10 DECEMBER 1988

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'We're feeding them Edwina Currie.' TWO front-bench opposition members, Clare Short and Andrew Bennett, resigned in protest at Labour's abstention from voting on anti-IRA...

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SPECTATOR The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone 01-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 242 0603 UNION OR DIVISION inn Fein means 'ourselves alone'. The motto...

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Charter 88: a political programme on stilts NOEL MALCOLM T hose fun-loving Russians are at it again. With the news that Mr Gorbachev is planning to investigate human rights...

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CHARLES MOORE n Monday, I happened to be driving for quite a long time, and so I listened to the car radio. Every news bulletin and large chunks of the Jimmy Young Show...

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When public opinion has eventually to confront the horrible truth AUBERON WAUGH M r Stewart Steven, editor of the Mail on Sunday, is a jovial sort of person. He has been...

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Myles Harris investigates the 'out-of-body' experiences that challenge the clear divisions of conventional science I WAS ten when I first heard about the shabby way Pope Urban...

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One hundred years ago

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CLOSED CATHEDRALS [TO THE EDITOR OF THE 'SPECTATOR] SIR,—May I be permitted, as holding office in a Cathedral Chapter, to say a word on the vexed subject of charges made to...

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Cover Price! RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 /49.50 0 £26.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £60.50 0 £31.00 USA Airspeed 0 US $99 0 US$50 Rest of Airmail 0 £77.00 0 £40.00 World Airspeed 0...

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The Argentine army does not want to take over, despite appearances, writes Gary Mead Buenos Aires SATURDAY 10 December is a momen- tous day in Argentina's history, but now for...

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Robert Cottrell looks at the thin prospects for Western business in China 'DESPITE all kinds of political upheavals, crises, pressures, wars and dangers to her personal...

`...and statistics'

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ON the Van der Grinten [map] projec- tion . . . the Soviet Union is 223 per cent larger than in reality. . . On the Robinson version, the Soviet Union is 18 per cent larger than...

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Hong Kong is slipping away. Michael Trend on the chances Michael Trend on the chances the Government may miss AS THE once never-setting sun of the British Empire goes down...

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G. M. Tamds explains why Toryism is what Eastern Europe needs The author is one of the leaders of the opposition movement in Hungary. 'THIS is a whorehouse, sir', said the...

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Between Genscher and Thatcher, Mitterrand seeks a new approach to the East. Timothy Garton Ash reports Paris WHILE Paris is lamed by a massive public transport strike, and...

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Edward Heath's first published article appeared under this heading in The Spectator, 19 April 1940 IN A RECENT issue of The Spectator an enlightened public schoolboy added his...

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Colin Ward, Britain's leading anarchist writer IT IS perhaps peculiar to Britain that a man of great intelligence and personal charm could write, co-write or edit 26 good books...

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The press: Paul Johnson considers the relative virtues of British and foreign newspapers LUNCHING recently with a group of Danes — a diplomat, a publisher and a poet — I was...

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People who live in glass houses can't afford the rent CHRISTOPHER FILDES T his week a fusillade of corks saw John Robertson off from the City — the last senior partner of the...

Steel hits the target

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TAKING as I do a Scroogist attitude to the state pensioners' Christmas bonus — it must have meant so much to the late Duke of Northumberland, who I see has left £17 million — I...

All at sea with Nigel

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I HAVE been wrong all this time about Nigel Lawson's tie. Not, that is, his pink- and-green club tie for moments of ebulli- ence, but the conservative effect in dark blue which...

Cluck, quack

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HAVING laid her eggs, Edwina Currie has moved on to the City, where she is sponsoring a sober movement called Drinksense. (Next, perhaps, Talksense?). There was no such...

Up Murdoch's sleeve

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RUMMER and rummer at Collins. Rupert Murdoch's offer document confirms that he is unhappy with the management (or rather with the loss of good managers), chairman Ian Chapman...

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Sir: Peter Morrison's letter (26 November) regarding Central Office's rejection

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of North Down Conservative Association's application made me hopping mad — to put it mildly. I have been a Northern Ireland voter for LETTERS almost 40 years, and the only...

LETTERS Confident Canada

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Sir: John Ralston Saul's article on the recent Canadian election in The Spectator of 26 November was a rabidly partisan bowdlerisation of the facts. He asserted that it was an...

North Down

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Sir: Like others who seek to justify the Conservative Party's failure to organise in Northern Ireland Peter Morrison, the Par- ty Deputy Chairman (Letters, 26 Novem- ber),...

Some City Hampden

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Sir: The most picturesque walk I can remember of the City (City and suburban, 26 November) was in the late Fifties when as a new 20-year-old trainee at Lazards (then at 11 Old...

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Acceptable Muzak

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Sir: Christopher Hogwood's opposition to music in restaurants is not quite so root and branch as his letter in The Spectator of 5 November might lead you to suppose. As he may...

Christmas books

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Sir: Collusion of muddled papers and creeping amnesia brought about the omis- sion of the book I had chosen, months ago, for the top of my Christmas list (26 November). May I...

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Hedy's warhead

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Sir: In his review of Vivien Leigh (22 October) John Kobal has bad luck in choosing Hedy Lamarr as the bimbo anti- thesis of Vivien Leigh. She was one of the few Hollywood stars...

Footing it

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Sir: I was interested to notice that Jaspistos awarded the second of his four prizes to some hexameters which do not meet clas- sical standards on caesuras and fifth-foot...

