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Too much legislation,

The Spectator

and badly drafted at that Lord Palmerston once wondered when the House of Commons would feel satiated with legislation; for — and many of his contemporaries — could not imagine...

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The NHS crisis

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Sir: John Linklater's criticism of the general practitioner's lot (October 18) was, if not constructive, certainly justified. Unfortunately his subsequent comments on hospital...

Press etiquette

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Sir: Spectator (November I) suggests that my colleague Dave Greenaway breached press etiquette by quoting a "senior American official" and, in the next paragraph, observing that...

School indiscipline

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Sir: Indiscipline is a poor word to describe the frequent acts of savagery to which Dr Boyson and other experienced headmasters have drawn attention. The reader may be...

One-parent families

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Sir: Moyra Bremner appealing on behalf of one-parent families (another modest umbrella term like "homeless", covering a multitude of disparate states) cites evidence calculated...

Political myths

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Sir: Mr B. P. Boreham (October 18) thinks that "the philosophy of Toryism" is "little more than a rationalisation of selfishness." If there is such a thing as a rationalisation...

Printing money

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Sir: There is a tendency for some of your contributors (but not, I hasten to add, Nicholas Davenport) to suggest that the government can "print money" or that "the Bank of...

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Linc s.

The Spectator

Lodge, Gelston, Grantham,

Belief and reason A • was greatly interested in Mr

The Spectator

John A . Hall's assertion (November I) that Chnstians have no use for a deus ex tYlac hina type of deity. From this I conclude he would not countenance, the days of prayer...

For Heath • • •

The Spectator

sir I have been slightly alarmed by the P ro fusion of letters recently published 1 1. 1 ] Your magazine berating Mr Heath for 8 "volte-face" in office and especially fOr fOr...

and against

The Spectator

Sir: To take issue with Spectator is, I imagine, akin to challenging the Establishment. But I feel I must. In my letter re the change of ownership, fearing a change of...

No capitulation

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From Mrs Isla Atherley Sir: I was sorry to read Mr Ian Davidson's strictures on the Government's demand for a separate seat at the coming oil conference. It is quite ludicrous...

Market hazards

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Sir: Having read last month the sensible letter from a Mr Pegler on the subject of unharmonious Community relations (Letters, October 11), I am galvanised into action, and,...

Getting it right

The Spectator

Sir: May a New Yorker express her gratitude to The Spectator for Brendan Gill's 'No more jokes' (October 25). It was something that badly needed saying, on both sides of the...

Information please

The Spectator

Sir: I am engaged on a commissioned history of the British Public School and would be most grateful if any of your readers had information which they thought might be of use or...

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Political commentary

The Spectator

And by opposing, end them? Patrick Cosgrave Opposition, like chastity, may be good for the soul, but few politicians are enamoured of it. Powerlessness corrupts, it has been...

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A Spectator's Notebook

The Spectator

Old age," General de Gaulle once observed, "is a shipwreck." He applied the remark to Petain, but there were many, among his friends as well as his enemies, who applied the...

irlippocratic oath . We, who have sworn the Hippocratic oath,

The Spectator

Are dedicated to a noble cause, To cure man's ills, unsparing, never loath, To give our all, without a moment's pause. The English home's a castle, it is said, Where the...


The Spectator

Publicity for the scheme was organised by another figure of the political past, Toby O'Brien, once director of publicity at Central Office and himself a former president of the...

Stout party

The Spectator

Even the elderly or aged or just plain old are not, unfortunately, immortal. The other week that great detective story writer, Rex Stout, died at the age of eight - eight....

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Economics, yesterday and today

The Spectator

Who are the radicals now? Samuel Brittan re - ven took up hunting myself but not too seriously. On one hunt with the Old Berkeley I was about to take a fence when a lady,...

Westminster corridors

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There is nothing in which Men more deceive themselves than when they seek to be Luminaries. There are so many Passions that hide themselves within and so many Mischiefs arising...

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The Spectator

Marxist wolves in sheep's clothing John Organ The Spanish opposition — if such a neat label can be used for the motley score of illegal parties and groups who have fought the...

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The Spectator

Clouds over Stormont Rawle Knox That unwelcome document, the Northern Ireland Convention's Constitution Bill, landed In Westminster this week; as it did so all the old storm...

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Trade unions

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Clive Jenkins tomorrow the world Jim Higgins The great trade union growth area of the last fifteen years has been among the white collar workers. In weighty sociological...


