17 NOVEMBER 1984

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Portrait of the week

The Spectator

M r Ian Gow astonished his supporters by failing to clear his name after a damaging story had appeared about him in the press. It was said he had threatened to resign his post...

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The Spectator

Versions of victory O ver the past few days, ministers have begun to wear that rather solemn expression one puts on in order to stop oneself breaking out into a silly grin. The...

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Plodding commentary

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I s it possible to lumber gracefully? Yes: London buses do it all the time — the real ones, that is, with a platform at the rear, and a conductor. The only thing wrong with...


The Spectator

T he rows over the cuts proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Nigel Lawson, illustrate how extraordinarily crude political argument can be if polit- icians wish to...

Life at Debra Dowa

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T hey managed it in time! With only hours to go before the African poten tates - were due to arrive in Addis Ababa, to attend the 20th African summit, at the seat of the...


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UK Eire Surface mail Air mall 6 months: £17.?5 £17.25 £20.50 £26.50 One year: £34.50 £34.50 £41.00 £53.00 Name ......... .. Address ... .......... US Subscriptions:...

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Another voice

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'Speaking with authority Auberon Waugh T think the Sunday Times has got to be I.the leading quality newspaper in the market because it is the best and it has got to stay the...

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The Spectator

S ince Mr Nigel Lawson became Chan- cellor, I have given help to at least three (maybe more) writers who were composing profiles of him. I was asked Chiefly, I suppose, because...

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Svetlana in Wonderland

The Spectator

Dhiren Bhagat I n 1967, when she defected to the West, Svetlana Allilueva was in New Delhi, a guest of Raja Dinesh Singh, a minister of state who had his eye on the Foreign...

One hundred years ago

The Spectator

It is a little difficult to understand the langour of the public interest in the Nile Expedition. The politicians are in- terested, or say they are, for they talk about it as...

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Two lonely boys

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Frances Welsh T he Soviet soldiers who defected here from Afghanistan in June and returned to Russia on Sunday, were threatening to run to the Russian embassy more than two...

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CIA psychology

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Christopher Hitchens i was more stirred than I can easily say by the news that a brigade of the CIA's Nicaraguan mercenary army has named itself the Jeane Kirkpatrick Task...

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A Socialist's ambition

The Spectator

Sam White Paris president Mitterrand's career has been 1 so richly embroidered with legends and calumnies, to say nothing of outright con- tradictions, that any attempts at a...

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An eastern Helsinki?

The Spectator

Richard West oth optimists and pessimists about the future of Hong Kong could well take a look at the recent history of Finland. The question is whether Communist China in...

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Fitzgerald's limitations

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George Brock O ne of the grimmest legacies of the bomb at the Grand has been the slow-dawning perception that in Ireland itself nothing has changed. In a British government...

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My recent death

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Patrick Skene Catling Ahakista, Co. Cork There was an unexpected knock at the 1. door on Sunday after lunch. P. J. Barry, a local undertaker in his thirties with the alert...

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The Spectator

Off with his head! Paul Johnson I first became aware of the enormous success of Channel 4's trial programme O m Richard III when I heard a group of r Ough-looking men arguing...

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White hope

The Spectator

rr he Prime Minister's patron sa g e, Fried- .1 rich Hayek, ar g ues the case for the denationalisation of money. He maintains that competition would brin g about a kind of...


The Spectator

City and oining money O ur g rubby banknotes make the Treas- ury a billion pounds a year strai g ht profit. Not satisfied with that, the Govern- ment is now callin g in the...

Catcher in the sky

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L od g ed in my mind is the ima g e of Lloyd's underwriter Stephen Merrett leanin g out of a spacecraft with his shrimpin g -net, tryin g to catch a satellite as it whizzes by....

Softly, Tiny

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S nark-scholars and Carroll-crypto g raph- ers have been drawn like moths to a lamp, or Bakers to a Boojam, by my assertion (last week) that in q uirin g into Tiny Rowland is...

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The Spectator

Sir: Since one of your corresponden t ; raised the subject recently (Letters, 1 " October), we have heard nothing further of the plight of poor General Gordon . How is the old...

Emasculated Wilde

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Sir: I have just learned, with distress, from Jeffrey Bernard's Low life column on 13 October, that Oscar Wilde's statue in Pere Lachaise Cemetery remains emasculated. While I...

Isle of Greece

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Sir: My family is grateful to you for your mention of our ill-treatment by the erratic Socialist government of Greece (Portrait of the Week, 10 November). But we are not only...

Superior culture

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Sir: In your article 'Power to Miss CherrY' (Politics, 10 November), you state that 'we in the West think of ourselves as wiser than Africans.' I believe rather that we think...

Neglected thinker

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Sir: I am researching the life of . 1 %„ W ., i ; Dunne, author of An Experiment WI' Time (1924). I would be very interested t ° , hear from anyone who knew or worked with...


The Spectator

Severe geology Sir: In dealing with Jimmy Reid's letter (3 November), could I point out that: 1. The decision to close Walton Colliery in Yorkshire was taken after all stages...


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Sir: A reader of the Spectator for many years, I was appalled at the intemperate and shoddy attack on homosexuals by Colin Welch (Centrepiece, 10 November). I am not aware of...

