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Speeches in the House of Commons by the Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg are an erudite comedy turn. As MPs debated the European Union (Approvals) Bill (Lords), which writes into British law two draft regulations passed by the Council of the European Union, only he thought it necessary to read into the official record part of what one of the regulations actually said.

TELEVISION / Long Runners: No 15: What the Papers Say

Age: Thirty-seven. The longest runner on television first went out in November 1956, the week of Suez and the uprising in Hungary.

Dear John Gummer: A cycling enthusiast urges the Environment Secretary to start a government U-turn and support the London riverside route

We know what you think about women priests and vegetarians (not keen on either: goodness knows how you react to women vegetarian priests). The key question of the moment is: What do you think about cyclists?

Interview: Sara Keays, she doesn't give up: It is ten years since 'l'affaire Parkinson', the birth of Flora and the arrival of Sara Keays as harridan/victim/heroine. Which is the true her?

Flora is my friend. She took my hand and led me into the nursery. I gave her a present, from a mutual acquaintance, and she showed me her new toy, something called a diabolo, demonstrating how it works. She grasped my Christian name straight away, which most adults never get. 'Where do you live, Hunter? What colour is your car?' She will be 10 on New Year's Eve, tall for her age, sturdy and healthy, long dark hair, very attractive, very inquisitive, non-stop talker, radiating life and brightness.

Bunhill: Directory inquiry

PEOPLE wanting to contact their MP might understandably turn to the phone book. The spanking new November 1993 edition of BT's Darlington and Dales directory even has a 'Useful Numbers' section to make things easy. And there, sure enough, is the entry for the local Darlington MP - the Conservative, Michael Fallon.

Captain Moonlight: Remaindered memoirs

BEFORE you dash out because you simply must buy the latest political memoirs, let the Captain share with you a lunchtime in the remainder book shops on Charing Cross Road. Peter Walker's memoirs, pounds 16.99 in 1991? To you, pounds 2.99. As are those of Sir Norman Fowler and the late Nicholas Ridley. Lord Young's The Enterprise Years is pounds 1.99, Edwina Currie's Life Lines pounds 2.95. Norman Tebbit is doing slightly better: his Unfinished Business is pounds 5, while Lord Hailsham's A Sparrow's Flight is a rather steep pounds 8.95. Harold Macmillan's several volumes are holding at around pounds 5, but Anthony Eden is down at pounds 2.50. Reflection of Things Past by Lord Carrington looks overpriced at pounds 7.50. Lloyd George's war memoirs are on offer at pounds 4, while Sir Cyril Smith's Big Cyril costs pounds 2. You could do worse than boxer Freddie Mills's memoirs, 15 along on the pounds 1 shelf outside Any Amount of Books.

BOOK REVIEW / Mr Smith goes to town in search of votes: John Smith - Andy McSmith: Verso, pounds 17.95

WHEN John Smith embraced one member, one vote in the course of his campaign for the party leadership last year, he set himself on a collision course with his sponsors, the union barons, who remain the most powerful group in the Labour Party. Yet it is his biographer's contention that Labour's 15th leader, a cautious, canny, consensus-seeking Scottish lawyer, somehow hoped to avoid the head-on clash which now seems inevitable.

Letter: Tebbit revealed double standards

WHAT A wondrous thing is the logical mind of the white male politician in our society. In his interview with Lord Tebbit of Chingford ('The skinhead's last stand', Review, 20 June) William Leith quotes him commenting on the 'snobbishness' of Harold Macmillan over his Cockney accent, as follows '. . . well, one gets one or two people like that . . . you just go round them. It doesn't worry me at all, except that it shows the paucity of mind of people of that kind, who can't recognise people for what they are. I think that's rather . . . sad.'

The Skinhead's Last Stand: Norman Tebbit was once a powerful man. He backed the right horse,

3 JUNE, 1993. Before Baron Tebbit of Chingford arrives in the make-up suite at the Westminster studio of Sky television, Clare, the make-up woman, says: 'Ooh, he makes me laugh, Norman. He has me shrieking]' She is holding the little pot of stuff she will smear on Lord Tebbit's face, the little brush she will use to touch him up. Sky News is silently running on a large screen at the back of the room.

If he'd only listened, he'd be a fugitive with a title

NORMAN Tebbit - sorry, Lord Tebbit - says that he cannot remember ever meeting Asil Nadir during his search for a title. (Sorry - Asil Nadir's search for a title, not Norman Tebbit's) This strikes me as slightly odd, because I can remember perfectly clearly the first - and only - time that I met Asil Nadir.

Major defends European stance: Prime Minister casts aside fury roused by Maastricht debate to indulge his passion for cricket

JOHN MAJOR said yesterday that he had been subjected to vilification and venomous attack by media and other critics because of his determined stand on Europe, writes Anthony Bevins.

MUSIC / Laughter in the dark: Stephen Johnson on a celebration of Ligeti at the Barbican

LAST SATURDAY evening, while televisions all over the country were tuned to the Eurovision Song Contest, the London Sinfonietta celebrated the achievement of Gyorgy Ligeti. It was the kind of coincidence Ligeti himself might have liked; after all, Europe does look increasingly like his operatic Breughelland these days (Norman Tebbit as the suspiciously Death-like Nekrotzar; the Maastricht Treaty as the 'End of the World' that never quite happens), and the idea of representatives of warring ex-Yugoslavian states battling it out with Euro-pop isn't so very remote from the spirit of Le Grand Macabre.

Small Business: Simple recipe put the icing on the cake: William Raynor on a second-round success

IN TERMS of management, Robert Habermann is a minimalist - and more than a little unorthodox, he readily concedes. His company, trading as Robert's Fudge Factory, is a supplier to every British Rail buffet through Traveller's Fare, and to hundreds of other outlets, mostly small shops. Yet he remains in complete control.

Man with 15,000 answers mines rich vein in trivia: Law student takes pounds 60 maximum jackpot out of dozens of pub quiz machines every week

THESE DAYS Gerry, 35, goes to the pub in disguise. Every night except Wednesday, he visits six in succession and empties their trivia machines. He knows 15,000 answers. He makes a small fortune.

Captain Moonlight's Notebook: Call Sir Tim

IT IS not just Iraqi oil magnates who avail themselves of the services of Sir Tim Bell when things get rough. Many famous names in a publicity pickle have called Sir Tim. Then he calls everyone else, orchestrating letters to newspapers, telling other people to keep silent, promising interviews in exchange for favourable editorials, wooing, cajoling, brow-beating, teasing.

Captain Moonlight's Notebook: Passages from India

NIRAD CHAUDHURI, the 95-year-old Indian writer and controversialist, was delighted to be made an honorary Commander of the British Empire last week. He is, as he said, 'a dedicated imperialist' because 'there has been no civilisation without empire'.
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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