15 AUGUST 1987

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D r David Owen resigned as leader of the SDP after 57 per cent of party members voted in favour of a merger with the Liberals. Dr Owen said he would work for the continuation of...

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SWEET WAIST OF EFFORT T he five presidents of what Pablo Neruda, without irony, called `the sweet waist of America', have agreed a plan to bring peace to the region. This is...


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YET again, an important British architectural competition has degenerated into farce. A scheme for the redevelop- ment of the late Lord Holford's post-war rebuilding of the...

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Dr Owen prepares to live on locusts and wild honey MA RTIN IVENS M en at some time are masters of their fates; / The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in...

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CHARLES MOORE ussian masterplan for the indust- rial domination of space', said the headline excitedly on Monday. According to Keith Hindley, writing in the Times, the Soviet...

Auberon Waugh will resume his column next week.

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The American presence in the Gulf is directed US policy may achieve the opposite of its aim against Iran. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard argues that It was Shultz who sent Reagan...

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Iran is dictating the course of the conflict in the Gulf, writes Patrick Bishop Dubai RING the American Consulate in Dubai these days and a muzak tape plays 'Home on the...

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Sam White on why France is steaming into the Gulf while her embassy in Teheran is surrounded Paris IN THE context of Iran's quarrel with the Great Satan one has tended to lose...

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Karan Thapar on the failure of independent India and Pakistan Delhi FORTY years ago this week conch shells were ringing out in New Delhi's infant National Assembly, while the...

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Adam Mars Jones argues that homosexuality attracts unjust suffering and stigma THEY have finally got round to building a monument to the homosexuals extermin- ated by the...

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Gavin Stamp on the threat to Bracken House THE last living survival of mediaeval London is passing. As is too well known, `Fleet Street' is going. Newspaper offices and...

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Michael Trend on the harsh treatment of orthodox schools in London ANYONE who has driven through the Stamford Hill area of north London will know that for a brief space one...


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is looking for someone to sell advertising to major drinks companies and their agencies, as well as to a number of other up-market consumer businesses. The successful candidate...

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One hundred years ago

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ON Saturday last, London was alarmed by the outbreak of fire at Mr William Whiteley's, which the officers of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade are said to describe as the most...

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Rowlinson Carter explains the perils of expatriate enterprise in Greece `WHERE ELSE', Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Foxley-Norris, GCB, DSO, OBE, MA, RAF wanted to know,...

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Mr Lawson pulls a fast one JOCK BRUCE-GARDYNE I t was quite like old times. Twenty years ago, as I recall, the last of the great wits of W estminster, the late Nigel Birch,...

Christopher Fildes is on holiday.

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Paul Johnson will resume his column next week.

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Monstrous monopoly

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Sir: Correspondence in the Spectator about the crimes and incompetence of British Telecom reveals to me that my own Tele- com horror story is but commonplace, but as I began to...

LETTERS MPs' greed

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Sir: With allowances, an MP has an income equivalent to not less than an untaxed £30,000 a year. If he employs members of his family in secretarial or research posts he can add...

Real perversion

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Sir: The ignorance and silliness of Roy Kerridge's article, 'Predatory Homosex - uals' (8 August), would be laughable were it not so ugly. Would he judge heterosex - ual life by...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY - Save 15% on the Cover Price! Please enter a subscription to The Spectator I enclose my cheque for £ (Equivalent SUS & Eurocheques accepted) RATES 12...

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Sir: Whatever possessed you to let Roy Kerridge loose on

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the gay scene? His Sir: Whatever possessed you to let Roy Kerridge loose on the gay scene? His hysterical rantings and grotesque gener- alisations — such as the supposed age...

Casting stones

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Sir: I wrote that Christopher Hitchens did not mention St Clair's book among his ack nowledgements; he now (Letters, 8 August) denies this, and refers readers to P.27. I am...

Sir: I may have missed a couple, but it is

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my reckoning that Peter Wright gets 38 mentions in your 8 August issue. One of these was in Paul Johnson's suggested opinion poll question, 'Are you bored to death with the...

Fond of war

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Sir: Mr Welch wonders who said, 'It is well that war is so terrible, else we would grow too fond of it,' in his review 'Some of the Mud Sticks' (Books, 25 July). It was Robert...

UFO frenzy

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Sir: I found Mr Adrian Berry's review of Above Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Cover-up (Books, 1 August) as bizarre as the subject matter concerned, in particular his fear that...

A Wright scandal

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Sir: I wish to register my disgust with the publishers of Peter Wright's Spycatcher. I don't know about your copy, but in mine the miserably narrow central margins necessitate...

Sir: I find Mr Kerridge's article on

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ho mosexuality, with its fascination in the more bizarre practices, and advocacy of repression through guilt, sad and curiously repellent. I am reminded in more ways than one...

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Sir: Following recent medical advice to overcome insomnia by natural methods, awake at 2.30 a.m., I picked up a magazine from the side of my bed to lull myself into sleep....

