2 JULY 1988

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'Do 1 hear three per cent, four, five, six, seven..... B ritain's balance of payments for May registered a record deficit of £1.2 billion bringing the cumulative deficit so far...

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SUBSCRIBE TODAY — Save 15% on the Cover Price! RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £45.00 El £23.00 Europe (airmail) El £55.00 0 f28.00 USA Airspeed 0 US $90 0 US$45 Rest of Airmail...


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SPECTATOR The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone 01-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 242 0603 INDEFENSIBLE T ortured syntax has its uses. It requires...

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Euro-business: it is a political issue NOEL MALCOLM F ew sights can be more unnerving than that bf Mrs Thatcher joking and chatting amiably with her fellow-European heads of...

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ANDREW GIMSON T he death by starvation of ten-month- old Dean Scott was a case attended by so many horrible details that it was hard to read the newspaper reports of his...

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The original English nanny emerges in her true colours at last AUBERON WAUGH R easonably well-informed opinion has it that Mrs Thatcher may not be able to use her disgusting...

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The public are lectured about dropping rubbish. But it is councils who are responsible for the capital's WHEN THE Prime Minister 'spear- headed' — to use the language of the...

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Norman Davies on the way perestroika is being used to combat wayward nationalism ORDER reigns in Nagorno Karabakh. After four months of disturbances, the Soviet Army has moved...

A Calendar for 1988 by Posy Simmonds

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. . . and statistics 'ONE species becomes extinct every

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half hour. Half of the world's plant and animal species is being scraped from the face of the earth. The last of the rainforest hardwoods are being sold off.' (Friends of the...

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Become a subscriber to The Spectator and save i12 a year on the regular UK newsstand price — that's 76p a week, or less than 71p if you take out a three year subscription....

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Ambrose Evans-Pritchard sees in the American drought a danger to the whole world Chillicothe, Missouri IT IS 104 degrees in the shade. The occasional gust of wind is like a...

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Timothy Garton Ash witnesses Hungary's largest unofficial demonstration since 1956 Budapest CROUCHED uncomfortably under the massive horse of Arpad, the legendary...

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Dominic Lawson investigates the unchivalrous joust for the Savoy. 'HE IS a very little man, and he is Italian. So you have a recipe for folie de grandeur . . . but I have no...

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The press: Paul Johnson sees a turbulent future for Sunday newspapers ONE of the merits of the Wapping Revolu- tion is that, by making innovation not only possible but...

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Invisible mending

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ONE cure for the balance of payments would be for this country to give up trading in goods. We should then show some rather decent figures — but not as good as we thought they...

Trade, money, houses

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I THINK that the May trade figures told us the truth, but not all of it. They are right to say that the position is worsening, but wrong to imply that our exports are crumb-...

Noblesse oblige

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ROCCO Forte has found something else to dislike in Sir Hugh Wontner: 'He started without a penny and now owns two country estates.' The Honourable Rocco, heredit- ary chairman...


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Bringing down the Euro-bank's commandments from the paper mountain CH RISTOPHER FILDES T he new central bank of Europe this week inaugurated its headquarters build- ing, which...

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Intimations of mortality over Westminster JOCK BRUCE-GARDYNE W inston Churchill did not become 'the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the...

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Prince Aspers

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Sir: I must admit to a small but apprecia- tive smile at Alastair Forbes' comments on me in his review of Brian Masters' book on John Aspinall (11 June). However, Masters is...

Hard chess

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Sir: Raymond Keene (Chess, 18 June) gives a partisan account of the Calvo affair. Calvo made a visit to South America in 1986 in support of the FIDE election campaign of Lucerne...

LETTERS News bias

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Sir: Your leading article (14 May) on the television coverage of the Gibraltar shooting and the Prime Minister's reaction was entitled 'Beyond anger'. People who are 'beyond...

A conqueror

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Sir: Mr Gavin Stamp is an excellent writer and I am sure a man of honour. On reflection I hope that he will feel it his duty to apologise for his mean little attack on Basil,...

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Sir: Raymond Keene's recent article on David Anderton's proposal to

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FIDE for a code of ethics was a breath of fresh air. Were one naïve enough to consult a chess periodical on this matter, one would be struck by the silence. Whatever the...


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Sir: I am not sure whether The Spectator or Richard West is to be reproached for writing as if Charles McLachlan were still Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire, the Isle of Lewis...

Casualties of war

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Sir: Lord Deedes (`My Munich', 4 June) might be interested to know that, soon after Chamberlain left for Bad Godesberg, I was asked to represent the students at an emergency...


