21 DECEMBER 1974

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The pagan society and the Christian impulse

The Spectator

"A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight." Thus Proverbs 11, 1. And then, "When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is...

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Skinflint and Shelter

The Spectator

Sir: The description of myself in Skinflint's City Diary (December 7) as a 'bumbling, mild-mannered Quaker' is infinitely preferable to that of being hard-faced, ruthless and...

Ulster contradiction

The Spectator

Sir: In its wisdom Westminster marked Ulster out as a self-governing area, unasked. The province's institutions included a parliament, elected by universal suffrage, and a...

Postal charges

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Sir: Mr Tom Jackson, the Postal Workers' Union secretary, used a curious argument on radio the other day in defence of the forthcoming increased postal charges — those on the...

Tory truths

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Sir: I am glad Patrick Cosgrave has gone part way to expose the Heathian "I told the truth" ploy (December 7) For if Mr Heath did tell the truth in February and October — and I...


The Spectator

Sir: Patrick Cosgrave clearly believes (November 30) that only Churchill could have written the speeches he later delivered to such effect, He apparently prefers to forget that...


The Spectator

Sir: Skinflint last week misinterpreted the purpose of the Shareholders' Management Corporation proposed in my book Big Business and Government: the New Disorder. It would be...

Eternal verifies

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From Dr Margaret White, JP Sir: The Dean of St Paul's (December 7) accuses the general synod of the Church of England of not "facing up to the question" of the marriage in...

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22 Upfield, Croydon Words Sir: The light may have been

The Spectator

"particularly good," but not good enough, it Must seem, to disperse Mr Gale's t autological fog (December 7). It is Possible that your diarist may have c onsumed the type of...

,Sir: In writing (December 7) that he has 'caught the

The Spectator

OED out" on the word e xclaustrate, George Gale is presuma,blY not rebuking it for its failure to t Oresee that the Times would one day Use it, but is implying that it was av...

British Leyland and the Arabs

The Spectator

Sir: Not long ago, British Leyland had a long-term contract with the Israeli Government to build an assembly plant in Israel from which was supplied the bus fleet on which the...

Defence cuts

The Spectator

From Major D. C. Hawley Sir: While it may be an interesting exercise to compare our defence spending as a proportion of our national income with our European allies, what has to...

School indiscipline

The Spectator

Sir: What a lot of fuss is being made about school indiscipline! If a boy kicks his teacher on the shin, a little arnica would soon put it right. Meanwhile the boy, who did not...

Rowse and Rackhant

The Spectator

Sir: In a review in your issue of December 7 Dr Rowse mentions in passing that "there appears to be no notice" of Arthur Rackham in the Dictionary of National Biography. Rackham...

Angela Brazil

The Spectator

Sir: 1 have been commissioned by Allen Lane to write a book on the life and works of the late Angela Brazil. If any of your readers have personal anecdotes, letters or...

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Political Commentary

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The old fox in charge Patrick Cosgrave The period even since the October election has been a deeply depressing one for the ordinary, politically interested citizen; and even...

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A Spectator's Notebook

The Spectator

It seems clear that his withdrawal from the race for the Tory leadership will not deprive us of Major speeches in Sir Keith Joseph's developing campaign on the re-thinking of...

Westminster Corridors

The Spectator

Now, 'tis a rare event even in these frenzied days for the Heirs to a great Fortune to commence disputing over the Spoils whilst the present Owner remains hale and hearty, and,...

Lobby lyrics -6

The Spectator

Though Gertrude, Lady Gushing, fights Unceasingly for women's rights, She makes it very clear that she Does not demand equality, For this, she reasons, would infer That men...

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Treasure hunts

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Dreaming of a gold Christmas Benny Green There has been a lot of talk recently about the virtues and vices of investing in gold; you may keep your krugerrands under your...

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Common Market (1)

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Brussels wants our oil Douglas Jay, MP How many people in this country realise that the Common Market Commission, having successfully riveted on the UK a highly damaging food...

