14 MAY 1988

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Star wars B oth the main political parties had reason to believe that they had done well in the local elections: Labour with a net gain of 104 seats, the Conservatives — who...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone 01-405

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1706; Telex 27124; Fax 242 0603 `BEYOND ANGER' A nyone who has observed journalists at close quarters must at some time have been repelled by their self-importance and their...

Sam White, who reports on the French elections (on page

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13), was presented at the weekend with the insignia of Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur.


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY — Save 15% on the Cover Price! RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £45.00 0 £23.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £55.00 0 £28.00 USA Airspeed 0 US $90 0 US$45 Rest of Airmail 0...

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The inherent justice of taking occasional pot-shots at the clergy NOEL MALCOLM T here was a time when the denuncia- tion of a major government policy by the Church of England...

Next week: Fine Arts issue Art crime, Russian art, the

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Academy Summer Exhibition, the art of the New Yorker.

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Jackson, Mississippi an an American commit a mortal sin?' This question was once put to me, rhetorically, by an American Roman Catholic. He argued that his fellow coun- trymen...

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On how that non-existent Gibraltar bomb may yet find its mark AUBERON WAUGH P erhaps it is only because I love money so much, but I am seriously worried that if Mrs Thatcher...

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Can computers with artificial intelligence who are trying to find out HEARTLESS, which does not yet exist, would be a product of artificial intelli- gence, the technology of...

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For a moment it looked like August 1980. Gdansk `CICHO! Quiet!' shouts a tired and earnest-looking worker, The boss wants to sleep!' And sure enough, here is Lech Walesa, lying...

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Sam White reports on the cleansing of the French Right by Mitterrand's victory Paris PRESIDENT Mitterrand's easy victory in the final round of the French presidential...

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K. L. Billingsley reports on life on the barricades with the Writers' Guild of America Los Angeles THE word 'strike' does not evoke the sunny environs of Hollywood and Beverly...

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Sousa Jamba recalls the scandals of the school cauldrons SOME sociologists believe that schools are a microcosm of society. I agree. When the names of prefects for 1983 were...

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Parliament should debate penal colonies not hanging as a solution to prison overcrowding, writes Paul Barker NOT much is amusing about this country's penal system. But the...

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Become a subscriber to The Spectator and save £12 a year on the regular UK newsstand price — that's 76p a week, or less than 71p if you take out a three year subscription....

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Michael Trend investigates an 'Albanian election' at a Roehampton school PROPOSALS for the greater involvement of parents in the running of their children's schools —...

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recent events strengthen the case for regulation THE media continues its reckless policy of making itself hated. It is a matter of opinion which has done it more harm among...

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Foolish argument

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Sir: Dennis Sewell writing on Derek Jar- man's The Last of England (7 May), says that I attacked the film because 'films . . . should not give a bad impression of Britain to...

Paisley kisser

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Sir: Your denizen of the deep, Jeffrey Bernard, was not up to his usual standard in 'Lowland life' (23 April). Apart from his oblique reference to myself and my pug, I got the...

Sir: Antony Lambton ridicules John Mor- timer for comparing St

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Augustine in the Simone Martini painting to Batman 'flying to the rescue', and goes on to describe Batman's flight as 'straight as an arrow'. Mr Lambton thus proves himself to...

LETTERS At the Bar

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Sir: As I perused Lord Hailsham's article (`How to ruin the professions', 26 March), I was sure that I heard his inimitable chuckle in the background. Then I listened to his...


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Sir: To see Antony Lambton competing with John Mortimer over the question of the precise manner in which Batman flies (Books, 30 April) reminds me of the old riddle, 'Do you say...

Sir: Lord Bruce-Gardyne (Letters, 2 April) seems to think that

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anyone should be able to appear as an advocate in court. He complains that, for example, a surveyor may not. Unwittingly, he neatly illustrates the case for the professions. How...

Called to account

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Sir: Occasionally an article in a borrowed copy of The Spectator will stir a Scot from his Old Testament reading, cullen skink and atholl brose to reach for his claymore. But in...

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The not so merry go round of the Great Pensions

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Lottery BARRY RILEY ALL we want is a bit of security in our old age, a reward for our long years of loyal labour. It does not seem a lot to ask, and a huge pensions industry...

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A bumpy ride with the Airbus JOCK BRUCE-GARDYNE A irbus, Europe's challenger to the intercontinental airways of the 1990s, is about to come under new management. Last week the...

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One hundred years ago THE debate on Wednesday on a

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Bill for closing public-houses in Ireland on Saturday nights, otherwise unimpor- tant, was noteworthy on account of Mr Parnell's attitude. Many of his followers supported the...

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Even the housing boom can turn to bust TIM CONGDON T he success of market-based, free- enterprise economies depends on people with long memories and a deeply-ingrained...

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. . . and statistics

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'The Romeo and Juliet romance of a teenage couple whose marriage was annulled this week only ever had a 50-50 chance of survival, say experts.' (Daily Express, 23 April) A 1985...

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The British refugee who is colonising America PROFILE N ow that tulips are in bloom in tubs along Park Avenue, you may sometimes see a tall and slim gentleman standing on the...

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Rumour, revolution, chilled gulls' eggs and the only game in town CHRISTOPHER FILDES T he new game in City markets is to start the rumour that the Chancellor has resigned. It...

Ships of state

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I RECALL Sir Jeffrey Sterling's heartfelt advice to me, soon after he came aboard P & 0: 'Never', he said, 'compete with a nationalised industry.' He had found mil- lions of...

