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A small minority spoiling it for all the others. M r Robert Maclennan, MP for Caith- ness and Sutherland, a barrister, became the new leader of the SDP. There were no other...

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FUTURE LOYALTIES T o Portsmouth, and the beginning of the Party Conference season that closes at Blackpool in early October where the Conservatives will, doubtless, stage a...

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Maclennan runs out of the nettles and into the bonfire FERDINAND MOUNT These things mark a man, the stings penetrate the stoutest Argyllshire leotards, and may in time drive...

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The Spectator

BARRY HUMPHRIES 0 ff to a tango lesson in Brixton, in a re-cycled building. It's commonplace now to live, work, eat, dance, witness a play though rarely to worship — in a...

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Does the public have a right to be titillated or should there be a law against it? AUBERON WAUGH T here are excellent reasons why fox- hunting should not be forbidden, the...

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Dhiren Bhagat explains why the Buddhists of Sri Lanka are opposed to the recent attempts at peace Fifty years after Independence we have been reduced to an economically...

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A. R. Kenny finds the great threat comes not from black miners but from right-wing white workers Eastern Transvaal THE South African revolution is coming but everybody is...

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Anatol Lieven on the tensions among Christian politicians following the Pershing missile decision Bonn PRAISE, please, to West Germany where it is due. Chancellor Kohl's...

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One hundred years ago

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THE murderer Pranzini was executed on Wednesday morning at 5 o'clock, in the public square in front of the prison of La Roquette. For nearly a week before, immense crowds had...


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Ian Thomson meets Ilona Staller, the Italian MP and sex enthusiast ITALY has apparently surpassed Britain to become the fifth industrial power of the Western world: if...

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Alec Guinness remembers the revue actor Douglas Byng, who died last week ROUNDING a corner in St Germain des Pres on a summer morning I saw a very familiar dapper figure...

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Robert Morley looks back on working under John Huston, who died last Saturday I HAD taken a fancy to the winner of a small seller at Sandown. 'Let's buy it,' I urged him,...

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The media: Paul Johnson thinks the television moguls no longer believe in their own case THE Hungerford massacre may yet turn out to be a landmark in the struggle to bring...

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Big Daddies

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A PITY, of another kind, that British Gas's shareholders did not elect Sir Ian MacGregor to contend with Sir Denis Rooke. City and Suburban had been nego- tiating for the film...


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Stocks and shares a nice little business if it weren't for the customers CHRISTOPHER FILDES H ere is a message for people who want to own shares or pensions of their own. They...

Cloud cuckoo pensions

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FROM ownership of shares turn to own- ership of pensions. Here the Chancellor, in what was otherwise an intentionally boring Budget, conjured up two major reforms, for the 11...

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Sir: I am surprised the recent controversy over the listing of the Financial Times building, Bracken House, has denied architecture its unique quality. Gavin Stamp in his...


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Sir: Paul Johnson is correct (29 August) when he states that — holocaust" . . . origi- nally meant a sacrificial offering which was entirely consumed for the honour of the god'....

LETTERS Reagan's fault

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Sir: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (`How Reagan went above the Law', 8 August) is surely wrong to belittle the Iran-Contra scandal as an invention of the `Liberal Establishment'. It...

Ulster integration

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Sir: Brian Inglis cursorily dismisses (`Ourselves alone', 25 July) the option of `integration' for Northern Ireland on the grounds that, inter aka, public opinion in mainland...

Educated person

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Sir: It was ingenious of you to print in the same issue of your magazine (29 Septem- ber) the noble letter of Messrs Jones and Spooner calling on the Secretary of State to...

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Wherefore art?

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Sir: Anthony Mann's, and your, dislike of the phrase 'state of the art' (Letters, 18 July) must be fuelled by the fact that advertisers use it in almost the reverse of its...

Byronic romance

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Sir: I have not seen your issue containing Robert Byron's diary (22 August), but should like to comment upon words con- cerning myself, apparently quoted in it. It is...

Arty Adolf

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Sir: Timothy Ash (Pathetic, not tragic', 22 August) appears to be confused when describing Hitler's vocation as a 'ranting house-painter'. Adolf Hitler produced up to 30,000...

Lords' law

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Sir: Further to the unsatisfactory decision of the Appellate Committee of this House in the matter of Spycatcher, is there not an argument for the restitution, in cases where...

Right track

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Sir: Why are not disused railways being used for roads for cyclists? Daphne Hereward Box 6828, Accra North, Ghana

Boning up

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Sir: I found Mr Quennell's piece about Napoleon (Books, 22 August) diverting. When are we going to see a review? On this may hinge whether to splash out f14.95. Iris Jollye 16...


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Sir: May I take issue with Colin Welch (Books, 15 August) on a point of metaphy- sics? Suppose, in a dream, I am warned of an impending accident and, thanks to the warning, I...


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Sir: Why are you printing Amy Clampitt's New York-style imagist drivel (Books, 8 August)? I subscribe to the Spectator to read well-written English, not American. Laurence...

