5 MARCH 1994

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The Spectator

The age of consent. M r John Major, the Prime Minister, flew to Pittsburgh to find his roots and to speak to Mr Bill Clinton, the President of the United States. Among the...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 071-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 071-242 0603 ASIAN MODELS DISEASE T here are many good things about Dr Muhamad...

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The worst threat of all is the empty one SIMON HEFFER B ecause the Downing Street Accord you remember, the master plan to bring peace to the troubled island of Ireland looked...

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JOHN MORTIMER though we're being constantly told about our own rising crime rate, methods of depriving strangers of their cash seem more sophisticated in New York. Walking...

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Mr Douglas Hurd, the darling of the Tory establishment, has a remarkable capacity for escaping the consequences of his consistent lack of judgment, argues Noel Malcolm SEVERAL...

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Charles Glass forecasts that the occupied territories will see two civil wars: Israeli against Israeli, Palestinian against Palestinian Jerusalem DRIVING THROUGH the...

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Kenneth Roberts, who works with the UN forces in Bosnia, says that journalists there should be held accountable for their actions Sarajevo LATE LAST YEAR the Bosnian peace...


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`IF WE CAN face up to the fact that there is no God, and therefore no judg- ment, our fear of death will end,' wrote the leader-writer of the Sunday Tele- graph the other week....

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The author's name has been changed at his request.

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Oleg Gordievsky, the former KGB station chief in London, who also worked for MI6, says that the CIA was a soft target for a traitor I SAT opposite Aldrich Ames, the CIA...

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If symptoms

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persist. . . SHOULD children be taught to speak grammatically? It used to be fashionable to pietend that all ways of speaking were equally flowers in the garden of human...

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As Pavarotti names the first Channel Tunnel who made it possible: Sir Alastair Morton ONE OF TWO telephones rang on the chief executive's desk. He crossed the room to pick it...

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Mary Ellen Synon wonders why the English consistently misuse the term Anglo-Irish' EDMUND BURKE spoke Irish as a child. Oscar Wilde's mother was a Nationalist agitator....

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Matthew Engel continues our series on England with an only slightly disenchanted look at Northamptonshire WHEN YOU come back, having been away a long, long time, you overhear...

How to save yourself 51 trips to the library ...

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or over £35 on The Spectator If you're forced to share The Spectator with fellow students, then you'll know how difficult it can be to track a copy down. Now you can save...

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One hundred years ago

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HOWLERS TO THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR" Sir,—The following extracts from exam- ination papers may be considered wor- thy of a place among the "howlers" which you have given....

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Useful lessons we can learn from the painting of Liz Forgan's legs PAUL JOHNSON N ow that painters are at last returning to the representation of the real world, instead of...

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Clochemerle, EC 2

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ALDERMAN JOSIAH Gunton inaugurat- ed the gentleman's lavatory at the Bank underground station, and a brass plaque used to commemorate his public-spirited action. It has gone, in...

Thunder and lightning

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THE MARKETS are there already. That is why the economy's thunderous impact has derailed them. To sustain this pace, US companies are going to need more money. The big ones will...

A hedge, backwards

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IT HAS BLOWN no good to the specula- tive 'hedge funds', whose exposure is the talk of the markets, and George Soros has been getting his name in the papers again. City and...

Life after Lloyd's

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INTIMATIONS OF mortality at Lloyd's of London are best treated, says my man in Lime Street, with an estate protection plan and excess coverage. Brokers Holman Wade can arrange...

Bedding down

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I AM PLEASED to report that this is National Bed Month. The news reaches me by way of the House of Commons, where the Medical Entomology Centre has been joining in the...


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When an irresistible economy collides with the world's markets CHRISTOPHER FILDES T he world's biggest economy is going like a train and has collided with the world's markets....

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LETTERS Popery corner

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Sir: Paul Johnson's opinions (Letters, 26 February) are so richly enjoyable that it is a relief to learn that he takes them from nobody but himself. But it is the more puz-...

Only obeying orders

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Sir: In his review (Books, 12 February) of David Smiley's latest book, Simon Cour- tauld describes me as writing dismissively of Smiley and his companions in Albania. On the...