Common Market (2)

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Does France want us out? Gerald Segal ■•■••••• Was the real French purpose in calling last week's summit conference of heads of govern ment to renegotiate Britain out of the...

Happy Christmas

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We celebrate a baby's birth, The season of goodwill on earth. Peace, contentment to all men; The gun's less mighty than the pen. This year we certainly won't cut Our Christmas...

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American Letter

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The President gets smart Al Capp Even our most loyal Republicans were beginning to wonder if Lyndon Johnson hadn't summed it all up when he said that Gerald Ford couldn't walk...

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The Spectator

Working for William Hickey James Hughes-Onslow Perhaps the • thorniest problem to confront Alistair Burnet as he settles into the editor's chair at the Daily Express will be:...

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• Personal column

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George Gale The general theory amongst the marketeers is that Harold is in the bag, and Jim Callaghan along with him. It is a comfortable theory for the marketeers, and I have...

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Changes and sex changes for Santa

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Geoffrey Humphrys In December, the big stores of London and most big cities add a further name to their staff lists: Father Christmas. But the past few years have been times of...

Christmas morning

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Martin Sullivan Poetry and music describe Christ's birth and the bleak manger is the centre of devotion with apocryphal ass and ox to add to the figures of mother and child and...

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The Spectator

Suicide squad .Grundy You will remember that when told lo desist, in case he hurt himself, the madman replied, "If I can't bang lirlY head against my own mantelPiece, whose...


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Inside every adman...? Philip Kleinman One Sunday I saw passing beneath my window several carts decked out with legs of ham. In the carts were men dressed up as sausages...

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The Good Life

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Gullet and palate Pamela Vandyke Price Books to give to the serious eater and drinker have to be piping hot off the press, because otherwise they will already have been bought...


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Crazy . fancies? Bernard Dixon There's a cautionary tale, for those of us who believe politician s should take more interest in the affairs of science, in the recent doings of...

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Deciduous hedges Denis Wood For anyone with perception and a little patience, living hedges make the finest fences. They are varied, always interesting to look at and, if...

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J. Enoch Powell on Rees-Mogg's golden calf

The Spectator

This entertaining book* may be divided into three parts, which sustain three separate and mutally independent propositions. With one I agree; from the other two I dissent. They...

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Sambos in.

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the sun? Skip Gates Time on the Cross. The Economies of American Negro Slavery, and Supplement: Evidence and Methods Robert William Fogel and Stanley L. Engerman (Wildwood...

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War games

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Miles Copeland The Ultra Secret F. W. Winterbotham (Weidenfield and Nicolson £3.25) Spy Counter-Spy Dusko Popov (Weidenfeld and Nicolson £3.75) As everybody knows, we...

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The Spectator

Future imperfect Peter Ackroyd The Memoirs of a Survivor, Doris Lessing (Octagon Press £2.95) The Men from P./.G. and ROBOT. Harry Harrison (Faber and Faber £1.95) Miss...


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Bookend Bookbuyer is pleased to learn that Mr Ernie Godfrey; salesman extraordinary, is to make his colourful presence felt once more in the book trade. Godfrey, it may be...

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Will Waspe reviewing the• reviewers

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John Dexter, one of the associate directors at the National Theatre, was quoted somewhere the other day as saying that a lot of the critics would be better off as racing...

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The crisis deepens

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Nicholas Davenport The buck stops here, as Harry Truman would have said if he were alive today to write this column. The figures on my desk, which would have conjured up this...

A fool and his money

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Rentenpound for Britain ? Bernard Hollowood Mr Kan Wigglesworth, Labour MP for Teesside Thornaby, wants the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make the hoarding of South African...

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Economic theory

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Fashions in folly Russell Lewis That very wise old Tory, Sir Kenneth Pickthorn, once remarked that one of the main duties of the Conservatives was to oppose whatever was...

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Skinflint's City Diary

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Pity the poor senior civil servants who have to work for Anthony Wedgwood Benn. Morale among the top men at the Department of Industry is bumping along the basement and Jong...