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The Spectator

Cats on a hot tin roof A t the special SDP conference in Sheffield the proposal for a merger with the Liberals won an easy victory; the `Owenites', however, said that although...

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The Spectator

'BYE 'BYE BLACKBOARD T he Greater London Council was abo- lished only two years ago leaving the Inner London Education Authority as a new directly elected public authority; and...


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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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The firm-jawed acceptable face of soggy consensus politics NOEL MALCOLM Sheffield hope you won't be like the other journalists,' said the SDP member who had kindly offered to...

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Auberon Waugh is away.

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The Spectator

PETER LEVI I n the heady, idiotic days of the 1960s, a foolish boy I once taught was demonstrat- ing outside the door of All Souls. An old don shambled in. 'Why,' he was rudely...

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The Spectator

The Indian Express had always been a paper of dissent. Last year it went further. Dhiren Bhagat tells the story of an Indian Cecil King Delhi RAJIV Gandhi's father was never...

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DRAMATIS PERSONAE Rajiv Gandhi: Prime Minister since October 1984. The

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original Mr Clean. V. P. Singh: finance minister (till January 1987), defence minister (till April 87) left Congress Party in July 1987 to become biggest political threat to...

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The Spectator

anti-apartheid movement ignores injustice outside South Africa THERE is a country in Africa where the indigenous black people are ruled by a racial minority who came from the...

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Czechoslovakia's new leader is no the political mechanism is stirring IN the Old Town Square in Prague there is a famous astronomical clock which tells you not only the time...

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The Spectator

Allan Massie examines the claims of Thatcherism to a place in the Conservative tradition THE greatest Conservative minister of this century called his memoirs The Art of the...

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A Calendar for 1988 by Posy Simmonds

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56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 01-405 1706 Telex: 27124 )4/. f j )(dx44 : 1 tczeff) In recent years the circulation of The Spectator has grown fast. In 1984 it...

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The Spectator

Margaret's men: a profile of Sir David English, who backed a woman for Prime Minister This is one of a series of profiles of men the Prime Minister admires. DAVID ENGLISH...

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The media: Paul Johnson examines BBC coverage of the Birmingham bomb appeal THE BBC is a curious institution. It calls itself 'British', as though in some metaph- ysical way...

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A story goes with it

The Spectator

A JOLLY arrival from Anglia Television is The Stocks and Shares Show — a share race, with four amateur investors compet- ing to make the most (imaginary) money, helped or...

Big Bang

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THE Chinese have invented the leaden handshake. So I see from the case of Shi Yong Jie, former head of the Shenyang Explosion-Proof Apparatus Factory. Its failure is blamed on...


The Spectator

Shocked by dear money? Don't say the Governor didn't tell you CHRISTOPHER FILDES A nyone in the City who thought that the Governor of the Bank of England talked for the...

The better soldier

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THE great gladiator of the takeover arena, when I came to the City, was Philip Shelboume. He had joined the partnership of N. M. Rothschild from the commercial bar, as one of...

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No-strike clause

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Sir: No doubt Mr Norman Willis will say, as you suggested (Leading article, 28 November): 'If anyone can ignore a major- ity ballot to go on strike then how can one take action...

LETTERS Health reform

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Sir: Amid the constant barrage of near hysterical demands via the media for more cash to bolster the hard-pressed National Health Service a glimmer of truth and reality is at...


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Sir: Auberon Waugh promises (Another voice, 30 January) to deliver facts, facts, facts in the finger-jabbing manner of Grad- grind or possibly Tyson. However, despite his...

Our Gracie

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Sir: Rochdale (`Misconceived experi- ments', 16 January) was the birthplace of Gracie Fields, not Oldham. W. H. J. Garland 24 Parkview Road, Croydon

Double take

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Sir: In your Diary (30 January) you com- ment on Peregrine Worsthorne's front- page 'exclusive' in the Sunday Telegraph about Kingsley Amis and the joint portrait. What Amis,...

Independent Times

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Sir: Since Taki (High life, 30 January) had no evidence to suggest that we backed down because Harrods withdrew its adver- tising from the Sunday Times, he smeared us by...

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MEMORY OF PLACE SIMUKAI UTETE I COULD always spot the tourists in Zimbabwe. It was not only their clothes spun of finer stuff than our stiff cottons or those bright Hawaiian...

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One hundred years ago

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AN important deputation, including men like Cardinal Manning, the Bishop of Bedford, Lord Herschell, Lord Compton, and many noted philanthrop- ists and leaders of Trade...


