to reverse the earlier ruling of the...

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The SNP leader, argues Lain Martin, would prefer a Labour victory in next year's Scottish elections DONALD DEWAR is prone to black moods which cast him into a deep, Scottish...

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Michael Heath

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Americans resent European domination of life in Manhattan, says Vicky Ward New York AT A RECENT gathering of British bankers in Piedina, a West Village haunt beloved of the...

Page 23


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David Marcus Gore, a doctor, describes the horror of working in the world's largest hospital THE CHRIS Hani Baragwanath Hospital is the biggest in the world, with 3,200 beds....

Page 25


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Yeltsin is spending his money on missiles, says Owen Matthews, so America must subsidise his space programme Moscow THE GREAT thing about forking out $1,500 to the Russian...

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William Cash meets John Cleese and Richard Dawkins, together to bring comedy to the rescue of science San Francisco FROM THE moment I saw the 'signed Copy' stack of The...

Page 29

Mind your language

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`YOU'VE MADE your point,' said Jeremy Paxman or one of his disciples on Newsnight. It made me jump a little because my husband has been trying to interest me in falconry, and I...

Page 33


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Tony Blair gives a new lease of life to the old jibe, Terfide Albion' PAUL JOHNSON T hrough inexperience, Tony Blair has made a balls-up of the Pinochet case, and his...

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The truth will out

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Sir: I am grateful to The Spectator for Bruce Anderson's review of my book, Trial by Conspiracy (21 November), except that Mr Anderson prefers not to review it, but instead...

The Tate on time

The Spectator

Sir: Contrary to Edward Heathcoat Amory's article (`The finger of disaster', 14 Novem- ber), the new Tate Gallery of Modern Art at Bankside is not in difficulties because of the...

Family feud

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Sir: Melanie Phillips (Piddling the family facts', 28 November) questions the quality, independence and integrity of the research commissioned by the government following upon...

Gender bender

The Spectator

Sir: Bruce Anderson (Politics, 28 Novem- ber) apologises for inadvertently giving Saddam Hussein a feminine gender by paraphrasing Cato's harangue against Carthage. Readers of...

LETTERS Strangers in the night

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Sir: Did George Wigg kerb-crawl? Was he unfairly picked on by the police? (Letters, 28 November.) Well, I believe the answer is yes to the first, no to the second. Wiggy (as he...


The Spectator

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

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The Italian Proust

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Sir: I was delighted to read the wonderful article by Nicholas Farrell (`Sabres for Savoy', 31 October) which paid tribute to the brave men of the Savoy cavalry regi- ment who...

Newt's Law

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Sir: Mark Steyn tells us that Mr Bob Liv- ingston, the new Speaker in the US House of Representatives, will try to be different from his predecessor but will have many similari-...


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Sir: I am concerned about the changes in The Spectator's policy on apostrophes. In sev- eral articles, notably that of Andrew Dickson on George Wigg and Roy Roebuck's letter on...

Not so gullible

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Sir: David Esterly accuses me, somewhat tautologically, of being a gullible journalist (Letters, 28 November) for my lack of unqualified acceptance of his attribution of certain...

His last sigh

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Sir: I always much enjoy Paul Johnson's columns. They are mostly to the point, witty and knowledgable. However, in his column of 28 November, he seems to have given too free a...

Page 36


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Newspaper wars in Zimbabwe may prove dangerous STEPHEN GLOVER R obert Mugabe, who was in London this week, is a tyrant by any definition. The President of Zimbabwe's most...

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Much beauty, much money Alastair Forbes THE LANGHORNE SISTERS by James Fox Granta, f20, pp. 546 J ames Fox had already dedicated this compulsively interesting volume to...

All books reviewed in The Spectator are available through THE

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SPECTATOR BOOKSHOP Tel: 0541 557 288

Page 38

Holding the ring

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Allan Mallinson FIGHTING FOR PEACE by General Sir Michael Rose Harvill, £18, pp. 285 S omewhere in Queen's Regulations it says, I think, that a junior may not praise his...

