3 JANUARY 1987

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The Spectator

I n January, the British Government was afflicted by an argument about helicopters. Mr Michael Heseltine, the Secretary of State for Defence, left the Cabinet on being told in...

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Lord Weinstock: not the kind of businessman Mrs Thatcher prefers PETER RIDDELL N early 20 years ago Mrs Barbara Castle made her 'first encounter with a tycoon'. She and her...

Ferdinand Mount is writing a book and will resume his

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column at the beginning of March. In the intervening period he will be contributing some longer articles. Peter Riddell is political editor of the Financial Times.

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PETER LEVI W ith Harold Macmillan something died which was like the tap root of a tree. He recalled a very old friend of his mother's who went as a little girl of eight to the...


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Because of the New Year bank holiday, this week's Spectator went to press too early to include a full assessment of Lord Stockton's life and work. Pieces by Enoch Powell and...

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From the sad story of Wapping a new Resolution is born AUBERON WAUGH C hristmas, spent in France this year, was made more than usually melancholy by a sad little item I...

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Sam White reports on the conservatism of French students and ticket collectors Paris IT WAS, of course, inevitable that the student unrest of the past month should find its...

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Christopher Buckley sees no sign that the President will act, not react, to save himself Washington IN A few weeks President Reagan will give his sixth State of the Union...

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One hundred years ago

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LONDON was visited on Sunday night by a snowstorm of unusual severity. The soft white fluff fell continuously for eight hours, and on Monday morning there were eight inches of...

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Bohdan Nahaylo suggests why Mr Gorbachev was driven to release Dr Sakharov WHAT is happening in the Soviet Union? Less than a month ago, when the promin- ent dissident Anatoly...

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Stan Gebler Davies on the desperate remedies canvassed for the Irish economy Dublin ONE often sees depressives among the passengers in executive class on flights to and from...

Poems entered for the Christmas Cognac Competition, of which details

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appeared on page 23 of the Christmas issue, must reach the Spectator by 15 January.

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Ray Honeyford describes a dispute with a Muslim about his daughter's schooling SIR Richard Burton would have felt at home with him. His dramatic white head- piece had a tail...

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Ian Thomson catches a glimpse of life down a manhole PUBLIC visits to the sewers of London are, rare: the clammy atmosphere can cause breathing problems, and their confined...

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that 1986 dethroned the unions and put editors on their mettle THE year 1986 was of outstanding import- ance for the British national press and on balance brought good news....

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BTR and Pilkington: a case to be heard in the public interest CHRISTOPHER FILDES T he days are running out for the decision which will put its stamp, for the New Year, on the...

Felix, culpae

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MY FORECAST for 1987 comes from the almanack of Felix Rohatyn, doyen of American investment bankers, senior part- ner in Lazard Freres, and the adviser who rescued the City of...

Prior charges

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AN UNHAPPY Christmas past, and the prospect of a New Year out of pocket, are the experience of those fledgling sharehol- ders in British Gas who dealt with Prior Harwin. These...

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The year that depends on Mr Lawson's timing JOCK BRUCE-GARDYNE H orace Walpole, who knew a thing or two about these matters, counselled that `the wisest prophets make sure of...

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LETTERS Regulated sex

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Sir: Even by his own standards Paul Johnson's article 'Aids: words, no deeds' (The media, 6 December) was dotty and unpleasant. Mr Johnson has the remark- able ability to make a...

School roles

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Sir: As the chairman of the governors of the Cardinal Manning Boys School and also a governor of the Cardinal Vaughan, I was somewhat disappointed to read Piers Paul Read's...

New Commandments

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Sir: I am puzzled by the new version of the Ten Commandments promulgated by Andrew Gimson in your issue of 13 De- cember. First he drops the ban on representation- al...

Nul probleme

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Sir: Surely the expression 'No problem' (P. J. Kavanagh, Life and letters, 13 December) comes from the EEC. I first heard it in Brussels in 1972, where nul probkme' was followed...


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SUBSCRIBE TODAY - Save 15% on the Cover Price! Please enter a subscription to The Spectator I enclose my cheque for £ (Equivalent SUS & Eurocheques accepted) RATES 12 Months...

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Purged by terror Colin Welch THE PEOPLE'S ANGER: JUSTICE AND REVENGE IN POST- LIBERATION FRANCE by Herbert R. Lottman Hutchinson, £12.95 T wo photographs on the dust-jacket...

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In practice but not in theory

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Tony Osman CHINA: LAND OF DISCOVERY by Robert K. K. Temple Patrick Stephens. £12.95 W e all know about gunpowder and the magnetic compass: most people know about paper and...

