6 MAY 2000

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Amateurs! Let me have a go.' T he London and Frankfurt stock exchanges are to merge under the name IX. Alchemy, the venture capital group, withdrew from negotiations to buy...

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ml OR The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 020-7405 1706; Fax 020-7242 0603 WE ARE ALL GUILTY We also said, and here we blush to remember the puffed-up...

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Will apathy help Mr Blair, or will it sink him? BRUCE ANDERSON T here is no truth in the rumours that the government is now moving into pre-election mode. That happened during...

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JEREMY PAXMAN I have spent the past week in one of the last unspoiled places in the Caribbean. We were 50 miles off the south coast of Cuba, fishing and diving with only egrets,...

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QUEEN In spite of all temptations to belong to other nations, Anne Applebaum, a US citizen living in Poland, has decided to become British NEEDLESS to say, there were no...

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Mind your language

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VIVID memories of humane cattle- slaughter have prompted a reader to plead for the spelling poll-axe, instead of the poleaxe that has appeared several times recently in The...

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Lloyd Evans on the mediaeval madness of the anti-capitalist riots in London on Monday MAY DAY 2000. As dawn broke across London, the wage slaves dozed in their Ikea bedrooms...

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Banned wagon

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A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit OF all the horrors in this world, the doorstep, you might imagine, would rate pretty low on the list. But not so....

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British Conservatives have much to learn from Europe's longest-serving Prime Minister, says Kristjan Guy Burgess COME on, Hague! says the Prime Minis- ter. Call yourself a...

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Martin Vander Weyer has a rescue plan both for Longbridge and for Michael Heseltine SAD to say, the most sensible proposal for the future of Rover, among the many that have...

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Michael Heath

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Simon Nixon on the demise of an extraordinary family bank with global ambitions THE demise of any institution one knows well is always sad. Institutions are, after all, the...

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MOMENT OF TOOTH Children's mouths are full of 'train tracks', but Mark Palmer wonders if they are just fashion accessories BEFORE Easter I took my two children to something...

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No swanking from today's anonymous billionaires, alas PAUL JOHNSON To me the true millionaire is a person apart, with a different tone of voice, more confident visions and...

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Congratulations to the Express for holding on to so many Tory readers STEPHEN GLOVER J ust over a hundred years ago, on 24 April 1900, the first edition of the Daily Express...

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Beyond belief From Chris Tyler Sir: Margot Lawrence seems to

The Spectator

have missed the point entirely in her article (`Head in the clouds', 22 April) in which she attempt- ed to show `. . . how modern science corrob- orates the truth of the...

Editorial amnesia

The Spectator

From Mr Donald Macintyre Sir: With all respect to Stephen Glover (Media studies, 22 April), my interest in Northern Ireland long predates both my book on Peter Mandelson and his...

From Mr Christopher Landor Sir: I'm glad that Frank Johnson

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was not aware that the title American Beauty is in fact the name of a breed of rose, an exam- ple of which adorns the film's poster. He would not have been able to write that...

American horrors

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From Mr Philip Huber Sir: Frank Johnson (Shared opinion, 29 April) writes that he and the world associ- ate America with baseball caps worn back to front, slasher movies,...

Below the salt

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From Mr Freddie Sinclair Andrews Sir: I know nothing about the human head letting off steam (And another thing, 25 March). However, I do recall that on a flight from Paris in a...

Idiocy with style

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From Mr Carlo Ungaro Sir: I feel that I have to respond, albeit a few days late, to Nicholas Farrell's article on Italian television Pox wallies', 8 April). I do not dispute...

Life's worth

The Spectator

From Mr J. Nemec Sir: Taki asks (High life, 22 April), 'Is a Jewish life worth more than a Russian one?' Of course it is not. What Talci does not seem to understand — or more...

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At least Edward Heath has never been afraid to add

The Spectator

to the misery of the nation FRANK JOHNSON 0 ne of the papers reported the other day that Sir Edward Heath will leave the Commons at the next election. At the time of writing,...

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We seek him here, we seek him there Ian Ousby MOZART: A CULTURAL BIOGRAPHY by Robert W. Gutman Secker, £25, pp. 839 I f Mozartean scholarship has survived the bicentennial...

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A far cry from Hangover Square

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Francis King IMPROMPTU IN MORIBUNDIA by Patrick Hamilton Trent Editions, £6.99, pp. 193 W hen Patrick Hamilton died in 1962 at the age of 58, it was seven years since this once...

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Bad trip through gangland

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Philip MacCann A nyone who get webbed up in the brown get seriously dropped on cos it's a known fact that they'll bubble you up when they're chucking.' Such is the...

City of dreadful light

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Michael Moorcock PERDIDO STREET STATION by China Mieville Macmillan, £16.99, pp. 710 I maginative fiction which refused to rationalise its flights of fantasy as dreams, visions...

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Rebel in spite of himself

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John Grigg FOURTH AMONG EQUALS by Bill Rodgers Politico's, £20, pp. 310 A t the beginning of 1981 Bill Rodgers joined Roy Jenkins, Shirley Williams and David Owen in leaving...

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Castle Saturday 3rd to Tuesday 6th June 2000 A weekend of superb music, sensational food, fine wines, impeccable comfort — all set amidst the delights of the Outer Hebrides in...

