2 MAY 1981

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Something rotten

The Spectator

Throughout the country local government is having a general election this month. Although partymachines and individual candidates are doubtless working to the best of their...

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Political commentary

The Spectator

The Jenkins legacy Ferdinand Mount I was on a jury once (there's no bore like a jury bore). It was in South London, petty crime only. The first case was about a black man...

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The Spectator

The many millionaires of my acquaintance show no willingness to gloat over the dreadful humiliation which has befallen Sir James Goldsmith. The argument in these exalted circles...

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Another voice

The Spectator

Pyrexia A uberon Waugh Marie Celeste Ward, Westminster Hospital Several weeks of high temperature spent in the public ward of a National Health hospital, attended by pleasant,...

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Ulster: never say die

The Spectator

Xan Smiley Belfast A ghoulish Ulster irony is that one of the few areas of glum agreement among people of widely different tribal and political hues is that many have been•...

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Waiting for Ridley

The Spectator

Richard West Belize City The roving reporter, Noel Barber, once wrote from here that 'British Honduras is al colony which nobody in Britain has heard ofl except the exporters...

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Will Giscard survive?

The Spectator

Sam White Paris Only massive Communist abstentions and an equally massive transfer of Chirac votes to Giscard can now prevent a Mitterrand victory in the final round of the...

Ii faut un President. . •

The Spectator

Gerda Cohen Picardy The delectable scent of a working man's dinner — warm giblet juice, sole cooked in butter — wafts us into the Palais des Sports for a Socialist rally. It's...

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The xenophobic Swiss

The Spectator

Geoffrey Sampson Geneva The sight of the self-consciously virtuous grappling with a problem that brings out the worst in most nationalities, and failing to improve on others'...

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An East-West scandal

The Spectator

Bohdan Nahaylo A major scandal has rocked the Soviet coalminers' union resulting in the ignominious dismissal of its chairman, Yevgeny Yefremenko. The corrupt official, whose...

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A warning to the Church

The Spectator

C.H. Sisson A Bill designed to secure that, subject to certain conditions, at least one main service a month, in Church of England parishes, should be in tbe form prescribed by...

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One hundred years ago

The Spectator

In The Times of Monday Mr J.G. Romanes characterises the agitation against Vivisection as diverted against`a harmless will-o'-the-wisp', and declares that it has diverted human...

The press

The Spectator

Hate lists and libel Paul Johnson It is characteristic of fanatics to compile hate lists. Terrorist groups all have them; so does the KGB. The old Holy Office in Rome was said...

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In the City

The Spectator

More risk investment Tony Rudd People must take more risks; the country must invest in the future if it is to survive. These kinds of platitude are now the essential...

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What is social work?

The Spectator

Sir: Peregrine Worsthorne asks God to forgive social workers, for they know not " what they do (Notebook, 18 April). He is probably right about most of them, but their...

No solution offered

The Spectator

Sir: Unlike two of your correspondents last week I feel that both your editorial and Mr West's article on the Brixton riots (18 April) contained more than a germ of truth. There...

Empty wagons

The Spectator

Sir: Alastair Forbes's review of A Lonely Business (25 April), although fundamentally boring, must have been fun for him to write because the book seems to have been stuffed...

Bad story

The Spectator

Sir: Congratulations to Nicholas von Hoffman for his thoughts on the ignominy suffered by the Washington Post over the Pulitzer Prize farce (25 April). It was high time that...

Bartok: the facts

The Spectator

Sir: I hope Richard Ingrams will welcome nine facts in reply to his opening paragraph in your issue of 18 April, the more so since he devotes close on 300 words to grave...

Fern au

The Spectator

Sir: May I offer Taki a description of the liberated ladies he encountered ('High life,' 18 April): 'Cows with a beef'. Colin Haycraft Gerald Duckworth and Company Ltd., The...

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The Spectator

Downhill all the way Mark Amory Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 19171961 Edited by Carlos Baker (Granada pp. 948, £15) In the summer of 1960 a heavy figure with a cap and a...

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Politics and the bedchamber

The Spectator

A. L. Rowse Sweet Robin: Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester 1533-1588 Derek Wilson (Hamish Hamilton pp. 355, £18) Of all eminent Elizabethans the Queen's prime favourite,...

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Master pieces

The Spectator

Harold Acton Taste and the Antique: The Lure of Classical Sculpture 1500-1900 Francis Haskell and Nicholas Penny (Yale University Press pp. 376, £20) The centennial...

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Lethal lisps

The Spectator

Hugh Massingberd The Life and Times _of Edward I John Chancellor (Weidenfeld & Nicholson pp. 224, £6.95) The biographical series on the 'Kings and Queens of England' under the...

Shrinking fast

The Spectator

Nicolas Walter Hans Eysenck H. B. Gibson (Peter Owen pp. 275, f11.95). Mindwatching Hans & Michael Eysenck (Michael Joseph pp. 224, L10.50). The biography of a psychologist...

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The Spectator

Back to the cradle Paul Ableman Creation Gore Vidal (Heinemann pp. 510, £8.95) Gore Vidal has always been interested in origins. In Julian, he dealt with the origins of...

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Fertility rites

The Spectator

Isabel Colegate The China Egg Gillian Tindall (Hodder & Stoughton pp. 192, £6.95). Tit for Tat Verity Bargate (Cape pp. 167, £5.95). A novel of 55,000 words is supposed by...

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Recent paperbacks

The Spectator

Faithful RusIan Georgi Vladimov (Penguin pp. 185, £0.95). A May Day procession is broken up by guard dogs mistaking it for a column of prisoners. A biography of a dog and an...

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The Spectator

Poles apart Peter Ackroyd Rough Treatment ('AA', Camden Plaza) Since this is a Polish film, it becomes interesting almost by accident; so great is the power of the cinema, and...


The Spectator

Irony Rodney Manes Ariadne auf Naxos (Coliseum) The questions raised by this disastrous evening have as little to do with Strauss's opera as the production itself, save in the...

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The Spectator

At odds John McEwen Three senior British artists are enjoying retrospectives at the moment: the sculptor Phillip King, and photographer Raymond Moore (Hayward Gallery till 14...


The Spectator

Shock horror Richard Ingrams Unprecedented April snow blizzards reviving fears of Mr Rees-Mogg's new 'Ice Age' wrought havoc at the weekend. Drifts piled up, lambs died, trees...

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High life

The Spectator

Knock-out Taki New York C. E. Montague said that 'war hath no fury like a non-combatant'. His words come to mind as I am writing this exactly 40 minutes after a three-round...

Low life

The Spectator

Sour grapes Jeffrey Bernard I write to you today under the unbearable weight of a vast quantity of sour grapes. No, I was never on Now! magazine, neither have I a staff job...