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The Spectator

New American Stealth bomber. T he Government committed £1.5 bil- lion to the development of the Eurofighter advanced combat jet aeroplane, which will cost £40 billion to...

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The Spectator

CAROLINE CHARLES L this season of mists and mellow fruitful- ness, when regular customers are gently returning to consider the newly arrived autumn collection, we are already in...

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The Spectator

The man who attacked Esther Rantzen won't set a trend. More's the pity MATTHEW PARRIS A nasty dispute between two leading BBC documentary-makers, Esther Rantzen and John Ware,...

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The Spectator

The fates of America and Europe are diverging. In the week of Saddam's renewed challenge, Christopher Coker warns that the West may not be united for much longer 'IT WOULD have...

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The Spectator

Lord Amery of Lustleigh died on Wednesday. Bruce Anderson pays tribute to his unique grasp of foreign policy JULIAN AMERY always had the knack of arriving in interesting places...

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The Spectator


The Spectator

The Marc Dutroux case showed the darkest side of Belgian life. But Charles Bremner finds that there are other shadows too Brussels ONE of the endearing sides of Belgium is that...

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The Spectator

Dick Taverne, once a Labour rebel, warns Tony Blair that squashing dissent will leave him with a cowardly, unprincipled party SHORTLY after I first became an MP I was asked by...

Mind your language

The Spectator

ANY mother must be rather alarmed by all these men doing unspeakable things to little children. Or rather, not unspeakable things, for we hear of little else on the wireless and...

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The Spectator

Blairism and Clintonomics have something in common PAUL JOHNSON S omething curious is happening in the world of politics; huge shifts are taking place which will determine the...

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The Spectator

He looked after the cash as if it were his own, and quite a lot of it was CHRISTOPHER FI LDES H ow distant are the days when Arnold Weinstock was the apple of Anthony Wedgwood...

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Respecting the Code

The Spectator

Sir: Told, writing from Gstaad about media coverage of the Princess of Wales (High life, 31 August), invents a statement about the paparazzi that I have never made. I suspect...

Egbert's accession

The Spectator

Sir: Bruce Anderson (Politics, 17 August) illustrates how the rock of our constitution is being undermined by shallow advice to the Crown. Ironically, he undermines this...


The Spectator

National matters Sir: Professor Bew's article CA nation proud, free and dull', 24 August) is most illuminating, but contains a number of points with which I wish to take...

Sir: The consequences of full Scottish devo- lution might rightly

The Spectator

frighten Paul Bew, but for all their grand words the complaint from the 'Constitutional Convention' amounts to nothing so grand. According to the Convention's and the Liberal...

An appeal for charity

The Spectator

Sir: Two articles in your pages recently have attacked the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. (`The truth about the loss of royalties', 27 July; Country life, 24 August)....

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Unlikely scenario

The Spectator

Sir: Can we really be expected to believe (Books, 31 August) that Philip Hensher, of all people, would have preferred to sit in the kitchen with the much-maligned ser- vants...

Life after death

The Spectator

Sir: Francis King mentioned in his review of Playing the Harlot by Patricia Avis (Books, 10 August) that 'Larkin . .. wrote to [Avis] on 11 August, 1992 (oddly the let- ter does...

Presidential styles

The Spectator

Sir: In your 17 August issue you comment- ed on the convention of the Republican Party to nominate their candidate for presi- dent, 'American conventions are indeed carnivals —...


The Spectator

Wrong on two counts Sir: In his theatre column of 24 August, Sheridan Morley asks, 'Who, in Edmund White's famous phrase, cares who killed Roger Ayckroyd?' Agatha Christie's...

Not much chance

The Spectator

Sir: Andrew Robson's claim (Bridge, 17 August) may as well be as true as that of D.K.D. Foster (Letters, 31 August), for both are impossible to prove. If Foster's figures are...

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The Spectator

Don't sneer at America — its democracy is in better shape than ours PFTRONELLA WYATT T he English middle classes from Carlyle onwards have had a prejudice against America. They...

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The Spectator

Another editor bites the dust, another cunning wheeze is tried. But two into one won't go STEPHEN GLOVER S ue Douglas, editor of the Sunday Express for nine months, was on a...

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The Spectator

Borrowings of a second-rater Bevis Hillier T. S. ELIOT: INVENTIONS OF THE MARCH HARE, POEMS 1909-17 edited by Christopher Ricks Faber, £30, pp. 428 E arly in 1955 a weekly...

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From the enjoyable to the inane

The Spectator

Tom Hiney THE OXFORD BOOK OF AMERICAN DETECTIVE STORIES edited by Tony Hillerman and Rosemary Herbert OUP, £17.50, pp. 692 W hen television hijacked the market for American...

Still sitting down and weeping

The Spectator

D. J. Taylor THE CONVERSATIONS AT CURLEW CREEK by David Malouf Chatto, £14.99, pp. 214 L ike its predecessor, Remembering Babylon (1993), which began with a whirling black...

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The Mother Teresa of the mind

The Spectator

Michael Church WELCOME TO MY COUNTRY by Lauren Slater Hamish Hamilton, £16, pp. 224 D on't judge a book by its cover, and don't condemn it on the basis of interviews with its...

