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oinart of the hour

The Spectator

Mrs Margaret Thatcher has, in the last week or so, come to the fore as a challenger for the Conservative leadership. No longer can she be looked at merely as a stalking-horse...

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Enthronement: ecumenical established and evangelical

The Spectator

At the time it became known that Michael Ramsey was to retire from the chair of St Augustine, The Spectator urged that his chosen successor should be ecumenical in outlook and...

Stock market recovery?

The Spectator

The dramatic recovery in stock market prices during the last few days should be viewed with extreme caution by investors, though there appears to have been an element behind the...

Portugal's plight

The Spectator

If there are any elements in the Portuguese armed forces still both powerful and sane, then the country will have been fortunate in the vicious events at Oporto last weekend....

Bill of Rights

The Spectator

Sir Keith Joseph's call for a national 'bill of rights' is indeed timely. Britain has never had a Bill of Rights enforced other than by the sanction of Parliament, and the...

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For life

The Spectator

Sir: Many years ago 1 was invited to subscribe to a debenture issue, in order to maintain the integrity of The Spectator, and in exchange I was given a Life Membership for...

Be.nn and the Market

The Spectator

Sir: You have done the nation a great service by publishing the full text of Mr Wedgwood Benn's letter to his constituents. Although I am a Conservative and abhor virtually...

Sir.: You have done a service by publishing the full

The Spectator

text of Mr Benn's thoughtful letter to his electors on the Common Market. It highlights perhaps the most important argument in the forthcoming referendum debate, which pros and...

Tones and the Market

The Spectator

From Mrs Tessa Collins Sir: Like Mrs Carthew I too am saddened and enraged by certain of the Tory Party and their hypocrisy over great Britain's membership of the EEC — a...

BBC and the Market

The Spectator

Sir: Is there no limit to the lengths the BBC will go in its adherence to the pro-Market brainwashing campaign? On a recent Sunday we had 'Hattersbum' (The Rt Hon Roy Hatterlsey...


The Spectator

Sir: I am surprised that The Spectator is so disturbed by the possibility of a loss of sovereignty due to the country remaining in the EEC when all the time there is a much...

Powell preferred

The Spectator

Sir: 1 have agreed with almost every word Patrick Cosgrave has written during the past twelve months or so on Mr Heath and the Tory leadership, but it is difficult to go along...


The Spectator

Sir: Supposing I were an expert on a subject of general interest (which I am not) and you wanted me to write a piece about if, would I get a letter something like this? Dear Mr...

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British Israel

The Spectator

Sir: Gerald Ellis raises a historically interesting question when in his letter (January 18) he asks: "Should we not ask Israel to re-join the British Commonwealth?" The...

Sir: Mr Ellis proposes that we should "ask Israel to

The Spectator

re-join the British Commonwealth" (January 18). Apart from the fact that Israel was never a member of the Commonwealth, and that the Commonwealth no longer exists, Mr Ellis...

Enough of Gough

The Spectator

From Dr. J. A. Heel Sir: We welcomed your editorial comments 'Enough of Gough' (December 28, 1974) and also 'Australian states rights' (January 11) which demonstrated an...

Surrender values

The Spectator

Sir: There are several points raised in the article on surrender values in 'A Spectator's Notebook' in the issue of January 11 on which I should like to comment. So far as the...

Never the 'twain

The Spectator

From Miss J. J. Empson Sir: As one who has been brought up a Protestant I find it disturbing that three Roman Catholic bishops are invited to the enthronement ceremony of the...

Columnists •

The Spectator

Sir I am grateful to Bill Grundy for his kind remarks (January 25) about myself. I believe I am known around here, among other things, for my loud guffaws, and my capacity for...

Cncket critic

The Spectator

Sir: It was pleasing to see The Spectator open its columns to a review of the fortunes of the English cricket eleven in Australia (January 18) — the Ashes series being the...

Educational standards

The Spectator

Sir: You are very wide of the mark in your editorial (January 11) when you say Dr Boyson and Mr St John-Stevas can expect little but "opprobrium from most of the teaching...

Latency period

The Spectator

Sir: Among numerous controversial statements asserted as proven facts by John Linklater (January 11), the most obvious is that there is a sexual latency period in children, and...

Ordeal at Greenwich

The Spectator

Sir: What staggering masochism, what awe-inspiring gluttony for punishment is displayed by Kenneth Hurren (January 25). His previous indulgence towards John Osborne's...

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The Spectator

From Professor H. C. McLaren Sir: To complete Mr Leo Abse's review of Babies for Burning (January 18) it is of public interest that the authors had to fight in the courts for...

Eysenck the terrible

The Spectator

Sir: I must write to protest about a passage in Professor Eysenck's review of the latest Ivan Illich book (January 11). Not that I disagree with his views about that fashionable...

From the Revd J. D. Brown Sir: Professor H. J.

The Spectator

Eysenck's review (January 11) has exposed the shrill polemicism of which Ivan Illich's latest book could no doubt be fairly accused. May we now hope that the Professor's...

Ackroyd and Mishima

The Spectator

Sir: Why did Peter Ackroyd write so vituperative a review of Yukio Mishima's The Decay of the Angel? Those of us who have read the preceding three volumes of the tetralogy, The...

Some editors do get 'em

The Spectator

My Dear Sir: I want to make penfriendship particularly with teenagers both boys and girls of your great country. But anybody of any age, colour, religion, male or female,...


The Spectator

Sir: I was interested to see in your issue of January 18 that Larry Adler, in his book review, used the word "gunser to convey the meaning of a hired gunman or assassin. The...

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A Spectator's Notebook

The Spectator

The past week has contained the kernel of great change. Support for Mrs Thatcher has begun to crystallise and Mr Wilson has announced the preliminary conditions of the...

