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Talk of a 14 per cent mortgage rate has, very

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rteignably, frightened almost every owner-occupier h'ktetblb country. Present rates, now likely to rise from 11 to 12 per cent, are themselves frightening. baØ because these...

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The TUC and Phase Three

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Despite the eighty-three motions listed in the agenda for the hundred and fifth Trades Union Congress at Blackpool this wiek those attending, and those watching, will know...

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Littlejohn and Robin Hood Sir: My attention has been drawn

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to the article dated August 18, 1973 entitled " Littlejohn and Rob inhood ' written by your correspondent Patrick Cosgrave. I am writing to your paper to correct and comment on...

Ireland and the EEC

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Sir: It's an ill wind (or bomb) that blows no good at all. All those very necessary controls on entry from Ireland which you suggest will probably be forced on a reluctant...

Who rules the waves?

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Sir: I hesitate to take issue with David Wyn Williams (September I) on a point of law, but his statement that the International Court, in its "preliminary ruling earlier this...

Public schools' rigidity .

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Sir: In commenting on the fatal rigidity of the public schools, Mr Ryder (September I) closes by speculating on "A trace of overreaction to sociologists"' Surely not: don't We...

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Tom Pai n e

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Sir: It is staggering to find that in a review of Audrey Williamson's new biography on Thomas Paine, your reviewer, Richard Luckett, seems determined to drag out again all the...

S ir: I must apologise to Audrey Williamson for having erroneously

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stated, iti my review of her biography of Thomas Paine, that Paine's second Marriage was to his landlord's widow, rather than his daughter. I must point out, however, that Miss...

Enid Starkie

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Sir: It was a pleasure to read Miss Kay Dick's sensitive and perceptive review of Enid Starkie's biography but she Makes one small factual mistake. Enid Startle put up her...

TUC talks

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Sir: You rightly say that there will be no valid excuse for surprise if the geAternment and the TUC achieve any substantial results in their talks on prices and incomes...

Whose freedom?

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Sir — A brief reply to Dr Bazarov '(Letters, September 1) who wisely chooses to ignore the point, and dodges behind a smear. I never said that the merit of an argument depends...

Information please

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Sir: I am doing research on Dr Hugh Welch Diamond (1809-1886) of Twickenham, Photographer, Archaeologist and Superintendent of the Surrey County Asylum. I would be glad to hear...

Liberal policies

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From John W. Pardoe, MP Sir; If Patrick Cosgrave had seriously wanted to know what Liberal policies are and had wished to write about them in an intelligent way he would...

Theatrical . superstition Sir I have been commissioned by Taplinger Inc,

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of New York, to write a survey of superstitions in the theatre, past and present, in England and abroad. I wish to extend this survey to include superstitions observed in the...

The game of the name

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Sir: Primrose Minney and I were amused by your speculation last week as to whether we were Hampstead or Tunbridge Wells-born following your recent item on the names Hampstead...

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Spectator's Notebook

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Really, Dr Waldheim, the Secretary General of the United Nations, is getting out of hand, and badly needs to be slapped down. There has always been a tendency on the part of UN...

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Political Commentary

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The conference game restarts Patrick Cosgrave Keats's description of autumn as a "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" is scarcely appropriate even climatically as one...

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Northern Ireland (1)

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A catalogue of trial and failure J. Enoch Powell "These were basically the same people with the same problems. ' You know. Mr Paisley,' I said, ' we are all the children of...

Northern Ireland (2)

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The war that isn't Rawle Knox It's the ill-luck of the Irish that just when. one has come through the predictable possibilities of trouble with little more than common or...

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Gilbert Murray amateur fraud? Peter Ackroyd Consider this, in our time, as the layman sees it or the helmeted analyst.Your hearing is extraordinarily acute, distant noises are...

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Medicine The decline and fall of the breast John Linklater Some 500 bottlefed babies still die annually of enteritis almost alway s due to the presence in the bowel of...

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Fact and faith Martin Sullivan Two definitions of faith: "Faith begins as an experiment, ends as an experience and is verifiable as we go along." "Faith begins with the...


