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Revive your flagging position in the polls, Senator?' M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, before flying off to visit Mr Bill Clinton, the President of the United States, backed...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405

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1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 RELATIONSHIP COUNSELLING Does the special relationship, despite its status as a touchstone of British foreign Policy, deserve such careful handling? It...

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There is no new world order. History has returned to normal BRUCE ANDERSON even years ago, it all seemed very dif- ferent. Despite the forebodings, the Gulf War had been one...

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PETRONELLA WYATT t was becoming very awkward,' mused my host, whose features resembled a sand dune at high tide: brown, knobbly, numerous indentations. 'Especially when the...

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What's a bad boy like him doing with a good boy like that? FRANK JOHNSON h ike many of us males, the young Clin- ton bears all the marks of having been one of those boys whom...

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SiOn Simon describes a Broadcasting House recruitment strategy designed to keep in with the government THE DAYS are long gone when people expect the BBC to spend our money on...

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Mark Steyn on why being brazen seems to have worked for Mr Clinton (so far) New Hampshire HAS BILL CLINTON snatched victory from the jaws of Monica? His minders seem to think...

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The Internet's muck-raker gives William Cash his first interview since he caused President Clinton so much trouble Los Angeles MONICA LEWINSKY'S allegations against President...

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Michael Heath

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The Spectator

A campaign advertising the rights available CITIZENSHIP is a powerful privilege. Palmerston sent the British fleet to Piraeus after Don Pacifico, a native of Gibraltar and a...

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Second opinion

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THE LATE Professor Shepherd, review- ing a volume somewhat optimistically entitled by its editor Recent Progress in Psychiatry, wrote that a more appropriate title, perhaps,...

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At least, that is how Reform Jews regard the succession to the famous rabbi THE MASSIVE west London synagogue near Marble Arch is the 'cathedral' of Britain's Reform Jewish...

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Mind your language

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A READER from South Africa has invited me to ponder the changes to English wrought by the prudery of the Victorians; as an example he instances wheatear, the form of the name of...

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Jonathan Mirsky on why China can understand what the Clinton fuss is about THE CHINESE diplomat's smile was a mixture of puzzlement and condescension. I sensed that what I said...

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Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, may be helping to keep the military regime in power, says Justin Marozzi IS AUNG San Suu Kyi, the beautiful pro-...

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John Vincent notes a fall in the birthrate north of the border, and explains its political meaning THE SCOTS are a dying breed. I say this as a simple statement of fact, and...

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Is the female of the journalistic species deadlier than the male? PAUL JOHNSON Since he took over from the dreary Pre- ston Rusbridger has had a lot of trouble with his women....

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Sir: If Matthew Parris had not been intent on making

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yet another vacuous libertarian point, he would have soon realised what the issue really was and thought again. The allegation is that the President of the United States...

Sir: Peregrine Worsthorne (As I was saying, 31 January) and

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Matthew Parris are being disingenuously fair-minded in their defence of Bill. His offence is really aesthetic rather than moral. Always, it's the personableness of the...

LETTERS A figure of fun

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Sir: Matthew Parris's piece on Clinton (Another voice, 31 January) falls a long way below his usual standard of intellectual honesty. Let us replace his amiable conceit of...

Et in Arcadia . . .

The Spectator

Shortly after he became chief executive of the Royal Parks Agency, he gave a talk to the Friends of Bushey and Home Parks in Teddington. Mindful of the devastation of Home Park...

Too many Poms

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Sir: Kim Fletcher's piece about Australia's nanny state (New south wails', 17 January) may have resulted from misunderstanding the Manly lifesaver's instructions. Having no...

Sir: David Welch's Diary was read with much enjoyment, but

The Spectator

could he confirm the patron saint of gardeners? All my life I have been an enthusiastic garden- and nature-lover and, as a child, was told that St Dorothea was the patron saint...

Sir: Most American politicians have been elected because of their

The Spectator

ability to make appropriate biblical quotations. Clinton may well have a point when he claims that holy writ does not include oral sex as infi- delity. There are echoes of this...

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The last person

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Sir: Your correspondent Ronald Spark (Letters, 31 January) is mistaken if he believes that the trade associations of the grocers and greengrocers devised the leg- end 'Will the...

Fifty years on

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Sir: The British withdrawal from Palestine was not wholly an abandonment of power, leaving the Jews and Arabs to fight it out (Books, 24 January). This conventional view must be...

Whingeing ockers

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Sir: David Morgan's letter (31 January) on patronising Poms prompts us to worry about Australia. This great country always wants some father-figure to moan about. Example:...

Confusion reigns

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Sir: Yesterday I saw the Titanic film. Twice during the Titanic's approach to the loom- ing iceberg, ship's officers refer to steering `starboard', yet the helm is turned to...

Sir: I remember being first intrigued by the legend, 'Will

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the last businessman to leave the province turn out the lights' when I saw it written in Irish dust across the back doors of an artic box trailer, rolling out of County Antrim...

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Riddle of newspapers lost on way to Northants STEPHEN GLOVER I have no brief for Mr Merchant, who looks rather grisly, but this seemed to me cruel and underhand. So I was...

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Issues, not personalities Barbara Trapido THE HOUSE GUN by Nadine Gardimer Bloomsbury, £15.99, pp. 294 T his his is the story of a domestic murder, a c r ime passionel, but,...

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Time for intensive care

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Ronald Butt PARLIAMENT UNDER PRESSURE by Peter Riddell Gollancz, £20, pp. 256 W olf has been cried so often that it may be tempting to dismiss the latest account of the perils...

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The ghost in the machine

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D. J. Taylor COMPUTER ONE by Warwick Collins Marion Boyars, £15.95, pp. 274 arwick Collins's last novel, the soon- to-be-filmed Gents, was set in a male urinal. Its successor...

