28 MAY 1988

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The Spectator

The missionary M rs Thatcher's 'flagship Bill' to estab- lish a community charge decisively cleared a great hurdle when the House of Lords voted down a substantial amendment by...

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The Spectator

The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone 01-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 242 0603 CARRY ON NURSE For years, the College has been obsessed with professional...


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IT IS entirely reasonable that a govern- ment should advertise the services and benefits available to the public. Such athiertising is and should be sober, worthy and dull....


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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) 1:1 £55.00 0 £28.00 USA Airspeed 0 US $90 0 US$45 Rest of...

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T he joy of an unwritten constitution is that one can not only invoke its principles, but invent them. This happens in all discussions of the House of Lords, never more so than...

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Why it is so important that nobody pays attention to journalists AUBERON WAUGH I am beginning to be worried by the amount of influence my esteemed col- league Paul Johnson has...

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The very young are the best recruits for America's growing drug gangs. William Shawcross reports from Los Angeles WHOLE areas of Los Angeles are now ruled by gangs. Vast...

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Robert Knowles sees the appointment of Hungary's new leader as a triumph for the apparatchiks Budapest WHEN the Western mind considers East- ern Europe, its repertoire of...

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Sarah Traxler reports from the place where the Soviet leader made his career Stavropol WHY would a man at the summit of power want to hide his mother? Maria Pan- teleyevna...

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John Ralston Saul finds Canada jumping into the jaws of the United States trade monster Toronto THE world has a tendency not to notice Canadian crises. They don't have the...

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Geoffrey Wheatcroft explains why the intellectuals of Philby's generation admired Stalin so much 'CHARM is the great English blight. It does not exist outside these damp...

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A Post-Modern Decalogue

The Spectator

A. H. Clough's version of the Ten Commandments, written as a satire on Victorian morality, needs to be brought up to date. Have one God at the most: that's more Than many...

One hundred years ago

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AS we predicted, this Sikkim business is growing serious. The stubborn Tibetan Lamas are evidently determined not to give up their claim to the little State, and are collecting...

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Roy Kerridge joins the mysterious celebrations at Aston-on-Clun IT was Geoffrey Messer, the strange tree artist of the Welsh borders, who first told me of the Arbor Tree at...

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. . . and statistics

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'More than 42 per cent of officers at P&O European Ferries would sail strike-breaking ships even if they were inadequately crewed and therefore un- safe. 'In a ballot of 490...

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The Spectator

The media: Paul Johnson welcomes the Rees-Mogg appointment but only as a stop-gap THAT television is a 'hot' medium, which generates extraordinary passions and pre- judices,...

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The confidential clerk

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ENG. LIT. and Institute of Bankers Joint Board, text question: which poet wrote 'The currants were quoted at a price "carriage and insurance free to London", and the bill of...

Vintage 1992

The Spectator

HERE is what to say to Lord Young over breakfast — or Kenneth Clarke, if he is your host when the 1992 road show comes your way. Ask them what the single European market will...

Commanding heights

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I AM surprised that the Prime Minister, preaching on the tenth commandment to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, did not, in that home of metrical psalmody, prefer...


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The Swiss won't cough up, so the biters can't be bitten — this time CHRISTOPHER FILDES R owntree was half-way down the Swiss throats by the time it was decided not to make...

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Testing delays

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Sir: We know that roughly half of all driving tests result in a pass (see `. . . and statistics', 23 April). The overall pass rate for 1987 was 50 per cent and for 1986 49 per...


The Spectator

Sir: Mr Reeves's patronising letter (7 May) does him little credit. Had he done his homework he would have known that 'the nations' (ta ethne) could not conceivably mean 'those...

Penalising charity

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Sir: Alexandra Artley wrote a most in- teresting article, 'Living with the Damocles Syndrome' (7 May). She has really hit the nail on the head with regard to the difficul- ties...

Mind my bytes

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Sir: As I am about to submit a Ph.D. thesis on rule induction, which Myles Harris suggests is at the heart of artificial intelli- gence, I hope I am sufficiently qualified to...

Dear old Kim

The Spectator

Sir: Before Murray Sayle (`My friend Kim', 21 May) quotes again from The Great Gatsby, he should give himself the pleasure of re-reading it. He will be re- minded that the...

Sir: Dear old Kim, with his talent for friendship, his

The Spectator

shy stammer and his adoles- cent dreams. How deeply he must have felt Ramsay MacDonald's betrayal of the work- ers and the ungentlemanly behaviour of Herr Dollfuss. Dear old...


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Gibraltar inquest Sir: Paul Johnson says, 'ITV and the BBC have now, on the face of it, prejudiced a court hearing in a crown colony.' This is cod-legal jargon of the type...

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Irish operatives

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Sir: In his column (Another Voice, 9 April), Mr Auberon Waugh states that 'the Building Employers Confederation is re- cruiting its workforce in Ireland'. From this, he makes...

Not beyond conjecture

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Sir: I was struck by Paul Johnson's phrase ('When a reader cancels', 23 April), 'the police will act only if an erect male penis is shown'. Has Mr Johnson discovered non- male...

Fairy stories

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Sir: Both Patrick Kavanagh and Wendy Cope have said in The Spectator that I be- leive in goblins and 'the little people'. When have I said so? Certainly not on the South Bank...

Another Marlowe

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Sir: In his article 'No great Shakes' (30 April) Martin Green attacks the myths people create about Shakespeare, but happily perpetuates one about Marlowe, describing him as `an...