In the grand tradition

The Spectator

Michael Scott SINGERS OF THE CENTURY by J. B. Steane Duckworth, £25, pp. 271 J ohn Steane's first book, The Grand Tradition, was published some 20 years ago. Since then...

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Is this the region, this the soil, the clime?

The Spectator

Peter Levi MILTON IN AMERICA by Peter Ackroyd Sinclair-Stevenson, £15.99, pp. 276 P eter Ackroyd was an interesting poet beginning to be famous before he became a successful...

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Bounded in a

The Spectator

nutshell Christopher Howse BACKWARDS OUT OF THE BIG WORLD by Paul Hyland HarperCollins, f18, pp. 269 O nce we were so big, now we are so small. That is the refrain of the...

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The rabbits are back

The Spectator

Juliet Townsend TALES OF WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams Hutchinson, £14.99, pp. 198 I t is now nearly 25 years since Watership Down first crept rather than burst on the...

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Some recent thrillers

The Spectator

Harriet Waugh B arbara Vine's The Brimstone Wedding, (Viking, £16), is a far simpler novel than she usually gives us. Stella, an elegant old woman dying of cancer in an old...

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The Spectator

Shaken and stirred Miranda France investigates Shakespeare's increasing popularity among teenagers I t is unfair to assume that all teenagers are bored by Shakespeare. Actually...

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Decorative Arts Today

The Spectator

Bonhams, in association with The Spectator, is holding a selling exhibi- tion of furniture, lights, glass, ceram- ics, jewellery and bound books from 4 September to 11...


The Spectator

JolTrey Ballet's Billboards (Royal Festival Hall) Pina Bausch's Iphigenie auf Tauris (Edinburgh Festival Theatre) Scottish Ballet's Sweat Baroque & Roll (Theatre Royal,...

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The Spectator

Diabolique (18, selected cinemas) Stone aging Mark Steyn I was chewing the fat with a waitress the other day, and the conversation fell to Sharon Stone. 'She's got a terrific...


The Spectator

Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus (Epidaurus, Greece) Beatrix Potter (Chichester) Fortune's Fool (Chichester) Triumph out of tragedy Sheridan Morley T he National...

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The Spectator

Paradise lost Michael Vestey I f Plato's lost civilisation of Atlantis is a fable, so too is the vanished heyday of BBC radio. Unlike Atlantis, though, the great days of...

Pop music

The Spectator

Where's the competition? Marcus Berkmann A few days without an Oasis headline makes the world seem a drabber, duller place. Even a couple of months ago it would have been hard...

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The Spectator

Losing my rag James Delingpole I t doesn't take much to drive me into a state of apoplexy. Take last Sunday night. I had spent all day in Epping Forest collect- ing ceps and...

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Not motoring

The Spectator

Messing about in boats Gavin Stamp The projections for increase in traffic are more than alarming: in parts of England it will more than double over the next decade. And in...

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High life A sobering

The Spectator

thought Taki Gstaad Bob Tyrrell, the editor of the American Spectator — no relation — has cost me a six-figure sum. Conrad Black, our benevo- lent proprietor, ditto. Life...

The turf

The Spectator

Five chilling words Robin Oakley I t was a fine time for breeders at this year's Keeneland Sales in America. What- ever the ups and downs of the American Stock Exchange there...

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Low life

The Spectator

Signs of decline Jeffrey Bernard T he decline in the quality of life, some- thing that now depresses me even more than my own personal problems, is every- where and constant...

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Country life

The Spectator

Love thy neighbour Leanda de Lisle That memorable day at Buckingham Palace came shortly after our neighbour was let out of prison to enjoy his riches. He had been put away for...

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in L Imperative cooking: Let them eat plastic

The Spectator

I HAVE mentioned before my first pig, called the Borough Surveyor's Office, but his tale became recently instructive. BSO used to eat household scraps and 'chaps' — small green...

a.d Afeer

The Spectator

BRIDGE A light slam Andrew Robson WHILST A no-trump slam with no long suits requires 33 points to be held by the partnership, suit slams can frequently be made with...

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The Spectator

1N-THE-STRAND SIMPSON'S 1N•THE•STRAND CHESS Chairman of the board Raymond Keene AS YOU enter Simpson's-in-the-Strand, which used to be the mecca of 19th-century chess,...

i 11,11 .1111,10 111111V

The Spectator

URA ISLE OF RA COMPETITION Homage to Perec Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 1948 you were invited to supply an entertaining piece of prose which could be entitled either...

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The Spectator

A first prize of £25 and a bottle of Graham's Late Bottled Vintage 1989 Port for the first correct solution opened on 23 September, with two runners-up prizes of £15 (or, for UK...

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The Spectator

The meaning of Frank Simon Barnes PERHAPS the abiding truth of the matter is that we never really did know what Frank Bruno meant. And so, as Bruno announces his retirement as...


The Spectator

Dear Mary.. . Your correspondent M.A.B. (17 August) did not set the record straight. What Mr Berlin wrote, and Mr Astaire sang, was 'simply reeks with class'. Perhaps the mias-...