26 NOVEMBER 1988

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The Spectator

P Tanned legislation announced in the Queen's Speech included the privatisation of the electricity supply and water indus- tries. Whitehall sources said that Mrs Thatcher would...

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The Spectator

THE Queen's Speech proposes a new Companies Bill 'to improve merger con- trol'. But the minor tinkering with margins that the Queen went on to describe will do nothing to...


The Spectator

The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone 01-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 242 0603 JUSTICE WON'T WAIT he cases of the Guildford Four (con- victed of the...

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The Spectator

T here are certain things one says over and over again, tiresome little truisms or formulations that you see coming towards you in the middle of otherwise interesting...

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The Spectator

A radical suggestion on the future of women is firmly dismissed AUBERON WAUGH W hy should women do the house- work, iron the shirts, look after the chil- dren, bear the...

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The Spectator

The European Parliament is the key to the European super-state. Noel Malcolm observes its subtle progress Brussels SEVERAL hundred yards to the south of the European...

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The Spectator

Anthony Daniels meets the people who are breaking with Soviet deception ONE evening in Tallinn, as a relief from the political excitement that has caught the world's attention...

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The Spectator

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard argues that George Bush should not fear the spectre of budget deficit Washington THE United States no longer has a 'real' budget deficit of any...

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The Spectator

John Ralston Saul sees Canada going out on a limb after its election Toronto WITH the re-election of Brian Mulroney's Conservative government, Canada has ex- perienced its...

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The Spectator

Anatol Lieven sees feudal tradition waning after Pakistan's elections THE Pir of Pagaro lost his first election a week ago. The real defeat, however, had come a month earlier,...

...and statistics'

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IT IS no accident . . . top businessmen think most British people live in con- ventional nuclear families, with a cou- ple of kids and a wife at home to tend to the man (and...

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The Spectator

Myles Harris argues that breast cancer may not be eradicated by surgery MEDICAL students are taught that breast cancer starts as a lump, spreads a little, spreads a lot, then...

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The Spectator

Outsiders: a profile of Edward Heath THERE is a sense in which almost any politician might, sooner or later, qualify for the title of 'outsider'. Those who seek to climb the...

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The Spectator

Can deans be trusted to care for their cathedrals? asks Gavin Stamp THE SAD case of the proposed sale of the Mappa Mundi, a unique object which has been in Hereford Cathedral...

One hundred years ago

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THE passion for flowers spreads fast in England, the suit of 'Sanders v. the Duchess of Montrose', decided this week, being a mere illustration of its extent. It was proved in...

Correction Through an error in transmission, the name of the

The Spectator

eminent Czechoslovak philo- sopher, Jan Patocka, was misspelled in Black comedy in Prague' (19 November).

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The Spectator

The media: Paul Johnson on the hermeneutics of the term Taki' A CONTROVERSY is raging among jour- nalists about the use of the word 'Pak? in headlines. This is a nice, short,...

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Taxing the bran-tub

The Spectator

ALSO in the Chancellor's post is a letter from Lord Vinson, calculated to strike terror into the next board of directors who plan to put their hands into their com- pany's...

Rum Collins

The Spectator

RUPERT Murdoch means to be our big- gest publisher of bosoms and Bibles. Holy Writ is the foundation of William Collins's publishing fortunes. Mr Murdoch, through News...

Inter-City champagne

The Spectator

THERE was more to the old undercover City than the wet-weather route through the Bank of England (charted in City and Suburban last week). Dive out of Old Broad Street, down a...


The Spectator

Taped the money-saving plan to keep steam out of the Chancellor's trousers CHRISTOPHER FILDES I , too, have trouble with my tape- recorder. I was playing it back the other...

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Britain and Europe

The Spectator

Sir: I am glad that Mr Ash (`Mourning becomes Europa', 29 October), makes the proper distinction between the advantages of freer economic arrangements with Europe, and the...

Sir: If the Conservative Party is concerned that fielding Conservative

The Spectator

candidates in Northern Ireland would 'split the unionist vote' the solution surely is to hold House of Commons elections on the same basis as other elections in that province,...

