10 OCTOBER 1987

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Law and order A Royal Navy minesweeper appeared off the Blackpool coast, signalling the exceptional security measures being taken to protect the Prime Minister during the...

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WON'T PAY, CAN'T VOTE The tax will certainly feel like a tax on voting, since it will be based on the Register of Electors. This connection is inadvertent, but it will prove...


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IT would obviously be wrong for Lord Young to be the next chairman of the Conservative Party so long as he is Secret- ary of State for Trade and Industry. At least, it should be...


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WHEN aspiring male Conservative politi- cians seek selection as constituency candi- dates, the local party bases its choice, it is said, not on the character of the would-be MP,...

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Mrs Thatcher takes out her crystal ball and peers into the past NOEL MALCOLM 'D Blackpool on't fail to pay this lady a visit. She has been on a world tour giving advice. She...

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ALEXANDRA ARTLEY E arlier this week we found ourselves in the St Stephen's Club (formerly the Consti- tutional Club) in Queen Anne's Gate for a seminar on Miss Gertrude...

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The intelligent woman's guide to analysing the news AUBERON WAUGH N obody who reads the newspapers can be in any doubt that the news sections are full of material which has...

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The Post Office makes a profit but resists attempts to privatise any of its parts. Michael Trend argues that this is a damaging policy DURING the general election the Prime...

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Michael van Walt van Praag explains the growing anger of Tibetans LAST week, the Tibetan national flag was unfurled in Lhasa amidst cries for freedom and demands by thousands...

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Ambrose Evans-Pritchard appraises the charges made in a mischievous new book about the CIA Washington PETER Wright's Spycatcher is harmless history compared with Veil: the...

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Richard West reports on how the preferences of parents are being denied by Conservative authorities Southwold, Suffolk THE Conservatives, in their conference this week, have...

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Alexander Norman attempts to penetrate Nicholas Ridley 's smokescreen 'WHAT you must realise', Nicholas Soames, parliamentary private secretary to Mr Ridley, told me afterwards,...

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William Cooper remembers a great scientist and a great spirit 'KARL Popper is my guru.' One of the last things said to me by Peter Medawar, Nobel Laureate and OM so disabled...

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The press: Paul Johnson looks at the latest moves in the print revolution CONSERVATIVE professionals who talk about Britain's newspaper revolution as though it were complete...

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The surprising character of a trimmer JOCK BRUCE-GARDYNE B y the time these words appear we shall know whether Chancellor Lawson has been rewarded with a standing ovation at...

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Unpopular capitalists

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POPULAR capitalism and the BP issue will have been much on Nigel Lawson's mind as he prepared to take his bow at Blackpool. The trouble is that his new capitalists are not...


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Buzzings in the head are an occupational disease to those who return from interna- tional monetary meetings. They are caused by buzzwords. Gender-aware was this year's newcomer,...

Burnt pocket

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THE Trustee Savings Banks were never exactly privatised, since (subject to various opinions in the House of Lords) they had never been exactly publicised. The objects of the...


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Tell your budgie to lay off BP, but pass the form to your aunt CHRISTOPHER FILDES T he Lord Chief Justice says: do not let your budgie stag the British Petroleum issue unless...

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Finlay's folly

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Sir: I write with reference to an article by Alan Powers (Arts, 12 September) entitled 'Follies; Ian Hamilton Finlay's pamphlet war'. I was appalled that something so biased...

Black gold

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Sir: In your introduction to Nicholas Gar- land's admirable 'Journal of the difficult birth of the Independent' (3 October), you state that in December 1985 Mr Conrad Black...


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Sir: Paul Johnson (The press, 26 Septem- ber) may have thumbed through his refer- ence books for quotes from Hugh Cudlipp etc, but he has clearly forgotten what the wartime...

Clarendon's virtues

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Sir: Noel Malcolm's jaundiced account of Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon (Books, 12 September) is a pity. The Restoration Settlement still defines the framework of the state in...

LETTERS Mistaken war

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Sir: With reference to Mr Rowse's furious letter (26 September) the truth is that Britain gave a guarantee to Poland in 1939, a blank cheque which bounced. It was in no position...

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Sir: While appreciating that your typeset- ters and proof-readers are likely to have led, as I have myself, a more sheltered life than either Miss Barbara Skelton or the late...

Time and a half

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Sir: In reply to Mr Bowness's letter (12 September), I would like to point out that our sponsorship of the Speaking Clock has, in fact, ensured that subscribers continue to pay...

Who's unpopular

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Sir: 'Social workers [are] now the most unpopular group in the country,' says Paul Johnson (The press, 3 October). Well, actually, no, they are not. According to a MORI poll in...

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How I survived for two months as a captive in Beirut CHARLES GLASS As I sit in a corner of my dim cell lacing the seeds of the little light stretching them to these lines for...

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War Graves at El Alamein

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When they were little children they explored Forests dense with dangers, were pursued By beast, or giant, wielding knife or sword. And terrified they found their feet were...


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The Revenger's Tragedy Hugh Trevor-Roper SPYCATCHER by Peter Wright Viking, $19.95 P oor Mr Peter Wright, what frustration he has suffered, at least since 1964! Till then, all...

