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Meanwhile in Lenin's tomb T he government pushed a Bill through Parliament designed to deal with terrorists whether Irish or Islamic. Mr Tony Blair had described the measures,...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 THE MARSHALL MYTH W hat Russia needs is a Marshall Plan, says the consensus. But...

Page 8


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If Jehovah were an estate agent, he would have been sued long ago BRUCE ANDERSON A group of us had come to the Middle East for a New Atlantic Initiative confer- ence. As one...

Page 9


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TERRY PARRIS I 'm on a moving belt. Now I know what it is to jet-set, although our jet was Easy-Jet and the set were package tourists heading home from the Costa Brava. We were...

Page 10


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This anniversary has at last ended our mourning FRANK JOHNSON I t does not seem possible that it was only a year ago. It was an unforgettable life, but it was also an...

Page 11


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Norman Lamont defends Mr Yeltsin, and rejects the new orthodoxy that predicts inevitable crisis and failure for the former Soviet Union SIX YEARS ago in Washington it fell to...

Page 13


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Peter Bauer and Cranley Onslow mark the anniversary of a policy wrongly regarded as above criticism NEXT YEAR will mark the 50th anniver- sary of the inception of development...

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Bauer-Onslow case PETER BAUER and Cranley Onslow seek to mark the 50th anniversary of development aid by claiming falsely that it has failed, attributing some of the major...

Page 16

`SMOKING is unacceptable to this council,' said the chief executive

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of the Labour-controlled Welwyn and Hatfield dis- trict council. 'What our staff do when they are off duty is up to them but while they are on duty it is inappropriate for them...

Page 18


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New Hampshire A FEW WEEKS ago, I drove over to see my friend Ed, who does something on Wall Street involving getting up early and down- loading lists of numbers. As I was...

Page 20

Second opinion

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I HAVE long observed that the only modern public buildings on which expense has not been spared, and which consequently rise above the level of the barely functional, are law...


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Lewis Jones recalls the death in a car crash of another idolised princess — and what followed IT WAS late August, on the cusp of sum- mer and autumn. She was a beautiful young...

Page 22


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The Lake District is a world where time has had to stop PAUL JOHNSON W e arrived in the Lake District last week to find it has been having the wettest summer for 60 years. In...

Page 24

Call up the reserves

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THE LOSERS in all this are the central banks themselves. Almost a quarter of the world's stocks of gold are still held in their vaults. As proprietors of money-printing...

Private enterprise

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MONOPOLIES, as we ought to have learned, are bad news for their customers. Gold is the competitor. Gold is a store of value and a medium of exchange, which are the two classic...

Promises, promises

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YOU WILL find one in your pocket, prob- ably signed by a Mr Kentfield. On behalf of the Governors of the Bank of England, he promises to pay you £5. When the century began, a £5...


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A nice solid ingot or a politician's IOU? Everyone's rice-patch needs gold CHRISTOPHER FILDES I t's the two-rouble question. Which would you rather have? An IOU from Boris...

Buy and bury

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NOT LONG AGO a reader in Suffolk asked me where he could buy an ingot to bury in his rice-patch. I referred him to Credit Suisse's London office but warned him that he would...

Monopoly money

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ONE AFTER another, governments have stopped trying to keep up with gold. Mr Kentfield's predecessor retired hurt in 1931. France's last gold-backed bonds, the rentes Pinay, were...

Page 25

Carlos no jackal

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Sir: I cannot understand why almost every- one — Harewood, Milnes, et al. and now Michael Tanner (Arts, 29 August) — is so dismissive of the auto-da-fe scene in Verdi's opera...

Fair Helen

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Sir: I've never met the lady, but your refer- ence (Leader, 29 August) to 'the unlovely Labour MP Helen Brinton' was ungallant, unkind and unworthy; untrue, too, from her...


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Sir: I was interested in the claim that the first contact lenses were available in 1961 (Leading article, 22 August), subsequently amended to 1959 (Letters, 29 August), because...

Sir: Christopher Fildes is away and the Russian economy goes

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into meltdown! Is there a connection? Ian Jordan 3 Terrapins, Lovelace Road, Surbiton, Surrey

LETTERS Secret sympathies?