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Hunger for the headlines

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Andro Linklater GOING TO THE WARS by Max Hastings Macmillan, f20, pp. 400 I n 1982, Max Hastings wrote an article for The Spectator from the Falklands con- fessing to the...


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To the Elephant Graveyard by Tarquin Hall 'To the Elephant Graveyard' is a compelling account of the search for a killer elephant on India's North- East frontier. Tarquin...

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A climate of fear and suspicion

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Anthony Howard JOSEPH McCARTHY by Arthur Herman Simon & Schuster, £17.99, pp. 404 F orty years ago, as a young Harkness Fellow in the USA, I made my way to Appleton, Wisconsin,...

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No innocent trumpeter

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Robert Twigger TO THE ELEPHANT GRAVEYARD by Tarquin Hall John Murray, £16.99, pp. 260 ravel writing always aims to make the world interesting. It often does this by sup-...

Penelope Fitzgerald 1916-2000

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Oliver Knox I don't believe that I have ever seen any- one standing with such absolute stillness in a midsummer vegetable garden, not even touching, let alone eating, the...

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The way all horse-lovers want the world to be

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Katie Grant Y ou can take the boy out of the Pony Club but you cannot take the Pony Club out of the boy. Simon Barnes's previous novel, Rogue Lion Safaris, may be 'Dick Francis...

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Going, going, then gone

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Diane Peck I t was with fascination and regret that I recently re-read my very first issue of the New Yorker, dated 21 February, 1925. Fas- cination, because so much of it is...

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First call on the Tudors Martin Gayford on the new extension of the National Portrait Gallery t is no criticism of the new Ondaatje Wing at the National Portrait Gallery, which...

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The Greek Passion (Royal Opera House) La Gioconda (Opera North) Misplaced faith Michael Tanner B y the time he composed The Greek Passion, Martinu had written 12 operas, so...


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Painters and Peasants: Henry La Thangue and British Rural Naturalism 1880-1905 (Bolton Museum & Art Gallery till 3 June) French connection Angela Summerfield 0 ur local...

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Pop music

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Seriously good Marcus Berkmann W hat makes an album last? What makes it great? If the latest poll in Q maga- zine is anything to go by, it helps if it's made by a man, or a...

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Mother Courage (New Ambassadors) Macbeth (Young Vic) Burning Issues (Hampstead) Tricky survivor Sheridan Morley N ancy Meckler's great strength as a director is to give us...


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Imperial sunset Mark Steyn I like practically anything with Deborah Warner and Fiona Shaw's names on it. I've had a soft spot for Miss Shaw ever since she told me I looked...

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All things to all men James Delingpole T his is going to be one of those columns where I hardly talk about TV at all because, to be perfectly honest, I haven't had time to...

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Sowing confusion Michael Vestey I t was quite a shock hearing Nick Clarke asking Stephen Byers on the World at One what it had to do with him and the govern- ment which...

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Food for thought

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Not entirely passionate Simon Courtauld So many people are waiting in an ecstasy of anticipation for the first English aspara- gus this month (coming just after the gulls' egg...

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The turf

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The buck stops here Robin Oakley A the runners set off in this year's Scottish Grand National former jockey Jamie Osborne was not bounding off with half a ton of horse...

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No life

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Winning way Toby Young W ell, I did it. On 21 April I proposed to my girlfriend. As regular readers of this column will know, I moved back from New York at the end of January...

High life

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Three men in a boat Taki ow, what a weekend! Let us start with the White House correspondents din- ner at the Washington Hilton ballroom for 2,000 schmucks. That was the first...

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Country life

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Drastic solutions Leanda de Lisle I t would be nice to have a few extra policemen in the countryside. However, it would take a Swat team outside every farm- house to protect...

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Singular life

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Tales from the souk Petronella Wyatt y back was jammed against the pink, sand-encrusted wall of the souk. He was grasping my arm so hard that it had caused a nervous reaction...


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A single heart Andrew Robson I RARELY come across an end-position as beautiful as the one that occurred on this week's deal. The indicated line of play will force West to come...

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Delingpole who, in his TV column a couple of weeks ago, said he'd been feeling pretty messed up and disillu- sioned about everything and that he hadn't touched his novel for two...

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Early form Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2134 you were invited to supply a report, covering several activities, from a conventional English school on a famous historical figure...

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The Ultimate Islay Malt. CHESS Rdbe www.ardbeg.com Vlad the Impaler Raymond Keene THIS week I conclude my introduction of the challenger for the World Championship in...

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Solution to 1459: Everglades

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111 D 1 ' EDI"! 111 a Elfirrlii E A nrinall IKON L E Y JA 0 mord A1101 1 41011 am 233E CPO= -111m2311C1m3 A L El iln 0 R R rm nu prior don E S T ij 11 nr dorm] on E El...


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A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's award-winning, Late- Bottled Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 22 May, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or,...

No. 2137: Dear Brutus

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In King Lear Goneril says she has written a letter to her sister Regan. You are invited to provide an imaginary correspondence (one letter from each writer) in modern idiom...

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Down with the Dons Simon Barnes It looks like the end for Wimbledon — the football club rather than the tennis tourna- ment — and I feel quite unnecessarily sad. Unless their...


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Dear Mary.. . Q. The priest in Cape Town who is trou- bled by mobile phones during worship Might first suggest making a congregation directory, by which means he can get all...