27 AUGUST 1988

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The Spectator

Quayle hunting E ight British soldiers were killed when a military bus was ripped to bits by an IRA bomb near Omagh in Northern Ireland. Later a navy recruiting officer was...

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. . . the prospect of containing and subduing terrorism will depend very largely on the strength and efficiency of political institu- tions. What a country in a state of...

The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone 01-405

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1706; Telex 27124; Fax 242 0603

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Ulster: English inanity, not Irish insanity MARTIN IVENS A nglo-Saxon attitudes are the key to the question of Ulster. Irish Nationalist or Loyalist aspirations, extreme or...

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IRMA KURTZ H eathrow's Terminal One is the place to go for spotting minor celebrities. They are often there in the late morning, gathered appropriately at the low- numbered...

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A new explanation for the appalling behaviour of young British males AUBLRON WAUGH A t the time of writing, the names chosen for the infant daughter of the Duke and Duchess of...

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In the slums of Brooklyn a generation is destroying itself with drugs and the Aids virus that goes with them. Myles Harris went to see what is happening AT La Guardia airport,...

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Richard Bassett witnesses Czechoslovak rejection of Soviet imperialism Prague IT IS not easy to be woken up in the Hotel Alcron. Even on the fifth floor where the distant whir...

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Mahnaz Ispahani wonders, now that General Zia is gone, whether the army will allow democracy PAKISTAN'S brief life has had a tragic cast. The country has survived dismember-...

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Ambrose Evans-Pritchard on the press's chase of Bush's running-mate Washington SENATOR Bob Dole, veteran of war and presidential politics, could hardly contain his glee. Passed...

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Stephen Handelman experiences the frustrations of travelling in the Soviet Union Moscow EVERY Soviet establishment catering for foreign tourists contains a large, usually...

. . . and statistics'

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'DRINKING and driving: discretionary or random testing? Some facts arid figures: Great Britain, 1986 No. of roadside breath tests 320,000 (20 per cent more than 1985) Positive...

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One hundred years ago

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MR GLADSTONE and Mr John Mor- ley should consider the significance of the incident at Olympia on Monday evening, when the Cork band refused to play 'God Save the Queen!' on the...

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The media: Paul Johnson thinks the IBA more likely to be axed than TV-am I DOUBT if many readers of The Spectator watch breakfast television. Like television as a whole until...

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Tale of two markets

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FOR a sign of the times, look at two markets — in gilt-edged stock, and in money. They are really markets in the same thing — the Government's various promises to pay, with...

Precedent makes policy

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I SEE signs that in a quiet, backdoorish wait-until-Parliament-goes-on holiday sort of way, we are getting a new policy on mergers. We could use it. The law is so widely drawn...

Backing Mister Lawson

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MY racing adviser Captain Threadneedle has put me on to a horse called Mister Lawson. This spirited performer has won several races this season — though when at the Captain's...


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The cats are away, the mice can play, but they won't bring an order CHRISTOPHER FILDES H ow deep is the City's slumber in these dog-days, and how uneasy. All is still on...

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Austria's guilt

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Sir: In your issue of 13 August Mr David Pryce-Jones reviewed four books on Aus- tria all of which may owe their existence to the recent surge of public interest in all things...


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Sick transit Sir: What a state general practice has come to! Your letters page (13 August) has two letters from self-satisfied GPs, Drs Mackay and Howard, both of whom betray...

All is not well

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Sir: Mr A.N. Wilson does not inhabit the same Anglican Church that others do. At least so it would seem from his recent article in The Spectator (Anglican unsettle- ment', 16...

Unsolicited information

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Sir: Your readers may be interested in learning some background to the con- troversy surrounding The Last Temptation of Christ, which has just opened in Los Angeles, and which...

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Vanishing oysters

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Sir: Margaret Drabble's cry for more and cheaper oysters for the proletariat wins on points against Auberon Waugh's retort that they are expensive simply because there are not...

Who's kidding?

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Sir: Mr Paul Johnson (The press, 6 Au- gust) tells us that Mrs Thatcher has a sense of humour. Until now I thought he lacked one. C.A. Bosset Penrheol, Llangynidir, Powys

The Kariba dam

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Sir: My attention has been drawn to an article in The Spectator (Diary, 13 August), alleging that the Kariba dam is in danger of collapse; that it was designed by an Italian...


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Sir: My information about the scrotal skin of whales used to cover bar-stools in a Greek yacht (Books, 6 August) comes from some colour supplement or magazine article about 15...


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Sir: P.J. Chisholm (Letters, 23 July) may be interested to learn that James Joyce refers to the game of ball-ball in Finnegans Wake (published 1939): `fiounaregal gaame of those...

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But perfectly formed Ferdinand Mount LETTERS OF MAX BEERB OHM 1892-1956 edited by Rupert Hart-Davis more upset by caricatures of themselves? Why do they beg the artist for...

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The growth of a brilliant mind

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Paul Theroux THE TONGUE SET FREE by Elias Canetti, translated by Joachim Neugroschel Deutsch, £12.95, pp.268 A s Elias Canetti demonstrated in working on his masterpiece...