Sir: Noel Malcolm's tease about the hum- bug displayed by

The Spectator

Central Office in re- pudiating the infant Conservative Associa- tion in Ulster (Politics, 19 November) was a great consolation. I think the ordinary members of the Tory Party...

LETTERS Putting up

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Sir: I was interested to read Charles Moore's Diary piece (12 November) rela- ting to the application by North Down Model Conservative Association to affiliate to the National...

Macmillan's role

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Sir: I will not attempt to match Alistair Home's increasingly shrill tone of invective regarding Macmillan's role in the post-war atrocities in Austria (Letters, 19 Novem- ber)....


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY - Save 15% on the Cover Price! RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £49.50 0 £26.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £60.50 0 £31.00 USA Airspeed 0 US $99 0 US$50 Rest of...

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Crichel Down

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Sir: The summary of the Crichel Down affair in Lord Bruce-Gardyne's review of Lord Carrington's memoirs (12 November) is inaccurate in many respects — some unimportant, but...

Martial artiste

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Sir: I am not in the habit of replying to reviewers. I am usually prepared to accept and pass by small mistakes. On the other hand, when a piece contains major inaccur- acies...

Artful dodges

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Sir: Reading the admirable Auberon Waugh on saleroom madness (8 October) I am struck by the difference in the Japanese approach. Japanese wealth does not seek to excuse itself...

Saleroom practice

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Sir: I have only just seen your edition of 22 October. While it would be churlish not to acknowledge your kind reference to Agnew's in one article, I do have to correct Edward...

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Surprised guild

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Sir: Members of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain will be surprised if not amused by Kingsley Amis's description (`Sod the public II', 15 October) of the Guild as 'this...


The Spectator

Sir: I apply an efficacious impediment to muzak that I offer to Christopher Hog- wood (Letters, 5 November) and Kingsley Amis. When muzak has an adverse effect upon my digestion...

Bouquet for Posy

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Sir: Am I the only Spectator reader to express appreciation for the unique con- tributions of Posy Simmonds to your pages? Her particular blend of English- ness, atmosphere,...

Ecclesiastical riches

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Sir: I read your leading article (22 Octo- ber) about the apparent pusillanimity of the Church of England towards the World Council of Churches' grant to the Broadwater Farm...

Mrs Currie's parts

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Sir: I noted with horror that Mrs Edwina Currie carries no fewer than three organ donor cards. My instant reaction was to design myself a 'Recipient Card', carrying the legend,...

Sir: There is a perfectly straightforward way of dealing with

The Spectator

the muzak-in- restaurant menace (Letters, 5 November). Politely summon the manager and request that the sound be turned down — or, prefefably, off — as you, your companion...

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The Spectator

Parliamentarian of the Year the winners T he fifth annual presentation of the Spectator/Highland Park Parliamentarian of the Year Awards took place on Wednesday 22 November....

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The Spectator

Write your own success story . . . The Spectator Young Writer Awards provide a unique opportunity — not only to have your writing talent recognised, but to be launched on a...

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Books of the Year

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A selection of the best and most overrated books of the year, chosen by some of The Spectator's regular reviewers. Robert Blake My first choice is Alistair Home's Macmil- lan...

A. N. Wilson

The Spectator

Brian McGuinness's biography of Wittgen- stein in early years made a great impress- ion on me (Wittgenstein, A Life: Young Ludwig 1889-1921, Duckworth, £15.95). `What we cannot...

John Bayley

The Spectator

Like Jane Austen's father, I incline to feel that most good novels are by women. But this has been a disappointing year. Mary Wesley a wash-out; Anita Brookner not at her best....

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Patrick Leigh Fermor

The Spectator

It didn't matter that, in spite of a second reading, the denouement of Bruce Chatwin's Utz (Cape, £9.95) is still an enigma: the vigour of the writing, the images, the sinister...

Colin Thubron

The Spectator

No book this year has absorbed me more pleasurably than Jan Morris's part-history, part-descriptive Hong Kong (Viking, £14.95), an elegant, knowledgeable and affectionate...

Robert Kee

The Spectator

By far the most important book for me this year has been Roy Foster's Modern Ire- land: 1600-1972 (Allen Lane, £18.95), a brilliant compendium of incisive and con- structive...

