15 JANUARY 1977

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Black January

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2 4 March 1973, on Amman Radio, Abu Daoud asted of his part in the planning of 'the glorious munich operation' in the course of which eleven Israeli letes were murdered. From...

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The Week

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While Mr Ivor Richard continued to shuffle round southern Africa, the resumption of the Geneva conference on Rhodesia was postponed. President Machel of Mozambique and President...

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Political Commentary

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Neglected springboard John Gri gg Suggesting good ideas for Jubilee year is becoming a national sport, and in the Sunday Telegraph Brian Roberts has proposed (9 January) a...

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The bread delivery men's strike raises a number of agreeably confused issues and most people do not seem sure what, if any, line to take. One friend, not usually an enthusiast...

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Another voice

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Secret, smouldering hatred Auberon Waugh There is an old woman Who lives in a neighbouring village to ours in France called Mathilde. She is a widow whose only son d ied; she...

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The Coca-Cola cabinet

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Nicholas von Hoffman Washington George McGovern, an invisible man since Nixon crushed him in 1972, has emerged on the TV screens and called Carter's cabinet selections worthy...

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America's insurance crisis

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Alex Finer M any bartenders in California now add two olives on two separate cocktail sticks when 4 customer orders his second martini. They ar e not being generous, just...

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Black cultural fringe benefits

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Patrick Marnham On 15 January the 'World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture' opens in Lagos. Even now, after two postponements, the imposing Festival 'village' and...

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The invasion of Scotland

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Colin Bell Edinburgh Nationalists make much of the parallels they see between Scotland and Norway; journalists increasingly suspect that a more apposite comparison might be...

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Still going strong

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Ian Bradley Parents with a boy starting at public school next year are likely, if present trends continue, to be paying fees of more than £3000 a year before he leaves. Already...

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Saving the heritage

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Patrick Cosg rave Nowadays, and more often than not fairly, we blame government for most of the ills that have befallen the nation. That judgment is not unfair, not least...

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Estate of the Church

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Brian Inglis Should you be in the region of Belsize Park this January, you will see certain men striding along purposefully, with a glint in their eyes and a spring in their...

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Mysteries of the week

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Christopher Booker it has been a week Of mysteries. By far the Most important mystery in the world at the ni° ment is what is going on in China. Is the Country about to become a...

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Another amazing find

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Jeffrey Bernard It was just two weeks after the discovery . of the Byron letters in the Pall Mall branch of Barclays Bank that I made my own startling find. There in a carrier...

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In the City

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The gilt-edged boom Nicholas Davenport The speed and efficiency with which the City carries out its national duties are quite l antastic. Within four working days it subscribed...

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Sir: I am now able to reveal a hitherto well-kept unofficial secret about Auberon Waugh. There was an amendment to the Public Lending Right Bill which Roger Moate and I did not...

The case of Lord Wigg

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Sir: Now that the dust has settled over the prosecution of Lord Wigg and his acquittal, the time has come to consider some of the wider implications of the case. A great deal...

such a trivial case ?

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Finally, having failed with their action, do they really deserve the judicial accolade which they received ? Lionel Bloch 9 Wimpole Street, London W1

True distinction

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Sir: I was flattered to be described, in the notes on contributors to your 1 January issue, as president of the Royal Anthropological Institute. In fact however the presidency...


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Sir: I notice with dismay that you have begun to give space to advertisements which serve to promote homosexual purposes. I think I understand most of the arguments for free...


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Sir: I'm still worried about the case of Mr W. E. Bell who wrote (11 December) fro" a public school staffroom to deplore .the Spectator's publication in its back pages of...

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George Moore Sir: With regard to Denis Donoghue's review (1 January), may [ offer the following comments:

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I. In 1901, George Moore returned to Dublin, where he would reside for the next decade. In 1898, rather than deciding to conceive a passion for the redemption of Ireland,' he...

