Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Article excerpt

Mr Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, made a strange telephone call to President Clinton telling him that `he was thinking of him'. The Ulster Freedom Fighters admitted they had been murdering Catholics this year, but said they would stop again; within hours another Catholic was shot dead, the ninth person to be murdered in this way in a month. The Ulster Democratic party, which has links with Protestant terrorists, withdrew before they were expelled from multi-party talks which resumed at Lancaster House in London. The Mersey Docks and Harbour Board reached a settlement with sacked dockers who had been picketing for three years. A judge ruled that miners may sue for emphysema or bronchitis if they can show it was caused by working conditions; tens of thousands may now be awarded damages totalling more than a billion pounds. Mr Martin Bell, the Independent MP for Tatton, discovered that a 9,000 bill for legal services incurred just before his election had been paid by Labour and the Liberal Democrats; 'I honestly thought it was free,' he said. 'I did. I really did.' The former secretary of Mr Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary, claimed she was sacked so his mistress could have her job; Mr Cook denied this but said he had considered giving his mistress the job, only to think better of it. Mr Alan Clark succeeded in a suit against the Evening Standard prohibiting it passing off as his work a diary written in parody of it. The Queen Mother broke her left hip in a fall and had the joint replaced in an immediate operation. The Prince of Wales broke a rib hunting. The signature of Diana, Princess of Wales, done in purple, is to be used as a logo endorsing goods approved by the trustees of the fund that hopes to contribute to charity by selling T-shirts and mugs bearing her image. The non-League Stevenage Borough drew at home against Newcastle, 1-1. …

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