8 JUNE 2002

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The Spectator

Golden oldie T he nation celebrated the Queen's Golden Jubilee. There was a small fire at Buckingham Palace but this hardly compared to the loud pop concert held in the palace...

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R eaders may remember the story of Tom Bayley, an 88-year-old Zimbabwean farmer whom this magazine interviewed in mid-April. He was then sitting in the living-room of his...

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T here is no stopping my American wife now that she has become a British citizen. I took her tea at 7.15 on Sunday morning and found that she'd switched on the television and...

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The papers loved that concert. It was gruesome, vulgar and unbelievably tacky

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STEPHEN GLOVER T he monarchists are cock-a-hoop and the republicans confounded. Even the Queen is reported to be a little taken aback by the huge crowds which came to see the...

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Why has there been a steady stream of leaked honours since 1997? Work it out for yourself

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PETER °BORNE I t is very unfortunate and reprehensible,' Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's director of communications, is on record as saying, if people leak news of the...

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Andrew Gimson on the economic, cultural and political failings of modem Germany. What the country needs is a constitutional monarchy THE British monarchy is ridiculous and the...

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The European constitutional convention is making life safer for federalist fat cats. Daniel Hannan has a plan to thwart them WHENEVER I meet Valery Giscard d'Estaing, I am...

Ancient & modern

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THE world heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis believes that women weaken a boxer, and therefore avoids sex for three weeks before a big fight. The theory is a hoary one....

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The Amish are out of kilter with the times, reports Mary Wakefield. And now they are in trouble with the law New York 'SO, are you optimistic about the outcome of your court...

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Neil Clark says that the ICC and the human rights industry are making the world a more miserable and dangerous place THESE are golden days for the international human-rights...

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Tom Stacey says that Rowan Williams is a true man of God, but also serpent-smart. He could be the right choice for Canterbury ONE might suppose that it does not much matter...

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David Lovibond finds no trace of Flora Thompson in neat-as-ninepence Juniper Hill ONE of the manifestations of middle age, or at least of my middle age, is the urge to make...

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Mind your language

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'DARLING, you can't,' said my husband as I tore a page out of He Knew He Was Right. He does not often call me 'darling', and it usually indicates that he is going to disagree...

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Sion Simon experiences the horror of watching the World Cup with a bunch of 'patriots' in the Midlands I WATCHED the Sweden game in Sutton Coldfield. That Royal Town, the...

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Banned wagon

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A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit ONE of the hilarious things about Tony Blair is his tendency to rewrite history to fit in with his worldview of the...

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Julian Manyon meets George Fernandes, India's troubled defence minister New Delhi THESE are troubling times at the New Delhi Gymkhana, the upper-crust social club built under...

Second opinion

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ONCE upon a time, aspiring Britons took elocution classes; now they drop their aitches. These days, you can hardly tell an Old Etonian from an Old Borstalian; and not, I assure...

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Endangered travellers

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From Mr Martin Meyers Sir: As usual, Mark Steyn ('Stop frisking crippled nuns'. I June) has hit the nail right on the head in his article about so-called security at American...

From Patricia Tryon Sir: On 11 March I was flying

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from Chicago to London. In the lounge I noticed someone — not a lame nun — behaving in a way that made me wonder about the person's intentions. Gate staff, rather than simply...

Righting immigration

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From Mr Gordon Haines Sir: Andrew Gimson (`Backbone of England', 1 June) repeats the story we have been told since the war: we need immigrants for economic reasons. This is even...

Empires aren't for us

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From Mr W. Picou Sir: While Paul Gottfried (`Cheese-eating surrender monkeys', 1 June) may harbour fantasies of an 'American empire', few of my fellow citizens, let alone fellow...

From Mr Gregor Dallas Sir: Broadly speaking, Paul Gottfried is

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right about the development of anti-Americanism in Europe and of the equally virulent anti-Europeanism in America. Unfortunately, this has been a long time in the making. One...

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From Mr Sam Neira Sir: Paul Gottfried's piece was a

The Spectator

good read, but he failed to give credit where credit is due, much like Jonah Goldberg. The 'cheese-eating surrender monkeys' quote is actually from Groundskeeper Willie. a...

Picasso back to front

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From Mr Martin Woodhead Sir: I congratulate Frank Johnson (Shared opinion, 1 June) on his modest deflation of Picasso. Nearly 30 years ago I went with a friend to a 'major...

From Mr Gabriel Ready Sir: Diverging value judgments on Picasso

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are necessary and healthy for a study of art history. I would think that Michael Ayrton's intellectual consternation with Picasso's urge to 'engulf an existing formula' has...

