11 NOVEMBER 1972

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The best man to hand

The Spectator

The best man may have lost the Presidential election, but the best politician has won it. One of the remarkable features of the campaign has been the assumption by George...

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The Spectator

The Spectator

Breathing-space for a sick man When a very sick man reaches a critical condition, emergency treatment is called for, and there will be little disposition to quarrel with the...

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Another Spectator's Notebook

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The Government reshuffle g ives me an opportunity to make some more com plaints. I heard the news after watching Cliff Michelmore interview Peter Walker on A Chance to Meet on...

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Advantage, Wilson

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Patrick Cosgrave In the bad old days of 1964-70, which Tories still recall with a shudder, Mr Wilson used regularly to take Mr Heath apart, each Tuesday and Thursday, at Prime...

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The US Election

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"What's a good liberal like you doing rooting for Nixon?" Al Capp When I first began coming to London, about twenty years ago, once or twice a year, the media could always...

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South Africa

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Music hath taints John Hartdegen It is the petty pinprick rather than the overwhelming injustice that tends to get remembered. When South Africa goes, it will not be directly...

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Freezing is not expanding Nicholas Davenport I had all along secretly hoped — dare I confess it? — that the Downing Street talks would break down. The shadow of a corporate...

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Skinflint's City Diary

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There is no doubt that Peter Walker's appointment to the Department of Trade and Industry will be readily welcomed by industry. John Davies was simply not up to the job....

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Good twist for Sheffield

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John Bull The market has taken a turn for the better following the Government's stern measures and I am encouraged about shortterm buying prospects. In retrospect I have to...

Back into gold

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Nephew Wilde The way fireworks illuminated the dark sky last Saturday night and seconds later fizzled into oblivion reminded me of the talks at Downing Street. For after...

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Wires crossed

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From Raymond Fletcher MP Sir: Tom Puzzle, unusually for him, got his wires badly crossed when he wrote about me in your issue of November 4. I have been arguing for the...

Naming names

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Sir: Dr Leavis will be relieved to hear that the appearance of his name in my review of Laurence Lerner's The Uses of Nostalgia was neither ' gratuitous' nor designed to call...


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Sir: With reference to Tom Puzzle's column (October 28) I must point out that the "curious student organisation" PEST, has as its Patron, Mr Peter Walker, its Vice-Presidents...

Cruelty to animals

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From Miss Jane Hilary Sir: Every year tens of thousands of cattle and sheep are exported from the UK for immediate slaughter or slaughter after further fattening. Those for...


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From A ir Vice-Marshal R. 1. Jones Sir: Your ' Notebook ' (November 4) hits the nail on the head with the clear-cut statement — "What we must now agree is that Arab countries of...

Juliette's Weekly Frolic

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This is the time of year when all good racing correspondents roam around the stables with a practised eye and well-thumbed formbook before bouncing up with twelve gilt-edged...

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The Trojans

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Sir: Whether The Trojans he "unutterably boring" to Rodney Manes or "moving and lifeenriching" to Thomas Heinitz, the latter's use of Kolodin's reaction on hearing Colin Davis's...

Into Europe '

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Sir: The Prime Minister and other Politicians continue to refer to Britain's ' entry into Europe which seems to me a meaningless expression. Whether we like it or not, Britain...

Sir: Will Waspe says rightly that artists on the whole

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tend to oppose the Common Market. This, possibly, is because of their standard of values, In Agnes Mure Macckenzie's Robert Bruce King of Scots there is a memorable passage on...

Choice of school

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Sir: The present circumstances of education in Britain give cause for concern. The proportion of the GNP allocated for the provision of education has increased very...

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Auberon Waugh on novels and prizes It is whimsical, towards the end of a year's reviewing, to see which of the year's novels have recommended themselves to the Booker Prize...

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Children's Books

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Books for older children Isabel Quigly Committees putting out reports on this or that tend to sum up opinion around them rather than propose anything extravagantly new. They...

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Folk and fairy tales

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Leon Garfield No one seems content with the books written for them. Children pillage adult literature and make such works as Gulliver and Jane Eyre their own; while folk and...

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Irresistible reading

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Gillian Freeman Manhattan is Missin g E. W. Hildick (Tom Stacey) £1.60 A Cold Wind Blowing Barbara Willard (Longman £1.50) The Incline William Mayne (Hamish Hamilton £1.40) A...

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Books for younger children

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Caroline Hillier Rumer Godden is possibly the only writer for children who can still centre her story on the 'Big House' of the village and get away with it. The secret is...

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The golden grasshopper

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A short story by Russell Hoban The golden grasshopper hung from a black • iron bracket over the door of a bank. He was not made of gold really — he was gilded metal, brass or...

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"Thank you," said the grasshopper. "You're very kind." He hopped

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up to the top of the signboard, and through the night he stood for beer and ale with the golden cockerel. In the morning the publican came to open the public house and he saw...

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In case it has escaped your notice, Britain IS now nearing the end of National Book Week — a version of the former National Library Week, restyled at the request of booksellers...

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Theatre The Edna O'Brien Show Kenneth Hurren Edna O'Brien's A Pagan Place, which she has, in a manner of speaking, dramatised from her novel of the same name and Which is at...

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Will Waspe

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I am impressed by my colleague Evan Anthony's happy confidence in allowing the private and press view of Patrick Woodroffe's paintings and etchings at his Covent Garden Gallery...

Boobs and follies

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Christopher Hudson The sight of two people punching each other or wrestling for a fall has provided universal recreation for many centuries, as has racing along a track as a...


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Spirits on tap Clive Gammon The first of the new BBC2 Sunday night series, Dead of Night, proved an acceptable enough astringent to follow the marshmallow inadequacy of the...

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Too much, too late Rodney Milnes The problem of the one-week stand is still to be solved. As I write, the Handel Opera Society's brief Sadler's Wells season is over. Plans...

Devine darkness

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Benny Green Irvine Wardle, the drama critic of the Times, has been asking in the correspondence columns for any anecdote likely to assist him in the compilation of his proposed...

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Country Life

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Vanished river Peter Quince On the first day of winter time (as denoted by the clock, not the calendar) the world seemed warm, sunlit and above all else dry. In my part of...

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Mind—your own business Jef Smith Some years ago it was a favourite gimmick Of advertising agents to boost a campaign on a product by mounting a special ' week ' when the...

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Is there a coronary type. John Rowan Wilson My father was a man of five feet seven inches, strong and thickset and at least a stone overweight. He was choleric in disposition,...


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No. 728: Good will henceforth Set by E. 0. Parrott: Very soon now the Prime Minister will be getting ready to conduct his annual Broadstairs carol Concert. After such a year as...