Francis King

The Spectator

The novel to stay most vividly in my mind is one which was first published in France in 1873 but which had to wait until this year to appear in England: The Abbe Tigrane by...

Philip Glazebrook

The Spectator

The Day of Judgement by Salvatore Satta (Collins, £10.95) paints a gloomy but en- thralling portrait of a Sardinian provincial town and its society. By the power of this large...

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Piers Paul Read

The Spectator

The most astonishing book that I read during the year was The Way of Paradox (Darton, Longman & Todd, £4.95) by the Benedictine monk, Cyprian Smith. It pre- tends to be no more...

Paul Johnson

The Spectator

For sheer readability, nothing in 1988 surpassed the latest Letters of Charles Dickens, Volume VI, 1850-1852, edited by Graham Storey, Kathleen Tillotson and Nina Burgis...

John Osborne

The Spectator

Simon Gray's How's That for Telling 'em, Fat Lady? (Faber, £5.95) is not only the funniest book ever written about the American theatre, but a billiously accurate memoir of the...

Richard Cobb

The Spectator

There is always a great deal of satisfaction in reading about journeys carried out, generally in winter, in conditions of ex- treme discomfort and to places where you have to...

J. L. Carr

The Spectator

Penelope Fitzgerald's The Beginning of Spring (Collins, £10.95) suited me perfect- ly. I like a novel with a comprehensible shape and this is a believably entertaining story...

Ludovic Kennedy

The Spectator

For novels of scope and depth these days one has to look abroad, mostly to Australia and the Americas, and the one I enjoyed most was Tom Wolfe's exciting debut in fiction, The...

Anita Brookner

The Spectator

I enjoyed nothing so much as The Letters of Edith Wharton (Simon & Schuster, £17.95), a tremendously vivid and very moving collection. I also liked two books of memoirs: Shusha...

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John Mortimer

The Spectator

The book I fell in love with was Love In The Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Cape, £11.95). Page follows page of hallucinating brilliance, and at the end you are...

Frances Partridge

The Spectator

For me, the year's landscape is dominated obelisk-wise by the admirable biography Freud: A Life for our Time by Peter Gay (Dent, £16), a work of immense scho- larship and...

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A prince

The Spectator

among writers Alastair Forbes THE LEOPARD, WITH A MEMORY AND TWO STORIES by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa Collins/Harvill, £4.95, pp.223 THE LAST LEOPARD: A LIFE OF...

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Sympathetic view of a formidable leader

The Spectator

Anthony Parsons ASAD: THE STRUGGLE FOR THE MIDDLE EAST by Patrick Seale I. B. Tauris, f17.95, pp.552 P atrick Seale has a remarkable gift: he is able to illuminate the...

Special offer to Spectator readers:

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VIEWS FROM ABROAD THE SPECTATOR BOOK OF TRAVEL WRITING Foreword by Colin Thubron The pleasures of travel are often best en- joyed at a distance, distilled in the pages of...

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We are (almost) all Methodists now

The Spectator

Mark Steyn STANISLAVSKI by Jean Benedetti Methuen, £16.95, pp.340 ast year I attended an off-Broadway rehearsal with Jule Styne, composer of Gypsy and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes...

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The Spectator

The Spectator offers its readers the definitive Pocket Diary. Slim, concise and handsomely bound in soft, navy blue leather, it offers all the facts, figures and numbers that...

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Differences between history and politics

The Spectator

J. Enoch Powell MODERN IRELAND, 1600-1972 by R. F. Foster Allen Lane, £18.95, pp.688 M r Foster is a competent professional historian, with already to his credit import- ant...

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His shadow at evening rising to meet him

The Spectator

C. H. Sisson ELIOT'S NEW LIFE by Lyndall Gordon OUP, f15, pp.356 T. S. ELIOT AND PREJUDICE by Christopher Ricks Faber, f15, pp.290 T. S. ELIOT: A FRIENDSHIP by E. W. F....

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The three weird sisters ride again

The Spectator

Victoria Glendinning CHARLOTTE BRONTE by Rebecca Fraser Methuen, f14.95, pp.543 BROTHER IN THE SHADOW: STORIES AND SKETCHES BY BRANWELL BRONTE edited by Mary Butterfield and...

