12 APRIL 2003

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PORTRAIT rJH F I J r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, held

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talks at Hillsborough Castle outside Belfast with President —George Bush of the United States. Mr Bush said that the United Nations should play a 'vital role' in the...

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Iraqis back to Iraq

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1 t is to be hoped that the American forces establishing control of Bagh dad will leave until last the Iraqi information ministry. Nothing would complete the humiliation of...

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Kabul T he place to stay in Kabul is beyond a doubt the GarKlamack Lodge. It would be idle to pretend that it possesses all the creature comforts of the Paris Rio, but it is...

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Is that a weapon of mass destruction or a tin of feta cheese?

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wonder which agency will he awarded the contract for planting various weapons of mass destruction in some cubby-hole on Iraqi soil, now that it is evident that the Iraqis...

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The Questing Vole I n a speech about domestic security, delivered

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to New York's John Jay College last week, the Home Secretary announced, 'An important part of my visit this week has been to go to Ground Zero, not in a morbid or macabre way,...

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Encore for the Gordon and Prudence Show, but it's nearing the end of its run

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ne more Budget, and Gordon Brown will overtake Nigel Lawson's record and go on to challenge Gladstone. He is coming up for his seventh year as Chancellor and by now we know the...

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The end of the beginning

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Syria and Iran are preparing to launch a terrorist campaign against coalition forces, says Michael Ledeen. The only answer is regime change in both countries Washington DC T...

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Tony Blair's Syrian connection

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T °nYBlair has staked much of his personal and political prestige on attempting to tame the young Syrian President, Bashar Assad. His hard work has been rewarded with...

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The hero of

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Baghdad Mohammed Said al-Sahaf has been entertaining the world for the past three weeks. Kim Sengupta profiles Saddam's minister of information Baghdad w r e shall slaughter...

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Pax Americana

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William Shawcross says Europeans are hypocritical, isolationist and deluded in their attempts to hobble the greatest power on earth T _ ony Blair has played a blinder on Iraq,...

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Ancient St modern

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Wilfred Owen is always quoted in times of war, especially his poem ending `. . . you would not tell with such high zest/To children ardent for some desperate glory/The old Lie:...

Anglican miracle

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The C of E has got its act together, says Damian Thompson, and the recently fashionable RC Church is looking increasingly sad T , en years ago, a priest at the Brompton Oratory...

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Mind your language

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'But I don't know the first thing about it,' I said to my husband. 'Well?' he replied, unkindly. What I didn't know the first thing about, on this occasion, was Arabic, as I...

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The Arab street

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Andrew Gimson visits the Edgware Road and discovers resentment between Middle Eastern shopkeepers and noise-sensitive residents L : ondoners have no need to travel to Baghdad,...

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The Islamification of our law

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Roger Scruton fears that liberal absolutism threatens our ancient liberties in much the same way as Muslim fundamentalism Nv orld events are delivering an important lesson in...

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Banned wagon: global

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A weekly survey of world restrictions on freedom and free trade The US is not the worst country in the world for blocking free trade, yet a vast gulf exists between what it...

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A moral politician

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From Mr Alastair Campbell Sir: Peter °borne ('The special relationship between Blair and God', 5 April) reiterates the observation that Tony Blair is the most religious prime...

An immoral war

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From Mr Jonathan Guinness Sir: Stephen Glover's suspicion (Media studies, 29 March) that those who oppose the war with Iraq 'hope for the worst' is offensive. The case against...

My fight against the EU

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From Mr Peter Hitchens Sir: Donna Sherwood (Letters. 5 April) beautifully demonstrates the irrational position of pro-war conservatives. She describes me as a 'deluded fool',...

Oil contracts in Iraq

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From Mr Graham Hay Sir: I agree with Rod Liddle ('Blood, oil, tears and sweat', 29 March) that British contractors should have been allowed to bid for reconstruction in Iraq,...

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Rowse's other pursuits

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From Mr Robert Triggs Sir: Dr A.L. Rowse's 'pursuit of Prick'. (A.N. Wilson, Books, 29 March). was sometimes employed to ruthless effect. As a senior fellow of All Souls, he...

Parkas and Purple Hearts

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From Mr John Miles Sir: Your article (The Spectator's notes, 5 April) referring to current barter rate between the US and UK troops struck a chord. In 1953, my battalion, 1st...

Perle of great price

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From Lord Black of Crossharbour Sir: I regret that Taki's habit of lapsing occasionally into absurdly offensive comment stirs me again to respond to him (High life, 29 March)....

Haw-Haw reviewed

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From Mary Kenny Sir: I am in the process of completing a new biography of William Joyce, 'Lord Haw-Haw', with special emphasis on his Irish roots: it will be published by New...

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To improve the human condition, why not sock a philosopher on the jaw?

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his is a strange war,' Sir John Keegan wrote last week. But all wars are strange. Indeed, what is not strange? With age I have realised the truth of J.B.S. Haldane's remark,...

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Relax. It's over. Mr Bush is too smart to risk another war

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hat our troops of 42 Commando, Royal Marines, discovered in Saddam's Basra palace must have shocked even the most modish liberal opponents of this war — especially , the most...

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Hands off my bike

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The police are cracking down on innocent bicycles, says Harry Mount, but doing nothing about MPs with terrorist connections Iv hile I was drinking a toast at a recent farewell...

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Why do they hate us?