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Up the airy mountain, down the rushy glen...

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Raymond Carr IN THE PINK by Caroline Blackwood Bloomsbury, £11.95 W hen I was taken into the Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford after a hunting accident the surgeon greeted me...

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Memoirs of a deserter

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Roy Fuller ARGUMENT OF KINGS by Vernon Scannell Robson Books, £10.95 I n North Africa in 1943, Vernon Scan- nell, then a private in the Gordon High- landers (transferred from...

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A Dialogue between God and an Atheist

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Thick fog in the head, mucus filling the nostrils, Fumes rising, steaming: blinding the sodden brain. If only a wind, out of the sterile sky, Would empty everything, would clear...

Hitler, the gambler and dupe

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Andrei Navrozov STALIN'S WAR by Ernst Topitsch Fourth Estate, £12.95 h e conventional Western view of events leading to the outbreak of the second world war, with Hitler as...

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Truthful but not accurate

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David Wright ROSSETTI AND HIS CIRCLE by Max Beerbohm, with an introduction by N. John Hall Yale University Press, 172.95 0 utside Ford Madox Ford's It was the Nightingale —...

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Drowning in shallow water

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Francis King BLACKEYES by Dennis Potter Faber, £8.95 R ecently a Japanese, last seen in Kyoto, rushed up to me at the National Theatre, crying out, not in annoyance but in...

Mysterious affairs in style

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Anita Brookner THE HOUSE OF HOSPITALITIES by Emma Tennant Viking, £10.95 H ere is something defiantly unfashion- able and supremely well carried out, a novel that is the...

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SPECTATOR GET TO THE POINT IN 2,000 WORDS FOR BRITAIN'S SHARPEST READERS Most young writers only ever get one good break into journalism. We are offering you two. As winner...

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Looking back to the future

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Brian Martin THE CHILD IN TIME by Ian McEwan Cape, £10.95 T he central character in The Child in Time, Stephen Lewis, sits on a government committee which is to report on the...

Time to let their hair down

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Ludovic Kennedy JUDGES by David Pannick OUP, £12.95 i s Majesty's judges', said Lord Hewart, then Lord Chief Justice, at the Lord Mayor's Banquet in 1936, 'are satis- fied with...

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Stand up and be counted Christopher Edwards Definitely the Bahamas (Orange Tree) Dr Kheal/A Sermon (Young Vic) The Comedians (Young Vic) h ere are in fact three short plays by...

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Full Metal Jacket ('18', selected cinemas) Extreme Prejudice ('18', selected cinemas) Slaughter in Slough Hilary Mantel E ven staying at home and keeping your head down...


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Ritual sacrifice Rodney Milnes L ast Monday's premiere of Nigel Osborne's opera, commissioned by the BBC for Glyndebourne, was one of the most frustrating and infuriating...

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Arts sponsorship

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Down to business A three-day conference organised by the Council of Europe sounds about as much fun as a weekend on the roof of a Scottish prison. When it is a shindig for 21...

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Tears for Maria Wendy Cope I f you missed the first episode of Pulaski (BBC 1) and were thinking of watching the second, don't bother. The central charac- ter is a boring...

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High life

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Shot full of holes Taki ur family doctor is not only good, he's also the nicest man I've ever met. He is known as 'El chiquito doctor' for reasons that become obvious as soon...

Low life

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Travels with myself Jeffrey Bernard T he Lord giveth all right but he doesn't half take it away again. Last Sunday at Longchamp, drinking Victor Chandler's champagne and Rocco...

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Home life

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Unspeakable goings on Alice Thomas Ellis mounted MFHs waving their whips outside the Coach and Horses, but the party was jolly. I wore my aggressively nylon snow- leopard...

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CLUB Learning from the French Auberon Waugh I t is surely the best compliment one can pay the French to point out how the wine culture they developed has been tran- planted...


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Chateaux Wines, The Green, Olveston, Bristol, BS12 3DN Telephone: (0454) 613959 Product Price No. Value 1. C6tes du Rh6ne Domaine des Garrigues 198412 bots. £40.32 2. Chateau...

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Ad verse Jaspistos I N Competition No. 1492 you were asked for an enterprising house agent's advertisement, in verse, offering a proper- ty of any sort. There were so many...


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Double trouble Raymond Keene D ouble round top-level tournaments are becoming the fashion — OHRA Brus- sels 1986 and OHRA Amsterdam 1987, Biel 1987 and now Tilburg. This...

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Solution to 826: Charming

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'._t.. ,*:■%% 1 sf R i'l v t E Ft 1. --- - 761 im . . 0 I N ": ,1 c ci,lo LIE ydmE BLIGIRElly.,E . ori Mail WI A I g , P W 0 rl T i l, rianaimearlini ortrion rirli i...

No. 1495: First time a Max Beerbohm, who hated going

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for walks, said he'd never heard a lark, and no doubt Bernard Shaw never attended a Burns Night celebration and Ronald Fir- bank never fox-hunted. You are invited to provide a...

CROSSWORD 829: Attested by Doc

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A first prize of 120 and two further prizes of 110 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of Chambers Dictionary, value £13.95 — ring the words 'Chambers Dictionary' above) for the first...