5 JULY 1997

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M r Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, presented his first Budget, which among other things implemented Labour's scheme of a 'windfall tax' on recently privatised...

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

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1706; Telex 27124; Fax 0171-242 0603 KNOWLEDGE OF CHINA I f they are anything like us, most newspa- per readers and television viewers must by now be tired of people claiming...

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Mr Brown has damaged the economy by keeping his election pledges BRUCE ANDERSON B y the time Gordon Brown rises to deliver his first budget, The Spectator will have gone to...

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DAVID TANG Hong Kong No, a good day for lachrymals who are British or care about British rule. At Hong Kong's own and last Royal Tournament, in which Britain finally lost, rain...

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present, and uncertain future of his party HAVE YOU found the ideas put about in the recent contest for the leadership of the Conservative Party exciting? You will have noticed...

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Mind your language

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A NEW Church of England report has pointed out that some Christians fear that the so-called Toronto Blessing might be the work of the devil. I can't say, for I avoid such...

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Michael Sheridan's revealing view of what the ex-Governor did, and what he could do next Hong Kong WHAT is it, I wonder, about the mixture of loud wealth, excessive alcohol...

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Francis Pike on how to contain the new superpower which Hong Kong has just joined `EARLY in the next century the United States will cease to be the world's largest economy, and...

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Clare Short defends Diana, Princess of Wales, against her accusers over landmines WHEN I visited Cambodia some months ago I went to Red Cross centres where children were...

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It was because of class, says Simon Blow I AM puzzled by the surprise over Jonathan Aitken's dishonesty. When under pressure the privileged classes are just as capable of...

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Paul Johnson argues that the Aitken case raises the spectre of unbridled press power THE REPELLENT manner in which the Guardian editor, Alan Rusbridger, exulted on television...

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U Who

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I OBSERVE that Clare Short is a boon- doggle fancier. She is paying up — well, we are — for Unido. U Who? The United Nations Industrial Development Organisa- tion is one of the...

Don't argue with us

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WHAT constitutes bad behaviour in the City? Arguing with the government, of course. That goes double for a shiny new Labour government with steam up. So the Legal & General...

For you, too, Gordon?

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HOW topical. Zenith Publishers have sent me the autobiography of Gordon Brown. I never knew that he was in the excavator business. From modest beginnings, he built up Brown...

. . . stop backing a loser

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NO DOUBT we shall be told that the deci- sion has been taken and that is too late to turn back. We must have been told that by now about the Eurofighter. This project has been...


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Here's how to budget for a free economy on the last prom of the knights CHRISTOPHER FILDES I t was a good budget, I thought. I liked the cut of one-third in the duty on wine,...

Never too late to . . .

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THAT'S the trouble with grand projects. You take your eye off the ball for a moment and zip goes £170 million. Last month I was urging Chris Smith to call off his plan for...

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In praise of Puerto Ricans

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Sir: Taki writes that 'there has never been — nor will there ever be — a single positive contribution by a Puerto Rican' to the United States (High life, 14 June). Someone who...

Sir: Apropos of Jonathan Aitken, two say- ings of Samuel

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Johnson should be adapted for the benefit of Paul Johnson and Taki: `Clear your mind of cant' and 'The man's a liar and there's an end on't'. Simon Heneage The Old Rectory,...

Sir: Peregrine Worsthorne (As I was saying, 28 June) claims

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that all philandering involves an element of deceit and that seri- al infidelities in turn must make deceit and lying a way of life in all other endeavours. If this were true,...

Faulty logic

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Sir: Alice von Schlieffen is a doughty fight- er, but her latest sortie (Letters, 28 June), asserting that the Schlieffen Plan cannot be considered a 'gambler's throw' because...

A doughty pugilist

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Sir: Can we please now have Paul John- son's defence of Mike Tyson (And another thing, 28 June)? I note that he has had a bad press from the boxing writers, a notori- ous bunch...

Sir: I have been reading your magazine now for ten

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years, particularly the column of Mr Paul Johnson because I find it stimulating and unpredictable. I have also purchased two of his books and taken the opportunity to follow his...

