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. . and let this be a warning to you. . C oncern for Terry Waite's safety was never far below the surface and often dominated the news. Two men who took part in the burglary of...

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The Spectator

LEADING THE BBC T he actual appointment of the BBC's new director-general — the canvassing of names, the Sunday paper stories of plots and dirty work, the final cataclysmic...


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AS the police charged with executing the various warrants against the New States- man, the BBC and certain individuals, Issued in both England and Scotland last week, went about...

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Zircon and the length of the Attorney General's foot ANDREW GIMSON R eaction to the Zircon affair should not be determined by whether or not one would, like Sir Michael...

Ferdinand Mount is writing a book. He will resume his

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column at the beginning of March.

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A Kinsale, Co. Cork n interesting interviewing technique, which never fails to produce results, has been restyled by Irish journalists. This consists in ringing up a person who...

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Time to return to the fundamentals of democracy AU BERON WAUG H T o all the masses of information and comment which we have received about the SDP/Liberal Alliance since its...

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The Spectator

Terry Waite has been used as an innocent cat's-paw in the struggle between America and Iran. Charles Glass unravels the deals which have encouraged the kidnappers A DAY may...

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One hundred years ago SIR,—Many of your readers may be

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interested to hear that in this parish, some months ago, the wife of a highly respectable farmer presented him with twins, one of whom was born with hernia. As soon as was...

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Myles Harris blames Western aid agencies for supporting a murderous government `No good comes of contact with a fore- igner.' (Ethiopian saying) IS THE Ethiopian famine over?...

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James Hughes-Onslow asks whether Rupert Murdoch's latest bid is good for Australia Sydney EVEN as he prepares to swallow his biggest Australian fish so far there are signs that...

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Anthony Daniels discovers a swarm of poets, but not much of the real stuff DR JOHNSON thought it was easier to say what poetry was not than to say what it was. He had, of...

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Zygmunt Zamoyski joins up as a Refuse Enumerator in rural Somerset `WHY don't you write to the council, they might have something?' the Job centre man suggested, in reply to...


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Consumer Protection Bill - Thursday, 29 January Lord Gallacher: One takes Clause 24 as a whole. It is certainly drawn very widely, and one accepts that in the circumstances to...

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the reassertion of gubernatorial power at the BBC DOUGLAS Hurd, the Home Secretary, has argued all along that what was wrong with the BBC was the board of governors' failure to...

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British Airways, middle-class equivalent of the frostbite fiver CHRISTOPHER FILDES F asten your ejector-seats and prepare for take-off. British Airways shares are accelerating...

Cote d' Or

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MY CITY host at Corney & Barrow insisted on ordering the Julienas. 'Look how the wine list describes it, he said, just like me: rich, powerful and aromatic.'

Cash and carry

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THIS seems an odd moment for the Securities and Investments Board, de- signed as the investors' protector-in-chief, to pick a quarrel with the high street banks. More obvious...

Until proved innocent

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IT IS a sure sign that the merger epidemic is on its way out when we see a general rush to offer miraculous cures. The Takeover Panel itself, now looking more like a case than a...

Who's a fraud?

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SCANDAL in the City! False markets, rigged prices, £600 million missing! WE NAME THE GUILTY MEN. They are the members of Her Majesty's sanctimo- nious Government, who, when not...

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Set by Caroline Moore This issue of the Spectator marks the start of the Spectator Twin-Town Treasure Hunt. The competition will last eight weeks and the winners will receive...

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LETTERS United islands

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Sir: Bravo, Stan Gebler Davies! It is time that a Conservative and Unionist was returned to Dail Eireann. That something so sensible has not been attempted in `more than 60...

Wretched dons

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Sir: I am sure that those of us who care for maintaining educational standards are most grateful to you for reporting (Diary, 31 January) the antics of Cambridge dons as they go...

Black Power

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Sir: At the risk of damaging my reputation in Brent as racist, I would like to point out that in my review of Ron Ramdin's book The Making of the Black Working Class (Books, 24...

Nuclear advice

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Sir: Your 'rare connoisseur of the genre' (Leader, 31 January) has erred, I suspect, in comparing the Layfield report with the Flowers report. I think he has confused it with...

Chivalry revived

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Sir: The High Court of Chivalry revived in 1955 (Peter Levi, Books, 24 January) to try an issue between Manchester Corporation and the Manchester Palace of Varieties Ltd, who...

Sir: I can provide one meaning of `pilger- ing'. Pilgering

The Spectator

is the operation performed by a Pilger Mill and is a method of producing steel tubes presumably named after the inventor. It is a process employing a pair of eccentric rollers...


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Sir: J.G. Dudley's question (Letters, 31 January) about the word `pilgering' and `pilgerish' is quickly answered. The verb to pilger means to regard with insight, com- passion...


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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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Not quite fool enough Colin Welch THE JAGUAR SMILE: A NICARAGUAN JOURNEY by Salman Rushdie Picador, f2.95 W hat sort of a book about Sandinista Nicaragua would you expect from...

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Vestal February

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`Vestal February' old Patmore called her (The sun enters the fish's cold, damp house) But now with such an unremitting chill she comes, You might suppose she'd taken final...

