11 AUGUST 2001

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M anufacturing output fell in the first two quarters of the year, the technical indicator of a recession. The Irish Republican Army put proposals on decommissioning its arms...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 020-7405 1706; Fax 020-7242 0603 WHERE ARE THE GUNS? S ometimes, the fudging ought to stop. Over the past few...

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Downing Street wants to exploit foot-and-mouth: to vilify farmers and 'modernise' farming

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PETER OBORNE T he principal merit, as far as Tony Blair is concerned, of the reshuffling of Downing Street staff after the general election is that dirty tricks have once again...

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Moving out of Ululand Avenue into the Ritz?

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The terms of trade are attractive CHRISTOPHER FILDES escribed in print as a raffish Harrovian millionaire, a friend of mine was affronted: 'Who's a millionaire these days?...

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Michael Gove says that Tony Blair is wrong to attack economic intransigence across the Channel: France's potent mixture of masculinity and patriotism makes for happy families...

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Mind your language

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A NORTHERN Ireland Unionist was saying on the wireless the other day that the IRA should 'get real'. Considering the murderous havoc that the Real IRA have been guilty of...


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Ross Clark says that next year's May Day rioters are being trained to hate capitalism by their geography teachers BRITISH schoolchildren jetting off to compete in a mental...

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George Trefgarne on how millions of Middle Britons have lost out as a venerable institution has tried to save its skin A MILLION people in prosperous Middle England suddenly...

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Life, liberty and the pursuit of. . . brute creatures. Mark Steyn reports on the Americans who want equal rights for bestiality New Hampshire IN January, Diane Alexis...

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Ancient & modern

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NOW that the dust has settled, it is worth considering why the ancients might have acquitted Lord Archer. Much has been made of Archer's liberal dispensation of Krug and...


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Mary Wakefield writes from experience on the problem of academics whose love for their students may be more than platonic I'LL call him Dr Green. He is a short, plump,...

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Banned wagon

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A weekly stovey of the things our rulers want to prohibit IF there were any doubt that our society now works on a presumption against liberty, it has been made obvious by the...

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Damian Thompson was at the Athenaeum when, between Latin grace and Wrest crab', his host collapsed and died MY friend Brian Brindley had spent months planning a dinner party...

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A wonderfully musical people in danger of losing their identity

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PAUL JOHNSON I fear that the 21st century will see the virtual extinction, as a separate race and culture, of the gypsies. They have survived persecutions as ubiquitous,...

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Poor David Yelland: nothing to offer but bananas, whipped cream and a male stripper called Dean

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STEPHEN GLOVER D R, they or didn't they? Have they or ha‘en't they? I hate, gentle reader, to draw you into a world of which you are probably barely aware. It started with...

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Smuggling is a heinous crime

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From Mr Alan Toft Sir: The campaign to denigrate the efforts of Customs and Excise as it attempts to prevent the importation, by cross-Channel ferry passengers, of quantities of...

From Mr Rupert Fast Sir: Thank God for Andrew McKie

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taking a swipe at the oppressive levels of tobacco duty and the odious practices of Customs and Excise. It is indeed curious that, on this issue, the roughly 30 per cent of the...

Savagery in Chechnya

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From Mr Tahir Nawab Sir: I truly like your articles, but the recent accolades that Bruce Anderson showered on Vladimir Putin (Politics. 4 August) are undeserved and expose this...

Friend of America

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From Lord Hanson Sir: As one who spent almost half his working life in the USA, and who is grateful for its forthright attitude to tackling possible environmental problems in a...

My TMS days

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From Sir Tim Rice Sir: Flattered though I am to be nominated by Mike Taylerson to join the Test Match Special team (Letters. 4 August), I must point out that I have already...

Truth about the Gulag

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From Mr Andrius UzIcalnis Sir: In her article 'The great error' (28 July), Anne Applebaum suggested that political prisoners deported to Russia from the Baltic states were...

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Finding the Celtic tiger

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From Mr C. Francis Warren Sir: For years Ireland has been cited by the press and media as making itself into 'the Celtic tiger' economy. Bruce Anderson rightly said this has...

A wartime compromise

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From Mr Francis Rentoul Sir: Nicholas Farrell ('Why I like the Italian police', 4 August) writes, 'Whereas the British bobby plays it rigidly by the book, his Italian...

Fear of the light

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From Mr David Stung° Sir: Andrew Gimson ('Married to a monster', 28 July) gives the impression that the disease from which Frau Kohl suffered does not exist. Unfortunately it...

Judgment is His

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From Miss Mary A. Lynch Sir: Your correspondent, Mr Reg Brissenden (Letters, 4 August), was quite mistaken in writing 'Evangelical Methodism is regarded as a heresy by the...

The original Zelig

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From Dr Robert Kaplan Sir: Matthew Parris is not quite right in saying that Trebitsch Lincoln met Hitler (Another voice, 28 July). In fact, they came within a few minutes of...

They shall not pass

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From Mr Basil G. Morley Sir: For those like myself who continue to be harassed by television licensing, and John Woodward (Letters, 4 August) in particular, Simon Foot, of the...

