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The Spectator

`Time to settle up, buster.' T he Government announced proposals for reforms in the health service which included the abolition of free dental check- ups and eye tests. Family...

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The Spectator

POLLS APART W e must educate our masters' was a widely-held view in Victorian Britain as Parliamentary reform steadily widened the franchise and modern democracy took root....


The Spectator

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...

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The Spectator

A Bill to appeal to anyone with a spare adjective NOEL MALCOLM E very young opera-singer dreams of the day when the star whose role he is understudying falls ill or fails to...

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The Spectator

PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE 0 f the Book of the Year choices I have read so far, the following, in the Sunday Times, takes the biscuit for banal- ity, vulgarity and illiteracy. 'My...

Auberon Waugh will resume his column next week.

The Spectator

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The Spectator

Sunday's referendum illustrates the unique quality of Warsaw on its surprising results and their implications Did you hear that they've postponed the referendum?' `No. Why?'...

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The Spectator

Charles Glass on how France is beating the kidnappers at their own game — at the moment WHEN the Lebanese civil war began in 1975, one of its curious features was the regular...

Page 11


The Spectator

Sousa Jamba argues that Africans are drawn to imitate the West in externals THE debating society of my Zambian school once debated the motion, 'The coming of the white man to...

Page 12


The Spectator

Douglas Hurd denies that Home Office legislation is ramshackle or tyrannical THE Home Office, like the poet Horace, is familiar with the thunderbolt hurled from a clear sky....

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The Spectator

Government's plans for health will help the most vulnerable not a jot IN Britain a married couple pays £560 a year over 48 years in state medical insur- ance (in the form of...

Page 20


The Spectator

Margaret's men: a profile of Sir Keith Joseph, the first court favourite OF ALL of 'Maggie's men' Keith Joseph is probably — saving her husband — the last whom she would drop...

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The Spectator

Roy Kerridge meets men and women who hope to return to a land some have never seen `A TOAST!' cried the Chairman, speaking into a microphone. 'To the truly freedom- loving...

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The Spectator

Peter Bussey describes what it is like to be a compulsive gambler I HAD my first bet on a racehorse in 1966. I can't remember what the bet was, whether it won or lost, but it...

One hundred years ago

The Spectator

THE Chronicle of Thursday publishes a statement which looks true, but which we have not seen confirmed in any other journal. According to its informa- tion, a rising of the...

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Peter Bussey is a lecturer in his late thirties.

The Spectator

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The Spectator

The press: Paul Johnson surveys the debate on the Alton Bill NO recent issue has produced so much passion in the press as David Alton's Bill, presented to Parliament on 28...

Page 28

More blows for the mules

The Spectator

THE forecast of the year comes from Alan Greenspan, newly installed as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of the United States. Giving evidence on Capitol Hill, Mr Greenspan...

Cardinal virtues

The Spectator

ANSWERS, please. This is the time of year when a capable lady comes round from the market researchers. She ques- tions me about some 50 companies, which want to find out how...

The privileged few

The Spectator

I HOPE you did not take the ferry to France to make sure of Eurotunnel shares to lay down for your godson. The tale was put about that, since so many people were going to apply...


The Spectator

How Lloyd's could flourish in a cucumber frame, and stand its council on end CHRISTOPHER FILD ES y advice to Murray Lawrence, the M new chairman of Lloyd's of London, is: when...

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The Spectator

The joys of a tiff across the garden wall of Downing Street JOCK BRUCE-GARDYNE A nyone who serves time as a member of Her Majesty's loyal Commons House of Parliament soon...

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LETTERS Doctrine and patriots

The Spectator

Sir: Graham Greene argues (Letters, 31 October) that indoctrination in patriotism is acceptable during 'a war against terrorist members of Somoza's National Guard etc. But the...

Taxing question

The Spectator

Sir: Assuming that it was not merely rhetorical, may I proffer an answer to your question (Tot and kettle', 7 November) about the sympathy felt for Lester Piggott? First he is...

Polish medical crisis

The Spectator

Sir: At a time when Poland's medical crisis is ignored by much of the press, you have done a service in printing Alexander Sylvester's graphic article (`Sickening time in...

Paul Foot's pubs

The Spectator

Sir: Auberon Waugh (Another Voice, 21 November) informs us that Paul Foot saw Clydeside workers drink eight or nine whiskies in a row, in silence, and, when finished, punch the...

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Adding up

The Spectator

Sir: `Can Reagan add up? inquires your cover (31 October). `Can The Spectator add up?' I inquire. On page 5 of the same issue you describe an increase in value from £180 million...

