11 APRIL 1981

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Back from the brink

The Spectator

It looks as if the Soviet Union has again pulled back and does not, as any rate for the time being, intend, a massive military invasion of Poland. There are reports that it has...

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Political commentary

The Spectator

The Charge of the 364+1 Ferdinand Mount Three hundred and sixty-four is an awful lot of economists. You cannot help admiring the heroic scale of the manoeuvre. Imagine...

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The Spectator

At a dinner party recently I found myself si tting next to a quietly spoken, youngish man who had rather progressive views about the Catholic Church. I thought at first he might...

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Another voice

The Spectator

Necessary care and attention Auberon Waugh The case of Dr L.J.H. Arthur, the Derbyshire paediatrician who has been sent for trial at Nottingham Crown Court accused of...

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A tale of incompetence

The Spectator

Nicholas von Hoffman Washington Alexander the-not-so-great Haig has taken off for a spin in the Middle East, leaving b. ehind a nation convinced that he is an Ineffable jerk....

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The disunity of Communism

The Spectator

Richard West Zagreb Most of the cinemas here are showing disaster movies, like Airport Two, or hard-core pornography, so I was glad to discover a queue for a local Yugoslav...

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An alliance of principle

The Spectator

Grimond 'We are awfully nice people', one of the Gang of Four said to me. In spite of the rather saturnine cast of Dr Owen, this is true of the whole 14. 'Pure gold', as one of...

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Slow march through the slump

The Spectator

Peter Paterson For no apparent reason, except that they Must be seen to be doing something, the trade union movement has been marking t his Week of Activities with marches;...

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Loyalty and the civil service

The Spectator

C.H. Sisson At least one old man wrote to The Times offering to go back to work in Whitehall, where he had operated— he did not say how many years before — in the days when...

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South of the border

The Spectator

Gavin st amp ln the next decade it is very likely that the a PPearance of London may be changed almost out of recognition. Paradoxically, at a time of depression and high...

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howing immoral courage

The Spectator

James HughesOnslow One trade union at least seems reasonably happy about the unemployment figures. The English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) reports that recruitment has been...

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The press

The Spectator

Antiestablishmentarianism Paul Johnson The London diocese is an unruly one which has always given anxiety to bishops charged with its governance. In the days of Bloody Mary it...

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In the City

The Spectator

The markets point ahead To Rudd Just when 364 economists have apparently °Pined that Mrs Thatcher's government has got it all wrong (just one more opinion and it w 0 111 d have...

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Out of character

The Spectator

Sir: I do not know what Mr Auberon Waugh's source was for his story about the late Lord Egremont and Sir Roger Hollis (4 April). I can, however, assure you that the story is...

Unreal Wales

The Spectator

Sir: I am intrigued by the 'real world' that the Secretary of State for Wales claims to inhabit (Letters, 28 March) and which is such a distance from 'the universe inhabited by...

Persecution in Russia

The Spectator

Sir: Rita Eker and Margaret Rigal dispute (Letters, 4 April) my 'suggestion' (14 March) that two-thirds of the Jews who have left the USSR in recent years have preferred not to...

Funny BartOk

The Spectator

Sir: Mine is a genuine, genuinely puzzled question to you, to Mr Richard Ingrains and, above both, to any reader who feels able to attempt an answer. On 4 April, Mr Ingrams...

Special relationships

The Spectator

Sir: Though Christopher Booker came perilously close to playing footsie with the intentional fallacy (21 March), his statement that 'what the author is looking for is the...


The Spectator

Sir: Sir Philip Magnus in his review t )f , Harold Nicolson by James Lees-Milne (1' March) says of King George V that he 'rarely opened a book'. If Sir Philip will turn to the...

The Jerusalem question

The Spectator

Sir: May I thank you for the long an d interesting review of my book Whos e Jerusalem? which you published on 2 ° March, by Christopher Walker, a nd be allowed to comment on one...

