29 JULY 1972

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TUC versus Government

The Spectator

The decision of the General Council of the Trades Union Congress to call a one-day General Strike next Monday if the five dockers imprisoned in Pentonville for contempt of the...

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Mr Heath's national crisis The state of the Government is

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at its worst since taking office. The state of the nation is at its worst since Suez. The gravity of the situation is, as we argued in June, masked because "the seriousness of...

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Political Commentary

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A particularly awkward customer Hugh Macpherson There was an interesting little Parliamentary scene in the Commons on Monday, of which knowledge the nation has been deprived...

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A Spectator's Notebook

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I hear that the long exile of Edward du Cann from office may be coming to an end. There is much talk in and around Tory headquarters that the Party's one-time chairman and one...

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State of the nation

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Mr Heath, Government and the law Patrick Cosgrave The industrial confrontation the nature of which was summarised by the imprisonment of five dockers in Pentonville is, in...

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Spassky to win no more John James Bobby Fischer will beat Boris Spassky. Almost everybody is saying that following the sixth game. I was saying it after Fischer's defeat in...

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The Press

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Aggro among the writers Dennis Hackett It is not surprising that contraction in an industry produces a corresponding increase in union militancy. There is nothing like fear...

Corridors . • •

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ONE OF THE luckiest chaps at Westminster is Norman Tebbit who was an airline pilot. He had grave difficulty in convincing the Central Office that he should contest a seat and...

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Liam Hudson on the animal kingdom of Tiger and Fox

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When, in a hundred years or so, historians come to cobble together some account of the twentieth century's thought, one phenomenon is bound to strike them as outstandingly...

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The comic muse

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Auberon Waugh Into Your Bed I'll Creep Peter de Vries (Gollancz £2.00) The tragedy of the comic writer's condition is exactly the opposite of the clown's or stage comedian's....

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Grasping Nettl

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Kenneth Minogue Imagination and Precision in the Social Sciences: Essays in Memory of Peter Nettl Edited by T. J. Nossiter, A. H. Hanson, Stein Rokkan (Faber £6.00) It has...

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After the facts

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J. H. Plumb The Popish Plot John Kenyon (Heinemann £3.75) This is, as a good historical work should be, a book of many dimensions. It can be read as a rattling narrative about...

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The poetry of the medieval world

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Elisabeth Salter Chaucer and the Making of English Poetry P. M. Kean (Routledge and Kegan Paul 2 vols £6.50) Themes and Images in the Medieval English Religious Lyric Douglas...

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Exit drunken Sly, enter intoxicated Fry Kenneth Hurren There are two plays at the Chichester Festival Theatre for the second half of the summer season, but one of them need...

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The Proms

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Bienvenu Cellini Rodney Milnes There are probably, to paraphrase Lord Palmerston, only three people who understand the genesis of the opera Benvenuto Cellini: Berlioz, who's...


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Lady Stardust Duncan Fallowell I am writing about David Bowie, and had originally intended to do so by jotting down on pieces of paper all the appropriate epithets and...

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Will Waspe

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The quality of night-life in London has changed subtly but decisively in the last two decades. One by one the elegant ' cafe society' restaurants, where suave and sophisticated...


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Poles apart in Sztuka Sheldon Williams Sztuka didn't just happen. It was invented. This old-style palace, once the town hall of Lodz, was taken over after the second world war...

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Toad in the hole Christopher Hudson Fritz the Cat ('X' London Pavilion) is Beatrix Potter with a difference. An animated film, the make-believe characters are cats, pigs and...

Arts choice

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• Theatre: This Friday's and Saturday's performances of The Front Page are the last to be seen in the summer repertory of the National Theatre, but their other comedy hit, Tom...

Olympian view

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Benny Green Mount Olympus, Thursday Now that the Games are so very many upon us, there seems to be no reason to suppose that our original optimism, so buoyant when the team was...

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Country life

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Harvest time Peter Quince Quiet amusement, I think, has been the dominant response in our village to that solemn report the other day which told us that the average farmer in...

