13 AUGUST 1983

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Ulster, 14 years on

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F ourteen years ago this week, British troops arrived in Northern Ireland. Their dispatch was the least that the British Government could have done, and their continued presence...

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Political commentary

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Local anaesthetics Charles Moore A ccording to Mr Alan Greengross, leader of the Conservative group on the Greater London Council, Conservative philosophy has always been...

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hose finger was on Britain's thermo- nuclear trigger during Mrs Thatcher's stay in hospital? Anxious inquirers were told last week that Lord Whitelaw had this !natter in hand,...


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UK Eire Surface mail Air mail 6 months: £15.50 111L17.75 £18.50 E24.50 One year: £31.00 1R£35.50 £37.00 £49.00 Cheques to be made payable to the Spectator and sent to...

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Mr Reagan's warmongering

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Nicholas von Hoffman Washington T he President, the Congress and the Supreme Court have cleared out of town and won't be back until the second week in September. In times past...

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France's old friend

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Richard West F rance's reluctant decision to go to the aid of her former colony Chad, under attack from Libya, is a kind of recompense for the now forgotten occasion, in 1940,...

One hundred years ago

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Mr Blake, MP, told a good story to some Irish fishermen with whom he made an appointment at Billingsgate Market on Tuesday morning, for the purpose of expounding to them some of...

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Here they come again

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Patrick Marnham T his week's military coup in Guatemala made front-page news in all three ex- pensive daily papers. The Times, in a report compiled partly from news agencies...

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Belfast in Yugoslavia

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Timothy 1Garton Ash I magine sitting round a table with four apparently sane and civilised men, the senior of whom suddenly remarks, 'Of course the earth is flat.' You expect...

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The intellectuals' revolt

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Sam White Paris president Mitterrand has recently been 1 dealt a cruel blow from an unexpected quarter: France's left-wing intellectuals, it would seem, have deserted him. The...

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South Africa plays Bop

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Bryan Rostron Mmabatho, Bophuthatswana C ir Richard Attenborough, despite the absurd mess he got into over the Johan- nesburg premiere of his film Gandhi, doubtless never...

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In search of England

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Roy Kerridge W here can the real England be found? My Quest for the Spirit of England began at Wantage, where in the year 849 Alfred the Great was born. From there I hoped to...

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How to be a minority

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b igby C. Anderson T om and Lydia have been trying to find out if they are a Minority. They are not °ne's traditional idea of the working class. T hey may be relatively poor...

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In the City

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The markets rule Jock Bruce-Gardyne S o the markets rule, OK! For months L./now, the markets have been signalling that US interest rates had to rise, and that the dollar was...

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The press

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The FT fiasco Paul Johnson T he Financial Times management may huff and puff but it is perfectly obvious that they have lost the battle with their machine-minders and the NGA;...

Colin Welch is unwell and will resume his column next

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Sir Alfred Sir: On the eve of my departure for a journalist's visit to Central America, I am again subjected to Peregrine Worsthorne's jealousy-fed imagination (Notebook, 6...

Mosley's hard centre

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Sir: The accuracy of Ronald W. Jones's observations in his article 'I was a Blackshirt menace' (6 August) are easily tested: he claims to have been a member of Sir Oswald...

Mr Sherman

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Sir: 1 did not know that Mr Alfred Sherman is Jewish. Nor did I know, until reading Mr Peregrine Worsthorne's item about him in your issue of 6 August, that he is now tour- ing...

Sir: Because Peregrine Worsthorne writes deliberately to be provocative some

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of his friends may respond to the incredible second paragraph in your Notebook (6 August) with the observation that 'it's just Perry'. It isn't. He has let himself down very...

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What's Hecuba to us? John Stewart Collis The Letters of John Middleton Murry to Katherine Mansfield Edited by C. A. Hankin (Constable £9.95.) M iddleton Murry was the man who...

