19 AUGUST 1972

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Housing and the quiet revolution

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Last week the Government's Housing Finance Bill became law. Its purpose is to alter the system of housing subsidies so that tenants, rather than buildings, are subsidised. The...

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A Spectator's Notebook

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Jack Jones's success in getting the conference of dockers to call off the docks strike was a notable victory, particularly since he was subjected to some very excitable...

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Political Commentary

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Police and pickets whose violence? Hugh Macpherson I imagine that t'ne people in the land most concerned at the violent incidents which attended some of the picketing near...

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The Israeli scene

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Sentenced for life Paul Callan The military court room at Sarafand, sixteen kilometres out of Tel Aviv, has the modest looks of an English village hall. Take down the blue and...


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The non-union shop at the top Andrew Boyd Many trade unions in this country have the reputation of being difficult employers for their staffs to deal with, but the Trades...

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Thirty-two, less six

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It seems the statesmen speak in words the people do not hear, It's left to us, the common lot, to tell them what we'll bear; It's a thing to be the chairman of the Unionists,...

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The Press

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In the Republic Dennis Hackett Co. Cork, Eire It may give a pause for thought to those publishers of English popular Sunday papers brooding over an apparently inexorable...

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James Blish on the decline of the supernatural When from early 1939 . to late 1943 the late John W. Campbell was editing an American magazine of supernatural fiction called...

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Two second novels

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Auberon Waugh Down the Rabbit Hole Anthony Paul (Secker and Warburg £2) Tangier Buzzless Flies John Hopkins (Alison Press £2) There is a thin little voice which pops up in our...

Collecting the specimens

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Reg Gadney Dr Kinsey and the Institute for Sex Research Wardell B. Pomeroy (Nelson £4.20) Dr Pomeroy's task in• this first major biography of Kinsey has been to tell the story...

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Faust in the nursery

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Russell Hoban The Ghost Downstairs, Leon Garfield, illustrated by Antony Maitland (Longman, £1.25). Child o' War, Leon Garfield and David Proctor, decorations by Antony...

i.m. John Berryman

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Blind harper, blind fiddler, blind poet; • old hold-ails stuffed with rags and ragged dreams, petty session held in ditch and shebeen. The wise threw bright sails to the wind...

Foundering on ironic rocks

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Graham Martin The Case of the Helmeted Airman: A Study of W. H. Auden's Poetry Francoise Duchene (Chatto & Windus E3). What happened in Auden's work that in 1939, only three...

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The Spectator

Bookbuyer BOOKBUYER was intrigued to see a book/folio of poems, drawings and watercolours by Marcel Marceau at a party recently. The work has been lavishly published as a...

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The Spectator

Theatre Two on the Nile Kenneth Hurren It would be going a good deal too far to say that the new production of Antony and Cleopatra, which joined the Royal Shakespeare...

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Pulp fiction Christopher Hudson Pulp (` AA ' London Pavilion) works well as an allegory, but on a superficial level is a very bad film indeed. Mickey King, a writer of...


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Poets' pretensions Clive Gammon Maybe the reading of poetry is too serious to be left to poets, as witness the plush and plummy renditions of Dylan Thomas, the weird neighings...

Jibbing in

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Benny Green I am surprised that the admirable Marghanita Laski or some other comparably lynx-eyed lexicographer has not yet grasped the correct implications of the verb 'To...

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Wil l Wasp e

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Former National Theatre man Donald MacKechnie will be taking over as Director of Productions at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre and has plans to change things a bit up there. He...

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What goes on in Tanzania? Sharif' Months have elapsed since Shaikh Abeid Karume, Tanzania's first Vice-President, and absolute ruler of Zanzibar, was assassinated: the event...

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Overseas Indians

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Molly Mortimer Attention to Peking's political shadow— the overseas Chinese—is natural; less attention is generally paid to the equally hard problem of overseas Indians. These...

