23 JUNE 1984

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Portrait of the week

The Spectator

T he SDP confounded all predictions by winning the Portsmouth South by- election by 1300 votes, overturning a Con- servative majority of 12,000 at the general election. The...

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The Spectator

Mr Pym's standard (" 1 ivilised . sense of social obligation . . . N./courteous and detached . . . rolling acres — the Conservative Wet is a type clearly defined and much...

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Today in Parliament

The Spectator

O ne of the reasons that the proceedings of the House of Commons are increas- in g ly despised is the way that the BBC reports them. When the ri g ht to broadcast parliamentary...

Things fall apart

The Spectator

T he news that Cambrid g e University may 14 , have to demolish Mr James Stirlin g 's 'story Faculty buildin g will sadden lovers of ou r b architectural herita g e. The g lass...

Fire and brimstone

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M r Geor g e Seawri g ht, Belfast city councillor and a DUP member of the assembly, has proposed yet another solu- tion to the Irish troubles that would involve En g lish...


The Spectator

I t is a complacent British habit to claim that our most extreme political fi g ures are really deeply lovable, patriotic and soft- hearted. So, when Mr Ken Livin g stone bowed...

Beauty and the ballot

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' It' s -Us like an opinion poll, it's not a real Few readers of the Spectator are likely to have watched the television coverage of the European election results last Sunday...

Dog days

The Spectator

The En g lish do not like heat, at least not heat of the humid oppressiveness experienc- ed over the last few days. The En g lish do, on the other hand, enjoy talkin g about the...

ubscri e

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UK Eire Surface mail Air mail 6 munths: £17.25 £17.25 £20.50 £26.50 One year: £34.50 £34.50 £41.00 453.00 Name Address US Subscriptions: $75.00 (Airspeed). The Spectator is...

Besides bein g the Spectator's chess cor- respondent and a g rand

The Spectator

master, Raymond Keene has a remarkable flair for arranging top-level matches in London. Last year he was instrumental in brin g in g the semi-finals of the world championship...

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Another voice

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Chinks in the curtain Auberon Waugh T he two greatest obstacles to any under- standing of the Soviet Union are Soviet secrecy and Western lack of curiosity. Of these two, the...

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The Spectator

i wo days running last week I found myself watching public school dramas, first Marek Kanievska's film of Another C ountry then the Chichester production of Alan Bennett's play...

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Britain and the other Europe

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Timothy Garton Ash A t the end of the second world war, Winston Churchill spoke of his vision of a united Europe: a community of free peoples in sovereign nation states, a...

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Banking on nationalism

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Harry Eyres Barcelona T wo months ago the centre-right, nationalist coalition Convergencia i Unio won an overwhelming victory (with nearly 47 per cent of the votes) in the...

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Burial in Naples

The Spectator

John Jolliffe - Prancis H, the last Bourbon King of Naples, was recently laid to rest in the capital where he reigned for a few months in 1860 (when he was 23) before being...

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Incomparible teachers

The Spectator

George Walden T he question is,' said a stern letter I received from an NUT official, 'whether or not you support comparibility.' Now you don't have to be a Tory MP to see that...

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The road past Wigan Pier

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Roy Kerndge H ere's a book that's right up your street,' a friendly literary editor said t° nie, handing me a paperback with a lurid cover: Wigan Pier Revisited, by Beatrix...

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How we treat bilharzia

The Spectator

A. M. Daniels I t is always pleasant and instructive to see one's profession in a new light. I therefore considered my admission to hospital an excellent opportunity to...

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The press

The Spectator

Proprietors good and bad Paul Johnson T he Reuters fiesta is now over, and was on a much smaller scale than excitable people predicted. At one time Reuters was said to be...

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Hobson's choice Datrick Ser g eant's first words to me were: 'I

The Spectator

say, this bottle of Bollin g er is pretty well empty, hadn't we better have another?' Here, I thou g ht, was a man I could work with. His has always been the grand style, and...

