16 JULY 1988

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The Spectator

A n explosion on the Piper Alpha oil platform off the east coast of Scotland, thought to have been set off by a gas leak, destroyed most of the rig and killed 166 people: Mr...

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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 CHURCH IN DANGER I is the misfortune of those who argue from a traditionalist point of view in the Church of England to be represented as...

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New, special formula SLD: contains proactive Paddy. NOEL MALCOLM T he story is told that when the present editor of The Spectator was guilty, as a schoolboy, of organising...

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I f Lady Antonia Fraser wants to set up a socialist philosophy group, that seems quite all right by me, and the hoary old smear about some of the members being `Bollinger...

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Why the socialist masses are not waving but drowning AUBERON WAUGH But one treats any intelligence from behind the Iron or Bamboo curtains rather as one treats the better...

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Church of England is not fit to lead at the Lambeth Conference cutting-files who changes his name every decade or so and has been variously known as Barnes, Robinson and...

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Paul Craig Roberts looks into the can of worms opened up by the President's man IN a brazenly honest political memoir of his six years in the Reagan Administration, the former...

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the turmoil of the French Left and Right Paris FRANcOIS MITTERRAND has started his second seven-year term as President of the Republic badly. He must by now be regretting his...

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Stephen Robinson witnesses the failure of the Labour leader's African tour Gaborone BEFORE we left London on the great moral crusade into the world of tolerance and democracy...

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Michael Trend on the horrors of current history teaching and a good new start WHEN DOES 'proper history' come to an end? When I was at school in the 1960s there was a general...

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The Government is stoking inflation the social results IS THERE a crisis in the economy? No. But, ironically, if it were believed that there was a crisis, the present...

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Roy Kerridge gets up early to visit Smithfield, in danger of closure WHEN I worked at Bart's Hospital in the 1950s, I used to love walking through Smithfield Market at five in...

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One hundred years ago

The Spectator

MR Cecil Rhodes, who is said, on Mr Parnell's authority, to be getting £40,000 a year out of the South African diamond-fields, has sent Mr Parnell a cheque for £5,000 for the...

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The National Credit

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IT WILL feel odd without a National Debt. Monarchs and governments have always borrowed and frequently welshed — directly, like Charles II, or indirectly, through inflation,...

SIB gets it right

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I WAS about to tease the Securities and Investments Board on finding another menace to protect us all against — the non-executive directors of the Big Four banks. The rules...

See for yourself

The Spectator

SAFETY at work is on all our minds, and a friend from Imperial Chemical Industries was telling me how it was tackled by Sir John Harvey-Jones. When he took over as chairman, he...

Virtue in danger

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THE Bank of England has received an application for employment, from a candi- date who considers himself suitable be- cause he is studying bonking. Nothing like this has...


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When Lloyd's old-fashioned virtues have to be their own reward CHRISTOPHER FILDES N obody likes paying out a billion dollars, and Piper Alpha is certainly the worst single...

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Mr Lawson comes full circle? JOCK BRUCE-GARDYNE S tockbrokers' economists, it seems, like policemen, get younger every day. Ten years ago they were 'young men' in the eyes of...

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Sir: Taki is so miffed (High Life, 2 July) at getting only one mention in Charles Benson's book (I have no serious com- plaint about my four) that, while biting the hand that he...

Utley's girls

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Sir: As the very first of Peter Utley's Daily Telegraph 'girls', (see 'The truest Tory', 15 June) may I contribute some reminiscences? Peter told me I got the job with him...

Wants to be alone

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Sir: I find myself in such agreement with Miss Brookner (Books, 25 June) about (a) the importance of being alone, and (b) Gibbon's 'Solitude is the school of genius.' But...

LETTERS Child abuse

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Sir: Even allowing for the fact that Myles Harris's article on child sexual abuse (The Cleveland conundrum', 9 July) clearly went to press a few hours before the Butler-Sloss...


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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 USS45 Rest of...

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The 'Glorious' Revolution that never was

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NIRAD C. CHAUDHURI I n my student days in Calcutta I was made familiar with the view of the Revolution current at the beginning of this century. Macaulay had created and...

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...and statistics

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`RESEARCH . . . by the WA [Western Australia] Health Department . . . shows a person . . . in East Fremantle has a 25 per cent chance of dying due to smoking.... Between 1980-85...

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This sceptred isle Ferdinand Mount THE ENCHANTED GLASS: BRITAIN AND ITS MONARCHY by Tom Nairn Radius (Century Hutchinson), f25, pp. 402 I n this year's Birthday Honours list,...

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Mad about the girl

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Anita Brookner OUR SONG by Keith Waterhouse Hodder & Stoughton, £10.95, pp. 208 I f you buy the Daily Mail you buy it for Keith Waterhouse. He manages a wonder- ful amalgam...

