27 OCTOBER 1984

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Portrait of the week T he pound fell several times to

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'a record low'. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said the Government would not react by raising interest rates. Nor would it react to rising unemployment by spending more money....

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Grimethorpe or Dorking? Ctoars been going from Day One, and manager's seen it. Lads were taking it for pensioners. As for selling it if thy kids are starving, by hook or by...

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M'Bow out

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T he United States intends to fulfil its promise to withdraw from Unesco, the United Nations educational and cultural organisation, by the end of the year. By doi ng so, it will...

Le vice europeen

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M any parents, one guesses, do not mind their children-bein g caned. If caning is part of a school's rules, intended to administer justice, they accept it. Many even favour it....


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T he coal strike of 1926 was remarkably similar to the present dispute, except that F. E. Smith was then a member of the government, and he was wittier and more lucid than any...

Trust the people

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rr he su gg estion that the main parties I should agree not to contest by- elections caused by terrorist outra g es has a superficial attraction. The IRA ou g ht not to be...


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UK 6 months: £Lt.25 One year: E34.50 Eire E17.25 £34.50 Surface mail Air mail £20.50 £26.50 £41.00 £53.00 Name.................................................. ........

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Another voice

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Hopalong vs Bugs Bunny Auberon Waugh T hose who seek a pedestrian or mun- dane solution to everything might de- cide that it was Walter Mondale's terrible fishy eyes set over...

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T wo tragedies wrecked my life: eating a bad oyster and seeing Jaws. The first disaster disclosed itself two hours after I left a Mayfair seafood restaurant; during the eight...

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Embarrassed for Reagan

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Christopher Hitchens Houston, Texas T he strongest impression made by Sun- k. day's much-ballyhooed Presidential duel was probably on the national plumb- ing. As one longeur...

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One-child China

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Richard West I t is customary for a journalist, visiting China for the first time, to write that he finds it altogether strange, baffling and indescribable, or else to say, as...

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Egypt's return

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Charles Glass Beirut O ne year ago last Tuesday, a man described in a United States Defence Department study as a 'young adult Cauca- sian male with black hair and moustache'...

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Green consciences

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Timothy Garton Ash Bonn T he Green MPs are debating personal morality. Motion: Greens should not fly. We protest against the new runway at Frankfurt Airport, says the...

One hundred years ago

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There is some satisfaction in hearing of the admission of Mr Trevelyan to the Cabinet. He has proved, as no other of the younger statesman have yet proved, that he can 'endure...

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The dope on Hatfield

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Campbell Gordon T here are occasional uses in reading the inferior tabloids. If you had not, this week, for instance, you would have missed the news that Mr Richard Hatfield,...

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Deter, Britannia!

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Oliver Knox rr his is an article by a sub-lieutenant RNVR (1944-46) plunging in where admirals fear to swim. The traditional role of the Navy is under fierce attack, and it may...

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Middle class tendency

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George Szamuely Wembley T he lights dim. The hall is shrouded in darkness. The audience becomes ex- pectant. Suddenly the silence is broken. The stirring strains of the...

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A moral necessity

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Peter Mullen M rs Thatcher has called for the return of the death penalty. When she spoke on television about her ordeal in Brighton, she did not sound vengeful or a ngry, only...

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Anglican MacGregors

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Gavin Stamp Holbeck, Leeds T hanks to callous decisions taken on purely economic grounds by remote bureaucrats, communities all over the country are being impoverished, made...

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Sterling crisis?

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George Cardona I n the bad old days when Sir Harold Wilson dominated British politics, one knew when there was a sterling crisis. The pound came under downward pressure, which...

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ftei'ileal a" ' " ' . III City and

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Cats Bombay ick Whittin g ton's cat,' observes Mr Sitaram of Grindlays, 'was a visible export. But its methods of pest control — those were an invisible export and a transfer of...


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rine complaint comes round and round, l_lsi g nalled by the unmistakable tone of 'more in sorrow than in an g er'. It is at the chan g ed system of g rants for overseas students...


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T he star turn from the City is provided by Ian Fraser, Chairman of Lazards and of the Acceptin g Houses Committee, the merchant bankers' club. It is a masterly performance. Its...


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D evelopment has its problems, and one has come home to that powerhouse of Bombay, the Parsee community. As the city spreads and sprawls, and the country- side and its wild life...

