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The Spectator

A n unexpectedly large trade deficit forced Mr Nigel Lawson to raise interest rates yet , again. Pressure mounted against him even from his own backbenchers to justify his...

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The Spectator

The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone 01-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 242 0603 MID—TERM BEGINS A lthough it only seems yesterday that we were recovering...


The Spectator

A FEW months ago, we noticed the launch of Church in Danger, a group founded by MPs, peers and journalists to draw atten- tion to the threats to the unity of the Church of...


The Spectator

SUBSCRIBE TODAY — Save 15% on the Cover Price! RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK D £49.50 0£26.00 Europe (airmail) U £60.50 U £31.00 USA Airspeed D US $99 CI US$50 Rest of...

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The Spectator

Mr Lawson closes his eyes and imitates the action of a hedgehog NOEL MALCOLM eeing Nigel Lawson sitting with his head bowed during the Queen's Speech, and his eyes closed (as...

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The Spectator

NICHOLAS GARLAND E any this year I agreed to give a talk, next spring, at the Royal Society of Arts, on cartooning. Or rather on something to do with cartooning, the problem...

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The Spectator

The greatest danger threatening mankind: the extinction of port AUBERON WAUGH upon us, we must gloomily prepare to be told that the Christ- mas message of this year, if not of...

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The Spectator

Jonathan Davis reports on nuclear man's and woman's — latest, and probably last, attempt to put fission back into fashion 'NUCLEAR electricity, energy of the fu- ture',...

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A calendar for 1988 by Posy Simmonds

The Spectator

Bringins a Seasonal glow to tiny hearts...December% Man a - the Month is... FATHER CHRISTMAS.... FATHER CHRISTMAS doesn't live in the NorthPole with his rein- deer. And Father...

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The Spectator

Stephen Handelman on the nationalist sensibilities of Soviet Central Asia Samarkand IT IS only a short walk from the green marble tomb of Tamburlaine, the 14th- century...

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The Spectator

Timothy Garton Ash looks at the Soviet empire's pioneer in unravelling communism Budapest WHERE will it end? Armenia irredenta. Estonia for independence. Poland for...

Page 15


The Spectator

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard fears that Mr Bush may buy peace too cheaply Washington THE United States is under a bizarre condominium. Ronald Reagan. has vanished into a black...

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The Spectator

inherited the pillow of the President IN MANY houses of the 13 original American colonies which declared their independence from Great Britain in 1776, there is a little plaque...

Page 18


The Spectator

Charles Moore remembers The Spectator's Indian correspondent, who died in a car crash last week PEOPLE who are described as affected are often quite genuine. Dhiren Bhagat was...

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The Spectator

Dhiren Bhagat tries to work out the real rules of Indian politics This is Dhiren Bhagat's last article, deli- vered a few weeks ago. AT that moment Boris saw distinctly what...

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The Spectator

The press: Paul Johnson examines the colour magazines and finds money talks LAST weekend I had the pleasure, or at any rate the duty, of examining eight national newspaper...

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The Spectator

The greatest of these is parity JOCK BRUCE-GARDYNE Last Friday the Variety Club of Great Britain, an admirable institution of show business folk dedicated.to raising cash for...

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What was a fiver?

The Spectator

WHAT a sign of the inflationary times — on the National Westminster's cash machine, a chirpy sticker saying 'No £5 notes'. The machine will deal you £20 and £10 notes, but...


The Spectator

Dear money blows across the Atlantic to blast US bid mania •1• CHRISTOPHER FILDES T hirteen per cent in London, 101/2 per cent in New York and still rising — dear money...

... and bless our savers

The Spectator

HERE, the pinch of dear money will be felt differently. Not by the Government — it is paying off its debt at a rate of £10 billion a year. Companies, too, have been getting...

Retaking the biscuit

The Spectator

THE first prize in the RJR Nabisco auction is the Bath Oliver biscuit. This noble comestible, still stamped with the head of its inventor, Dr Oliver, and supplied by him to...

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LETTERS Dead right

The Spectator

Sir: When Myles Harris set out to write his entertaining piece ruing the changes in BBC World Service he rather gave the game away about what he had in mind. 'I've been asked to...

Fundament al

The Spectator

Sir: All reviewers of Lord Carrington's autobiography have noted the relish with which he describes how the Third Baron horsewhipped a journalist on the steps of the...

Acerbic to Serbs

The Spectator

Sir: Richard Bassett (Letter, 19 Novem- ber) is, I am sure, even more widely read than he himself admits. In particular, I have no doubt that he is acquainted with Lady Grogan's...

Sir: Charles Moore (Diary 12 November) appears to be unaware

The Spectator

of the existence of a non-sectarian party in North Ireland which adheres to the principle of the Union: the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland. Colin Armstrong Trinity...