4 Wade Court Road, Havant, Hampshire

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LETTERS Aitken on trial

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Sir: Nicholas Farrell quotes Alan Rus- bridger of the Guardian ('Who? Where? When? Above all, why?', 28 June) as indi- cating that George Carman QC had said that 'it would have...

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Sir: The Schlieffen family were granted Danish coats of arms

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in 1444 and noble sta- tus in Poland in 1555. Three brothers were granted the rank of count in the kingdom of Prussia in 1812. Alfred (1833-1913) was a grandson of the youngest...

Critical condition

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Sir: Michael Coveney's new-found and self- appointed role as a defender of the honour of London drama critics (Letters, 28 June) will cause considerable hilarity among those of...

Champion of the opera

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Sir: Charles Osborne is entitled to his views (Arts, 28 June), but does no favours to him- self or The Spectator by quoting hearsay about Mrs Duffield, chairman of the Royal...

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Why digital television will be a bit like W.H. Smith STEPHEN GLOVER Last week the reality came one step clos- er when the Independent Television Com- mission awarded a licence...

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When friendship can also be deception PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE A ccording to my friend Paul Johnson, with whom I've been thick for 40 years having first crossed pens about Suez —...

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Goodness after God Raymond Carr EXISTENTIALISTS AND MYSTICS by Iris Murdoch Chatto, £20, pp. 546 D ame Iris Murdoch is a lay saint, a gifted novelist who is also an...

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cheque payable to: Spectator Bookshop, PO Box 1992, Epping, Essex, CM16 6JL or Telephone: 0541 557288 Facsimile: 0541 55 72 25 E - Mail: telegraph@bms.ftech.co.uk Orders over...

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He had a little list

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Julian Mitchell WILDE'S LAST STAND by Philip Hoare Duckworth, £16.95, pp. 250 A t the end of May 1918, with the Ludendorff offensive bringing the German army daily closer to...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY SUBSCRIPTION RATES 1 Year 6 months UK £93 £47 Europe £104 £52 USA (2nd class) $151 $76 USA (1st class) $175 $88 Rest of World (2nd) £107 £54 Rest of World...

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Nothing succeeds like it

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Ross Clark REFLECTIONS ON SUCCESS by Martyn Lewis Lennard Publishing, £20, pp. 960 M artyn Lewis is best known as the newscaster who complained that the news he was being asked...

Clerihew Corner `If you ever write a book about us',

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said Nicolson Pere to fils, don't be a fickle son. Give your mother her due. And what title could be neater Than Apologia Pro Nostra Vita?' James Michie

Whose service is perfect freedom

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William Scammell MY ACES, MY FAULTS by Nick Bolletieri Robson, £17.95, pp. 346 G hostwriters and sportspersons have a weakness for excruciating puns. Virginia Wade's...

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A better class of villain

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Andro Linklater THE NAPOLEON OF CRIME: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ADAM WORTH, THE REAL MORIARTY by Ben Macintyre HarperCollins, £18, pp. 320 T he life of Adam Worth, a 19th-century...

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Two lives, but private still

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Evelyn Joll T he main obstacle that confronts biog- raphers of Turner is Turner himself. As his friend the artist George Jones wrote: 'He never appeared displeased but when he...

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Some first novels

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Tom Hiney O ne book certainly stands out among this summer's debut novels. The God of Small Things is a magically written effort by Arundhati Roy and deserves all the hype that...

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It is a joke, isn't it?

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Cressida Connolly THE COUNTRY LIFE by Rachel Cusk Picador, £15.99, pp. 342 W hat is Rachel Cusk up to? The Country Life — her third novel — is either a disastrous mismarriage...


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A line was omitted in error from David Pryce-Jones's review of A Brutal Friend- ship by Said K. Aburish last week. The passage in question should have read: `The Al-Sauds and...

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In a state of ill health Giannandrea Poesio believes that the New York City Ballet is still suffering an identity crisis A though the language of dance is uni- versal, dance...

