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Defeating the IRA

The Spectator

Presuming, against some weight of evidence, that the Provisional IRA has as its genuine political objective the unification of Ireland and the removal of the British, and is not...

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The buck stops with Kissinger

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President Nixon has taken a wise decision, not merely in appointing Dr Kissinger to succeed Mr Rogers as Secretary of State, but in allowing him at the same time to retain his...

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Nursery schools

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Sir: That such a prominent headmaster should quote a sentence so out of context as to give the opposite slant to the case presented in the article from which it is taken is...

Sir: The decision to provide nursery education for all is

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only too typical of the current Tory approach to education. This involves a frenzied determination to toe the current trendy line — even if this means apeing the doctrinaire...

Hypocrisy and hijacking

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Sir: Surely your readers are entitled to expect from you better informed and more penetrating comment on the tangled affairs of the Middle East than was contained in your...

Satisfied customers

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From Dr D. Middleton Sir: You and your paper are greatly to be congratulated on your continuing exposure of Common Market attitudes and policies. In particular it was good to...

Sir: I offer my heartiest and most sincere congratulations to

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your paper for the forthright, honest, realistic, courageous and logical articles which have dominated it in recent weeks. Whether the topic be the Middle East, the EEC,...

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Ton i Paine

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Sir: Your reviewer, Richard Luckett, has surely been less than fair to Miss Audrey Williamson's Life of Thomas Paine (August 18) when he implies that her Portrait of that great...

Sir. Being apparently opposed to Paine's political writings, Richards Luckett

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(August 18) has been less than fair to the evidence in my book and has misread some of it (Paine, for inStance, did not marry his landlord's Widow but his young daughter, and...

Universities bad year

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Sir: How rare and refreshing to read so san an article as 'Bad Year for the Universities' by Donald Watt (August 18). All I should like to add is that Professor Eysenck failed...


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Sir: Mr Lindsay's letter (July 28) will support the inference that Clockwork Orange might be of value as a tract for showing to audiences of politicians, school-masters and...

Whose freedom?

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From Dr Konstantin Bcizarov Sir: It was very sensible of Alastair MacGregor (July 14) to "leave others to refute " me if the best that he can do is to suggest that the merits of...

'The Bacchae'

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Sir: A double fault for Will Waspe. Michael Blackmore and John Dexter did not, as he claims, turn down The Barchae. Nor is it true that The Bacchae is my "last National baby."...

Lee at home From Mrs, S. N. Nanporia

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Sir: One wonders how the Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, allowed the Commonwealth Prime Minister's community to "let their hair down " when he strictly bans some...

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Spectator's Notebook

The Spectator

ORFORD is a pleasant quiet spot on the Suffolk coast. It was visited, apparently with premeditation, by a bunch of forty yobs on motorbikes, calling themselves the Wessex...

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Political Commentary

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Have the Liberals any policies? Patrick Cosgrave In asking the question I take a stand neither for modern (one must make the qualification, since certain historical Liberal...

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Who rules the waves?

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David Wyn Williams The cod war has now settled down from the excited initial moves to a war of attrition. If it runs according to form, it will end in a few months' time with a...

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A 'Brief Life'

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Sir John Betjeman Laureatus John Bowie (after Aubrey) He was born a Londoner — never forgott it. Lived in Cloth Fair. His father sold Curiosi ties, as Shagreen Tobacco cases,...

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In search of a role Michael Meacher This is the second of two articles by the Labour MP for Oldham West, who was a member of the Parliamentary delegation that recently visited...


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The Navy thought Harriet lovely and fair; They adored her in the sun and in rain. They delightedly laughed as she sped through the air And winged her way over the main. It is...


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Watch on the Doubs Nicholas Richardson You don't learn from your mistakes they say, you just repeat them. Some years ago a journalist asked the then Prime Minister Pompidou,...

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Pyramid man

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Golden opportunist Peter Martin In June 1971, bored with my 9 to 5 rut, I formed Torismon Services. Today I own a £38,000 house and a Bentley. If I could show you how, would...

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Education The public schools' fatal rigidity Richard Ryder The presence of public schools Within our educational system is not altogether consistent with modern Tory...