The real Ruth

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Sir: Some of your readers will have been baffled by the new author whom Roy Jenkins invented, Ruth Dudley Williams, through a slip - of - the - word - processor (Books, 7 May)....

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The Spectator

Still staggering on Ferdinand Mount LINES OF DISSENT: WRITING FROM THE NEW STATESMAN 1913 -1988 edited by Stephen Howe Verso, £14.95, pp.376 N othing is more significant in...

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Smug Jug

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Though caught in the act Of admiring itself For its porcelain tact, Its high-on-the-shelf Refusal to think That someone might dare Ask for a drink When seeing it there, This jug...

Too many people enjoy themselves

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Geoffrey Wheatcroft THE GRAND OBSESSION: A COLLINS ANTHOLOGY OF OPERA edited by Rupert Christiansen Collins, fI6, pp. 447 E asing himself into armchair with cigar lit and...

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It takes two to tell the truth

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Charles Glass N ations and empires are constructed on myths, from the Roman belief that Aeneas and the survivors of Troy founded their republic to the Zimbabwean idea that...

Neal Ascherson's Games with Shadows, reviewed by Bruce Page on

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14 May, is available in paperback at £7.95.

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Componential Analysis `a man = human + adult + male' `a woman = human + adult — male' a house on the other hand is beyond value what worries me (and it's quite silly really)...

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Three tempestuous relationships

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Piers Paul Read TOLSTOY by A. N. Wilson Hamith Hamilton, (16.95, pp.572 I n this new biography of Tolstoy A. N. Wilson describes how the young English writer Desmond...

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Jottings of a Pole in Argentina

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Francis King DIARY: VOLUME ONE by Witold Gombrowicz, edited by Jan Kott, translated by Lillian Vallee Quartet, f12.95, pp.231 W hen the Polish novelist and dramat- ist Witold...

His island story

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Brian Martin SEA MUSIC by David Profumo Secker & Warburg, £10.95, pp.207 D avid Profumo's first novel is a tragic tale which haunts the memory long after you have finished...

I Sang Myself As If It Were My Role

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I sang myself as if it were my role When, subject to my will, my hands obeyed: My mind became my music, and my soul Was a moth allured from darkness when I played. But music is...

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Triumph of the will

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Simon Callow OLIVIER by Anthony Holden Weidenfeld, £16, pp.504 T he shock of meeting the greatest actor in the world for the first time — 20 years ago, when he was running...

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Exhibitions Angry Penguins and Realist Painting in Melbourne in the 1940s; Master Paintings from the Phillips Collection, Washington (Hayward Gallery, till 14 August)...

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Ondine (Covent Garden) Beauty without tunes Deirdre McMahon T he revival of Frederick Ashton's Ondine after an absence of 22 years is a cause for celebration. Yet I thought I...

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The Winter's Tale; The Tempest; Cymbeline (Cottesloe) Swan songs Christopher Edwards T hree of Shakespeare's late plays The Winter's Tale, The Tempest and Cym- beline —...

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Art on television

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Putting art together again Alistair Hicks C riticism is to artists what ornitho- logy is to the birds.' The young British sculptor Anish Kapoor paraphrases Bar- nett Newman in...


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On the Black Hill ('15', Cannon Tottenham Court Road; Gate) Down on the farm Hilary Mantel W e have to cover almost a hundred years in two hours; in Andrew Grieve's adaption...

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It ain't necessarily so Wendy Cope H ow many words can you think of that begin with 'I' and have more than ten letters? This was the most appealing of the fund-raising...

High life

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Telling tales Taki feel as if the times are a-changin' in the Big Bagel. Perhaps it's only wishful think- ing on my part, but something is blowin' in the wind. According to my...

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Low life

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Souped up Jeffrey Bernard I think I may have to get married again or at the very least employ an au pair girl or a gentleman's gentleman. Being ill in bed without a nurse is...

Home life

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There be dragons Alice Thomas Ellis W e have conducted several luncheon parties recently sitting on the step between the gate-posts gazing up and down the street. This is...

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La Famiglia; Ciboure

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ALVARO Maccioni seems to have been feeding the young and swinging of London for nearly three generations; he never changes, always joyful, welcoming and unspoilt and bubbling...

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Revelation, or a Pokolbin now and again Auberon Waugh T he extremely generous 12 1 /2 per cent which Corney and Barrow have knocked off their basic prices for Spectator...


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c/o Corney & Barrow Limited, 12 Helmet Row, London EC1V 3QJ Tel: 01-251 4051 No. Value Reds I . Santa Christina Chianti '86 2. Château Bel Air, 1985, Bordeaux Superieur 3....

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As you list Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1524 you were asked for a 'list poem'. Lists in poetry certainly go back as far as Homer with his catalogue of ships. Brooke...


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Slavonic dance Raymond Keene ames between world champion Kas- parov and the Dutch grandmaster Timman are always good value for money. Both of them are equipped with immense...

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A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of Chambers Dictionary, value £13.95 — ring the words 'Chambers Dictionary' above) for the...

Solution to 857: Conclusions `I R 0 ' D E 'IR 9 E

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R 0 T 0 P RN" A ■ ... El NI 171 C ' t) E A R E .. HionmIA EIFI El mr NONARDER "1jTIZLTE WHILS 1..EARNASNEWIMIOUC iICEORINNA 1 ( 0 S TEN I ' C Mtt A ' C ., Sli C F S T...

No. 1527: Perverse verse

The Spectator

Eliot took Goldsmith's line, 'When lovely woman stoops to folly', and gave it a conclusion of his own. Starting with any famous line supply a short poem of similar perversity....