Sweet and sour

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I recommend the directors of Rowntree to buy themselves top hats and start making a market in Government stock. They will then find that the rules have changed, in their favour....

Bid-proof fund

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AT least nobody can take over Rowntree in order to raid the £250 million or more in its pension fund. Such takeover bids are made, though not publicly admitted. Buy a company...

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The real Soviet Union Colin Welch THE USE AND ABUSE OF SOVIETOLOGY: ESSAYS CRITICAL AND POLEMICAL by Leopold Labedz, with a preface by Zbigniew Brzezinski and edited by Melvin...

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An elegy for Europe

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Bruce Page GAMES WITH SHADOWS by Neal Ascherson Radius, f18, pp.354 A newspaper columnist's work gener- ally does not stand being printed again (once may be excessive). Neal...

The mysterious affair at Jeddah

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Anita Brookner EIGHT MONTHS ON GHAZZAH STREET by Hilary Mantel Viking, £11.95, pp. 298 D evotees of Hilary Mantel's earlier novels will be surprised by this one, a horror story...

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Her heart was gay but never young

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Gabriele Annan DARLINGHISSIMA by Janet Flanner Unwin Hyman, £9.95, pp.508 J anet Flanner was a Paris American of the Twenties generation that hung out in Les Dewc Magots....

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Night or interest rates must fall

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Kit McMahon THE DEBT THREAT by Tim Congdon Blackwell, f25, f7.95, pp.256 find it difficult to write a balanced review of this book. On the one hand, and most important for...

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Self-appointed arbiter of taste

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Susan Lasdun RICHARD REDGRAVE: 1804-1888 edited by Susan P. Casteras and Ronald Parkinson Yale, £30, pp.175 A rtist, designer, educator, administra- tor and Surveyor of Crown...

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A young man's scorn for the intelligentsia of Oxford

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Robert Kee GORBALS BOY AT OXFORD by Ralph Glasser Chatto & Windus, £11.95, pp.., 84 T he best thing about this book, which contains many good things, is that it sends the...

Among this week's contributors: Susan Lasdun is the author of

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Victorians at Home. Sir Kit McMahon is Chairman of the Midland Group. From 1980 to 1985 he was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England.

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Become a subscriber to The Spectator and save £12 a year on the regular UK newsstand price — that's 76p a week, or less than 71p if you take out a three year subscription....

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Public art Aux armes, citoyens! Alan Powers considers the nervous French reaction to a Scotsman with Revolutionary ideas T he chief monument of the first centen- ary of the...

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Irish Rambo Hilary Mantel A man in the inner councils of the IRA is not allowed to leave town without telling anyone; so when Fallon (Mickey Rourke) suddenly acquires a...


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The Royal Air Force 1918 (RAF Museum, Hendon, till 29 July) Aviators and footsloggers Giles Auty A s a small child I had two precocious if minor talents: rapid abilities to...

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Perdition (Conway Hall) One Way Pendulum (Old Vic) A finger on the scale Christopher Edwards Y ou will probably recall that Perdi- tion, by Jim Allen, was the play withdrawn...

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Pop music

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Second time around Marcus Berkmann A fter all my various moans about the state of the singles chart, two splendid songs have suddenly materialised in the top three. Neither...

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Kicking against the pricks Ursula Buchan T he garden can be a dangerous and unpleasant place. Scarcely a day passes in summer without reports of alarming often bizarre —...

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No news from Israel Wendy Cope L ast week's Spectator said I was on holiday, which was inaccurate but not very, since the element of work in our writers' trip to Israel (three...

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High life

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Ship ahoy Taki A Athens s everyone who has ever heard of Onassis knows, his great boat, the Christ- ina, was left in his will to the Olive State in order to keep it out of the...

Low life

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Cat flap Jeffrey Bernard I n an age in which children and old people are more than ever in need of love and protection — society was probably more compassionate in the Dark...

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Home life

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Splitting hairs Alice Thomas Ellis G ladys Mary is tearing her golden curls in a towering passion. Not only were the contents of her airing cupboard burned to a crisp by some...

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CROSSWORD 858: Romeo and Juliet by Doc

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A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of Chambers Dictionary, value £13.95 — ring the words 'Chambers Dictionary' above) for the first...

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Running over Raymond Keene T he World Cup in Brussels produced a large number of brilliantly imaginative and hard fought games. This week I conclude my coverage of this...


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A hero of our time Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1522 you were asked for an extract from a romantic novel in which the hero reflects modern conditions. In The Barren Patch by...

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NMI wag

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Bordeaux '86 revisited NORMALLY at this time of year attention turns to the latest vintage in Bordeaux. Nineteen eighty-seven is not that kind of vintage. It is probably not...

No. 1525: Yet again

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Another Shakespearean poem has just been discovered, which is thought to be the 'woeful ballad to his mistress' eyebrow' referred to by Jaques. Your version, please (maximum 14...

Solution to 855: Funny

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2 A R U % 'S 1_111 A L. V 9 A 9 H R RE r clIVIRONTOS 'A H I ASWILMOENA I_L L 'NI Al L P A C K E EDGERSbLmErAuE OIRrfV 3 6RTVIAL T Z ER 3e0PM 7 EEPEVIIS 71 m 7i p 4 . 1 R 14 DA...

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The Diplomat; Martin's

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• HAVING been bombarded with literature from a public relations firm, followed by telephone calls extolling the restaurant, then more letters and menus for 'A Taste of...