28 NOVEMBER 1981

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Portrait of the week

The Spectator

p resident Brezhnev arrived in Bonn for talks designed to forget about Afghanistan and concentrate on nuclear disarmament in Europe. About 15,000 protesters were kept out of...

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Political commentary

The Spectator

From Swing to Scarman Ferdinand Mount I t was reported in Surrey that there was 'an extraordinary demand for county maps by foreigners'. A Norfolk magistrate told the Duke of...

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The Spectator

B eing on the point of leaving for Washington for a few days, I have borrowed a copy of the White House Phone List published by the National Journal. Not only does it tell one...

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Another voice

The Spectator

Traveller's tales Auberon Waugh Chiang Mai, North Thailand T here comes a moment in the life of most travellers, I imagine, when they ask themselves: 'What on earth am I doing...

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Coming up for air

The Spectator

Nicholas von Hoffman Washington I n the decade since Tom Wolfe coined the term 'radical chic', the radicals in American society dissipated faster than steam on a cold day and...

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An unacceptable face

The Spectator

Sam White Paris ver since it embarked on its large scale nationalisation programme, France's socialist government has needed a fleshand-blood capitalist villain who would...

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Armies galore

The Spectator

Ronald Payne Beirut A pair of Israeli Phantom jets on routine patrol over Beirut, capital of the Arab state of Lebanon, sketch out the sign of a cross with their vapour trails...

One hundred years ago

The Spectator

Mr Chamberlain on Thursday made a very encouraging speech at the Carpenters' Hall. He believes that the time of depression is over, for he finds from the latest returns that...

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Mr Paisley's paper army

The Spectator

Stewart Dalby Belfast 1ster in some ways resembles a tele vision serial. It is possible to miss any number of individual episodes and yet pick up the narrative thread again...

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Tebbit's law

The Spectator

Peter Paterson T he long drawn-out war between Parliament and the trade union movement, after 12 weary years with one truce and three set-piece battles, enters a new phase of...

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The world according to Ted

The Spectator

Patrick Cosgrave T n the IRIS system, Mr Edward Heath (C. 'Bexley Heath) is responsible for the world; which, you must admit, is a step up from being Prime Minister of the...

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All that

The Spectator

Richard West W hen I last wrote in praise of the Suffolk town of Southwold the Spectator got a letter from Nicolas Walter, the head of the Rationalist Press Association and a...


The Spectator

Governing Paul Johnson L ast week saw the closing date for applications for the post of Director-General for the BBC. At the same time the Government is deciding whether the...

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Jack Fingleton

The Spectator

Alan Gibson B y a strange chance, I received a letter from Jack Fingleton the day after his death was announced. He was in good spirits, at least before his short illness. 'I...

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The Governor's eyebrows

The Spectator

Christopher Fildes T he eyebrows of Gordon Richardson are large, and bushy, and gubernatorial. That is as it should be, because the most powerful force in the City of London...

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In the City

The Spectator

Going nowhere Tony Rudd T he fact is that the experts can't really tell us where this economy is going. A month or two ago everybody was doomladen, and the prospect for 1982...

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Honest Stockman

The Spectator

Sir: I am sorry that Tom Bethell from Washington considered it appropriate to refer to the Stockman affair as a 'crucifixion' (21 November), and still more that he thinks he,...

Colonial power

The Spectator

Sir: In Hong Kong (the subject of articles on 31 October and 21 November) those who have lived there for some time usually state that the sources of power in the Colony in...

A little bit of butter

The Spectator

Sir: Dr Gould is correct (7 November) — the truth is that nobody yet knows whether the kind of fat we spread on our bread makes any difference to our chances of surviving into...

German V sign

The Spectator

Sir: May I correct a small error in Mr Woodhouse's review of Albert Speer's book The Slave State (14 November). The designations VI (for the flying bomb, not the rocket) and V2...

Terrorism, right or left

The Spectator

Sir: Caroline Moorehead's review of Claire Sterling's The Terror Network (14 November) is a mixture of misrepresentation and conceit. Moorehead claims that Sterling's book is...

In good faith

The Spectator

Sir: The generous and easy-going malice with which A. N. Wilson accuses me, by insinuation, of plagiarism (14 November) hardly allows for debate. Simply for the record I would...

Missing Manuscript

The Spectator

Sir: It appears, judging from one sentence in your remarks (Notebook, 14 November) about the difficult business of how to include women when writing about man in general, that...


The Spectator

Sir: Richard West is indeed correct to note (21 November) that the names of railway locomotives are not always appropriate. One Spanish ambassador, himself a railway enthusiast,...

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The Spectator

Books of the Year We asked our contributors to select the books they would recommend most highly from those they had read in 1981. Harold Acton The books that stand out in...

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Dominie Nobiscum P.J. Kavanagh English Poetry 1900-1950: An assessment C.H.

The Spectator

Sisson (Carcanet New Press pp. 271, £9.95) Selected poems C. H. Sisson (Carcanet New Press pp. 104, £3.95) E nglish Poetry 1900-1950; An Assessment (how like C.H. Sisson to...

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A geranium, not a violet

The Spectator

Harold Acton A Solitary Woman: a Life of Violet Trefusis Henrietta Sharpe (Constable pp. 205, £7.95) U p Girls and at 'em! Lesbos is in fashion again with our enterprising book...

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The Spectator

Auberon Waugh Butler's Lives of the Saints eds. H. J. Thurston S.J. & D. Attwater (Burns & Oates 4 vols, pp. 2824, £60) Mext week offers quite a jolly Callendar for those who...

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Gentle knight

The Spectator

C. M. Woodhouse Auchinleck: The Lonely Soldier Philip Warner (Buchan and Enright pp. 300, £10.50) Elew of the allied Generals of the Second World War stand out in the memory a...

Bluff buff

The Spectator

Alfred Alexander The Tongs and the Bones: the Memoirs of Lord Harewood (Weidenfeld & Nicolson pp. 334, £9.95) D iscretion is a hall mark of Royalty — indiscretion the essence...

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Mocking women

The Spectator

Caroline Moorehead Baby Love Joyce Maynard (Andre Deutsch pp. 243, £6.95) Something Else Virginia Fassnidge (Constable pp. 152, £5.95) A Night at the Odeon Robert Rubens...

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The Spectator

Family connections Mark Amory Mother's Arms (Royal Court, Theatre Upstairs) Fall (Orange Tree, Richmond) Dog Beneath the Skin (New Half Moon) A Midsummer Night's Dream...


The Spectator

After the fall Peter Ackroyd True Confessions ('A', selected cinemas) T he title of the film sounds ironic, a 'camp' send-up like the cover of a magazine on a Warhol painting;...

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The Spectator

Safety first John McEwen V Tisual art attention at the moment is V centred on the Hayward Gallery, with Lutyens on the first floor and Sickert on the second (till 31 January...


The Spectator

Character parts Richard Ingrams T he sad news this week is that there are going to be no more Muppet shows, The inspired creators have decided, perhaps rightly, that they have...

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High life

The Spectator

Designing Takt New York J ust as I was settling down in London, preparing myself for some well deserved fun, the mother of my children telephoned from New York and threatened...

Low life

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Talking points Jeffrey Bernard T was lying in the bath this morning I thinking, for no good reason, how much the Pope looks like the man who used to run Bianchi's when the...