20 AUGUST 1988

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The Spectator

A British soldier was shot dead by the IRA in the Belgian port of Ostend when his car stopped at traffic lights. Much criticism was made of the fact that British soldiers and...

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I n an age when every intellectual feels the need to belong to at least one oppres- sed group, and the adjective 'revolution- ary' is automatically one of commendation, it is...

The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone 01-405

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1706; Telex 27124; Fax 242 0603

. . . and statistics

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`COVERT medical tests . . . [show] smokers prefer cannabis to tobacco . . . People attending the accident and emergency department at Hackney Hospital have been routinely tested...

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The resistible charm of the bodies politic MARTIN IVENS T he wimp factor' ever present in his calculations, Mr George Bush demanded an emergency summit meeting with the top...

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M y mother, a bibliophile, taught me always to return books. 'Keep the jewel- lery,' she used to say, 'but give back the books.' No matter how I was tempted excruciatingly once...

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Time for a little scrutiny of the fat blue line AUBERON WAUGH Few of us will grudge them these huge sums of money when we reflect that deaths by murder and unlawful killing of...

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Michael Trend investigates the top . . . and the bottom of the private security business `NO NAMES, no pack-drill', said my contact, Bob, as he eased himself into the...

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Anthony Daniels recalls a week spent in a country sweet to visit, but bitter to live in BURMA'S foreign minister, a leading member of the Burmese Socialist Program- me Party,...

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Leslie Plommer sees Cypriot obstinacy as the stumbling-block at next week's peace talks Nicosia HENRY Kissinger said his staff were under orders to put him in a strait-jacket...

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Kenyatta's funeral in the company of another African ruler I WAS called to the telephone in the middle of the afternoon. 'It's the Presi- dent's Office,' the operator told me....

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SUBSCRIBE TODAY - Save 15% on the Cover Price! RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £45.00 0 £23.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £55.00 0 £28.00 USA Airspeed 0 US S90 0 USS45 Rest of Airmail...

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White South Africans are resisting conscription. Phillip Swarbrick wishes he had TWELVE years ago, as an English- speaking South African I was conscripted directly out of...

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Dominic Lawson talks to West Hampstead's, indeed the West's, strongest players IN THE unprepossessing suburb of West Hampstead the owners of two of the finest brains in...


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The press: Paul Johnson on the implication of a new Sunday paper AS Thatcher prosperity spreads into the west, the north and across the border into Scotland, there follows in...

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Insider bidding

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THE excoriation of the teeny-bopper share dealers (for whom, we are told, sacking isn't bad enough) set me turning to Skid Simon's masterpiece, Why You Lose at Bridge. 'I hold...

Tower block

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BLACK edging should surround the card which now tells me that at the end of this month Hambros are going to the Tower. It is not that those civilised bankers are for the chop,...

Tim was right

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HOW I shall miss my pale-green weekly note from Tim Congdon. The sage of Shearson thinks that 12 years is enough. He has tirelessly warned us where the surge in bank lending and...


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News from a time-slip: we must have done something right CHRISTOPHER FILDES I was submitting myself to the soothing influence of the Bank of England's atmos- phere and prose...

More of the medicine

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EFFICIENCY, the economists explained in their coded language, had something to do with it. Britain's share of world trade in finished goods has been rising since 1984, and...

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George the second

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Sir: Not only does The Spectator surface in Botswana, but the odd copy also arrives down here in West Wales, where great merriment was caused in the bar of Brown's Hotel by the...

LETTERS Gorbachev's mask

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Sir: As an historian, Norman Davies (`Sta- lin's history lesson', 6 August) grasps the essential truth which John Springs, as an artist, apprehends intuitively in his drawing...

Turkish tales

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Sir: Charles Glass's concern for the impris- oned and oppressed (30 July) is admirable and understandable, but it is very hard to believe that 1,619 Greek Cypriots could be held...

Can your mother sew?

