24 JANUARY 1981

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Why the worst?

The Spectator

Jimmy Carter's presidency opened with the highest of hopes and has ended in low ignominy. Four years ago this fresh-faced man who had come galloping out of Georgia to seize...

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Political commentary

The Spectator

How to be British Ferdinand Mount Abroad is a bloody place to be born, to misquote Uncle Matthew. It is only in later life that you discover the inconvenience of having first...

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The Spectator

'Giving the "Observer" to Rupert Murdoch would be like giving your lovely 18-year-old daughter to a gorilla.' Mr Clive James was speaking at a journalists' meeting the other,...

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Another voice

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Mr Prior's Yellow Paper Auberon Waugh It was only when 1 read the Department of Employment's Green Paper on possible changes in the law on industrial relations that I...

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The Reagan vulgarama

The Spectator

Nicholas von Hoffman Washington From 1937 on, when he was a sports announcer in a movie called Love is on the Air, Ronald Reagan played many roles. He was a football player, a...

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America expects

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Henry Fairlie Washington All students of government should have watched television on Inauguration Day from the beginning to the end. They would have learned how far the...

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Reagan and the Middle East

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Edward Mortimer New York Ronald Reagan must be the first President of the United States who can claim a foreign policy success on the day of his inauguration. For despite Jimmy...

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Learning from Mrs Thatcher

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Tom Bethell Washington Just as Ronald Reagan's team was arriving in Washington, a remarkable new book on economics, entitled Wealth and Poverty was published in New York. Its...

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tthnocide' in the Soviet Union

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Bohdan Nahaylo In recent months mass demonstrations in Estonia, protests by leading Georgian and Estonian intellectuals and the imprisonment of Ukrainian, Estonian and...

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Mr Prior waits for answers

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Peter Paterson Mr Jim Prior's latest thoughts on the reform of trade union rights and powers emerged l ast week to cause scarcely a tremor on the Richter scale of union...

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Home thoughts from abroad

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Jo Grimond When I returned from Sicily last week I found that, according to the British press, the sky had fallen — St John-Stevas had be-en dismissed. Neither this, nor for...

One hundred years ago

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When we spoke,last week of the hope of a mild winter having vanished, we did not anticipate the horrors of this week. On Tuesday and Wednesday fell a snow-storm such as has not...

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The press

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Quantity, not quality Paul Johnson To judge by the total of books published in 1980 by Britain's 10,000 firms, you would not think there was the smallest hint of recession in...

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in the City

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The Duke of York's men Tony Rudd The most depressed part of the City these days is the g ilt-ed g ed market. The outlook for g overnment stocks seems so much less hopeful than...

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The Spectator

Sassoon remembered Sir: I must take issue with some remarks made by Simon Raven in his review of Siegfried Sassoon's Complete Memoirs of George Sherston in your issue of 3...

Park problems

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Sir: In order to make a praiseworthy case, Christopher Price exaggerates (10 January). On the evidence of one visit to Upton Park, he represents the ground as almost a fascist...

Lies, damned lies...

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Sir: The logic of Mr Cameron's letter on alcohol (10 January) is so mysterious that one begins to sniff a Henry Root-flavoured mischief in what could generously be called his...

Gamblers of class

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Sir: The poor little Greek boy has got it wrong again (`High life', 17 January). I must advise Taki that, more than 200 years ago, wicked Ralph Benson was gadding about with the...

Gnat Allen

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Sir: After his review of Stardust Memories (3 January), it should be apparent even to American readers that Peter Ackroyd likes neither the film nor its director and all his...

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Breakfast deserts

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Sir:" . . . but it won't work': so says Simon Courtauld of breakfast television (Notebook, 10 January). It will. 'Ninety-five per cent of the population will not watch it.' Most...

Health and freedom

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Sir: I am grateful for the article entitled The medical revolution' by Mr Brian Inglis in your issue of 20-27 December 1980. Of the many interesting points he makes I. would...

The power of advertising

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Sir: I have been a regular reader of the Spectator for some years, and have noticed over ths period that an advertisement titled `Durex Protectives' is regularly inserted by a...

Hold the front page?

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Sir: So offensive to the eye and touch is your new cover that it is necessary to remove it before tasting the familiar delights within. Please may we have our old one hack? John...

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Strange and unusual

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Alan Watkins Religion and Public Doctrine In Modern England Maurice Cowling (Cambridge £20) In 1950 it was widely accepted that the 20th century's greatest economist was J.M....

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Hard playing to get

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Eric Christiansen The Game of Tarot from Ferrara to Salt Lake City Michael Dummett (Duckworth £45) Twelve Tarot Games Michael Dummett (Duckworth £5.95) The Game of Tarot has...

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Turfed out

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Jeffrey Bernard The Guv'nor: A Biography of Sir Noel Murless Tim Fitzgeorge-Parker (Collins £8.95) The Barry Brogan Story: In His Own Words (Arthur Barker £5.95) Chalk and...

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All about Evas

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Francis King Taboo Eva Jones (Cape £6.50) Waking Eva Figes (Hamish Hamilton £3.95) When a reader enters the world of a novel, he at once makes an effort, however unconscious,...

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Leading subsidy book publisher seeks manuscripts of all types: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, scholarly and juvenile works, etc. New authors welcomed. Send for free, illustrated...

Wilder shores

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Benny Green The death last week of the composersongwriter Alec Wilder calls to mind the book he published in 1972, American Popular Song; the Great Innovators, 19001950. Too...

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'New Spirit' at the Academy

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John McEwen The press release for the exhibition A New Spirit in Painting (Royal Academy till 18 March) says that this is the first time an international contemporary painting...

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The Spectator

Opera buffa Peter Ackroyd Blood Feud ('X', Odeon Kensington) There is something very agreeable about Italian films. Watching them is like being transported in a bathosphere to...

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The Spectator

Rodney Milnes Rodelinda (Welsh National Opera, Mold) Lucia di Lammermoor (Scottish Opera, Glasgow) Romeo and Juliet (English National Opera, Coliseum) Hindsight is a wonderful...

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Passion ploys

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Peter Jenkins Passion Play (Aldwych) Naked Robots (Warehouse) The Workshop (Hampstead) Touched (Royal Court) Picture-restoring James (Benjamin Whitrow) is happily-enough...

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The Spectator

Richard Ingrams People keep going on about the 'ordeal' of the American hostages, now at last at an end. But what about the ordeal of television viewers bored into the ground...

Fancy Nancy

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Taki Washington Well, it's goodbye Willie Nelson, Hello Frank Sinatra. And about time, too. Jimmy Carter, the small man of stature, vision, execution, and many other things, is...

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Desert song

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Jeffrey Bernard It's been a rotten week. Very grey and without a single highlight. It's true I upset a few people but they were fairly boring incidents. There was the row in...

Holy war

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Patrick Marn ham An occasion that took place last October lingers on hauntingly in the memory. It was the ceremony held to mark the unveiling of a bust of Lord Russell, which...