22 DECEMBER 1984

Page 5

Portrait of the week

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F ollowing a record pile-up of 22 vehicles on the M25, survivors spoke of hearing screams of agony through the fog. Too much emphasis on speed in car advertise- ments was...

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Names to conjure with L'our Christmases ago, in this column, Ferdinand Mount introduced readers to some of 'the less well-known faces around Westminster', backbenchers who...

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The fact of Christmas

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W hen a modernist, even if he is the Bishop of Durham, says that it is very hard to accept the literal truth of much of the New Testament, one must agree. When he says that much...


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UK Eire Surface mail Air mail 6 months: E17.25 £17.25 £20.50 £26.50 One year: E34.50 E34.50 E41.00 E53.00 Name Address ....................................... . ....... US...

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Another voice

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The Trask ahead Auberon Waugh jn the current issue of Books and Book- men there is an interview with the first (joint) winner of the Betty. Trask award. Outside the tiny world...

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A fortnight ago Alan Watkins warned in this space about the yuletide cus- tom of log-rolling' in newspaper literary pages. This is the tradition whereby critics asked to choose...

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Acute krazy Christmas

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Nicholas von Hoffman Washington F rom northernmost Alaska to the sun- niest tip of Florida, it's a white Christ- mas in America. The nation has been topped off with white...

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The castle of Poland

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Timothy Garton Ash E arlier this year, Poland's royal castle was ceremonially opened to the pub- lic. 'We have tried to reconstruct it as it was in the time of our last king,...

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Seeing a new Light

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Gerda Cohen Terusalem on Friday night had the rigour J of an English Sunday, locked into the family, the dry velvet night smelling of dust and resin, indigo at the zenith,...

Page 14

Farewell, Block City

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Charles Glass Beirut he Ze'eny brothers' restaurant, The .1. Smugglers' Inn, has been robbed by armed men for the third time in a month. The Lebanese pound is nine to the...

Page 16

Legalising the stone age

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Hal Colebatch A few months ago an aborigine in Northern Australia, Mr Eric Jackson, was convicted of indecent assault, and a white court handed him back to tribal aborigines...

Page 18

The Linguist

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Stephen Lamport The new diplomacy is more commonplace and prosaic than we imagine. But here and there the new and the old worlds of the diplomat mingle. Here is one example,...

One hundred years ago

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The Fenians attempted on Saturday to blow up London Bridge. Some of them were, it appears, aware of the existence of a hole two feet in cir- cumference intentionally left by the...

Page 19

Rajiv: reluctant PM

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Marie Seton I n 1957, the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, during a family dinner in Delhi, focussed my interest on his grandsons, Rajiv and Sanjay Gandhi. Talking of changes...

Page 21

Morrell code

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Richard West T he Centre Party victory in the recent Grenada general election, while seem- ing to justify the military intervention there of a year ago, is also a slap in the...

Page 22

Spectator Christmas Quiz

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Set by Geoffrey Wheatcroft 1) The passing year Where in 1984? a) was an aphrodisiac for cockroaches . developed b) was an aphrodisiac effective on rats tested on human beings...

Page 24

Great Sighs of Today

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John Osborne When I mention religion, I mean the Christ- ian religion; and not only the Christian religion, but the Protestant religion; and not only the Protestant religion...

Page 25

Getting away from God

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John Stewart Collis The author died earlier this year. This article was found among his papers by his biographer, Richard Ingrains. W e hear a great deal nowadays about the...

Page 26

The Reith Lectures

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Brains cause minds George Szamuely T here is no 'doubt about it. Philosophy attracts the macho type. There is something vigorously masculine about clearing your throat in the...

Page 27

Knighton days

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Roy Kerridge F or the past three months I have been living in the market town of Knighton, which nestles among steep hills crossed by Offa's Dyke, on the Wales-Shropshire...

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Wanted: a good belch George Gale L ike many others, I

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have become accus- tomed to diagnosing my complaints, prescribing remedies and soliciting pre- scriptions from doctors. In my very private health service I have found the...

Page 30

Kentucky Fried Georgian

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Alexandra Artley and John Martin Robinson Cionservation fogeys love expressing 1.....iopinions. They bang on about COUN- TY BOUNDARIES ('they can call York- shire what they...

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Frank Johnson rr his Christmas and New Year at Covent Garden, the Royal Ballet is mounting a new production of the Nutcracker. Lon- don Festival Ballet is again performing the...

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Opiates and the people Sir: Several weeks have passed since my article 'Opiates and the people' (13 Octo- ber) and Mr Auberon Wau g h's response to it, 'A silly idea' (20...

Peter I

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Sir: I was interested to read the review of Michael Wharton's (alias Peter Simple) recent autobio g raphy (Books, 17 Novem- ber). It recalled memories of my father, E. B....

Abysmal BBC

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Sir: How very right Paul Johnson is about the BBC and its abysmal standards (Broad- casting, 10 November). Despite its shud- ders of horror at the su gg estion of advertis- in...


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Sir: While Eros is bein g 'relocated', the si g ht of Piccadilly Circus without him brin g s to mind Lawrence Durrell's in- accurate but possible prescient epi g ram: At the...