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E lectoral points Sir: A point missed by Ferdinand Mount in

The Spectator

his review of how Conservatives should react to the new Social Democratic Party (28 March) is that any co-operation bet ween the SDP and a left-wing-dominated Labour Party after...

Rendering Proust

The Spectator

Sir: Reviewing Terence Kilmartin's revision of Remembrance of Things Past (28 March) A.N. Wilson disparages the translation of `Zut, zut, zut!' (Pleiade 1, 155) — the shout of a...

Flowers of Elliott

The Spectator

• Sir: Ebenezer Elliott's love of flowers might allow us to add to Alan Gibson's quotations (28 March) the following lines from the People's Anthem: Flowers of Thy heart, 0 God,...

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The Spectator

God and fantasy A. N. Wilson The Turn - around Vladimir Volkoff (Bodley Head pp.411, £6.95) This is a brilliant novel, translated from the French into the most impeccably...


The Spectator

Duncan Fallo well Keep On Dancing Sarah Churchill (Weid ehfeld pp.243, £7.95) It cannot have been much fun being ri l ,e child of Winston Churchill, Rail d°113° Churchill, who...

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The art of anthologising

The Spectator

Eric Newby The Road to Kabul: An Anthology Edited by Gerald de Gaury and H.V.F. Winstone (Quartet Books pp.235, £9.95) For those ardent readers, among whom [number myself, who...

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Losing Russia

The Spectator

Philip Warner The Allies and the Russian Collapse: Vol I March 1917-March 1918 Michael Kettle (Andre Deutsch pp. 287, £14.95) Mr Kettle informs us that this book and its four...

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Waiting for Tiggsie'

The Spectator

Piers Paul Read His Own Story Ronnie Biggs (Michael Joseph pp. 238, £7.95) Slipper of the Yard Jack Slipper (Sidgwick and Jackson pp. 179, £ 5 . 95 ) The vitality of the Great...

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She dicks

The Spectator

Hugh Massingberd The Lady Investigates Patricia Craig an d Mary Cadogan (Gollancz pp.252, 'Last night the tempter had his way With me,' reveals the narrator Miss Butterwm in...

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Unholy trade

The Spectator

C. H. Sisson Christianity in the Southern Hemisphere Edward Norman (Oxford University Press pp. 230, £12.50) It seems difficult, in these days, to remain ignorant enough to have...

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Thoroughly modern Malfi

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Peter Jenkins T he Duchess of Malfi (Round House) The scholars warn against reading modern ass umptions into Jacobean tragedy. Instead we should imagine a moral universe as...

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The Spectator

Boots Rodney Milnes Macbeth (Covent Garden) The high seriousness with which Riccardo Muti, Elijah Moshinsky and John Napier have staged this uneven work is, I am sure, most...


The Spectator

Jazz bands John McEwen Pork scratchings, or, at least, their artist equivalent was all that was offered by inc ) ,s,' galleries last month, but now, with Apra , a . certain...

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The Spectator

Stiff upper lips Peter Ackroyar C hariots of Fire ('A', Odeon, Haymarket) bear Mum, I'm awfully sorry about your cold'; u ndergraduates playing Gilbert and Sbullivan; faded...


The Spectator

Seasick Richard Ingrams Many years ago when Private Eye had its offices at 22 Greek Street, Peter Cook would sometimes entertain us all by coming in and making phone calls...

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High life

The Spectator

Bad blood Taki New York Jimmy Breslin is a rather fat, bellicose man who writes a column for the New York Daily News. He lives in Queen's and is a self-proclaimed expert on...

Low life

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Bryce McNab Jeffrey Bernard Yet another Indian has bitten th e ci n ti n st. Bryce McNab, who died last week , of the more charming and delightful fixta' and fittings of this...

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The Spectator

New event Raymond Keene In mid-February an original and imaginative project materialised in Mar del Plata, Argentina. This town used to enjoy a great chess reputation, with...