16 APRIL 1983

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Bottom lines

The Spectator

N o one depends more upon the vagaries of fashion and the whim of a small public than does the professional poet. Mr Craig Raine, a professional poet, has always done his best...

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Political commentary

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Planning for chaos Colin Welch B e my friend', Germans were supposed to say, 'or I will kill you'. This is how Labour talks to the banks and financial in- stitutions, as to...

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The Spectator

T he Speaker of the House of Commons, Mr George Thomas, departs with the Present parliament. His successor will be a Tory on the illustrious principle of Buggin's turn. Several...


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6 months: One year: UK Eire Surface mail £15.50 1R17.75 £18.50 £31.00 1R35.50 £ 37 . 00 Air mail £24.50 £49.00 US subscription price: $65.00 (Cheques to be made payable to...

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Another voice

The Spectator

Teachers' problems Auberon Waugh T ast autumn, a disturbing article by Dr Bryan Thwaites, principal of Westfield College, London University, in Readers Digest . claimed that...

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A monstrous betrayal

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Alexander Chancellor A bout the feelings of the Palestinian Arabs actually living under Israeli rule there was practically nothing to be read in the British press this week....

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Dead men on leave

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Christopher Hitchens I n early March 1976, I sat in a bare office in Baghdad, contemplating my good for- tune. Across the desk from me was the lean and striking figure of Mazen...

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Drumming up hatred

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David Pryce-Jones J ohn k Carre's thrillers have conveyed, as few others, the urgency of the struggle waged between East and West, between totalitarianism and democracy. The...

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This article is also appearing in the NeW Republic. The

The Spectator

Little Drummer Girl i s published by Hodder and Stoughton.

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Stalin's France

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Richard West A rcady it seems that 1983 may become one of the stark years of French history, like 1789 , 1830, 1848, 1871, 1958 and 1968. The French are more than just angry...

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Nato's silent partner

The Spectator

John Chipman L'or much of the Fifth Republic, the French have considered the formation of foreign policy as a branch of aesthetics. De Gaulle's 'certain idea of France'...

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Immigrants in Wales

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Antonia Martin G oats in Wales used to be thought of as regimental mascots or animals pubs were named after, but they have long since become the badge of the immigrant —...

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Trotsky and the Trotskyists

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Walter Kendall L abour's National Executive Committee, who by and large lack the Marxist education and intellectual rigour which Herbert Morrison and an earlier generation...

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Books Wanted

The Spectator

DICTIONARY OF PLANTS USED BY MAN by George Usher (Constable). Stuart Robinson 028 582 553. BEST ONE-ACT PLAYS OF 1958-59 edited by H. Miller, ditto of 1960-61. Also 'New...

One hundred years ago

The Spectator

There never was such a position as that of the Czar of Russia. Europe and Asia are being ransacked to increase the splendour of his coronation, the church where the ceremonial...

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Liverpool: a cry for help

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Eric Heffer T he horri fi c word-picture of Liverpool, painted by Richard West in Paddy's other island' (2 April), as a city occupied by a bunch of dead-beats is outrageous...

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Willingly to school

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Jeremy Lewis M any schools nowadays — at least in the state sector — no longer seem to bother with school reports, those ominous documents that wicked or ingenious Children...

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Home truths

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Sir: After reading Giles Gordon's venomous diatribe against the army in his review of Coming Home (2 April), 1 can on- ly surmise that he suffered some appalling humiliation at...

Another LIFE

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Sir: May 1 suggest some alternative wording for the full page advertisement placed in your journal by LIFE? 'TWO MILLION Women saved from having Unwanted Babies by the 1967...

Birthday party

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Sir: The short response to Richard Osborne's letter (26 March) on whether Deutsche Grammophon should choose Brahms, Webern, Gibbons or Rameau for a centenary splash is: if they...

Off the rails

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Sir: In connection with the Hotel Great Central referred to in Ian Waller's article (26 March), my impression is that this was never a railway hotel in the sense that the Great...

Hundred metres

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Sir: I have been commissioned by Junction Books to edit an anthology of athletic verse: The Poetry of Motion. It will hopefully represent all sports, from soccer to snooker and...

Song cycle

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Sir: While sympathising with Jeffrey Ber- nard over his protracted hospitalisation, one may at least take vicarious pleasure in the refining influence that French music, on...

Sir: As the regular contributor who writes the only predictably

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boring and uninfor- mative column in a magazine that otherwise becomes ever more sparkling, Richard In- grams may have much to be modest about. But it seems a pity he should...


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Who's odd Sir: Richard Ingrams is right about Who's Who's astonishingly blinkered editorial Policy (2 April). Dim civil servants, even when long retired, get in simply because...