Page 42

Children's books for Christmas

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Juliet Townsend T he advantage of books as Christmas presents is that they are so easy to wrap and send, compared to some of the impos- sible shapes and sizes of other...

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Exploring the blank spaces

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M.R.D. Foot BARROW'S BOYS by Fergus Fleming Granta, £20, pp. 489 h is is a wonderful assembly of trav- ellers' tales, some long in print and long forgotten, others rescued from...

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From a plague to a disease

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Francis King LOVE UNDETECTABLE by Andrew Sullivan Chatto, f12.99, pp. 252 T he first of the three essays which make up this strenuously argued, eloquently expressed and often...


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BookforChristmas The Langhorne Sisters by James Fox High-spirited, beautiful, clannish and adored, the five strikingly different Langhorne sisters were mythologised long...

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Thickets of three-dimensional diagrams

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Robert Oakeshott Bin 1 hRFLY ECONOMICS: A NEW GENERAL THEORY OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC BEHAVIOUR by Paul Ormerod Faber, £16.99, pp. 217 The technicality and difficulty of...

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The very model of a modern monarch

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Julian Mitchell A SPIRIT UNDAUNTED: THE POLITICAL ROLE OF GEORGE VI by Robert Rhodes James Little, Brown, £22.50, pp. 368 What does it take to be a good King? You must be a...


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proof material Kenneth Rose DARLING GEORGIE: THE ENIGMA OF KING GEORGE V by Dennis Friedman Peter Owen, £18.95, pp. 234 S ince Sir Harold Nicolson published his official life...

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Punishingly funny wordplay

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Benjamin Yarde-Buller ALTAR EGO by Kathy Lette Picador, E12.99, pp. 353 A ltar Ego should, one gathers from the blurb, be approached with some cau- tion; Kathy Lette's novels...

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Biting the hand that rarely paid for lunch

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Frederic Raphael SIR VIDIA'S SHADOW by Paul Theroux Hamish Hamilton, £17.99, pp. 376 W riters' friendships are often written on water; their enmities are chiselled in stone....

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Whistler's mother of all rows

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Bevis Hillier THE PEACOCK ROOM by Linda Merrill Yale, f40, pp. 406 A recent newspaper profile of David Bailey said of him something like this: `Though obviously heterosexual,...

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That is the question

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David Crane SHAKESPEARE: A LIFE by Park Honan OUP, £25, pp. 479 I don't imagine that anyone believes that there is anything to be learned now about Shakespeare's life that...

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A selection of recent gardening books

The Spectator

Mary Keen J ust when you thought that gardening books, like Kansas City, had gone about as far as they can go, publishers have turned retro. A surfeit of pictures of 'After'...

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Making merry in Moscow Harriet Crawley on the vigorous cultural life of the city despite the financial gloom A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma' was Winston...

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Exhibitions 1

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Turner Prize (Tate Gallery, till 10 January) I have succumbed Martin Gayford I t can be a hard job fighting one's way into the Tate Gallery, particularly on Sun- days. At...

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Exhibitions 2

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John Craxton (Pallant House, Chichester, till 17 January) Surprise pleasures Andrew Lambirth J ohn Craxton (b. 1922) is one of the hid- den treasures of English art. Although...

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Exhibitions 3

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Mary Cassatt: Modern Woman (The Art Institute, Chicago, till 10 January) Devotion to work Roger Kimball I n some ways it is unfortunate that the single best picture in this...

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Dancing at Lughnasa (PG, selected cinemas) Twilight (15, selected cinemas) Nothing doing Mark Steyn T hey won't dance, don't ask them. Or so, on behalf of her four dowdy...

Page 60


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Ballett Frankfurt (Sadler's Wells) Subversive approach Giannandrea Poesio T hroughout the 20th century, great and idolised masters such as Michael Fokine, George Balanchine,...