City and Suburban

The Spectator

Wise virgins I wonder whether we are savin g ourselves money, by not burnin g coal. We Shouldn't be. The oil industry reckons that coal is about 40 per cent cheaper as a source...

Lean and hungry rrhe chairman pulled at his ci g ar, and

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asked me whether he dared continue to describe his company as leaner and fitter. 'It's not just us,' he said. 'In the last three years, the avera g e business's profits have g...

Palaces W ell done, P & 0, which has finally found

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a taker for its last head office but one — a handsome modern black ten- storey affair, epicentral (as such buildin g s are) to a permanent tornado. Grand head offices are a dru...

Mogul T tried these fi g ures on a visitin g tycoon, 1.who

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was horrified. 'The last thin g you should do with oil', he protested, 'is to burn it under boilers.' (The Shah thou g ht so too; oil, he used to say, is a noble mineral....)...

Biggles and Co °ally of a Bader or a Richthofen

The Spectator

is the lofty do g fi g ht between Lord Si r Adam in the British Airways cockpit, and Adam Thomson, flyin g British Caledo- luau- Now Sir Adam, si g hts locked on his foe, has...

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The economy

The Spectator

Life on the brink Jock Bruce-Gardyne Fr he world banking system is not the sort of machine in which that distinguished merchant banker, Mr Roy Jenkins, would wish to fly just...

One hundred years ago

The Spectator

Politicians of both parties will do well to study the result of the by-election for Lincoln, which came off last Saturday. We do not often attach much impor- tance to...

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Green recipe

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Sir: I hope, and believe, that no reader will pay attention to a word Digby Anderson writes (Food, 16 June) about green salad. Anyone who believes he can tell the difference...


The Spectator

Slave trade S ir: I am surprised that there should be any doubts about the legal aspect of 'surrogate m otherhood' in this country or why the Home Secretary should be expected...

George Calderon

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Sir: Does anyone know the whereabouts of the papers or kin of George Calderon (1868-1915), polymath and first man to stage Chekhov in English? All other at- tempts to locate...

MacCarthy 's masterpiece

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Sit: In his review (Books, 2 June) of Lord David Cecil's collection of Desmond a cCarthy's writing, George Clive writes: Th ere is no sense here of an unwritten Mas terpiece.'...

Feminine Nero?

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Sir: As probably the last surviving soloist — albeit a minor one — in the Oxford University Opera Club's historical introduction to the theatre of Monteverdi's Coronation of...


The Spectator

Sir: Or perhaps it should be Ola! since you have chosen to print a rather redundant, slow-in-the-uptake tailwag postscript (Letters, 16 June) from the similarly describable...

Sir: May I congratulate you on introducing a weekly wine

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and food column. I add my congratulations to the (young?) author, Digby Anderson, for preparing for us the perfect journalistic vinaigrette. The oil of good advice blends...

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The Spectator

Rising damp of subversion Colin Welch O ne young teacher justified her being on strike by declaring that she deserved more money because, after all, she'd undergone four...

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Summer Books

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Karamat! Karamat! Eric Christiansen The Perspective of the World Fernand Braudel Translated by S. Reynolds (Collins £18.95) U nlike many historians, Fernand Braudel has more...

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Faint receding whistle

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Peter Quennell Henry James: Letters Volume IV Edited by Leon Edel (Harvard University Press £25.50) D uring his later years, as an acknow- ledged Old Master, Henry James was...

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The last true hacks

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Alan Watkins e Rise and Fall of the Political Press in Britain Stephen Koss lh (Hamish Hamilton L25) P rofessor Koss is one of those American a cademics who acquire an interest...

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The Spectator

Francis King Harland's Half Acre David Malouf (Chatto & Windus £8.95) R ecently the following item apPear ed , k il) , the Times Diary: 'I hear that Australian Broadcasting...

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The index man

The Spectator

Humphrey Carpenter Gilbert Murray: A Life Francis West (Croom Helm £17.95) p rofessor Gilbert Murray ought to be in Alan Bennett's Forty Years On, as one of those figures...

