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Shakespeare was a Tory

The Spectator

It is not in the least surprising that the cultural establishment has a very pronounced left-wing bias: the abiding influences of ideas of scientific progress, of Darwinian...

Page 4

Miss World and the peace of the world On December

The Spectator

1, among a horde of other gorgeous girls, Miss Finland paraded before Mr Michael Aspel. He — such folly is there in the world — asked her what her judgement was of the talks now...

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Political Commentary

The Spectator

The cost of Denis Healey Patrick Cosgrave There is one political instinct which Mr Denis Healey most conspicuously lacks — the instinct for the jugular. I say this in full...

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Corridors . . .

The Spectator

SIR GOFFREY COX, Puzzle hears, is to be the next chairman of the Governors of the BBC. This is regarded as a sop to New Zealanders offended both by the EEC and the recently...

Page 8

A Spectator's Stockholm Notebook

The Spectator

In Stockholm, November is the worst month of all. October allows the Swedes to go on feeling European: the sun shines until early evening and the weather is. mild enough even to...

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The Spectator

Thinking the Thoughts of Mao Michael Meacher "If I had a son, I wouldn't encourage him to become the chairman of a revolutionary committee. I'd want him to go into the army,...

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Compton Mackenzie (1)

The Spectator

The road from Sinister Street Denis Brogan One of the themes of Somerset Maugham's admirable literary debunking job, Cakes and Ale, is the stress on the age of the great man...

Compton Mackenzie (2)

The Spectator

Twenty-two unwritten books Benny Green Since Sir Compton Mackenzie died last week I have been thinking of twenty-two books which will never be written now. Seven years ago, in...

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The Channel Tunnel

The Spectator

Us against Them Alan F. Cornish The Fox River rises in Lake Fox, northern Illinois, near Chicago. It is a heavily polluted river. The factories which line its banks use it as...

Page 14

David Harsent on R. S. Thomas and other poets

The Spectator

The poetry of R. S. Thomas, justly admired in the past, always seemed at its best in those sour, reformative lyrics which noted man's spiritual diminution by way of nicely...

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On an under valued triumph...

The Spectator

Auberon Waugh The Grey Sheep Peter de Polnay (W. H. Allen £2.00) At this time of year, as I remarked a few weeks ago, publishers bring out novels by foreigners and others who...

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. . . and a tragedy

The Spectator

The World and Nigeria Suzanne Cronje (Sidgwick and Jackson £5.95) Mrs Cronje's is the third lengthy tome on the Nigerian Civil war to appear since Biafra's collapse in January...

Fine lines and foul fancies

The Spectator

Patrick Rogers Rowlandson: A New Interpretation. Ronald Paulson (Studio Vista E5) Rowlandson: Watercolours and Drawings. John Hayes (Phaidon £7) Artistically Rowlandson was a...

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Politics without pain

The Spectator

Kenneth Minogue Political Theory and Practice Bernard Crick (Allen Lane, The Penguin Press E3.50) It must be a rare scholar who does not at times regard new books with a bleary...

Page 19


The Spectator

Bookbuyer " Sales of I.P.C. women's magazines are going UP" trumpeted an advertisement in The Times last July. Already the euphoria must be wearing thin, following last week's...

Page 20


The Spectator

Looking back on the Festival Nigel Andrews A three-week season of over sixty films from twenty-seven different countries — the London Film Festival has now grown large enough,...

Page 21


The Spectator

Girl talk Clive Gammon " There are some happy, fulfilled marriages and others which are not so good." For this unchallengable statement WR are indebted to Miss Sheila Hancock....

Will Waspe

The Spectator

The 'left-wing commitment' that has caused Mr Angus Maude to resign from the board of the Royal Shakespeare Company is not, you will be glad to be reassured, likely to disturb...

Page 22

Theatre Osborne and Arden Kenneth Hurren

The Spectator

There was a cartoon some years ago in the New Yorker which depicted a theatre in which the curtain was rising to reveal the cast sitting on plain wooden chairs facing the...

Page 23


The Spectator

Mass attack Rodney Milnes The Protean talents of Peter Maxwell Davies are well represented on a new record (Oiseau Lyre DSLO 2) devoted to his work, and it should encourage...

Page 24


The Spectator

In Melly mood Duncan Fallowell Judging by the smells and sights, everyone else at Ronnie Scott's must have been as bombed as I and my very good New York friend Miss Rita...

The Good Life

The Spectator

A little bit of all right Pamela Vandyke-Price 'Parties I enjoyed by not going to them , is high on my list of Books To Be Written. So often retrospective accounts include...

