21 MAY 1988

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The Spectator

Soap D ifferences over exchange rate policy between Mrs Thatcher and Mr Lawson were patched up. David Steel stood down as Liberal leader; Paddy Ashdown emerged as favourite to...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone 01-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 242 0603 SOUTHERN COMFORTS M iss Marple was of the opinion that there is a great deal...


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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 $90 0 US$45 Rest of...

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Sir Geoffrey and the deep loneliness of the long-distance leader NOEL MALCOLM N o man is a hero to his valet.' As has been pointed out, this well-known truth says more about...

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Miami h ishis city is in the frontline of the War against drugs'. In the company of the Miami Police, I took part in one of its skirmishes. This was an operation called The...

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The Major, the media and the massage AUBERON WAUGH There could be no mistaking how proud the working-class newspapers were to have caused distress in a major's family. Perhaps...

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Philby stayed loyal to his undergraduate beliefs and yet lived a life of deceit. Murray Sayle remembers him Tokyo 'LENIN is dead,' said Leon Trotsky, asked for a few suitable...

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An East-West quango was a casualty of Polish unrest. Timothy Garton Ash was a member of the British delegation... A FORTNIGHT ago, at the height of this month's 'Polish...

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Anthony Daniels visits the island of Haiti, shunned by white tourists 'WHAT we need,' said Boisrond Tonnere when he was deputed to write Haiti's first constitution. 'is the...

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Con Coughlin reports on the divided loyalties of Arab Israeli citizens Ibillin, Lower Galilee THE roads, like everything else in Ibillin, have the half-finished look that is...

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' I I

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• ■•■• ■•••■ II,

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Become a subscriber to The Spectator and save X12 a year on the regular UK newsstand price — that's 76p a week, or less than 71p if you take out a three year subscription....

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Sousa Jamba meets Labour trying to listen to youth in Walsall ANNAJOY David is the political co- ordinator of Red Wedge, an arts group associated with the Labour Party. I met...

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Murdoch's joys — and notes the big exception IN the aftermath of the Wapping revolu- tion, it was clear that the commercial gains secured by Rupert Murdoch through his total...

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Pots of honey

The Spectator

MY favourite nationalised industry has done it again. It has brought in a profit of £1,391 million — up £29 million on the previous years' figure, which was itself a record....

A bogus crisis

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THIS week brought a show of reconcilia- tion. The Downing Street couple — as couples in the public eye sometimes have to do — arranged to be seen together, smiling, even if...


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Duck versus Garbo, or the breaking up of the Winships of Downing Street CHRISTOPHER FILD ES T he Downing Street couple's tiff over sterling suggests nothing so much as the...

Don't shoot

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CASUALTY and beneficiary of the sterl- ing quarrel is the Chancellor's press secret- ary, who, after less than six months in the job, has been summarily promoted raised to the...

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The price of Mr Lawson's victory JOCK BRUCE-GARDYNE W ith benefit of hindsight it is easy to see that the Great Battle of Downing Street had to end the way it did. For when Mr...

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Before Thatcherism

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Sir: During a business trip to Accra back in 1961, a colleague and I were invited to a small social gathering at the house of a Ghanaian government official. Among the other...

Bean gas

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Sir: 'When a reader cancels', by Paul Johnson (23 April), and the earlier letter from A.P.L. Campbell (16 April) do in- deed cause wonderment at the reactions of LETTERS some...

Quote, unquote

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Sir: In the leading article of 16 April reference was made to a comment alleged- ly made by me regarding the recent social security changes. You cited the following quotation...

LETTERS Country housing

The Spectator

Sir: Mr Norman Tebbitt criticises HRH the Prince of Wales for proposing socialist solutions to the problems of the urban poor. The Prince of Wales is an unlikely socialist but...

One hundred years ago

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SIR H. Parkes, Premier of New South Wales, has telegraphed to the Colonial Office a despatch which, to speak plain- ly, insists that the Mother-country shall obtain a treaty...

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Flight of fancy

The Spectator

Sir: If Antony Lambton insists on writing dreary reviews of novels (Books, 30 April), he might at least bother to get his own facts right. Simone Martini's painting in the Museo...

Light criticism

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Sir: 'I do not know whether mixed-purpose museums find it difficult to approach the complicated task of showing paintings as professionally as out-and-out galleries can, but...

Mrs Thatcher's stumble

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Sir: As the only Western spectator to witness the incident in Peking, I can assure Robert Cottrell (`Chinese take-away', 30 April) that Mrs Thatcher never 'fell down the steps...

Great leap forward

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Sir: Mr Anthony Lambton, Mr John Mor- timer, Mr Christopher Dunkley and Mr Simon Gray are rather more exalted pen pals than I was expecting. But Superman doesn't fly either. He...


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Sir: I was interested to read ('A level best', 19 March) that Mrs Margaret Thatcher is now Grantham Grammar School's most famous pupil. One wonders if the suppres- sion of the...

...and statistics

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`Mr Arthur Wade, . . . [the National Association of Head Teachers] spokes- man in South Yorkshire, said increasing indiscipline was the reason so many teachers were leaving at...

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I entered the House of Commons in 1961. For just over a year I saw Hugh Gaitskell demonstrate his formidable skills as Opposition Leader. Then death cut short his career. He has...

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Someone is going cuckoo

The Spectator

Harriet Waugh THE FIFTH CHILD by Doris Lessing Cape, £9.95, pp. 128 D oris Lessing's rivetting new short novel tells in a rather unsatisfactory man- ner how one child in a...

