17 JANUARY 1981

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Comic turns

The Spectator

At the beginning of the week Mr Michael Foot declared in Newcastle upon Tyne that industrialised societies such as ours could only be saved by a more ambitious socialist...

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Political commentary

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Smoothness is all Ferdinand Mount At about half-past three on Monday afternoon, a great wave of smoothness wafted up to me. Its precise composition was hard to analyse:...

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I have never believed in ghosts — not really — but T am not sure that I would have been brave enough (even if I were rich enough) to buy Nether Lypiatt Manor in Gloucestershire....

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Another voice

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From a medical correspondent Auberon Waugh Perhaps I should explain that I have no medical qualifications. Occasionally, in my own home, I announce that certain things are...

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Italy: the crisis of terrorism

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Peter Nichols Rome To have dogs snapping rather viciously at your heels is one thing: irritating, unnerving, difficult to do much about except for Sporadic bursts of energy...

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Namibia: will the Boers go?

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Xan Smiley Geneva The South Africans pretended they were hardly in Geneva at all. Only as observers, you understand. Well, they did kindly pluck a man out of Pretoria to be...

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The perils of a President

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Nicholas von Hoffman Washington Jimmy Carter went to church for the last time here, where he taught the `couples' Sunday school class. The members heard the waning President...

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Presidential omens

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Corinna Adam The weather on Inauguration Day — President Reagan's is next Tuesday, (20 January) — is regarded by Americans with the same superstition as the theory that all...

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The Lapps' last stand

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Andrew Brown Gothenburg The last time that troops intervened in a civil dispute in Norway was in 1936: the minister responsible was a young man on his way to the top, named...

One hundred years ago

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The hope of an extremely mild winter has nearly passed away. Only the South of England has had anything to boast of in that way even up to the beginning of this week, Scotland...

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Begin and the West Bank

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Richard Owen Inflation, destroyer of governments, has finally brought the Israeli Government of Menachem Begin face to face with the price of unpopularity in a working...

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The press

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The press and the Ripper Paul Johnson Nothing confuses journalists or even lawyers more than contempt of court. An old judge once said: 'It is like an elephant . . . I can...

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In the City

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Advising investors Tony Rudd One of the complaints most frequently made about stock markets by those who have to use them is that they are so neurotic and, therefore,...

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Pride and prejudice

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Sir: Oh dear, I am sorry we have made Mr Chancellor so cross (10 January). But his diatribe against my colleague, D.A.N. Jones, is misdirected. Mr Chancellor, of all people,...

Out of date

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Sir: Cancer of the breast affects one in 20 women in this country. To describe either the disease or its treatment as 'horrendous', the word chosen by your correspondent Brian...

Stress and blood pressure

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Sir: To reply to your correspondents (10 January); taking drugs to lower blood pressure artificially is useless and dangerous because: 1. High blood pressure, though a risk...

Star quality?.

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Sir: If Simon Courtauld wasn't such an insecure snob (the worst kind of Tory) he would accept the Daily Star for what it is an excellent popular newspaper tailored to its market...

Mote and beam

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Sir: Was Richard Ingrams writing with his tongue in his cheek (10 January)? If not, who is the editor of Britain's leading smut and gossip compendium to complain 'that we are...

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Ministering to genius John Chancellor Cosima Wagner's Diaries Volume II 1878-1883 Trans. Geoffrey Skelton (Collins £20) The centenary of Bayreuth in the summer of 1976 was...

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The Arts & Crafts legacy

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Gavin Stamp Utopian Craftsmen Lionel Lambourne (Astragal Books £12.95) Arts and Crafts Architecture Peter Davey (Architectural Press £12.95). Three years to go before 1984...

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Chips and eggs

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Tim Garton Ash Collin Stefan Heym (Hodder £7.95) How gentlemanly are the dilemmas which confront British intellectuals: whether to wound a colleague's pride by a had review or...

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Moving in mysterious ways

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Jeremy Sams Bach and the Dance of God Wilfred Mailers (Faber £1 5) Bach described his music as 'harmonious euphony for the glory of God'. This is the point of departure for...

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Major talent

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Paul Ableman The White Hotel D.M. Thomas (Gollanc2 £6.95) It seems to be a phenomenon of our age that major authors have to wait a long time for recognition while merely...

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Over the top with O'Toole Peter Ackroyd The Stunt Man ('X', selected cinemas) At first it looks like yet another meretricious American film, full of violence and minority...


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On the fringe Peter Jenkins Men Na Va Plus (Tricycle) Shadow Play (Kings Head) Lone Star and Private Wars (Bush) The Tricycle Theatre in the Kilburn High Road is the newest of...

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Comical John McEwen Glen Baxter is an English artist with a bigger reputation abroad, particularly in New York, than here. The understated humour of his captioned drawings now...

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Monsters Richard Ingrams When I reviewed Clive James's dreadful book Unreliable Memoirs recently for the late lamented Books and Bookmen— what a gap the demise of that...

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High life

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Sure-footed Taki New York During May and June of 1968 I had the misfortune to be in Paris playing polo. I say misfortune, because that was the time that all those...

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Low life

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HP sauce Jeffrey Bernard Last Saturday's meeting at Sandown Park must rank with the four or five worst days I have ever experienced on a race track and I hardly lost a...


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In memoriam Patrick Marnham Granada, Spain A common sight by the roadside are the monuments to someone's death in the Civil War. These memorials are simple and dignified in...