22 DECEMBER 1973

Page 1

Christmas lamentations

The Spectator

The relief which the Government has provided by allowing our television channels to stay open later than 10.30 on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve can be but a momentary...

Page 3

Mr Barber plays for time

The Spectator

As becomes the most consummate party politician of his time, Mr Barber brought the Government back off the ropes on Monday. His mini-budget — mini, though treated by Treasury...

Gamble still on

The Spectator

We had all hoped for reality and truth, however painful, from Monday's statement. But the truth about the national situation is that all the crises of which the Government are...

Page 5

Dame Rebecca explams

The Spectator

From Dame Rebecca West Sir: I am embarrassed by Mr Beverley Nichols' allusion to me in 'A Spectator's Notebook' (December 8), for though I know he meant it as a compliment. I...

Prodigal's return

The Spectator

Sir: It is nice to be thought of by Cohn Brownlow (ketters, December 8), along with others, as one who, he says, has in the past enlivened your columns. May I do so again in...

Grants to poetry

The Spectator

Sir: Your Bookbuyer's Bookend column of December 1 has only just arrived on my desk amongst other press cuttings. It contains the information that the Arts Council has...

The Goatleys

The Spectator

Sir: Your medical correspondent may be good on blood pressure, but he is .not very perceptive about poverty 'The strange case of William Goatley' (December 1). Dr Linklater...

Fuel economies

The Spectator

Sir: Along with much inconvenience and some real hardship, the enforced fuel economies have brought at least one benefit. It is now possible to shop in comfort, The absurd...

Irish attitudes

The Spectator

Sir: You malign my native city of Limerick (December 8) by claiming that not too long ago Redemptorist priests patrolled its cinemas to ensure that the boys sat in a different...

Wages and charges

The Spectator

Sir: Is it not ironic that whilst the Government condemns and resists financial blackmail by some Trade Unions it is at the same time unashamedly resorting to precisely these...

A Christmas Carol

The Spectator

Our good Prem-i-er looked out On the Feast of Sadat, when no oil lay round about, something he was mad at. Through the land there shone no light. For power cuts were cru-el,...

"Sir, the wind gets colder now.

The Spectator

And the mire grows deeper. We believe the party will Find the path get steeper." "Mark my footsteps, good my men. Step you in them boldly; I am sure that you will then Feel...

Page 6

Could the army take over?

The Spectator

Patrick Cosgrave On that rather pokey side of the House of Commons which is largely devoted to facilities for the press there is a corridor containing numerous notice boards,...

Page 7

A Spectator's Notebook

The Spectator

The word 'Christmas' should be a beautiful word and there are still many places of worship where it has the inspiration of great music. But, one wonders ... for how long? As...


The Spectator

If Christmas has any significance at all it must derive from the living Inspiration of the spirit of Christ, who was a healer not only of souls but of bodies. Which is why the...


The Spectator

When Mrs Golda Meir and President Sadat Agreed to have a conference to agree this and that, And Generals in tents at kilometre 101 Sat opposite their enemies to see what could...

The Black Box

The Spectator

At the end of the pilgrimage I came face to face with the Black Box, perhaps the most mysterious instrument in the modern world, if, indeed, it can be called an 'instrument' at...

Not illimitable

The Spectator

In discussing these matters, any conscientious journalist must be haunted by a terrible fear of arousing false hopes. Some of his readers may be in great pain, desperately...

Page 8

Trollope at Westminster

The Spectator

Benny Green In the spring of 1868 the well-known novelist and controversialist Mr Disraeli, bored by his own exhibition of the art of juggling with the consciences of both the...

Page 9

Boom in Navan—the zinc-edged investment

The Spectator

Richard Hall Last month a series of explosions that will change the future of Ireland took place near the small town of Navan, County Meath. They had nothing to do with the...

Page 10


The Spectator

No fuel, no pilots David Wragg One consolation for airline managements currently 'grappling with the problems of restrictions on fuel supplies, which in the United States at...

Page 11

Westminster Corridors

The Spectator

As any chap who ever sipped a drop of porter well knows — which I imagine includes almost every reader of these pages — Puzzle is wont to look on the cheery side of things and...

Page 13


The Spectator

Medicine Doctors who never had it so good Gethin James An intriguing international comparison has arisen between the recent action of the British General Medical Council and...


The Spectator

A Christmas story Martin Sullivan It happened in Italy a long time ago. The war was still at its height, but winter had set in, the roads were impassable. and we were pulled...

Page 14


The Spectator

Holly, ivy and mistletoe. Denis Wood Holly, ivy, box and yew, native evergreen plants in North Europe, including Britain, must have been familiar in the landscape of our...


The Spectator

Before the Wiights Bernard Dixon Everyone knows about the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, who flew the world's first aeroplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, seventy...

Page 15

The lobby men

The Spectator

Bill Grundy Does anyone know when you can visit prisoners in the Tower? I ask because I would like to pay my respects to a friend of mine, Mr Hugo Young of the Sunday Times,...

Page 19


The Spectator

Richard Luckett on the fate of television culture According to Lord Clark: "Television is the ideal medium with which to arouse people's interest in art." The statement is...

Page 20

Past and present

The Spectator

Peter Ackroyd That Wateiy Glass Moira Dearnley (Christopher Davies £2) Schoolboy Rising Nigel Foxell (Dennis Dobson £2.50) One of My Marionettes Tony Aspler (Secker. and...

Page 21

History rampant

The Spectator

J. Enoch Powell Boutell's Heraldry revised by J. P. BrookeLittle (Frederick Warne and Co £4.95) Heraldry of the World Carl Alexander von Volborth (Blandford Press E2.40) It is...

Teenage fiction

The Spectator

Isabel Quigly It is a commonplace to say someone is 'steeped' in a place or a period. But there's steeping and steeping, of course. The best is the unobtrusive sort, a kind of...

Page 23

Tell me a story

The Spectator

Robert Nye There is a sense in which there are all too many books for children, and all too few stories. The difference is not simply a matter of memorability. " Tell me a...


The Spectator

Bookend While the Sunday Times plots and plans its definitive British bestseller chart, someone has quietly stolen a march on them for a tenth of the time and cost. The...

Page 24

With malice toward some

The Spectator

Will Waspe I'll tell you the hardest thing about writing about reviewers and that's reading reviewers. Next to that is associating with reviewers. Neither in print nor in...

Page 27


The Spectator

Mr Barber's non-event Nicholas Davenport I hope that the economists who headlined their pieces some time ago with the words 'The boom that must go bust' will not crow too...

Juliette's weekly frolic

The Spectator

Sad to say neither Noble Neptune nor Sea Tale took Ascot by storm last weekend, but at least they turned up which is more than can be said for myself. Deciding at 10 am on...

Page 28

Skinflint's City Diary

The Spectator

From a hotel room in Rome I have been watching the coming of the new Dark Age for the last few days. What a mess the Italians seem to be in — no cars on Sundays or holidays;...


The Spectator

Options as insurance Nephew Wilde In the current climate of uncertainty no one in his right mind should be thinking of plunging into equities. Indeed, by and large it will be...