16 MAY 1987

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PORTRAIT OF THE WEEK `Do you take this woman?'

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A t the end of intense speculation, the Prime Minister went to the Palace and was granted a dissolution of Parliament on 18 May. A general election will be held on 11 June. The...

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THE TORY ADVANTAGE T he 1983 General Election established that British voters do not want socialism. They were offered the first thoroughly socialist manifesto since 1945, and...

We apologise again to readers, contribu- tors and advertisers who

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have failed to get through to us on the telephone in recent days. A large part of our telephone system has been broken by British Telecom and has still not been mended after ten...

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I Washington t is extraordinary how confident and articulate Americans are. I cannot recall ever meeting one who was at a loss for words or gave the impression of being shy....

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Time for Dudley to act like an earl and belt up AUBERON WA UGH I was unable to write a Spectator column last week, having fled the country in terror at plans for a nationwide...

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WHAT WILL 11 JUNE BE REMEMBERED FOR? The election may not see the death of the Labour Party. Ferdinand Mount analyses the temptation for voters not to give Mrs Thatcher a...

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NEW BLUE CHIPS retiring from safe seats with their more ideological successors WHAT changes will there be among Con- servative MPs as a result of the general election? This...

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UNIONS AGAINST KINNOCK Francis Beckett explains why the Labour leader has fallen out with trade unionists IF Neil Kinnock is feeling hot air on his neck at the start of the...

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ROPY VOTING TACTICS The media: Paul Johnson examines efforts to make an issue of a hung Parliament `THROUGHOUT the campaign', wrote the Daily Mirror on Tuesday, 'you will...

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Ambrose Evans-Pritchard on the connivance of Congress at the Irangate affair Washington IT MUST have been galling for President Reagan to hear the punditry of the last two...

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jaundiced view of Spain in the British yellow press Madrid-Seville MANY Spanish people I know feel that their country is particularly badly under- stood by outsiders,...

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Richard Deacon argues that MI5 should be left to investigate politicians ONE learns rather more about national characteristics from studying the records of the world's security...

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Report:A severe drop in the number of entries — and a few letters of complaint — suggest that I made this one too difficult. All the more credit, then, to the 32 competitors who...

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Child abuse

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Sir: Are we to accept Charles Moore's assertion (Diary, 2 May) that because reports of child sexual abuse have tripled in one year, this means only that reporting has tripled?...

Missed fact

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Sir: Paul Johnson, in his critique of British press reporting from Japan (The press, 11 April), says, 'Ideally, every good British newspaper ought to have two full-time...

LETTERS Mandela's last speech

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Sir: With regard to Richard West's des- patch from Pretoria two weeks ago Crime to free Mandela'): I did not write Mande- la's last speech, or any part of it. It was written by...

Guards condoms

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Sir: Concerning the topical subject of condoms (Letters, 9 May), I was briefly, during one of my numerous disciplinary postings, medical officer to the Coldstream Guards whilst...

Isis and politics

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Sir: There is a factual error in Nicholas Budgen's article (The politics of the clas- sroom', 2 May) which I am sure you would wish to correct. He states that I was asked at a...

Pillar of honour

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Sir: Modern comedians acknowledge their debt to the music halls. Why then does Piers Paul Read so grossly malign St Simeon Stylites (`Sex and sin', 4 April) by denying him...


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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 & Euroche ' ques accepted) RATES 12...

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How Cecil Parkinson dealt with the schoolboy's question about his

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moral values CRAIG BROWN HE HAD lost the top button of his shirt earlier in the morning, and was a little put out. 'Perhaps we'll be able to encourage someone to do a bit of...

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Why are our critics so bad? Colin Welch NO, NOT BLOOMSBURY by Malcolm Bradbury Deutsch, £17.95 I n Professor Bradbury's critical essays you'll find yourself at times in very...

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In search of a good bad book

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Anne Chisholm DESTINY by Sally Beauman Bantam, £10.95 REGRETS ONLY by Sally Quinn Headline, fl 1 .95 A few hours' oblivion in the pages of a good bad book can be one of the...