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Betrayal (National Theatre) Kafka's Dick (Piccadilly) Pinter power Sheridan Morley f all Harold Pinter's plays, his 1978 Betrayal about a three-cornered affair, loosely based...

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Read all about it Michael Tanner T he ENO's programme book for The Barber of Seville, now revived for the sixth time in Jonathan Miller's 1987 production, is a...

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Pop music

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Shall we dance? Marcus Berkmann I f it's the Christmas party season, it's also the Christmas party-tape season. You could hire a DJ, but chances are that he (for it is almost...

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A salutary lesson Susan Moore T he most valuable and most impor- tant single-owner collection of European furniture ever seen at auction' was offered at Christie's New York...

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A great pioneer Michael Vestey F rank Gillard, who died last week at the age of almost 90, was one of the great radio pioneers of the century. Much of what you hear on the...


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Ripping yarn James Delingpole T here's a teacher at my stepson James's school who gives the boys lines whenever they use the word goo'. The desired term, apparently, is...

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Not motoring

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Preston pride Gavin Stamp P reston is about halfway along and cer- tainly the most important stop on the main line from Euston to Glasgow (although, in these sad times, with...

Page 66

The turf

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Stop, thief Robin Oakley preferred British movies when they all had upper-class accents.' picked it up, put it in his own pocket and melted away into the crowd. What to do?...

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High life

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Dinner dates Taki The Metropolitan was built by J.P. Mor- gan after a friend of his was blackballed by the Knickerbocker club, two blocks north. Until this week, I always...

Page 68

Country life

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Scarlet and gold Leanda de Lisle O ne hunt ball down, one to go. The white marquee on the lawn outside our bedroom window was so big that I thought it had snowed when I opened...

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Singular life

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Hands off Petronella Wyatt I poked the Leader of the Opposition. This was more respectable than it sounds. The poking took place at The Spectator's Parliamentarian of the Year...


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Suit yourself Andrew Robson STUDY the hand below. Would you rather declare 74 or 7NT? Clearly at rub- ber bridge you would be delighted to bid 7* — an easy make. But in...

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God bless us, every one Auberon Waugh THE LAST Spectator Wine Club offer of the year, from Lay & Wheeler in Colch- ester, traditionally offers mixed cases for paupers and...


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c/o Lay & Wheeler Limited 117 Gosbeck's Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 9JT Tel: (01206) 764446 Fax: (01206) 560002 Price No. Value White Sauvignon Blanc, Montagne Noire,...

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IN rather a good year for new London restaurants I

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can report on two fine late arrivals. In the past few months the splendid Club Gascon has opened in West Smith- field, and the owners of The Ivy and Le Caprice have refurbished...

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Not so dumb friends Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2062 you were invited to supply a poem, sweet or sour, written by a pet for the tomb of its late master or mistress. There's...


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Top book Raymond Keene THE BRITISH Chess Federation Book of the Year award has been won by grand- master Viswanathan Anand for his selec- tion of his own best games. In so...

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Solution to 1388: Mad Hatter's threat Mad Hatter's threat

The Spectator

The unclued lights were ANAGRAMS of ride, road, rose, point, love, gear, straits, weather, stupor and sale, each of which formed a phrase when fol- lowing a word given in the...


The Spectator

A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 21 December, with two run- ners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers,...

No. 2065: Christmas travel

The Spectator

T.S. Eliot wrote a poem, 'The Journey of the Magi', in which one of the three Wise Men, or Kings, describes the trip to Beth- lehem. You are invited to follow suit, in any mood...

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The Spectator

Below the salt Simon Barnes THINGS HAVE come to a pretty pass when you have to turn to men's tennis to cheer yourself up after reading the cricket scores. But with the latest...


The Spectator

Q. Last year, a woman friend leaving for town agreed to a neighbour's request for a lift as she was rushing for an appointment. My friend, an unreformable Antipodean, almost...