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The Spectator

h e Government pressed ahead with a 'paving Bill' for the reintroduction of a Bill to ratify the Maastricht Treaty in the face of determined opposition from Tory rebels. A bomb...

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Her Majesty's Government goes on a binge: just one of this week's crises SIMON HEFFER h e list of reasons why public spending has gone out of control reads like a chapter from...

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DOMINIC LAWSON h is column, indeed all of this issue of The Spectator, has been written before the Commons vote on the Maastricht Treaty (which dared not speak its name). We go...

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The Spectator

Hugh Massingberd, professional obituarist, contemplates his own mortality, and decides there is nothing to be frightened of AS 1 CLAMBERED out of a taxi outside the Royal...

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The Spectator

Matt Frei visits Mussolini's birthplace, on the 70th anniversary of Ii Duce's march on Rome Predappio PROFESSOR Franco Ferrarotti has one outstanding recollection of...

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One hundred years ago

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THE MINERS of Carmaux have gone back to work, on the advice of M. Cle- menceau; and M. Loubet, as per agree- ment, has consequently pardoned the rioters, most of whom have also...

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The Spectator

Marek Matraszek on a case which reveals the moral ambiguities at the heart of post-communist Poland the receiving end of the imperial idea. Poland is indeed at the fag-end of...

If symptoms

The Spectator

persist. . . DR R— CALLED me from the prison last week to ask whether I could do sick parade the following day. I am a busy man, and said it might be rather difficult to fit it...

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Stephen Handelman leaves Moscow for New York, and notices very little difference New York IN THE WILDS of the Upper West Side, feeding ground and refuge for New York's...

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Christopher Fildes talks to Nigel Lawson about the sad state of the economy, and how we got into it WHEN Nigel Lawson resigned from the Government, I thought that lunch might...

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The Spectator

Anthony Sampson says that politicians are obsessed with the media, and the media are obsessed with themselves I HAVE BEEN revisiting the British power structure for a new...

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The Spectator

Isabel Wolff reveals that recession is forcing Britain's private schools to sack teachers and chase parents who haven't paid their fees A NEW CRY is to be heard echoing across...

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Michael Heath

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The Spectator

As the hunting season gets underway, Tabitha Troughton joins those who would sabotage it I HAD RUN up hills. I had run down hills. I had ploughed through bushes, jumped over...

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The Spectator

The future trials of the talk-show President F aced with the job of appearing upbeat during the last few days of their dreadful campaign the men around George Bush clung, like...

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The Spectator

Maastricht: could Orwell be proved right after all? PAUL JOHNSON W hat the row over the Maastricht Treaty has brought to the surface is the salient fact that Britain's real...

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Sir: As the organisers of the campaign for Rigoberta Menchu

The Spectator

to win the Nobel Peace Prize in the United Kingdom, we were delighted to see Isabel Wolff's piece in this week's magazine. The piece goes some way towards replying to Ambrose...

First things first

The Spectator

Sir: The Right Honourable Virginia Bot- tomley, MP, Secretary of State for Health, draws attention (Letters, 31 October) to the error in your traditionally correct but...

LETTERS War and Peace

The Spectator

Sir: I share Isabel Wolff's horror at the atrocities committed by the Guatemalan armed forces (Not always blessed are the peacemakers', 31 October). But I stand by my claim that...

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Staying power

The Spectator

Sir: We all expect journalists to be objec- tive. We expect them to be cynical. But we also have a right to expect them to be accu- rate. James Buchan's 'Forty years up in...

The look of London

The Spectator

Sir: John Martin Robinson has been unduly worried about the possible consequences of the Government's leasehold reforms to the townscape of London ('When reform means ruin', 24...

Sir: George Young confirms that the Department of the Environment

The Spectator

has given no serious thought to the architectural side- effects of 'leasehold reform', nor formulat- ed any practical proposals for the long-term conservation of the historic...

One or the other

The Spectator

Sir: I do wish the people who prattle on so much about our European 'partners' and 'competitors' could settle for one term or the other. Not to do so is either disingenu- ous or...

Sir: Congratulations on Taki's splendid piece on the facts of

The Spectator

life of leasehold (High life, 31 October). As he quite rightly says, many of the long-term residents of the cen- tral London estates have been driven out already, but I feel I...

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Caine mutiny

The Spectator

Sir: Michael Caine may not have spelt the name of Judy Garland's daughter wrongly, but Julie Burchill (Books, 31 October) has: the name is Minnelli, not Minelli. It might also...

Right beasts, wrong man

The Spectator

Sir: Paul Johnson may well be reminded (And another thing, 26 September) of Ludendorff's verdict on the British Army as 'lions led by donkeys'. But, in fact, the words were...

Sir: Julie Burchill's nasty, vicious attack on Michael Caine and

The Spectator

his wife is not accept- able. Your sloppy editorship permitted the bile to be published; it is your fault, you are to blame and I hope he punches you on the nose. Stuff your...

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The Spectator

A robustly English pudding PetroneIla Wyatt CHRISTMAS pudding is the most elo- quent of winter dishes. In an age of Ninten- do games and fluorescent greeting cards, it speaks...

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The Spectator

Aretsriet 1: Ampleforth 0 Martin Weyer 'I AM IRRITATED,' the Agriculture Min- ister said, as he opened the Ampleforth Abbey yoghurt factory in November 1990, `by all that...

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The Spectator

Sporting times Simon Courtauld IN THE WINTER of 1915, and again in 1940, the pheasant shooting season was extended beyond its normal closing date of 1 February. This was not...

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The Spectator

What do you drink before going to bed? Nigel Nicolson The answer is boringly, truthfully, that I drink nothing. Being a divorce-widower, a . born-again bachelor, there is...