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A fashion past its peak

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Bryan Gould PRIVATISING THE WORLD by Oliver Letwin Cassell, f19.95, £9.95, pp. 176 hen Mrs Thatcher came to power, privatisation was no more than a gleam in the eyes of some...

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Painters and self-portraits

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Francis King THE TRUTH ABOUT LORIN JONES by Alison Lurie Michael Joseph, £11.95, pp. 294 E very biographer — Michael Holroyd with Strachey and John, Victoria Glendin- ning...

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The beauty and beauties of England

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Elizabeth Longford A PERSIAN AT THE COURT OF KING GEORGE, 1809-10: THE JOURNAL OF MIRZA ABUL HASSAN KHAN translated and edited by Margaret Morris Cloake with an introduction by...

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Portrait of the artist as a dull dog

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Jeremy Lewis COMING ATTRACTIONS by Terence Stamp Bloomsbury, £12.95, pp. 216 0 ne of the characteristics of the Swinging Sixties was the cult of the working-class hero —...

Not so very dangerous liaisons

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Frances Donaldson WALLIS: SECRET LIVES OF THE DUCHESS OF WINDSOR by Charles Higham Sidgwick & Jackson, £14.95, pp. 512 T he blurb of this new biography tells us that it is...

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Exhibitions Mysterious dimensions Giles Auty A Selection of Important Sculpture (Marlborough Fine Art, till 31 August) Sculpture Show (Nigel Greenwood, till 30 July) W hile...

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West End theatre

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Who's to blame? David Wurtzel L ast autumn, in the midst of the RSC's Genet season, and just before the curtain metaphorically rose on the Barbican's open stage, the empty row...

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Hairspray (`PG', Selected cinemas) Salome's Last Dance (`18', Prince Charles) Summer panto time Hilary Mantel I t seems that for years connoisseurs of excrement have been...


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Speed The Plow (Spoleto Festival) Cupidity and idealism Christopher Edwards T he Spoleto festival in Italy included the European premiere of David Mamet's latest play, Speed...

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Old master bargains? Peter Watson explains the current price discrepancy between old masters and Impressionists T he market in old master paintings is dying. This report of a...

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Evenings of wine and roses Ursula Buchan T here is nothing, nothing, quite so nice as sitting about on a warm summer's evening, glass of wine in hand, within smelling distance...


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Holocaust art Wendy Cope L ast Friday's edition of Omnibus (BBC 1) was entitled From Bitter Earth — Artists of the Holocaust. Each of the artists who appeared in it had a...

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High Life

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Sandwich group Taki Needless to say, the news of the historic meeting leaked out, and both Robin and I have been besieged by the gutter press ever since. Worse, our mailboxes...

Low life

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Summary discharge Jeffrey Bernard A t last. This coming Tuesday I have an appointment with a surgeon who hope- fully will cut out the cysts on the back of my head and neck....

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Home Life

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Sixties' child Alice Thomas Ellis It may sound a trifle strange, coming from the home front, but I have always entertained serious doubts about the fami- ly. Most of my...

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The Mosel comes to London

The Spectator

IT IS curious that a hot part of Europe like the Douro valley in Portugal should pro- duce wine suitable only for a northern winter, while to find a wine adapted to a proper...

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The Spectator

Last round-up Raymond Keene T his week I end my account of the World Cup at Belfort with two interesting games, both played in the last round. One is a dynamic victory by...


The Spectator

Skin game Tom Castro I n Competition No. 1531 you were asked to explain, in the style of Dr Johnson himself, Conan Doyle, P. G. Wodehouse or A. A. Milne, why Johnson scraped...

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CROSSWORD A first prize of £20 and two further prizes

The Spectator

of £10 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of Chambers Dictionary, value £13.95 — ring , the words 'Chambers Dictionary' above) for the first three correct solutions opened on 1...

Solution to 864: Notables '3 U 2 F F 3 A L

The Spectator

'CI 8'1 R 6 11018 091 FIBER I D.G E 1 t A tURCUMA LikNZ AC GION T A T E A . CISIEIRITN N E R TIER T AlI 5 a l EINIUkFL P E E S I. $ S. S V1B ONSEEUll SC I ii I II - CI I_...

No 1534: Namesakes

The Spectator

Please provide a sample of dialogue be- tween two well-known figures in history or fiction with similar names, such as D. H. and T. E. Lawrence (maximum 150 words). Entries to...

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Most off-putting

The Spectator

ONLY last Sunday, Perry Worsthorne planted an unabashed 'forsooth' bang in the middle of his leading article, and it was fascinating to watch it take flower.'Perry's provocative...


The Spectator

Leaves from the commonplace book of Wallace Arnold THAT estimable wordsmith, the blessed Philip Howard, has produced another wholly agreeable tome on the toing and froing of...

Forsooth Saga

The Spectator

THUS to the 'forsooth' half of Winged Words. In the Eighteenth Century, it emerges, 'forsooth' was not a word in the strictest sense at all, but a not uncommon Christian name...