29 AUGUST 1987

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Child abuse S ixteen people were killed in Hunger- ford by Michael Ryan, a crazed gunman, who later shot himself dead when sur- rounded by police. Fourteen other people were...

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DRIVEN TO DRINK T he British Medical Journal of 11 July has a photograph of a young Finnish policeman standing by a woman's car. He is obviously polite at all times, very effi-...

ENTRIES for the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize should reach the

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Spectator by 14 November.

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BARRY HUMPHRIES C ame home from Ischia to see my Daily Telegraph with 'Madonna' on the front page. I had known somewhere at the back of my mind that the newspaper had changed...

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Kinnock covers his dog messes with talcum powder AUBERON WAU GH or many years, in my capacity as President, Chairman, General Secretary and only member of the Dog Lovers'...

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Genetic engineering arouses many fears. Myles Harris set out to discover what protects us from its most horrific consequences UNTIL the Fifties there was little outside...

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Hugh Trevor-Roper explains the vast illusion which possessed Rudolf Hess I SAW Rudolf Hess only in the dock in Nuremberg. He was an unforgettable fi- gure: those sunken eyes...

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One hundred years ago

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THAT a ship with 250 persons on board should be burned to the water's edge in mid-ocean, with a high sea running, without the loss of a single life, is one of the most...

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Amit Roy reports from the land hungry for martyrs Teheran `THE Teheran morgue is a busy place,' said the gatekeeper, as two trucks arrived at midnight straight from the...

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The Pope can expect a hostile welcome from San Franciscan homosexuals, writes Tom Bethell A RECENT edition of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that 'Prostitutes and drag...

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The media: Paul Johnson investigates a new guide to good English SO MANY words are now habitually misused not only by members of the public but also by professional writers,...

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Is there anybody there? Kenneth Scott, the winner of a K2 red telephone box in our competition, found that making a telephone call took up all his holiday. Louis Jebb...

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The conclave looks for a City Pope: `Habemus eundem Papam' CHRISTOPHER FILD ES T he City is enjoying the refined plea- sures of gossip which come to Vatican fanciers at the...

Made in Taiwan

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POSTSCRIPT for Sir Peter Middleton: I have helpful news for him and for the Treasury from my correspondent now in Taiwan. A scholar in classical Chinese, she has enlisted at the...

Salaries slide.. .

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DRY your eyes, but I detect that City salaries are beginning to boil over. The international money and capital markets, based in London, first taught the natives what...

. . . millions wiped off THE London share market

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has boiled over, too, and all that is surprising about that is that anybody is surprised at it. It had gone raging forward for most of the year, it had continued its advance...

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Sir: I feel that the fracas with Bill Wells is becoming a bore. However just two points. Mabyn Fletcher is female, aged 77, whose earning days are over, but whose working days...


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Sir: Why didn't my parent sexually abuse me? Didn't they find me attractive? What is wrong with me? I think I should be told. Mathew Fletcher Souldem Mill, Bicester, Oxfordshire

Racing green

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Sir: Nigella Lawson's piece on sandwiches in the City (1 August) implies that 'British Racing Green' is a particular shade of green; it is not — although green is the British...

LETTERS Threat to classics

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Sir: It has been announced that the 'nation- al core curriculum' will take up between 80 and 90 per cent of the school timetable. Since that leaves three to six periods a week...


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Sir: I stand corrected by your correspon- dent in the British Embassy Muscat (Let- ter, 22 August.) I make no bones about a somewhat carefree attitude towards papis- tical...

Sweet waste of effort

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Sir: I continue to be puzzled by the label Marxist-Leninist which you and many other papers attach to the government of Nicaragua (Leading article, 15 August). It is not that to...


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Sir: In a book review (15 August), Colin Welch writes: 'I fully share Inglis's and West's contempt for the behaviourist heresy. Of this one might say that it was produced by...

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In September 1938, at the height of the Czechoslovak cri- sis, the travel writer and jour- nalist Robert Byron attended the Nazis' last party day rally as the guest of Hitler's...

