4 OCTOBER 1975

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A task for Wilson, and a lesson for the Labour Party

The Spectator

Labour has assembled in Blackpool this week in an atmosphere dark with internal acrimony and accompanied by much external gloating over the prospect — greatly exaggerated by...

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Another Grierson?

The Spectator

From the Rt Hon. Lord George-Brown Sir: Turning this week — as is my habit — to your 'Economics and the City' page, my attention was unusually attracted to the second piece...


The Spectator

Sir: A large responsibility for the mindless new extremism described by Patrick Cosgrave (September 20) can be attributed to the philistinism which has crept into our education...

Sir: So often have politicians 'deplored' all that they are

The Spectator

too timid to challenge, to denounce, or to arrest, that the word has become depreciated and is about to join the company of 'awful" and 'nice'. Unlike politicians, many people...

The gold yardstick

The Spectator

Sir: It may interest Nicholas Davenport, who regards the fall in the price of gold as "a deplorable and dangerous happening in the depressed world economy" (September 27), to...

Gifted children

The Spectator

Sir: Educating the very gifted child with extremely high intelligence will always present problems, no matter how or where it is carried out. Nevertheless, such exceptional...

Educational realism

The Spectator

Sir: Mr Stephen Evans in his letter on education (September 27) shows a lack of information about his subject in saying that Dr. Boyson is unrealistic, particularly in his...


The Spectator

From Dr Satya B. Sen Sir: Referring to the expansion-contraction theory of the universe of some cosmologists Tom Margerison in his short article 'Radio astronomy. The old laws...

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Morality and religion

The Spectator

Sir: John Linklater's attack on "a report published under the auspices of the National Foundation for Educational Research" (September 6) should not go unanswered. The...

Lost words

The Spectator

Sir: Far be it from me to suggest that the BBC choral forces found the National Anthem either tricky or unfamiliar at the Last Night of the Proms. The complaint in my review...

From the French

The Spectator

Sir: It wasn't Sir Karl Popper — not originally, anyway. Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien is a famous French proverb. Robert McEwen Marchmont, Greenlaw, Berwickshire

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Political commentary

The Spectator

No highway Michael Harrington I argued last week that the fundamental decline of Britain as a Great Power was historically unavoidable. It is natural for us to be a power of...

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A Spectator's Notebook

The Spectator

It was interesting, not to say extraordinary, to return from a holiday in Spain and go almost directly to the Labour Party Conference in Blackpool. The day before I left Spain,...

Beside the seaside

The Spectator

(To be sung to the tune of 'I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside') Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside! I do like to bask in weather fair. I do like to speak to all my...

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Conference present

The Spectator

A way out of the fog? John P. Mackintosh, MP It seems unlikely that anything that happens at any of the party conferences this autumn will be of the slightest importance....

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Conferences past

The Spectator

I shall miss Blackpool.. • Jane McKerron I shall miss Blackpool this year; mostly because no editor — short-sighted, unimaginative fellows that they are — has thought to...


The Spectator

The London Training Division of Control Data Corporation who make the world's most powerful computer have vacancies on training-entry scheme for alert, determined people between...

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Labour and Ireland

The Spectator

FitzGerald, Rees and the credibility gap Frank Delaney The Irish have always recognised a National Inferiority Complex, particularly in the shadow of things British. On grey...

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Jones and the unions

The Spectator

The Colossus of roads Jim Higgins Just recently a senior civil servant, heavily involved with Treasury and Downing Street matters, made the interesting observation: "Every day...

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The Spectator

Franco's last stand John Organ The shots which rang out at dawn on September 27 from firing squads at barracks in Madrid, Burgos and Barcelona will echo for a long time and...


The Spectator

With the rebels Peter Gillman My request for a permit to travel out of the Chad capital,N'Djamena, faced M. BitanqueY of the Ministry of the Interior with a problem. He did...

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Britain and America

The Spectator

Low ratings Christopher Fildes Britain's credit — economic, political, social — is being destroyed in the United States. For that, we have ourselves to blame. We need that...

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Spectator peregrinations

The Spectator

It must be a comment on the state of this nation that Inter-Continental Hotels, owned by Pan Am, last week opened a branch at Hyde Park Corner. Inter-Continental Hotels were...

Westminster corridors

The Spectator

Some Days since, 1 had occasion to go out of Town in one of these new-fangled Steam Trains, where I had for my Fellow Traveller a tatty Beau. Having no inclination to Talk much...

