27 JUNE 1987

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`I think they've hung it upside down.' U nemployment in the United King- dom dropped below three million for the first time since July 1984. The SDP decided to ballot its...

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DEVOLUTION'S LOW ROAD ecause the Conservatives did so badly in Scotland at the General Election, there is talk of devolution once more. The Sc ottish Secretary, Mr Malcolm...

Election competition

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NO one predicted the election result exact- ly, but the winner of the Spectator Election Competition came very close. Mr R. A. Kempster of Basingstoke came up with the following...

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The wheel-clamp effect in the Government's programme of privatisation FE RDINAND MOUNT R eaders in the provinces may be in- terested to know what the comfortable classes in...

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DIARY MARY SOAMES ake an upside-down triangle with its apex

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on Lairg, which is about 60 miles north of Inverness, its base stretching on the coast from Handa Island, with its grim cliffs thronged with sea birds — right- handed round Cape...

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A bleeding Sergeant looks ahead with foreboding AUBERON WA UGH T here can be few more agreeable ways of hearing election results than on a crackly wireless miles up the Alto...

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. Britain is experiencing its biggest-ever credit boom. Tun Congdon argues that if inflation is to be avoided the Bank of England must be freed from political control MUCH has...

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Robin Lustig reports on the failure of Syrian protection in Lebanon IF readers of the Spectator have a better understanding of Lebanese affairs than most people, they owe...

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congress for the intelligentsia 50 years on from the war IT HAD to happen. Spain's galloping modernisation, her determination to be ruled by sober-suited social democrats, to...

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Gavin Stamp weighs up the opposition to the redevelopment of the Royal Opera House OLD soldiers refighting old battles can be a little pathetic. There is something of this in...

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Richard West wonders why British city centres are uniquely unpleasant Bradford NOW that the Government has resolved to tackle the 'inner cities', it should begin by asking why...

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John Mortimer defends the right of his kind to express their political opinions JUST before the election the Observer invited 28 writers and artists to disclose how they...

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Oliver Knox argues that the passions of the Iliad have uses in the classroom AIDS is not the first threat posed by sexual misconduct to an entire civilisation. We should...

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welcomes the new internationalism in the book trade T HERE is whining from angry old fogies like Graham Greene at recent financial moves in the publishing industry, in par-...

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Gilmore's Law finds the rate reformers up to their rump in alligators CHRISTOPHER FILDES T he first principle of the tax reform, or Gilmore's Law*, is that the people who are...

Scot-free swindlers

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THE City's bold gendarmes are every- where these days, running in or running after the little boys who do no harm (or not much), and leaving the big professional swindlers at...

No taste for buns

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IT is hard luck on Peter Palumbo that he can point to a hundred property developers who get their dirty work designed by ruler and setsquare without any of the obloquy that...

Greenbacks for Greenspan

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THE dollar is perking up, a phenomenon which we tend to notice as the pound perks down, and the Bank of England, which bought $4,760 million of foreign currency for the reserves...

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Old bore's corner

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Sir: Mr Taki Theodoracopulos (High life , 20 June) finds it appropriate that Clivede n should be the scene for Sir James Gold - smith's recent party, on the grounds tha t , the...

Aboriginal question

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Sir: Auberon Waugh wrote (Another voice, 6 June) that following my intervie w with Prime Minister Hawke, `subseque nt scrutiny of the unedited transcript' showe d that Hawke had...

Forgotten evening

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Sir: Paul Johnson (The press, 20 June) refers to the current wide choice of news- papers, including 'two metropolitan eve n- ings'. Has he forgotten the London Daily News, on...

Sincere flattery

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Sir: I was interested to read in your editorial of 6 June: 'As Tom Lehrer's Folk Song Army says of the war against Franco, they may have won all the battles, but we had all the...

LETTERS Backbench enjoyment

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Sir: You say in your editorial of 20 June that `all those whom Mrs Thatcher has previously dismissed have been unsuccess- ful rebels. Being men for the most part preoccupied...

Pedant's end

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Sir: Christopher Howse asserts (`Beer' , 20 June) that the width of the platforms at St Pancras Station was determined by the size of the barrels of Burton beer stored in the...

Sorry tale

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Sir: Sonie who criticise British Telecom no doubt relish finding the faults they do because they disapprove in principle of privatised utilities. As an advocate of privatisation...


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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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wielding despotic power ISLAM today is generally seen to present a severe and forbidding face to the world, while a great many regions where it pre- d ominates are in the grip...

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is looking for a mature (25-35) and intelligent person to sell corporate and advocacy advertising. The successful candidate must have previous experience, ideally selling a...

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One hundred years ago

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PROVIDENCE has been kind to the Queen. Her Jubilee Day, June 21st, has come and gone, and the most notewor- thy fact about it is that it was not spoiled, either by failure, by...

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Their man in Havana Hugh Thomas FIDEL CASTRO: A CRITICAL PORTRAIT by Tad Szulc r Tad Szulc, a well-known journal- ist. who used to work for the New York Tunes, has written an...

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The greatness of the father of history

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Hugh Lloyd-Jones THE HISTORY OF HERODOTUS translated by David Grene University of Chicago Press, £23.95 H istory starts with Herodotus. With- out him we should be painfully...