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Sir: Nigella Lawson (`My favourite drink', 10 June) works too hard. Two efficient cups of tea can be made thus: place teabag in water in mug in microwave. While this is...

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Preserved • by poverty Conn Welch DUBLIN: A TRAVELLERS' COMPANION selected and introduced by Thomas and Valerie Pakenham Constable, £14.95, pp.342 S ome citizens seem...

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A sense of effortless inferiority

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Hugh Cecil ETON VOICES Interviews by Danny Danziger Viking, £14.95, pp. 290 A fter reading this ridiculous book I found myself wondering why most books about school —...

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Many hands make a light work

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Francis King BLACK BOX by Amos Oz Chatto & Windus, £11.95, pp.259 ith Smollett's The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker, Richardson's Pamela and Laclos's Les Liaisons Dangereuses,...

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Scandal for schools

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Peter Abbs A COMMON POLICY FOR EDUCATION by Mary Warnock OUP, .£12.95, pp. 185 T hose who teach in the public sector of education, in whatever institution, at what- ever level,...

An Encounter

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I had not come for what I found: a stone, Some faded pieties, two dates, And above all a name, my own, Confronting me: an open eye, Immobile, hard as winter nights, Relentless...

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A lift from time's winged chariot

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David Wright COLLECTED POEMS by John Heath-Stubbs Carcanet,125, pp.628 Mr Heath-Stubbs, as you must understand Came of a gentleman's family in Staffordshire Of as good blood...


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Our subject this week's 'What is tragedy?', Yet seems, well. . . comic. Polonius-like, I'm stuck behind the arras of a desk. Someone wheels in Aristotle Pat on his cue: the...

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Become a subscriber to The Spectator and save 212 a year on the regular UK newsstand price — that's '76p a week, or less than 71p if you take out a three year subscription....

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Exhibitions The 43rd Venice Biennale 1988 (Giardini di Castello and Corderie dell' Arsenale, Venice, till 25 September) Have linen jacket, will travel Giles Auty F rom the...

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The Changeling (Lyttelton) Damned souls Christopher Edwards h is production opens the account of Richard Eyre as official successor to Peter Hall (the actual handover takes...


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Wings of Desire ('15', Lumiere; Gate) Fallen angels Hilary Mantel buds drift over a black-and-white city; it is Berlin. Two angels meet to compare notes. Their task in the...

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A monthly selection of forthcoming events recommended by The Spectator's regular critics OPERA L'incoronazione di Poppea, Spitalfields (236 5086), from 11 July. Richard Hickox...

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Action- Peter Phillips R eviewing new dictionaries of music is a perilous task, since it takes years of constant reference to discover what they contain and what use that...


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The sweets of victory Peter Levi T he symbol of the European football championship is a cute little comic rabbit like something on a little boy's T-shirt: it appears at times...

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Low life

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Night thoughts Jeffrey Bernard mind create what the Notting Hill Gate branch of Lyons way back in 1949 rather strangely had on their menu billed as Chicken a la Poulet. (They...

High life

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Sob stories Taki C harles Benson was the first English- man to befriend me upon my arrival on these shores, and despite a quarter of a century's hard drinking I remember the...

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Home life

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Whose toothbrush? Alice Thomas Ellis W e've been trying to bring some order into our lives. I've answered several letters — though by no means all I should have done — and...

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Lexicography Torn Castro I n Competition No. 1529 you were asked to give definitions along the lines of Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary, re- flecting our own times. .J. B....


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Warlike moves Raymond Keene C hess, it is widely believed, originated as an Oriental paradigm of battle around two thousand years ago. Various legends explain chess as a war...

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A first prize of 120 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 first...

No. 1532: Nil nisi falsum

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Kindly imagine me dead — not, as I am, on holiday. What manner of strange person was Jaspistos? What life had he or she led? You are invited to supply 150 words from an...

Solution to 862: Anyone for tennis?

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Italic synonyms; 1A, 5D, 20, 23, 31, 35, 39. Hints: 2, 27, examples; 10, 15, cf. solitariness; 21, 3 - 7, com- pounds; 18 i.e. devil, nickname; 41, cf. fraternity. Winners: F....

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How to save yourself 51 trips to the library . . . or almost £30 on The Spectator If you're forced to share The Spectator with fellow students, then you'll know how difficult...

Deals; Pontevecchio

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DEALS Restaurant-Diner (Harbour Yard, Chelsea Harbour, London SW10. Telephone: 352 5887) is a much advertised eatery produced by the Lords Linley and Litchfield. This is a...