25 OCTOBER 1975

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What disturbs some people about Mrs Thatcher's public personality is

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her seemingly flawless "normality'. She is so confident in her commitment to traditional bourgeois virtues, so untouched by any temptation to want to appear original, that the...

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, Holland and the NEB

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Sir: Stuart Holland has been responsible for quite a lot of the thinking in the Labour Party on the National Enterprise Board. And, surprise, surprise, we find him producing a...

Fleet Street optimism

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Sir: I refer to the comment in Robert Ashley's column in the current issue of The Spectator in which he says I am "as optimistic as old boots" about the future of Fleet Street,...

Educational . standards Sir: It is difficult to understand Mr Stephen Evans's comments (September 27 ), on the disturbing Manchester 'A'

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and level figures provided by Dr Boyson (August 23). If one considers the relative trends in the figures, be they local or national, the effects of sampling errors, creaming,...

Sectarian prejudices

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Sir: I am pleased that The Spectator printed Mr Chisholm's letter (September 27) on the sinister and subversive advances of Catholicism. Such good Orange vitriol is rarely...

Sir: Mr C. C. Chisholm of Glasgow is wrong about

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the late Eamon de Valera. He never helped the Nezis; in fact his was a benevolent (to Great Britain) neutrality, as was America's. He never hated the British. Casement was not...

Us and them

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Sir: For those of us not of 'the Right,' it is gratifying indeed to have so concise a case to oppose as that presented by Michael Harrington (October 4). He, at least, manages...

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Political commentary

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Mrs Thatcher and the impudent politicians of the FO Patrick Cosgrave Enough has been said elsewhere of Mrs Thatcher's conference debut as Leader of the Conservative Party, of...

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A Spectator's Notebook

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The purpose of the Labour Party Conference is to contain disunity, while that of the Conservatives is to express unity. Usually, the similarity of venue and of bad weather...

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National Health Service (1)

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The predictable crisis John Linklater On January 6, 1973 The Spectator outlined some fatal defects inherent in the NHS, and forecast an inevitable continuing deterioration in...

Westminster corridors

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The revelation by Downing Street servants that our beloved Leader, Mr Harold Wilson, is in the habit of giving 'political gifts' (namely, Gannex handbags) has caused me no...

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National Health Service (2)

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A year for Britain Francis Hemsley Once again the National Health Service is on the brink of collapse, an assertion which has been made frequently during recent years....

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Trade unions

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Democracy at the top ? Jim Higgins Last week postal balloting commenced for several key posts in the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers. It is the hope of some...

Brother, can you spare a dime?

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We're the upper, middle crust, With a very strong right thrust; Victory we'll win next time. But our plans it will disrupt, If we find we go bankrupt. Brother, can you spare a...

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North Sea oil

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Case for a blue-lamp navy Donald Cameron Watt The appointment of Prince Charles to the command in the North Sea next February of a Royal Navy minehunter — a vessel whose...

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Franco, and Dr Herrema Ronan Fanning These are interesting days for governmentwatchers in Dublin. Twice recently the Irish government has clearly demonstrated what sets it...


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New nationalism Peter Brimelow Even at ninety miles an hour the vast nine forests of Northern Ontario roll serenely and effortlessly past the car, apparently without end under...

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Tory Conference Diary

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The Imperialists of Blackpool Angela Huth I must at once admit that the pursuit of politics Is not one of my natural inclinations. Also, being an unadventurous traveller,...

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Autumn books Quentin Bell on Cameron: 'art' for whose sake?

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Even today £20.00 is a g ood deal of money and it is, surely, an indication of the stren g th of prevailing aesthetic appetites that a firm so judicious as Seeker and Warburg...

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Paradox galore

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Philip Mason Clive of India: A Political and Psychological Essay Nirad C. Chaudhuri (Barrie and Jenkins £7.50) When Nirad Chaudhuri first endeared himself to us as an unknown...

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Train freaks

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Hunter Davies The Great Trains Martin Page (Weidenfeld and Nicolson £5.50) The Great Railway Bazaar Paul Theroux (Ha.mish Hamilton £4.50) Train freaks are having a bumper year...