Beastly to the Germans

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Sir: Paul Johnson (The Media, 26 Novem- ber) claims that British soldiers had no nasty naine for the Germans. He has obviously never heard of the Hun. J. F. S. Kallinicos 50...

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They are rotting Paul Foot TIME BOMB: IRISH BOMBS, ENGLISH JUSTICE AND THE GUILDFORD FOUR by Grant McKee and Ros Franey Bloomsbury, £4.95, pp.498 h e evidence, or should I...

Correction Edward Lear: The Corfu Years, edited by Philip Sherrard,

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is published by Denise Harvey at £21, not £40 as stated last fortnight.

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Winter Waiting

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Is he here? Is he back? I asked them: No one seemed to know. I ran outside to look for him As fast as I could go, Into an empty courtyard And the sibilance of snow. Anonymous...

Pearl Diver No one dives to the ocean bottom Just

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like that: One cannot learn the skills involved At the drop of a hat: It's the slow-learnt skills in the depths of love That I'm working at. Lady Nakatomi (8th century)

Stiffening the sinews

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David Owen PEACE: THE PLAIN MAN'S GUIDE TO WAR PREVENTION by Hugh Hanning Cecil Woolf, 1 Mornington Place, London NW! 7RP, E9.95, pp. 160 h e UN is back in favour. With the...

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Making the novel new

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Nicholas Lezard f you go to acting class in New York, you will probably be asked to do this: . . . think of something you did for someone else that made you feel good about...

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Gardening Books

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Finest of the three main species Victoria Glendinning E very season throws up new varieties and cultivars of the three main species of popular gardening book. The most showy...

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Children's Books

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The way it was for the moment Juliet Townsend L ooking at the Leslie Howard film of The Scarlet Pimpernel or at a Roman scene by Alma-Tadema I am always struck by the way in...

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A coroner's report on language

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Peter Vansittart FIELDS OF VISION by D. J. Enright OUP, £14.95, pp.248 A Spectator columnist recently profes- sed bewilderment at the recurring phe- nomenon of D. J. Enright,...

For You

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You, infesters of the street's entrails — scavengers pouncing on guttered fagends, buskers praying for silver hats, schizoid half-breeds, sorry dogs, aimless targets, breathing...

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Prize-winning novels from France

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Anita Brookner L iterary prizes in France are awarded in November and are generally — but not always — won by the wrong writers. Time alone will tell whether L'Exposition Col-...

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Exhibitions 1 Panoramania (Barbican Art Gallery, till 15 January) Art in the round Gavin Stamp A t the foot of the huge cone of earth surmounted by a Belgic lion that marks...

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Call Me ('18', Cannon Piccadilly) Unfunny bunny Hilary Mantel I have to confess to dereliction of duty. I have missed the film of the year, the movie of the decade, the...

Exhibitions 2

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Post-war British Abstract Art (Austin Desmond, till 22 December) Notions of progress Giles Auty T his train will also be calling at Reptile.' Did I really hear that? Once...

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Making History (Cottesloe) Richard II (Phoenix) Man of action Christopher Edwards B rian Friel's new play is an interesting attempt to dramatise how history comes to be...

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Adelaide Hall (King's Head, Islington, till 11 December) In the pink Martin Gayford G ood jazz singers are as rare as Ocelots, and becoming rarer by the day. Jazz requires...


The Spectator

Give us the tools . . . Ursula Buchan S , omeone, who shall be nameless but who knows quite well who he is, has broken my gardening knife. He borrowed it for a trifling task...

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Rainbow's end Wendy Cope P eople often ask me why I have never reviewed Blind Date (ITV). It's so popu- lar. A year ago I was reliably informed that most of the intellectuals...

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High life

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Yule nouvelle Taki New York his is a particularly gay time to be in New York (I use the word gay in its correct and original meaning) with parties galore and Christmas trees...

Low life

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Who's coming to dinner? Jeffrey Bernard A magazine has asked me to name my six favourite and six unfavourite people of all time. Sixty would have been easier but just six is...

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Home life

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No strings on me Alice Thomas Ellis Each room is a mess and in each room is a box — or a chest of drawers — which is also a mess. It is all very discouraging. We have somewhat...

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The Spectator

A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 for the first three correct solutions opened on 30 December. Entries to: Crossword 888, The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street,...

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Press gang Raymond Keene A fter the 1985 Karpov-Kasparov world championship was terminated in suspicious circumstances, Karpov began to receive a bad press. I believe that a...


The Spectator

Poet's own Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1552 you were asked for an acrostic poem in the style of a well-known poet, the first letters of each line spelling out the poet's...

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Solution to 885: Marinavian UL E A — A 2 P 7 lir IKAS IT

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I 29 I TIUTHL ESSL FF PLEF W F reill I T2 S A L V E 0 - FR I CANFIE TTOC 711101A - 0EO R M RANT RAT A T I ONEl!GHE 41E7 I NUEITIT LEND The unclued lights are SEABIRDS....

No. 1555: The best intentions

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A poem, please (maximum 16 lines) about New Year's resolutions. Entries to 'Com- petition No. 1555' by 30 December.

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THERE arc very few restaurants I review that make me

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feel I might return to eat in them regularly. Such are the burdens of office, I feel I should always be out trying new places. As an excuse, it's a good one, and not entirely...