24 MARCH 1984

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The last step

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I t was too much to expect that nine years of war in Lebanon would end abruptly after nine days of discussion in Lausanne. The implication of the Lebanese con- ference's failure...

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Political commentary

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Odd woman out Charles Moore Brussels ]delegation Royaume Uni. Salle 4' -1- , announces a scruffy piece of paper projected onto the black and white televi- sion screens of the...

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The he dignified thing would probably be to an ordinary notebook, the usual mishmash of inconsequential observations on matters of no moment. I could then end with a casual...


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Surface mail Air mail L20.50 L26.50 £41.00 £53.00 For special offer turn to p.11 Name .. ........... ............. Address ............. .... ............. US...

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Another voice

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Outsize teddy bear mystery Au beron Waugh On the point of departure for On it begins to looks as if the civil war is about to get off the ground. Just my luck. But I imagine...

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God and the revolution

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Timothy Garton Ash Managua, Nicaragua in Nicaragua there is neither com- munism nor socialism,' a pro- government journalist assures me, 'there is Sandinism.' One of the things...

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The price of amnesia

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Christopher Hitchens Washington I n American journalism, the occupational vice is euphemism. In American televi- sion, the occupational vice is banality. In American...

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Praying for votes

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Nicholas von Hoffman Washington S ince some sect or other detonated a bomb in a washroom of the Capitol, the guard has been reinforced, but the tour buses, the reverential...

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The epicentre of horror

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Richard West Amritsar Tf you pick up a history book about India, land search in the index for Amritsar, you are certain to find a string of page references under the...

One hundred years ago

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Englishmen who so studied their papers on Monday as to understand what it was that really happened on Saturday last in the Commons, must have felt more of genuine heartache than...

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Subscribe to

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The Spectator for twelve months and receive FREE a signed copy of GOD'S APOLOGY A chronicle of three friends by Richard Ingrams Open to non-subscribers or to those who want...

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Le pilgerisme

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Frank Johnson Paris /There was lately an outbreak here of what the expatriate Briton instantly recognised as le pilgerisme. From the English verb `to pilger', this ex- presses...

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Discussing Uganda

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Shiva Naipaul I suppose I should have known better: public speaking is neither becoming nor profitable to all of us. But, of course, it is always flattering to be asked to...

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Crime and reparation

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Peter Paterson T he official blessing of the Home Secretary was given last week to those reformers who believe, within reasonable limits, that society might benefit from the...

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Vanishing oil

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Patrick Marnham S ome years ago there was a successful television soap opera about an oil com- pany. It was called Mogul. There were four main characters in the series and the...

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The press

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Reporting the coal war Paul Johnson C overing a fast-moving and visually dramatic story like the civil war among the miners, newspapers are clearly at some disadvantage...

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In the City

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Second thoughts on Budget Jock Bruce-Gardyne I t takes time to digest the sort of meal that Mr Lawson laid before us ten days ago. But by now the City and its analysts in-...

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Sir: Peregrine Worsthorne is right in saying that public opinion

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would have condemned the Prime Minister if she had 'thrown her son to the wolves', just as they would have condemned her if she had 'declared her interest', i.e. told the Omanis...


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The torture lesson Sir: I was most surprised to read in Geoffrey Strickland's article 'The torture lesson' (17 March) that, when the author was doing his military service in...

Mark and mother

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Sir: Mr Worsthorne is right (17 March) in thinking that British women would have denounced Mrs Thatcher if she had not supported her son, and it is quite likely that the...

Pig ignorant

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Sir: I have just read Simon Courtauld's piece (Notebook, 18 February) about the current shortage of truffles. He says that pigs will sniff out truffles 'quite naturally'. I...

The real mother

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Sir: The true meaning and, more important, the implications of the phrase 'the mother of Parliaments' may now have disappeared beyond recall. The belief that the phrase simply...

0 level answer

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Sir: Mr Andrew Brown is probably right when he says (`Waffle and drivel', 3 March) that original thought is not required in A levels. I myself am only approaching 0 levels, so,...

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Lamentations Colin Welch T he sparkling wit and percipience of what I wrote for you last week is known to me alone, so far as I know its only reader. In it I expressed my...

