6 JUNE 1981

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Running scared? JUI.15 :981 The Social Democratic Party is not

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emerging with much credit from its first encounter with real-life politics. The appointment of Warrington's sitting Labour MP as a judge will bring about the first by-election...

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Political commentary

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Belfast is not Algiers Ferdinand Mount Thinking is different from tho,ught, and it isn't what it used to be. let me expand on my thinking in this area' tends to mean 'I am now...

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Donald Gould's article in this week's Spectator is extremely interesting, for it suggests that no IRA hunger strikers would have died if they had not been subjected to outside...

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Another voice

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Can it now be told? Auberon Waugh For students of the Thorpe case, the most interesting admission in David Holmes's interview with News of the World on Sunday is contained in...

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Secrecy as a way of life

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Peter Nichols Rome The Italians do not have a word for privacy, but they do for secrecy, and they use it frequently. The difference, of course, is that they are not very...

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Gelli's babies

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Peter Hebblethwaite Rome Licio Gelli vanished two weeks ago, leaving behind him a mass of confusing evidence, a government in ruins, and a series of unsolved mysteries. His...

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The castrati of the left

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Nicholas von Hoffman Washington Then came Jacob° Timerman, an Argentine newspaper publisher and Jew, one of the disappeared. After two and a half years of torture and...

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Canada reverts to infancy

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D. J. Heasman It is often said that the difference between the United States and Canada is that while the one resorted to revolution to establish its nationhood, the other...

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A solution for Ireland

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Brigid Brophy Even Manchester United is no exception. There is nothing sacred, and nothing historically inevitable, about a united anything: not Dairies, and not Ireland. It's...

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The Sands case

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Donald Gould The authorities have described the recent deaths from starvation of Bobby Sands and his IRA colleagues as suicide. Last week, speaking on The World at One, Dr...

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A box room in Southall

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Roy Kerridge For the past week I have been staying in Southall, the last place near London where lodgings are cheap and easy to obtain. This is because the Indians who live...

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Passing out parade

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Brian Inglis That recurring nightmare, finding oneself back again at school, has one compensation; the relief on waking and finding that it isn't so, and cannot be so, is...

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The Canterbury pilgrims

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Richard West The Peasants' Revolt spread from the coast of Essex north to East Anglia and still more swiftly over the Thames to Erith and all Kent. Here the insurrection...

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The press

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People's March for Yobs? Paul Johnson Next to those IRA funerals, the so-called 'People's March for Jobs' designed to re-create the 'Jarrow Crusade', has been the...

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In the City

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The non-executive director Tony Rudd To lend tone to what would otherwise be a vulgar melee: that, to many observers of the commercial scene today, would sum up the role of...

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Cheap music

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Sir: After reading Sheridan Morley's letter of 23 May, 'Cats and dogs', full of his characteristic quibbling and blether and not to say inept choice of simile, I feel I must...

Swiss alarm

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Sir: Geoffrey Sampson's article on Switzerland (2 May) was so unsatisfactory that I hope you will allow me to make two very important points. The first is that the Swiss have a...

Sir: I am very sorry to discover that Nina Harvie

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(Letters, 30 May) read my article on Swiss xenophobia as a blanket condemnation of that country. In fact I greatly admire Switzerland, and for many of the same reasons that Miss...

The power of prayer

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Sir: It is unlikely that Cardinal Hume will defend himself against Mr Waugh's charges (23 May). Before attacking him so fiercely Mr Waugh should, in fairness, have recalled that...

Error on the march

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Sir: I write to correct Mr DeAth (23 May) as I frequently find myself doing with others, as to the status of my old college, Aberystwyth. This is one of the constituent colleges...

Programme notes

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Sir: I am delighted to see Richard Ingrams pays as much attention to the truth in his television reviews in the Spectator as he does in the pages of Private Eye. The programme...


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Sir: What is the thinking behind your, or Tim Garton Ash's, neologism 'Deutschemarks' (23 May)? One would understand 'German marks', `deutschmarks', or 'Deutsche Mark'. But the...

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The real Mersey sound Kenneth Morgan Democracy and SectarianismA political and social history of Liverpool, 1868-1939 P.J. Waller (University of Liverpool Press pp. 556,...

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Elegant stews

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Isabel Colegate Bath: A Social History 1680-1850 R.S. Neale (Routledge pp. 466, £18, £14.50 until 31 October) The City of Bath, having been from Roman times a pleasure resort,...

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Jonathan Keates John Evelyn and His World John Bowie (Routledge pp.277, £12.50) Of all periods in the history of the written word in English, the 17th century is surely the...

Singing bird

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Raleigh Trevelyan Christina Rossetti Georgina Battiscombe (Constable pp.233, £9.50) It must be daunting to start work on a biography of Christina Rossetti. The documentation is...

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A high windowsill

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P.J. Kavanagh The Orchid Trilogy Jocelyn Brooke (Seeker pp. 437, £9.95) Other books have dealt with the themes and the material of The Orchid Trilogy but none is at all like...

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Mark Amory Charles Charming's Challenges on the Pathway to the Throne Clive James (Cape pp. 103, £4.95). In Budd Schulberg's novel about Hollywood life, What Makes Sammy Run?,...


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Andrew Wilson Selected Stories Dan Davin (Robert Hale pp. 319, £6.95) Of all written forms (except perhaps the limerick) the short story is in the most danger of being made to...

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Rosamond Lehmann Gillian Tindall 'Rosamond Lehmann? Oh yes. She stopped writing when her daughter died.' . . Someone told me that a reviewer was so awful to her she never...

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Out for the Count Rodney Milnes The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro (Glyndebourne) It is possible to get too solemn about Rossini's Barber (I do so about twice a...

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Twenty years on Mark Amory Serjeant Musgrave's Dance (Cott esloe) The Caretaker (Lyttelton) At the National Theatre last week two of our most famous playwrights had their most...

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Fan male Peter Ackroyd The Fan ('X', selected cinemas) The voice is that of a young man but it is dulled and unemphatic, the sort of voice in which you intone grace before a...

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Chorus line John McEwen Two of the most senior and respected female figures in the English art world currently have exhibitions of considerable personal significance in...


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Loonies Richard Ingrams A few years ago the idea that Wedgwood Benn would be treated as an important figure and a serious contender for the Labour Party deputy leadership...

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High life

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Temps perdu Taki My life suddenly seems to have turned into a morbid rondo. A rondo is a musical form in which the theme constantly recurs. That's the way it is with a...

Low life

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Captivated Jeffrey Bernard Segos So far, the Greek interlude has been slightly less Byronic than I'd hoped for. In spite of affecting a club foot I find myself being regarded...