Scottish conflict Sir : I welcome devolution as a steppingstone to

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independence, giving Scotland a few years to run herself in as a functioning State, and the Scots a few years to get used to the idea of self-government. Nevertheless I have...

Yours hopefully

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Sir : Really, Alan Watkins (8 January) should stick to politics rather than writing patronisingly of those who know more about language than he seems to! 'Hopefully' (in its...


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Sir: Those who like, admire and respect Ronald Butt will be sad to see him described —and at Christmas time, too!—by Christopher Booker as a bore. So will those who like, admire...

Fairer representation

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Sir : John Grigg's article (1 January) defends 'adversary politics' on the ground that it is healthy to have hard-hitting controversy. Yes, but objectors to adversary politics...

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The death of Narcissus Paul Fussell Frederick Rolfe, Baron Corvo: A Biography Miriam J. Benkovitz (Hamish Hamilton £6.50) Like other rare, desirable things (money and...

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Sun strokes

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Peter Conrad Black Sun: The Brief Transit and Violent Eclipse of Harry Crosby Geoffrey Wolff (Hamish Hamilton £4.95)

Crosby's life is of interest only because of his death.

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Having been blooded at Verdun, he returned to scandalise the patricians of Boston, and then fled to systematically derange his senses in the literary society of Paris; in 1929...

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Books •

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and Records Wanted THE JERVIS BAY by George Pollock (Published by William Kimber). Write : Fegen, Ashleigh Cottage, Weston Green, Themes Dillon. Surrey. WALPOLE'S KATHERINE...

Pro bono public()

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Peter Medawar The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins (Oxford University Press £2.95) When confronted by what is ostensibly altruistic or anyhow non-selfish behaviour in animals,...

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Dream Children Gail Godwin (Gollancz £4.50) Before the Crying Ends John L Hughes (Bodley Head £3.50) The Thomas Berryman Number James Patterson (Secker and Warburg £3.90) Nick...

Song & dance

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Benny Green The Final Curtain John Wolfson (Chappell and Andre Deutsch £7.95) Ever since Gilbert and Sullivan died, Savoyard scholarship has embodied a curious contradiction—the...

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Learn all about it

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A. J. Ayer The Booker Quiz Christopher Booker (BBC Publications, with Routledge and Kegan Paul, £1.50) A popular feature of the BBC Sunday night television programme, Read All...

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Way back

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Olivia Manning The Young Man Said: The Memoirs of Dennis Wheatley, 1897-1914 (Hutchinson £4.95) Dennis Wheatley, author of a vast number of novels and stories, is now writing...

The wrong set

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Harriet Waugh Clubland: The Wrong Side of the Right People Anthony O'Connor (Martin Brian and O'Keefe 0.00) London Clubs are fast becoming part of the vast wasteland inhabited...

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Young Woody or tales of valium and conquest Penelope Gilliatt Woody Allen is imperially funny and racked by nerves. At his apartment in New York, a two-storey penthouse with...

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Back to front Clancy Sigal The Front (Columbia) The Pink Panther Strikes Again (Odeon, Leicester Square) The Enforcer (Warner 2) The Ritz (ABC, Shaftesbury Avenue) In 1953 I...


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Sparklers John McEwen When the British Museum decides to mount a show gathered from its own collections and departments the result is rarely less than spectacular, and leaves...

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Four lives Ted Whitehead Small Change (Riverside Studios, Hammersmith) Uhlanga (Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court) I Gotta Shoe (Criterion) Weekends at the Riverside Studios...

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Death of a genius

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Hans Keller 1 Was on a little Canary Island when Britten died, writing a book on Criticism. I was just APproaching the section on Posthumous Tortu r e _a much-neglected branch...

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New York Letter

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Art and communication Eugene Victor Thaw Three events took place recently in New York featuring Thomas Having, the Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art—a man accustomed...

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Smug Peter Richard lngrams I see that one of the subjects on which competitors for the Spectator schools essay prize are being invited to write is 'Is television harmful ?' I...