Cretan Rug

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Why couldn't she say she didn't like the red rug with its black pattern of jars and lamps he bought in the tourist shop? (To love him didn't mean she had to love his rug.) And...

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Smart alec in Moscow

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Hugh Joseph CHILDREN OF THE ARBAT by Anatoli Rybakov translated by Harold Shukman Hutchinson, £12.95, pp.685 I t is hard for anyone who has grown up in England, certainly in...

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Pragmatic sanctions for abolition

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Robert Stewart THE OVERTHROW OF COLONIAL SLAVERY, 1776-1848 by Robin Blackburn Verso, £27.95, pp.560 S lavery, in one form or another, is always with us. It took its most...

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Lost Labour love

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Robert Blake A SINGULAR MARRIAGE: A LABOUR LOVE STORY IN LETTERS AND DIARIES, RAMSAY AND MARGARET MACDONALD edited by Jane Cox Harrap, £14.95, pp.386 R amsay MacDonald has...

The Mind of Man

The Spectator

The mind of man is nothing but A repertoire of what is not, Never was, and can never be: So, at least, it is with me. C. H. Sisson

Misplaced confidence of a storyteller

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Roger Lewis THE TIDEWATER TALES by John Barth Methuen, £12.95, pp.655 h e style of our own time tends towards succinctness: Beckett's ever-diminishing fictions; Borges's...

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The half is better than the whole

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Francis King INCLINE OUR HEARTS by A. N. Wilson Hamish Hamilton, .£11.95, pp.250 A nyone who buys A. N. Wilson's new book will, in a sense, be getting a novel and a half for...

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Crafts The shows must go on Tanya Harrod reports on the crisis at the Crafts Council, threatened with the closure of its gallery and lack of funding for future exhibitions T...

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•••••■• ■ •■• ■ •••■•• MINN. ••■•• SPECIATOR

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The International Art Show for the End of World Hunger (Barbican, till 2 October) New Realists (Berkeley Square Gallery, till 3 September) Cause for dissent Giles Auty S...

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Anna ('15', Metro) From the new world Hilary Mantel S tories about ageing actresses are doomed to be pretty much alike: bring on the poignancy, bring on the old bitter-...


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Pelleas at the Proms Peter Phillips T he BBC has been pursuing the Pelleas et Milisande variants with a tenacity of purpose which has become almost obses- sive. Not only have...

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Bayreuth brutalism Rodney Milnes h e new Bayreuth Ring is nasty, brutish but not, alas, short: spending a week in its company in this particular small town in Germany — one...

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Deboshed fish Peter Levi S ome days I am longing for a season of John Cassavetes, some days not, but you have to catch these things while they are on. This week-end I was...

High life

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Papa croc Taki know it sounds crazy, but this is the ideal time to visit the Big Olive. During the last two weeks of August the great mass of Athens-dwellers flees its...

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Low life

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Ice cold in Lambourn Jeffrey Bernard I returned to Lambourn valley last weekend with some trepidation. The place holds some bad memories for me. Four car crashes and one wife...

Home life

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Frites with everything Alice Thomas Ellis was sitting on a boat the other day, wondering about the wisdom of this and debating with myself the proposition 'Abroad is bloody...

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Alcohol — art or science?

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Then I went to Spain — to Galicia, the rocky north-western rampart of Iberia which has so much in common (not just bagpipe music, but also mist, sea-lochs and bony granite...

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IT'S August so it must be Cumberland, and pretty damn cold at that. We were practically blown off a motorway on Sun- day with visibility nearly nil, due to blind- ing rain....


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY — Save 15% on the Cover Price! RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £45.00 0 £23.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £55.00 0 £28.00 USA Airspeed 0 US $90 0 US$45 Rest of Airmail...

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Secret weapon Raymond Keene J on Speelman, whom I regarded as the slight underdog before the World Cham- pionship quarter-final began, has over- whelmed Nigel Short within the...


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Undespondent Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1537 you were in- vited to pen a poetic paean on Slough to offset Betjeman's rude lines on the subject. It was last October that a...

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Solution to 870: US and us L ' I F 3 F

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A ' TS E R NI CI " S W ET . 4-3 R E A PA .1.1A I PELTE T I lAff E at i a.a. 2 14 ' E a r., V 3 1 III IN AI Y TIE G 4 oi s I. ,a. T a_ 0 1, 2 11. E a. R S -1 0 T S T 6 F L...


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A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of either Chambers Dictionary or Chambers Crossword Manual — ring your choice) for the first three...

No. 1540: Myself when young

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You are invited to provide a paragraph, consisting of one sentence (of about 150 words), from an early chapter of an im- aginary old-fashioned egotistical auto- biography....

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The jazz years

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LIKE Duke Ellington and Earl Scrugg before him, Sir Alfred Sherman has long been a source of inspiration to a rich variety of creative artists. It was while taking a youthful...


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Leaves from the commonplace book of Wallace Arnold IT WAS while Alfie 'Duke' Sherman, as he then was, was playing back-up trom- bone for the late, great Satchmo that he first...

The policy years

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BACK in London, Sir Sher, as he now styled himself, founded the Dance Centre for Policy Studies, with the intention of combining right-wing Conservative thought with the Negro...