Ulster Conservatives

The Spectator

away with the argument that Conservative intervention in Ulster would involve the loss of Unionist seats to either the SDLP or Sinn Fein. In recent history, until the...

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Television game

The Spectator

Sir: Sod those boring grammarians too. To extend Kingsley Amis's accurately aimed salvo at newsreaders, may I invite him and others to join me in playing the latest game. To my...

Education for equality

The Spectator

Sir: I refer to the article 'How teachers learn' by Michael Trend (15 October). Two points: First, there is reference to the BEd courses which 'caused a stir'. There was indeed...

Helpless husbands

The Spectator

Sir: Poor Nick Garland's plight (Diary, 26 November) is a clear argument against the 'liberation' of women. As an older wife I know that were it not for me my dear husband...

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Books of the Year

The Spectator

A further selection of the best and most overrated books of the year, chosen by some of The Spectator's regular reviewers. John McEwen The Field Book of Country Houses and...

Christopher Booker

The Spectator

Anyone who in the past 30 years has found Laurens van der Post's The Lost World of the Kalahari one of the unforgettable books of our time should read the new edition (Chatto,...

Harold Acton

The Spectator

Since the death of Evelyn Waugh I have considered Graham Greene the finest Eng- lish novelist. He never fails to stimulate and absorb one's interest and haunt one's memory. The...

Anne Chisholm

The Spectator

A remarkable exchange of letters, A Noble Combat (edited by Klemens von Klemper- er, Clarendon Press, £19.50), the corres- pondence (1932-9) of Sheila Grant Duff, a fiercely...

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David Wright

The Spectator

Thomas Blackburn, who died 10 years ago, was one of the most neglected poets to appear in the Forties. He left behind him an amazing body of unpublished work from which more...

Isabel Colegate

The Spectator

Here are three good books which I don't seem to have seen reviewed. Childhood, edited by Penelope Hughes-Hallett (Col- lins, £16), is a varied and unsentimental selection of...

Denis Hills

The Spectator

A clever young Lithuanian Jew from a Gorbals slum picks his way with increasing brashness through the intellectual and moral hazards of late pre-war and wartime Oxford. His...

Jasper Griffin

The Spectator

I have enjoyed Mediaeval Civilisation by Jacques Le Goff (Blackwell, £19.95), which combines illuminating generalisa- tions with appealing nuggets of fact: for instance,...

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Frances Partridge

The Spectator

For me, the year's landscape is dominated obelisk-wise by the admirable biography Freud: A Life for our Time by Peter Gay (Dent, £16), a work of immense scho- larship and...

P. J. Kavanagh

The Spectator

One stands out head and shoulders, be- cause it is long and I wished it longer: Philip Toynbee's End of a Journey (Bloomsbury, £25) an honest, unoleagi- nous daily account of...

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Patrick Skene Catling

The Spectator

William Trevor surpassed his usual high standards with The Silence in the Garden (Bodley Head, £9.95), a novel about Anglo-Irish decline. I greatly enjoyed Black Box by Amos Oz...

Charles Glass

The Spectator

One of the advantages of books over plays or films is that reading a book has no deadline. If the books that come one's way during the course of the year disappoint, Jane...

Richard Ingrams

The Spectator

Everyone complains that people use this feature to plug their friends' books, but these tend to be the only books I read. I therefore feel no shame about recommend- ing Incline...

Harriet Waugh

The Spectator

The three books published this year that have given me most pleasure are, first, Molly Keane's Loving and Giving (Deutsch, £10.95), a story about the des- tructive power of...

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Anthony Blond

The Spectator

I much enjoyed Susan Hillmore's novella The Greenhouse (Collins/Harvill, £9.95) for its well-bedded flowery prose but I liked an equally properly written first novel, (which I...

Peter Levi

The Spectator

The most overestimated book this year has been The Oxford Shakespeare (£29.50), now completed with a third volume which I find grossly inadequate and worse every time I consult...

J. G. Links

The Spectator

My confidence in my literary judgment, usually rather frail, has had a boost this year. Five Christmases ago I introduced Spectator readers to Robertson Davies, then almost...

Jennifer Paterson

The Spectator

Very Irish my favourites this year. William Trevor's The Silence in the Garden (Bodley Head, £9.95) is a most wonderful novel, Which I have read twice trying to fathom some of...

Alastair Forbes

The Spectator

Mirabile dictu, I have particularly enjoyed several books by friends of mine, two of them on the inexhaustible subject of Tol- stoy. A. N. Wilson's splendid study (Ham- ish...

John Jolliffe

The Spectator

I strongly recommend A Stranger To Hell by Stefan Badeni (Tabb House, 7 Church Street, Padstow, Cornwall, £9.50), in Which a 59-year-old Pole's grisly experi- ences in...

