13 APRIL 2002

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T he Queen Mother was buried in the same vault as

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her husband, George VI, in St George's Chapel, Windsor, after a funeral at Westminster Abbey attended by 25 members of European royal families. Fifty thousand people a day had...

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he world condemnation of Israel for its actions on the West Bank is both disproportionate and insincere. Many of the Arab states routinely indulge in far worse atrocities...

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E New York

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ver since I first came here in 1965, I have loved this city. On my first visit since last September, it now strikes me that what happened then explains obliquely just why I do....

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How Tony Blair tried to muscle in on the mourning

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PETER OBORNE S hortly after the death of the Queen Mother a call was made from Downing Street to an official at the Palace of Westminster about the lying-in-state. The Prime...

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The only tone I am able to adopt

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these days is Victor Meldrew's MATTHEW PARRIS V ictor Meldrew's, apparently, is the tone the Tories want to avoid. But, even as they move in a more receptive direction, this...

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Boris Johnson on the suffering of Zimbabwe's farmers and the indifference of big business Masowe, Zimbabwe FRANKLY, I am a bit nervous. Someone has said get killed, looking all...

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Ancient & modern

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ONE of the Israeli soldiers surrounding the Palestinian gunmen claiming asylum in the (exquisite paradox) church of Christ's nativity in Bethlehem said that they would not...

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Emma Williams on the mistakes that Israel is making in its war against the terrorists Jerusalem A FEW weeks ago an Israeli cabinet minister called on his country to 'do to the...

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The three monotheistic religions are in bitter conflict. Jasper Griffin wonders whether the ancients were not wiser with their polytheism TEN years ago, Soviet communism...

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Mark Birley, owner of the nightclub Annabel's, says that the British don't know how to be casual SOME months ago, I made a decision to change the dress code in Annabel's. For...

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Mind your language

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A FOOTNOTE on the Queen Mother, but first: 'Someone whose opinion I respect,' writes a reader from Johannesburg, 'claims that the word few is Old English for the number eight....


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Fenton Bresler says the families of the Omagh victims deserve sympathy but not support in their private case against the bombers AT 3.10 p.m. on Saturday, 15 August 1998, a...

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Second opinion

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ALL flesh is grass, of course — that goes without saying — but, round here, it is also batteries, coins, razor blades, bleach, 'wraps' of cocaine and heroin, and anything else...

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Neil Clark says that the new liberal imperialism is making the world safe for terrorists and drug-runners 'WHAT is needed is a new kind of imperialism, one compatible with...

Banned wagon

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A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit WHY is violent crime increasing? Because there aren't enough laws? Or because existing laws are not properly enforced,...

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Golden days when Gin Lane led to Clarence House

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PAUL JOHNSON T he most endearing thing about the Queen Mother, and the real index of her demotic appeal, was her association in the popular mind with gin. She thus joins a...

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Strange meeting

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From Mr Amos Oz Sir: Concerning Paul Gottfried's article (Extremism in the defence of liberty', 6 April) about my 'interview with Ariel Sharon', I have one important thing to...

Zimbabwe's plight

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From Sir Albert Robinson Sir: Algy Cluffs article ('Time to deal with Mugabe', 30 March) suggests that Mugabe 'rightly or wrongly' has convinced himself that at Lancaster House...

Happy Bermudans

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From Mr Robert Stewart Sir: I enjoyed the article by Simon Heifer on English emigration arising largely from the policies of the Blair government (`The next great exodus', 30...

Unhappy Alliance

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From Lord Mancroft Sir: Peter Oborne's thoughtful review (Politics, 6 April) of the battle for hunting was not entirely accurate in its every detail. It is correct that the...

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Safety in numbers

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From Mr Keith Scott Sir: Australia inherited the English jury system, as portrayed by Andrew Geddes (Blind justice', 23 March). However, what concerns me as a practising...