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Mad, sad and unworthily known

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J. G. Links THE CORRESPONDENCE OF JOHN RUSKIN AND CHARLES ELIOT NORTON edited by John Lewis Bradley and Ian Ousby CUP, £45 T he people by whom you are sur- rounded are not...

Morning's at Seven

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We breakfast with a peaty Irish voice And think of those young men, scarce more than boys, Imprisoned in the Maze for so-called crimes, Severing so-called legs and so-called...

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A man from St Petersburg and La Mancha

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Roger Lewis VN: THE LIFE AND ART OF VLADIMIR NABOKOV by Andrew Field Macdonald, £14.95 V ladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born to be a writer, though probably not an...

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The confusion between real and reel

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David Sylvester PEOPLE WILL TALK by John Kobal Aurum Press, £14.95 0 ur ongoing involvement with the figures on the screen in the heyday of Hollywood motion pictures was of a...

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YOU'RE BETTER OFF SUBSCRIBING TO THE SPECTATOR £12 a year richer, infinitely wiser, and each issue is delivered direct to you every Friday

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Revenge of the weird sisters

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Anita Brookner A SUMMONS TO MEMPHIS by Peter Taylor Chatto &Windus, £10.95 A Summons to Memphis has been the success of the season in America, and it is indeed very good, a...

A selection of recent paperbacks

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Non - fiction: Cities on a Hill by Frances Fitzgerald, Picador, £4.50 The Journals of Denton Welch edited by Michael De-la-Noy, Penguin, £4.95 Edwin Muir: An Autobiography,...

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Cinema An absolute shower N o previous film on the Vietnam war can even compare with Platoon (PG', Odeon, Leicester Square) for photo- graphic realism. The director, Oliver...

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One in a million Peter Phillips he recent production of Aida in Luxor, Upper Egypt, has presented the world with an unusual spectacle in a number of ways. The setting of it in...

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New York theatre

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Broadway buys British Matt Wolf T hink Broadway,' exhorts the large, boldly-lettered sign in front of New York's St James Theatre, but, in context, what does this mean? Such...

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Pop music

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Getting serious Marcus Berkmann I t's odd how many of the big albums bands of the early Seventies are still chugging along, almost unnoticed. You'd never know it, but Deep...


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British Painters at Home and Abroad 1920-1950 (Piccadilly Gallery till 30 May) Bertram Priestman (20th Century Gallery till 23 May) Edward Wilkins Waite (Burlington Paintings...

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Hour of the boiled sweets Wendy Cope T he programme I intended to review this week was Freud: For or Against?, shown on Channel 4 at 11 p.m. last Wednesday. I was fairly sure...

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Low life

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Chapel Street blues Jeffrey Bernard W ell, here we are in trendy, socialist, swinging Islington. This is the first time in years that somebody has had to be kind enough to put...

High life

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Adulterers all Taki has lasted 54 years, which is a hell of a lot more than the 22 years of age his latest girlfriend is reputed to be. It would be inappropriate for me to...

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Home life

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Nuts in May Alice Thomas Ellis T he swarming season seems to be upon us again. It is a very bad (or good, depending on your point of view) year for moths, that is. They must...

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CROSSWORD 808: Blow by blow 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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Vis viva Raymond Keene T he fourth tournament to be scrutinised in my inquiry into the great tournaments of all time is New York 1927. Strange how these things go in cycles —...


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Reproachful triolet Jaspistos I N Competition No. 1471 you were asked for a `Triolet de Reproche' — an idea from a New Statesman competition asking for 'suggestions for the...

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11,11111.11141M1p1MOJEVII! ITO .*. -*-.

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New York eateries THE streets of New York may not be paved with gold American Express cards, but they do provide a sterling shop-front on the consumer society, in the literal...

No. 1474: Ta ta ta

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Some people are excessively, laboriously polite, You are invited to supply a thank- you letter to a thank-you letter and also the reply to it. Maximum 150 words. Entries to...

Solution to 805: Serviceable IIITERIEIE A i 4, 2 1 Tri; Tril l ! L 17.1

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