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Beware of cultures

The Spectator

Colin Welch THE UNDOING OF THOUGHT by Alain Finkielkraut, translated by Dennis O'Keeffe The Claridge Press, £6.95, pp.I33 T he Sleep of Reason brings forth Monsters': Goya's...

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Looking back in affection

The Spectator

John Osborne A SENSE OF DIRECTION: LIFE AT THE ROYAL COURT by William Gaskill Faber. £12.95, £4.95, pp.160 hen Irving Wardle asked me ab- out my policy at the Court, I am...

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A thing of beauty is a boy forever

The Spectator

John Mortimer DICKENS: A BIOGRAPHY by Fred Kaplan John Curtis/Hodder & Stoughton, £17.95, pp.607 h e story starts with Dickens as a young boy in Chatham, reading...

More complex than a mass of contradictions

The Spectator

Robert Kee A DIVIDED LIFE: A BIOGRAPHY OF DONALD MACLEAN by Robert Cecil Bodley Head, £12.95, pp.212 D onald Maclean, quintessential like- able, intelligent English liberal...

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Never quite one of the boys

The Spectator

Richard Cobb THE CAVALRY MAIDEN by Nadezhda Durova, translated by Mary Fleming Zirin Angel Books, £12.95, pp. 242 I have always had my doubts about those patriotic female...

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The novels of R. S. Surtees

The Spectator

James Teacher Individual volumes of Surtees' nine novels are available at f16.95. The complete set is offered to Spectator readers at £120 until 31 December 1988 (£130...

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The Spectator

Exhibitions Winners take all Giles Auty The Turner Prize 1988 Julian Schnabel (Waddington Galleries, till 23 December) I f you want to win that badly,' my regular doubles...

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The Spectator

The Yale Center for British Art (New Haven, Connecticut) A bubble of Britishness Robert Harbison A rt collections do not usually seem political, but the Yale Center for...

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The Spectator

Veronico Cruz (PG', Camden Plaza) Belgrano boy Hilary Mantel T his film, a debut feature by Miguel Pereira, is the first Anglo-Argentinian co-production: apart from the war,...

‘, ECL-4( 71) 71-'

The Spectator

• .;-. AR TS 4 ,Tr - 2 Ts 1. Apit eis • 1 A monthly selection of forthcoming events recommended by The Spectator's regular critics THEATRE The Churchill Play, Barbican...

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The Spectator

Colour keyed Peter Phillips I have always enjoyed asking artists what they think of music. To be told that a favourite piece is round or square or blue or green undoubtedly...

Page 52


The Spectator

Henceforward (Vaudeville) Machine maid Christopher Edwards A lan Ayckbourn's fertile talent for anatomising suburban marital despair has found yet another expression. It is,...

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The Spectator

Getting the picture Wendy Cope S omeone once told me that I was the Only person he had ever met who could ruin a tin of baked beans. This was a few Years ago. Nowadays my...

High life

The Spectator

Beach boys Taki nlike in Palm Beach, its chic neigh- bour ten miles to the north, some things in Delray never change. For 76 years resi- dents have strolled along Atlantic...

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Home life

The Spectator

Skip ahoy Alice Thomas Ellis I t was suggested recently that we should all tidy up the street outside our own front steps in order to alleviate the litter prob- lem. The...

Jeffrey Bernard is unwell.

The Spectator

Page 55

Feast days

The Spectator

...tO rt k. " ADVENT comes but once a year, but it seems to come round increasingly quickly. Those terrible switching on the lights cere- monies always give a sense of dread....

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The Spectator

A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 for the first three correct solutions opened on 19 December. Entries to: Crossword 887, The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street,...

Page 59


The Spectator

Hat trick — just Raymond Keene C ongratulations to the English Olym- pic team, which has won the silver medals in Greece. But it was a narrow squeak, for Holland's 21/2-11/2...


The Spectator

Shayk-al-Subair Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1551 you were asked for an extract from a doctoral thesis arguing that Shakespeare was an Arab. A brave entry to a competition...

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Solution to 884: DC

The Spectator

The four examples of the title, other than 600, are 11, 38 + 22, 10 + 4A and 32 + 13. Winners: M. C. C. Rich, Ripon (£20); Mrs M. Purdie, Cupar, Fife; Charlotte, Lady Reay,...

No. 1554: Unpresentables

The Spectator

The season abounds with brochures adver- tising Christmas presents that nobody could possibly want, Four such items please, with accompanying salesman's guff. Maximum 150 words....


The Spectator

BOOK OF CROSSWORDS GRAFTON BOOKS The Spectator enjoys a high reputation for its crosswords, which attract a large weekly postbag. This collection of 100 puzzles fea- tures the...