5 OCTOBER 1996

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The Spectator

M r Kenneth Clarke, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said on television of his Budget in the autumn, 'The public will be deeply suspicious of any tax cuts because they remember...

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The Spectator

DAVID HARE I have been in New York for two weeks for the opening of Skylight. It's been the full Broadway experience, at once tense, highly charged and, at the last,...

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The stress of reporting the Lib-Dems drove me to shoot dead the blonde with big breasts MATTHEW PARRIS A nyone who has endured, as I have, the cruel and unusual punishment of...

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Bruce Anderson thinks that Mr Blair's conference speech was a piece of cynical effrontery. It may also have been an effective means of vote-garnering Blackpool ONE question...

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Michael Heath

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Anne McElvoy moves among the spin doctors, their patients and the splitters-in-waiting Blackpool It had to happen. The only wonder is that it took so long. Three young men...

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James Hughes-Onslow is for the real Mr Blair. But he's also for the real Mr Major TO DROP a name, I first met Tony Blair 23 years ago when he shared a house at Oxford with some...

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David Pryce - Jones recalls the subterranean passage that is cause, and metaphor, in Jerusalem's latest crisis ARABS and Israelis will make peace one day, though nobody can be...

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Ruth Rees on her personal experience with women who set out to entrap members of the Roman Catholic clergy I FIRST encountered the species in Africa soon after I became a...

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Mind your language

The Spectator

YOUR suggestions as to the origin of the term spend a penny have poured in, but I cannot say that all of you have really been concentrating. The problem I set was a reference to...

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On the eve of this year's, Richard Kelly says the Conservatives' annual gathering is still misunderstood — especially by New Labour TEN YEARS ago, I wrote a book which tried...

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AWFUL PEOPLE? . . . is what Simon Blow hopes he will not end up saying about the revived Cafe de Paris THE CAFE de Paris has been brought to life again. This news stirred...

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Ewa Lewis claims there is a fundamental longing for a return to social rules and order YOU WOULDN'T think that Debrett's New Guide to Etiquette and Modern Man- ners by John...

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Michael Harrington rejects the well-worn myth that Britain could ever have had the leadership of Europe NOT FOR the first time have Sir Edward Heath and other Europhiles been...

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Oliver Knox on what it was like to be asked for an opinion on Germany, on M Chirac, or indeed on any foreign topic, by Mrs Thatcher I DON'T know about Charles Powell's demons...

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Lessons in civility from a great gentleman who put the public first PAUL JOHNSON H istory sometimes appears as a record of unrelieved human depravity. But it is also lit by...

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Say we've lost the money, and go home the world's debtors deserve better CHRISTOPHER I I LDES Washington h ehe war in Vietnam was going badly wrong. What, asked the President,...

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LETTERS A duty to be true

The Spectator

Sir: Charles Powell's acid review (Books, 28 September) saddens me. On the very first page of my book I point to the deformation professionnelle inherent in the work of every...

Sir: Divergent interpretations of fact are not to be resolved

The Spectator

by dismissive asides and personal sneers. I refer to Sir Charles Pow- ell's review of Mr George Urban's account of the famous, or notorious, 'Chequers seminar' (Books, 28...

Further selection

The Spectator

Sir: May anyone join in selecting the Com- posers' XI? I think room should be found for Britten, not only because he must be the only composer to have been captain of his prep...

Hiroshima and the BBC

The Spectator

Sir: Professor Cameron Watt's letter (28 September) on the subject of the BBC pro- gramme on Hiroshima is so admirably definitive that I intervene only to assure your readers...

Keep the option open Sir: Bruce Anderson always writes well,

The Spectator

but seems temporarily unable to read, other- wise he would not have attacked (Politics, 28 September) those of us who signed the letter on Europe to the Independent for...

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Hitler's mistake

The Spectator

Sir: Milton Shulman's article (Teaching the truth about the war', 27 September) contains some highly speculative assertions about the reasons for Hitler's defeat. He makes the...

