10 NOVEMBER 2001

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Run! They're stepping up the media graphics attack!!

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M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, in an attempt to further the aims of the war coalition, met the heads of government of France, Germany. Italy and Spain at Downing Street...

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I t is now almost five weeks since the bombing began in Afghanistan. No one could pretend that the campaign has yet met with success. Smart bombs have killed innocents. The...

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While Blair is away at the war, Brown is making steady gains on the domestic front

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PETER OBORNE N ot long before the outbreak of hostilities Roy Jenkins noted that Tony Blair's method of government resembled the rotatory beam of a lighthouse. The Prime...

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M y summer has not panned out as expected, and my autumn has been somewhat clobbered, too. Right now I should have just returned from Amsterdam, having attended the Dutch,...

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Your country needs you, so carry on shopping it's an odd way to keep growing

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CHRISTOPHER FILDES B e patriotic — rush out to the shops. They are keeping the British economy going: the only industry, or so they claim, where employment and investment are...

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Mr Mandelson, Lord Powell and New Labour's Syrian connection

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STEPHEN GLOVER 0 n Thursday of last week a fascinating article by Peter Mandelson appeared in the Independent. It was in praise of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, who the...

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Andrew Gimson hears from Londoners why they still hate the Conservatives — and suggests ways in which the party can win back the voters THE Tory leadership contains 'known...

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Peter Mullen finds that anti-war bishops are in the grip of absurd liberal self-loathing WHERE do most prominent churchmen locate blame for the atrocities of 11 September?...

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Ross Clark on how conservatives are being driven to use European human rights legislation in defence of British traditions IT wasn't so long ago that the very mention of the...

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Rachel Johnson says that the alarming rise in breast cancer means that women should be urged to have their children earlier IT takes a doctor to say the unsayable. We learnt...

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Toby Young wonders whether his taste for 'adult' entertainment means that he is less likely to remain faithful to his wife LAST Saturday night I raced back from the Barbican,...

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Banned wagon

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CONCERNS are often raised about the brevity of the prison sentences served by some serious criminals. But at least the government has moved to ensure that one irresponsible...

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Mind your language

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VERONICA had an essay crisis last weekend, and was trying to fill several sides of lined A4 with splodgy blue Biro on the kitchen table while searching the Internet with the...


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In the age of Christian indifference, Katie Grant admires the zeal of Muslims who are prepared to die for their beliefs AT the risk of being accused of treason and sedition —...

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Second opinion

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I ARRIVED on my ward last week just in time to hear a woman on the television shriek, 'It's disgusting!" I agreed with her completely, of course, though, needless to say, I...

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Jonathan Mirsky exposes the reciprocal relationship between Rupert Murdoch and Zhiang Zemin ON 11 September Phoenix Television, a Hong Kong station watched by millions in...

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Ancient & modern

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EAST has fought West since the Trojan War, but the roots of the current 'war' against terrorism have specific origins unrelated to the Graeco-Roman world: the peculiar demands...

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Muslims in trouble

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From The Revd R.P. Fothergill Sir: As a churchman, I would like to confirm much of what Theodore Dalrymple describes in his article ('The abuse of women', 27 October). In my...

Tories' illiberal leaders

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From Mr Michael Stein Sin Frank Johnson's witty comments on the Tory leadership's unprovoked assault on the Monday Club (Shared opinion, 27 October) are by far the most incisive...

We resentful Scots

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From Mr Bruce Leeming Sir: As we say up here. who stole Tim Luckhurst's scone (`Smack of lunacy', 27 October)? OK, so he doesn't like the Scots, or their temerity in wanting to...

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Catch-22 in the EU

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From Mr Robert Sebag-Montefi ore Sir: David Watkins (Letters, 13 October) says that Britain is in a Catch-22, unable to leave the EU without ipso facto annoying the US and...

Going it alone

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From Mr N.H. Mainptice Sir: In his article (With friends like us. . . 27 October) Andrew Roberts says that the end of empire furnished plenty of examples of local movements in...

Writing about Sir Laurens

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From Mrs Jane Bedford Sir: J.D.F. Jones, the official biographer of Sir Laurens van der Post, claims in his letter (27 October) that he spent 'countless hours' talking to...

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Savers beware!

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From Mr Gordon Lishmun Sir: Simon Nixon decries the life-insurance industry for its failures on pensions (Tensions? I'm not buying one', 20 October). Political parties should...

