31 OCTOBER 1981

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Portrait of the week

The Spectator

T he Social Democrat Alliance won its first electoral success at the Croydon North West by-election, where a swing of 24.2 per cent put Labour into third place. Mr Michael Foot...

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Political commentary

The Spectator

As near as dammit Ferdinand Mount There is something unconvincing about 1 the way Shirley Williams swears. The habit seems to be growing on her. Whenever she pops up to...

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The Spectator

S tanding in darkness on the white cliffs I.Jof Dover and looking out across the Channel, one can see a blaze of yellow lights at what seems like a distance of only a few...

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Another voice

The Spectator

Defeated by the civil service Auberon Waugh H as a single civil servant actually lost his job as a result of the Government cuts? Perhaps a few have but, if so, I have not...

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The risks of Reagan

The Spectator

William Rees-Mogg T he United States is one of the most mobile of countries. Americans can, and do, move 2,000 miles to take a new job and think very little of it. American...

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Why France loves the bomb

The Spectator

Sam White Pans O f all the neutralist and unilateralist demonstrations that rolled across European capitals last weekend, the one in Paris was easily the least impressive. It...

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Livingstone's Hong Kong

The Spectator

Richard West Hong Kong T he amazing Ken Livingstone, the leader of Greater London Council, recently praised Communist China, contrasting it with the 'rat race' of Hong Kong. Up...

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Planning for apartheid

The Spectator

Gavin Stamp Durban T he Caister Hotel does not seem like South Africa. In this half-timbered and modernistic building of between the wars, surrounded by sub-tropical...

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One hundred years ago

The Spectator

N o class requires the aid of English female doctors like the ladies of India. They have fairly skilled native midwives, but for the cure of any grave disease they have...

Page 13

CND: as bourgeois as ever

The Spectator

Richard Brent A ccording to the Sunday Times last week's 150,000 strong CND rally in London was a demonstration that the antinuclear movement had lost its 'middle class'...

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So at that point I. • • • • •

The Spectator

Murray Sayle A n acceptance, last week, to mourn the passing of General Moshe Dayan prevented my celebrating an altogether happier occasion, namely the 100th anniversary of the...

Page 16

Trust the judges?

The Spectator

John Griffith T he attitude of the Law Lords and other judges to the activities of journalists or the revelations of politicians in recent years has not been inspired by any...

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The moral of Cancun

The Spectator

Tim Congdon D eveloped over the last few years as a playground for the world's rich, the Mexican holiday resort of Cancun last week was the setting for a meeting about world...

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The Spectator

Booker revisited Paul Johnson T here is an air of desperation about the attempts of the literary establishment to turn the Booker prize into a major event, as though sheer...

Page 19

In the City

The Spectator

The Bank Tony Rudd That agreeable pastime of guessing who 1 might be the next Governor of the Bank of England, has broken out once more. Fuelled presumably by the notion that...

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Attitudes to mental illness

The Spectator

Sir: I wish to protest at your publication of Donald Gould's absurd article on 'The harmless lunatic' (17 October), and the column inches devoted to a single case history. The...

Profit and culture

The Spectator

Sir: Few would disagree that the BBC needs an increased licence fee. Indeed, both the Chairman and the Director General of the IBA are on record as saying so. But not for the...

Mister Bull

The Spectator

Sir: Someone has just shown me the article by Paul Johnson in your issue of 17 October, in which he quotes from a letter from me to the Listener, on the need to support public...

The ugly face of Sweden

The Spectator

Sir: The article about Sweden by Andrew Brown (3 October), while shocking, did not surprise me in the least. The Swedes have pioneered all manner of ghastly innovations, from...

Irish lyrics

The Spectator

Sir: I think it was the late Brendan Francis Behan who pointed out that the words in Tilliburlero' which Mr S. G. Davies calls doggerel (Letters, 17 October), are actually...


The Spectator

Sir: If Mr Rudd (In the City', 17 October) would kindly put me in touch with one or two of the many observers in the City who apparently are willing to offer heavy odds in...

Elite interviews

The Spectator

Sir: We have been asked by Methuen publishers to write a book on the practice of interviewing people eminent in their respective fields ('elite' oral history). This book w ill...

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The Spectator

Order out of chaos Anthony Storr A Biography of Kafka Ronald Hayman (Weidenfeld & Nicolson pp. 349, £16.50, £8.50) reative artists exhibit as wide a variety of types of...

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Gentle malice

The Spectator

A. N. Wilson The Bridge at Arta and Other Stories J. I. M. Stewart (Gollancz pp. 182, £.6.95) 4 "D id you ever hear such a ridiculous name as Bounce?" Pillman might have said,...

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Giant's bones

The Spectator

Paul Ableman Charles Darwin: A Man of Enlarged Curiosity Peter Brent (Heinemann pp. 536, f12.50). T he dust cover of this fine biography is adorned by a photograph of Darwin...

Free French

The Spectator

John Charmley Churchill and de Gaulle F. Kersaudy (Collins pp. 476, f12.95). B ooks about both Churchill and de 1-.3 Gaulle are almost as numerous as anecdotes about them,...

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Guilt and sin

The Spectator

Aparna Jack The Villa Golitsyn Piers Paul Read (Secker & Warburg pp.192, £6.95) I t is an uncommon experience to be so held by a book that no critical thought impinges on one's...

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Little boss

The Spectator

Peter Bessell Inside Boss Gordon Winter (Allen Lane pp.640, £7.95, £3.95) rrhere have been innumerable books, of variable dependability and objectivity, published since the...

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Doomed hack

The Spectator

Bel Mooney A Language Not To Be Betrayed: Selected Prose of Edward Thomas ed. Edna Longley (Carcanet Press pp. 290, £9.95) E dward Thomas, whose reputation rests upon the...

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The Spectator

Great art from Japan John McEwen 7 7 he Great Japan Exhibition (Royal -L Academy, Part 1 till 20 December; Part 2, 28 December to 21 February, 1982) certainly lives up to its...

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The Spectator

Compulsory Rodney Milnes The Cat and the Moon and The King of the Great Clock Tower (Cottesloe) Cosi fan tulle (Coliseum) T he great music-theatre movement of the late Sixties,...


The Spectator

The watchers Peter Ackroyd Blow Out ('X', Empire Leicester Square) I n the sound laboratory, we see tapes marked 'heartbeat', 'footsteps', 'shower' and 'scream': practically...

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The Spectator

Sick jokes Mark Amory The Hypochondriac (Olivier) No Sex, Please — We're British (Strand) A ll but best-informed are advised to forego a drink and study the programme before...


The Spectator

A-musing Richard Ingrams unday evenings, traditionally my prime viewing time, are looking up a bit thanks to Great Expectations and the return of To the Manor Born (BBC1). This...

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High life

The Spectator

Japanese arts Taki y weekend at my ancestral country seat was rather spoiled when I happened to turn on the news and saw 150,000 mugs marching around London trying to make it...

Low life

The Spectator

Punch-drunk Jeffrey Bernard discovered many years ago that I'm particularly susceptible — wide open in fact — to a right cross. Consequently I've tried to avoid violence,...