29 OCTOBER 1977

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Tinker, tailor, car-maker

The Spectator

The Chancellor of the Exchequer continues to tinker with the economy rather than to tailor it. His latest mini-budget is round about his eleventh, depending on how you count...

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Political Commentary

The Spectator

Preambulations Ferdinand Mount If you wish to succeed in politics, one of the techniques you must master is the Misleading Preamble. This is the little phrase with which you...

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The Spectator

David Owen was surprisingly civil to me at a diplomatic reception at the Spanish Embassy, in spite of the very rude criticisms I have made of his handling of the Rhodesian...

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Another voice

The Spectator

Bathroom whispers Auberon Waugh Perhaps it is' asking too much that the Queen should submit to a public whipping by the Maharishi, although her illustrious . predecessor Henry...

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Fear and trembling in South Africa

The Spectator

Allister Sparks Johannesburg Even for a country . so inured to arbitrary police action, some 700 people currently in detention without trial and 150 more silenced under banning...

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A special sea

The Spectator

Peter Nichols Rome There was once a play in which Gertrude Lawrence, looking as glamorous as only she could, made her entry from the garden with the husky announcement: 'I am...

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Victory of the liberal Left

The Spectator

Richard West Bonn The Lufthansa hijacking and the murder of the industrialist, Schleyer, have had an effect on West Germany which is immediately obvious to the Gastarbeiter...

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President Carter's nadir

The Spectator

Nicholas von Hoffman Washington Mr Carter has hit his first nadir. All Presidents have nadirs, some as often as once every six months, others quite rarely. It's the result of...

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The future of terrorism

The Spectator

Walter Laqueur There is at present a world-wide inclination to exaggerate the political importance of terrorism — connected, no doubt, with its sensational character. Nor is it...

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On becoming fifty

The Spectator

George Gale Last Saturday, at around four o'clock in the morning, (so my mother assured me), I became fifty. I was asleep in my bed at the time and was unconscious of anything...

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Books Wanted

The Spectator

LADY CLARKE OF TILLYPRONIE'S COOKERS ., BOOK; almost any1hing by or about John Oliver Hobbes. Recording of Constant Lambert 's ballet suite The Prospect Before Us. Write...

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In the City

The Spectator

The threat to insurance Roy Assersohn The thrifty have had to accustom themselves to watching their savings being eroded by inflation and taxation. They may soon have to...

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The meaning of love

The Spectator

Sir: Leo Abse (22 October) has misunderstood Christian teaching about love when he asserts that 'not all men are worthy of love, and it is an affectation to claim that they...

The 'shadow'

The Spectator

Sir: If Christopher Booker wishes to use Jungian terms, he should try to use them Correctly. In his review of John Fowles's two b ooks (15 October) he claims that the shadow'...

Forest of Dean

The Spectator

Sir: As one who began a student career many years ago in forestry, it saddens me to have to answer Mr Troup's letter (8 October) relating to the Forest of Dean. I know and...

Electoral reform

The Spectator

Sir: You warn of the danger of electing a Labour government to a further term of office (leading article, 15 October) but in order to carry conviction your warning should be...

Horrors of divorce

The Spectator

Sir: Like Jeffrey Bernard (15 October) I too have been forcibly put through the divorce wringer and could easily top his horror stories by some of my own. When I contested the...

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The Finlay show

The Spectator

Sir: With regard to my recent review of Ian Hamilton Finlay's exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery I should like to apologise for two errors of fact which he has kindly brought...


The Spectator

Sir: Thank you for printing Dr Conor Cruise O'Brien's address to the BritishIrish Association (1 October). It made fascinating reading, though it must have been tiring to listen...

Maria Callas

The Spectator

Sir: 'Sempre libera. . .in Act 2' of La Traviata! Mr Reichardt (Letters, 22 October) must do better than that before taking me to task. Robert Skidelsky 18 Abinger Road, London W4


The Spectator

Sir: I am planning a book the sub-title of which will be 'An investigation into royalty as an industry'. It will be about people, world-wide, who have gained fame, fortune, or...