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The future arrived in time

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Andrei Navrozov RODCHENKO: THE COMPLETE WORKS by Selim 0. Khan-Magomedov Thames and Hudson, f40.00 I magine a plucky young fellow from St Petersburg, the son of a...

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In the Shed

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A whorl (buff, papery, shell-like) in the shed, Enclosing a set of tiny hexagons; The whole affair, like some strange orthopod, Adhering to the inside of my hat - Spare...

Eat bad and feel good

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Sheila Hutchins A DIET OF REASON edited by Digby Anderson Social Affairs Unit, £5.95 I do like unhealthy foods, brains in black butter sauce, the more outrageous con-...

The best photographs ever printed

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Bruce Bernard PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE GILMAN PAPER COMPANY by Pierre Apraxine: with plates by Richard Benson White Oak Press, $2500 N o lover of pictures who...

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A truly original heroine

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Harriet Waugh RUTH by Jeremy Cooper Hutchinson, £9.95 I t gives me particular pleasure to write about Ruth by Jeremy Cooper because when I first saw it I was a reader for...

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Song of the Married Woman

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See, the clouds are travelling along towards the sunset, in no hurry, almost unemployed except for the times when they are pregnant with rain. Sometimes they look down on the...

Travel Pages

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Where mules are swishing tails in olive-groves And stalls are redolent of thyme and cloves, Where hills are pine-clad and seas pure Turner With fishing smacks and nets, and a...

An old husband's tale

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Francis King GET OUT EARLY by Walter Allen Robert Hale, £9.95 0 f the melancholy literary truth `out of print, out of mind', Walter Allen pro- vides an obvious instance....

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Theatre A Penny for a Song (Barbican) English, eccentric and entertaining Christopher Edwards T his is a delightful revival of John Whiting's underrated 1951 comedy. Whit-...

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Crocodile Dundee ('15', selected cinemas) Australian fantasies Peter Ackroyd D on't worry, I'm a New Yorker.' Famous last words, you might think, but in fact they are the...

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STUDENTS ARE TWICE AS LIKELY TO ENJOY THE SPECTATOR AT LESS THAN HALF-PRICE More stimulating than any lecture, funnier than the set books, The Spectator should be required...

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Art and criticism

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Right conclusions Giles Auty S ome months ago I received an interest- ing telephone call from a BBC producer of art programmes who wanted to talk to me turilY apparent...

Opera La Boheme (Opera North, Leeds)

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For grown-ups Rodney Wiles T he good things in David Freeman's fresh and provocative new production of Puccini's opera are very good indeed. This is verismo with a hard, clear...

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Over- Wendy Cope 0 ne evening in June I was having supper with the organiser of a poetry reading and the conversation turned to television. I mentioned that I had watched...

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High life

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High hopes Taki ere are my 1987 New Year's resolu- tions for certain people, hoping that those I mention have the good grace to appreciate the time it's taken me to think of...

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Home life

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Words of disapproval Alice Thomas Ellis D isapproval has been in the air recent- ly. Mostly of me. Alfie has long detested a certain pair of white brogues which I wear — or...

Low life

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In the lion's den Jeffrey Bernard I was walking along Cleveland Street the other day in a cold drizzle when I suddenly came across an amazing collage on the pavement which...

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WHEN did restaurants stop being places where you went to eat, and start becoming design concepts? About the same time as people began to have lifestyles, I suppose. It is not...

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Imperative cooking: the post-mortem

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I THE Daily Telegraph has a cookery col- umnist called Smith. Mr Smith wants pre- paring and eating food to be 'fun'. While he is not clear on the exact source of `fun' — he...

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Power play David Spanier T he year 1987 looks like being the one in which international chess changes its format. Although the group led by Gary Kasparov failed to oust...


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Ring 1987 Jaspistos I a Competition No. 1452 you were in- vited to write an unTennysonian poem in the metre of In Memoriam and beginning Ring out, wild bells . . .' to usher...

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A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of Chambers Dictionary, value £12.95 — ring the words 'Chambers Dictionary' above) for the first...

No. 1455: The tooth will out

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A passage, please, extracted from a book entitled The Confessions of a Dentist (max- imum 150 words). Entries to 'Competition No. 1455' by 16 January.

Solution to 787: Egad!

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‘ST 2 ER OaSCO • 7 M Dt A T OPIIL 0% AM a R anima K EriPnR BEIDEIC] Writ M I S P ,A H I 1 11 IA 1:1 CI Y a El OOR M o BEE A R E N I 1311113 A T C 0 H R China C KalLnN T 1...