Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Article excerpt

Mr Tony Blair, the Prime Minister said that, with '12-year-old girls getting pregnant by 14-year-old fathers... we need to find a new national moral purpose'. Mr Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, was annoyed to find that no councils had imposed the child curfews that he had invented, and he sent out a `sharp reminder'. Mr Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary, went to Japan and showed enthusiasm for the euro: 'I assure you that if the euro proves a stable, successful economy,' he said, `Tony Blair's government will make sure that Britain is ready to take part.' Senator George Mitchell flew to Belfast to carry out a review of the working of the Good Friday Agreement. The report by Mr Chris Patten into the future of the Royal Ulster Constabulary was criticised for recommending what in effect seemed like the abolition of the force. The Mail on Sunday decided not to publish extracts from a scandalous book by Mr James Hewitt about his affair with Diana, Princess of Wales after Earl Spencer told its editor that publication would be too much to bear for the Princess's mother and children. Drilling began at Buckingham Palace to make a 450ft-deep borehole to produce half a million gallons of water a day. Bobby Robson took on the managership of Newcastle United at the age of 66.

Legal & General, the life assurance company, recommended a 10.7 billion takeover by National Westminster Bank; the day before the announcement insider trading sent L&G shares up 10 per cent. Alan Clark, the independent-minded MP and diarist, died, aged 71.

MILITIAS opposing independence for East Timor, which had been decided upon by a referendum, murdered many in the capital, Dili, burnt houses and drove thousands of civilians from the city, with the connivance of Indonesian soldier,v. United Nations staff fled; Bishop Carlos Belo, the Nobel Peace Prize-winner, had his house burnt down. …

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