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Doctor at large

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Joseph Hone ZANZIBAR TO TIMBUKTU by Anthony Daniels John Murray, £13.95, pp.231 A frica . . . A President Bongo, so touchy over his small stature that he chooses his cabinet...

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. . . very much unlike what people write

The Spectator

Peter Quennell BYRON'S TRAVELS by Allan Massie Sidgwick & Jackson, £15, pp.221 `A man must travel, and turmoil, or there is no existence', Byron in 1822 told his comparatively...

Saxon yobbos, poetic Celts or gwyddbwyll

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Roy Kerridge THE COMING OF THE KING: THE FIRST BOOK OF MERLIN by Nikolai Tolstoy Bantam Press, £12.95, pp.606 C ount Nikolai Tolstoy lives at the end of a long lane in...

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Blood of the Lambtons

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Alastair Forbes THOSE LAMBTONS! A MOST UNUSUAL FAMILY by John Colville Hodder, £12.95, pp. 256 I read somewhere', a shocked ac- quaintance lately remarked to me, 'that you...

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Does the road wind uphill all the way?

The Spectator

John McEwen THE RIDGEWAY: EUROPE'S OLDEST ROAD by Richard Ingrams Phaidon, £14.95, pp. 78 0 n the face of it this is a lavishly illustrated (36 colour, 13 black-and-white)...

A miscellany of English pros

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David Wright UNSENT LETTERS by Malcolm Bradbury Deutsch, £9.95, pp.218 H ere is an entertaining collection of put-downs and take-offs: in effect Malcolm Bradbury's burlesque...

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One smoking Englishman

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Jonathan Cecil HOW'S THAT FOR TELLING 'EM, FAT LADY? by Simon Gray Faber, £5.95, pp.236 I n such plays as Butley, Otherwise En- gaged and Melon Simon Gray has made a...

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0 ne day in 1976 I was sitting in the director's office at the V & A, minding the telephone, when a man rang to say he had a vase. I said that he had come through to the wrong...

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Exhibitions 1

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s Ken Ki ff : New Work (Fischer Fine Art, till 24 June) Art's child Alistair Hicks K iffs child-like savagery and instant appeal kept him in the wilderness for many years....

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Exhibitions 2

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Fading infatuation Giles Auty L ooking through my records it sur- prises me to learn that I am already in my fifth year of covering the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition for...

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Become a subscriber to The Spectator and save £12 a year on the regular UK newsstand price — that's 76p a week, or less than 71p if you take out a three year subscription....

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From Russia with profit Peter Watson After all the hoopla of recent months, with Van Goghs and cookie jars hitting the headlines as often as kiss-and-tell memoirs, an auction...

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Exhibitions 3

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The fine art of comedy Nicholas Garland he V & A is celebrating the New Yorker's 60th anniversary with an exhibi- tion of over 100 cover paintings and cartoons. The show...

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Virgin venture Peter Phillips T he launching of the new Virgin Clas- sics record label has been long expected and has been several times postponed. I gather that those...

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The Shaughraun (Olivier) French Without Tears (Haymarket, Leicester) Irish charmer Christopher Edwards S o 19th-century melodrama has at last found a home at the National...

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Sharp dressers Geoffrey Smith A ll the signs indicate that the current flowering of public interest in jazz seems set to continue. The coming season's festiv- als, like...


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Tampopo ('18', Metro; Screen on the Hill) Noodle cuisine Hilary Mantel A ccording to a recent report in the Daily Telegraph, the Ministry of Education in Japan is gravely...

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Rapping with Muffin Wendy Cope Y ou think you'll remember but you never do, unless you keep the cutting or write something down. In some newspaper article somewhere it said...

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Home life

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Looking on the bright side Alice Thomas Ellis I have received a timely letter from an enchanting and brave lady in Amsterdam chiding me gently for being dismissive about...

High life

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The biter bit Taki s if we didn't have enough to worry about already — what with muggings on the rise, welfare cheats, Jesse Jackson, Ed Koch, the Gutfreunds, falling...

Jeffrey Bernard is unwell.

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BIRTHDAYS create an interesting prob- lem for Imperative cooks. Some

The Spectator

time ago I discussed in this column the Special Occa- sionists. This rather large group consists of persons, most of whose days are spent grabbing sandwiches, 'just having some-...

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Competition entries

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To enable competitors to economise on postage, entries for one or more weeks of the Competition and Crossword may be posted together under one cover addressed 'Competition...


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I envy the Dutch in their ability to stage a seemingly endless series of outstanding all-play-all grandmaster tournaments every year. In England there is the annual Hastings...


The Spectator

Jingo jingle Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1523 you were asked for an imaginary German wartime lyric, in translation, to match our 'We're going to hang out the washing on the...

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No. 1526: Away from it all

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An extract, please, from a brochure offer- ing bed and breakfast accommodation at Cold Comfort Farm, Dunsinane Castle or some other fictional household (maximum 150 words)....

Solution to 856: Why's Why

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L 0 'G I C A 2 1 3 ADI n THER r- t 0i 4 2 , 0 E I N E Nit EILLIFIE %0ROSIST 11SECANT A 2 1_ 73— AI GI A C L 2 3i7R S A T E CE U S. ED'13 2 01 M F OR F 1 r E 0 El...


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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...