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Clapped out

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Sir: I enjoyed Serban's Turandot, in spit e of the odd patch of silliness (those skulls!) but I agree with David Tang (Letters, 20 October) about the applause. There's far too...

Dracula in Bonn

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Sir: Thank you for pointing out (Notes, 20 October) that West German leaders and commentators' while criticising Ceausescu 's treatment of ethnic Germans Transylvania and the...

Eaton beware!

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Sir: The moral to be drawn from the current response of the NUM to the attempt by the NCB to modernise the British coal industry is, surely, that if you cast pearls before swine...

Lonely hearts

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Sir: I was interested to read Dhiren ftha; gat's article on matrimonial classifieds ( 13 October). But has he ever read the back pages of Time Out? Semper eadern (almost). Tom...

Sir: In your Notes of 20 October you stated that

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Plan for Coal 'even when first con- ceived, was a ludicrously optimistic set of projections.' This is incorrect. Plan for Coal was conceived in 1974, in the wake of the first...


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Heathfield and Ezra Sir: Jimmy Reid's article ('Barnsley's Lenin', 13 October) is, of course, only one in a series of diatribes against National Union of Mineworkers President...

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Orthodox toilets

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Sir: The 'Toilets in the temple' shock horror stories (Another voice, 8 Septem- ber) are not confined to Anglican build- ings. They are upstaged by the gents several yards from...

Sir: A Low life freebie to Paris (13 Octo- ber)

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and then a frigid date. Fromage dur, M. Bernard! Krafft-Ebing (no pun in- tended) defined female frigidity — I quote from memory — as 'the inability to induce male erection'....

Sir: Anyone who finds your Low Life correspondent 'an absolute

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turn off' must be, by definition, frigid. Anna Haycraft Gerald Duckworth and Company Ltd, The Old Piano Factory, 43 Gloucester Crescent, London NW1

Lime juice?

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Sir: The Spectator does not appear to be read in Finland, or the Finns would be demanding Jeffrey Bernard's head on a charger for calling (22 September) Sibelius a Swede. More...


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Sir: Geoffrey Wheatcroft tells us approv- ingly that Dr Trevor Turner says that calling addiction a disease 'is a disgraceful myth by which people absolve themselves of personal...

Richmond, N ot Not moles, voles

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Sir: The symptoms described by P. J. Kavanagh (Postscript, 8 September) raised runs, no molehills — suggest that voles, and not moles, are molesting him and his lawn. Shops here...

Low jibes

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Sir: 'In the interests of veracity' I would like to know just how your reader Mr Ireland (Letters, 20 October) can possibly know the truth of Mr Bernard's visit to Longchamp...

Liberty or the NHS

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Sir: Geoffrey Wheatcroft (`Opiates and the People', 13 October) falls into the old error of trying to make a meaningful distinction between a drug and a poison on grounds of...

E. C. Booz

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Sir: I was surprised to see Nicholas von Hoffman (`The good old days', 6 October) trotting out that old chestnut about the miniature log cabin whisky bottles given out by the...

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Nuisances to authority Cohn Welch D r Jenkins, the 'enlightened' Bishop of Durham, has declared that a Chris- tian bishop is bound not only to deplore violence but to press...

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The whale and the minnow Peter Ackroyd Lord Alfred Douglas H. Montgomery Hyde (Methuen £14.95) I t was not a happy family; most of Lord Alfred Douglas's ancestors seem to have...

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Whistler's Father & Co.

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Ferdinand Mount The Smiths of Moscow Harvey Pitcher (Swallow House, 37 Bernard Road, Cromer, £5.95) W hat am I bid for a manuscript, original and unpublished, telling the...

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No Aspern Papers

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A. N. Wilson According to Mark Penelope Lively (Heinemann £8.95) T he Mark of the story is a biographer, Mark Lamming, who is writing the life of an Edwardian man of letters...

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Doing good

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Kenneth Lindsay Toynbee Hall: The First Hundred Years Asa Briggs and Anne Matartney (Routledge & Kegan Paul £15) his is the biography of a unique institu- tion, in fact a...

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The fountain flows on

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Francis King This Real Night Rebecca West (Macmillan £9.95) w hen, on two widely spaced occasions, the second not long before her death, I asked Rebecca West whether she would...