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Loyal Ulster

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Sir: If the most recent events in Northern Ireland have done nothing else, they may have made it possible for the English young to be prepared to consider the situation in the...

Sir: I wondered what your next Northern Ireland proposals would

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be, after your long-advocated perfect solution showed itself beyond a shadow of a doubt to be an unmitigated failure, leaving the situation even worse than before. (If that was...


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Sir: Mr Maudling's departure from the Cabinet is sad for additional reasons to the ones you state. First, because he is by nature unfanatical. At a time when pro and anti...

Axe to grind

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Sir: In his review (The Spectator, July 15, 1972), Professor Donoghue observes: "If Blake failed in that enterprise, Dr Leavis cannot hope to succeed, but something may still be...


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Sir, — Thought-provoking is what Benny Green's article on bestsellers (July 15) certainly, and most agreeably, is. After doing my book about them I had meant to stop . brooding...

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Enoch and Europe

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Sir: In the Spectator's Notebook (July 22) you pick out Sir Keith Joseph as being next in line for the Premiership now that Mr Maudling has resigned. The electorate know very...

Sir: Like King Canute, some of your correspondents persist in

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trying to stem the tides of history on Britain's decision to enter the EEC. In accordance with our timehonoured constitutional practice, Parliament, by a massive majority...

Break ILEA

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Sir: If Mr Ashley Bramal (Letters July 22) examines the six volumes of Department of Education statistics, he will find that there are only two tables, from which it is possible...

Staff & life

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From Mr Neil Stamford Painter, MS, FRCS, FACS, Sir: I read the article entitled 'Staff of Life' by Bernard Dixon July 15, and was amazed that it should appear under the heading...

Arabs and Jews

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From Air Vice Marshall R. I. Jones Sir: Undoubtedly as your correspondents Mr Sarkiss (July 1) and Mr Amos (July 15) have said, some Arabs were coerced to leave Israel by force...

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Nicholas ' s coffee

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Sir: If Mr Owtram (Letters, July 22) thinks I go to Italy to drink black coffee standing up at a bar and discussing our relative inflations he is very much mistaken. I go for...

VAT truth Sir: So the truth has come out at

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last. In a Parliamentary Answer (Hansard, July 20, col. 172) The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mr. Terence Higgins, said: "VAT is in essence a tax on consumer expenditure...

Pentonville five Sir. I am prepared to make a tiny

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bet that within a matter of days the imprisoned dockers will be known as the 'Pentonville Five.' Such is the feeble condition to which English culture has been reduced that...

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The real money crisis

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Nicholas Davenport In many respects the international monetary crisis is similar to our national crisis in dockland. The rule of law has broken down. In fact, the rule of law...

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Skinflint's City Diary

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Last year I suggested in this column that Mr Sam Wanamaker's proposed re-creation of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre at South wark was the main platform for a giant property...

Juliette 's Weekly Frolic

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Goodwood without newspapers has been in a strangely neglected position. Fortunately the majority of races are being televised but that will not prevent punters cursing all the...

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Account gamble

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Animal foods John Bull There is a much quoted market dictum "never sell on a strike." Unless we are heading directly for a strike of national proportions I think investors...


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Out of the red Nephew Wilde I feel more encouraged this week with the general appreciation of the shares in my portfolio. However, I do have my doubts, in an atmosphere of...

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Volunteers for children

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Eileen Hinton With the advent of the Welfare State, are voluntary organisations necessary? The Invalid Children's Aid Association, concerned with helping handicapped children...

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What is psychotherapy? Jef Smith "Psychotherapy? Down there on the right," said the man at the door. It isn't of course quite as simple as that and my destination was merely a...


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Poor families custos What is a one parent family? The question has of course exercised the Finer Committee ever since it was established. If, for example, a mother has been...

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Overseas Property

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Moving abroad Terry Mahon Having come safely through the complicated process of buying a home abroad one could perhaps be excused for thinking that the business of merely...