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The Spectator

`It's Planet Earth.' T hree men were shot dead by British soldiers in Northern Ireland a few miles from the spot where eight soldiers were killed by a bomb on 20 August....

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The Spectator

The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WCIN 2LL Telephone 01-405 1706; Telex 27124; Fax 242 0603 SAS: KING'S SOS L ast week, after the Ballygawley bombing in which eight...


The Spectator

A CURIOSITY of the debate over the screening of the film, The Last Temptation of Christ, has been the frequent appear- ances of Mr James Ferman, the Secretary of the British...

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The Spectator

IRMA KURTZ N one of the usual remedies brightened the benighted passage into September this year. Any week that starts with a bank holiday and ends with one's own birthday is...

Noel Malcolm will resume his column next week.

The Spectator

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The Spectator

The deference that makes me love and hate the royal family AUBERON WAUGH 0 pinion divided pretty sharply last week over whether the Independent was being dignified and...

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The Spectator

Britain now seems impossibly crowded. Dominic Lawson investigates the causes of the infuriating crush AS EVERY zoologist knows, if you put enough animals in the same cage...

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The Spectator

Karan Thapar feels that the oppressive Afghan summer may be a portent of trouble ahead Kabul THE Afghans have an uncanny knack of knowing when trouble is looming. They claim...

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A Calendar, for 1988 by Posy Simmonds

The Spectator


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The Spectator

Peter Kemp revisits the Spanish Foreign Legion, in which he served EARLIER this year I visited my old comrades-in-arms of the Spanish Foreign Legion, in which I had fought...

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The Spectator

Charles Glass visits Tralee for the selection of this year's Rose DURING our first morning at the Magner's Bed and Breakfast in Tralee, County Kerry, over hot plates of...

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The Spectator

Anthony Daniels was a doctor with nothing to do at the Notting Hill Carnival THE last time I missed a riot was in Panama. I had gone to bed late the night before, and...

One hundred years ago

The Spectator

AFTER all her thirty years of ill-luck and strange misadventures, the 'Great Eastern' is to be broken up. No doubt the sailors will tell us that she is quite useless as a ship;...

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The Spectator

SUBSCRIBE TODAY - Save 15% on the Cover Price! RATES 12 Months 6 Months UK 0 £45.00 0 £23.00 Europe (airmail) 0 £55.00 0 £28.00 USA Airspeed 0 US S90 0 USS45 Rest of Airmail 0...

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The Spectator

Lord Cawdor inspects his visitors' book to discover the public's opinion of his castle CAWDOR has now been open to the public in a fairly organised manner for the past 11...

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6 . . . and statistics' 'THE Times once had a

The Spectator

correspondent . . . [whose] stories tended to . . . [be] too long. One day he overdid it from Crete. The foreign manager cabled . . •: "An average . . . Times contains about...

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The Spectator

the press to get it straight about think-tanks THE profound misunderstanding in the British media about think-tanks — what they are and what they do — surfaced during the...

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Hark who's talking

The Spectator

THE CITY has only itself to blame for the trade gap. It has done the importing, and should not now have the gall to complain. The financial districts old and new are the biggest...

Mister Lawson flags

The Spectator

CAPTAIN Threadneedle and I are begin- ning to worry about Mister Lawson. This highly-rated performer came out on Satur- day in the sixth race at Goodwood, tipped to recover our...

Quack remedies

The Spectator

private hands? There were a hundred ways round them, even then (they fostered the growth of the unofficial 'fringe banks', and a poisonous growth that was) and now, with money...


The Spectator

Nigel puts the frighteners on, but hopes they don't scare sterling CHRISTOPHER FILDES T ime, gentlemen, please. The party is over, and has been over for a while, but too many...

Major road ahead

The Spectator

ANOTHER explanation is that the whole thing has been got up by John Major, the Chief and resourceful Secretary of the Treasury. This is the time of year which finds Mr Major up...

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The Spectator

Sir: Lord Colyton (Letters, 20 August) has to be congratulated on his courage in exposing his innocence. It is dramatically comic to learn that he was unaware, as Secret...

Rotating fans

The Spectator

Sir: The only other magazine I read which invites its subscribers to 'meet the stars' parties is the official organ of the Bryan Robson Fan Club. Once a year we bus down to Old...

Sir: About the mystery of Mr Rudolf Hess. It wasn't

The Spectator

a mystery to me at the time — but very simple. Mr Rudolf Hess was a mem- ber of what was then called the Oxford Group and is now called Moral Rearma- ment. I was a member of...

Waugh to the knife

The Spectator

Sir: Mr Auberon Waugh is eloquent (Another voice, 27 August) on the medical advantages of circumcision. Among the disadvantages he does not mention is the possibility that those...

Windsor soup

The Spectator

Sir: I have just read a review of my book Wallis: Secret Lives of the Duchess of Windsor (Books, 16 July). In the course of that very curious review, Lady Donaldson, referring...


The Spectator

Ulster party Sir: Your leading article (27 August) argues that the Government should re- medy its 'studied lack of policy' in Ulster by a policy of commitment to the British-...

More Marcus

The Spectator

.Sir: Although I am well aware of the fact that your outstanding magazine is entitled The Spectator and not the Listener I would like to ask you to dedicate editorial space more...

