16 MARCH 1985

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Portrait of the week

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president Chernenko died at last, and was succeeded by Mikhail Gorbachev with Andrei Gromyko as second in com- mand. It was announced that President Chernenko had suffered from...


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TODAY! Please enter a subscription to The Spectator. I enclose my cheque for £ 12 Months 6 Months UK/Eire 0 £34.50 O £17.25 II Students 0 £15.95 • f7.95 (Please mate college...

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Red Ken's epiphany p icture this morning, as 'Crossbencher' 1 of the - Sunday Express may well have said last Sunday, Mr Ken Livingstone, the leader of the GLC. What thoughts,...

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A common fate

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rr he March/April issue of the magazine 'Antiques Across The World contains an article by Sir lain Moncrieffe of that Ilk. The contents page advertises it thus: WARNING OF...


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S o he has come at last. The golden boy of Western Kremlinology, 'young', 'humorous', 'charismatic' Mikhail Gor- bachev is finally at the helm, and the World's media sing, like...

In this, our Scottish issue, we are delighted to be

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able to congratulate Mr James Kay on an extraordinary victory. Mr Kay who, under the pseudonym of Seumas Ban, was one of the winners of our Scottish poetry competition last...

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Another voice

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Lessons of Jamaica Auberon Waugh efore leaving for an important fact- .1.1 finding mission to Jamaica on 27 February — it really is a most agreeable time to be there — I read...

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I hear, as Mt . Nigel Dempster might say, of an important marriage heading for the rocks. After their fashionable and well- attended wedding in the snows of January, at which...

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Mitterrand penned in

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Sam White Paris I t will be only after the second round of voting in the Cantonal elections this Sunday that President Mitterrand will de- cide whether to introduce an element...

One hundred years ago

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We cannot see the special `hardship' to Lord Durham upon which some of our contemporaries are so eloquent. It is a terrible misfortune for any man to see his wife become...

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Special Scottish Issue

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On leaving Edinburgh Ludovic Kennedy T he last of the children had left for points south and beyond, and if we were to continue to see anything of them, we had to move too. In...

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The Governor-General

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Allan Massie A t first glance, the Secretary of State for Scotland looks a little out of place in the present Cabinet. Its other leading figures are, as the sociologists say,...

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The Ossian forgeries

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Wrong but romantic Hugh Trevor-Roper B efore 1745 the Scottish Highlanders were despised barbarians. In 1745 they were feared barbarians. After 1746 they could no longer...

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Bad climate

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Jo Gnmond O ne of the most curious features of the last war was the number of lectures to which the troops were subjected; they bore them with good-natured tolerance. A brother...

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Twenty years of Perth

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Roy Kerridge B y coincidence I have visited the beauti- ful city of Perth, former capital of Scotland, once in every ten years. On my first visit, in 1965, I stayed at the...

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Banking on nationalism

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Michael Fry Edinburgh A dead hand has lain on Scotland since 1979. A generation reared on heady dreams of devolution has sunk into morose listlessness, or joined the diaspora....

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The press

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A true Scot Paul Johnson rr he Scottish presence in British journal- .1. ism, not least in Fleet Street, is power- ful and pervasive. It dates from at least the days of the...

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City and Suburban

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The signal to sell I intend nothing personal when I wonder how David Sainsbury plans to spend next Tuesday afternoon. Mr Sainsbury is the finance director of the grocery...

Fairer Exchange

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G ood news from the Royal Exchange, that handsome City nest where Guar- dian Royal Exchange Assurance has cast itself as the cuckoo. GRE, for the sake of giving itself more...

Safely grazing

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R ival bidders jostle on the steps of Harrods, while, within, the chairman stands at bay. Then the rough bidder jostles his softly-spoken rival aside, mar- ches in to the...

Grapefruit Hall

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J am grateful for the anxious inquiries .which followed the announcement (in last week's Spectator) that I was recovering from injuries sustained at a health farm. It has been...

Edgy in gilts

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T he gilt-edged market's hopes and fears are of a different order. Government stocks (and, now, companies' loan stocks too) are outside the scope of capital gains tax, provided...

Colin Welch will resume his column next week.

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Heavy breathers

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Sir: Although I see that the purpose of last week's Home Life piece was to send 1.IP believers in spirits, I wish Alice Thomas Ellis had told us what was producing the odd...

Gone, all gone

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Sir: Your readers of today might be in- terested in a piece of history that almost got away — the signatures of some of your famous readers who subscribed to the Spectator...

Bible study

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Sir: Auberon Waugh also has New Testa- ment authority for detecting the hand . of God in the nasty diseases from which practising homosexuals suffer (Another voice, 23...


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Rotten Apples Sir: Richard Body's breathtaking advocacy of British withdrawal from the Atlantic Alliance (3 March) needs a follow-up in your columns. Soviet Russia, we are...

Wizard prangs

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Sir: It must surely be churlish to complain about a review which at least in passing describes one's work as 'excellent'. But A.N. Wilson's account (Books, 2 March) of my The...

Alastair Forbes

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Sir: I am very sorry that my tribute to Alastair Forbes in your issue of 23 Febru- ary should have contained an untrue state- ment capable of causing him considerable...

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Dickie: Lust for Glory Max Hastings Mountbatten: The Official Biography Philip Ziegler (Collins £15) p rofessional conservatism and an ex- aggerated sense of social propriety...