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Not quite rational Martin Sullivan Professor Sir A. J. Ayer has just completed his Gifford lectures. The third, broadcast on Radio 3, and dealing with the so-called classical...

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The discoveries of Leeuwenhoek Bernard Dixon This week sees the 250th anniversary of the death of Antony van Leeuwenhoek, one of the remarkable and talented (yet curiously...

Country Life

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Points of the compass Peter Quince To come back to England frOm the sunlit South, as so many of us do nowadays at this time of year, can be mildly unsettling. Things seem...

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The Good Life

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Looking Danewards .Pamela VaAdyke Price. Well-disposed tourists in Britain comment that they wish We wouldn't run ourselves down. But the one-eighth of me that is French...

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Juliette's weekly frolic

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It's turning into a tough and unrewarding struggle this climb back to the £100 mark and York failed to offer even a foothold up the ladder. Still if you're going to go broke...

A night at the opera

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Benny Green It has often been said that the great glory of that pragmatic pearl, the English Constitution, is that it was never written down. It may be that its even greater...

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Richard Luckett on society drawn and quartered "Ask the cartoonist first, for he knows best," wrote W. H. Auden, reflecting on the state of England in the nineteen-thirties....

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Colours of the Rimbaud

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Kay Dick Enid Starkie Joanna Richardson (Murray £4.50) Miss Richardson might well have sub-titled her book on Enid Starkie 'A Humming-Bird at Somerville,' quoting her own...

Insubstantial pageant

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Peter Ackroyd Rosalind Passes Frank Swinnerton (Hutchinson 0.40) The Siege Of Krishnapur J. G. Farrell (Weidenfeld and Nicolson £2.25) What a familiar ring it has, the novel.'...

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Through the keyhole

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Norman Stone An Ambassador's Memoirs. Maurice Paleologue, translated by F. A. Holt, introduced by Professor L. B. Schairo (Hutchinson E12.00). Maurice Paleologue was...

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Crime compendium

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I had to endure two rebukes arising from my last column, The first was for dealing with Northcote Parkinson's naval adventure Devil to Pay in a crime compendium; the second...

Words getting in the way

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David Harsent Dannie Abse Fun/and and other poems (Hutchinson E1.75; paperback, 75p) Anthony Thwaite: Inscriptions (OUP £1.30) It's difficult, most of the time, to decide...

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Bill Platypus's

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Paperbacks i begin this week with two rather serious paperbacks. The first is Norman Bull's Moral Education (Routiedge Regan Paul 95p). It is a studt of the development of...

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From Beaverbrook to Ottercove

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Michael Holroyd " Dear Sir, — If it would be convenient for you to call on me here 123 St Bride Street] I should like to see you," William Gerhardie was in Vienna when this...

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B ookend Bookbuyer hesitates to be critical of Granada Publishing once again, if only because it is so temptingly easy. But it really is time someone had a fatherly word in that...

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Clive Gammon on the channel nobody needs In keeping with the high seriousness that you have come to expect from me on the subject of television, my first reaction to the...

Now we are six_ 'Christopher Hudson With a nice appreciation

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of the intellectual level of Jesus Christ Superstar ('A' Paramount) Norman Jewison has staged his film of it in a sandpit. Under the hot Israeli sun a group of kids tumble out...

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Records kmong the great

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Rodney %Ines ; Until this year, complete recordtrigs of Parsifal (there are three) have been put together from live Performances at Bayreuth, as if Perpetuating the composer's...


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Just kidding 'Evan Anthony Ever since the Robert Morris exhibition was destroyed by art lovers at the Tate, there has been a gap in the art world — nothing for the kiddies to...


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Was pe I find it curious that no one has remarked on a cannibalistic similarity between that ' Black and Blue' television comedy, ' Secrets ' — in which Warren Mitchell played...

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Bear points Nicholas Davenport I have never returned from a holiday to find the City more gloomy and defeatist than I found it last week. The Stock Exchange was more dead than...

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Skinflint's City Diary

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The Marlborough Street magistrates have been handing out brisk justice to foreign shoplifters to the delight of some, particularly those who own shops in Oxford Street. An...

Marl's Eastern promise

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Nephew Wilde My knowledge of the Chinese and their customs is limited. I once did spend a few days in Hong Kong where I vividly recall playing cricket on the ground situated...