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Sir: Many people have responded magni- ficently to appeals by voluntary agencies for help for Ethiopia. Scenes of misery continue to unfold themselves on television screens...

Sartre reader?

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Sir: Colin Welch (Centrepiece, 27 Octo- ber) wants to see soft policing replaced by more forceful law enforcement and says he wants to increase respect for the law. I don't...

City aesthetics

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Sir: Christopher Fildes (City and Sub- urban, 8 December) seemed to be express - ing the hope that the Corporation of the City of London might have some concern for the...

Another Chamberlain

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Sir: I refer to the last paragraph of Enoch Powell's review of Neville Chamberlain by David Dilks (Books, 24 November). Your readers may be interested to know that Austen...


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Sir: Sidney Vines ('Excommunication in Sussex', 8 December) has done a service to us by exposing the ambivalent statements of the Bishop of Chichester; these have caused immense...

We have the UN

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Sir: The Secretary-General of War on Want, George Galloway, asserts that the Ethiopian government is using food aid to feed its troops and that food aid donated by the West is...

Admirable LSE

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Sir: Colin Welch narrowly avoids resur- recting an ancient canard, when, in his admirable article on the sorry plight of the Indian economy (Centrepiece, 24 Novem- ber), he...

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My sentiments exactly Cohn Welch I likened Messrs Kinnock and Healey in 1.Moscow to Hansel and Gretel lost in the forest: Hansel was, I suppose, Mr Healey, whatever fear he...

Page 36

ii , 9EMESt ,

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fiSarcister (t-istiria5 by R uin! This is what threatened to engulf young Clement Smiles. Ruin, pure and simple. It had been a proud day, not five years since, when this...

Page 38


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Up the airy mountain Matthew Parris Peru 'There were three of us: Louisa (an I. Italian lady interpretess from Luxem- bourg), a male friend, and myself. I could guarantee my...

Page 41

Books of the year

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A selection of the best and worst books of the year chosen by some of the Spectator's regular reviewers. Peregrine Worsthorne The book I most admired was Kingsley Amis's...

Jo Grimond

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Best books: The 2024 Report: A Concise History of the Future by Norman Macrae. Even those who grow choleric over Futur- ology, among whom I count myself, should see if they can...

Richard Cobb

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I read about 86 novels this summer in the course of about 80 days and my enjoyment of the novel has survived. Apart from the six books on our short list for the Booker McConnell...

Patrick Leigh Fermor

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Best books: The Cretan Journal by Edward Lear. No need to know Crete to enjoy this well-produced and captivating diary. Lear's coloured and monochrome pictures of people and...

Peter Levi

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Bad books are not what they were. You give them away or throw them away or you forget them. The few prize specimens you keep look pale beside the bad books of the good old days....

Page 42

Edward Norman

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After Guy Fawkes himself, Nicholas Wise- man was the man most frequently burned in effigy during the middle years of the 19th century. There, surely, is a truly authentic claim...

Harold Acton

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A kind friend has just sent me Money, by Martin Amis, which has fascinated and horrified me by fits and starts. Still reeling from the nightmare shock of this extraor- dinary...

Humphrey Carpenter

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The worst book was Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner. While no one can't help admir- ing the skill with which a distinguished art historian has constructed an elegant parody of the...

Eric Christiansen

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Southey's Letters from England by Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella (Allan Sutton) is as good as anything I dare recommend in an audible solo. The liberal poet affected to be a...

Christopher Hawtree

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A dozen best books spring readily to mind. Among them, Keith Walker's amusing, scholarly and superficially expensive edi- tion of Rochester's Poems shows that he is a more...

Wilfred De'Ath

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The best book I have read this year, in the sense of the most edifying, is undoubtedly Cardinal Hume's To Be A Pilgrim. Great Princes of the Church are not, generally speaking,...

Page 43

Roy Kerridge

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Without a doubt, the worst book of the year has been Wigan Pier Revisited by Beatrix Campbell, a spiteful semi-literate attack on George Orwell. The authoress rejoices in the...

Murray Sayle

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I picked up A Nice Girl Like Me solely because Rosie Boycott had just married my friend David Leitch and produced a charming daughter, Daisy. I found it the best book on...

Paul Johnson

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For London this has been a year of outstanding exhibitions: Venetian painting at the Royal Academy, which also had a charming show on the European vision of the Orient; English...

Brian Inglis

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I did, not expect to be impressed by a book putting the creationist case, probably be- cause I have tended to equate Creationism, with a capital 'C', with bible-thumping. In his...

Patrick Skene Catling

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Although apparently it is unfashionable ever to endorse the judgment of a Booker Prize committee, this year they and I are in harmonious agreement. Of all the novels I read in...

Page 44

The last natives

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Christopher Booker Testament to the Bushmen Laurens van der Post and Jane Taylor (Viking £12.95) I f one had to nominate the most signifi- cant television series ever made,...

Page 45

The , irregulars

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Max Hastings SOE: The Special Operations Executive 1940-46 M. R. D. Foot (BBC £8.50) T he great thing about the 1939-45 war,' Harry d'Avigdor-Goldsmid said to John Hislop, 'was...