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The Thirties thrillers

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Peter Levi The Hand in the Glove Rex Stout Dead Mrs Stratton Anthony Berkeley The Saltmarsh Murders Gladys Mitchell Death by Request Romilly and Katherine John (Hogarth Crime...

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The Rumpuses

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Christopher Hawtree The Leavises A n unusual photograph in this collec- tion of 'recollections and impressions' shows a middle-aged F. R. Leavis sitting cross-legged on a...

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Andrew Brown The Facts of Life Jonathan Miller (Jonathan Cape £8.95) T he bits that should pop up do not: in fact it takes some time to recognise them for what they are meant...

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Arousing Beauty Julie Kavanagh The Sleeping Beauty (Birmingham Hippodrome) Gala Tribute to Sir Frederick Ashton (Royal Opera House) I t was auspicious that — thanks to gener-...

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Reinstated Richard Calvocoressi The Print in Germany 1880-1933 (British Museum till 6 January) T his exhibition represents a major triumph over years of official neglect. The...

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Of service Christopher Edwards Love's Labour's Lost (RSC, Stratford) T he Royal Shakespeare Company has proved capable of mounting produc - tions of great beauty, but it is...

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The real thing? Peter Phillips T he vogue for performing early music on original instruments has reached a sophisticated stage, to judge from the concerts held this week in...

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Sports illustrated Peter Ackroyd The Natural ('PG', Odeon Leicester Square) T he film opens with that washed-ou t look which is characteristic of certain American paintings,...

Books Wanted

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CAROLINE GORDON: Any of her , novels especially 'The Glory of Hera' and 'The Fathers' by Allen Tate. F. Murphy, 316 Fulham Rd., London SW10. HUYSMANS: Oeuvres Completes, Paris,...

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High life

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Cooling it Taki I 've made a pledge not to turn the heat on in my flat until Arthur Scargill defects to Libya. Although some may think this Is futile gesture (like pissing...


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Humbugs Alexander Chancellor A lthough Mr Robert Maxwell is so unfamiliar with the Social Democratic Party that he persists, however often he is corrected, in calling it the...

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Low life

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Diversions Jeffrey Bernard T ryas I may I am failing miserably to corrupt my 18-year-old niece Katie. Perhaps corrupt is too strong a word but I do like the idea of diverting...

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Distraction P. J. Kavanagh W e doubt much that is reported but it seems clear that because of a sequ- ence of droughts in Ethiopia there will soon be no food at all for many...


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No. 1344: Old favourite Set by Jaspistos: You are invited to in- corporate as plausibly as possible the fol- lowing words, in any order, in a piece of prose (maximum 150...

No. 1341: The winners

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Jaspistos reports: Competitors were asked for blank verse 'about food or drink, none of the lines end-rhyming with another but each containing at least three mutually rhyming...

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Five Miles run Paul Lamford I t was inopportune for Tony Miles to achieve the best result of his chess career and, perhaps, even the best result ever by an Englishman while...

Solution to Crossword 678: Libra

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331:100 k CIO Eanuel] A aaninao im 1 01:11210 vi eptionna LaEjo Maa r EIN lle1013131:213 R V P ji c AnAniaNip Lnn Ilaininmaanno LiallEhirelall a T IMMO dnelliCIE EIM110111i1...

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SPECTATOR Two events celebrating the life and work of John Betjeman For several years John Betjeman contributed a weekly column to the Spectator. Next week writers from the...

Crossword 681

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Prize: £10 (or a copy of Chambers Dictionary, 1983 edition, value £11.95 — ring the words 'Chambers Dictionary' above) for the first correct solution opened on 12 November....

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Imperative cooking: Potato purée

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lived for three years in the north. Every time say that someone replies that Where I was wasn't the real north, just the Midlands. It is apparently a matter of Competitive pride...

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Third Clue

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3. a). The surname of three men: one called himself Caval ier Pasquil and Pierce Pennilesse; one was an eighteenth century arbiter elegantiarum who once rode naked upon a cow;...

How to take part

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Each issue of the Spectator from now until 8 December will carry a clue. Each of the nine clues will have three parts; the answers to the first two parts (a and b) will form an...

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Treasure Hunt Set by Caroline Moore The first prize is a pair of 18th century hand-coloured aquatints by Thomas and William Daniell illustrating views of India. Plus two...