Provengale fantasy

The Spectator

Sir: In your issue of 5 September, under the rubric `Food', you give the most astounding recipe for Daube de boeuf a la provencale'. Call it `Daube fantaisie', or Dauble...

Safety net

The Spectator

Sir: I find Alexandra Artley's impassioned plea (`Household words, government sums', 7 November) strangely argued. I was brought up to believe that adults, by taking the...

Wit and beauty

The Spectator

Sir: I can only hope that your contributor Andrei Navrozov writes better in Russian than in English. I nearly nodded off twice reading his review of Lenin: The Novel (14...

Intellectual corpses

The Spectator

Sir: Wendy Cope (Television, 21 Novem- ber) seems to think it acceptable to review and condemn a programme — Thinking Aloud — without having taken the trouble to see it. I can...


The Spectator

Sir: Dickens would be amused to find that you and your contributor James Buchan (`The US in hock', 7 November) now regard `Micawber-like' as a term of praise for the managing of...

The last laugh

The Spectator

Sir: I would like to put the record straight about hyenas, accused by Alice Thomas Ellis of eating `all the bits of dead things that lions leave' (Home life, 7 November). In...

Unusual diet

The Spectator

Sir: First we have Digby Anderson suggest- ing we cook and eat our children's favourite animal (19 September); next (I read the Spectator backwards) Alice Tho- mas Ellis...

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Jennifer Paterson

The Spectator

My best read this year has been going straight through Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honour trilogy, as I had only read Men at Arms before. These books must contain some of the...


The Spectator

Books of the Year A further selection of the best and most overrated books of the year, chosen by some of The Spectator's contributors. A. N. Wilson For some reason clergymen...

Richard Cobb

The Spectator

I like books that make me laugh and Jeremy Lewis's Playing for Time (Collins, £12.95) kept me laughing every night in my local for a week. I could laugh with him because I too...

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Eric Christiansen

The Spectator

If there were more recent English fiction like Nigel Balchin's The Small Back Room (Collins, £10.95) it would be no loss. This book reminded me that it is possible to write well...

Alan Watkins

The Spectator

Anthony Howard's Rab (Cape, £15) is most readable, and masterly on Tory High Politics, those of the 1951-63 period parti- cularly: I never realised before how close Butler was...

J. G. Links

The Spectator

The Book and the Brotherhood (Chatto, £11.95) is one of the best books of the year I have read. I don't see how any other novel could compete in a good Iris Mur- doch year but...

Alastair Forbes

The Spectator

A bitter loss to Europe and mankind in 1987 was that of Primo Levi, whose sudden plunge down the stairwell of his gloomy Turin apartment building marked his final defeat at the...

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John Osborne

The Spectator

1987: Move house. Amidst the dust of demolition and day-long Radio One, Judith and Martin Miller's Period Details: A Source for House Restoration (Mitchell Beazley, £14.95) has...

Anthony Blond

The Spectator

`This is what you English call justice', shouted Queen Victoria in defence of her favourite Indian servant Munshi, correctly accused of having flogged one of her brooches for...

Gavin Stamp

The Spectator

There have been several good architectural books this year, notably Andrew Saint's Towards a Social Architecture (Yale, £19.95) and David Watkin's and Tilman Mellinghoff's...

Noel Malcolm

The Spectator

At the age of 32, when he was recognised as one of the world's most talented pian- ists, Glenn Gould gave up live concerts altogether and retreated to the recording studio. His...

Hugh Lloyd-Jones

The Spectator

Each of the two books about Greek literature published in 1987 that have impressed me most is the first book of a young scholar, based on his doctoral dis- sertation. The...


The Spectator

Deciding which of the books I read were my favourites in 1987, is a bit like asking T.S. Eliot which is the cruellest month. There are two books that stick out, rather as my...

Mary Keen

The Spectator

We read Fry and Eliot in the Sixties, but I don't remember coming across much poe- tic drama since then. Craig Raine's The Electrification of the Soviet Union (Faber, £3.50) was...

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Richard Atkinson, Gamekeeper at Grouse Hall and Lay Preacher of

The Spectator

Grisedale for Chris Hawes His voice is a thunderclap on conscience. His gun blasts the wood out of silence. His cunning springs death on the rabbit. Corpses wither to husks on...

Autobiography of a famous Indian

The Spectator

Colin Welch THY HAND, GREAT ANARCH!: INDIA 1921-1952 by Nirad C. Chaudhuri Chatto, £25 M any of you will have read The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian (now out in paperback,...

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A nice guy who hasn't finished yet

The Spectator

John Osborne TIMEBENDS: A LIFE by Arthur Miller Methuen, £17.95 T he trouble with Arthur Miller is that he's so damned nice. Of all the playwrights I know personally, I count...

