22 MARCH 1980

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Modest proposals

The Spectator

Modest proposals It is well under a year since the Government took office, yet Sir Geoffrey Howe's second full-scale Budget is almost upon us; he also indulged himself in a...

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Any more for Moscow?

The Spectator

Political commentary Any more for Moscow? Ferdinand Mount Great parliamentary occasion. Democracy at work. Prime Minister on the front bench. American Ambassador in the...

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The Spectator

Notebook The Government's growung mastery of bad Public relations is a theme of Auberon Waugh's article on another page. One of its techniques is to reject any proposal for...

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Treason of the bureaucracy

The Spectator

Another voice Treason of the bureaucracy Auberon Waugh Marie Celeste Ward, Westminster Hospital The Conservatives in office have always been spectacularly bad at public...

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The Carter mare's-nest

The Spectator

The Carter mare's-nest Nicholas von Hoffman Washinkton For a week or more, the black limousines of crisis management made their way up the Oval drive-way of the White House....

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The demise of Kennedy

The Spectator

The demise of Kennedy Henry Fairlie Washington It is essential to remember that the main results of the primaries in Illinois - the punishing defeat which Jimmy Carter has...

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The secrets of M. Marchais

The Spectator

The secrets of M. Marchais Sam White Paris Does it really matter what Georges Marchais was doing in Germany 40 years ago, when he was an unformed youth of 22? The answer is...

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Can the whites survive?

The Spectator

Can the whites survive? Xan Smiley Salisbury Africa is an increasingly depressing experience for European liberals, especially for those who wish to consider themselves white...

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God and the hotel trade

The Spectator

God and the hotel trade Richard West Bangkok The Amarin Hotel, where I stay, caters for second-rank Japanese businessmen, forever bowing to one another or taking pretend golf...

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The revolt of the Lords

The Spectator

The revolt of the Lords Ralph Harris The Lords' defeat of Clause 23 of the Education bill on charging for school buses was a great victory - but for what? Was it a blow for...

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Runcie at Lambeth

The Spectator

Runcie at Lambeth Wilted De'Ath The Most Reverend Robert Alexander Kennedy Runcie, M C, M A, to be enthroned next Tuesday as Archbishop of Canterbury, has already won for...

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Towards fewer Budgets

The Spectator

Towards fewer Budgets Tim Congdon Despite the economic disappointments of the last ten months, there is at least one respect in which the present Chancellor has been a great...

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Chesterton and Jews

The Spectator

Chesterton and Jews Sir: Mr Hugh Cecil's comments on antisemitism and Fascism ('Home Fascists', 1 5 March) are very wide of the mark so far as G.K. Chesterton is concerned. The...

Gnostics and Quakers

The Spectator

Gnostics and Quakers Sir: I am a member of the Religious Society of Friends, i.e. a Quaker, and my family before me were Quakers for some 200 years. Your reviewer, Nicolas...

Commercial misfortunes

The Spectator

Commercial misfortunes Sir: I wonder if any of your readers could help me to embellish the pages of a humorous book I am writing, about the embarrassments and mishaps of...

The good, the bad and the ugly

The Spectator

The good,the bad and the ugly Sir: It is possible that Richard Ingramns has misunderstood the point of the 'Holocaust film (8 March). Like him, I was not entranced by some of...

Sound thinking, but...

The Spectator

Sound thinking, but ... Sir: At least let us get a little fun out of these affairs. I can't afford to take on all Spectator readers, but I would ask you, Mr Editor, on their...

The young master

The Spectator

Letters The young master Sir: As an ex-member of the staff of the Spectator (from 1940-66), I was delighted to read the kindly and generous letter by my old friend lain...

Schneider Trophy

The Spectator

Schneider Trophy Sir: Pedants, particularly incorrigible ones, should be sure of their ground (Letters, 1 March). The fact, as opposed to the story, is that the government...

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W.H. Auden: The Life of a Poet Charles Osborne c. Day-Lewis: An English Literary Life Sean Day-Lewis

The Spectator

Books Lives of the poets Jonathan Keates W.H. Auden: The Life of a Poet Charles Osborne (Eyre Methuen £7.95) U. Day-Lewis: An English Literary Life Sean Day-Lewis...

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The Optimists: Themes and Personalities in Victorian Liberalism Ian Bradley

The Spectator

Gladstonian Robert Blake The Optimists: Themes and Personalities In Victorian Liberalism Ian Bradley (Faber £1 2.50) Mr Bradley's father and grandfather were christened...

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A Celebration of Death James Stevens Curl

The Spectator

Vain monuments Gavin Stamp A Celebration of Death James Stevens Curl (Constable £15) Mr Curl is an enthusiast for the artefacts of Death; it is an unfashionable subject....

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The Letters of Lewis Carroll Vol. 1 1837-1885; Vol. II 1886-1896 Ed. Morton

The Spectator

Child-fancier Benny Green The Letters of Lewis Carroll Vol. 1 1837-1885; Vol. II 1886-1896 Ed. Morton Cohen (Macmillan £17.50 each) Nobody who is at all familiar with the...

The Echo Chamber Gabriel Josipovici

The Spectator

Go away Paul Ableman The Echo Chamber Gabriel Josipovici (Harvester £6.50) 'What are you doing?' 'Writing a review.' 'What about?' 'About a book.' 'What book?' 'Go away.'...

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Kramer vs Kramer Rude Boy

The Spectator

Arts Crying to the bank Peter Ackroyd Kramer vs Kramer ('A' Odeon, Leicester) square) Rude Boy (X' Prince Charles, Leicester Square) Go in and have a good cry. 'I want...

Before The Party (Queens) Reflections (Haymarket)

The Spectator

Theatre Re-views Peter Jenkins Before The Party (Queens) Reflections (Haymarket) Two productions from the past opened in the West End last week, one of them of genuine 1949...

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The Spectator

Rugby Selected Alan Watkins Before the announcement of the Lions team, Donald Trelford, the editor of the Observer, and I made a bet: whichever nominated the larger number of...


The Spectator

Greenery John McEwen The exhibition of Alan Green's paintings, 1969 - 1980, (Museum of Modem Art, Oxford, until 5 April) comes, unlike some retrospectives, partial though it...

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Love talk

The Spectator

High life Love talk Taki In one of her last ballads before her death, Edith Piaf sang 'L'amour ne s'explique pas'. Seventeen years after her death, scientists believe the...


The Spectator

1Television Colourful Richard Ingrams Why is it that people take the history of Hollywood, like the history of Jazz, very Seriously? Both subjects have given rise to a Cult...

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The Spectator

Postscript I Posing Patrick Marnham Journalists, never conspicuous among society's goody goodies, are in trouble again; this time for getting themselves killed too...


The Spectator

Low life Host-ile Jeffrey Bernard Last week, in the Coach and Horses in Greek Street, I asked to see the menu so as to find out what was cooking for lunch. Norman Balon, the...