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Sir: Yes, I suppose we should all feel grateful that the violence of Glasgow foot- ball supporters in the 1930s is now largely a thing of the past, as Richard West suggests...

The real Hess

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Sir: In 1941 I was private secretary to Sir Alexander Cadogan, the head of the Fo- reign Office. As such I was also in those days, I believe, the only direct link bet- ween the...

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The male whale

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Sir: As a male whale has its testes packed safely away within its abdomen, it has no need of, and therefore does not possess, a scrotum. Peter Levi (Books, 6 August) should...

Sir: I was greatly impressed by the descrip- tion of

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Westminster's litter collection ser- vice. With savings of this order of magnitude I would not be at all surprised to learn that it would go quite some way towards covering the...


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[TO THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR.") SIR, — Your note in your issue of August 11th on the deliverance of the Bishops as to African converts with several wives, brought to my...

Litter bugging

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Sir: I agree completely with Michael Trend's article 'The London litter bugs' (2 July), which contrasts the efficient litter collection and street cleaning service offered by...

Picasso's legacy

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Sir: It would be quite improper for me to comment on Mrs Huffington's book about Picasso (I am the author of a book about the artist which will be published on 22 September),...

One hundred years ago

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SLEEPLESSNESS [TO THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR.") SIR, — A curious experience of a member of my family quite corrobo- rates Mr Stuart's testimony to the efficacy of hot water...

Child abuse

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Sir: With reference to your article by Tony Samstag (Throwaway children', 18 June) and the reference to 'the American Agen- cy, Defence for Children International', DCI is not...

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F or whom is this vast book? Assuredly not for all of us. Assuredly not for those seeking something jolly to read in a shade- dappled hammock. It is too heavy, needs a desk. It...

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Her novels now are ended?

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Gabriele Annan LATECOMERS by Anita Brookner Cape, f10.95, pp.248 H artmann and Fibich meet at an English boarding school just before the war. Both are refugee orphans from...

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A tale of three cities

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Denis Hills THE DOUBLE EAGLE: VIENNA, BUDAPEST AND PRAGUE by Stephen Brook Hamish Hamilton, £14.95, pp.336 I went to three cities, and found not only three urban personalities,...

A Place

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When Mortal and Eternal mate, As in true love, there still must be A time, a place, something you see, A date, a prayer to listening Fate To sanctify some nondescript Tearoom,...

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Fishing for more than complements

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Patrick Skene Catling MEN'S LIVES by Peter Matthiessen Collins Harvill, £15, pp.335 P eter Matthiessen, a New York author of admirable virility and sensitivity (The Snow...

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The bubble reputation not yet burst

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David Gilmour FREDERICK II: A MEDIEVAL EMPEROR by David Abulafia Allen Lane, £17.95, pp. 466 T he purpose of this book is the defla- tion of Frederick II, King of Sicily and...

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The Luck of It

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Of course it is luck in a sense, In every sense indeed, Lucky for you that the words arrive out of what Really does seem a perfect, cloud-absent sky But the luck is not for that...

The wicked old buzzard becomes a cult

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Peter Levi A. E. HOUSMAN: COLLECTED POEMS AND SELECTED PROSE edited by Christopher Ricks Allen Lane, £18.95, pp.528 T he older one gets the more Penguins, however defined,...

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The mood of an oppressed people

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Liliana Brisby THE DAWNING by Milka Bajic Poderegin, translated by Nadja Poderegin Honeyglen Publishing, £9.95, £5.95, pp. 365 M ilka Bajic Poderegin, who died in London 17...

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A long struggle to create

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Balliol Man Jasper Griffin BALLIOL COLLEGE: A HISTORY, 1263-1939 by John Jones OUP, f35, pp. 343 H istories of colleges, of regiments, of clubs: they form a distinct and...

How to save yourself 51 trips to the library .

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. . or almost £30 on The Spectator If you're forced to share The Spectator with fellow students, then you'll know how difficult it can be to track a copy down. Now you can...