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Ugandan Asians

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Sir: Congratulations on your article of August 12 — 'A plain matter of duty '. For once I agreed with every word you said. Richard Reid 30 Love Lane, Pinner, Middlesex Sir:...

Sir: Much has been said and written recently about the

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difficulty of enforcing laws and pursuing poli cies which do not command majority support. Whether the Industrial Relations Act commands majority support is a moot point but so...

Sir: What General Amin is saying in respect of the

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Asians in Uganda is that he is not prepared to tolerate control of the country's economy by aliens. And it is a fact that the majority of the commercial life of Uganda is...

Gower St archive

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Sir: Your suggestion for a Gower Street archive of political anecdotes is a distinctly happy one. Perhaps you will allow me to prime the pump with the following, in case it is...

Benville Lodge, Evershot, Dorset Sir: I can cap your recollection

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of Mr Baldwin's habit of closing his mind to the reception of what he might suspect to be disagreeable information. While on Lord Swinton's staff I heard him, on several...

The drug-makers

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Sir: I share Bernard Dixon's doubts about the wisdom of introducing state ownership of the pharmaceutical industry, but for different reasons. "The pharmaceutical industry in a...

Enoch and Europe

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Sir: May I say how very much I agree with the sentiments expressed in the letter (July 29) by Isla M. Atherley, about Mr Enoch Powell, I also think he is the only hope for...

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Greasy Joan

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Sir: More please, Laurence Cummins nothwithstanding. (Where's Brentwood?) A. Surricige 28 Bute Road, Ilford, Essex

'Easier' murder

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Sir: Mr Thomas Gadd (July 15) is undoubtedly right in his main thesis: that capital punishment was a great advance on lynching and that without it there is always a real danger...

Naval strategists

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Sir: Patrick Cosgrave, in his review of the current edition of Jane's Fighting Ships (August 5) performs a valuable service in drawing attention to an important aspect of our...


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Sir: Writing in your issue cf August 5 about a biography of Alexander Solzhenitsyn by David Burg and George Feifer which is to be published by Hodder and Stoughton, your...

From Dr Konstantin Bazarov Sir: What on earth does 'Book-'

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Pi buyer' mean by calling the: forthcoming George Feifer/David Burg biography of Solzhenitsyn : " exceptionally well-researched " (August 5). The 'research' in , question has...

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The Good Life

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Gastroligarchy Pamela Vandyke Price This is the permissive age and therefore all sorts of people are permitting themselves to make up their own rules for the particular game...

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Zlo gus KEY 299

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AND THE CITY Dangers in Diversification Nicholas Davenport The bull market has lately been feeding on take-over bids — and the accompanying swarm of take-over rumours — which...

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Skinflint's City Diary

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I have had a nightmare. Like all nightmares it was confused. But these are the muddled, but alarming thoughts I am left with. Unspeakable evil If you are prepared to look...

Juliette's Weekly Frolic

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On Tuesday afternoon in a record 2 mins 7.1 secs Roberto stood the current flat season on its head. For Brigadier Gerard, with Ribot's record there for the equalling, the result...

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Account gamble

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A punt in Austin-Hall John Bull On August 21 I expect to see good results from Austin-Hall Group and recommend a punt in the shares. The figures to be announced will be for...


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Buying into manhole covers Nephew Wilde It seems amazing. When I contacted my broker, Wotherspool, only two weeks ago he was very gloomy in the face of the dock strike. Now he...

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White collar agitation Jim Daly Dependent upon our personal feelings and attitudes, we may conjure the vision of White Collar people as The Ideal Wimpey Family — with...

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S oc i et y

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For whose eyes? Jef Smith July was a bad month for privacy. First my wife's grandmother caught me in the bath. Then, Mr Maudling and Senator Eagleton had their business and...


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Poverty and food Custos There are three big employers of people earning poverty wages — the Government, local authorities and wages councils. Wages councils, or Boards as...