1 AUGUST 1987

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T he British Government continued its legal battle against Peter Wright's book of MI5 memoirs, Spycatcher. It is now fight- ing in two courts — the House of Lords and in New...

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MR GORBACHEV'S SMILE M r Mikhail Gorbachev's latest move in the arms control game has presented a formidable challenge to Nato. At a superfi- cial level his willingness to...

Readers are reminded that entries for our British Telecom Horror

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Competition should be sent to BT Horror Competition, the Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1 by 7 August. The prize is a K2 red telephone box. Postal delivery to the Spec-...


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THE revived Criminal Justice Bill contains fierce clauses which will allow the author- ities to freeze all assets of those suspected of City fraud. They are being introduced, it...


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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 & Eurocheques accepted) RATES 12...

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Why Mr Kinnock should back the school curriculum plans FE RDINAND MOUNT E ven at the height of the teachers' strikes, it was hard to hate Fred Jarvis. The general secretary of...

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0 ne of the most delightful aspects of life is the way things even themselves out over the years. That is to say, those like me who were failures at school tend to get some sort...

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The cold, unloving, rubber-insulated News of the World AUBERON WAUGH W hatever happens, one must avoid the temptation to gloat. Seven years ago the News of the World's legal...

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Dhiren Bhagat crossed no-man's-land to talk to the guerrillas of Sri Lanka. He found evidence that Rajiv Gandhi's peace proposals lack support THE most important thing one...

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Richard Owen on the resentment of Turks at being in Nato but not the EEC `NO photographs!' shouted our Turkish army escort, haring across the dusty fields to where one of our...

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Richard Normington, winner of our Young Writer (schools) Prize, joins a mini-enterprise scheme 1 November At the beginning of term over one hundred budding entrepreneurs and I...

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Magnus Linklater on his five-month editorship of the London Daily News THE wake held to mark the passing of the London Daily News last Friday night was in a great Fleet Street...

The Young Writer Prizes were sponsored by the Spectator and

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the Sunday Tele- graph.

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Colin Coldman on how new teaching methods have betrayed the principles of mathematics RECENT developments in education have involved a shift in emphasis away from factual...

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The press: Paul Johnson reflects on the injustice of circulations IS there any justice in the verdict of the circulation figures? Contrast, for instance, the fate of the...

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The merits of a stitch in time JOCK BRUCE-GARDYNE l _dife', in the words of the old barrack roomroom ballad sung to the tune of Haydn's `Austrian Hymn', `Life presents a...

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Grandfather's footsteps

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MY grandfather knew Lloyd George, so I can encourage David Owen, who must now take encouragement where he finds it, to reflect that warring Liberals and unsoci- able democrats...

Black sheep

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THE British Airports Authority, or BAA as it SHEEPishly now calls itself, comes to support Cecil Parkinson's case for new kinds of privatisation. County Bank's idea of making...

Good as gold

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THE Bank of England and the British Museum have pooled their resources in a handsome exhibition, at the Museum, showing how bank notes have evolved over three centuries from the...


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How Parkinson will give privatisation an electric shock CHRISTOPHER FILDES M erchant bankers with off-the-peg privatisation plans can be seen this week slinking out of Cecil...

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Sir: Suggestion: please print the crossword on the reverse side of an advertisement thus enabling me to enter the competition without mutilating Home life and thereby incurring...

LETTERS Air competition

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Sir: Mr Christopher Fildes (City and Sub- urban, 25 July) condemns as monopolistic the proposals by the British Caledonian and British Airways boards to join forces. This is an...

Top drawer

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Sir: For months now I have looked in vain for a letter in praise of Austin's cartoons. Worse, the occasional references in your correspondence columns have been mea- sured and...

Hapax legomena

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Sir: Paul Johnson (The press, 18 July), asked for synonyms for 'community charge' and 'privatisation'. May I suggest `civil levy' or 'civic duty', and for 'privatisa- tion' how...

Sir: Although Paul Johnson has not invited suggestions for an

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alternative to poll tax I venture to make one rather late in the day. The words 'pillow tax' might meet the case. They have a cosy, domestic ring about them, I think, directed...

Sir: Christopher Fildes, in his article on the proposed British

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Airways/British Caledo- nian merger, touched on a highly topical issue when he stated, 'Manchester Air- port . . . cannot get airlines who want to fly there because of the...


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Sir: Some joker has sent me a subscription form for your paper. As a council cleaner taking home £75 a week in a job earmarked for theft, sorry, `privatisation', I cannot...

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Nicholas Garland found new freedom on a motorbike, and then felt the urge to get a bigger model.. . . I PULLED up at some traffic lights one night o n my 100cc Honda alongside a...

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LESS THAN HALF-PRICE More stimulating than any lecture, funnier than the set books, The Spectator should be required reading for every student. With Student Subscriptions...

