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Racial justice: blowing on theflames?

The Spectator

The best, as Sir Karl Popper once observed, is often the enemy of the good; and the exceptionally well-intentioned new White Paper on race relations, if its proposals are ever...

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Abortion answers

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From Dr C. B. Goodhart Sir: Lord Houghton asks (September 13) what were the grounds for aborting the six foetuses appearing in a recent advertisement in The Spectator....

Agencies at work

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Sir: Two weeks Ago our local weekly newspapers, the Croydon Advertiser Group, which covers a wide area of S. London, headed, their editorial 'The Misery of Unemployment' and...

Op tin g out Sir: It seems probable that the Houghton Committee

The Spectator

on Aid to Political Parties will be strongly influenced by the recently published PEP paper Paying for Party Polities: The Case for Pulic Subsidies. The recommendations are, to...

Inflation Inc.

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Sir: It was refreshing to read Bill Jamieson's 'The inflation machine'. 1 only wish that our masters at Westminster and the Councils of the Accountancy bodies would read and...


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Sir: Thank you for publishing the letter from Diane Munday on 'Alliances' (September 6). It contained just the sort of information one likes to have at one's fingertips....

Gold bugs

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Sir: There seemed to be a slight contradiction between the concern expressed by Nicholas Davenport (September 13), and widely pre-echoed elsewhere, for the present plight of the...

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Rhodesian problem

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From Colonel Douglas Kennedy Sir: I believe that Rhodesia could still become a democratically run multi-racial state, its franchise for voters being extended on attainment of...

Getting it taped

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Sir: Perhaps Hugh Macpherson (`Getting people taped,' September 13) can derive consolation from considering that as alcoholism, mental illness, homosexuality, criminal...

In reply

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Sir: Mr Stern's learning is doubtless in proportion to the piety attested by his defence of the reality of Moses against my doubts. But the standard works which I consulted all...

No headlines

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Sir: Last week saw yet another series of horrifying and tragic events — two people killed in the London bomb-blast; sectarian killings in Northern Ireland; and over 2,000...

The final solution

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Sir: My own prediction is longer term than Paul Griffin's (September 13). In about twenty years, the middle class will have taken full advantage of the national comprehensive...

Moderate fanatics

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Sir:It is quite extraordinary that the little incident at Newham Town Hall should excite so much outrage and publicity. Are the Labour Party and Mr Roy Jenkins so feeble that a...

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Political Commentary

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The new extremism? Patrick Cosgrave The cloud on the horizon which is no bigger than a man's hand is one of the clicMs both of fiction and of politico-philosophical...

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A Spectator's Notebook

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Newspaper stories about threats to Jeremy Thorpe's leadership of the Liberal Party are not entirely wrong. But according to informed Liberals, they are a couple of years...

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World poverty

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Small talk at the UN Malcolm Rutherford New York As the Chinese Minister for Foreign Trade, Mr Li Chiang, remarked the other day: "The current international situation is...

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Scottish Tories

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Problems for Mrs Thatcher Ian Ross All politicians need luck, but some at least can make their own. Mrs Thatcher, on her fourth visit to Scotland inside six months, seems to...

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The Spectator

Slowly does it David Howell Unemployment 1975 style is plainly not the financial hardship it was. But if there are oddities in our social security and P.A.Y.E. system overdue...

Middle East

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Crisis in Lebanon Patrick Seale The frenzied blood-letting in Lebanon over the past five months is the ugly discharge from an underlying social and political abscess. Is there...

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Nuclear energy

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Conflict in Ottawa Thomas Land The Canadian government has decided to sell atomic reactors to Argentina and South Korea, both of which are likely to follow India's path...

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Englishmen abroad

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God and garlic John Organ A storks' nest teeters on the tower of the long, low baroque building in a dusty backstreet of Valladolid, central Spain. The unknowing passerby...

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Spectator peregrinations

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About turns. Enoch Powell wrote in the Director last week that "The U-turn is the Prime Minister's normal mode of progression: it is as natural to him as it is to a crab to walk...

