17 DECEMBER 1977

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Other people's money

The Spectator

On Monday, despite a few objections from MPs and the taking of a vote which allowed eighty-two of them to register their dissent (largely over defence spending), the House of...

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Political commentary

The Spectator

Farewell to the feds Ferdinand Mount Normally you can tell they are posing. The exchanged chuckles, the finger directing an aide's attention to a significant passage in the...

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The Spectator

Last week Thomas Szasz was in London. Not surprisingly, on the day that most of our papers decided that the naming of Princess Anne's baby was the main news story, his visit was...

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Another voice

The Spectator

State of the working class Auberon Waugh Stung by criticism in the correspondence column of this newspaper, where a Mr Holly of Torquay complained that I lived in an ivory...

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Exit Whitlam stage left

The Spectator

Michael Dean Whatever his faults Gough Whitlam was never a bore. When he emerged from his long, painful vigil last weekend to concede defeat in the Australian elections and...

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The ugly Australian

The Spectator

Harold Pateshall Sydney The pathetic trickle of Vietnamese refugees now managing to reach Australia in small boats is something this country has not encountered before, and it...

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Napoleon in Africa

The Spectator

Anthony Mockler 1977 has been a good year for monarchy — Jubilee celebrations in Britain, consolidation in Spain. And the year ended in a blaze of glory with the disappearance...

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Biko's strange inquest

The Spectator

David Napley When it became known that I had been invited by the Association of Law Societies. of South Africa to attend the Biko inquest as an independent observer, some of my...

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Gun law in Lebanon

The Spectator

Simon Macnab Beirut Approached from the sea, Beirut comes up out of its smog like any other Western city, with the inevitable skyscrapers and the forest of television aerials...

Island battle

The Spectator

Edwin Hoyt With the future of the US Pacific Fleet's base at Pearl Harbour ultimately at stake, a running battle has developed here between the United States Navy and a small...

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The drugging of prisoners

The Spectator

Anthony Clare There has beetteo.nsiderable publicity given recently to the fact that large numbers of individuals in British prisons are receiving psychiatric drugs. This...

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New confidence in Ulster

The Spectator

Airey Neave Last week under the leaden skies of Ulster, I felt for the first time that the terrorists were in trouble. Even in South Armagh and the hard areas of Belfast and...

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Clementine Churchill

The Spectator

Patrick Cosgrave 'Who is she?', Violet Asquith asked her brother at a ball in 1906, when Clementine Hozier came into the room. The question, Violet wrote in her memoirs (when,...

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In the City

The Spectator

The City's big battalions Nicholas Davenport A correspondent writes to tell me that he is giving up trying to look after his own portfolio of investments because he finds it...

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'No' to new regions

The Spectator

Sir: I was disappointed to read Mr George Gale's article (3 December), arguing for the abolition of county councils and the institutioo of new large regional councils. It seems...

Danger of corporatism

The Spectator

Sir: John Biffen's interesting article 'Underestimating Mr Benn' (26 November) makes the point that the aforementioned Tony Benn should not be treated as 'an irrational hate...

Defending Keynes

The Spectator

Sir; How many times is Keynes, like Cromwell, to be exhumed, quartered, and anathematised whilst his achievements are ignored? I only ask because whereas Mr Mount (3 December)...

Angela Thirkell

The Spectator

Sir: I cannot agree with your reviewer of 26 November that my late mother, Angela Thirkell, had 'a stone of a heart'. This has become a smart and fashionable thing to say among...

A salutary menace

The Spectator

Sir: The disagreement between myself and the chairman of the Association for the Teaching of the Social Sciences (Letters, I December) is confined, I think, to whether the...

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The Spectator

Une sorte d'amour inquiet Anthony Mockler Fulfilment of a Mission: Syria and Lebanon 1941-1944 Edward Spears (Leo Cooper £9.95) Louis Spears had a fine strong head, rather...

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Whose Trieste?

The Spectator

Richard West The race for Trieste Geoffrey Cox (William Kimber £5.95) Travellers to Trieste Nicolas Powell (Faber £6.95) When Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt arranged how...


The Spectator

Christopher Booker The Serpent and the Nightingale Cecil Parrott (Faber £7.50) The other Sunday morning I tuned in to Radio Three just in time to catch the beginning of a...

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The Spectator

Simon Blow Lermontov Laurence Kelly (Constable 26.50) It is strange that, with so much contemporary reference, Mikhail Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time has not, in these cultish...

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The Spectator

Stuart Morgan Passages In Modern Sculpture Rosalind E. Krauss (Thames and Hudson £9.50) The man next door has been giving me funny looks lately. I suspect that he wants to talk...


The Spectator

Peter Ackroyd A Pebble From Rome R.T. Plumb (Duckworth £4.95) Advertisements for cocoa and sliced bread have already wrapped us in the warm glow of the 'thin ies and 'forties,...

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The Spectator

Benny Green Whether or not the true English vice is social embarrassment, it certainly provides a comfortable meal-ticket for the professional English humorist. Year after year...

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Dinner guests and tax-payers

The Spectator

Geoffrey Wheatcroft Last year 'The Arts in Hard Times'; this year 'Value for Money': the Arts Council's annual reports have nowadays a defensive, diffident tone. There is no...

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The Spectator

Harmonies in nature Marina Warner Chinese Painting of the Ch'ing Dynasty (1644-1912) British Museum till 15 January At the Canton Trade Fair, towards the end of Mao's...

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The Spectator

Rough-up Ted Whitehead A Bit of Rough (Soho Poly) Sexual Perversity In Chicago (Regent) On the way to Gully Fraser's A Bit o f Rough, my companion said that he thought 'all...


The Spectator

Kind of horror Clancy Sigal Rollercoaster (Empire after 26 December) Hyena's Sun (Minema) One of the frustrations of being a movie critic is the way we are seduced into...

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The Spectator

Naturals Richard Ingrams The mysterious Mr Ronald Eyre finally came to the end of his long search. on Monday night after three years and 150,000 miles of travel round the...

Books and Records Wanted

The Spectator

, GLOBE SHAKESPEARE, 1 904 edition, Tel, 01-439 3078 134, Marshall Street, London W. BOOKS BY PETER FLEMiNG; 'A Story to Tell': The Sixth Column'; 'A Forgotten Journey"; 'With...

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End piece

The Spectator

Bad habits Jeffrey Bernard Whatever National Hunt racing may lack in class it certainly makes up tor in sheer spectacle and with the friendliness of its patrons. Last Saturday...