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Sir: Despite being a committed Labour supporter all my adult life, I've been a read- er of The Spectator since I first went to uni- versity in 1974. Reading it on my Friday...

Great Scot

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Sir: Not for the first time I'm inclined to agree with Magnus Linklater CA bletherer bites back', 29 August). I lent his faither' and his mother. Eric was a brilliant novelist...

Sir: Magnus Linklater appears to consider being rude about Jimmy

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Hill a trait pecu- liar to Scots. As I have never met an English person willing to be polite about him could we not find some Anglo-Scottish common ground on this issue?...

Spell check

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Sir: Just in case anyone should wonder what was meant by 'local bands' at the end of my letter on Alexander the Great (15 August), I did, of course, write 'local bards'. I know...

Russia not ready

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Sir: At a dinner, the Duchess of Marlbor- ough asked the Tsar why he did not give the Russian people the democratic govern- ment which was so successful in England. He replied,...


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Sir: Why was Chapman Pincher so dim as to conduct his clandestine interviews in the same seat of the same restaurant over the years pugs in the banquette', 22 August). People on...

Page 26


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Why this year's attitude to the Princess came as news to the news desks JULIA HOBSBAWM News happens, but it can also be made to happen. In public relations a known formu- la...

Page 27


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All done with mirrors Bevis Hillier ON REFLECTION by Jonathan Miller National Gallery Publications, £25, pp. 224 L et's get one thing straight, right away. In Noblesse Oblige,...

All books reviewed in The Spectator are available through THE

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SPECTATOR BOOKSHOP Tel: 0541 557 288

Page 29

Poor little mad girl

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Miranda France MAN CRAZY by Joyce Carol Oates Virago, £15.99, pp. 282 J oyce Carol Oates has written so many novels — more than 30 at the last count that she has been known to...

Page 30

One into three will go

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Rory Dunlop THE TESSERACT by Alex Garland Viking, £15.99, £19.99, pp. 288 A lex Garland's first novel, The Beach, was an enormous success; it won a prize for travel fiction, it...


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BookoitheWeek Two Fat Ladies Full Throttle by Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright Touring Britain on Jennifer's motorbike, with Clarissa in the sidecar, the intrepid...

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Let loose the Dogs of war

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Euan Strathcona DOG BOATS AT WAR by Len Reynolds Sutton Publishing, £25, pp. 289 T his book is long overdue. It is not hard to believe that it took the author eight years to...

A cautious confession

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Caroline Moorehead IMAGES AND SHADOWS by Iris Origo John Murray, £20, pp.288 A s a biographer, his Origo was tough not only on herself, but on others. Veracity and enthusiasm,...

Page 32

Time, please, gentlemen

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Nigel Spivey THE CALENDAR by David Ewing Duncan Fourth Estate, £12.99, pp. 360 I t is obvious enough that calendars per- tain to the manipulation of power. 'They have received...

Page 33

Le deluge s'arrive

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Alain de Botton ON THE BRINK: THE TROUBLE WITH FRANCE by Jonathan Fenby Little, Brown, £18.99, pp. 449 A remark one often hears from British tourists who spend time across the...

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Ruined by respectability

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Richard Shone JOHN EVERETT MILLAIS. A BIOGRAPHY by G. H. Fleming Constable, £20, pp. 318 I s there a Viagra for limp biographers? If so, a truck of it should be delivered to...

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First class mail

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Jonathan Sumption THE LETTERS OF CHARLES DICKENS: VOLUME TEN, 1862-1864 edited by Graham Storey Oxford University Press, £65, pp. 511 T he opening of this volume finds Dick-...

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Chapter and verse

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Hugo Williams OPENED GROUND POEMS 1966-96 by Seamus Heaney Faber and Faber, £20, £12.99, pp. 352 I t must be galling, chilling even, to find yourself placed above such an...

Page 37

Don't forget your toothbrush

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Kate Hubbard SEX: THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS: A LIFE OF ALFRED C. KINSEY by Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy Chatto and Windus, £20, pp. 352 I n 1939 Alfred Kinsey, who abhorred all...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY- RATES 12 Months 6 Months (52 issues) (26 issues) UK 0 £97.00 U £49.00 Europe 0 £109.00 ❑ £55.00 USA 0 US$161 0 US$82 Australia ❑ Aus$225 ❑ Aus$113 Rest of...