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An innocent abroad

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Francis King THE STRANGERS' GALLERY by Jonathan Keates Hamish Hamilton, £10.95 A potent theme for both novels and plays has always been that of a closed society disrupted and...

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A Canadian in Paris

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Anita Brookner OVERHEAD IN A BALLOON: STORIES OF PARIS by Mavis Gallant Cape, £10.95 M avis Gallant, the Canadian writer, has long been appropriated by the New Yorker, for whom...

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Aspects of the novelist

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Timothy Brittain-Catlin FAMILY QUARTET by John Catlin Hamish Hamilton, f12.95 I believe that most parents refer to their mothers as 'granny' or 'grandma': my father, John,...

Mischief that is past

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David Profumo FROZEN MUSIC by Francis King Hutchinson, f7.95 41 promised my mother I should never use that wretched word "novella" ', wrote Dorothy Parker, and for many readers...

The whole duck

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A duck's head under water Is deep in thought Which makes its body shorter As thinking ought Until, quick as a flash, The whole duck disappears And with a little splash Floats...

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Exhibitions The Art of Drawing in France 1400-1900 (National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, till 19 October) Architects' collections Giles Auty 0 f all the things one might...

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The Wandering Jew Lyttelton Murderous melodrama Christopher Edwards T his five-hour marathon marks the return of the director Mike Alfreds to his own characteristic and...

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Pop music

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A beard on the arm Marcus Berkmann Y ou find out some bizarre things, trawling innocently through the sludgy waters of the pop music industry. Last week I heard of the curious...

Actits Di/al:yr

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A monthly selection of forthcoming events recommended by the Spectator's regular critics. MUSIC The Proms feature The Vienna Philharmonic under Bernstein on 10 September with...

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Agony aunt Ursula Buchan T his month, having run out of ideas of my own, I answer some readers' letters. We have some hard landscape in our gardens which consists of a series...

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Planning disasters Peter Levi A s the programme planners who hate us all so badly crawl like dying men towards the August Bank Holiday, the BBC, I think, is back to normal....


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Comrades (`15', Curzon West End) Muddied Tolpuddle Hilary Mantel B ill Douglas's film about the Tolpud- dle Martyrs displays a most touching belief in the innate goodness of...

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High life

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Banana republic Taki Athens Zahos Hadzifotiou is an old friend of mine, a reformed playboy, and a man who began writing late in life, but who has of late become the numero uno...

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Home life

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Alarms and diversions Alice Thomas Ellis T he daughter recovered miraculously quickly from glandular fever. The doctor was astonished to find her so well when she was taken to...

Low life

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Nudge, nudge Jeffrey Bernard I left the windows wide open last night and the rain came in on Monica. Luckily she didn't explode when I switched her on, but when I pressed her...

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I CAN'T think what the burghers of Battersea have done

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to deserve it, but they have been given an uncommonly good new restaurant. The thing is, will they appreci- ate it? This doubt is not the mere express- tion of West Londoners'...

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Mating calls Raymond Keene A s the British Telecom horror com- petition reaches its climax I can reveal a modest incident connected with the Hast- ings chess tournament...


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Three Girls in a Boat? Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1486 you were in- vited to supply an extract from an imagin- ary story by a writer associated with male `gangs' in which...

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A first prize of 828 and two farther prizes of 110 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of Chambers Dictionary, value £13.95 — ring the wards 'Climbers Dictionary' above) together with a...

Solution to 820: A fast buck ' K lareiril s K el s

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7 P kinninKenc. kind BIll 1 D ill A 1 R n IS • K rift N D Dr N 13 111 anr P . il s . rig Ian EI r R AL BIK A A ONED kiA s z TRSPR mirk I 11114IVICI...

No. 1489: Alphabetical dozen

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You are invited to include the following words, in any order, in a plausible piece of prose: aphasia, buff, crackerjack, dubbing, echt, greenly, floozie, heyday, irreducible,...