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The causes of the English Revolution

The Spectator

J. Enoch Powell MRS THATCHER'S REVOLUTION by Peter Jenkins Cape, f12.95 M rs Thatcher's Revolution is a book difficult to categorise. It is a running commentary on the British...

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A taste for death

The Spectator

Stephen Spender THE FABER BOOK OF REPORTAGE edited by John Carey Faber, £14.95 I f there were at literary parties a game called 'Anthologies' where the participants were asked...

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Downing Street market

The Spectator

John Grigg CORRUPTION IN BRITISH POLITICS, 1895-1930 by G. R. Searle Clarendon Press, Oxford, £19.50 W e tend to pride ourselves on the relative purity of our public life,...

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Juliet Townsend

The Spectator

E ver since the days of Aesop, storytel- lers have used animals to point a moral or underline a message, and the cunning fox, the cruel wolf and the foolish hen are familiar...

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The support of his mad mother

The Spectator

Anita Brookner PORTRAIT OF A BONAPARTE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JOSEPH-NAPOLEON PRIMOLI 1851-1927 by Joanna Richardson Quartet, f17.95 T he Bonaparte dynasty took some un-...

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Giles Auty

The Spectator

A lthough I have acquired hundreds of books on art over the years, I remain slightly uncertain why a good many of them were written. Were the authors trying to dazzle readers...

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A good Reid

The Spectator

Richard Ingrams ASK SIR JAMES by Michaela Reid Hodder, £14.95 T he house in which I grew up, The Chesnuts, Ellon, Aberdeenshire belonged to my grandmother, a widow, who gave...

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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 it...

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More Spencer than Churchill

The Spectator

A. L. Rowse THE PROFLIGATE DUKE, FIFTH DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH AND HIS DUCHESS by Mary Soames Collins, £17.50 L ady Soames had a resounding and deserved success with her...

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The Spectator

Exhibitions The Turner Prize 1987 (Tate Gallery, till 13 December) The stamp of 'official' approval Giles Auty 0 nce in a while most of us experience that mild feeling of...

Christmas Classified Collection — page 68

The Spectator

Page 59


The Spectator

Tosca (Covent Garden) Assorted bravura Rodney Milnes I t's been a rum fortnight, one that should have shown both London's opera houses at their best, but somehow didn't....


The Spectator

A Month in the Country (`PG', Warner West End) Pastoral interlude Hilary Mantel I n the summer of 1920, two survivors of the Great War meet in Oxgodby, a village in the East...

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High life

The Spectator

Getting into trouble Taki P Palm Beach alm Beach is a pristine, immaculate resort north of Miami, a place full of palm trees, great mansions by the sea, and...


The Spectator

Naturally obvious Wendy Cope reativity is something of a mystery,' said presenter Peter Fuller at the beginning of Naturally Creative (Channel 4). An hour and a half later...

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Low life

The Spectator

The end of the line Jeffrey Bernard Kisumu a mam sitting here in Kisumu on the shores of Lake Victoria in a patio bar under the shade of a bamboo roof. I arrived by train from...

Home life

The Spectator

Cardboard Christmas Alice Thomas Ellis C hristmas is coming. I don't know how the goose is getting on and I don't care either, but the Scotch is appearing again warmly wrapped...

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ADVENT already and all those terrible teddy bears lighting up

The Spectator

Regent Street; whoever heard of the Teddy Bears' Christ- mas? Prince Edward outdid himself screaming, 'Let there be light,' as he switched the little horrors on. That was not...

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The Spectator

Lear improved Jaspistos I N Competition No. 1500 you were invited to provide new limericks beginning with two opening lines from one of Lear's. Our glorious 1500th...


The Spectator

Numbers game Raymond Keene A Seville fter lying doggo in his White games 10, 12 and 14 Kasparov leapt out, making a vigorous effort to win game 16 and prove that White really...

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The Spectator

837: Indian summer byNfass A first prize of £20 and two further prizes of £10 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of Chambers Dictionary, value £13.95 — ring the words 'Chambers...

Solution to 834: Current model a ciamianonnanat a ma a nunc a omoncno ccnciccomatin a non

The Spectator

.A. Imina , RRED riCrarM1201 ODMOMINCe E D© ROM' A giligir „v Wag 0 A K E I I I C L I A L The unclued lights are synonyms of LAST (which iS also a MODEL). Winners: J. A....

No. 1503: Short short story

The Spectator

You are invited to write a story (maximum 150 words, excluding the given phrases) ending or beginning, 'The banana was clearly artificial' and ending or beginning, `If only I...