Page 46

Close circles

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Francis King Damballah, Hiding Place, Sent for You Yesterday John Edgar Wideman (Allison & Busby £7.95 each) Tohn Edgar Wideman is a black Amer- ican novelist who deserves to...

Dud dukes

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Brian Masters The Churchills of Blenheim David Green (Constable £12.95) T he Churchills are the only family in the land to have produced two saviours of the civilised world...

Page 47

The life of language

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C. H. Sisson The Lamentation of the Dead The Noise Made by Poems Collected Poems 1955-1975 Peter Levi (Anvil Press, £2.95, £6.95/£3.95, £7.95) • T: an outsider, the procedures...

Page 48

Crum, Heath and Garland

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Richard Ingrams The Last Cream Bun Paul Crum (Chatto £8.95) Cartoons by Garland Nicholas Garland (Salamander £8.95, £4.95) Taking Off Tim Dowley (Methuen £7.95) The Best of...

Page 49

Cordon Stalinaire

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John Jolliffe The Eagle and the Small Birds: Crisis in the Soviet Empire: from Yalta to Solidarity Michael Charlton (BBC Publications £8.95) T his is a short but vastly...

Page 50

Up the Khyber

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Andrew Robinson G eoffrey Moorhouse has already pro- duced two readable books about In- dia, Calcutta and India Britannica, a popu - lar history of the British in India. In To...

Stuart Saatchis

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Sarah Bradford Art and Power: Renaissance Festivals 1450-1650 Roy Strong (Boydell Press £19.50) w hen dull critics complained that they could not understand the elaborate...

Page 51

More pricks than kicks

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David Ekserdjian The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion Leo Steinberg (Faber £25) p rofessor Steinberg is a Star Trek ('toboldly go where no man has...

Page 52

Books Wanted

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ST. JOHN ERVINE: 'The Lady of Belmont'. Mrs J. Lewis, 7 Cambridge House, Camden Hill, Tunbridge Wells, Kent 2NT HS13. THE MARCHIONESS OF BATH: 'Before the Sunset Fades' and...

Page 53


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A painter of country ways Simon Blow George Stubbs 1724-1806 (Tate Gallery till 6 January) T he exhibition on George Stubbs at the Tate Gallery is in part there to tell us...

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Animal magic Christopher Edwards Puss in Boots: A Mew-sical Fairy Burletta (Players') Toad of Toad Hall (Fortune) I would recommend the Players' Theatre's seasonal production...

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The Spectator

The awards Peter Ackroyd A nd once again it is that special time of year when the Spectator's film critic, ably assisted by the back-numbers depart- ment, tries to remember...

Page 56

Sale rooms

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Stocking fillers Charles Campbell S ome years ago my uncle was taken aside by an American friend who wa s worried. He needed advice. For Christma s he had bought his wife an...


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Give and take Peter Phillips I I were called upon to single out one 'record from the pile to give to the discriminating relative this Christmas, I would go for the Telefunken...

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Brass tacks Alexander Chancellor T his being the Christmas issue of the Spectator, this is certainly the most important article in it. It ought to be emblazoned across the...

Page 59

Low life

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No picnic Jeffrey Bernard I find it quite extraordinary that people don't get heavy fines for picking their noses in public yet Taki should get four months in the slammer for...

High life

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Time out Taki 13 y the time you read this I will most likely be taking my first (however en- forced) holiday from the Spectator after a run of 372 weeks. Without meaning to...

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Moles and voles P. J. Kavanagh G reat matters can be trivialised, but it is not at all certain that small matters are trivial. John Betjeman remarked that what people really...

No. 1349: The winners

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Jaspistos reports: Competitors were asked to propose a catty Christmas present , accompanied by appropriate verse, for a well-known public figure. What is it about Mrs Thatcher...


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No. 1352: Old Moore gone mad Set by Jaspistos: Some improbable for casts, please, in verse or prose (maximum 12 lines or 120 words) for the coming year . Entries to...

Page 61

Born again

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Raymond Keene A fter 94 days of fruitless effort, Kaspar- ov has finally landed his first direct hit in his match with Kasparov. Their contest has set up a number of world...

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Solution to Crossword 686: Inter se The unclued lights are

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types of berry (Bcarberry is also acceptable at 36D). Winner: Mrs A.D. Gill, Warlingham, Surrey.

Quiz answers

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1) a) New York; b) Stanford, California; c) Philadelphia; d), e) and f) all West Germa- ny; g) John Glenn; h) Mrs Barfield, the 'Murdering Granny', before her execution. 2) a)...

B Lourdes: A Modern Pilgrimage by Patrick Marnham C Black

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and White by Shiva Naipaul D God's Apology by Richard Ingrams E Peregrinations by Peregrine Worsthorne F Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

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Snatchy: A Christmas Jumbo by Mass

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A first prize of fifty pounds and two further prizes of twenty pounds will be awarded for the first three correct entries opened on 14 January. In addition, book prizes will be...

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Imperative cooking: the Christmass plan

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rihristmass brings out the socialism in \--British cooks. The prospect of prepar- ing something approaching a true meal for several people to eat together from a dining table is...