A longer version of this review appeared earlier this year

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in the American foreign policy quarterly, The National Interest (Washington).

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Heading for disaster

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Roger Clarke THE HAW LANTERN by Seamus Heaney Faber, f7.95, L3.95 T he Haw Lantern by its title suggests vintage Heaney: exact cubes of peat- smelling observation by a man...

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Two dreads are better than one

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Francis King THE RAT by Gunther Grass Seeker & Warburg, f12.95 A t my preparatory school before the war, there was a diminutive boy who believed, along with the rest of his...

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Her story and history

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Frances Partridge A LIFE WITH ALAN: THE DIARY OF A. J. P. TAYLOR'S WIFE EVA, FROM 1978 TO 1985 by Eva Haraszti Taylor Hamish Hamilton, f14.95 I t is as difficult to justify...

Less familiar flannelled fools

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J. L. Carr THE FABER BOOK OF CRICKET edited by Michael and Simon Davie Faber, f9.95 T his is a felicitous selection. Its one sour note is struck by Sir William Rees-Mogg's...

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Boyhood in Scotland

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Alan Bell NAIRN IN DARKNESS AND LIGHT by David Thomson Hutchinson, £12.95 D avid Thomson had some success in mixing the autobiographical and the dis- cursively historical in...

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Not a candle flame but a searchlight

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Peter Levi THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF VICTORIAN VERSE edited by Christopher Ricks OUP, £15.95 V ictorian poems are a constant plea- sure, and so numerous that everyone can make...

That's You

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It's good to see the gulls back. I felt their lack - like a missing bit of mountain, a mysteriously withered tree - and long to acquire the knack of gull-speak: 'What poison...

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Exhibitions Mark Rothko (Tate Gallery, till 1 September) The Artist's Eye: paintings selected by Lucian Freud (National Gallery, till 16 August) Rothko redux Giles Auty M y...

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M us ic

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Excellence or elitism? Peter Phillips evidently ameliorated in the last fortnight. After the principal, Sir David Lumsden, h ad outlined his further steps 'in the pursuit of...

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A monthly selection of for thcoming events rec ommended by the SPecto.tor's regular critics. OPERA hychi, Theatre de l'Archeveche, Aix-e n - Provence, from 21 July....

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Piccadilly) Blues in the Night (Donmar Warehouse) A good idea at the time Christopher Edwards T his is a transfer, from the Nottingham...


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Dona Herlinda and Her Son (`15', Cannon Piccadilly & Everyman Hampstead) A boy's best friend Hilary Mantel A t the end of this film, the sun in question recites a poem of his...

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Lord's and commoners Alan Gibson I t is unfortunate for the Marylebone Cricket Club, whose bicentenary is being currently celebrated with much pomp and splendour, that the...

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Postman's weather Wendy Cope R emember your television cannot listen to you, nor reply.' This useful piece of advice from Dr Anthony Fry, consultant psychiatrist at Guy's...

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Low life

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Absent friends Jeffrey Bernard T he speed at which friends are being flung out into the void seems to be accelerating. If I believed in life after death I would say that there...

Non-stop bop

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Taki T he last thing I was planning to write about was the royal connection at the Worcester ball I attended in Oxfordshire last week, but after the fuss the up-market press...

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Home life

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Living in a madhouse Alice Thomas Ellis W hen I've got a minute I'm going to write a book called Osmosis and Institution or maybe Institution and Osmosis. Not merely because I...

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Imperative cooki

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L . ng: conversation TTER- CLASSparents used to think it necessary that their offspring be able to c onverse nicely and amusingly. I imagine that few actually taught this...

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Magic properties Jaspistos I N Competition No. 1477 you were asked for an imaginary example of the extravagant and pseudo-scientific prose used by manufacturers describing...


The Spectator

Rays serene Raymond Keene H as there ever been a tournament like AVRO 1938? Four world champions, past, present and future, were in the lists and the remaining four...

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Solution to 811: Hundred up!

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A R H '0 '0 D , A■ E 1 , u%'11 s E S P 0 N7 SI D TAL ZIAEINNISN TIRIRIO I N G T E P ' . ?1 A R R LITLI't A 0 N CILIEDL1/A !STRAND ' Fl I R ... E LING " EASLEFLI ELIFFTL3/ H...

No. 1480: Self-portrait

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Self-portraits, common enough in art, are rare in prose. You are invited to suppy an entertaining one (maximum 150 words). I am, of course, in no position to insist on accuracy,...


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. . soi fir sl prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 (or, for UK wor a copy of Chambers Dictionary, value £13.95 — ring the s o h j - C io Chambers Dictionary' above) for...

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Volume 258 January — June 1987 rootxxonownommoy.uxouxoxxokse f Indiana :University F. MAR 2 81988 Library wlevt - VeUWIEVENOMEXANIAti(XIMMIEV, Published by The Spectator, 56...

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Using This Index

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Arrangment of entries Entries are arranged in letter-by-letter alphabetical order, i.e. spaces between words are ignored. Thus the entry 'Interior Landscapes' precedes 'In the...

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Index for January - June 1987 Subjects and Titles L) LETTER A) LEADING ARTICLE LL) LIFE AND LETTERS N) NOTE ) POEM (PC) POLITICS r I) W) PORTRAIT ILLUSTRATION A Abortion: an...