6 APRIL 1996

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'I'm looking for ten volunteers.' A law to give police new powers to search suspected pedestrians in the street was rushed through Parliament at the insti- gation of Mr Michael...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 0171-242 0603 KEEPING FAITH P aul Johnson has for some time been insisting in...

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How the Prime Minister won his dispute with the Chancellor (with Hezza's help) BRUCE ANDERSON F or once the British system of govern- ment worked properly: high principle gave...

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ALAN CLARK T he news that John Major and Tony Blair are to debate live on television at last puts in sight a possibility of the Conserva- tives winning the next general...

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Mr Blair could be the next Icarus. And we all know what happened to him MATTHEW PARRIS I carus, as every schoolchild knows. . . . Or so I was about to begin this essay, but...

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At Easter, E.P. Sanders, one of the world's authorities on the historical Jesus, seeks the answers to the Resurrection — though also the questions TWO of the most common...

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Michael Heath

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Andrew Linzey says that, at Easter; believers should remember animals too. After all, John Henry Newman did so over 150 years ago `THINK . . . of your feelings at cruelty...

Mind your language

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`MUMMY, it was so funny when you said that even I'd know that omnibus was the ablative of omnis and that man wrote in to say it was the dative — I told all the girls at...

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Jeffrey Bernard had never been there before. He found, among other pleasures, the best cocktail he'd ever had VENICE is wetter than I thought it would be. I didn't realise that...

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If symptoms

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persist.. . CALL no man happy, said Solon a long time ago, till he dies: he is at best fortu- nate. Amen to that; but even the sternest moralist among us will agree that there...

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Edward Pearce recommends an Easter excursion to the landscape which was so right for the dark art of M.R. James THERE are snowdrops in the wood at the cliff edge, also a grave...

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An Easter tale of disputes, excommunications and a Petrine bar PAUL JOHNSON Rome Yu would think that Easter, being the anniversary of the resurrection of Christ and the...

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Lady's rugby

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Sir: You must explain to the many thou- sands of rugby-loving Spectator readers here in Australia just who is Lady Hesketh (Rugby, 23 March). I think of her as Prunella Scales...

Sir: Whilst agreeing with the tone of healthy scepticism on

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the BSE/CJD contro- versy, I feel that in your editorial you have been unfair to the scientists. As in any other case that rests on meagre circumstan- tial evidence, there is no...

LETTERS Bad journalists' disease

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Sir: Journalism regularly runs politics close as the profession most despised by the pub- lic. Anyone wanting to know why could do no better than read last week's Spectator. No,...

Joost rhymes with toast

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Sir: To the extent that any restaurant review — good, bad or indifferent — builds turnover, I am grateful to Nigella Lawson for 'noticing' The Stamford in her column...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY— RATES 12Months Months UK ❑ £84.00 CI £43.00 Europe (airmail) ❑ £95.00 ❑ £48.00 USA Airspeed ❑ US$135 ❑ US$68 USA Airmail ❑ US$180 U US$90 Rest of Airmail ❑...

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The bile of Miles

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Sir: I am astonished that The Spectator should use Rosalind Miles as a reviewer (Books, 30 March). Like most feminist pro- pagandists, Rosalind Miles doesn't like open debate...

Point grasped

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Sir: I am sure I am not alone in beginning to get rather irritated by the increasingly acrimonious slanging match engaged in by Mr Rupert Allason MP and Mr Joe Haines in your...

Caviare to the Ayatollah

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Sir: Re Paul Johnson's piece on the origins of the Rushdie affair (And another thing, 30 March), the world in general and Iran in particular would be happier places if Aya-...

Bilateral internment

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Sir: Andrew Roberts continues to evade the issue (Letters, 30 March). As Conor Cruise O'Brien — whom he quoted misleadingly — has explained in numerous articles and interviews,...

Hard-faced men

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Sir: Lord Alport quotes Stanley Baldwin as having described the Conservatives as 'the probably get a choice of standpipes.' party of "hard-faced men" . . . in pre-war days'...

Martial art

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Sir: During the 1939-1945 war, their Lord- ships of the Admiralty sent newly commis- sioned Fleet Air Army officers, of whom they were understandably nervous, to the Royal Naval...

Monet madness

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Sir: In confusing the location of Monet's garden at Giverny with a French fashion house, Givenchy, Martin Bailey (Exhibi- tions, 30th March) has confirmed the long- held...

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This is not a column about Mr Preston, but he was rude about me, and I was right about the Observer STEPHEN GLOVER L ast week I wrote that Peter Preston had secured a...

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Knowing their place David Sexton JOURNALS, 1987-89 by Anthony Powell Heinemann, £20.00, pp. 228 I s genealogy always a snobbish study? All those untouched by this passion...

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The First Piano On The Moon

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has not been launched as yet, but it could be. It's not past human ingenuity to anchor it on some bleak lunar sea. The vision and intelligence of man has not shown evidence...

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Taking a pounding

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Bruce Anderson POLITICS AND THE POUND by Philip Stephens Macmillan, £20.00, pp 364 F ixed exchange rates create problems for British politicians. They not only turn the pound's...

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The journalist as hero

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Peter Jay A GOOD LIFE: NEWSPAPERING AND OTHER ADVENTURES by Ben Bradlee Simon & Schuster, £17.99, pp. 514 B en Bradlee is arguably the most influential journalist of the last...

Old readers start here

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Penelope Lively ELEANOR AND MARIANNE by Emma Tennant Simon & Schuster, f9.99, pp. 184 I t is a truth universally acknowledged that a successful novel by an author conve-...