Ménage a deux

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From Mr C. Francis Warren Sir: John Laughland writes with his usual authority on the huge byzantine complexity of EU politics ('The great Euro-American plot', 27 October)....

Booksellers' cartel

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From Tatiana Wilson Sir: For all of us who are penalised by the 'closed shop' modus operandi of the book chain retailers, it was very reassuring to read Chris Lewis's article...

Soldiers v. spies

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From Mr Andrew Dykes Sir: Andrew Gilligan (`The generals versus the politicians'. 3 November) argues that a state of war gives an enemy 'some forms of protection under...

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There is one thing about war which Clausewitz did not think of, but which Bush must

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FRANK JOHNSON A head of government's natural instinct, in a crisis like this, is to hold meetings of experts: generals, officials and so on. If he is wise, he will also consult...

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The tragic plight of the Don't Knows in the war for civilisation

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PAUL JOHNSON W hat are the motives of those who oppose the war on terrorism? If ever there was a just war, this is it. If ever there was a rational war, this is it. It is in the...

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Nose to the grindstone

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Jo Johnson puts the master perfumer of Chanel to the test Paris 'SO what about a blind test?' I ask. The Nose twitches. The interview was taking an unsanctioned turn. 'You...

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The meaning of luxury

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Craving indulgence Dot Wordsworth 'UNASHAMED luxury!' said my husband suddenly from the depths of his chair. 'What was that — Turkish Delight — or Camay? Or was it Fry's...

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Wholly smoke Stuart Reid CIGARS make me sick, and if I had any sense I'd give them up. But no pain, no gain. I cannot resist what Evelyn Waugh called the 'swagger' of a cigar,...

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Savile Row suits

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Measuring up Jonathan Ray MY wife gave birth five months ago, and I still haven't got my figure back. None of my rarely worn suits meets round my middle any more, and for the...

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War and jewellery

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Romancing the stone Carol Woolton YOU might not think it very important to be a jeweller during a war; hut it's at turbulent times like these that precious stones, necklaces,...

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Fantasy fur

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Catherine Chester Levy I DESPERATELY want one. I always have. My biological clock is ticking away at a ferocious rate. I eye each new grey hair with trepidation. No, not one of...

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Change of gear

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David Lovibond IT's all right for women. In the wasteland of middle age they can console themselves for the disappointments of life with God and gardening. In other times a man...

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Raising eyebrows

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Kate Fassett I AM getting old. My laughter lines have become more hysterical than mildly amused. But until a few months ago I never thought I'd actually try to turn back time....

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If it moves. . .

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Bruce Anderson 'I'VE never eaten sheep's eyes,' said I. This was in an Arab country. and the eyes of the chap I was talking to immediately glinted. 'You're dining at my house...

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In a category all of his own

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David Pryce-Jones ANTHONY BLUNT: HIS LIVES by Miranda Carter Macmillan, £20, pp. 590, ISBN 0333633504 D isbelief is the instinctive reaction to the double life of Anthony...

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The Dave and Posh show

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D. J. Taylor ON BECKHAM by Julie Burchill Yellow Jersey Press, £10, pp. 121, ISBN 0224061917 J udging by its length (about 20,000 words) and its dimensions (a dinky little...

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Why freedom has the edge

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Michael Rose WHY THE WEST HAS WON by Victor Davis Hanson Faber, £20, pp. 455, ISBN 0571204171 A lthough it was possibly a little unwise for Victor Davis Hanson to give his...

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The sensuous curves of Persia

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Parviz Radji THE SPLENDOUR OF IRAN edited by Nasrollah Pourjavady Booth-Clihhoni, £350, 3 volumes, pp. 1680, ISBN 1861540116 h e Pahlavi monarchy which the ayatollahs toppled...

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A virtually real past

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Charles Saumarez Smith 18 FOLGATE STREET: THE TALE OF A HOUSE IN SPITALFIELDS by Dennis Severs Chatto,120, pp. 286, ISBN 0701172797 I only once went to Dennis Severs's house...

Wide-ranging table talk

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Digby Anderson FOOD: A HISTORY by Felipe Fern6ndez-Armesto Macmillan, .C20. pp. 288, ISBN 0333901746 For chow mein with pigeon blood I go to Johnny Cann's Cathay House in San...

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Somewhere between a pat and a lash

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Andro Linklater BILLY by Pamela Stephenson HarperCollins, £17.99, pp. 291, ISBN 000711091X P amela Stephenson is a psychotherapist who has written a biography of her husband,...