Bill resurgens

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Sir: To all those people who answered my attack on the Spectator, a few words: To those who sent poison-pen letters unsigned; who else do you send your dirty little letters to?...

Going ape

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Sir: One has sympathy with Jeffrey Ber- nard's cat-sitting problems (`Low life', 8 August). It's a pity he has such difficulty in finding like-minded company. Mr Bernard will...

Unionist challenge

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Sir: I am surprised that Brian Inglis's excellent argument for an independent Northern Ireland (`Themselves alone', 25 July) has attracted no correspondence whatsoever....

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The future lies . . . Conn Welch THE UNKNOWN GUEST: THE MYSTERY OF INTUITION by Brian Inglis, with Ruth West Chatto & Windus, £12.95 D r Brian Inglis, former editor of this...


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Harold Acton on the Manzoni family Paul Foot on Mary Shelley Richard Ingrams on the England of Beryl Bainbridge and Roy Kerridge

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Scoundrel time has finally come

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Paul Johnson LILLIAN HELLMAN: THE IMAGE, THE WOMAN by William Wright Sidgwick & Jackson, £15 L illian . Hellman was famous, or noto- rious, for many things: as the first...

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Out of the second drawer into the fire

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William Deedes IMELDA MARCOS by Carmen Navarro Pedrosa Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £10.95 E ven in this turbulent and surprising world, events in the Philippines between 1983 and...

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Vive la difference

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Michael Horovitz THE FABER BOOK OF 20TH- CENTURY WOMEN'S POETRY edited by Fleur Adcock Faber, f9.95, £4.95 DANCING THE TIGHTROPE: NEW LOVE POEMS BY WOMEN edited by Barbara...

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One hell of a story

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Peregrine Hodson CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE by Jan Goodwin Macdonald, .02.95 C aught in. the Crossfire: the title is arresting, even dramatic. What can this book be about? The...

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T he tram-cars still bound down Princes Street like matronly gazelles,'

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Eric Keown wrote. That was in 1951, the fifth Year of the Edinburgh Festival. It is diffe- rent now. The trams have bounded away, perhaps to the tram museum at Crich. The...

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The Vigorous Imagination (Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, till 25 October) June Redfern (Mercury Gallery, till 5 September) Art of Our Time (Royal Scottish Academy, till 31...

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The Fringe

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Tartans and tattoos Zenga Longmore samples the Festival's street entertainment T o explain the reason why I wasn't looking forward to the Edinburgh Festival , I shall have to...

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The Queen of Spades Eugene Onegin (Kirov Opera, Covent Garden) Lessons learnt Rodney Milnes T he first visit within living memory by a Russian opera company has been some-...

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The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park) Open-air diversion Christopher Edwards I f you can bear the low-flying aircraft, the not-so-distant sounds of...


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Jean de Florette (PG', Curzon Mayfair) Nature's justice Hilary Mantel T he action of this film takes place in Provence during the 1920s, but until the arrival of Jean...

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Snowstorm in Cumbria Peter Levi A t times even the prettiest television set becomes so frustrating that one longs for it to have a hood like a parrot. Its baleful, blind...

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Low life

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Dublin delights Jeffrey Bernard There was a very good interlude in DaVY Burns' pub with an old friend, the write r and poet Anthony Cronin, a face from the Fifties. And if I...

High life

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Some like it hot Taki Athens h ishis is the first time in the ten years I have been writing on high life from the cradle of selective democracy that I have some good news to...

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Home life

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Off balance Alice Thomas Ellis W hy don't I shut up? I should never have moaned that August was boring. As soon as I said that, Janet's cat, Eric, lost his tail. We don't know...

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' A "

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Edinburgh food THE Scottish capital gets a very high profile from the good food guides, top as far as that bible of gastronauts, the Guide Michelin goes, with a recommended...

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All from the Cape of Good Hope Auberon Waugh N obody wrote to report on the Rust- enberg Cabernet Sauvignon 1982 from S tellenbosch which I put in the last Avery's O ffer, but...


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C/o Southern Hemisphere Wines, Wines By Appointment, 46/48 Pentonville Road, London Nl. Tel: 01-837 7621/6 Product 1. Delheim Special Late Harvest Chenin Blanc 1986 75 cl....

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Strange encounter

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Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1484 you were asked for a newspaper account of the greeting, by an official deputation, of English-speaking inhabitants of another planet who have...


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Confrontation Raymond Keene B ased on the evidence of recent sal- voes from both sides, the gulf between Fide (the World Chess Federation) and the Grandmaster Association...

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821: Weights and measures by Mass 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...

No. 1487: Two rhymes

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You are invited to write a sonnet with only two rhymes entitled either 'Shopping' or `DIY'. Entries to 'Competition No. 1487' by 28 August. The top winner of this competition...

Solution to 818: Ogee The larger circuit begins in radial

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37 and describes the title — i.e. the work of PLASTERERS (inner circuit). Winners: Miss M. B Ambrose, Edinburgh (£20); Mrs A. M. Osmond, London SW14; Kathleen Curtis,...

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