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Elizabeth Jennings Stevie Smith: A Selection Edited by Hermione Lee (Faber £8.50, £3.50) r once met Stevie Smith on a dark, cold I in the King's Road. She looked like a small,...

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London shades Peter Quennell London's Secret History Peter Bushell (Constable £8.95) The Streets of London Benny Green (Pavilion Books £9.95) C harles Baudelaire was the...

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Michael Hulse The Sacred Threshold: A Life of Rainer Maria Rilke J. F. Hendry (Carcanet New Press £9.95) W ith Eliot and Pound, Rilke is the most written-about poet of our...

Change and decay

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Patrick Skene Catling Georgian Dublin: Ireland's Imperilled Architectural Heritage Kevin Corrigan Kearns (David & Charles £12.95) nubtiners say that Arthur Guinness, when he...

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Pen against mouth

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Duncan Fallowell Pieces and Pontifications Norman Mailer (New English Library £9.95) A n interesting idea: to publish in one InLvolume Mailer sounding off in essays (his 12...

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Libertarian humbug

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A. L. Rowse Absolute Liberty: Articles and Papers of Caroline Robbins Edited by Barbara Taft (Archon Books $27.50) T n a lifetime of teaching, research and 'writing, Caroline...

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Opera Irresponsible

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Rodney Milnes Don Giovanni (Montepulciano) A vague sense of guilt at not being in Bayreuth evaporated swiftly on reading the notices: how nice it will be to see Peter Hall's...


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Moore, and more John McEwen T his may be the holiday season but gallery activity seems unabated. All too many shows are worthy of review; 30 July marked Henry Moore's 85th...

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Tunnel vision Peter Ackroyd Runners ('15', Gate Notting Hill) A schoolgirl has vanished: we see her bike abandoned on the road. Her father prowls the corridors of her school,...

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War graves Gavin Stamp Tohn Garfield is a consultant neuro- surgeon at Southampton Hospital. He is also a very good photographer — as good as any professional — and a...


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Eloquent Giles Gordon Cyrano de Bergerac (RSC: Barbican) T here are two or three scenes in Cyrano de Bergerac that are among the most memorable in world literature. A curious...

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High life

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Under a cloud Taki Athens A fter three of the happiest weeks of mY . life I'm back in Melina Mercoun country, or, as A.J. Liebling wrote of Loui - siana, among a people whose...


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Enduring Richard Ingrams T was saddened to read that TV-am is 'now doing much better and is even clos- ing the gap with the BBC's Breakfast Time. For one heady moment earlier...

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August P. J. Kavanagh I n order to escape too many reflections on Tamils and Sinhalese killing each other in Paris, as well as in Sri Lanka, and Arme- nians blowing up French...

Low life

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Cuts Jeffrey Bernard T here's something about Islam that stinks. To sentence a man to 600 strokes of the cane for attempting to smug- gle a trifling 4,000 bottles of whisky to...

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No. 1282: Robotic lament Set by Charles Seaton: It is reported that over a third of Russia's industrial robots are jobless and that those in work are un- popular with — and...

No. 1279: The winners

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Report by Jaspistos: Competitors were ask- ed for a dialogue between one person trying to ask a simple question and another avoid- . ing the issue with circumlocutory jargon. A...

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Smokescreen Raymond Keene D anger — Government Health Warn ing. Cigarettes can seriously damage Your health. This modern attempt by of- ficialdom to dissuade the populace from...

Solution to 617: 0

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Crossword 620

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A prize of ten pounds will be awarded for the first correct solution opened on 30 August. Entries to: Crossword 620, The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL....

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Portrait of the week

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T he war in Chad showed signs of de- veloping into a wider conflict. The United States Sixth Fleet, including the air- craft carrier Eisenhower, sailed to the southern...

Books Wanted

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GEORGE THOMAS: 'Christian Heritage in Politics'. H.W. Hurrell, 23 Shorton Valley Road, Paignton, Devon TQ3 IRB. WALKER TRUST LECTURES ON LEADER- SHIP (O.U.P. 1950). S....