11 MARCH 2000

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The police are advised that they should turn a blind eye to men cruising for votes r Ken Livingstone finally announced his candidature for Mayor of London as an independent;...

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Pink champagne, Red Ken and al fresco sodomy BRUCE ANDERSON M r Blair is a pretty straight sort of guy. Well he must be, mustn't he? We have his word for it. So when he...

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JEFFREY ARCHER L ast Friday evening I had dinner with Vanessa Redgrave at the Ivy. She's just fin- ished a successful run of Song at Twilight at the Gielgud. The first time I...

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The strange, moving yank upon our imagination of a sound from the past MATTHEW PARRIS C an we hear a silence? The question has a more-than-Zen significance. I once heard a...

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Peter Oborne says that the peers Tony Blair is about to create will not be independent-minded but dull, available — and servile `EXAMINE the honours list and you can instantly...

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Edward Pearce on why the Prime Minister can't compete against the wit of Hague or the grace of Livingstone LET us not be extravagant. Tony Blair will not fall tomorrow. But...

Banned wagon

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A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit IF George Orwell were still alive, I sense that a tome on the new Scottish parliament would swiftly follow. Sup-...

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Michael McMahon on why it suits the authorities to promote therapeutic drug use among children `POOR academic performance? Take Wizzobrain, the Viagra for the mind, the drug...

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Nicholas Farrell goes drinking with babes who give Roman salutes and blokes who nurse conspiracy theories Predappio SHE was just your average blonde bomb- shell until she...

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Michael Heath

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Charles Clover says landowners can still protect their property from Mr Meacher and his friends YOU may shoot a dog that is worrying sheep. It's not pleasant, particularly if...

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Marc Carnegie says reform in Iran means scarlet lipstick and miniskirts - and sleeping with the enemy SHE wore scarlet lipstick and tight velvet trousers, and took several...

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Mind your language

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I AM full of admiration for the energy of the Revd Jeremy Hummerstone from Torrington, who, though he found the train to London clean and punctual, found the language of railway...

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Lionel Jospin's disastrous trip to Israel proves that the EU is not to be trusted in the Middle East, says Douglas Davis PITY Lionel Jospin. There he was, just 999 days into...

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Avoid small generals, but watch out for tall blondes PAUL JOHNSON T he other day I saw an immensely tall man walking down Westbourne Grove, his head in the air, seeing nobody,...

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There is a Republican cell at the Guardian. And no threats from its editor will stop me saying so STEPHEN GLOVER I n a recent interview in the London Evening Standard, Alan...

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LETTERS Godless criminality

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From Mr Charles FitzGerald Sir: I would take issue with Mr Justin Marozzi's conclusion that the Milton Keynes murder 'probably tells us nothing at all' about 'modem society'...

Bhum from Burma

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From Mr Michael Vestey Sir: I might be able to shed some light on the identity of General Lee Bhum Suk. Matthew Parris is mistaken in thinking that he was Vietnamese (Another...

Instead of Mugabe.. .

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From Dr James Hargrave Sir: I feel that Stephen Goodson's letter (4 March) invites a response from a right- winger who had the pleasure of being enter- tained by Ian Smith in...

From Mr Tony Hafliger Sir: 'But what this grisly murder

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tells us about modem society, the law, youth culture and urban life is another matter,' states Justin Marozzi in his article, and concludes: `The answer is probably that it...

From Mr R.A. Massie-Blomfield Sir: While it is easy to

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write from thousands of miles away and presume to offer an explanation for a murder in Milton Keynes, perhaps I may at least point out what I regard as a contributory factor....

Enemy of the good

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From Mr David Watkins Sir: Perhaps Casablanca does not deserve its legendary status, but Frank Johnson's only argument (Shared opinion, 4 March) for this view is that in 1943...

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Multiplying misprints

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From Mr Keith Jenkins Sir: Mark Steyn's The rise of the FU move- ment' (4 March) was based on a mistake. There was no misprint in the Weekly Tele- graph; we referred to 'EU...

