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THERE is a strange silence to be apprehended this autumn

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by those sufficiently curious and sceptical to have ears to hear it. It must be listened for and discerned, must be dredged and sifted out of a thousand muddy speeches; it is a...

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How Liberals could win

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The principal cause of the revival in the fortunes of the Liberal Farty is Mr Heath and the chief secondary cause is Mr Wilson. If the Liberal Party continues to do well in...

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Heath's nerve

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Sir: Mr Heath is making no gamble (your Editorial, September 15). The result is a regrettable certainty. He assures us that we are having a 'boom' — real economic growth. But...

Sir: Your excellent analysis of Mr Heath's ' nerve' ends

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with the prediction that "The time has not yet come — might never arrive — when it is clear that the Conservative Party has to steel itself to knife its leader to save itself...

Sir: One expects plain speaking from The Spectator, of which

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The nerve of Mr Heath (September 15) was a telling example, Two related points in this perhaps call for special emphasis. 1. You may well "wonder why this Government's economic...

Public schools'

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Sir: Mr Ryder's article (September 1) on the 'fatal rigidity' of the public schools was extremely interesting but not, in my opinion, entirely accurate. As one of the 'batch of...

Sir: My mentor Dr R. H. Thouless us e to caution

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his students of educati e ' against the fallacy of arguing free what he called 'Fantastic Anecclate s ,, — stories made up to prove, to one: own satisfaction at least, that...

Sir: T' e Labour Party's intention outlaw all schools which

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are indePe„ n , dent of the State's fiat, and to rna', illegal the charging and payment school fees, is a :threat to LtbertY.",, tramples on a right, the right Mlle,' parents...

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Breast feeding

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git . I applaud with much gratitude and Praise John Linklater's article on The Decline and Fall of the Breast (September 8). It is appalling to find that oniething as natural as...

Sir: Dr Linklater in his interesting article on the decline

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and fall of the breast (September 8) does not tell us why our women now have stopped breast-feeding their babies. Why are there now so many unwanted babies? Why do we hear so...

Sir: How sad that Dr J. Linklater should decide to

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give his male chauvinistic views an airing in an article entitled 'The Decline and Fall of the Breast' (September 8). Whilst no-one could disagree that a breast-fed baby is...

Amateur fraud?

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Sir: Mr Ackroyd's article on Gilbert Murray (September 8) amateur fraud just will not do. Was Gilbert Murray a fraud? Well concludes Mr Ackroyd, yes, of course, in a way that is...

Squalor and splendour

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Sir: When I read M. Marc Girouard's review of The Victorian City (September 8), several questions came to mind. How did the appalling poverty happen? (This is fairly well known...


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Sir: I know it is discourteous of publishers to complain about unfavourable reviews and your reviewers have every right to dislike our hooks. 1 do think, however, that they...

Irish go home

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Sir: Ulster having been destroyed, the Republicans are now turning their attention to the mainland. In world war two, before a single civilian had died as a result of enemy...

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A Spectator's Notebook

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The agenda for the Tory Party conference was given a quiet send off at Smith Square on Monday morning by Lord Carrington (looking like a worried and tired gnome), Mrs Roy Smith...

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Political Commentary

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A revivalist chill down my spine Patrick cosgrave It is almost with trepidation that, even in the Week of their conference, I write again about the Liberals: I fear that that...

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Profile: Jeremy Thorpe

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A man for how many seasons? When Graham Tope is turning paving stones over in Sutton — and finding Tories lying under them; when Peter Hain is failing to distinguish between a...

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P rance

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Whose Woodpile? Nicholas Richardson () i n August 25 an Algerian boarded a 72 bus in M arseilles quarrelled with the driver, then Wed him to death. A tragic but isolated...

International writes

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Oliver Stewart International recommendations on how nation should write unto nation are usually 'didactic, sometimes beneficial and nearly always infuriating. They will be...

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The third world war is taking place now

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Constantine FitzGibbon The youngest active participants in the second world war must now be approaching the age of fifty, and nobody aged less than thirty-five can have any but...

