25 APRIL 1987

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The Spectator

T eachers belonging to the two biggest teachers' unions were instructed to count every minute that they work in school in order to protect themselves 'from exploita- tion': this...

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The Spectator

ONE can understand why the Labour Party feels the need to present itself to the voters as a potential party of government; but one cannot help thinking that it is living in the...


The Spectator

THROWING THE INKPOTS A ny teacher who takes part in the campaign of half-day strikes and work-to- rule supported by the conferences of the two largest teaching unions earlier...

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The Spectator

JOHN GRIGG A n article that I wrote last week for the Times, on British holiday and weekend habits, brought me an invitation to appear on the Jimmy Young programme (BBC Radio...

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The Spectator

A quick, flip response to the errors of Walkero-Heathism AUBERON WAU GH A small item which I cut out from a newspaper at the beginning of the year it coincided with Lord...

Ferdinand Mount will resume his column next week

The Spectator

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The Spectator

The strains of adapting to the British way of life and making ends meet take a personal toll BEGINNING again in a new country costs more than the fare. As the growing body of...

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The Spectator

Patrick Bishop on the uneasy peace brought to Beirut by an occupying army Beirut SUNDAY mornings in West Beirut are fun again since the militiamen have been cleansed from the...

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Ambrose Evans-Pritchard finds clues to Gary Hart's presidential ambitions in his latest fiction Washington GARY Hart is no Disraeli, but his novels are not entirely bad. They...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY - Save 15% on the Cover Price! Please enter a subscription to The Spectator I enclose my cheque for £ (Equivalent SUS & Eurocheques accepted) RATES 12...

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One hundred years ago

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A REMARKABLE set of petitions was presented to the House of Commons on Tuesday. One Member after another rose to convey the wish of this or that body of persons that there shall...

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A. L. Rowse celebrates the historian's political and family ambitions HERE comes an anniversary of our greatest historian: 250 years since Edward Gibbon was born at Putney, 27...

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Stan Gebler Davies examines two test cases for the Republic's constitution IN THE matter of amending their constitu- tion, an interesting document cobbled together by de...

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discusses the Cecil King era in Fleet Street ALTHOUGH Cecil King never had se- rious money and was not, strictly speaking, a proprietor at all, he was the archetype newspaper...

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The Spectator

All quiet on the Western Front in the great trade war JOCK BRUCE-GARDYNE A fortnight is, as we know, a very long time in politics. A fortnight ago the twilight weeks of peace...

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Help thou my unbelief

The Spectator

Sir: Anyone who had been following the argument of my piece about the Church (18 April) would have been thrown off on reaching the statement, 'My belief is not uniform.' What I...

Sir: Though I am very loath to prolong what is

The Spectator

now being widely dubbed the `Silly-Billy Season', I really must express my astonishment on reading in your Holy Week issue a letter from Lord Dudley stating, inter alia, quite...

LETTERS Dudley's quotation

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Sir: I was amazed by Lord Dudley's partial quotation (Letters, 18 April) from a letter Alastair Forbes wrote to the Literary Re- view on 24 January 1985. If Lord Dudley wishes...

Tohu wa bohu

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Sir: I cannot comment on the Noam Chomsky debate, but I would ask if your correspondent from Arlington, Virginia, T. W. Bohu, is being frank about his name (Letters, 11 April)....


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Sir: As a third-generation Briton of Por- tuguese / Brazilian / Spanish / Welsh / Irish (not necessarily in that order) extraction, I ought to know from Bhaskar Mitra (Let-...


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Sir: Surely John Grigg (Diary, 11 April) has it the wrong way round. The trouble about Tosca as a parable of freedom against despotism is that we would never nowadays think of...

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The Spectator

Authority has got a bad name. Ferdinand Mount explores the paradox by which the destruc- tion of authority leads to totali- THE paradox is by now so familiar that we take it for...

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The Spectator

A thousand pages in thy sight Patrick Skene Catling LOOK HOMEWARD: A LIFE OF THOMAS WOLFE by David Herbert Donald Bloomsbury, £16.95 G argantuism is a virulent literary dis-...

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Holy Man

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Religious grace-hopers should be bony and leggy Not comfortable as you. The shabby habit of a Ribera saint Would not look right in your kind of squalor. Yours is the...

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A view from the medical compound

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Andrew Lycett FOOL OR PHYSICIAN: THE MEMOIRS OF A SCEPTICAL DOCTOR by Anthony Daniels John Murray, £11.95 D octors used to enjoy themselves abroad. The Duke of Pirajno may...