Sir: Taki's attack on Max Hastings (High life, 13 September)

The Spectator

was very amusing indeed — provided one is not Max Hast- ings. But I know of another side to the coin. A while ago, a wildlife charity of which I was a trustee went into...

A little too gallant

The Spectator

Sir: Tunku Varadarajan, of the Times, dis- interestedly leaps (Letters, 28 September) to the defence of his colleague Rachel Campbell-Johnston, to tell us she is 'writing...

Honest opinion

The Spectator

Sir: Once a hack, always a hack. Lord Deedes suggests in his letter (28 Septem- ber) that my 'intemperate attack on Max Hastings relates . . . to some bruising encounter with...

Trivial information

The Spectator

Sir: As the reporter on the William Hickey column of the Daily Express who spoke (twice) to your Low life columnist, Jeffrey Bernard, about his Spectator lunch, I was surprised...

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The Guardian comes well out of the case, but its ally, Mr Al Fayed, does not STEPHEN GLOVER M any people may find themselves dis- inclined to take the Guardian's side in the...

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Chips from a German workshop Jasper Griffin A HISTORY OF ROME UNDER THE EMPERORS by Theodor Mommsen, edited by Thomas Wiedemann Routledge, £40, pp. 642 T heodor Mommsen...

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Loved and now brought to life

The Spectator

Alan Watkins HUGH GAITSKELL by Brian Brivati Richard Cohen Books, £25, pp. 492 0 f politicians since the war, five have been loved: Aneurin Bevan, Anthony Crosland, Michael...

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Not seen to be done

The Spectator

Brian Masters THE POWER TO HARM: MIND, MEDICINE AND MURDER ON TRIAL by John Cornwell Viking, £18, pp. 336 W hile the rest of the world's press sat hypnotised by the 0. J....

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Her talent was for love

The Spectator

Elizabeth Lowry EMILY TENNYSON: THE POET'S WIFE by Ann Thwaite Faber, £25, pp. 716 A fter a week spent at Farringford on the Isle of Wight in June 1859, which had given him an...

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Feeling out of sight

The Spectator

Cressida Connolly LET ME COUNT THE WAYS by Deborah Bosley Century, £9.99, pp. 122 I f bookshops and libraries arranged their novels in alphabetical order according to subject...

Toujours la politesse

The Spectator

Nigel Nicolson MY NAME ESCAPES ME: THE DIARY OF A RETIRING ACTOR by Alec Guinness Hamish Hamilton, £16, pp. 214 A lec Guinness tells us that he has kept a sort of diary for...

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Models of design and performance

The Spectator

Penelope Lively AFTER RAIN by William Trevor Viking, £16, pp. 224 S hort stories take up almost as much space in William Trevor's long list of titles as do novels — After Rain...

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Their man in Singapore

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Kit McMahon ALL THAT GLITTERS: THE FALL OF BARINGS by John Gapper and Nicholas Denton Hamish Hamilton, £20, pp. 384 H ere's a funny thing. Last February Stephen Fay produced a...

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Thinking of England

The Spectator

Allan Mallinson ANGELS OF ALBION: WOMEN OF THE INDIAN MUTINY by Jane Robinson Viking, f20, pp. 298 W hat happened in May 1857 was more than a mutiny but a lot less than a war...

In the shadow of the cinema

The Spectator

Rory Dunlop THE BEACH by Alex Garland Viking, f10.99, pp. 439 he Beach is a young man's novel. It is dominated by the character of the narrator, a young man (inseparable from...

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From gourmand to gourmet

The Spectator

Peter Bazalgette THE NIGEL LAWSON DIET BOOK Michael Joseph, £12.99, pp. 120 W hat's going on here? A former Chancellor, a noted trencherman and father of a noted trencherman,...

