14 JULY 1984

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Portrait of the week

The Spectator

M r Umaru Dikko, brother-in-law of the former president of Nigeria and himself formerly transport minister, who faces a minimum sentence of 21 years on corruption charges if he...

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The Spectator

The fighting fit doctor r David Owen is causing trouble again, Lin the way that he does. He is worrying some Social Democrats who think he is turning them into a one-man band...

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The Spectator

I n the Labour Party, the phrase 'man- datory reselection' has all the resonance of Wanderley' in Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca; a dream for some, it is a nightmare for others —...

Not mocked

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Y ork Minster has been unlucky. The fire of 1840 which gutted the crossing tower and destroyed the wooden roof of the nave was started accidentally by workmen repairing the...

Three into one

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A braying of top brass makes a frightful din. Every attempt to integrate the armed services over the past 30 years has provoked the Chiefs of Staff to exercise their right to...

Two of the three winners of this year's Somerset Maugham

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Awards, which are made `to enable young British authors to enrich their writing by experience in foreign countries', are regular writers for the Spec- tator: Peter Ackroyd wins...


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For special offer see p.18 UK Eire Surface mail Air mail 6 months: £17.25 £17.25 £20.50 £26.50 One year: £34.50 L34.50 L41.00 £53.00 Name Address US Subscriptions: $75.00...

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Another voice

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Drink to me only Auberon Waugh O ne of the least pleasing aspects of the British press is its extraordinarily sanc- timonious attitude towards allegedly `drunken' drivers. We...

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The Spectator

I wonder whether I am the only person not to regret the exodus abroad of the Chatsworth treasures. Several times last week I was asked to decry the loss of the Duke of...

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The Spectator

Richard West Q ince the Spectator stood alone among 10British journals in taking the side of Biafra during the civil war in the Sixties, we have the right to laugh and say 'I...

One hundred years ago

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IT is one of the merits of Lord Hart- ington as an administrator that he is always tranquil. He despises exaggera- tion, disbelieves rumour, and meets menace with an...

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Prophesying war

The Spectator

Dhiren Bhagat Bombay Vifteen minutes after the Indian Airlines airbus IC 405 took off from Srinagar for Delhi last Thursday the plane was hi- jacked. Shots rang out near the...

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Radical illiteracy

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Frank Johnson Paris A c cordin g to a recent bestseller here, new state secondary schoolteacher, taking a class for the first time and inviting it to sit down, is apt to be...

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The boys from the IMF

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George Szamuely T do hope it won't become one of the 1 minor desks at the US State Depart- ment,' Keynes is said to have remarked upon the foundation of the International...

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Duke Miles, Duke Bernard

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Roy Kerridge `Since William rose and Harold fell There have been Earls of Arundel.' H ow much influence, for good or other- wise, do the Fitzalan-Howards of Arundel still hold...

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Mickey Mouse job

The Spectator

Gavin Stamp '`Incling new uses for old buildings is not always easy. The ideal use is something which does not alter the structure of a building or damage its integrity. For...

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New face for Glasgow

The Spectator

Simon Blow I was that advanced lady Miss Jean 'Brodie who announced proudly to her pupils, 'We of Edinburgh owe a lot to the French. We are Europeans.' She thereby neatly, and...

The Spectator

The Spectator

is looking for someone to sell advertising and to help with the marketing of the magazine. A love of selling is most important. Previous ex- perience would be a help but is not...

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Subscribe to

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The Spectator for twelve months and receive FREE either THE KNOX BROTHERS A biography by Penelope Fitzgerald or UNDER SIEGE Literary Life in London 1939-45 by Robert...

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The press

The Spectator

Nil nisi bunkum Paul Johnson S tudents of the American intellectual scene, and of the ferocious vendettas waged between its various political factions,. must been wryly amused...

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Trumpets ppp

The Spectator

C ome bulls, come bears to the Stock Exchange, which on Thursday next at five o'clock throws open its doors and in- vites the world to enter. We are welcomed onto the trading...

The phantom coalman

The Spectator

T o watch Ian MacGregor in action is rather like watching a glacier go by. It sets the mind wandering into fantasy: sup- pose, for argument's sake, that we had to invent a...

City and

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Chatty Old Lady rr he sterling markets — money, Govern- ment ment stock, the pound itself wandered Wordsworthianly about last month, like a cloud looking for a moun- tain....

Model relative

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R elative performance is one of the City's happier notions. It means 'Never mind about your shares, look what has hap- pened to other people's'. Does the salesman from Greater...

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The Spectator

Sir: The nigger/nig-nog correspondence of recent weeks is beginning to smack of something a lot less wholesome than nos- talgia for prep school nicknames. In 1984. these words...

No hope

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Sir: So once again it is the Moslems alone who get the bad press, this time from Nicholas Coleridge (Diary, 30 June), who recounts how they spit on pavements in Ladbroke Grove...

No substitute

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Sir: Is Matthew Parris (`The origin of sex', 7 July) right to regard sex as a substitute for aggression as if the two things were separate? Aggression is a basically mascu- line...

Victim's repute

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Sir: Paul Johnson (The press, 7 July) is mistaken in suggesting that the crown is under a duty to emphasise the good charac- ter and innocence of a murder victim. On the...