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Jasper Griffin THE CRISIS OF ISLAM: HOLY WAR AND UNHOLY TERROR by Bernard Lewis Weide* £12.99, pp. 144 ISBN 029764548X O ne long-established villain leaves the stage, pursued...

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Skulduggery in Florence

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Antonia Fraser SOME BITTER TASTE by Magdalen Nabb Heinen2ann, £9.99, pp. 247, ISBN 0434010545 W hy is it that my heart leaps up when I behold a mystery story by a British...

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When the phoney war ended

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Douglas Johnson THE FALL OF FRANCE: THE NAZI INVASION OF 1940 by Julian Jackson OUP, £17.99, pp. 274,1 SBN 019280300X F rance was at war with Germany from 5.00 pm on the...

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Small but perfectly written

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Alberto Manguel THE DUEL by Giacomo Casanova Hesperus, £6.99, pp. 112, ISBN 1843910322 INCEST by Marquis de Sade Hesperus, £6.99, pp. 92, ISBN 1843910306 THE PORTRAIT OF MR W...

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Outsiders the best of their kind

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Deborah Devonshire SASSOON: THE WORLDS OF PHILIP AND SYBIL by Peter Stansky Yale, £25, pp. 295, ISBN 0300095473 D escribing these two shining stars from the East, who...

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A king of the losers

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Eric Christiansen PER KIN: THE STORY OF DECEPTION by Ann Wroe Cape, £25. pp. 534, ISBN 0224069705 p erkin (Peter) was a name given by his enemies to a personable young man who...

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A dance to the music of London

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Penelope Lively THE MISTRESSCLASS by Michele Roberts Little, Brown, £15.99, pp. 295, ISBN 0316725501 M ichele Roberts writes some of the most sensual prose around in...

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A good man in Africa

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William Deedes TELEGRAM FROM GUERNICA by Nicholas Rankin Faber, £14.99. pp. 283, ISBN 0571216501 A mong the motley of international correspondents sent to cover Mussolini's...

Addis Ababa — civilised

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G. L. Steer (reprinted from The Spectator 12 March 1937) I nAddis Ababa there are 25,000 soldiers of Italy, Savoy Grenadiers, Blackshirts and Eritrean Askaris. There are many...

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Behind the security gates

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Barbara Trapido PEOPLE LIKE OURSELVES by Pamela Jooste Doubleday, £10.99, pp. 302 ISBN 0385601484 p amela Jooste is a breath of fresh air in the often close atmosphere of...

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In the footsteps of Dr Johnson

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Desmond Shawe-Taylor walked from Lichfield to London to raise money for his gallery c a man can be more innoent]3, employed than in are few ways in which (Dr Johnson). Sunday...

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Compelling directness

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Andrew Lambirth John Piper in the 1930s: Abstraction on the Beach Dulwich Picture Gallery until 22 Jutte J ohn Piper (1903-92) was one of the pioneers of modern art in...

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Splendid display

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Giannandrea Poesio A Tribute to Rudolf Nureyev Royal Opera House Phoenix Dance Theatre Sadler 's Wells Theatre T he first time I saw Rudolf Nureyev on stage was in 1966. It...

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Yellow fever

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Peter Phillips I t is clear that to many people in the US the idea of a group of foreign musicians undertaking a concert tour of their country just now is the height of folly....

Welcome rarity

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Michael Tanner Tannhauser Festival Hail Elektra Royal Opera House 7 - 11inhauser has fallen on hard times. It's / rarely to be seen in the opera house, and when it is the...

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Lure of the past

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Mark Steyn The Jungle Book 2 12, selected cinemas rrhe spectacle of various Congressional shills for Disney demanding indefinite extension of the company's copyrights was...

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Looking good

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Toby Young Hitchcock Blonde Royal Court Got to be Happy Bush King Lear Old Vie A s l i n you'd expect from a play about the aster of suspense, Hitchcock Blonde keeps you on...

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Unifying force

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Michael Vestey S omeone at Radio Four last year had the very bright idea of making a programme about the extraordinary queue of people who formed to pay their last respects to...

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Changing dilemma

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Alan Judd M rs Ward, of Surrey, was well pleased with her new automatic Citroen CS V6 estate. Rightly, because it's a very good car. It had, as she puts it, all the whistles...

Hanging around

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Talu New York Elor a man who is supposed to be in Northern Iraq, I'm sure taking my time in the Bagel. No, I haven't turned yellow, it's just that Charlie Glass keeps telling...

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Double trouble

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Jeremy Clarke I was early for the Club Taurino of London's monthly meeting. They usually have it in a central London tapas bar, but the tapas bar was being refurbished, so...

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Where are they now?

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Petronelia Wyatt ' W hat my friends and I want to know is where are all the weapons of mass destruction? Where is the mustard and nerve gas we were promised? Where are the...

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Undue thanks

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Jaspistos In Competition No. 2284 you were invited to supply an imaginary example of a toecurlingly fulsome, snobbish andlor sentimental Acknowledgments page. 'Rosalie is...

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Yob rule

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MICHAEL 1.11.141.r 1 t isn't often that a journalist pays public tribute to one of his peers, but that is my task this week. Simon Barnes. once of this parish, wrote a piece of...

Dear Mary

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Q. My husband's 87-year-old father is greatly enjoying the Iraq war. With an understandable sense of personal invulnerability, he has been sitting in his 'safe house' in...