Westminster corridors

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There is, at present, a Tumult in the Town occasioned by the throwing of a Bag of Flour at our Gentle and Respected Home Secretary, Mr Woy (as in "Rol de la Reine") Jenkins...

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The Spectator

W as pe In a recent letter to the Times the Minister for the Arts, Hugh Jenkins, MP, promoted his Marxist ideology by enthusiastically recommending the imposition of a wealth...

Book marks

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I feel bound to commend the initiative of Routledge and Kegan Paul who, along with other academic publishers, are finding life particularly tiresome in these inflationary times....

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The Spectator

Hugh Lloyd-Jones on the 'classic' in modern times Professor Kermode has taken as the starting point of his T. S. Eliot Lectures* the address 'What is a Classic?' which Eliot...

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Narrow vision

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John Grigg Recasting Bourgeois Europe: Stabilisation in France, Germany and Italy in the Decade after World War I Charles S. Maier (Princeton University Press £16.00)...

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Old lace

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Quentin Bell Things I remember, an autobiography Erte (Peter Owen £7.50) A rather stiff price; but for the lovers of Erte, and their name is legion, it will no doubt seem a...

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Musical parts

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Philip Hope-Wallace An Autobiography Igor Stravinsky (Calder and Boyars 0.95) Erik Satie James Harding (Seeker and Warburg £5.75) Gustave Mahler and the Courage To Be David...


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Peter Holland Sublime and Grotesque W. D. Howarth (Harrap £12.75) The English have always been parochial over drama. Brought up to believe in the supreme excellence of...

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Food for thought Peter Ackroyd The Sly Servant Caroline Dilke (Chatto and Windus £3.50). This first novel, which ought to be followed by many more, opens on a fragile note....

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Talking of books

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Blighty Benny Green To anybody whose brain works in a reasonably logical fashion, there is almost nothing about the running of the First World War which makes the slightest...

Crime Compendium

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It's not that I dislike women quite the contrary but, as I have had occasion to remark before in this column, their increasing dominance of the world of crime and thriller...

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The Spectator

Education Crisis in higher education (1) Rhodes Boyson In 1963 at the time of the Robbins Report it was indeed bliss to be alive and a junior university lecturer. The future...


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Facing the truth Robert Ashley Having a great deal of respect for Lord Hartwell, and an even greater respect for his formidable wife, Lady Pamela, who has never yet invited me...

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A matter of faith Martin Sullivan A man who judges his neighbour's religious life by performance or on the basis of a profit and loss account has no real understanding or...

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The Spectator

Human error John Linklater A young staff nurse faced the Hammersmith coroner last week and told him, in direct and collected terms, the story of a tragedy which resulted in...


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Safety first at sea John Groser Seven years ago this month, while i was writing a history of the 'Observer Singlehanded Translatlantic Yacht Races', I talked with Blondie...

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Sweet sinners in Edinburgh Rodney Milnes The Scott Memorial is (like his literary reputation?) festooned in scaffolding; licensing hours have been extended (last orders at...


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John Panting John Mchwen John Panting (Serpentine Galleri, h K e e r n 2 s 8 in ) gton Gardens, till SeptJohn Panting was killed in a motor, bike accident last year at the age...

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Black comedy Kenneth Robinson Mending° Director: Richard Fleischer Stars: Perry King, Susan George, James Mason, Ken Morton 'X' Plaza One (140 mins.) I know you're all anxious...

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The Spectator

An open letter to Jack Jones Nicholas Davenport Dear Mr Jones, I do not know Whether you ever read The Spectator but there was a piece on August 30th in the City columns about...

Skinflint's City Notes

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If complex devious plots appeal to you, hark at this one. It is the brainchild of a politically aware City man. The Labour Party cannot abandon its policies even when they are...

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A fool and his money

The Spectator

Chairmen in danger Bernard Hollowood Board Meeting of the Snacker and Diplocket Small Things Co (1928) Ltd. Present: Ephraim Diplocket, Lord Billican, Brigadier Slough...