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W ill

The Spectator

Waspe Mr Harold Lever, the recently-appointed overlord of the arts, is finding it a hard task to reach a decision as to who should succeed the preposterous Hugh Jenkins as Arts...

Book marks

The Spectator

I am sorry that World Books, the reprint book club jointly owned by W. H. Smith and Doubleday, has ignored my remarks of six months ago. At that time I challenged the wording of...

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Stuart Holland on global capitalism and British socialism

The Spectator

Anyone who saw The Mattel Affair this summer might well be forgiven for thinking the film exaggerated. Its reportage thesis included the claim that the founder and head of...

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Keeping faith

The Spectator

John Mortimer The Letters of Sean O'Casey Volume One: 1910-1941 Edited by David Krause (Cassell E12.50) Not the least of the destructive effects of the present conduct of...

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Saint and sinner

The Spectator

Christopher Hollis Evelyn Waugh Christopher Sykes (Collins £5.50) It would be hardly sane to attempt a biography of Evelyn Waugh after the fashion of Victorian hagiography,...

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Dog days

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Malcolm Bradbury _ Thurber: A Biography Burton Bernstein (Gollancz £6.50) James Thurber was one of the great modern humorists — "a loose-fitting and ugly word," he said, and...

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Man of parts

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George Gale Nicholas Tomalin Reporting. With an introduction by Ron Hall (Andre Deutsch £4.95) Nicholas Tomalin was killed in the Golan Heights on October 17, 1973, reporting...


The Spectator

Pleasure principle Peter Ackroyd The Peacock Spring Burner Godden (Macmil lan £3.95) The Violent Brink Anthony Beevor (John Murray £3.50) Burial of the Vine Petru Popescu...

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Talking of books

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The case of the pprloined letters Benny Green At frequent junctures in his critical life, Edmund Wilson voiced his unease at the practice of battening on to the contents of...

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The Spectator

Thomas von Braun's schooldays Logie Bruce Lockhart In spite of all the prophecies of doom, the most remarkable change in public school intake this year has not been any...

Community service

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Young volunteers Joan Woollcombe Modern community service is spreading across a wide cross-section which ranges from offenders and Borstal boys to school leavers, graduates,...

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Country life

The Spectator

Early autumn Denis Wood Apples be ripe and nuts be brown Petticoats up and trousers down. This ribald jingle, which I think must come from one of Theodore Powys's books —...

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The Spectator

Crying woe Robert Ashley A one-legged man I know told me, some years ago, that I could be the new Cassandra if I wanted. I have been trying ever since to work out what he...


The Spectator

Suffering Martin Sullivan The problem of suffering may remain insoluble, but attempts to find some answers are clear indications that a relationship between purpose and chance...

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The Spectator

Make 'em laugh Kenneth Hurren Comedians by Trevor Griffiths; Nottingham Playhouse production (Old Vic) Did you hear about the last request of the aristocratic Spanish...


The Spectator

Highbrow thrills Kenneth Robinson Three Days of the Condor. Director: Sydney Pollack. Stars: Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway AA' Empire (120 mins). The Reincarnation of Peter...

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San Sebastian Festival

The Spectator

Mad sharks and journalists Philip Bergson The weather was beautiful, the place is beautiful, the beautiful people turned up in force — and the films were very good too. San...


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On the move Rodney Eines After the opening salvos in London (both barrels slightly foxed), the operatic action has moved decisively to the regions. The Welsh National Opera is...

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The Spectator

Merz's maths John McEwan Mario Merz's exhibition, on public view at the Institute of Contemporary Arts till October 3, costs 40p admission and, because the gallery is totally...


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Royal blues Robin Young There are eight or nine choreographic versions of el Amor Brujo, and I have seen most of them. None has been a success. No choreographer of the top...

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Back to 1960

The Spectator

Nicholas Davenport In his important article last week Ronald Grierson objected to the use of the words 'mixed economy' because they suggest a false harmony or togetherness —...

Skinflint's City Notes

The Spectator

Several top UK executives have recently gone off the record to say that they are keen to invest but one place they will avoid like the plague will be the UK. Foreign businessmen...

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A fool and his money

The Spectator

Hobby horse Bernard Hollowood I am not the first individual to suppose that investment could be practised efficiently as a hobby, and to have been proved wrong. The human...