The Spectator

Sir: Rather than take up an inordinate amount of your space by replying to Auberon Waugh's thoughtful and helpful letter, I will state my position, regarding the Arts Council,...


The Spectator

Sir: I am working on a book on the British Disarmament Movement, a section of which is concerned• with the subsequent activities of CND and Committee of 100 supporters. I would...

Less than the truth

The Spectator

Sir: I am compiling a collection of Excuses, sub-titled Lies,Evasions & Deceits, to be published by Blond and Briggs. Any suggestions would be most gratefully received,...

The two who made it

The Spectator

Sir: Mr Pendlebury in his letter of 15 October has fallen into a common error. Besides Caleb and Joshua, Aaron's son Eleazar at least also entered the Promised Land, see Joshua...


The Spectator

Sir: Last week I received at first the Spectator. Your student-seller told me it was a magazine for opticians and if it was not that what I expected, I could return that...

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The Spectator

The strange assumption Conor Cruise O'Brien The Damnable Question: A Study in Anglo-Irish Relations George Dangerfield (Constable £6.95) George Dangerfield's Strange Death of...

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Within the conventions

The Spectator

Paul Fussell Dunkirk: The Great Escape A. J. Barker (Dent £5.95) Dawn on Our Darkness: The Summer of 1940 Roger Parkinson (Hart-Davis, MacGibbon £5.95) Charlie Company Peter...

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The Spectator

Simon Blow Mary Curzon Nigel Nicolson (Weidenfeld and Nicolson E5.95) One of the ironies of this age that strives for equality is its fascination for its opposite and...

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The Spectator

Angela Huth The Women We Wanted to Look Like Brigid Keenan (Macmillan £7.95) The Changing World of Fashion Ernestine Carter (Weidenfeld and Nicolson £8.50) There is undying...

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October Crime

The Spectator

Patrick Cosgrave I had better start this with a warning to writers of crime fiction, and particularly to two of my favourite women. I am getting very fed up with the crime...

Free space Peter Ackroyd Michaelmas Algis Budrys (Gollancz £3.95) They

The Spectator

Kay Dick (Men Lane £2.95; Penguin Books 70p) Science fiction, if it has any value, dedicates itself to the renovation of fictiop; those who read it desperately want to leave the...

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Cooke 's tour

The Spectator

Benny Green Slx Men Alistair Cooke (Bodley Head £4.95) The first duty to perform is to reassure the suspicious: only three of the six portraits have appeared in print before,...

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The Spectator

Regards to Broadway Daniel Halstead New York The new theatre season is upon us here, heralded by that annual festival of press agentry and furor where the bright outlook for...

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The Spectator

High hokum Rodney Milnes Exhumation, restoration and rediscovery were, as ever, the watchwords of the invaluable Wexford Festival. This (the twentyseventh) year's novelty was...


The Spectator

Vivid Ted Whitehead Skoolplay (Theatre Upstairs) Metamorphosis (Cottesios) The Lady from Maxim's (Lyttelton) For Alan Brown, Skoolplay is an unusually restrained and gentle...

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The Spectator

Casualties of the screen Clancy Sigal The Lace-Maker (Academy TWO) Equus (Odeon Haymarket) I cannot entirely join the critical applause which has greeted Claude Goretta's...

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The Spectator

On display John McEwen 'We're all too sophisticated, that's the trouble,' said the female guide at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, as she wearily went through her paces in...


The Spectator

Walden Mitty Richard Ingrams A recent profile of Brian Walden in the Spectator revealed a number of interesting facts. Having known and liked the former member for Ladywood...

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The Spectator

Jungle fare Marika Hanbury Tenison I have just come back from two months in the jungles of Borneo, cooking for the twenty-five scientists at Long Pala on the Melinau River,...


The Spectator

Con-men Jeffrey Bernard I don't as a rule follow court cases. Other people's murders, robberies and frauds don't excite me, but I must admit that adultery and its bedfellows...