Split island in the sun

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Ian Gilmour BURDENED WITH CYPRUS: THE BRITISH CONNECTION by John Reddaway Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £14.95 A mong all the other political black- spots Cyprus tends to be...

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This world or the next?

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John Jolliffe THE CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO INDUSTRIAL CAPITALISM by William Charlton, Tatiana Mallinson, Robert Oakeshott Sheed & Ward, £9.50 T he authors of this stimulating...

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St John's revisited by a chocolate eater

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Robert Blake OXFORD MEMORIES by John Mabbott Thornton's Oxford, L5.95 J ohn Mabbott was president of St John's College, Oxford from 1963 to 1969 and is still vigorous and fit...

Spectator classifieds page 46

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Dissatisfied with their sex

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Anthony Storr THE 'SISSY BOY SYNDROME' AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF HOMOSEXUALITY by Richard Green Yale University Press, £30.00 C onventional wisdom affirms that little girls who...

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Night thoughts from a horse

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Brian Martin EDWARD YOUNG by Harold Forster The Erskine Press, £29.95 T he late Harold Forster, who devoted much of his life to the study of Edward Young and to the...

A Word from the Comet

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Light-years in the dark, Swimming, a sperm of stone, I am driven by no hunger. Out of the natural dark Earth came then, an amazing pod curving And brightening through far blue...

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The tradition of intensity

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Frances Spalding A PARTIAL TESTAMENT: ESSAYS ON SOME MODERNS IN THE GREAT TRADITION by Helen Lessore Tate Gallery, £11.95 R umour has it that when Helen Les- sore ran the...

Proud to be a humble journalist

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Richard Ingrams G. K. CHESTERTON: A HALF CENTURY OF VIEWS edited by D. J. Conlon OUP, £15 I t is hard to imagine many people, apart from myself and about three or four...

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More about its author than its subj ect

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Francis King WITTGENSTEIN'S NEPHEW by Thomas Bernhard translated by Ewald Osers Quartet, £8.95 T ravelling in Senegal three or four years ago, I approached a restaurant,...

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The Spectator

Architecture Full of charm Gavin Stamp Lush and Luxurious: the life and work of Philip Tilden (1887-1956) (Heinz Gallery till 21 February) I n that very funny film The...

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Man of little substance Peter Phillips H aving previously in this column (Spectator, 16 August 1986) had the oppor- tunity to challenge the public to come forward and declare...

The Spectator

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The Spectator

School For Wives (National: Lyttelton) The Merry Wives of Windsor (Barbican) Holiday (Old Vic) More admired than enjoyed Christopher Edwards T his new production of Moli6re's...


The Spectator

Rainer Fetting, Lovis Corinth (Raab Gallery till 28 February) Rainer Fetting, Lovis Corinth (Raab Gallery till 28 February) Karl Weschke (Redfern Gallery till 25 February)...

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Foul play Wendy Cope I t is amazing what television can do to people. I would never have expected my mother to turn into a snooker enthusiast but last week she was completely...

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Low life

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Softly, softly Jeffrey Bernard I t is estimated that there are 55,60 0 impotent men in the Avon and Somerset area. That is what I read in the Telegraph anyway and I believe in...

High life

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Critical viewing Taki endy Cope is one lucky girl. Had she been confined to her bed in New York — as poor Taki was — she, too, would have come down with pleurisy, if that is...

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Home life

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Blue flu Alice Thomas Ellis T here is a particularly spectacular sort of flu going round at the moment and I use the term advisedly. You think you've recovered from it and...

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1 11111 . 1 11111 1 11111 1 11111p

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• ,c::::*k.**41■1:241 - 1•. k■-• NOW that nouvelle cuisine is not quite so nouvelle any more, state-of-the-art food faddists — those self-styled arbiters of taste — are having...

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The Spectator

C/o Alex' Findlater and Co. Ltd., 77 Abbey Road, London NM Telephone 01-624 7311 Product 1. Dalwood Shiraz Cabernet 1983 2. Vin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 1983 3. Bin 389 Cabernet...


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The ideal fulfilled at Penfold Auberon Waugh T his, the first of several all-Australian offers in what I have chosen to nominate the Year of Strine Wine, is the 51st offer...

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The Spectator

Ars brevis Raymond Keene W hat is the secret of Nigel Short's phenomenal success? Still just 21, he has won the British Championship (way back in 1984), qualified for the...


The Spectator

Books, books, books Jaspistos I n Competition No. 1457 you were asked for extracts from one of four of 'last year's silliest titles': Board Meetings in the Bath, How to Boil...

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No. 1460: Perverse

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You are invited to write a poem either in praise of something conventionally consi- dered ugly or in dispraise of something conventionally considered beautiful. Max- imum 16...


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A first prize of £20 and two further priits of £10 (or, for UK solvers, a copy of Chambers Dictionary, value £13.95 — ring the words 'Chambers Dictionary' above) for the first...

Solution to 791: Count me out

The Spectator

'Mass' was removed from: 8 camass- rat 10 mare's-tails 15 mastitis 24 tamashas 27 massacre 31 marshiness 33 damasks. Winners: A.G. Corrigan, Poole (£20); M. Tarlton, Derby;...