28 MARCH 1981

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No secrets, no service

The Spectator

It is very unlikely that we shall ever know the broad truth about what was going on in our secret services a few years back. It is certain that we do not know what is going on...

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Political commentary

The Spectator

Seeingthelightmanship Ferdinand Mount Once again exam time is back with uS at Old Nick's and we in the Faculty of Black Arts at the Machiavelli Memorial College of Political...

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The Spectator

was after we had gone to press last week that the following announcement was issued by the Press Association: 'Agreement has been reached today whereby Mr Algy Cluff will buy...

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Another voice

The Spectator

Suppressio \Teri Auberon Waugh When I first learned that Lonrho was going to buy the Observer I rejoiced. I have never met Mr Roland 'Tiny' Rowland and know nothing about him...

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Low life in high places

The Spectator

Nicholas von Hoffman Washington For the first time in a decade life in Washington has zip. Not since the early Seventies, when the recurrent upswellings of the anti-w...

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The bombs of Trieste

The Spectator

Richard West Trieste The morning demonstrations here are organised by the one communist union, but vary in style. The shipbuilding workers, who want a government subsidy to...

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Defending the Soviet worker

The Spectator

Bohdan Nahaylo Earlier this month the International Labour Organisation rebuked the Soviet authorities for their treatment of independent trade unionists and workers' rights...

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Filleting the fishermen

The Spectator

Allan Masne The Black Comedy of the Common Fisheries Policy got another repeat at Maastricht this week, with Helmut Schmidt reproaching Mrs Thatcher over the British Obduracy...

One hundred years ago

The Spectator

A frightful calamity has taken place at Nice. The opera-house, where Signora Bianca Donadio was about to play in Lucia, was on Wednesday set on fire by a gas explosion before...

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The Volcano .

The Spectator

John Stewart Collis My first impression was of harmony. As I approached the vicinity of Mount Etna (erupting in 1928) it seemed to me that h armony had been established between...

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The Corn Law Rhymer

The Spectator

Alan Gibson I noticed, I think in The Times calendar of the year, that Ebenezer Elliott was born in March 1781. This stirred childhood memories. He was still a hero in...

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The press

The Spectator

Bunter gets a thwacking Paul Johnson 'A pitiful affair', intoned The Times. 'A dismal outcome of a dismal episode,' wailed the Guardian. 'These are bad days for Britain',...

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In the City

The Spectator

More lame ducks Tony Rudd 'What if all your ducks are lame'?' was a question put to me the other day by a Swiss banker. Clearly from his expression of mild disdain he had long...

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Real Wales

The Spectator

Sir: Laid up with a virus infection, I have had time to read Duncan Fallowell's article last week and now to write from my London home so that at least one grand illusion can be...

Personal habits

The Spectator

Sir I think it is a pity to portray W.H. Auden with a hat and with a pipe in his mouth as if it were characteristic of him. In the early Thirties he always carried a box of...


The Spectator

Sir: Was Peter Jenkins being disingenuous or plain stupid when he wrote (28 February) of Messrs Ntshona and Kani 'infecting' Waiting for Godot with `tragi-comic resignation' in...

The hairy Ainu

The Spectator

Sir: I can see, thanks to the scholarship of your correspondent C.R Brand of Edinburgh (14 March) that I have once again been a victim of the fallacy of the eyewitness. In my...

The Marines in Mexico

The Spectator

Sir: As an admirer of Richard West' s reportage I have no relish in calling atte_ 11 ; non to his mistake in saying ('The Salvador inheritance', 7 March) that contrary to the...

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The Spectator

Stirring the Labour pot Ferdinand Mount The Backbench Diaries of Richard Crossman Ed. Janet Morgan (Hamish Hamilton and Jonathan Cape pp.1088, £15) 'At the lunch interval we...

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Hart to heart

The Spectator

Roy Fuller The Lyttelton Hart-Davis Letters: Volume III 1958 Edited and introduced by Rupert Hart-Davis (John Murray pp. 185, £12.50) There were two Proustian or Powellian...

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An alternative Proust

The Spectator

A.N. Wilson R emembrance of Things Past Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin (Chatto & Windt's, in 3 v olumes. Vol I pp. 1040, £17.50; Vol II...

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Peace shock

The Spectator

Eric Christiansen The Justice and the Mare's Ale Alan Macfarlane and Sarah Harrison (Blackwe ll pp. 238, £8.50) Will the success of The History Man d° anything to discredit the...

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Moscow's bizarre pageant

The Spectator

Nikolai Tolstoy The Games War: A Moscow Journal Christopher Booker (Faber pp. 236, £5.95, £2.95) Christgpher Booker is, by his own admission, no ardent follower of spectator...

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The Spectator

Christopher Walker Whose Jerusalem? Terence Prittie (Muller PP. 246, £995) The key to understanding this blatantly partisan account of Jerusalem's past, Pre sent and projected...

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More Austen?

The Spectator

Gerard Kilroy Sir Charles Grandison Jane Austen, Transcribed and Edited by Brian Southam (Oxford pp. '150, £7.95) 'Every line from the pen of Jane Austen is precious.' With...

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The Spectator

14 • isfi t s Gillian Greenwood The Country David Plante (Gollancz PP. 15 9, £6.95) Housekeeping Marilynne Robinson (Faber Pp. 218, £5.25) Secret Places Janice Elliott (Hodder...

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Blood, guts and Islam

The Spectator

Peter Ackroyd Blood of Hussain ('AA', Gate Cinema, Russell Square) This is the story of 'the unceasing struggle of an oppressed people against illegitimate and tyrannical...

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Breath of life

The Spectator

Peter Jenkins Ent ertaining Mr Sloane (Lyric, Hammersmith) A brilliant production of Joe Orton's first Play by Kenneth Williams at the Lyric, Hammersmith establishes it as an...


The Spectator

Prize bores Richard In grams I said last time that the right starting point for any television critic is to assume that all the programmes are bad. The opposite view is taken...

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High life

The Spectator

Playful Tab New York Whenever I read something about Lillian Hellman I think of George Orwell's description, or rather detestation, of his fellow middle-class socialists:...

Low life

The Spectator

Mug's diary Jeffrey Bernard Lunched with Betty and the Pinters. Tal k , revolved around the Social Democrats anu, the stupidity of carnal lust. Harold and agreed that Foot is...