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Blue-yellow day. Some fluttery thing was trapped In the glassed-in patio, a swallow Drum-thumping and riffling among vine-leaves And geraniums, one of those dark dots Whose...

Was he a randy old dog?

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Craig Raine THE LE 1 I ERS OF CHARLES DICKENS, VOLUME VIII, 1856-1858 edited by Graham Storey and Kathleen Tillotson Clarendon Press, £95, pp. 807 V lume VIII of the...

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The rich are different from us

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Taki ATHINA - THE LAST ONASSIS by Chris Hutchins and Peter Thompson Smith Gryphon, £16.99, pp. 249 T his is a terrible book. It is supposed to be about the battle over the...

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You can't keep a bad man down

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Anthony Blond THE CAPTAIN: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SIMON RAVEN by Michael Barber Duckworth, £18.95, pp. 250 M r Barber's first book must be marked alpha plus. This is a biography...

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Believe it or nod

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Peter Vansittart CREDO S eventh-century Britain, rebuilding itself after post-Roman turmoils, remains outlandish, faintly risible, with words like outfangentheof, names like...

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Shabbily served by London Rupert Christiansen feels that the performing arts are let down by their inadequate venues I n Paris a few weeks ago, I visited the wonderful Theatre...

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Sergeant Bilko (PG, selected cinemas) Billy Madison (PG, selected cinemas) Dead ironic society Mark Steyn I was interested to read, in James Deling- pole's television column,...


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Giselle; Square Dance (English National Ballet, London Coliseum) Slip-ups on the slopes Giannandrea Poesio U nlike many ballet-goers I have noth- ing against new readings of...

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Passion (Queen's) Harry and Me (Royal Court) Miss Julie (Young Vic) Impassionate piece Sheridan Morley I n his native New York this has not been the best of times for...


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Gustave Caillebotte (Royal Academy, till 28 June) Man of means Martin Gayford G ustave Caillebotte was the Impres- sionist the world forgot — but was it right to do so? That...

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Pop music

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Distinctly uncool Marcus Berkmann T he pathological fear of record shops first strikes during adolescence, but it can recur throughout life. It's the fear of humil- iation, of...

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Two's company Michael Vestey T he other day, I discovered a radio net- work where the presenters speak clear English in a generally standard BBC style comprehensible to all;...

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Heart- James Delingpole T hough I really didn't mean to waste yet another review discussing the relative merits of American and British television, I'm afraid I can't help...

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The turf

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The best in the business Robin Oakley T hey clapped and they cheered at this year's Jockeys Association dinner when Frankie Dettori stepped up to take the statuette they'd...


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Take my advice Alan Judd I 've bought most of my cars privately, mainly because that's where I've found them. Admittedly, I used to think I might be getting them cheaper,...

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High life

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Those were the days Taki A New York ril in the Big Bagel is baseball, when hope springs eternal for every fan and play- er as the 162-game season gets under way. Once upon a...

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Low life

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Smooth quest Jeffrey Bernard I t wasn't long before we touched down at Heathrow that a BA cabin steward approached me and, squatting down in front of me, told me that their...

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Country life

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Perhaps it's all for the best Leanda de Lisle M y middle son, Christian, was born on Easter Saturday eight years ago. He was an eccentric child even then. He' was deliv- ered...


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Winkled Andrew Robson Dealer West North-South Vulnerable 4 3 2 A 106 4 • 8 7 6 5 • J 5 4 4 6 5 4 10 4 N J 9 7 • 8 5 3 2 • K 9 4 W E • A 103 2 • A K Q 10 6 • 9 8 7...

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,....,,,, • , - ---- -....e.. - __ - _ ts . 'SECOND HELPING La Promenade and Le Manoir d'Hastings LI EVEN WITH a wretched seven and a half francs to the pound, meals in...

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High days and holy days

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SPY WEDNESDAY, the day before Maun- dy Thursday, was the day when Judas decid- ed to put his betrayal of Jesus into practice by informing against Him to the high priests. It was...

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IN-THE-STRAND C 4 1 ',; s k .1n . e;' i ■ i CHESS SIMPSON'S IN-THE•S1 RAND Art of sacrifice Raymond Keene TWO WEEKS AGO I celebrated the life and works of that great...


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J,I,L1 I A 0101111.11■11 ISLE OF I COMPETITION j ■.,,,f %CI •■ ,q,,, YM skl Univocalic Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1926 you were invited to write a poem using only one...

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No. 1929: Special pleading

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The claims of litigants suing for damages are becoming more and more fantastic. You are invited to provide an extract from a speech by the counsel for such a litigant in a...


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W. a .1. GRAHAM'S PORT A first prize of £25 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1989 Port for the first correct solution opened on 22 April, with two runners-up...

Competition entries

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To enable competitors to economise on postage, entries for one or more weeks of the competition and/or crossword may be posted together under one cover addressed 'Competition...

Solution to 1252: Rolling-stock

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Circuits: definition of STOCK (from, and to, radial 15), with STEREOTYPE round the centre. First prize: G.H. Cowan, Ruislip, Middlesex. Runners-up: Wilfrid Miron, Halam, Notts;...

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Not Cricket Simon Barnes APRIL is the cruellest month, bringing Wisden out of the dead land, mixing memo- ry and desire, stirring dull boots with spring rain. And cricket is...


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Dear Mary. . Q. As my wife and I have planned to have a larger family than seems the norm in this age, we were overjoyed at the news that she is expecting another baby later...