Mersey sound

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Sir: Congratulations to Richard West (2 April) on his incisive summation of Liver- pool's economic and social difficulties, and in particular, his fearlessness in ascribing...

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The Spectator

Our myopic island race J. Enoch Powell Neville Chamberlain and Appeasement. Larry William Fuchser (W.W. Norton £13.50, $22.95) rr he thesis of a new American (very I...

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Victorian virago

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John Gross Harriet Martineau's Autobiography (Virago 2 vols. £4.95 each) Deerbrook Harriet Martineau (Virago £3.95) D eaf; used an ear trumpet, Unitarian; wrote a book about...

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A true conservative

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Louis Heren The Eisenhower Diaries Edited by Robert H. Farrell (Norton 15.25) T he book under review reminded me of J. R. Pole's article in the Spectator recently which...

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Peter Quennell Benjamin Franklin: A Biography Ronald W. Clark (Weidenfeld & Nicolson £18.50) D uring the second half of the 18th cen- tury, two foreigners, David Hume and...

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The Spectator

John Braine Look Out, Doctor! Dr Robert Clifford (Pelham Books £7.95) 'W hat signifies,' says someone, 'giving halfpence to common beggars? TheY only lay it out in gin and...


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Frank Longford The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde Peter Ackroyd (Hamish Hamilton £7.95) T t is 50 years since I was asked to review a 'book for The Spectator. At that time I...

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Gillian Avery The Golden Age and Dream Days Kenneth Grahame Illustrated by Maxfield Parrish with an introduction by Marion Lochhead (Paul Harris Publishing £8.95 each) Paths to...

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Recent art books

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Richard Shone William Blake: His An and Times David Bindman (Thames and Hudson £12.50) Drawing in the Italian Renaissance Workshop Francis Ames-Lewis and Joanne Wright...

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The Spectator

Marc Jordan John Singer Sargent Carter Ratcliffe (Phaidon £48) J ohn Singer Sargent is a natural for this kind of full-colour, large format monographic treatment. Never mind...

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The Spectator

Doing the honours John McEwen Paule Vezelay (Tate Gallery, till 22 May) Lawrence Cowing (Serpentine Gallery [Arts Council], till 24 April; Hatton Gallery, Newcastle, 7 May to...

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Auction rooms

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Treasure trove Henry Elwell w hile the major West End galleries are saving their big exhibitions until June the sale rooms look as though they will be very busy over the next...

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The Spectator

Telly time Giles Gordon Julius Caesar (Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford- upon-Avon) The Time of Your Life (The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon) Not About Heroes (King's...

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The Spectator

Flash in the pan Peter Ackroyd Best Friends (PG', selected cinemas) G iven the fact that Bert Reynolds and Goldie Hawn are not the most pre- possessing actors, Best Friends...

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High life

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Verbiage Taki New York T he New York Times is a sanctimonious organ whose size, however, is perfect if one wishes to read a tabloid while simultaneously giving the impression...


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Over-awed Richard Ingrams A , unusual event of its kind occurred on Sunday. At the end of an Omnibus programme devoted to singing the praises of Peter Ustinov, who has a new...

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The Spectator

First-class minds P. J. Kavanagh I read somewhere that Mr Wedgwood Berm admires Mr Ken Livingstone but doubts whether he has 'a first-class mind'. What caught my attention was...

Low life

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Saturday fever Jeffrey Bernard I t seems to me that the League Against Cruel Sports only opens its mouth to Chan ge step. One expects a load of horse manure during Grand...

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The Spectator

No. 1265: First look Set by Jaspistos: Keats wrote a poem On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer. You are invited to write one (maximum 1 6 lines) entitled On First Looking Into...


The Spectator

Big stick Raymond Keene /There was one day during the Lucerne 1 Fide Congress when Soviet defector Victor Korchnoi looked as if the sky had fallen on his head. That morning,...

No. 1262: The winners

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Charles Seaton reports: Competitors were asked for a letter to a friend, asking for a loan, as it might have been written bY Henry James, Laurence Sterne, James Joyce, G.K....

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Crossword 603

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A prize or ten pounds will be awarded for the first correct solution opened on 3 May. Entries to: Crossword 603, The Spec ator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL. 'TM 1 11...

Solution to 600: Jigsaw 1 13 IN A lN LTD A

The Spectator

N 9 D 0 r'CK - 1.10EEROtRAPH,OfA - ri k R R E S TII I EM - t0 U:N D CiSMIDET R I Pr R A T .,i. L ' I lt E E I. E RIAME Ni l mA_rt _ TireiEL L ITIE 1 A N ‘ DAIN 10 t E R . ..§_,E...

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Portrait of the week

The Spectator

D espite almost universal agreement that .1-,President Reagan's Middle East peace plan had collapsed with the breakdown of negotiations between King Hussain of Jor- dan and...