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The @- Edinburgh Festival

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Should the Festival go to Glasgow? Rory Knight Bruce hen the Dance Theatre of Harlem opened on the first night of the 42nd Edinburgh International Festival on Mon- day, they...

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Picabia (Royal Scottish Academy, till 4 September) Lucian Freud (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, till 7 October) Joan Eardley Retrospective (Talbot Rice Gallery, till...

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Edinburgh's conqueror Gavin Stamp views the transformation wrought by a pushy Englishman at the Scottish National Gallery E dinburgh is not Manchester. When Timothy Clifford,...

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Film Festival

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A life on the edge Geoffrey Smith previews Clint Eastwood's portrait of a great jazz musician C lint Eastwood's Bird receives its Brit- ish premiere on 21 August at the Edin-...

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Mrs Klein (Cottesloe) Life on the shelf Christopher Edwards I n Chekhov's Three Sisters, the main characters are cut off from more than just Moscow. They are exiles from the...

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Kirov Ballet Moscow Classical Ballet (Business Design Centre, Islington) Ducks among the swans Deirdre McMahon atalia Makarova's return to the Kirov Ballet in the Swan Lake...

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Track 29 ('18', Lumiere) Childish things Hilary Mantel I n the beginning there is a man and a woman. They live together unhappily. The place is North Carolina. Dr Henry Henry...

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Imitating the bandersnatch Wendy Cope F or the past week I have been in an unusually irascible mood. Things that would normally annoy me just a bit are making me frumious....

High life

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Hair- Taki Siena Even if I say so myself, my birthday party was a great success. The trick was having the orchestra play nothing which separates the sexes. There were...

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Low life

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Parting shots Jeffrey Bernard A nother good man has died. Jimmy Collier owned probably the best hotel in England, the Bibury Court Hotel, a beauti- ful place and he gathered...

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Home life

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Plumbing the depths Alice Thomas Ellis T he sink is blocked and the dishwasher is overflowing. I suspect in some dim region of my mind that in some dim region where the...


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The use of the lock in defensive play is a well- known strategy, much tested at Federation meet- ings. It is an easy manoeuvre to learn but its apparent simplicity has lead to...

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Late correction Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1536 you were asked for a newspaper letter or extract from a review by one of Strachey's Eminent Victorians who has just read the...


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Triple crown Raymond Keene S omething of a sensation was created last week when Leonard Barden published an astounding miniature in his columns in both the Guardian and the...

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A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of either Chambers Dictionary or Chambers Crossword Manual — ring your choice) for the first three...

No. 1539: Critics' forum

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A review, please, by Captain Ahab of Whale Nation, by Bret - Fox of the Irish RM, by Bunyan of The Old Devils, by Bertie Wooster of The Anatomy of Melan- choly or by a similarly...

Solution to 869: Hail, Mary!

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1 M 2 U N 3 D . .11'S A u 1 R O'1 , . 0 1 0 2 A EfREENT 12 AmERO3IN VI !EEPEEILEHEI(IsT TID - 19)AETTLEEMpE 11_ OUR E SI I FPI A IR 21 7 1p L 1 EMI 11 . 11131 OIER ID 1 E Poi 2...

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Imperative cooking: supermarkets I HAVE been to a supermarket. There were a number of reasons. On the positive side — from the supermarket's point of view, assuming, that is,...

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Leaves from the commonplace book of Wallace Arnold AFTER a most agreeable dinner, with the ladies safely upstairs 'powdering their noses', the talk turned to the subject of...

Switched on

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HIS love of `Blackers', as he calls it, has led him to insist that the first annual conference of his charming left-wing think- tank must be held there, among the salt-of-...

Excellent cigars

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`THOROUGHLY enjoyed his last fiction,' announced our host, handing out some excellent cigars. 'Marvellous eccentric old character, based, I suspect, on his father.' 'And what...