Westminster Corridors

The Spectator

Upon my arrival at the House of Commons, whither I had journeyed on receipt of the intelligence that the Tories would shortly choose a new Paladin to lead them (or, should able...

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Political Commentary

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Setting the stage for the referendum Patrick Cosgrave A great deal of nonsense has already been talked about the manner of the Government's commitment to a referendum on...

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Personal column

The Spectator

Toby O'Brien Dr Coggan has been Archbishop of Canterbury Or "Top Boy of the C. of E.” for a few days now. With the Church in such a ridiculous muddle and having thrown away its...

Calling the tune

The Spectator

Why, surely everyone can see That we're more skilled than thee — or thee. You'll see how we can call the tune, And grant the really priceless boon Of leisure to twelve thousand...

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Abortion law reform (1)

The Spectator

Fact and fiction: replying to Leo Abse Madeleine Simms I write both as a mother of teenage children and as someone who has been professionally involved with the abortion...

Abortion law reform(2)

The Spectator

Permissiveness and pretence Charles B. Goodhart With Mr James White's Abortion (Amendment) Bill coming up in the House of Commons on February 7, reforming the abortion law is...

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Sovereign State

The Spectator

The second of a continuing series of articles dealing with matters relevant to British membership of the EEC and the forthcoming referendum Food prices As world recession...

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Letter from India

The Spectator

Back to the Mahatma Kuldip Nayar The other day the police in New Delhi foiled an attempt by a determined group of young men to install a Mahatma Gandhi statue in a niche where...

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Profile: Lord Denning

The Spectator

The power, not the glory David Wyn Williams Last week in the Court of Appeal, Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls, sitting with Lords Justices Stephenson and Lane, upheld the...

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On not going to law

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Robert Egerton Our system of litigation in England is too slow, too expensive, too cumbersome and too formalistic. Those adjectives are taken from a report* of 'Justice', the...


The Spectator

The wrong war . Bill Grundy You will excuse my laughter, I hope? The fact that I am doubled up will not inhibit conversation, I trust? I am not one to be amused at industrial...

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Ads for art's sake

The Spectator

Philip Kleinman The advertising industry is up in arms about the threat of censorship. No, do not switch off; I am not about to repeat my remarks of last week regarding the...


The Spectator

Timely comparisons Martin Sullivan TO treat the Bible as a continuous narrative is to make the false assumption that Genesis is its first book and that everything else derives...

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The Spectator

Tailored genes Bernard Dixon Muted reportage in the Guardian and the Times, a few seconds on television news, just one sensational headline with the buzz word 'super-bug' —...

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Ian Robinson on Steiner, or how to know everything without really trying

The Spectator

Professor Steiner's style is very off-putting and recognisable*. What a vile phrase-maker he is, and what a bully! Goethe and the Persian singer Hafiz are said to "conjoin their...

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The Spectator

THE ROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS DEC. 1688-JULY 1914. Published by Constable 1934. Box 547. FOULSHAM'S FUN BOOK 1938. J. Ford, 11 The Avenue, Sickley, Bromley, Kent BR1 2BS....

Letters from the editor

The Spectator

Stephen Spender The Letters of J. R. Ackerley edited by Neville Braybrooke (Duckworth E9.50) Any reader who cares to look at a typical number of The Listener of the...

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All the world's a stage

The Spectator

John Mortimer Pirandello: A Biography Gaspare Giudice, translated by Alastair Hamilton (Oxford University Press £3.50). Six Dramatists in Search of a Language Andrew Kennedy...

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In the beginning

The Spectator

Magnus Magnusson Ancient Cosmologies edited by Carmen Blacker and Michael Loewe (Allen and Unwin, £5.95). How did it all start, then? In the beginning was — what? From what...

Coming back

The Spectator

.John Lirtklater Bach from Broadmoor Peter Thompson (Mowbrays £2.95) The most striking thing about Peter Thompson's account of his release from Broadmoor is the dogged courage...

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The Spectator

Little Miss Fate Peter Ackroyd My Struggle Geoff Brown (Weidenfeld and Nicolson £2.65) The Last of the Country House Murders Emma Tennant (Jonathan Cape £2.25) Out Of The War...

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Talking of books

The Spectator

Some old flannel Benny Green Summer is for cricket, winter is for reading about it, and that shrinking brotherhood who beguile the close season by reading old Wisdens through...


The Spectator

Bookend There will be smug grins in clubland this week, for Gee is to die. It will expire, the ineffable Gee Report, at the end of March, just' four years to the day since...

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Kenneth Robinson on Akenfield's lack of wonder

The Spectator

Akenfield Director/producer: Peter Hall. Editor: Rex Pyke. Stars: Peter Tuddenham, Garrow Shand 'LP Paris Pullman (105 minutes). Loved the book; hated the film. Why? Because...

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New York Report

The Spectator

Highs and lows at the Met. Edward M. Schneider We are having our operatic ups and downs in New York this season. The Metropolitan's board has appointed Anthony Bliss as...

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The great bear squeeze

The Spectator

Nicholas Davenport Shares booming, gilt-edged strong — has the market gone mad? As I write, the FT 'thirty' index has touched 226 which is an advance of 54 per cent above its...

A fool and his money

The Spectator

Owning up Bernard Hollowood Are you an own-brand shopper? If not, you are almost certainly slip ping behind in the Great Inflation Handicap and paying as much as five or ten...

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Skinflint's City Diary

The Spectator

The FT index leaps ahead like a hopped-up mountain goat, though God only knows where it will stand by the time you read this. Unfortunately He is not telling, which leaves the...