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Political Commentary

The Spectator

Another Paul's conversion John Grigg Last week Paul Johnson announced his defection from the Labour Party, to whose interests he had not been conspicuously devoted for some...

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Prior commitments

The Spectator

There are people in the Conservative Party, including a few MPs, who believe that because the trade unions are rather unpopular at the moment this is a good oppor tunity to cut...

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Nile Notebook

The Spectator

According to Lord Edward Cecil, in his magnificent book, The Leisure of an Egyptian Official, 'No Egyptian ever profits with experience'. It is a generalisation with which 1 am...

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Another voice

The Spectator

'The bastards won't back us!' Auberon Waugh In reply to the smear of "The Buggers Won't Work" the workers of the UK have every , reason to say of the media, and of some Boards...

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Tactics of terrorism

The Spectator

Ronald Payne Terrorists international have again exasperated everybody by striking in three places within one week. In West Germany the recidivist Baader-Meinhoff gang shot...

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Lance liability

The Spectator

Nicholas von Hoffman Washington Apparently the two dozen South American dictators imported for the signing of the Panama Canal Treaty, have been schooled in the locals'...

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Aura of power

The Spectator

Richard West Salisbury The white Rhodesians have not lost their love of self-dramatisation. When I was last here in 1964, even before Ian Smith's Unilateral Declaration of...

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Animal rights

The Spectator

Antonia Martin Animal Welfare Year has just ended and with it a brave and on the whole successful attempt to bring together the most fissiparous body of individuals this side...

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Failure in Czechoslovakia

The Spectator

Cecil Parrott Since world attention has been focused on human rights, the favourite occupation of politicians and press in Czechoslovakia has been to point a finger at the West...

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Towards cheaper books

The Spectator

Max Harris Adelaide The Woclehousian days of publishing are not all that far behind us. Publishing was, in fact, a gentleman's profession, and processions of willowy young lads...

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Forestry madness

The Spectator

Humphrey Phelps In 1919 the Forestry Commission was instituted in order to grow timber 'sufficient to meet the essential requirements of the nation over a limited period of...

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The Spectator

Sir: John Grigg's admirable warning to the Tories over Grunwick (10 September) will encourage floating voters such as myself to veer in their direction. Unhappily of late the...

Union monopoly

The Spectator

Sir: Mr George Gale's column in your issue of (23 July) concerning the monopoly power of trade unions is surely a major contribution towards resolving the supposed dilemma our...

Catch phrases

The Spectator

Sir: Mr Benny Green has, in the issue of 9 September, pointed out what I realise, far more acutely than he possibly could, that I'm no authority on the catch phrases originating...

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The National Front

The Spectator

Sir: As one of those who marched at , Lewisham perhaps you will allow me to reply to the letter from Mr Aulesbrook (27 August). In spite of what Mr Aulesbrook may think, the...


The Spectator

Sir: I am grateful to George Hutchinson (3 September) for letting me off so lightly in my attempt to portray a very complicated man in my book The Odyssey of Enoch. In the final...


The Spectator

Sir: Mr Foley's article about Vit. B17 is typical of American journalists who follow the line taken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which claims B17 (Amygdalin,...

Bubble and squeak

The Spectator

Sir: It is obvious that Mr George Lanitis' letter (27 August) that even the press counsellor of Cyprus lacks a sense of humour— as I find do the rest of his countrymen (I'm...

The Journey

The Spectator

Sir: Editorial excisions, due to unforeseeable last-minute production difficulties which have since been explained to me, of a sizeable part of my review of Cecilia Sternberg's...

Ian Smith

The Spectator

Sir: I hope that you will allow me space to correct a misstatement of fact in Mr L Clarke's letter in your issue of 29 August. He writes that had Ian Smith not made UD1, and had...

Reforming the syllabus

The Spectator

Sir: I was most heartened by Logie Bruce Lockhart's analysis of the current upper school education system (13 August). As a student in my second year sixth form at a London...

Wrong paper

The Spectator

Sir: In his review last week (issue of 3 September) Richard Ingrams (who edits himself, so ought to know better) describes Bob Edwards as editor of the People. This is not...

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The Spectator

Up to a point Lord Rothschild Alastair Forbes Meditations of a Broomstick Lord Rothschild (Collins £6.50) From the full-page colour photograph on the back of the jacket of...

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Bubble and squeal

The Spectator

Christopher Booker The SlImarlillon J. R. R. Tolkein (George Allen and Unwin £4.95) The Mythology of Middle Earth Ruth S. Noel (Thames and Hudson £4.50) It is a curious fact...

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No quibbles

The Spectator

Alan Watkins New Words for Old Philip Howard (Hamish Hamilton E3.95) 'Words', Evelyn Waugh wrote in A Little Learning, 'have basic inalienable meanings, departure from which is...

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The Spectator

Robert Skidelsky On the Dictatorship of the Proletariat Etienne Balibar trans. Grahame Locke (NLB £6.50) The polemics of French Communists may not have the most obvious appeal...

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Cats, cats cats

The Spectator

Olivia Manning Somewhere a Cat Is Wafting Derek Tangye (Michael Joseph £4.95) The EverlastIngCat Mildred Kirk (Faber & Faber £4.95) Mr Tangye's book came to me when I was in...

Bowing out

The Spectator

Peter Ackroyd Great Granny Webster Caroline Blackwood (Duckworth £3.95) Each real family is uninteresting in the same way, but in the novel each family is, uninteresting in...

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Loony shades

The Spectator

Benny Green Carr's Dictionary of extraordinary English Cricketers (J. L. Carr 20p) Most of the world's great ideas are simple ones, and Mr Carr is to be congratulated for...

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The Spectator

Good Queen and bad Rodney Milnes Each of the three national opera companies launched its first new production of the season last week, with a score of one bull's-eye, one...

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The Spectator

Exiles Ted Whitehead The Old Country (Queens) A Mad World, My Masters (Roundhouse) Only disconnect — that seems to be the ticket for Hilary, the exiled hero of Alan Bennett's...


The Spectator

Manipulated Clancy Sigal The Other Side of Midnight (Empire) Heart of Glass (Paris Pullman) The island of Dr Moreau (Rialto) The Other Side of Midnight (X certificate) could...

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The Spectator

Translations John McEwen The motto of the Flyfishers' Club may be that 'there is more to fishing than catching fish' but on the whole the English are not a very metaphysical...

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The Spectator

Hooked Richard Ingrams The debate on TV violence has again reared its head, provoking pious sentiments from both channels to the effect that they will be keeping a vigilant...


The Spectator

Lousy punters Jeffrey Bernard The Psychology of Gambling edited by Jon Halliday and Peter Fuller, first published by Allen Lane in 1974 and now published by Pelican Books at...