Why we lock our loos

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From Mr Jim Watt Sir: It was a nice attempt by Colin BostockSmith ('On the run in Gibraltar'. 1 June) to discourage tourists. The toilets operate on salt water and are thus not...

Blarney and baloney

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From Mr Peter Duff Sir: Martin Walton ('Green with envy', 25 May) makes some valid points about the ills of modern Ireland. It's a pity, then, that he surrounds them with so...

Couttsian inquisition

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From Anne Moynihan Sir: I was delighted to read your article by Christopher Fildes (City & Suburban, 1 June). Coutts has indeed joined the foray. I have banked with them for...

Waugh, not Wilde

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From Malgot Nowinska Sir: Petronella Wyatt (Singular life, 1 June) refers to a short story about an old lady who plans a grand party but forgets to send out the invitations....

Bad sports

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From Mr Jack Robertson Sir: While it was culturally missionary of Luke Slattery ('Cultural binge', 25 May) to advise you blokes that Gough Whitlam speaks Ancient Greek, Paul...

Helping Harry Hammond

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From Mr Peter Hitchens Sir: Harry Hammond, the preacher who was prosecuted and convicted after he was attacked by an intolerant mob ('Keep quiet or face arrest', 11 May), is...

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Rachel bursts through on the rails to win the City and Suburban Handicap

The Spectator

CHRISTOPHER FILDES R achel Lomax was my tip for the first Governess of the Bank of England. Now, though, she has been scratched from next year's running of the Great...

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If I am wrong about the lunacy of trams, I'll crawl over Waterloo bridge on all fours

The Spectator

MATTHEW PAR RIS M etropolitan Spectator readers bear with fortitude our witterings about country life, so forgive me, green-wellie brigade, a column about trams. Disturbing...

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When ladies were not afraid to be 'as frightful as a precipice'

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PAUL JOHNSON I n November 1813, Lord Dudley, who was holding a literary dinner party in honour of Madame de Stael, asked Jane Austen's brother Henry if his sister, who was in...

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Saved from friend and foe

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Geoffrey Wheatcroft ORWELL'S VICTORY by Christopher Hitchens Allen Lane, Penguin, f9.99, pp. 150, ISBN 071399584X SPAIN BETRAYED: THE SOVIET UNION IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR...

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Generous to a fault

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Miranda France ALFRED MAUDS LAY AND THE MAYA by Ian Graham The British Museum Press, £29.99, pp. 323, ISBN 071412561X L atin America's most highly developed pre-Conquest...

Fish on a bicycle

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Hugh Massingberd THE BISHOPS by Trevor Beeson SCM, £19.95, pp. 248, ISBN 0334028671 A book about dead bishops by a retired dean from a religious press might not sound the sort...

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An admirable admiral

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Alan Judd GALE FORCE TEN: THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF ADMIRAL BEAUFORT by Nicholas Courtney Review, f14.99, pp. 340, ISBN0747272107 N owadays we refer to 'storm force 10' rather...

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Not getting to know the general

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Tony Gould PINOCHET IN PICCADILLY: BRITAIN AND CHILE'S HIDDEN HISTORY by Andy Beckett Faber. £15.99, pp. 280, ISBN 05 71202411 G eneral Pinochet's arrest in London on 16...


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Simon Hoggart THE SPECTATOR Mini-Bar is experimental, and this month's experiment is to see what happens when we offer four superb wines, all discounted, and all sold...

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Strange exploits of the Zerzura Club

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Justin Marozzi THE HUNT FOR ZERZURA: THE LOST OASIS AND THE DESERT WAR by Saul Kelly John Murray, £19.99, pp. 262, ISBN 0719561620 I first met Brigadier Rupert Harding Newman,...

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Jo's influential children

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Alan Watkins JO GRIMOND: TOWARDS THE SOUND OF GUNFIRE by Michael McManus Birlinn, 120, pp. 469, ISBN 843410060 S hortly after the war Milton Shulman, then a rising journalist...

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Balance in limbo

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Patrick Skene Catling GOD: THOUGHTS IN AN AGE OF UNCERTAINTY by James M. Byrne Continuum, £12.99, pp. 170, ISBN 0826451691 I n the USA there are highway billboards bearing the...

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Not at peace

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Caroline Moorehead BLOOD AND CHAMPAGNE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ROBERT CAPA by Alex Kershaw Macmillan, .£20, pp. 298, ISBN 0333739574 I n Hungarian, `capa' means shark. It was...