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Heywood Hill's at 60

The Spectator

James Fergusson H eywood Hill's bookshop is 60 years old this month. Heywood Hill, who found- ed it and gave it its dash, is 10 years dead; Nancy Mitford, whose wartime...

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A 3D triumph for the future Edward Lucie-Smith found paranoia as well as enthusiasm at a conference on holography H olography is a pariah art form perhaps, indeed, the only...

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Living Bridges (Royal Academy, till 18 December) A bridge too far Alan Powers L iving Bridges has got people talking, but not, perhaps, in the way it was meant to. The...

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Job lot Ursula Buchan T here comes a moment in every gar- dener's life when it seems right to buy a specialist gardening magazine. No longer do the newspapers and broad-based...


The Spectator

Das Rheingold; Die Walkiire (Covent Garden) Lower your eyes Michael Tanner I t would take a nicer capacity for dis- crimination than I possess to decide whether Bayreuth or...

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Dance Umbrella (Natural History Museum) That's entertainment thannandrea Pomo W hile I was standing in the middle of the Natural History Museum's entrance hall waiting for...

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Blue Murder (Touring) Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Almeida) The Handyman (Chichester) Appalling manners Sheridan Morley N ot since Michael Frayn's Noises Off (and that...

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The Nutty Professor (12, selected cinemas) Fat is funny Mark Steyn C all it Eddie Murphy's law: just when it's assumed that everything you do is bound to bellyflop, you...

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Comedy of errors Michael Vestey T ricky Dickie' Nixon, to me the most fascinating and complex President of the United States this century, was the subject of a riveting and...


The Spectator

So bad he's unwatchable James Delingpole I once wrote an incredibly pompous defence of the rude comic Viz, in which I argued that the character of Farmer Palmer was the most...

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Not motoring

The Spectator

Bad timing Gavin Stamp B eing a Not motoring correspondent can be a dispiriting task when — as is so often the case — those who ought to be allies turn out to be the worst...

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The turf

The Spectator

The confidence factor Robin Oakley F rankie Dettori not only puts the joie into joie de vivre, he helps us all take a little out of the bookies' satchels. One tortured soul on...

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High life

The Spectator

Hammer horror Taki A rmand Hammer is a billionaire, an art collector, a friend of Prince Charles, an intimate of Gorbachev, and the greatest social-climber, name-dropper, liar...

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Country life

The Spectator

Vanity affair Leanda de Lisle I am not surprised that a covert study conducted by the Martini drinks company found that men are the vainer sex. Twice as many men as women were...

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W . 06 . Afte, NAP E I NA

The Spectator

BRIDGE 30 point pack Andrew Robson When North was asked why he had made such a rampant overbid on this week's deal, he replied that he was playing with a thirty point pack'....

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Imperative cooking: the ring cycle

The Spectator

11, 7 , 40# 1 4m. HOW MANY steamers can you pile on one gas ring? Before Mrs Anderson was Mrs Anderson she lived in hall at university. Her room, unlike mine, had a gas ring. It...

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U , V \ ...,,I,CLE OM ,COIL141■111■11 ISLE OF t it u RA )HOLE .11s 01,11.1,11 COMPETITION Not fair! J aspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1952 you were invited to compose a letter,...


The Spectator

1N-THE-STRAND SIMPSON'S IN-THE-STRAND Home turf Raymond Keene IN THE long-range battle between Kas- parov and Karpov to be recognised as the world champion, Kasparov has...

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A first prize of £25 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1990 Port for the first correct solution opened on 21 October, with two runners-up prizes of £15 (or, for UK...

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God was on his side Simon Barnes JUST THINK of it, if I had bet £1, just a single, measly quid. Yes, Frankie's going well, so why not? Had I done so, I would now be jangling...


The Spectator

Dear Mary. . Q. A friend of ours, who has lived in this area far longer than we have, has set us a prob- lem. We have managed to acquire an area of land on which there are some...