A place in the sun

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Miranda France UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY by Christina Koning Viking, £10.99, pp. 309 S omehow it seems right, when thinking of the second world war, and especially of the Holocaust,...

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They also served

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John Grigg LIBERALS AGAINST APARTHEID: A HISTORY OF THE LIBERAL PARTY OF SOUTH AFRICA, 1953-1968 by Randolph Vigne Macmillan Press, £45, pp. 280 W hen `the saints go marching...

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Variations on a simple theme

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Francis King A QUIET LIFE by Kenzaburo OE, translated by Kunioki Yanagishita and William Wetherall Picador, £6.99, pp. 240 A single event soars up, a sheer, jagged,...

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Nature she loved

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Antony Rouse RACHEL CARSON by Linda Lear Allen Lane, £25, pp. 634 I n January 1958, a Mrs Olga Huckins of Duxbury, Massachusetts, wrote enraged to her friend, the naturalist...


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RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £93.00 U £47.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £104.00 U £52.00 USA Airspeed ❑ US$151 0 US$76 Rest of } Airmail U £115.00 U £58.00 world Airspeed £107.00 U...

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All mouth and no teeth

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Claudia Fitzherbert THE NEW FEMINISM by Natasha Walter Little, Brown, f17.50, pp. 278 N atasha Walter is an old-fashioned equality feminist. She is wary of perceived...

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Through glasses darkly

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Philip Glazebrook THE WORLD MORE OR LESS rench novelists, the serious ones, require more work of their readers than an English writer may expect of his. 'When,' exclaims the...

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Letting it all hang out

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Gabriele Annan THE YEAR OF READING PROUST by Phyllis Rose Vintage, f7.99, pp. 268 G ays favour pugs. Why? A man does not look foolish walking a pug, as he would walking a...

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The evolution of hatred

The Spectator

Samuel Francis MUTUAL CONTEMPT: LYNDON JOHNSON, ROBERT KENNEDY AND THE FEUD THAT SHAPED A DECADE by Jeff Shesol W. W. Norton, £23.50, pp. 591 n the afternoon of 9 July 1960,...

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The Spectator

Learning the art of living N aomi Ridley, a 25-year-old councillor in Slough, chained herself to the railings outside the town hall last week in protest against the council's...

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The Elixir of Love (English National Opera) The Enchantress (Royal Opera, Festival Hall) Innocent charm Michael Tanner T he new production of Donizetti's mar- vellous comedy...

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The Day I Stood Still (National) Never Land (Ambassadors) Terms of Abuse (Hampstead) In a prison of guilt Sheridan Morley T hree or four years ago, the reputation of Kevin...

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The Ice Storm (15, selected cinemas) Speaking from experience . . . Mark Steyn he problem with The Ice Storm is the ice storm. To be honest, I didn't pay it much heed the...


The Spectator

Shaker: The Art of Craftsmanship; The Art of the Harley (Barbican Art Gallery, till 26 April) Rocking and raving Leslie Geddes-Brown T he Shakers, or Shaking Quakers, were an...

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True Labour, new bans Michael Vestey L istening to the oleaginously unpleas- ant Dr Jack Cunningham on Today last Fri- day, I heard the true voice of Labour: the bullying,...

Pop music

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Looking good Marcus Berkmann A pologies for a brief interruption in normal service last month, when by tradi- tion I should have supplied my usual Yule- tide lists of the best...

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Call Maddy Simon Hoggart P lot is not terribly important in Jonathan Creek. The ideal story line would go something like this: `Look, Jonathan, a man literally disap- peared...

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The turf

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Where's the justice? Robin Oakley T he one thing that surprised him when he moved into the White House, said Presi- dent Kennedy, was that things were as bad as he had been...

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High life

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My bird sings Taki have ordered a myna bird from Aus- tralia that happens to be more articulate than most warblers, or so I am assured by my friend Lord Lucan, still living...

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Country life

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Let it be Leanda de Lisle It was bought by the council and is being returned to heathland with the help of English Nature. Well, except for a hundred- acre business park. This...


The Spectator

Age concern Andrew Robson AT what age do bridge players reach their peak? It is a question of the balance between experience and clarity of mind. Boris Schapiro is still...

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DAMIEN HIRST has established a repu- tation for chopping up

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dead creatures, gen- erating huge amounts of hype for doing so, and being feted as a genius. The experi- mental artist has done it with a sheep, a shark and a cow. Now he has...

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The Spectator

A meal with a magician Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2019 you were invited to describe a meal with a magician. There must be many such occasions in literature, but the only...


The Spectator

Last laugh Raymond Keene THE NEXT event in the chess calendar after the Fide (World Chess Federation) championship in Lausanne was the elite tournament in the Dutch town of...

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No 2022: Trivial travel

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This is the season for articles about holi- daying abroad. You are invited to write a travel piece (maximum 150 words) which leaves the reader little wiser about the place...

Solution to 1345: One-man show agitartart 0 a ma p

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owl jinn H UMW mw A AEI EvA H R Z I . i I NI A an E H N in r BiL gm . Dome e inguars liana Limon arum. . eariereriermie tiu new . Rada s . all o rrii .r ki ,u....


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A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 23 February, with two run- ners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, The...

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Doping and disillusionment Simon Barnes RACING has got into one of its tizzes. Once again, the subject is doping. Three jockeys and an unnamed fourth person were arrested,...


The Spectator

Dear Mary.. . In reply to M.A. of Hong Kong, perhaps questobabble' (1 November 1997) is that which I call the 'apologetic question mark'. I attended school in Tasmania and...