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Cradle to grave

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Sir: At last we have a real furore about cot deaths, but only after many, many thousands of babies have lost their lives. As usual, it is up to men, the paedia- tricians,...

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The Spectator

UnIndian Indira Colin Welch H er voice in polite discourse was soft and low, an excellent thing in woman. It enunciated in a musical monotone the progressive clichés,...

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The Spectator

Peter Simple's triumph A. N. Wilson M anypeople in the darkest days of the 1940s were thankful to the humorists (Pont, ITMA, the Crazy Gang, etc) for keeping their pecker up....

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Tuna-fishing Messiah

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David Sexton The Making of a Moonie: Brainwashing or Choice? Eileen Barker (Basil Blackwell £12) T he Moonies are not doing too well at the moment. The Daily Mail has suc-...

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Bachelor nights

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Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd Of Kings and Cabbages Peter Coats (Weidenfeld & Nicolson £12.95) T he secret of writing in the first person is to be mildly self-deprecatory....

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Browsers' corners

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Christopher Hawtree Author! Author! Edited by Richard Findlater (Faber & Faber £6.95; £2.951 Modern First Editions Joseph Connolly (Orbis £15) N ot having published...

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Like pigs

The Spectator

Miranda Seymour In Search of a Past Ronald Fraser (Verso £.15) M ore than ten years ago, Ronald Fras- er set out with a tape recorder and a sizeable grudge against the English...

Mad moth

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Brandon Russell 'M aking the world safe for democracy', is the much-vaunted, self-righteous justification Americans give for military intervention in foreign disputes. It is,...

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English painting

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Years of happiness Gregory Martin The Paintings of J. M. W. Turner Martin Butlin and Evelyn Jon (Revised edition, Yale University Press 2 vols, £125) The Later Paintings and...

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Realism and the English

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Richard Calvocoressi Modern English Painters Sir John Rothenstein 3 volumes (Macdonald £14.95 each) The British Landscape 1920-1950 Ian Jeffrey (Thames & Hudson £12.95) s...

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Fine Arts

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One man and his pictures Alistair Hicks Modern Masters from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection (Royal Academy till 19 December) T don't want to bribe people to see my...

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The Spectator

Turner's grave Giles Auty The Turner Prize: works by short-listed artists (Tate till 2 December) J oseph William Mallord Turner, Eng- land's greatest artist, was born in 1775...

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Paris exhibitions

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Reassessments David Wakefield Watteau (Grand Palais, Paris till 28 January) Diderot et l'Art de Boucher a David (Hotel de la Monnaie, Paris till 6 January) o exhibitions...

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Sale rooms

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Promising Henry Elwell T he great strength of the dollar, the post-Taubman honeymoon at Sotheby's and the tremendous success of the Chats- worth drawings sale at Christie's...

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The Spectator

Cycling Peter Phillips V aughan Williams wrote his nine Songs of Travel to Robert Louis Stevenson's poetry in 1903, before he had edited the English Hymnal and before he had...

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The Spectator

Phantasmagoria Peter Ackroyd The fact that John Irving's novels are impossible mpossible to break up and then reassemble in the shape of a film narrative does not seem to...

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The Spectator

Folk opera Alexander Chancellor rrhe Dismissal, a six-part Australia' .1. political soap opera, is about the r i , se and fall of the former Labor Prime ter, Mr Gough Whitlam....


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Confounding Christopher Edwards Mother Courage (RSC Barbican) B recht's claim as one of the 20th- century masters of theatre has always struck me as a very suspect...

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High life

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Medical notes Taki I no longer suffer from a social disease. The fact dawned upon me on Monday, when I suddenly realised that three weeks had elapsed since I'd been to a...

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Low life

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Rocky Jeffrey Bernard Boulder, Colorado B oulder City lies at the foot of the Rockies 25 miles from the state capit- al, Denver. It is just over 5,000 feet above sea level and...

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The Spectator

Birdlip Mirror P. J. Kavanagh A round here it is easy to think of the Cotswolds rising out of the Severn Plain like a cake. A rugged and irregular- sided cake, some of the...


The Spectator

No. 1347: The meaning of mean Set by Jaspistos: Somebody I know tells me that he knows somebody who keeps their Remembrance Day poppy for use the following year. You are...

No. 1344: The winners

The Spectator

Jaspistos reports: Competitors were invited to incorporate as plausibly as possible the following words in a piece of prose: gene, mud/ark, flummox, contrariwise, un-...

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The Spectator

Holes in six Raymond Keene A fter a week of short draws and post- ponements, interest in the World Championship is shifting back to the ear- lier phase of decisive encounters....

Solution to Crossword 681: Penny fo r the guy

The Spectator

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Crossword 684

The Spectator

Prize: £10 (or a copy of Chambers Dictionary, 1983 edition, value 111.95 — ring the words 'Chambers Dictionary' above) and a `Screwpull' corkscrew, for the first correct...

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The Spectator, Registe red as a Newspaper at the GPO,

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London, Published by the Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Typesetting by Saffron Graphics Limited, 60-66 Saffron Hill, London E.C.1. Printed by the Chesham Press...

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Special Offer

The Spectator

Spectator Wine Club Auberon Waugh A cursory glance at this month's list might suggest that young Price-Beech (for it is he) has not been trying very hard. We are back to the...