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The woman in the black

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Julie Burchill MEMOIRS OF AN UNFIT MOTHER by Anne Robinson Little, Brown, £16.99, pp. 295, ISBN 0316857777 T o a certain sort of male journalist — and Esther Rantzen — the...

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Sparklers and squibs

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Justin Marozzi AN AUDIENCE WITH AN ELEPHANT AND OTHER ENCOUNTERS ON THE ECCENTRIC SIDE by Byron Rogers Auncm, £12.99, pp. 260, ISBN 1854107860 F or anyone unfamiliar with his...

Mocking media madness

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James Delingpole GOING OUT LIVE by Mark Lawson Picador, £14.99, pp. 260, ISBN 0330488600 I once had to review a terrible travel book by Mark Lawson about the most boring...

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Master of the sleepy style

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Jeremy Clarke ROBERT MITCHUM: BABY, I DON'T CARE by Lee Server Faber, f20, pp. 589, ISBN 0571209947 R eporter: 'Mr Mitchum, do you think you will become a cult hero, say, in...

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A hard nut to crack

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Robert Macfarlane THE UNIVERSE IN A NUTSHELL by Stephen Hawking Bantam, £20, pp. 216, ISBN 0593048156 A pparently, an American journalist once went to a New York bookstore and...

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Above all a Spanish tragedy

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Simon Courtauld visits a new exhibition which reveals the horrors of Spain's civil war T he International Brigaders who, in the words of C. Day Lewis, came to Spain 'because our...

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Good impressions

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Alan Powers looks forward to meeting perfectionists at the Fine Press Book Fair I t is a fact that once printing flows in the veins, the addiction is worse than the demon rum!'...

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Pisanello: Painter to the Renaissance Court (National Gallery, till 13 January)

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Graceful allusions Martin Gaylord 0 n the reverse of one of Pisanello's portrait medals of Lionello d'Este, Marquis of Ferrara, a lion is being taught how to sing. He is a...

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War and Peace (Coliseum)

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Slick pulp Michael Tanner P rokofiev's sprawling epic opera War and Peace, rashly based on Russia's greatest contribution to literature, has its admirers, some of them making...

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The Piano Teacher (18, selected cinemas)

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Tune in, turn off Mark Steyn S he was only the piano teacher, but she knew how to tickle an upright. Any young lad who's ever been put through his scales by an unforgiving...

The Royal Family (Theatre Royal, Haymarket)

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The Merchant of Venice (The Pit) Won over Toby Young W hen I first learnt that Peter Hall was directing a play called The Royal Family at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, I...

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The show goes on

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Sheridan Morley says that New York is once again a theatre town N .w York, New York, it's a wonderful town; what's up is up, and what's down is down.' The admittedly very...

Hits and misses

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Marcus Berkmann M y friend H has been on the phone, complaining about greatest hits CDs. He is a dedicated collector of records and CDs, who in the past few years has suffered...

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Young at heart

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Michael Vestey T he Jimmy Young saga at the BBC reminds me that, apart from government, only the corporation is capable of creating such unnecessary problems for itself. Young,...

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Cooking for pleasure

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James Delingpole B cfore I get on to weighty matters like TV lifestyle programmes and Jamie Oliver, I want to touch briefly on last week's Dispatches, which suggested that if...

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Glowing with pride

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Robin Oakley I t was time to accept the natural rhythm of the seasons. Newmarket offered vast fields of largely unraced two-year-olds pitched in by trainers desperate to get a...

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Beyond belief

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Taki H New York uman nature being what it is, it was only a matter of time before thoughts of misfortune turned to thoughts of money. Last week, lobbyists for Larry...

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Terrier terror

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Jeremy Clarke I n 1998, six of us went to France for the World Cup. While we were there we met these extraordinarily friendly French blokes, who persuaded us to go boar hunting...

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Diva pitch

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Simon Barnes YOU can say what you like about sport, but it tends to be a bit short on divas. Some of the women and quite a lot of the men do their best, but very few have what...

Q. Some friends of mine have just bought a grand

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Georgian pile in Gloucestershire. One has a keen desire to have some peacocks strutting the grounds; the other has been warned by a county hand that peacocks are irredeemably...

Q. Close friends have enlisted my help in cramming their

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son for his Common Entrance next year. He is hopeless at science, a subject I myself taught before having children. I am naturally delighted to help the little chap, but have to...

Q. My bachelor brother, now in his late forties, always

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spent Christmas at our father's, who died earlier this year. I was horrified to hear my brother say that he didn't want friends inviting him for Christmas, and that he has...