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Cool love in the Congo

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Andro Linklater THE CATASTROPHIST by Ronan Bennett Review, £14.99, pp. 313 I n a famously horrific strip of newsreel, Patrice Lumumba, the Congo's first presi- dent, is shown...

Page 39


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What's going on on page 27? Lloyd Evans believes the decision to scrap admission charges has confused our national collections B ehold the British Library. Surfacing like a...

Page 40


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Bruges and the Renaissance: Memling to Pourbus (Memlingmuseum/Oud-Sintjanshospital, Bruges, till 6 December) The Italian connection Robin Simon I f you get the feeling that...

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Edinburgh highs and lows

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Michael Tanner attends the most moving music drama of the Festival: Winterreise H aving begun with the noisy whimper of Berlioz's Grande Messe des Morts in a poor performance,...

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The Last Days of Disco (15, selected cinemas) Take three girls Mark Steyn S o much for Cool Britannia. Here come Rachel (Chain Reaction) Weisz, Catherine (Braveheart)...

Page 43


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Song of Singapore (Minerva Theatre, Chichester) Gloomy Sunday (Jermyn Street Theatre) Weird and wonderful Sheridan Morley P recious few actresses hit two really good new...

Page 44

Pop music

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The irritant factor Marcus Berkmann I t is a natural human instinct to put things into some sort of order and then publish them as a league table. Many age- ing pop fans can...

Page 45


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But what does it mean? Michael Vestey T he future is digital, or so we are told. But does anyone know what digital means? Those assembled at the Museum of Pho- tography, Film...

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The art of self-mockery Edward Heathcoat Amory J okes, not bombs, have always been the British anarchists' weapon of choice. Despotic, inept or simply unpopular rulers have...

The turf

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Goodwood camaraderie Robin Oakley With Frankie Dettori, Kieren Fallon and Pat Eddery all sitting on something softer than a saddle through suspensions, it was a reminder of...

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High life

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Broken promises Taki Gstaad e ddyeddy Roosevelt, one of America's greatest presidents and then some, explained his foreign policy as 'speaking softly but carrying a big...

Page 48


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A chance to err Andrew Robson BRIDGE is being played by more and more young people — in schools, universi- ties and just socially among friends. A rela- tively new idea that...

Country life

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The one that got away Leanda de Lisle C I 've never seen so much countryside,' my youngest son, Dominic, announced as we drove through Sutherland. In the eight years of his...

Page 49


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THE STRATHARDLE Highland Gather- ing was in full swing. Carrot-topped chil- dren spun round on the stage, their hair neatly plaited, their socks frilly white, exe- cuting...

Spectator Wine Club In the issue of 29 August, the

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price for No. 7 (Hacienda Monasterio 1995) should have read £187.80 per case of 12. The suppliers are Corney & Barrow Limited, 12 Helmet Row, London EC1V 3QJ. Telephone: 0171...

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Bucket and spade Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2049 you were invited to provide appropriate verses describing my holiday or giving my thoughts from abroad. I have only twice...


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Mammoth Raymond Keene FOR SOME time the classic collection of chess masterpieces has been 500 Master Games by Tartakower and Du Mont. Despite the excellence of the choice and...

Page 53

Solution to 1375: Wheel

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The key phrase was BREAK A BUT- TERFLY ON THE WHEEL. Circuit lights were A BUTTERFLY (broken) and six butterflies. First prize: F.W.J. Teale, Birming- ham. Runners - up:...

W & J

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GRAHAM'S PORT CROSSWORD 1378: Bear up by Columba A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 21 September, with two...

No. 2052: Medical memories

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You are invited to write a poem (maximum 16 lines) in praise of some old-fashioned remedy or patent medicine. Entries to `Competition No. 2052' by 17 September.

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Jiminy cricket Simon Barnes THERE WILL be a cricket tournament at the Commonwealth Games (formerly known as the Empire Games) in Kuala Lumpur this autumn. On the whole, this...


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Dear Mary.. . Q. Our 20-month-old son is just beginning to speak. By necessity I work, and he spends his days with a childminder who also looks after two or three other pre-...