Propaganda war

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Sir: Paul Johnson's article ('A Thatcher Suicide?', 30 June) on the ineptitude of government (and NCB) public relations was so apt that one hesitates to paint the lily. But...


The Spectator

Less than fair Sir: I should perhaps accept Auberon Waugh's compliment (Another voice, 23 June) in grateful silence but, being singled out for favourable mention, I feel a duty...

BBC culture

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Sir: The Philistines are, of course, always with us, and evidence of their fell work is all around us, but it is alarming indeed that they are active in Doughty Street, advocat-...

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The Spectator

Founding fathers Colin Welch T sar Nicholas II often bewailed the fact that he had been born on St Job's day — a misfortune which could not have befallen him in western...

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The making of Macmillan Philip Warner War Diaries: Politics and War in the Mediterranean January 1943 — May 1945 Harold Macmillan (Macmillan £18.50) I n late 1942, when he...

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No landing place

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Mary Furness The Diary of Virginia Woolf Volume V: 1936-1941 Edited by Anne Oliver Bell assisted by Andrew McNeillie (The Hogarth Press £17.50) A Room of One's Own. Three...

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High-speed history

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Eric Christiansen The Spoils of Time C. V. Wedgwood (Collins £15) rr here are several reasons for attempting 1 to write world history, none of them entirely respectable. Some...

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Friends reunited

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Julian Jebb Faces of Philip: A memoir of Philip Toynbee Jessica Mitford (Heinemann £9.95) T wo things which are notoriously diffi- cult to convince a reader about is that a...

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Notes on a trying evening

The Spectator

There's cold sweet-corn in clammy rice And sea-green spinach-tart; The murky-looking plonk we drink From pottery-mugs resembles ink - Moroccan, from Liquormart. 'We run weekend...

Discord in the choir

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Michael Trend John Stainer and the Musical Life of Victorian Britain Peter Charlton (David and Charles £16) rr he revival of interest in recent years in 1 all sorts of arts...

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Tower tales

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Roger Lewis The Princes of Q. Virginia Moriconi (Duckworth £8.95) he adage never to trust the teller but to 1. trust the tale does not apply to The Princes of Q. It is a novel...


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Brandon Russell Mysteries of Winterthurn Joyce Carol Oates (Jonathan Cape, £9.95) W hen should a writer stop writing? When output exceeds production, or when he (or she)...

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Tate Occasion Giles Auty The Hard-Won Image (Tate Gallery till 9 September) Tf reading omens is part of an art review- er's job, my guess is that The Hard-Won Image, a current...

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The Spectator

Joint venture Rodney Milnes A ulis Sallinen's third opera was com- missioned jointly by Savonlinna, Co- vent Garden and the BBC. For the benefit of new readers, Savonlinna is...

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The Spectator

Rebels without a cause Peter Ackroyd Over the Edge ('18', selected cinemas) his film opens with the statement that, in 1978, '110,000 kids were arrested for vandalism in the...

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Person to person Giles Gordon Progress (Bush) Seachange (Riverside Studios) The Common Pursuit (Lyric, Hammersmith) Anton Chekhov (National: Cottesloe) he characters in Doug...

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High life

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Dropping off Taki rr hank God Wimbledon is over and I can 1 sleep past 12 o'clock without feeling guilty. Thank God also that some of the most unpleasant Americans over for...


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Job satisfaction Peter Levi W hen you get down to the serious business of television criticism, the menu is alarming. It is like the menu on the grandest cruise ship, with the...

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Low life

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Dynamite Jeffrey Bernard L ast Saturday at Sandown Park I ex- ceeded my humble expectations. The Eclipse Stakes, now the horribly named Coral Eclipse Stakes, is one of the...


The Spectator

Father Time P. J. Kavanagh T here was occasion blithely to mention scything the grass last week, and since none has been done, for reasons which will be given, it might be...

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The Spectator

No. 1329: New broom Set by Charles Seaton: At the age of 94 Mr Molotov, former foreign minister, has just been readmitted to the Soviet Communist Party. Competitors are invited...

No. 1326: The winners

The Spectator

Charles Seaton reports: On the pattern of Full fathom five they father lies: His aqualung was the wrong size competitors were asked to 'improve' well- known single lines or...

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Crossword 666

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Prize: £10 — or a copy of Chambers Dictionary, 1983 edition (ring the word 'Dictionary' under name and address) — for the First correct solution opened on 30 July. Entries to:...


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Star Wars simul Raymond Keene A t a time when super-power relations appear to be frosting over, not least because of the possibility of using satellite weapons in space, it is...

Solution to 663: Bull's-eye

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The circuitous lights (beginning in 1, 6, 18, 23, 26, 36) are official bulls. Winner: R. M. Kettlewell, North Tawton, Devon.

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The Spectator

Imperative cooking: beef casserole T he fertile lower-middle classes move house strategically so their children can attend the least awful state schools. Those of us who do not...

Books Wanted

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DEVOTED TO DOGS by Frank Crew. P. Coady, 4 Albert St, Milverton, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV32 6BB. EL GRECO AND HIS SCHOOL by Harold E. Wethey (2 vols. Princeton Univ...