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End of summer Denis Wood By the end of the summer the garden is a source of boredom and exhaustion. The bright awakening trumpets of autumn are still far' away. The daemon has...

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Juhette's weekly frolic*

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_ For a good many pundits and punters National Hunt racing ceases to exist after the Grand National and only re-emerges from its summer hibernation in November when there's...

"I say, you fellows"

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Benny Green The idea that literature is studied for improvement while books are read for enjoyment is one which lies deep in the puritan soul, and has been propagated by a long...

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Richard Luckett on the man Who thought truth was show biz Sooner or later someone will write a biogra p h y Of Lenny Bruce. Precisely what — if anything. it *ill reveal is...

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Storm in a teacup?

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Peter Ackroyd The Eye Of The Storm Patrick White (Cape £2.95) Even with a bank holiday weekend in which to read the dustjackets, a week which promises the publication of...

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Squalor and Splendour

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Marc Girouard The Victorian City, edited by H. J. Dyos and Michael Wolff, two volumes (Routledge and Kegan Paul E27,00) In . 1801, 80 per cent of the people of Great Britain...

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Books of the occult

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Science and the supernatural Colin Wilson Supernature Lyall Watson (Hodder and Stoughton E3.25. To be published on September 24th) The polygraph, or lie detector, is a machine...

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Alien beings

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I t'ancis King The Timeless Earth Peter Kolosimo (Garnstone Press £2.95) T he Gold of the Gods Erich von Daniken ( Souvenir Press £2.20) D uring the 1960s, a decade throughout...

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Mysterious east

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Alan Hull Watson Vedanta for Modern Man edited by Christopher Isherwood (Mentor Books, New American Library 70p) Sex and the Ocuilt Gordon Wellesley (Souvenir Press 4.:2.601....

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Crime and the occult

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A number of writers of occult fiction would sternly resist any critical inclusion of their work in the category of thrillers. It is not Wholly clear why this should be so: both...

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Another world

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Christopher Gill The Ancient Concept of Pro'gress, and other Essays on Greek Literature and Belief E. f t Dodds (OUP £4.25) E. R. Dodds is one of the few scholars of Ancient...

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Shorter notices

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Chapters Of Experience Douglas Conacher (Muller £2.10) Mr Conacher is dead and well and living beyond the grave. According to his wife who has, with the help of a medium,...

Bill Platypus's

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Occult Paperbacks A strange brew this week, comPounded of palpitations and Profit, superstition and sales. Perhaps no area of publishing has so large a potential audience as...


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Bookend It is uncharacteristic of Messrs William Collins to keep so quiet over such a major project as the official history of Rio Tinto Zinc. Regular readers of Bookend were...

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32 1iEVIEW

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OF THE ARTS Kenneth Hurren on a pitiful farce and two revivals There were few sources of comfort at the Cambridge Theatre for those of us gathered wretchedly together for the...


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Sam and Billy Christopher Hudson Sam Peckinpah is an unpredicta ble film-maker. He made that un deniably impressive Western, The Wild Bunch, tightly-controlled and powerful in...

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Too little, too late Rodney Milnes While cheerfully joining the Chor us of welcome for Scottish Opera on their first London visit, I ° lily question why in eleven years...


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Conspicuous absences Robin Young London Festival Ballet are at a critical turn in their crisis-ridden history. Not the first time of course, nor, I'm glad to say, is it at all...

Will Waspe

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In my fervour to see good in everything, I may just possibly have been wrong last week in attributing those laudatory remarks about Antony and Cleopatra in the Evening...

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Money talks at Nairobi Nicholas Davenport The remorseless way in which interest rates are pushed up by the monetary authorities regardless of the damage they do to innocent...

Tax Credits

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The poverty trap Bruno Stein 'Months of ongoing debate can be expected now that the Select Committee on Tax Credits ba s s submitted its report. The proposals for a tax...

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Skinflint's City Diary

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Told in school Post hoc ergo propter hoe means something like "after it, therefore because of it." It is used to indicate the fallacy that because B follows A, therefore A is...


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Building with Foster Nephew Wilde A long weekend: the very thought of one of these rare events in our calender conjures up in my imagination a period given to lecherous and...