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Obsessed with male beauty

The Spectator

Gabriele Annan VICTORIA: BIOGRAPHY OF A QUEEN by Stanley Weintraub Unwin Hyman, £17.50 I n 1830, when Princess Victoria was 11, her governess, Baroness Lehzen, slipped a...

A fat and disdainful empress

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Philip Marsden-Smedley EMPRESS TAYTU AND MENELIK II: ETHIOPIA 1883-1910 by Chris Prouty Raven's Educational and Development Services, £9.95 E mperor Menelik II, elect of God,...

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Total commitment to eternity

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Harry Williams THE FRONTIERS OF PARADISE: A STUDY OF MONKS AND MONASTERIES by Peter Levi Collins Harvill, £12 C uriosity about monks and monaster- ies is not uncommon. They...

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After many a summer

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Caroline Moorehead A LITTLE OF ALL THESE: AN ESTONIAN CHILDHOOD by Tania Alexander Jonathan Cape, £12.50 T ania Alexander was almost seven when she first got to know her...

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The scholar shaman

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Robert Temple A HISTORY OF RELIGIOUS IDEAS by Mircea Eliade University of Chicago Press, 3 vols., £13.50, £12.75 (paperbacks) and £21.95 ORDEAL BY LABYRINTH: CONVERSATIONS...

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Architecture The built word Gavin Stamp finds Venturi's new design for the National Gallery extension an even more monstrous carbuncle T he unveiling of the design by...

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The Spectator

Pencilled out Giles Auty E dinburgh in springtime is like Edin- burgh in summer: just as autumnal but with fewer Japanese visitors. Granted a pleasant climate, Edinburgh would...

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The Trojans (WNO, Bristol) Absolutely infuriating Rodney Milnes T wo productions in uncompromisingly, not to say brutally modern style, one a complete success, the other far...


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Two nations Ursula Buchan the home paddock, where the grass had grown three feet high, we ran into thousands of famished leeches, and almost naked coolies arrived in camp with...

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The Spectator

Hired to talk Wendy Cope o n Thursday of last week Good Morning Britain (ITV) included an item about the problems caused by the DHSS strike in Scotland and Northern Ireland. A...

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High life

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Spying the phoneys Taki But before I go on, perhaps I ought to declare an interest. I write a column for SPY, one that gives me almost as much pleasure — as well as latitude —...

Low life

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Under the volcano Jeffrey Bernard W hat a feckless, disappointing lot you readers are. Somebody, just one of you, might have had the decency to write to me and warn me off my...

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Home life

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Signs of spring Alice Thomas Ellis This has been one of those weeks when incidents chime together, forming coinci- dences. I sit in front of the telly reading a book about the...

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Warm noggins and laughter in Edinburgh

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Lord Cockburn was renowned as a character and wit. Alan Bell trawls his unpublished corres- pondence for the best passages HENRY COCKBURN, the Scottish judge and...

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The election

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Tories on the rocks Michael Fry WHETHER or not Mrs Thatcher wins her third triumph in Great Britain as a whole, one can safely predict that the Conserva- tives will lose their...

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STUDENTS ARE TWICE AS LIKELY TO ENJOY THE SPECTATOR AT LESS THAN HALF-PRICE More stimulating than any lecture, funnier thin the set books, The Spectator should be required...

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They went away, the sad times. It wasn't I who turned them out of doors, but another. The swifts have returned. They've dropped their burden of long journeys. With what joy...

Royal Britain

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Court in the act Hugh Montgomery- Massingberd T he sorely missed Sir kin Moncreiffe of that Ilk, Scotland's most colourful cour- tier, used to describe himself as the Royal...

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Her illness

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For this once I manage, I force myself to write down the word light. So many times in the last cloudy months I've tried to and my pen spelt it dark. For the waters of Babylon...


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Forget about his faither Angus Grossart It was not surprising that this attitude tended to heighten differences between individuals rather than reduce them. Over the preceding...

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a Imperative cooking: our heritage 1 MRS Anderson has joined

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the local con- servation society. I have nothing particular against this conservation society but all the conservation societies I have met suffer, understandably, from being...

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The Spectator

A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of Chambers Dictionary, value £13.95 — ring the words 'Chambers Dictionary' above) for the first...

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Longevity Raymond Keene Brussels h e he SWIFT super-tournament here may be one of the most interesting of recent years, with the world champion in the lists, plus challenger...


The Spectator

Race relation Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1468 you were in- vited, since the Boat Race and the lead-up to it yearly become more remarkable, to write an account of the 1988...

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Solution to 802: What cheek!

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No. 1471: Reproachful triolet

The Spectator

The other day the boring, naughty New Statesman set a competition: 'Suggestions for the most boring Spectator competition imaginable.' Some of you were disloyal enough to enter...