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One hundred years ago

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ON Saturday last the Queen reviewed from the deck of the Royal yacht, if not the most imposing, at any rate the most formidable, Fleet that has ever been assembled. The Review...

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S o here it is at last, the distinguished thing', murmured Henry James after the stroke that was to lead to his death. It was his last coherent statement. In the interval of...

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Danger from little green men supporters

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Adrian Berry ABOVE TOP SECRET: THE WORLDWIDE UFO COVER-UP by Timothy Good Sidgwick & Jackson, £14.95 I do not know how many trees were cut down to produce this 590-page...

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Not quite the only begetter

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James Fox STRAIGHT ON TILL MORNING by Mary S. Lovell Hutchinson, £15.95 T he Beryl Markham industry — the latest product of Kenya settlerdom — is booming. Her fine African...

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Sacrilege in the temple of Clio

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Noel Malcolm THE ELGIN MARBLES: SHOULD THEY BE RETURNED TO GREECE? by Christopher Hitchens, with essays by Robert Browning and Graham Binns Chatto & Windus, £12.95 I n the...

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Feminist happy in a man's world

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Frances Spalding SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR by Claude Francis and Fernande Gontier Sidgwick & Jackson, fl5 SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR: WITNESS TO A CENTURY Yale French Studies Number 72,...

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Not a thoroughly nice man

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Geoffrey Wheatcroft THE REAL WAGNER by Rudolph Sabor Deutsch, £17.95 I n the years when he wrote for these pages, the late and sorely-missed Hans Keller said many original and...

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That Summer

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I have no particular hit single for that summer, no miracle century of Botham's to remember it by - only the heatwave, July long past its sell-by date, but still going on...

Not with a whimper but a bang

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Anthony Osman THE MAKING OF THE ATOMIC BOMB by Richard Rhodes Simon & Schuster, fI8 I n early December, 1938, the German chemist Otto Hahn made a quite aston- ishing...

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Opera Tasteless farrago Rodney Milnes L'Heure Espagnole L'Enfant et les Sortileges (G lyndebourne) G lyndebourne may be just about the best opera house in the world, but...

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Gillian Ayres (Knoedler Gallery, till 5 September) The joy of paint Alistair Hicks D on't listen to her, she'll make you paint!' fellow teachers warned their stu- dents...

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Projects Review 1986-87 (Architectural Association, till 15 August) Fashion parade Rowan Moore A rchitecture, and architectural educa- tion, has in Britain as little...

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Follies (Shaftesbury) Soft centr e Christopher Edwards S tephen Sondheim deserves to be taken more seriously than most other living composers/lyricists in popular musical...

ligust rts

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A monthly selection of forthcoming events recommended by the Spectator's regular critics. MUSIC Mozart's opera Idomeneo will be performed by the Orchestra of the Age of...

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Three in the bush Hilary Mantel T his film has, if not a pedigree, an ancestry: Bonnie and Clyde, Thieves Like Us, Badlands. It is an Australian version of life on the run,...

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High life

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Youthful pleasures Taki Venice h ehe last time 1 visited the most en- chanting city in the world was 20 years ago, for the ultimate ball the old Contessa Volpi was to give. By...


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Seeing the funny side Wendy Cope L ast week I remembered to watch Loving Memory (BBC 2), the second of 1 : 01 1Y Harrison's programmes about the rituals that help us to deal...

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Home life

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The stuff of myth Alice Thomas Ellis I have just resurrected a piece of embroidery — well, appliqué mostly which I began about 20 years ago and got fed up with. It represents...

Low life

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Penthouse fantasy Jeffrey Bernard T he business of being homeless and the search for a flat has become an obession and a nightmare. Even if I don't dream about it the anxiety...

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1985 vintage port

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HIGH summer, even a summer like this one, may seem an odd time to be thinking about vintage port, that heaviest and most thawing of all wines. The declaration of a vintage in...

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1 1 1!1! I WIDOW latts9 1

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NN . , Deliveries EFFORTLESS ease has gone out of fashion. The Americanisation and Thatch- erisation of our culture and the spectre of unemployment they drag behind them have...

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Peculiar presents Jaspistos I . N Competition No. 1482 you were invited to compose a speech or letter to accompany a peculiar present from one co ntemporary head of government...


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B ritish champion Jon Speelman has become a man to watch over the past year. Freed from worries concerning his health, Speelman's play has experienced a tremendous upswing....

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Solution to 816: Windy 6 & 16, 12 & 24,31

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& 8 and 41 &28 are SNAKES. Winners: J.R. Moon, London SE21 (f20); Mrs C.A. Boyles, Godalm- ing; Mrs K. Orr, Dollar.

No. 1485: Anti-verse

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You are invited to write a poem a g ainst poetry and/or poets. Maximum 16 lines. Entries to 'Competition No. 1485' by 14 August.


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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...