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Fire and ice

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Michael Glover BLOOD AGAINST THE SNOWS by Jonathan Gregson Fourth Estate, £16.99, pp. 226, ISBN 1841157848 T hat night a seemingly peaceable. Friday-evening family gathering,...

A lifelong passion for Africa

The Spectator

Anne Chisholm ELSPETH HUXLEY by C. S. Nicholls HarperCollins, £20, pp .497, ISBN 000257165X T he wives and daughters of the men who built and ran the British empire have...

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Downhill all the way

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Sam Phipps THE SHAMAN'S COAT by Anna Reid Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 226, ISBN 0297643770 I n Europe's popular imagination Siberia looms vast, cold and bleak, punishing in every...

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Coming back and staying on

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Robert Oakeshott DON'T LET'S GO TO THE DOGS TONIGHT by Alexandra Fuller Picador, .f15.99, pp. 310, ISBN 0330480230 G iven the strength of some of its more obvious attractions —...

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Quirky old Uncle Wyz

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David Pryce-Jones W. H. AUDEN: PROSE VOLUME II, 1939-1948 edited by Edward Mendelson Faber, £30, pp. 580, ISBN 0571216153 W stan Auden put his stamp on the Thirties. A clever...

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Finding partners for change

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Felicity Owen reports on what is happening to our regional museums S ince the millennium London has been basking in the triumph of lottery-funded projects that have immeasurably...

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Exhibitions 1

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Enrico Castellani (Kettle's Yard, till 23 June) John Lessore (Berkeley Square Gallery, till 8 June) Sculptural aspirations Martin Gayford 0 ne of the less noted phenomena of...

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Exhibitions 2

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Anthony Eyton: Journeys (Kings Road Gallery, till 24 June) Dancing rhythms Andrew Lambirth W ith considerable aptness, the opening night of Anthony Eyton's current exhibition...

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Exhibitions 3

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Game On: the history, culture and future of video games (Barbican Gallery, till 15 September) Logging on Tanya Harrod C an a computer game be beautiful? Are games an...

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Rigoletto (Welsh National Opera) La Boheme (Royal Opera House) Gripping relationships Michael Tanner W elsh National Opera's new production of Rigoletto is set in the White...

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Focus on Spain

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Peter Phillips T he brochure for the Proms is once again to hand, and quite familiar it looks. The Kenyon era has had a strong air of definition about it, and one begins to...

Theatre 1

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My Fair Lady (Theatre Royal) The Tempest (Roundhouse) Life After Life (Lyttleton Loft) Perfect partners Toby Young I 'm trying to write a screenplay at the moment and...

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Theatre 2

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The Roman Actor (Swan Theatre, Stratford) Dangerous liaisons Patrick Camegy 0 ne of the few points to the credit of the Roman Emperor Domitian is that he forbade the...

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Unfaithful (15, selected cinemas) Fatal attraction Mark Steyn U nfaithful seems to have divided American audiences. Some think it's just Adrian Lyme's usual slick, shallow...

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Concrete fixation Michael Vestey Y ou do not have to go far in Britain to come across a concrete building of such ugliness that you feel an irrepressible urge to tear it...

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Permanent carnival Simon Hoggart E very week is gay week on Channel 4. Will and Grace, the sitcom about a straight woman and her gay flatmate, is back. This is Channel 4 in...

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The turf

The Spectator

Derby tips Robin Oakley F orget some of those newer, glitzier, richer prizes to be won in horse races across the world. The one that matters is still run across Epsom Downs....

High life

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Hamptons court Taki M New York y last week in the Bagel and the only subject of conversation is the documentary about the Hamptons that was shown on prime-time TV. Now I...

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Low life

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Holding sway Jeremy Clarke S trolling homewards after the gym, famished, dehydrated, trembling, I bumped into Sharon in the street again. I was thinking about her at the time,...

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Wild life

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Feeling sheepish Aidan Hartley WLaikipia hat is it about sheep? I can't understand it. I email my friends around the world and tell them I've discovered my idea of heaven,...

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FOOD Rose Prince

The Spectator

I KNEW the on-off relationship between France and England was off again when I switched on the television during my third visit to France this year. During the commercial break,...

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Dear Mary. . . Q. I am a lawyer specialising in intellectual copyright. I see a lot of my younger sister, who has a number of charming, although fairly hopeless, friends who...

Cricket's fallen son

The Spectator

Michael Henderson DEATH comes in many ways, and nobody can bribe the shaker; but when it comes to a sportsman, as it did last week for Hansie Cronje, it can be particularly...