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Bottom rung

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Christopher Hawtree The Unbearable Lightness of Being Milan Kundera (Faber & Faber £9.50) Granta Edited by William Buford (Penguin £3.95) ehind this most off-putting of titles...

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The Next Laureate

The Spectator

Oh, will it be Larkin, as flat as a parkin? Or will it be gaudy MacBeth? Or even Ted Hughes with his Animal Blues, or old What's-it to bore us to death? It might well be...

Recent paperbacks

The Spectator

James Hughes-Onslow A View of the English Stage, 1944-1963 Kenneth Tynan (Methuen £4.95). 'The most memorable things I saw on English stages between the last year of the war...

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Norman conquests Gavin Stamp English Romanesque Art 1066-1200 (Hayward Gallery till 8 July) w hen the shrine of St Thomas Becket was destroyed by Henry VIII, the King's...

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The Spectator

On the go Giles Gordon Intimate Exchanges (Greenwich) 78 Revolutions (Lyric Studio, Hammersmith) On Your Toes (Palace) Mandragola (National: Olivier) fO O n one level, the...

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The Spectator

The hard stuff Peter Ackroyd Indiana Jones and the Temple of WO (PG', Empire Leicester Square) A A 11 the world knows that Steven SPielci ..1i,berg is the director; what the...


The Spectator

Unpredictable Rodney Milnes Cosi fan Witte (Glyndebourne) The Knot Garden and La Calisto (Opera Factory London Sinfonictta, Royal Court) H ow unpredictable revivals are....

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The Spectator

Spells of joy Alan Gibson rr he cricket season has not gripped me yet, partly because a difficulty in walk- ing, which the medical men cannot quite fathom, has prevented me...

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The Spectator

Hard work Alexander Chancellor I look in the Sunday Times to make sure I have got the name of the programme right. It says: 'Spitting Image. Last of the third-form humour...

High life

The Spectator

Rave review Taki New 3 " ( fi .1c M y publisher is an extremely pleasant young man who fervently believes H. L. Mencken's maxim that one ne ver goes broke underestimating the...

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Low life

The Spectator

Big noise Jeffrey Bernard ',keep meeting women, employed either wh alluY Lord Matthews or Rupert Murdoch, o think that because they can type they ) therefore write. Normally I...


The Spectator

Thin ice P. J. Kavanagh A ll politicians believe that centre-stage belongs to them, and become uneasy if we dare to look elsewhere. For this reason they long to take over the...

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Co mpet ition

The Spectator

No. 1326: Studied irreverence Set by Jaspistos: 'Full fathom five thy father lies: His aqualung was the wrong size.' You are invited to 'improve' other well- known single...

No. 1323: The winners

The Spectator

Jaspistos reports: Competitors were asked for a ballade of 20 lines with the refrain: 'I tried to kill myself three times last week'. Chesterton wrote an excellent ballade with...

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Crossword 663

The Spectator

In Mass's 50th puzzle the radials (20 from rim to centre, 20 from t e n e c tl i y li e to ri ude m) incl ten words formed from other words by eith e r .n the oreer f L (e.g....

Solution to 660: Gemini in ois a N.M .

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11 an a Or la Clan CT "s Bil s rierlelig AEON Pa Ira A T N A T. a 'chime. Air A G C I rend °Inge N G E "S T 2 111M o N AMC or T A ri R E 0 S a T in R /Mr A in...


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London again! Raymond Keene A mazing developments in the last few days. For some months, the Fide Presi- dent, Florencio Campomanes, has been try- in g to put together a...

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Special offer

The Spectator

Spectator Wine Club Auberon Waugh A I feared, the greed of Spectator readers — or perhaps it would be politer to talk of their hunger for new ex- perience — ensured that the...


The Spectator

Chateaux Wine Co. 11 Church Street, Bishops Lydeard, Taunton, Somerset Telephone (0454) 613959 PRODUCT PRICE NO. OF VALUE CASES 1. Château Cheret-Pitres, 1979 12 bots. £53.50...