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Why Bevan resigned Paul Johnson Labour in Power 1945-51 Kenneth 0. Morgan (OUP £15) T his is a touching book, a work not only of history but of pietas, a corrective analysis,...

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The best and brightest-eyed

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Alastair Forbes Kathleen Kennedy: The Untold Story of Jack Kennedy's Favourite Sister Lynne McTaggart (Weidenfeld £10.95) W hen, in answer to a query from the then still...


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Edward Norman on the Church: Namibia and El Salvador. Michael Horovitz on Samuel Beckett. Richard West on the Gurkhas. Humphrey Carpenter on C. S. Lewis.

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Singular ladies

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Lewis Jones The Collected Works of Jane Bowles (Peter Owen £10.50) Gertrude:They say red-haired women go wild a lot but I never picture it that way. Do you? Molly: I don't...

Kind to animals

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Christopher Hawtree The Penitent F or a writer to be Jewish and have grown up in Poland at the beginning of the century must create a strain made all the worse by winning the...

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The snail's antennae

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Harriet Waugh The Daysman Stanley Middleton (Hutchinson £7.95) S tanley Middleton's immersion in the L./unexceptional humdrum lives of or- dinary middle-class English folk is...

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Black nightingale

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Roy Kerridge Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands Mary Seacole Edited by Ziggi Alexander and Audrey Dewjee (Falling Wall Press £7,50) w onderful indeed are the...

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A man of gusto

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Allan Massie Hazlitt: The Mind of a Critic David Bromwich (OUP/New York £19.50) W ho now reads Hazlitt? To whom, except A-Level students or under- graduates assigned his...

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The worst of terms Peter Ackroyd T he advertisement — 'Come To Laugh, Come To Cry, Come To Care, Come To Terms' — is enough to make a cat sick; I would rather come to bury....

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Power, no glory Giles Gordon One for the Road and Victoria Station (Lyric Studio, Hammersmith) Marriage (Lyric, Hammersmith) Chestnuts Old and New (Kings Head) H arold...

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Praiseworthy John McEwen Eduardo Paolozzi — 'Private Vision Public Art: work done in collaboration with architects' (Architectural Association, 36 Bedford Square, WC I, till...

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High life

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Shooting match Taki Gstaad 'victor Emmanuel is the not-so-brigh t V son and heir of the last King of Italy, Umberto. In the summer of 1978 Victor fired a warning shot above...


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Over Richard Ingrams O n a Monday morning last month a large florid gentleman came storming into the Wallingford bookshop where my wife and her partner Mrs Pirie (Props.) were...

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Low life

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Wrong track Jeffrey Bernard T his was in the Sporting Life of all Papers last Friday: 'Three hundred Youngsters commit suicide every year Many of them out of shame because...


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Kensington called P. J. Kavanagh I t was an up-market jury at the Westminster Coroner's Court the other day; pretty young women, exquisite youths — as unmotley a collection as...

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C o mpet i t i on

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No. 1313: Alphabet soup Set by Jaspistos: Gerard Benson has sent me an anonymous verse which uses all the letters of the alphabet: God gives the grazing ox his meat And quickly...

No. 1310: The winners

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Jaspistos reports: Competitors were asked for the title and publisher's blurb of a recondite or absurd new cookery book. If there had been prizes for just titles, Ron Jowker...

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Solution to 647: Down in the forest mum AN" .

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Mother care David Spanner I had a talk with Madame Kasparov after th e recent semi-finals of the Candidates in London. The mother of the prodi g y is a vibrant personality in...

Crossword 650

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Prize: £10 — or a copy of Chambers Dictionary, 1983 edition (ring the word 'Dictionary' under name and address) — for the first correct solution opened on 9 April. Entries to:...

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Portrait of the week

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A fter ten branches of the National Union of Mineworkers had voted not to strike, and the police had surrounded a number of collieries to guard against the ac- tivities of...

Books Wanted

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TREES OF THE BRITISH ISLES IN HISTORY AND LEGEND by J. H. Wilks (Muller). H. Rowbotham, 1 Granby Rd, Mile End, Stockport. PAUL TILLICH: 'Systematic Theology' (3 vois 1953-64)...