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Who is conning whom? Rhodes Boyson Roy Hattersley's declaration on September 7 that independent schools must die moved Britain nearer to a totalitarian and away from a choice...

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Rice's superstar Martin Sullivan A great deal of heat has been engendered by the stage production, and now by the film, Jesus Christ Superstar. I do not intend to deal with...


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Five daffodils Denis Wood At the end of the summer when the garden is in the doldrums one lifts up one's heart at the approach of the time for planting daffodils. This is...

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No chance slip Benny Green I doubt if Norman and Jeanne Mackenzie will be very concerned that I find their performance in The Time Traveller, a life of H. G. Wells, a bit like...

Juliette's 'Weekly Frolic

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Sipping champagne on the sunlit terrace, gazing dreamily at the technicolor sky and vaguely won dering where they'd hidden the swimming pool — it was more like an ultra-swish...

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Richard Luckett on Chekhov's sense of decency

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It was Chekhov's friend Ivan Bunin who recorded of him that "he would make the most amusing remarks without a suspicion of a smile he loved mystifying people." But Chekhov's...

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Sing high, sing low

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Peter Ackroyd .A Woman in the Sky James Hanley (Andre Deutsch £2.25) A 'Temporary Life David Storey (Allen Lane £2.25) A Fairy Tale of New York J. P. Donleavy (Eyre Methuen...

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Spiritual bed ouin

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Joseph McCulloch The Infernal Grove Malcolm Muggeridge (Collins £3.00) No Beatrice could say to this Benedick, "I wonder that you will still be talking . . nobody marks you."...

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Drug rhetoric

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Charles Nichol]. The Man Who Turned on the World Michael Holingshead (Blond and Briggs, E2.50) Whenever he feels his narrative is sagging, Mr Holingshead dips into his stash...

The unknown child

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Peter Bryant Memory and Intelligence Jean Piaget and Barbel Inhelder (Routledge and Kegan Paul £5.25) One of the many ironies associated with modern 'experimental psychology'...

To err is Truman

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Donald Watt The Winter Soldiers Richard Ketchum (Macdonald £3.75) Harry S. Truman Margaret Truman (Hamish Hamilton £4.75) The late Wendell Wilkie, Roosevelt's defeated rival at...

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Shorter notice

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Not in Front of the Servants Frank Dawes (Wayland Publications £3.95) The recent orgy of televisual sentimentalising about the romance of domestic service demands a factual...

Bill Platypus's

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Paperbacks To begin this week with poetry. Jonathan Cape have just issued in paperback Collected Poems 1924-1955 (E1.95) of George Seferis. Seferis is a Greek poet whose...


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Bookend This week the judges meet to decide the short-list for the E5,000 Booker Prize for Fiction. It could be make or break for Britain's answer to Goncourt. Launched in 1969...

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Duncan FaHowell on the Stones beyond mythology

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Planets spin and galaxies heave, but the BBC television news never changes. Months into lugubrious Years, the jargon is re-arranged, updated, new statistics announced and...


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Getting the rating right Christopher Hudson Scorpio ('X' Odeon, Leicester Square) is a silly film, with all the ingredients that make silly films successful. To begin with,...

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Will Waspe

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Hands up if you know that a Festival of British Theatre got under way on Monday, I may be wrong, but it looks like the nonevent of the decade. There are nice brochures out on...

Art Hardly hypnotised

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Evan Anthony If I could read German, perhaps the catalogue notes for Horst Antes's exhibition at Gimpel Fils would clue me in sufficiently to, if not share altogether, at least...


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Audio visual Rodney Milnes,_. _ Sadler's Wells Opera first mounted Katya Kabanova 22 years ago; it was the first Janacek opera to be heard in this country and thus the...

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Insurance today

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Providing for the future John Gaselee With inflation continuing, despite all the efforts to contain it, not Only is there the problem of regular increases in the cost of...

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The money merry-go-round

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Nicholas Davenport One must admire Mr Heath's infinite capacity CO stand on his head. Having reversed his old no tions about lame ducks, nationalisation, state feather-bed...