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Next Week John Grigg on Hugh Dalton Shiva Naipaul on

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Emma Goldman David Profumo on Graham Greene

After the war was over

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Peter Quennell Siegfried Sassoon: Diaries 1923-1925 Edited and introduced by Rupert Hart-Davis (Faber and Faber £12.95) I remember listening, some 20 or 30 years ago, to a...

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Scottish Books

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Rogues, misers and madmen Allan Massie A Wild Flight of Gordons Archie Gordon, 5th Marquess of Aber- deen and Temair (Weidenfeld & Nicolson £10.95) Scotch Verdict Lillian...

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Dark centre

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The dust silvers and a wind from the corner Brings a dream of clarinets Into the thick orchestra. There's a place sending Messages across the river of people; And the sullen...

A stage-manager

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P. J. Kavanagh The Poetical Works of Andrew Young Edited by Edward Lowbury and Alison Young (Secker £12.95) T he case of Andrew Young is an in- teresting one. Born in 1885, he...

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Quite contrary

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Jimmy Reid The Letters of Hugh McDiarmid Edited by Alan Bold (Hamish Hamilton £20) C hristopher Murray Grieve, alias Hugh ,-McDiarmid, will remain, for me at anY rate, an...

Books Wanted

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There is now a small charge of fl per insertion (max. 2 books). Cheques made payable to The Spectator. Please send details to Books Wanted, The Spectator, 56 Doughty St, London...

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Off Sick

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Regime of the house: the sun's morning Tour, his unsuspected finger on a dim corner. The house is not primed for my presence. I intrude On its private life. Forgive me, house,...

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Between mountain and sea

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In the air, honey and salt, - as in the long ago, as on forever. The days pick me up and carry me off, half child, half prisoner, on their journey that I'll share for a while....

The friends of liberty

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Robert Stewart The Scottish Enlightenment and the Militia Issue John Robertson (John Donald £18) W hat, you may say, has the Enlighten- ment, that affair of speculative philo-...

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Scottish heritage Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd 4I t is never difficult', as P.G.Wodehouse observed, 'to distinguish between a S cotsman with a grievance and a ray of s...

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Sale rooms

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To blame Colin Bell L ast week in a Glasgow sale room, an extremely rare gold snuffbox was sold for £10,800. It was a presentation box inscribed 'as a token of gratitude from...

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Irish genius Christopher Edwards The Plough and the Stars (Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow) A riot at the Abbey Theatre Dublin greeted the opening of O'Casey's play in 1926, the...

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Birthday boy Rodney Milnes Xerxes (Coliseum) Norma (WNO, Cardiff) Ulicking through the newspaper notices of Handel's birthday week in London over coffee in Florian's and...

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Powerplay Ursula Buchan G ardening can be tedious. However, gardeners display a reticence about this fact that amounts almost to a conspira- cy of silence. Many wish to...

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Modern times Peter Ackroyd Wetherby ('15', Curzon West End) W etherby is certainly a very serious film; its worthiness shines through but, like a weak sun, it is apt to give...


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Ticklish Julie Kavanagh Number 3 (Royal Opera House) E leventh hour drama: choreographer decides to scrap newly designed cos- tumes. Designer withholds consent. Com- promise...

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High life

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Day after day Taki T hroughout the past three months I have kept a diary, which in view of the time I had on my hands, makes Proust a remembrances postively laconic. This was...


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Bottoms up Alexander Chancellor I n those happy, far-off days when News at Ten was regularly presented by Reginald Bosanquet and Anna Ford, it was the contrast between them...

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Home life

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Bailiffs• Alice Thomas Ellis A very cheeky letter from the bailiffs proposing to imprison someone or maybe me. It begins with a fine impartial- ity — Dear Sir/Madam, Re: Rate...

Jeffrey Bernard is ill.

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True story P. J. Kavanagh T .F. Powys, author of the remarkable novel Mr Weston's Good Wine, whenever he felt himself particularly gloomy and rebarbitive, which he often did,...

No. 1360: The winners

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Jaspistos reports: Competitors were asked for an extract from a farce involving customers and staff of a restaurant whose advertisement features the words: 'Clan- destine...


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No. 1363: Early warning Set by Jaspistos: A story for young children please (maximum 150 words) which cheer: fully inculcates a cheerless lesson appropri - ate to the modern...

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Solution to Crossword 696: Be damned om i niallal g ent] Erimi lDI 113

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U L atiti 'ALL den A till3R R tii.1021 110 IlLtND i a0WL A El IUMBNPAIIEARIDBE `114 Z 1 E ,latilliaE l lODLEYHEAD O S R a 3 17 UOHE MEI I E A'Srain iia L E ma R...


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Aliquid novi Raymond Keene I n recent articles the World and Com- monwealth championships have tended to push out other events, but plenty has been going on, and I plan to...

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Crossword 699

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A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of 00 (or a copy of Chambers Dictionary, value £11.95 — ring the words 'Chambers Dictionary' above) will be awarded for the first...

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Special Offer

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Wine Club Auberon Waugh T he white burgundy which I trailed last time — Bonhomme's 1983 Macon Vire —is still not available, having been held up by the cold weather which...


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c/o House of Hallgarten, Carkers Lane, Highgate Road, London NW5 1RR Telephone: 01-267 2041 PRODUCT PRICE NO. OF VALUE CASES 1. Mainzer Domherr Kabinett 1983 12 bots. £32.00 2....