Sir: It says much for The Spectator that the chairman

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of its controlling company, Con- rad Black, while 'taking exception' to the Mount article, had not interfered with the editor's right to print one of the best arti- cles, and...

Sir: Sir Ferdinand Mount and your revered chairman's splendid counterblast

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('Ridicu- lous, febrile, lurid, ludicrous', 26 February) ignore mundane, but not negligible, impli- cations of papal rather than Anglican catholicism. No one need expect ardent...

Sir: Mr Conrad Black writes: . I have been (falsely)

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accused of promoting viru- lent Judaic nationalism in our Israeli news- paper (the Jerusalem Post) . . . ' What's false about the accusation? The Jerusalem Post was once a...


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RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £77.00 0 £39.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £88.00 0 £44.00 USA Airspeed 0 US$125.00 0 US$63.00 USA Airmail 0 US$175.00 0 US$88.00 Rest of Airmail 0...

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No time to read

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Sir: The only time I ever met Auberon Waugh was during the celebrated libel case between Peregrine Worsthorne and Andrew Neil, when I was in the piquant position, as co-suee...

Churchill's handicap

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Sir: Of the various charges levelled against Harold Macmillan in Simon Heffer's article (`Centenary of a double-crosser', 5 Febru- ary), surely the most damaging was Enoch...

Sex on the Rock

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Sir: Simon Courtauld is quite wrong to accuse the Bishop of Gibraltar of depriving the Royal Navy of 'much needed' relax- ation (`No sex on the Rock', 19 February). The present...

The two Marcuses

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Sir: 'No rock band has ever re-formed and made a good job of it,' Marcus Berkmann (Arts, 5 February) would have us believe. Could this be the same Marcus Berkmann who went weak...

Book plug

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Sir: I do not know all the foreign scholars that perplexed Paul Johnson in his review of the Braudel book (Books, 26 February), but I do know Louis Massignon. His doc- toral...

Sir: It is absurd for Simon Courtauld to blame the

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Catholic Bishop of Gibraltar for the present sitation there. Gibraltar is obvi- ously modelled on an English provincial town of about 50 years ago. During my National Service I...

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Sweet are the uses of morali A. N. Wilson JANE AUSTEN AND THE CLERGY by Irene Collins The Hambledon Press, 102 Gloucester Avenue, London NW1 8HX, £25, pp. 242 The Rev. George...

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Heavily invested self-interest

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Tom Shone TONY CURTIS: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Tony Curtis and Barry Paris Heinemann, f16.99, pp. 352 I n a rare stab at film criticism, the man- aging director of the National...


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Make sure of your copy of The Spectator every week by asking your local newsagent to save or deliver it. Complete the form below and hand it to your newsagent Please...

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Following in the footsteps of the master

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Geoffrey Parker THE CONQUEST OF MEXICO by Hugh Thomas Hutchinson, £25, pp. 812 I n the 1970s the Hudson Institute tried to simulate the Spanish conquest of Mexico between 1519...

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Using every man after his desert

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Francis King TOO FAR FROM HOME by Paul Bowles Peter Owen, £13.50, pp. 93 T he publishers describe this book as `Paul Bowles's first novel for 25 years'. But large print, wide...

Dwelling on unity

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Tim Renton MEMOIRS T hese are family memoirs rather than a serious political autobiography, and they are distinguished by their naivete. Trudeau dismisses the fact that he...

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And notes tremendous too

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Amit Chaudhuri COLLECTED POEMS by John Updike Hamish Hamilton, £20, pp. 387 T he poems in this collection, says Updike in his Preface, are 'the thready backside of [his] life's...

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Age cannot wither him, nor custom stale

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David Ekserdjian S o linked is Sir John Pope-Hennessy's name with the study of sculpture, that it is easy to forget that his first love was paint- ing, in particular Sienese...

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Run, run as fast as you can

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Patrick Skene Catling LIONS OF THE GRUNEWALD by Aidan Higgins Secker, £8.99, pp. 301 by do so many of the most talented Irish writers leave Ireland? Why do children threaten to...