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SPE T CATOR How to save yourself 51 trips to the library

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. . . or almost £30 on The Spectator If you're forced to share The Spectator with fellow students, then you'll know how difficult it can be to track a copy down. Now you can...


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The Spectator enjoys a high reputation for its crosswords, which attract a large weekly postbag. This collection of 100 puzzles fea- tures the work of their three resident...

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The perfect courtier who said too much

The Spectator

Frances Donaldson RECOLLECTIONS OF THREE REIGNS by Sir Frederick Ponsonby, selected and introduced by Antony Lambton Quartet, £11.95, pp.147 A fter I had read her book,...

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Film Noir Reunion

The Spectator

They came from different directions, the man and the mist, Towards the house. She dragged the window shut As the mist prowled down from one end of the block And the man from the...

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The dangers of failure and success

The Spectator

William Scammell AN ANTHOLOGY FROM X edited by David Wright OUP, f25, pp.270 T he magazine X was a quarterly review of literature and the arts which ran for just seven issues...

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The Spectator

Exhibitions Ancient and modern Giles Auty Maurice Lambert (Belgrave Gallery, till 9 December) Glynn Williams (Bernard Jacobson, till 7 January) B y comparison with painting...

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The Spectator

The Visit (Almeida) Vulgar villainess Christopher Edwards H ere is a welcome chance to see Friedrich Diirrenmatt's best-known work. Admittedly even 'best-known' is a little...

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The Spectator

The Making of the Representative for Planet 8 (Coliseum) Manon (Covent Garden) Dreary tosh Rodney Milnes A rmed with John Rockwell's persua- sive and urbane introduction to...

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The Spectator

No second act Geoffrey Smith recalls the complex musical genius of Bix Beiderbecke T hanks to Clint Eastwood's much touted Bird, Charlie Parker may make the transition from...

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The Spectator

The last connoisseur Peter Watson There is, however, no shortage of ironies or paradoxes in this situation. The most poignant is the sight of bankers and finan- ciers,...

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The Spectator

The Nature of the Beast (PG', Cannons Haymarket, Tottenham Court Road) Animal magic Hilary Mantel T his week's idle enquiry: whatever became of the Beast of Exmoor? Three or...

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High life

The Spectator

For love or money Taki onstantine (Gus) Niarchos is the youngest son of multi-billionaire Greek shipper Stavro Niarchos, and the most likely to get the family name into The...


The Spectator

Lore on order Wendy Cope S earthing for inspiration early this morning, I switched on the television in the bedroom. This set has turned highbrow in its old age and only...

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Low life

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Go east, young woman Jeffrey Bernard M y daughter is going to Australia today and I wonder if she will ever come back. I advised her to stay for keeps if she likes it and is...

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Home life

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Strong medicine Alice Thomas Ellis I have packed up four large boxes of books and sent them off to the country and the shelves look hardly any different. There are still piles...

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The Spectator

A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 for the first three correct solutions opened on 12 December. Entries to: Crossword 886, The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street,...

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Footing it featly Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1550 you were in- vited to write an admiring sonnet to any well-known team or combination in sport. Underneath the jesting,...


The Spectator

Crystal balls Raymond Keene L ast week I predicted a very high placing for England in the Olympics cur- rently being held in Greece. As I write, however, their performance has...

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Z. „ 0":',•■

The Spectator

Santini; L'Incontro IssN WHEN I read Gino Santin's La Cucina . Veneziana the other week I felt that if I didn't manage to get to Venice I certainly would have to make it to one...

No. 1553: Tata Ltd

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So it is listed in the telephone directory. I like to think it is an agency which provides representatives who will say goodbye on your behalf when you lack time or inclina-...

Solution to 883: NE

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N T P E L IER I I TT I R E ANGL IAN 'PROV IDENCE A N 7N G r9 N ril f P N -1-ENTE T 'S WALINN EEL 0 R N Y N 4 OFLIY1210d, R= I S M a t I RCUMFUI$24.44& 3 tNGLAN3i LUOR . Art L E...

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Classic Australian maturity

The Spectator

THERE is a popular belief that Australian wines cannot age. Mr Auberon Waugh, apparently, got up recently at a Sydney wine show and said just that. As no Englishman has done...