Page 27

Irish unity

The Spectator

Sir: Irish unification can only be, and will only be, brought about by a proper unification of these two islands — call them the British or Western Isles or what you will. That...

Blowing his top

The Spectator

From Dr John A. H. Wylie Sir: Mr Patrick Cosgrave is, surely, amongst our most perceptive political commentators but even he can scarcely have witnessed so immediate a...

Hunting the hunter

The Spectator

Sir: The writer of your 'Hunting the hunter' paragraph (Notebook, November 25) seems to be quite at sea as to why there have been so many protests against Princess Anne going...

Eire referendum

The Spectator

Sir: There is to be a referendum in Ireland (Eire) about the Article in the Constitution (Article 44) which states "the special position of the Catholic Church in Ireland." Your...

Capital punishment

The Spectator

From Lord Savernahe Sir: It puzzles me that so many people, who have never witnessed a hanging, regard it as a barbaric f: method of carrying out a death sentence. Having seen...

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Imperial legacy

The Spectator

Sir: I was pleased to read in your issue of November 25 the admission that 'the present problem brought about by our obligations to the African Asians arises from carelessness...

Booker brouhaha

The Spectator

Sir: Auberon Waugh describes Berger's book as 'ineffably fatuous.' Berger's ensuing interview in Line-up was even better. Through a haze ' of incoherent balbutience (more...

Frelimo or no?

The Spectator

From Brigadier Michael Calvert Sir: The Frelimo guerrillas in Mozambique, after a series of defeats and desertions in the Cabo Delgado district on the Tanzanian border, have...

What Americans say

The Spectator

Sir: I decided, years ago, that Sir Denis Brogan was beyond moral ,criticism when, as members of the party at the captain's table on the SS France, we were assailed by an...

Into Europe

The Spectator

Sir: Hard pressed to adduce specific advantages which Britain is likely to gain as the result of relinquishing a great deal of sovereignty and joining the EEC, pro-Marketeers...

Lonely Christmas

The Spectator

From the Rev. Arthur H. Bird Sir: There's a lonely old lady down the road. She does not have very much to live on and she spends ' most of the time -indoors. As the days • get...

Women priests

The Spectator

Sir: Your article by Edward Norman (November 18) in which he describes the reluctance of some ChriStian churches to admit women to the priesthood is not, in itself ,...

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Money Supply

The Spectator

Contrary to his intention, 11thony Gibbs's personal testl ‘ r ) 1(311 ) , (November 25) justifies Lord a nsittart's opinion of Dr Hjahnar o chacht as "the most oleaginous " he...

Plus ca change

The Spectator

Sir: I am surprised that no one seems to have noticed the precise conjunction of events now and those so often in the past, particularly in the reign of Richard Then (as usual)...

Reprint royalties

The Spectator

Sir: It is not the Society of Authors' practice to discuss in public its confidential advice to members; but as the following matter appears to have been exposed at the instance...

Unmarried mother

The Spectator

From Mrs Margaret E. Bramall Sir: It is unfortunately true that the work of the National Council for the Unmarried Mother and Her Child is "consistently underrated by the...

Ugly English

The Spectator

Sir: Mr Brock writes about sloppy English (Letters, December 2). There is something worse and that's ugly English. And he is guilty of it — and tautology to boot. Normalcy of...


The Spectator

Sir: Your correspondent, Lillie Houghton (November 25) has produced an emotive and misleading letter concerning animal experimentation, or as she obviously prefers to term it...

Juliette's Weekly Frolic

The Spectator

Of all the notable people thronging the floorspace at a Spectator party last week, only Sir Stanley Raymond could claim any connection with the Turf, and he is still something...

Page 30

Investing abroad

The Spectator

Nicholas Davenport The freeze has become known in the City as the " Phoney Peace." It is a pause which has allowed the old long-term bull market to reassert itself but in view...

Page 31

Skinflint's City Diary

The Spectator

The Ionian Bank is a name you hear of from time to time. It is becoming better known as a result of its North Sea activities putting together and floating the Oil Exploration...

Page 32

Account Gamble

The Spectator

Decides on Doncaster John Bull On December 12, Daniel Doncaster announces its interim results. From what I hear these will provide the market with good cause for cheer and...


The Spectator

Best rather than cleanest' Nephew Wilde My comments on the criticisms that have been levelled at Consolidated Gold Fields prompted a worried query last week from one reader,...

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The misery of housing

The Spectator

Leslie Loader In hin book No Place Like Home* Frank Allaun has drawn our attention to many of the miseries caused by Britain's housing tragedy. The human suffering caused by...

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The Spectator

Infamous conduct John Rowan Wilson 8 Y a curious coincidence the papers that carried the government announcement of an inquiry into the future of the General Medical Council...