Ternble prospect

The Spectator

Sir: I do not agree with Miranda Johns (Letters, 9 July). I gave up the Sunday Times, as too bulky, in favour of The Spectator. If I receive it earlier than Saturday I will not...

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The Spectator

S ince letters written by devoted daugh- ters to their mothers naturally contain a mass of detail better suited to a monologue directed at a loving relation than to the rough...

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The dilettante is a professional

The Spectator

Allan Massie COASTWISE LIGHTS by Alan Ross Collins Harvill, £12.50, pp.254 P oet, racehorse owner, cricket corres- pondent, traveller and editor for more than a quarter of a...

And all the trappings

The Spectator

J. G. Links CAESARS OF THE WILDERNESS by Peter C. Newman Viking, £14.95, pp. 480 P eter Newman pauses before resuming his history of the Hudson's Bay Company to tell of the...

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Breakfast at Tiffany's, dinner alone

The Spectator

Patrick Taylor Martin CAPOTE: A BIOGRAPHY by Gerald Clarke Hamish Hamilton, £16.95, pp.631 I 'm an alcoholic. I'm a drug addict. I'm a homosexual. I'm a genius.' Of Truman...

Looking Ahead

The Spectator

Seeing in the muddled distance of pedestrians a form that seems, at first, to be prone across the paving stones, I'm filled with apprehension and sympathy. This is what it is...

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The mirror cracked from side to side

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Eric Christiansen EDWARD I by Michael Prestwich Methuen, £25, pp.567 W hen the old king died, not in battle, but halfway between bed and breakfast, it is more likely that his...


The Spectator

How to save yourself 51 trips to the library . . . or almost £30 on The Spectator If you're forced to share The Spectator with fellow students, then you'll know how difficult...

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A right good old steel-gray figure

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Peter Quennell THE LETTERS OF WILLIAM AND DOROTHY WORDSWORTH, VOLUME VII: THE LATER YEARS, 1840-1853 revised, arranged and edited by Alan G. Hill Clarendon Press, £70, pp....

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Don't Look Now

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Today, I have been seeing stairparts. It is best not to look directly at the heavy duty fixers, the two-gang pattresses (japanned and countersunk) or the sinisterly named door...

Who was Cleopatra's father?

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Juliet Townsend THE CHILDREN'S BRITANNICA: NEW 4th EDITION edited by James Somerville Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc, f249, 20 volumes I t sits modestly in the corner of the...

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The Spectator

Asia in Crawley Anatol Lieven visits a festival of the Indian performing arts in Britain I t is no longer necessary to travel 6,000 miles to encounter the highest tradition of...

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The Spectator

Howard Hodgkin (Waddington Galleries, till 17 September) David Evans, Magnus Irvin (Redfern Gallery, till 14 September) Howard's way Giles Auty H oward Hodgkin, so I am led...


The Spectator

The Milagro Beanfield War ('15', Empire Leicester Square) Pork and beans Hilary Mantel W e're in the water wars again. Re- cently in Jean de Florette malicious peasants...

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The Spectator

Captain Carvallo (Greenwich) Much Ado About Nothing (Phoenix) War games Christopher Edwards D enis Cannan's play first appeared in 1950, and was an immediate hit. It is not...

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The Spectator

A ruddy shower Wendy Cope F irst, a postscript to the last column I wrote, the week before last. In case this seems to have nothing to do with televi- sion, let me remind you...

tfeiyte4 - afir A monthly selection of forthcoming events recommended by The

The Spectator

Spectator's regular critics MUSIC The Proms continue until 17 September. High points will be two concerts by the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra under Riccardo Chailly...

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High life

The Spectator

Making waves Taki Mind you, the boat I would love to have inherited was his 120-foot ketch, the Aries, probably one of the toughest sailing boats ever built, and one he sold...

Low life

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In bad odour Jeffrey Bernard T he first week of the pubs being open all day passed without there being a riot. On my manor anyway. In the racing villages, places like Malton...

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Home life

The Spectator

French polish Alice Thomas Ellis W ell, here we are again, back in Camden Town, and nothing has changed at all except that there are more and bigger holes in the road. These...

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The Spectator

Veiled reference Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1538 you were asked to supply an imaginary testimonial giving satisfaction to the applicant but conveying hidden warnings to the...


The Spectator

Suba-men Raymond Keene C hess is rarely out of the news these days. If it is not the £20,000 grant to Matthew Sadler which is attracting head- lines, or the world title...

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No. 1541: Moment of truth

The Spectator

A well-known writer once began a news- paper article: 'At about 21 minutes past two today I suddenly saw that asparagus is the secret of aristocracy.' You are invited to carry...


The Spectator

A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of either Chambers Dictionary or Chambers Crossword Manual — ring your choice) for the first three...

Solution to 871: 36D : 5 ' C A ' El R

The Spectator

AUIL E ' L E IA A N 77) I S N E A9CLEISIT ' ll LE AST 7 0 E T I 01PLITICISIDIT 1 HE E T I IVA I Theme: Spectator + 21, suggesting Winners: J. rey (£20); Laoghaire,...

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Shrunk shanks and sweetiepie

The Spectator

WITH any luck this Monday is the last bogus bank holiday of the year; I'm glad the Notting Hill Carnival ended without too much bloodshed or troubles so that everyone could...