Making up for lost words

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From Mr Stephen Little Sir: I am distressed to read that Peter Hitchens believes the word 'gay' has been stolen (`As funny as an abattoir', 26 Febru- ary), when in fact it has...

Animal and vegetable

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From Mr E.B. Shaxson Sir: Your leading article of 4 March was no contribution to the genetically-modified food debate. You do not come to grips with the fundamental difference...

From Mr Peter Bottomley, MP Sir: Stephen Goodson writes that

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in 1965 Southern Rhodesia could either have capit- ulated to a puppet Marxist regime or have gone it alone. The third way would have been OPOV — one person one vote. It allows...

Reverse Bowdlerization

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From Dr T.P. Hudson Sir: Professor McWilliam's letter about Goldoni's A Servant to Two Masters (26 February) reminds me of a similarly uninhib- ited production of Moliere's Don...

Not one of ours

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From Mr Adrian Aylward Sir: I refer to the letter by Adrian Hilton in The Spectator of 26 February. I should like to make it clear that no Jesuit priest from Stonyhurst was...

From Mr N.C. Cummins Sir: In his 'A lexicon of

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Conservative cant' (19 February) Matthew Parris under 'gay' has failed to note the origin of the word decades ago on the US West Coast. Banners were put up by homosexual...


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From Mr Evan Williams Sir: Jaspistos, your competition setter, says there are no rhymes for 'taxi' apart from `waxy' and 'the unsatisfactory Greek "en taxi"' (26 February). Fred...

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The judge was wrong: Blair's nanny was intruding into the Prime Minister's public life FRANK JOHNSON I t has been seven days of hard choices for those of us who must weekly...

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Silly but not like us Philip Hensher JOHN RUSKIN: THE LATER YEARS by Tim Hilton Yale, £20, pp. 656 ho could read it,' Dante Gabriel Rossetti asked about Unto This Last, 'or...

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Downward flight path

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Mark Archer FALLING EAGLE: THE DECLINE OF BARCLAYS BANK by Martin Vander Weyer Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 277 B y the late 1970s, Barclays had become one of the biggest, most...

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Getting away with it all

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Patrick Skene Catling ON MEXICAN TIME: A NEW LIFE IN SAN MIGUEL by Tony Cohan Bloomsbury, £14.99, pp. 289 T hough Los Angeles has developed the most advanced, time-saving...

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The treason of the American Left

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Maurice Cowling THE TWILIGHT OF THE INTELLECTUALS by Hilton Kramer Ivan Dee, £19.99, pp. 364, available from National Book Network Distribution, Tel:• 0181 332 7514 H ilton...

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Superbly stopping the rot

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Emma Tennant THE LANDMARK TRUST HANDBOOK Published by the Landmark Trust, Shottesbrooke, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 3SW, £9.50 inc. p+p E merson said that an institution is the...

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Intruders in the dust

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John Woods EMBRACE by Mark Behr Little, Brown, £16.99, pp. 590 T his is a powerful, complex, disturbing work. Mark Behr revisits the territory marked out in his debut novel The...

Patron saint of German history

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Alan Sked FREDERICK THE GREAT: KING OF PRUSSIA by David Fraser Allen Lane, £25, pp. 703 S tudents of history are not exactly lack- ing in works on Frederick the Great....

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Navigating the wine-dark sea

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Hugh Lloyd-Jones HOMER: THE ODYSSEY translated by Martin Hammond Duckworth, £9.99, pp. 290 H omer has never lacked readers, and even in an indifferent translation he can...

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More than meets the eye, Watson

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David Hughes TELLER OF TALES: THE LIFE OF ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE by Daniel Stashower Allen LanelPenguin, f18.99, pp. 472 T he ghost of Sherlock Holmes, thank goodness, manages not...

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Victims of intellectual torture Margaret Leclere on how writers can lose control of their work during the making of a film F ilm producers should avoid using the word...

