18 NOVEMBER 1980

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Political commentary

The Spectator

Winston and Margaret Ferdinand Mount One of young Winston's earlier oratorical triumphs was in the school competition for French recitation. The set piece was Baudelaire's...

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Another voice

The Spectator

'A licence for liars' Auberon Waugh In moments of perplexity or doubt one must seize upon whatever certainties present themselves. Through all the confusion and contradictory...

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The professional dissident

The Spectator

Edward Marston Berlin If you saw a green Wartburg being escorted through the streets of East Berlin by six police cars a few months ago, there are two likely explanations....

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Mrs Gandhi returns

The Spectator

Sasthi Brata New Delhi Nineteen months after her celebrated election defeat, Indira Gandhi has exploited the political structure reinstated by her successors and been elected...

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Lies, damned lies

The Spectator

Christopher Booker 8 Y 'flaking one or two unorthodox statistical correlations with the aid of the new Guardian Election Guide*, I can reveal that the main reaction of the...

A hundred years ago

The Spectator

Mr Colman, M P, has so applied some of Mr Edison's newest improvements to his private wire between London and Norwich (a distance of 115 miles), that even on a day of great...

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In defence of porn

The Spectator

Patrick Marnham 'Although I am only a working-class housewife I would like to gather support for you in Cokhester.' How reassuring it must have been for the leaders of the...

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The battered husbands

The Spectator

Christine Verity The sad subject of divorce has always had its funny, or at least ludicrous side. In happier times, the mirth usually centred round those furtive interventions...

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The press

The Spectator

Treating gentlemen as hacks Eric Jacobs In 1926 The Times printed a slim volume, anonymously written and privately circulated, which told how the paper struggled to keep going...

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In the City

The Spectator

An ill-timed squeeze Nicholas Davenport The blinkered mandarins at the Treasury and the Bank of England, following the ancient rules of their money books, have b een...

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The coming of wit

The Spectator

Nicholas Mosley The philosopher Karl Jaspers suggested that a turning point in human history occurred around 500 BC — an age in which there lived Socrates, the Greek...

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Daylight saving

The Spectator

Sir: I wonder whether it might be possible to provoke some discussion through your columns regarding a radical idea which I have and which, I claim, would not only make man's...

The Archbishops' letter

The Spectator

Sir: On 8 October a letter was read out in all Anglican churches from the two archbishops declaring their belief in the maintenance of a fully-ordained ministry of the present...

Ars Poetica

The Spectator

Sir: In the verse you kindly published the other day to celebrate the forthcoming election of a new Professor of Poetry at Oxford, I forgot to include mention of John Jones. As...

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Causes of inflation

The Spectator

Sir: I must take issue with Nicholas von Hoffman for asserting (11 November) that not only does President James Carter not understand what causes inflation but also that...

Bored and brooding

The Spectator

Sir: 'If you abhor (musical) analysis, just go away quietly instead of listening noisily.' Thus Hans Keller. I will not go away quietly. It seems that every second time I turn...

Ex Africa

The Spectator

Sir: I was interested to read Christopher Booker's article 'Ex Africa semper id' (11 November), which may be good journalism but it is bad history. Firstly, he should be...

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The Spectator

The last Roundhead Whig J. P. Kenyon Puritans and Revolutionaries: Essays in Sev enteenth-Century History PreserI N ted to Christopher Hill Edited by u onald Pennington and...

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Growing up

The Spectator

Alex de Jonge A Russian Schoolboy Sergei Aksakov (Oxford £4.50) When Professor Pnin used, as Nabokov put it, to 'get drunk on his private wines', one of the choicer vintages...


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Anthony Quinton Public and Private Morality Edited by Stuart Hampshire (Cambridge £6.50) These six essays, all but two newly published, by five prominent moral and social...

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By contrast

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Patrick Cosgrave Nuremberg Airey Neave (Hodder E7.50) Six Faces of Courage M.R.D. Foot (Eyre Methuen E4.95) No greater contrast between truth and lies, gallantry and immanity,...

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Time tells

The Spectator

Francis King passage of Time Gillian Martin (Heinemann £4.50) The process of getting to know people is often less laborious and painful than that of getting to unknow them and...

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b aughter of Jerusalem Sara Maitland (Blond and Briggs £4.95) e4) ,

The Spectator

(Alien Positions Susan Isaacs Aden Lane £4.95) The Illusionist Giles Gordon (Harvester Press £4.95) Sarah Maitland is a young author who "as tackled the perplexing topic of the...


The Spectator

Schubert: tune and melody Hans Keller On the surface, Sunday's 150th anniversary of Schubert's death finds the reputation of his mature output in better health than did the...

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The Spectator

Remarks Peter Jenkins Night and Day (Phoenix) The Measures Taken (Kings Head) King Lear (Old Vic) In his new play Tom Stoppard goes in for some fierce journalist-bashing and...

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The Spectator

Small beer Rodney Milnes L'Africalne (Covent Garden) The Thieving Magpie (Coliseum) People who know about these things maintain that L'Africaine is Meyerbeer's masterpiece, in...

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The Spectator

Preview Ted Whitehead London Film Festival (NFT) The Hound of the Baskervilles (General release) I've faced the Magic of Attenborough and the Omen II of Taylor, but a kind...


The Spectator

Mrs Picasso John McEwen Everyone knows that twentieth-century art begins with Cubism, so it is quite something when, as at present, London simultaneously has exhibitions of...

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The Spectator

I n ft Patient Richard lngrams !think I was probably too kind to Doctor J onathan last week. The fact is that even the l ikes of me who think that we are immune to such things...


The Spectator

Undefeated Benny Green ..M11 Like most athletes of genius, Gene Tunney, who died last week in his eighty-first year, was doomed to a life with an interminable postscript. It is...

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High life

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Unlucky? Taki As a close friend of Lord Lucan, and despite various tempting offers, I have avoided writing about him since that tragic day foul years ago. The reason being...

Low life

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Out patients Jeffrey Bernard I'm pretty sure that unhappiness, as opposed to and quite different from depression, is an illness caught in childhood usually round about the age...

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Last word

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Saying alas Geoffrey Wheatcroft The last week has seen the sixtieth anniversaryof the Armistice which ended the Great Wa r; and of several other events besides. In Poland...

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The Spectator

Goulash David Levy Po r the first time in the history of the Chess o 1 Y r uPiad the Soviet Union has finished be low first place. After one of the most _exciting conclusions...