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How to succeed

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Giles Gordon Bound to be Read Robert Lusty (Cape £6.95) For a publisher to write his memoirs must constitute the most extreme form of vanity Publishing known to literate man....

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Doom merchants

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John Maddox How to Avoid the Future Gordon Rattray Taylor (Seeker and Warburg £4.90) Gordon Rattray Taylor is one of the originators of the recent doomsday literature, and...

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Great Scot

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Donald MacRae Cockburn's Millennium Karl Miller (Duckworth £14.00). lo a way the modern world began in the University of Glasgow in the eighteenth century. By the "modern...

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Hard times

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Richard Cobb Society and Culture in Early Modern France Natalie Zemon Davis (Duckworth 0.80) ". . . Throughout the essays I have had a continuing concern about the sources for...

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The big league

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Brian Inglis A Time for Angels Elmer Bendiner (Weidenfeld and Nicolson £7.95) The story of the conception, birth, growing pains and death agonies of the League of Nations has...

King pin

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Douglas Houghton The Cecil King Diary: 1970-1974 (Jonathan Cape £5.95) This is the second of Cecil King's chronicles of the state of gloom of those at the top. Unlike the first...

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On the box

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Paul Fox Richard Dimbleby Jonathan Dimbleby (Hodder and Stoughton £4.95) For any son to write the biography of his father presents a daunting task. When the father concerned...

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Tirades Peter Ackroyd The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, Heinrich Boll (Secker and Warburg £2.90) Dead Babies Martin Amis (Jonathan Cape £3.25). The sub-title of Heinrich...

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Talking of books

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Snow bound Benny Green Of all the millions of words that Anthony Trollope wrote, here are fourteen of my favourites: "It is the firstnecessity of the author's position that he...


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It is astonishing, when you think of it, that no one thought of it before. Now someone has. The Association of Illustrators is to open next month a gallery devoted exclusively...

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Back to the classroom Paul Griffin After many years as a head of two selective schools, I had looked forward to being a classroom teacher again. It was a provincial...

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Lying down with Lamb Robert Ashley I generally try to avoid mentioning Mr .Larry Lamb, a large Yorkshireman who is editor of the Sun. This Is because if you refer to his...

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Country life

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Autumn in Oxfordshire Denis Wood At the Thame Agricultural Show I went first to the cattle tent. Down the lines of cows — Jersey dairy shorthorns, British Friesians, and...


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Protest analogies Martin Sullivan It may seem a far cry from a book in the Old Testament to a play by Jean Anouilh, but the distance is negligible. Anouilh's Antigone and the...

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Checkered career Kenneth Robinson Night Moves. Director: Arthur Penn; stars: Gene Hackman, Jennifer Warren, Susan Clark, Melanie Griffith. 'X' Warner West End (105 mins)....


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Walter Felsenstein Ciitz hiedrich Professor Friedrich, who is producing the new 'Ring' cycle at Covent Garden, is production director of the Hamburg State Opera. Long before...

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Plumbing depths Kenneth Hurren The Plumber's Progress by C. P. Taylor, freely adapted from Burger Schippel by Carl Sternheim (Prince of Wales) First seen last year — by those...

Will Waspe

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Sandersons, the decoration firm, have got more mileage than they can have dreamed of from featuring the National Theatre's director, Peter Hall, in their advertisements. The...


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Protestant heaven John McEwen In true Time magazine style the American travelling exhibition, The World of Franklin and Jefferson (British Museum till November 16) is here...

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The financial crisis

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Nicholas Davenport If rumour does not lie, the reason why MLR (Bank rate) was raised a Whole point from 11 to 12 per cent on black Friday, October 3, was as follows: the...

City notes

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FNFC and lame ducks in lifeboats Skinflint Have you noticed that incompetent managers losing an industrial fortune get government help (RollsRoyce, British Leyland, Ferranti,...

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A fool and his money

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Investment advertising Bernard Hollowood It is expected that - a new code of investment advertising similar to the one prepared for cigarettes by the Advertising Standards...