29 AUGUST 1981

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W hen SouthAfrica surveys its opponents, it must enjoy feelings of considerable complacency. Why should it be tempted to reform itself, or change its ways in the smallest...

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Portrait of the Week

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The American navy shot down two Libyan jets in an air battle over the Mediterranean in air space which Libya claims sovereignty over, but the rest of the world feels is...

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Political commentary

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Great expectations Ferdinand Mount It's odd how little we know about ourselves, or perhaps how little we wish to know. Any day you can read an article in the Guardian about...

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Another voice

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Hopefully bottoming out A uberon Waugh Leucate Plage, Aude, France One of the great lessons of foreign travel is that a man can survive perfectly well on the airmail editions...

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The Cossacks' betrayal

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Christopher Booker What was the role played by Harold Macmillan in the 'illegal' handover of some 3000 'non-Soviet nationals' to the Soviet authorities in Austria in 1945? That...

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Playing the war game

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Nicholas von Hoffman Washington Scipio Africanus he isn't, but the second the aircraft carrier Nimitz docked in Naples, the authorities had the pilot in charge of shooting down...

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Houses not horses

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Richard West After West . Indian youths went on the rampage last month in the Toxteth quarter of Liverpool, a grim-visaged Trotskyist lady was quoted as blaming the trouble on...

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The State versus Lothian

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Allan Massie 'The gods are just and of our pleasant vices make instruments to plague us' Time and again politics bear out the truth of Edgar's rueful observation; the conflict...

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The Strasbourg cop-out

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J. A. G. Griffith The closed shop is a public convenience Which not everyone wishes to use. It is convenient because while it adds to the bargaining strength of the unions it...

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With the hippies in Wales

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Roy Kerridge One bright afternoon, a few years ago, a friend was driving me along a mountain road in North Wales when suddenly he stopped and told me to look at an unusual...

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A Church of opinion

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C. H. Sisson The Anglican view of politics, which has been so inconsiderately overturned by the authorities of the Church of England Without their putting anything in its place...

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The press

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Gaddafi in action Paul Johnson 'US Threatens Libya with More Force' was the way the Guardian's headline described America's response to Libya's attack on the Sixth Fleet while...

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In the City

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Mr Benn and the square mile Tony Rudd As the City slopes off to enjoy its holiday Pursuits from a little grouse-shooting to an excess of suburban gardening, those who live and...

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The Raffles legacy

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Sir: Most people with fond Far East memories will applaud Mr Brian Inglis's warm, overdue tribute to Stamford Raffles (22 August). But, for the record, should it not be noted,...

Import order

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Sir: Sad to hear that the Greek boy has bought a plastic gin palace in Taiwan (High life, 22 August) when men in Piraeus would build him a caique with an adze. He too has joined...


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Sir: The wine of Languedoc has stirred Mr Auberon Waugh into an unjustified attack on a lad of two and a girl of but a few months old ('Lessons of the Royal Wedding', 15...

Unsolved crime

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Sir: I was shocked by the gratuitous statement in one of your book reviews: 'Richard III killed his own nephews' (18 July). Without going so far as to say it has now been proved...

The right to live

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Sir: The Guardian of 18 August contained an advertisement for '100 families who will join with us to give our disabled children in care the experience of happy family life'....

Sir: Donald Gould (15 August) is worried that the imperfect

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child's right to life might be transferred to the unborn. His own 'credo' would get round this by limiting the unborn child's right to life to the moment when with care she (or...


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Sir: According to Duncan Fallowell (8 August): `De Quincey . . . found the abrasion of acute poverty essential to that flow of adrenalin necessary, in the absence of a private...

Happily married

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Sir: I refer to the review by Miss Furness of High Life, Low Life (15 August), quoting Mr Bernard's inaccurate description of my legal status. (Mrs followed by her christian...

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An unbroken spirit Christopher Booker Within the Whirlwind Eugenia Ginzburg, with an introduction by Heinrich Boll (Collins/Harvill pp. 423, £9.95) No one who has read Eugenia...

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The chauvinist saint

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Shiva Naipaul Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism (Weidenfeld and Nicolson pp. 349, £9.95) Early in 1429 a peasant girl, barely 17 years old, presented herself at the...

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George Gale Anthony Eden David Carlton (Allen Lane pp. 528, £20). Who said, of whom: 'In conversation quiet, almost shy, with a pleasant smile. Without doubt the man has...

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Eric Christiansen The Age of the Cathedrals Georges Duby, trans. Eleanor Levieux and Barbara Thompson (Croom Helm pp. 312, £14.95) In the beginning, there was Professor Duby....

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Francis King Zuckerman Unbound Philip Roth (Cape pp. 225, £5.95) It is as natural that a novelist should feel impelled to write about his art as that an adolescent suffering...

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Northern lights Mark Amory Edinburgh Festival plays Festival reports should avoid the temptations of travelogue, eschew generalisations on current trends and stick to...

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Apologies Rodney Milnes Orfeo and Tristan and Isolde (Coliseum) Apology time. First to Roderick Kennedy, the excellent Don Fernando in Fidelio at Glyndebourne, for mis-naming...

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Hard lines Peter Ackroyd American Pop ('AA', selected cinemas) This full length 'animated' film opens with some artistic sketches and what looks like a painting by Edward...


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Conjuror John McEwen A jewel of an exhibition closes this week, Anthony Caro: Recent Bronzes 1976-81 (Kenwood till 31 August). Anything looks good at Kenwood, but the elegance...

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High life

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Outcry Tala Spetsai During the Turkish, or Ottoman occupation of Greece, the island of Spetsai, a green dot off the north-eastern part of the Peloponnese, remained free. The...

Low life

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Happy families Jeffrey Bernard Luckily for Old Mother Hubbard there were no social workers around in her day. Had there been, to judge by recent events in Wigan, she and her...