30 MAY 1981

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Following Mr Benn

The Spectator

'I believe in a party where men and women co-operate and are not frightened by threats or dictation' — thus Mr John Silkin, announcing himself to be a candidate for the Deputy...

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Political commentary

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The Ripper and the doctors Ferdinand Mount He does not look 'meek' or 'insignificant.' He looks frightening. The newspaper photographs whiten and soften his features. There is...

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The Spectator

I recently turned up a cloth-bound notebook which, at the age of nine years and three months (according to the flyleaf), I had planned to fill with interesting facts and...

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Another voice

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Answer to Question 329 Auberon Waugh In nearly 20 years of offering sage advice to the statesmen of the world I have so far avoided the temptation of suggesting any solution...

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The needle mouse and the nuclear eagle

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Murray Sayle Tokyo Oh dear, oh dear. They had it all so neatly worked out, too. President Reagan and the Japanese Prime Minister, Zenko Suzuki, thought they were setting their...

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Routing the opposition

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Sam White Pans 'And now the troubles begin.' These words, spoken by a Socialist minister of another era, must have echoed in the minds of every minister in the Mitterrand...

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The resurrection of Begin

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Christopher Walker Jerusalem Four months ago, the man who has stamped his personality on the present ill-tempered and divisive Israeli election campaign had been written off by...

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Culture's edge

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Torn Bethell Los Angeles For the last hour of the flight, I stared out of the window, looking for those 'abundant natural resources' which account for the wealth of the country...

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One hundred years ago

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We hardly remember any time during the last 40 years in which there has been so general despondency as to the politics of the future as there is now. This is natural enough,...

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Why the peasants revolted

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Richard West Fobbing, Essex It was here, 600 years ago, that Thomas, a baker, became the 'first mover' of those events which historians called the Peasants' Revolt. He was one...

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The morality of freedom

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Paul Johnson Some years ago, while walking in northwest France, I came across, looming unexpectedly through the morning mist, the huge and majestic cenotaph which Sir Edwin...

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In the City

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Still smaller business Tony Rudd 'I am just a small businessman', said the voice on the telephone from Birmingham, `and I am getting smaller every day'. In today's economic...

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A method of compensation

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Sir: As a Londoner I am dismayed by the less savoury aspects of cheque-book journalism, although I agree an editor's right to publish what he considers appropriate ought not to...

Neither Herr nor there

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Sir: Much as I love Taki, how would he like to be called Theodoracopulos Bey? Willie Landels's grandfather was a well-known Scottish Minister of the Baptist churcll (could fill...

The Swiss example

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Sir: I cannot imagine why you published Geoffrey Sampson's article 'The xenophobic Swiss' (2 May); it is a dull piece and, like most tedious things, it is mean. Switzerland...

Pay before prestige

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Sir: I truly do not want journalists to be fawned on by politicians (vide Paul Johnson's column last week) in the American manner. The thought that Mrs Thatcher might call on me...

Honest opinions

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Sir: I respect Mr John O'Riordan's defence of Sean O'Casey (Letters, 16 May), but I rather wish he had omitted Dr Johnson's famous remark about Irishmen never having a good word...

Miller's Shakespeare

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Sir: I wholeheartedly agree with Richard Ingrams's criticisms of Jonathan Miller's productions (16 May). Can Mr Ingrarns also explain why the words are habitually thrown away (a...

Two's company

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Sir: I think James Hughes-Onslow in his summary of recent paperbacks (2 MaY) ought to know that the 'French' girl who accompanied Peter Fleming on his journey described in News...

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The Spectator

The State of Wales Leo Abse Wales 1880 to 1980: Rebirth of a Nation, History of Wales, Vol VI Kenneth 0. Morgan (Clarendon Press pp. 463, /15) In Wales determinist themes,...

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Drip drip drip

The Spectator

George Gale R. A. Butler: An English Life Patrick Cosgrave (Quartet Books pp. 167, £6.95) 'Ralf Butler's father gave him his distinctive nickname, Patrick Cosgrave tells us, on...


The Spectator

Max Hastings Rule Britannia James Bellini (Cape PP. 280, £6.95). The Final Decade Christopher Lee (Hamish Hamilton pp. 256, £8.95). Having glanced at the leering image of the...

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Near miss

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Naomi Mitchison The Dictionary of Imaginary Places Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi (Granada pp. 438, 12.50) This was a very bright idea and must have been the greatest fun...

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Still life

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Charles Clover Photography: Essays and Images edited by Beaumont Newhall (Seeker & Warburg pp. 328, £17.95, £7.95) First Photographs edited by Gail Buckland (Robert Hale pp....

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Desert song

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Paul Ableman Hello America J.G. Ballard (Jonathan Cape pp. 220, £6.50) P. G. Wodehouse maintained, with unnerving modesty, that he was 'in the business of writing musical...

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Mama Roma

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Vivien Ashton Pope Joan Lawrence Durrell, translated and adapted from the Greek of Emmanuel Royidis (Peter Owen pp. 163, £6.95). While myths are superficially a form of...

Axis echoes

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James Lasdun A Bonfire Pamela Hansford Johnson (Mac.. millan pp. 191, £5.95) Walking Naked Nina Bawden (Macmillan pp. 220, £5.95) Goebbels and Gladys Keith Colquhoun (John...

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The Spectator

The great Dane Mark Amory Hamlet (Theatre Royal, Stratford East) Feasting With Panthers (Chichester Festival Theatre) Lindsay Anderson is among the three or four most known...

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The Spectator

Telling tales John McEwen Paula Rego's acrylic paintings (Air Gallery till 11 June) may well prove the best new work by a contemporary artist to be seen in London throughout...

Theatre II

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The Wilde side Peter Ackroyd Feasting With Panthers (Chichester Festival Theatre) The title of this play derives from one of the more grandiloquent passages in Oscar Wilde's...

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The Spectator

Cultured Richard Ingrams Credo, the ITV God-slot, has all the faults of the BBC's Everyman programme, about which I wrote last week, that is it tends to think in terms of...

High life

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Begging letter Talc When my first wife suddenly decided that an over-the-hill Mexican bullfighter was more fun to be with than an over-the-hill tennis player, I reacted like...