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The Spectator

America as Disneyland Ferdinand Mount REAGAN'S AMERICA: INNOCENTS AT HOME by Garry Wills Heinemann, £14.95 I t is a nice old fantasy (perhaps The Spectator has had a...

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Trivial pursuit of a silly decade

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David Wright BRITISH WRITERS OF THE THIRTIES by Valentine Cunningham OUP, £30 T his book is an account of British literature in the 1930s. A literature in a history and a...

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The disgusting world of an actor

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Francis King NEXT SEASON by Michael Blakemore Faber, f4.95 I n a characteristically shrewd and sharp introduction to this novel, first published in 1969 and now reissued in...

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A girl from the prairies

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Anne Chisholm WILLA CATHER: A LITERARY LIFE by James Woodress University of Nebraska Press, £33.25 B efore she died, a famous and re- spected novelist, in 1947, Willa Cather...

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Midday on the waves?

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John-Francis Phillimore V enetian Evenings comes some 30 years after the same author's Roman Mornings. The antithesis is a bit willed: as James Lees-Milne cheerfully admits,...

Neo-classical tradition in Germany

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Gavin Stamp I t was always my ambition to be the legitimate heir of the Berlin classicists,' recorded Albert Speer in his diary in Spandau prison in 1955, 'and to this day it...

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In Chancery Lane

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For Richard Whittington-Egan Encountering John Lane's ghost in Chancery Lane, I asked him whither; and he made reply: `To nab that no-good Dick Le Gallienne. He's on the drink...

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The Spectator

Exhibitions Essential Australia Giles Auty Fred Williams: Paintings of the Pilbara (Serpentine Gallery, till 24 February) L ooking back on the Sixties and Seven- ties, I...

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The Secret Life (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond) Fatal lassitude Christopher Edwards T his is the world premiere of one of Harley Granville Barker's final plays, writ- ten in...

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A very fine fiddler Geoffrey Smith attended the 80th birthday concert of the great jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli T he standing ovation from a sold-out house that capped...

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The Spectator

Parsifal (Covent Garden) Forty years on Rodney MIInes M aybe Wagner and Cosima were right to try and restrict performances of Parsifal to Bayreuth. There is no getting away...

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Temps perdu Wendy Cope A week ago on Wednesday, Stuart Bell, Labour MP for Middlesbrough, appeared on News at Ten (ITV) to com- ment on the health authority's decision to move...


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The Stepfather (`18', selected cinemas) Don't disappoint dad Hilary Mantel ne of the annoying things about Fatal Attraction was hearing people say what a good little thriller...

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High life

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In defence of Socrates Taki Izzy published his follies in a weekly newsletter until 1971, when heart trouble and failing eyesight forced him to stop exposing the evils of...

Low life

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Room at the top Jeffrey Bernard I should have known I would end my days in an attic. It has been uphill all the way. Years ago, when I left home, my first bedsitter was in a...

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Home life

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Ill- Alice Thomas Ellis I don't like judges much. I haven't met many socially, because they mix only with each other, and I assure you I have not yet met one in his official...

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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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Chacun a son gout Jaspistos I N Competition No. 1508 you were invited to write quatrains in praise or dispraise of a particular edible. Ambiguity has struck again. I had in-...


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Candidates Raymond Keene St John, Newfoundland Nigel Short and Jon Speelman have made history by becoming the first two British players ever to qualify for the quarter-finals...

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Ausonius unveiled

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WHEN I chose the pseudonym of Au- sonius under which to write a monthly wine column, I must admit that my knowledge of the fourth-century Roman grammarian, poet and consul was...

Solution to 841: When's When Answers containing - limn factors (cf

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20D): 1A sin, 9 alters, 12 toast, 13 pant, 17 spins, 19 venting, 27 care, 30 pay, 36 bits, 39 testers. Winners: A. Hall, Goring-by-Sea (£20); Mrs M. Purdie, Cupar, Fife; Hugh...

No. 1511: Quite another story

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Last summer the Independent ran a most amusing competition, which I gratefully borrow. You are invited to take a headline from a newspaper this month (please en- close cutting...

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The Spectator

Rand and rand the garden Auberon Waugh I am sorry to offer four whites and only two reds in the chilly month of February, but I was aiming, in my second all-African offer, to...


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do Sablehand Limited, 88 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2EE Telephone: (01) 222-2930 No. Value White 1. Alphen Barraque 12 bots. £33.96 2. TJ39 Grand Prix 1987 12 bots....