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Energising Edinburgh

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Felicity Owen on the National Galleries of Scotland's plans for the future L ife at the National Galleries of Scot- land under the exuberant Timothy Clifford has seldom been...

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Drawing on Diversity (RIBA Heinz Gallery, till 20 July) Women at work Alan Powers A fter her experience with Sir John Vanbrugh, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough wrote that she...

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Gotterchimmerung (Norwegian National Opera, Norwich) A world elsewhere Michael Tanner T he conclusion of the Ring cycle in Norwich, given by the Norwegian National Opera,...

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Waiting for Godot (Old Vic) Twilight of the Golds (Arts) The Maids (Donmar Warehouse) Lessons from Beckett Sheridan Morley P lays don't change; audiences do. The les- son of...

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Pop music

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Cheer up, please Marcus Berkmann N ever trust a notoriously gloomy pop star who says he is feeling 'optimistic'. He probably just means that he's relieved to find that he's...

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Rumble in the Bronx (15, selected cinemas) One Fine Day (PG, selected cinemas) Genially scrutable Chan Mark Steyn N ot all Her Majesty's subjects in Hong Kong have chosen to...


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Identity crisis Michael Vestey A i image from the Seventies has remained with me. It is Peter O'Toole in a dressing-gown at his home, under siege from the media after an...

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Losing the plot Simon Hoggart T he middle-class, middle-brow drama series used to be one of the great staples of the BBC. They were thrillers which never quite thrilled, but...

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Broken by a Bentley Alan Judd T his was penned (sic) before the budget on the assumption that motoring corre- spondents probably won't be banned out- right, though we might be...

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High life

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Hot line to a goddess Taki T he reason for the gloomy weather and the wettest ever June is Zeus. I know so because, long ago, the full-armoured lady that sprang from his head...

The turf

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Looking good Robin Oakley S ullen skies and a persistent downpour over Epsom made Saturday one of those days you should have spent doing those things you always meant to do,...

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Low life

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I want to be alone Jeffrey Bernard I think I owe readers some sort of expla- nation as to the paragraph last week which attempted to explain the absence of a col- umn. It was...

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Country life

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Dressed to kill Leanda de Lisle D o you remember the way people used to joke about American tourists? The sto- ries about them standing in the middle of Oxford, wearing...


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Clues and hints Andrew Robson THE occupation that is widely held to require the most similar attributes to an expert bridge player is an Options and Futures financial trader....

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TWENTY years ago the Guide Michelin awarded its coveted three

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stars to just six restaurants in Paris. This year's edition has only five so honoured, and from 1977 Taillevent alone remains, four of the others having been demoted to two-star...

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IN-THE-STRAND t., 7 e m CHESS I iler SIMPSON'S 1N-THE-STRAND The king in check Raymond Keene KASPAROV'S situation is under increas- ing threat after his loss to Deep Blue...


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I I ISLE OF J SISCL11141.11C0101111115111 URA JURA 14,4lt MAU XORM SMINCI COMPETITION Sex 'n' food Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1989 you were invited to reverse the...

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No. 1992: Cocoa for Kingsley Wendy Cope wrote a four-line

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poem about a dream, entitled 'Making Cocoa for Kings- ley Amis', which doesn't tell us what hap- pened in the dream. You are invited to provide in verse (maximum 16 lines) your...


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CROSSWORD w& GRAHAM'S A first prize of f30 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1991 Port for the first correct solution opened on 21 July, with two runners-up prizes...

Solution to 1315: Key words

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DOI a E N arm PA DM arm 1:11Uil alnElararlatiOnginEl L n E I/ On 0 111113 DEEM P Or iii DopnonoriE I 1211rb r E G'1 E T 1 R N T el 0 H LU E acia.nekiaRgL Erdreon Em ir L ....

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Boxing is vile Simon Barnes I HAVE a bad reputation. Years ago, after I had covered a fight in Atlantic City, the rumour went around the press corps that I had hidden for the...


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Dear Mary.. . Q. As the private secretary to a senior international statesman in Brussels, I am invited to a number of cocktail parties at the elegant residences of diplomatic...