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Wine Club

The Spectator

For paupers and plutocrats Auberon Waugh IN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT - one might almost say in celebration - of the depression, both the Christmas cases, for paupers and plutocrats,...

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The Spectator

Left, Right, but not wrong Tim Congdon JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES: THE ECONOMIST AS SAVIOUR 1920-37 by Robert Skidelsky Macmillan, £20, pp. 634 T he title of the latest volume in...

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Not that it is done at all, but that it

The Spectator

is done badly Andro Linklater STEPHEN SPENDER: A PORTRAIT WITH BACKGROUND by Hugh David Heinemann, £17.50, pp. 269 H ugh David's attempt to write an unauthorised biography of...

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Give me excess of it

The Spectator

J.G. Links MUSIC AND THE MIND by Anthony Storr HamerCollins, £16.99, pp. 212 A nthony Storr is concerned with our souls, or psyche, and has explored such matters as aggression,...

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Too true to be good

The Spectator

Cressida Connolly THE FURIES by Janet Hobhouse Bloomsbury, £15.99, pp. 296 T ime was when half the fun of romans ii clef lay in guessing which real-life persons were the models...

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From genius to money machine

The Spectator

George Melly DALI by Meredith Etherington-Smith Sinclair-Stevenson, £20, pp. 553 E dward James, Dali's early patron and putative lover, dismissed him in the Eight- ies as 'a...

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The body is good but tails away

The Spectator

Bryan Appleyard ORIGINS RECONSIDERED: IN SEARCH OF WHAT MAKES US HUMAN by Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin Little, Brown & Co, .£18.99, pp. 375 T here are two quite distinct ways...

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No sense she had of cares to come

The Spectator

Noel Malcolm TRANSYLVANIA AND BEYOND by Deryla Murphy Collins, £16.95, pp. 239 I n the misfortune of our best friends, we find something not altogether displeas- ing', said the...

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Not deep, but crisp and even

The Spectator

Francis King THE PORCUPINE by Julian Barnes Cape, £9.99, pp. 138 T he blurb describes Julian Barnes's new book as a novel; but, edging only just beyond the 40,000 word mark, it...


The Spectator

Sparkle C.1.11A-1 John Jolliffe THE LAST KING OF POLAND by Adam Zamoysld Cape, £25, pp. 550 h e elected monarchy set up in Poland When the Jagellonian dynasty came to an end...

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The granite beneath the charm

The Spectator

Allan Massie ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON by Ian Bell Mainstream, £14.99, pp. 295 S tevenson has attracted biographers as he attracted friends in life, and, like the friends, not...

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The Spectator

Theatre 1 French without tears Bryan Robertson went to see a dazzling new play at Cheltenham Ladies College M adame de Maintenant with one or two followers walked briskly...

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The Spectator

John Sergeant (Maas Gallery, till 13 November) Stanley Spencer (Bernard Jacobson, till 5 December) Louis le Brocquy and Anne Madden (Gillian Jason, till 7 November) Mary...

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The Spectator

From page to stage Michael Horovitz on this week's poetry celebration on London's South Bank T his weekend sees the culmination of a ten-day feast of poetry which will have...

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The Spectator

Compagnie Bagouet (Royalty Theatre) French farce Sophie Constanti S ome things in life seem unable to offer any reason, purpose or justification for their existence. Like,...

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Pop music

The Spectator

The rappers rapped Marcus Berkmann P op music reflects its time, and no cur- rent genre seems more of its time than rap music. The brutal rhythms, the strutting arrogance of...

Theatre 2

The Spectator

Assassins (Donmar Warehouse) A Little Older (Hampstead) Artists and Admirers (Barbican Pit) Bang on target Sheridan Morley T he week of an American election is probably as...

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The Spectator

Future shock Martyn Harris I n Doctors to Be this week (Monday, BBC 2, 8 p.m.), medical student Sarah Holdsworth fluffed her first-year viva by mistaking a kidney for a...


The Spectator

Glengarry Glen Ross ('15', Odeon Haymarket) The Crying Game (1 8', selected cinemas) Nasty operators Vanessa Letts G lengany Glen Ross, filmed in six weeks flat and with only...

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High life

The Spectator

Temporary hitch Taki W hen the mother of my children Comes to town, I turn to culture. It is no good trying to have a grand old time in a night-club with someone who...

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Long life

The Spectator

How to be a rebel Nigel Nicolson N ot many people can isolate a single moment which they call central to their lives, but I can. It was at 10 p.m. on 8 November 1956, when I...

Low life

The Spectator

Outed at last Jeffrey Bernard F irst the biography, now the backlash. Last week I received my first bound copy of Just the One, a presentable-looking book and one whose...

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1. 3,t RL

The Spectator

PURE HIGHLAND MALT " PURE HIGHLAND MALT -____51.011•11 COMPETITION Headlines Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1752 you were invit- ed to write a poem consisting entirely of...


The Spectator

Raymond Keene A s I write Bobby Fischer needs just one more win to clinch his match and the world record 3.35 million dollar prize purse against his old rival Boris Spassky. As...

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The Spectator

PORT (GRAHAM'S PORT CROSSWORD 1084: The winner is. . .' by Columba A first prize of £20 and a bottle of Graham's Malvedos 1979 Vintage Port for the first correct solution...

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Q. My son-in-law, otherwise a dear fellow, makes the most awful 'slushing' noise when he eats. This habit, particularly at the breakfast table, I find most difficult to bear....


The Spectator

Literary cricket Frank Keating THAT WAS a revealing piece by the splen- did Stephen Pile in the Telegraph the other day on James Herriott, the vet-book chap who has sold...