The Spectator

The end isn't Nye Kenneth Hurren In the midst of life, Clive Gammon 00 1 remarked in these pages, we are in Wales. 4 thought of that on Monday in Tredegar, a O W ] little...

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The Spectator

Soviet coping David Levy By the time the Olympic Games open here in 1980, there will be free travel in and out of the Soviet Union, if one is to believe the porters at...

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The Spectator

Cross against crescent A correspondent In the past two weeks the urban civil war in the Lebanon has claimed 3,000 dead. The fighting between Christian and Moslem private...

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Italian letters

The Spectator

Coming and goings George Armstrong A Mussolinian slogan, inscribed for eternity around the cornice of one of Fascism's more absurd marble halls in Rome, says that "Italy is...

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The Spectator

Peter Washington The Apeman Cometh Adrian Mitchell (Jonathan Cape £2.50) The Best of Henri Adrian Henri (Jonathan Cape £2.50) Living In A Calm Country Peter Porte; (Oxford...

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Up for grabs

The Spectator

Shiva Naipaul The Lost Paradise Philip Caraman (Sidgwick and Jackson £5.95) in the midst of all the dark history of the Indian since the discovery of the New World, the...

Down market

The Spectator

Robert Skidelsky Money: Whence it Came. Where It Went John Kenneth Galbraith (Andre Deutsch £4.25). John Kenneth Galbraith is an original and brilliant economist with a gift...

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The Spectator

Ian Davidson The Valpreda Papers Pietro Valpreda (Gollancz £6.00) Letters from Prison Antonio Gramsci (Jonathan Cape £4.50). On December 12, 1969, a bomb exploded at the Banca...

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Talking of books

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Pedantic Whimsy Benny Green A certain ambivalence of attitude towards the New Yorker colours my reaction to Brendan Gill's lavish celebration of all the wonderful, beautiful,...


The Spectator

I am beginning to wonder about the literary editor of the Spectator, one Peter Ackroyd. This year he was invited to be a judge for the £5,000 Booker Prize, one of whose purposes...

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The Spectator

Ordeal by jury Michael Stourton After each battle, I've read, the survivors begin to think the bullets aren't meant for them. By the same kind of token I, too, thought I was...

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'Are groups

The Spectator

Access for whom? Moyra Bremner _ "If you can't beat them join them” seems to have been the sentiment behind the demand for 'access' television. For according to the Speakers...


The Spectator

The violent children Rhodes Boyson, MP Last month saw the publication of Dr Lowenstein's report for the National Association of Schoolmasters (NAS) on violence in schools. The...

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The Spectator

The old men of Fleet Street Robert Ashley It is a measure ot how far my devotion to the call of duty exceeds the normal bounds, and how far my obedience to the commands of my...


The Spectator

Food hygiene Bernard Dixon Spike Milligan was bothered recently by a sticker on a packet of jam tarts which insisted: These tarts must be eaten before the 7th of November....

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Reli g ion

The Spectator

.Apocryphal comfort Martin Sullivan On a Trinity Sunday evening during some of the darkest days of the war, when this country stood naked before her enemies and invasion seemed...

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The Spectator

Theatre Two to cheer, two to jeer Kenneth Hurren The Playboy of the Western World by J. M. Synge (Old Vic) The Sea Gull by Anton Chekhov (Lyric) Farjeon Reviewed, devised by...


The Spectator

On the rare side Rodney Milnes As an international festival Wexford is at the crossroads. The whole enterprise is made possible by a pool of voluntary back-stage helpers, and...

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The Spectator

Howard Hodgkin John McEwen Jeremy Rees founded the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol some years ago, but its enhanced status, now that it's moved to a converted tea warehouse on...


The Spectator

Nostalgia Kenneth Robinson Hester Street. Director: Joan Micklin Silver. Stars: Steven Kents, Carol Kane, Dorrie Kavanaugh. `LY Academy 1(100 mins) The film of the week is...

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The Spectator

Revolt of the old boys' brigade Nicholas Davenport The reason why I thought the FT equity index, having topped 350, should move up to 400 was because the institutional...

City notes

The Spectator

Neddy must go! Skinflint Let Neddy die a graceful death, rather than go on prolonging its present zombie-like state of simu lated life. It has been dead for some time though a...

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A fool and his money

The Spectator

Sitting - room treasure Bernard Hollowood Perhaps the most remarkable example of the transmogrification of junk into treasure was that of the cracked chamber pot. This piece...