12 OCTOBER 1985

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The Spectator

P alestinian pirates captured the Achille Lauro, an Italian liner bound from Alexan- dra to Port Said, taking hostage the 454 people aboard and threatening to blow up the ship...

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The Spectator

UNITING FOR ORDER A long period of order in Britain has led us to forget a simple and important fact — people like killing one another. This pleasure in killing is spread...

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The embarrassing qualities of Jeffrey Archer FERDINAND MOUNT hings do not look too good at the moment. As John Evelyn wrote in his diary one such autumn: 'Horrible roberys,...

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RICHARD INGRAMS I should be very surprised if the IRA make a second attempt to blow up Mrs Thatcher this week. Whatever comedians may say, the Irish are not stupid. It is more...

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Joking along with the Sunday Times: Mr Freeman's plaint — 2 AUBERON WAUGH A ll Fleet Street has been laughing for a fortnight over the excellently successful practical joke...

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On past form Mr Walker will undoubtedly, when Mrs Thatcher falters, present himself as her most eligible successor. By Andrew Gimson THOSE Tories, and they are numerous, who...

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Rowlinson Carter discovers the Tunisians' outrage, and an Englishman's bed Tunis INTENSE pressure by the United States, including the hurried personal intervention of Vice...

One hundred years ago

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'The French,' said the late Mr Bage- hot, talking to a journalist, 'the French you have always with you.' The French Elections of Sunday were expected to be dull, but they have...

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Rajiv Gandhi speaks for the first time about his mother's Emergency. By Dhiren Bhagat Bombay THE twenty-fifth of June this year, the tenth anniversary of the imposition of Mrs...

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Game of Consequences Next week sees the launch of another devilishly difficult Spec- tator competition. You will need all your wits to solve the literary, his- torical and...

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Andrew Brown on the effects of different leaders on a riot-torn community Tottenham AFTER a car has been completely burnt out, nothing remains around the wheels but a dozen...

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Gavin Stamp compares present immigrants unfavourably with the Huguenots THERE is still time to visit an exhibition at the Museum of London which has been running all summer...

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A. L. Rowse explains why one ought to have a good conceit of oneself SINCE I am supposed to be an authority on arrogance, I have been invited to elaborate on the theme. The...

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the BBC's selective view of what is and is not an advertisement THE BBC's attitude to advertising becomes more and more peculiar. It has always taken a snobbish line on this...

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Was Mr Lawson right to stay at home? JOCK BRUCE-GARDYNE D enis Healey, I was told last week by one of the expert observers of the theatre of politics, would this week be in...

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Coal's ghost walks

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BEFORE Ian MacGregor pulled the plas- tic bag over his face, but after it became clear that a green baize cloth might have been better, I was musing in this column (July 14,...

The wages of fear

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MARKETS, so we learned at Sir Patrick Sergeant's knee, are ruled by greed and fear. Greed fosters financial disasters: fear brings them into the open. How salutary, then, to...


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If Norman can't slay the Serps, Nigel must give us the Pips CHRISTOPHER FILDES W e have scotched the Serps, not killed it. The Macbeths had the same trouble, and look what...

Forte vs Savoy

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LORD Forte takes issue with the Savoy Hotel directors over their claim (City and Suburban, September 7) that Trusthouse Forte had shown itself a willing buyer of Savoy shares at...

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Gentleman in Switzerland

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Sir: May I at this late date be permitted to comment on the controversy aroused by Antony Lambton's recent inauguration (Books, 7 September) of a new and idiosyncratic style of...


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Sir: Alexander Chancellor's comments on David Owen's big bottom (Television, 14 September), prompt me to reveal research of my own. Recent visits to the Palace of Westminster...


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Sir: As a long-time subscriber to the Spectator, I find myself more and more in tune with the thinking of your contribu- tors, especially Richard Ingrams. Could it be that we...

LETTERS Social workers in the way

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Sir: Andrew Brown says I taught social work ('Weeding out incompetence', 5 October). In fact, I taught social policy. I don't suggest it's less futile, just different. Having...

Military mentality

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Sir: John Ralston Saul's piece (5 October) on the French malaise was excellent. If he has not already done so, I think he should read Pure War, a dialogue between Paul Virilio...