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He was a shameless liar and thief. He went to Wormwood Scrubs. He was a lovable scallywag

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MATTHEW PARRIS W hat's the difference between a villain and a rogue? The question has teased me since long before a Newsnight encounter recently with Emma Nicholson, after the...

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That damned elusive PM

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Vernon Bogdanor CHURCHILL: A STUDY IN GREATNESS by Geoffrey Best Hambledon and London, £19. 95, pp.336 ISBN 185282534 CHURCHILL'S WAR: TRIUMPH IN ADVERSITY by David Irving...

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There's life in the old genre yet

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Sara Wheeler THE PICADOR BOOK OF JOURNEYS edited by Robyn Davidson Picador, £16.00, pp.477 ISBN 0330368621 WANDERLUST edited by Don George Macmillan, £10.00, pp.384 ISBN...

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The writing on the blackboard

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Geoffrey Wheatcroft THE ANGLO-ZULU WAR OF 1879, 6 VOLUMES edited by John Laband and Ian Knight Archival Productions, £960.00, pp.3,500 ISBN 190300800X THE SIEGE OF MAFEKING, 2...

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Eyes shining in the dark

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Roy Kerridge MYSTERY CATS OF DEVON AND CORNWALL by Chris Moiser Bossiney, £2.99, pp.32 ISBN 1899383468 I bet you've never even been to Bengal!' sneered a Spectator...

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Talking about action

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Rupert Christiansen DOING IT: FIVE PERFORMING ARTS edited by Robert B. Silvers New York Review Books, £14.99, pp.I36 ISBN 0940322757 H ere is a volume so slim that one wonders...

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bird of youth Frederic Raphael THE SELECTED LETTERS OF TENNESSEE WILLIAMS (VOL. 1, 1920-1945) Edited by Albert .1. Delvin and Nancy M. Tischler Oberon Books, £19.99, pp.581...

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Home town horrors

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Byron Rogers ABERYSTWYTH MON AMOUR by Malcolm Pryce Bloomsbury', £9.99, pp.245 ISBN 0747553858 F or sheer cheek this takes the Garibaldi. In the Aberystwyth I know, the old...

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Three days of intense pleasure

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Mark Glazebrook on the joys of revisiting Munich's distinguished art collections unich is boom town,' said my informative taxi driver on the journey from the airport; and when...

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Two Golden Ages (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, till 16 September) Take two Nicholas Powell G olden age' is such a perfect PR ticket that any exhibition claiming to represent not...

Opera l

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Otello (Glyndebourne) Restrained triumph Michael Tanner V erdi's Otello is as grand an opera as there is, certainly as much as Aida. One doesn't imagine even the most...

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Opera 2

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Jenufa (Felsenreitschule, Salzburg) The pulse of life Michael Henderson H as any opera endured a more painful birth than Jenufa? Janacek completed the score in February 1903...

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One Touch of Venus (King's Head) Nixon's Nixon (Comedy) Staying alive Sheridan Morley T here are lost musicals, then there are eccentric rediscoveries, and then in a class...

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Pop music

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Seeing the light Marcus Berkmann F or better or worse, tastes in pop music tend to be formed in adolescence. The music business is full of men in their forties who grew up...

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Me You Them (PG, selected cinemas) Put up another hammock Mark Steyn I can't remember the last time I saw so many people sleeping at a movie. At Me You Them, I was awake, you...


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Celebration Programme (Royal Opera House) Lamentably lukewarm Giannandrea Poesio T e Royal Ballet's new mixed bill, Celebra donProgramme, bids farewell to the company's...

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Held to ransom Alan Judd A re you happy now, you Londoners who voted as mayor the reasonable-sounding cheeky chappie with daft ideas, Blairbaiting Ken Livingstone, the man who...

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The turf

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Stable confidence Robin Oakley T here may have been rain clouds glowering over the Downs, and the odd fat shower, but Goodwood was as glorious as ever on Saturday. Blessed...

High life

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Age concern Talu B Rougemont ob Hope defined old age as the time when the candles cost more than the cake. This Saturday I hit 65, and I've cancelled the cake. In fact, like...

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Low life

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Undone by chivalry Jeremy Clarke A few columns ago I wrote about Mrs Wilberforce, my son's music teacher. In the column I said one or two things about her I deeply regretted....

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Singular life

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My family and other animals Petronella Wyatt F armers, apparently — at least 27 of them — have received millions of pounds in compensation for losing herds as a result of...

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Blame it on the bull-pen

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Simon Barnes IT has been a summer of nearly, a summer of not-quite, a summer of in-the-end-not-goodenough. I blame the bull-pen. If the various British individuals and teams...

Q. My company has sent me to work in London

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for several months, during most of which time I shall be staying at the Sloane Club. If you will forgive the advertisement, the atmosphere is very pleasant and the staff are...

Q. I am about to join a famous Highland regiment.

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As part of my duties as an officer, I will be required to attend social occasions where there will be a large number of very pretty girls present but where I will have to wear...

Q. At this time of year my husband and I,

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plus three small children, are generally touring round Norfolk and Cornwall staying with family friends. No matter how hard I try, I find that I invariably leave masses of...

Q. With reference to the daily problem of 9 June,

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readers with cleaners who don't appear to achieve anything can often get more satisfaction by instructing them to tackle only one room per visit. In my own home I have...