Unpaid Bill

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Sir: Why not give Bill Wells the job of acknowledging the letters you are unable to publish (Diary, Letters, 15 August)? John O'Byrne 32 Glen Drive, The Park, Foxrock, Dublin 18


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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...

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George Bernard Shaw's stormy affair with the children's author Edith Nesbit is described in the first of two extracts from A Woman of Passion, The Life of E. Nesbit 1858-1924 by...

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Very few revs per century Colin Welch THE CULTURE OF CAPITALISM by Alan Macfarlane Basil Blackwell, £19.50 F avourable noises about Dr Macfar- lane's book have emerged from...

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Somebody's best book yet

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Laurence Lerner MENSONGE by Malcolm Bradbury Deutsch, £5.95 T he death of the author poses a tricky problem for those authors who are still alive. If it is language that speaks...

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A bed full of dewdrops

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Frances Partridge CYNTHIA ASQUITH by Nicola Beauman Hamish Hamilton, f15.95 T he addict of biographies, always eager to make a new friend and follow the dramatic course of...

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Curiouser and curiouser

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Francis King THE MEDUSA FREQUENCY by Russell Hoban Cape, £10.95 I t seems likely that the computer is already taking over the function of the ouija board. Hunched before it,...

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When things come to a head

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Anita Brookner THE CASE OF THOMAS N. by John David Morley Andre Deutsch, f9.95 H ere is a genuine curiosity, a novel apparently guided by the presiding spirits of Kafka,...

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An Anglican Bishop

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This Church of England bishop knows the way to makes his many doubts a source of praise. Promoting every creed and each new craze, he leads his flock where they were wont to...

A hard actor to follow

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Robert Cushman CHARLES LAUGHTON: A DIFFICULT ACTOR by Simon Callow Methuen, £14.95 I wish I could act as well as Simon Callow writes. This is a wonderfully neat, vivacious...

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Crafts Furnishing the World: The East London Furniture Trade 1830-1980 (Geffrye Museum, till 3 January) The New Spirit in Craft and Design (Crafts Council, till 15 November and...

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M u si c

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Middle Europe vs the Rest Peter Phillips M y recent experiences at the Interna- tional Music Festival in Lucerne (called locally, with some reason, the IMF) has convinced me...

Christopher Edwards's theatre column will return next week.

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Suspicious behaviour Noel Malcolm M y copy of Inside the KGB: an exposé by an officer of the Third Directorate contains a useful list of all the tell-tale signs of a secret...


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The Image of London: Views by Travellers and Emigres 1550-1920 (Barbican Art Gallery till 18 October) Through others' eyes Giles Auty - o you ever wonder how somewhere you...

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Ping Pong (PG', Metro Rupert Street) Great wall of Chinatown Hilary Mantel T his good-natured and unpretentious film was released in the same week as Hamburger Hill. No one...

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Half and half Peter Levi C hannel 4 is about to suffer an impor- tant turnover of its top management, when Jeremy Isaacs, whom everybody likes, moves into opera management....


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LESS THAN HALF-PRICE More stimulating than any lecture, funnier than the set books, 'I'he Spectator should be required reading for every student. With Student Subscriptions...

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High life

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Funny clans Taki 0 n a Saturday night last March, as is my custom, I was standing in the Green- Go bar of the Gstaad Palace Hotel re- covering from a hard day's skiiing, when...

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Home life

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Folly of tidying up Alice Thomas Ellis t has never happened to me before. It's not the sort of thing you expect. You take a taxi because the car's off the road. You don't ever...

Low life

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Vaguely sinister Jeffrey Bernard F or the past three days I have been sharing a breakfast table with no less than seven women. Extraordinary things women. I find them quite...

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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 £13.95 — ring the words 'Chambers Dictionary' above) for the first...

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Home again Raymond Keene T hat amazing old warrior, Victor Kor- chnoi, has fought his way back into the Candidates' tournament by winning the third and final Interzonal in...


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Two rhymes Jaspistos I N Competition No, 1487 you were invited to write a sonnet with only two rhymes entitled either 'Shopping' or 'DIY'. The first and last word on DIY was...

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Cocktail capers

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..4 11 1...1#/' ,--Aukjfi n PL„. I AM so cold at this moment of writing I yearn for hot comforting winter dishes which I shall indulge in below. The dry martini cocktail,...

You are invited to supply an opening page (maximum 150

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words) of the type of book you most dislike. Entries to 'Competition No. 1490' by 18 September. Through the kindness of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society the winner of this and...

Solution to 821: Weights and measures 13111122 Flan% 5 T mann

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new crionnin R C n'Y 11119.17 r a E 16 11 ri R El E I N " A over Li SIN I O N G N . ..pre K C iiierin U I N E rin iri Tyr% . or . . rail sri cm RiiIHEF '...

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Election gripes WHEN, the other day, I was invited to a water tasting on a barge in St Catherine's Dock, I wondered whether this was the cloud, no bigger than a man's hand,...

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