We order this matter better in England

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Andro Linklater A HISTORY OF MEN'S FASHION by Farid Chenoune Flammarion, £50, pp. 336 I f it was shame that drove Adam to cover his nakedness, what prompted him to make his...

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Only the sultan is vile

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Tom Hiney PARADISE by Abdulrazak Gurnah Hamish Hamilton, £14.99, pp. 247 I don't know if there is a perfume or aftershave called 'Zanzibar', but there cer- tainly should be....

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The tribulations of a beleaguered grandee

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Nigel Spivey THE HOUSE by Christopher Lee Mandarin, f4.99, pp. 312 H is name is resonant with steadiness. Sir Charles Bannister: schooled at Eton, where 'along with the Latin...

The articulate, audible voice of the past

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Frank Keating JOHN ARLOTT: A MEMOIR by Tim Arlott Deutsch, £14.99, pp. 223 I f life were fair, we would have been celebrating John Arlott's 80th birthday a couple of weeks ago....

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Exhibitions The Study of Italian Drawings: The Contribution of Philip Pouncey (Department of Prints and Drawings, British Museum, 28 January- 24 April 1994) A vintage...

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Sweet Charity (Battersea Arts Centre) The Kitchen (Royal Court) The Madness of Esme and Shaz (Theatre Upstairs) Stripped of the glitz Sheridan Morley J ust as the ongoing...

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Picasso: Sculptor/Painter (Tate Gallery, till 8 May) In better humour Giles Auty T o write that Picasso's sculpture is gen- erally happier and more relaxed in mood than his...

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Pop music

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Success is so unfair Marcus Berkmann I s it really tough at the top? Furious debate on the subject continues to rage in rock circles following Phil Collins' savage denunciation...


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Shadowlands ('U', selected cinemas) Philadelphia ('12', selected cinemas) No tingle, no knobs Mark Steyn A nericans don't understand inhibi- tions,' muses C. S. Lewis'...

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The Bushman cometh Martyn Harris I n 1986 Andrew Weston-Webb was a sales and marketing manager in the City, earning £40,000 a year with a company car, telephone, computer,...

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High life

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Send in the Kennedys Taki T he Kennedy clan has gathered in force in a Northern Irish courtroom as a back-up to their newest member, Belfast man Paul Hill, one of the...

Low life

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Scratched from all engagements Jeffrey Bernard I was amazed and deeply touched last week by a visit from Peter O'Toole himself. I never thought the great man would both- er...

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Long life

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Where there's a Will Nigel Nicolson because I think its implementation immi- nent, but because about once every ten years I need to check that my posthumous provisions still...

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THIRTY OR SO years ago, eating out in Cambridge was

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seldom an enjoyable expe- rience for an undergraduate. A few Indian and Chinese restaurants offered dirty table- cloths and cheap food — welcome enough at around 11 o'clock at...

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I 41 9 1 ' i

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.C.or_xo SPAIN'S FINEST CAVA CHESS Dutch treats Raymond Keene ;.00 aia gli SPAIN'S FINEST CAVA THE DUTCH have landed a coup. Having spectacularly failed to organise a...


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pctli M MON D 's - PUKE MALT %%Iiitit 0 Organ music Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1819 you were invited to write a poem about a bodily organ. You were lucky I didn't choose...

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Solution to 1146: County types

The Spectator

The unclued lights have county associations: lA Norfolk, 8 Leices- tershire, 14 Cheshire, 18 Suffolk, 25 Essex, 29 Devon, 34 Somerset, 36 Derbyshire, 40 Kent. First prize: Mrs...

No. 1822: Villanelle

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The villanelle is traditionally written on an idyllic, pastoral subject. You are invited to write one about a once heavenly place that is now hellish. Entries to 'Competition...

W & J

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GRAHAM'S PORT W.& J. CROSSWORD GRAHAM'S PORT A first prize of £25 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 21 March,...

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Dear diary Frank Keating OUT OF the blue the other day came the sort of telephone call I dream about. Might I be interested in glancing at a journal writ- ten 99 years ago by...


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Q. My husband and I have a holiday apart- ment in Lanzarote where we go every year. Unfortunately we must share the swimming pool with some British people who clearly do not...