War crime

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Sir: Mr Kingsley Amis in his review of the dedication and acknowledgments to my book, Hummingbirds and Hyenas, strays briefly into the text to be affronted by my opinion of the...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY! I would like to take out a subscription to The Spectator. I enclose my cheque for £ (Equivalent $ US& Eurocheques accepted) RATES: 12 Months 6 Months...

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Wish-dreams of the Webbs Colin Welch THE DIARY OF BEATRICE WEBB, VOL 4, 1924-1943: THE WHEEL OF LIFE edited by Norman and Jeanne MacKenzie R eviews of earlier volumes of these...

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Beyond the fringes

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Alastair Forbes THE FRINGES OF POWER: DOWNING STREET DIARIES 1939-1955 by John Colville Hodder & Stoughton, f14.95 I n one of the baker's half-dozen of the books already to...

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More or less Greek to her

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Francis King LAST LETTERS FROM HAV by Jan Morris Viking, £8.95 T his spoof travel book by one of the best of living travel-writers is certain to divide readers into Hays and...

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A terrifying private world

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Geoffrey Wheatcroft THE DIARIES OF AUBERON WAUGH: A TURBULENT DECADE 1976-1985 by Auberon Waugh Private Eye/Deutsch, P.95 I s Auberon Waugh mad? Is God dead? Can we empirically...

Modern Hardy country

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Richard Cobb RED HERRINGS: A SIMON BOGNOR MYSTERY by Tim Heald Macmillan, £7.50 N o doubt all this has something to do with 'baying been born and educated in Dorset', a...

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In the teeth of defeat

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Philip Warner THE OXFORD BOOK OF MILITARY ANECDOTES edited by Max Hastings Oxford University Press, £9.50 T o compile a readable and representa- tive anthology of military...

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Theatre Othello (Stratford-on-Avon) Moorish style Christopher Edwards L ast year, at Hammersmith, we en- countered a decidedly African Othello who heard tom-toms,...

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Dieter Hacker (Marlborough Fine Art till 2 November) Adrian Wiszniewski (Nicola Jacobs till 26 October) Christopher Stein (Browse & Darby till 26 October) Rocks and Flesh...

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Pale Rider (`15', selected cinemas) Way back West Peter Ackroyd I t is difficult to admire Clint Eastwood: the strong silent manner seems only to camouflage a ham actor, and...


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A joyful occasion Rodney Milnes I seem to remember writing something pompous and condescending earlier this year about Opera North coming of age with their (rather poor)...

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Bull's eye Peter Levi W ith the spectacular exception of Mrs Cynthia Paine, a jolly and unrepentant brothel-keeper, on Regrets (TVS), a genuine star, the most interesting...

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High life

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Drug deals Taki turned on the television last Friday evening in order to watch the news and I got a bit of a shock. There was Anthony Haden-Guest giving a press conference of...

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Low life

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Eating out Jeffrey Bernard Well, the race itself was quite extra- ordinary. When the French favourite, Sagace, was beaten the crowd really erupted. They are not very good...

Home life

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Raving loonies Alice Thomas Ellis T here seems to be a lot of madness around at the moment. The streets of Camden Town are filled with people seeing visions, many of them...

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In honour of J. Doyle P. J. Kavanagh Now America has become interested in its Past. Late in the day, when so much has already been swept away, but Preserva- tionists...

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Cycling Raymond Keene I am sorry to see that both Nigel Short (on the weekly BBC 2 chess report) and John Nunn (in the British Chess Magazine) have recently been attacking the...


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Revised version Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1390 you were in- vited to expand and retell a nursery rhyme in your own poetic manner, supplying a surprise untraditional...

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THE prix-fixe menu is here to stay. More and more

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restaurants now are abandoning any form of a la carte list altogether. A few, like the Cherwell Boathouse in Oxford, Clarke's in Kensington High Street, go as far as a...

No. 1393: Herstory

The Spectator

In A Feminist Dictionary (to be published this month) this odd word is defined as '1. The past as seen through the eyes of women. 2. The removal of male self- glorification from...

Solution to Crossword 726: Explanatory notes 2 6 2 6 N I R

The Spectator

I AR 'VISO 'MES A2 TACCAT0 2 6S TE I i/L ElE1, 2 + AEODIN IA INTAR 3 t10 CE VT illPREMEOA ASAI t iT110„0_01 3 ATHCO 0 S T E N1U T,ort 0 ICE,N The unclued...

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A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 (or a copy of Chambers Dictionary, value £11.95 — ring the words 'Chambers Dictionary' above) will be awarded for the first...