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Chardin (Royal Academy, till 29 May) Out of step Martin Gaylord M essieurs, Messieurs, go easy,' thus Jean-Simeon Chardin, according to Diderot, once addressed those passing...

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What's going on at Spink? Susan Moore T o lose one department may be regard- ed as a misfortune; to lose three looks sus- piciously like carelessness. On 29 February, amid the...

Inelegant and addled

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John Martin Robinson says sloppy labelling has let down the NPG's splendid refurbishment T he 17th- and 18th-century collections on the second floor of the National Portrait...

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Falling sales Peter Phillips T he current woeful state of the record- ing industry, I think, can be summed up as follows: there are more discs available than ever before,...

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Ashton Revisited (Royal Opera House) Keeping the faith Giannandrea Poesio W ithin the contemporary dance world, the term 'revisited' has acquired, more or less appropriately,...

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Side Man (Apollo) Miss Julie (Theatre Royal, Haymarket) Timon of Athens (Barbican) Lament for a lost world Sheridan Morley any days I know, but if we get a better new play...

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Essential changes Stuart Nicholson W ith a new chick based on old brand- names, jazz by the end of the 1980s, had become self-satisfied. As the end of the 1990s approached, it...


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The Insider (15, selected cinemas) Spilling the beans Mark Steyn M ichael Mann's The Insider is a won- derfully smug film that leaves you ponder- ing mainly how problematic...

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A bit of a whinge James Delingpole G od, you have no idea how little I wanted to do any TV reviewing this week. I've just moved house, you see. It's quite enormous with five...

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The right noises Michael Vestey I n her radio appearances since becoming the new controller of Radio Four, Helen Boaden has made all the right noises. Interviewed for the...

The turf

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Festival tips Robin Oakley I have long felt that one of the most underestimated training performances of recent years was Noel Chance's victory with Mr Mulligan in the...

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Food for thought

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Fruit or veg? Simon Courtauld L ike most pubs, no doubt, the one I vis- ited last week had a machine in the Gentle- men's offering a variety of 'flavoured condoms'. Without...

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High life

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Forum for brains Taki Rougemont h ehe Gstaad Symposium society was conceived during an extremely gay (in the old-fashioned meaning of the word) evening in Palazzo Taki as an...

No life

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Ringing up trouble Toby Young I 've just come back from a week's skiing in Verbier with my girlfriend Caroline where, unfortunately, our relationship took a turn for the...

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Country life

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Goodbye to all that Leanda de Lisle I used to enjoy seeing our pig-man scratch behind a sow's ear until she fell over in ecstasy. I loved holding a struggling piglet in my...

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Oh, Calamity! Andrew Robson DO BRIDGE experts ever have unmitigat- ed disasters, entirely of their own making? Human nature being what it is, there is a natural curiosity to...

Singular life

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Tourists v. me in Venice Petronella Wyatt I was in Venice last week. It was an appalling scrum because of the Carnival. Sorry to sound like Wallace Arnold but the sort of...

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I DON'T know what came over me that day. I

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never intended it to happen. But my normally mild-mannered, tolerant self, hav- ing gaily gambolled clear down Ebury Street, stepped into Il Convivio as some- body else. Look...

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RdbN The Ultimate Islay Malt.

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Rd b e www.ardbeg.com CHESS Linares Raymond Keene THIS year's Linares tournament is a superb test of strength. It contains not only Garry Kasparov, the undefeated world...


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Why, indeed? Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2126 you were invited to supply a poem either beginning or ending with a given line. Eddie, the excitable young poet in 'Bliss',...

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1454: Centrepieces by Doc

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A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's award-winning, Late- Bottled Vintage Port for the first correct solution opened on 27 March, with two runners-up prizes of £20 (or,...

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Loose as well as fast Simon Barnes THERE is a line in a thriller in which the hero explains why he is not a lawyer. 'Too many ethics involved."Hell, you really think so?"Mine,...


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Dear Mary.. . Q. At a dinner party the other night, some chocolates were passed around the table. They were a present to the hostess from one of the guests, a chocolate...