Riveting Steyn

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From His Excellency Gha.zi Algosaibi Sir: Mark Steyn (Say goodbye, Yasser Arafat', 6 April), the dismantler of sovereign nations and destabiliser of whole regions, strikes...

The Cyprus problem

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From Myrna Kleapas Sir: There is no country in the world, other than Turkey, which believes that the present status quo in Cyprus is acceptable (Roasted Turkey'. 30 March). By...

Great restraint

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From Dr Robin Daniels Sir: Having been thoroughly depressed (and rightly so) by Theodore Dalrymple and his reflections on the passing of a Britain of honour and self-discipline...

Wagnered out

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From Mr A. Malcolm Sir: Can Michael Henderson (Arts, 6 April) explain why he thinks Wagner was a greater composer than, say, Bach, Haydn, Mozart or Schubert? Is Parsifal a...

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How does this pension scheme defy gravity?

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Because you and I prop it up CHRISTOPHER FILDES H ere's something: a pension scheme which seems to be defying gravity. A finalsalary scheme, too, meaning that your pension is...

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The eye of the beholder

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It will take more than celebrity commentators to save British couture, says Colin McDowell THE most distinguished moments in the annual fashion calendar — that frenetic...

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Swing out, sister

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Lucy Vickery 'ARE you here to check in, ladies?' The strict, shrill voice rang out around the reception area of The Sanctuary day spa in London's Covent Garden. My hardworking...

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Easy tiger

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Sam Leith THE relationship between Britain and the United States has been concisely expressed as this: anything we got, they got one bigger. And it doesn't just apply to...

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Poseurs' paradise

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Anthony Torrance THE little harbour is crammed with unimaginably expensive yachts, the quayside is wall-to-wall Hermes and Versace boutiques, and the girls sipping Camparis in...

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Money for nothing

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Gillian Scott IMAGINE sitting down to breakfast tomorrow morning to find a cheque for £3,000 in the post, with a note telling you to spend it all on yourself. Prudent folk...

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Boy racer

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Max Wakefield I WENT to Milton Abbey, a school that was attended by children who had come last in every exam they had ever taken. During rugby matches, pupils who were not...

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Crowning glories

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Carol Woolton WHO would have thought that the glamorous accessory for women this year would be the same as that which adorned their great-grandmothers? In her Golden Jubilee...

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The curse of unresisting adoration

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Af ter Our Mutual Friend, his last completed novel, there is every reason to suppose that Dickens was essentially done. After the publication of that magnificent novel in...

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Soaring close to the sun

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Diana Hendry FLIGHT by Victoria Glendinning Scribner, £16.99, pp. 260, ISBN 0743220285 T he title of Glendinning's novel has less to do with the fact that its hero, Martagon,...

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Fearful beauty and danger

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Man Judd VOYAGES OF DELUSION: THE SEARCH FOR THE NORTHWEST PASSAGE IN THE AGE OF REASON by Glyn Williams HarperCollins, £15.99, pp. 467, ISBN 0002571811 D r Johnson was sound...

The dextrous and the gibble-fisted

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Robert Macfarlane RIGHT HAND, LEFT HAND: THE ORIGINS OF ASYMMETRY IN BRAINS, BODIES, ATOMS AND CULTURES by Chris McManus Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 412, ISBN 0297645978 I n the...

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From Inverness-shire to Kumbum

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Hugh Ma ssingberd PAST FORGETTING by Veronica Maclean Review, £20, pp. 374, ISBN 0755310241 T he title of Veronica Maclean's bracing, breezy and often moving memoir comes from...

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Meat and drink for the imagination

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Judith Flanders THE CHILD THAT BOOKS BUILT by Francis Spofford Faber; f12.99, pp. 212, ISBN 0571191320 I sat on the second stair in our house in a Montreal suburb. The dog...

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Quirky, quicksilver mind

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John Biffen HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW by John Nott Politico's, £20, pp. 350, ISBN 1842750305 A neurin Bevan dismissed political biography: 'I like my fiction straight.' He...

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Whistling in the dark

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Cressida Connolly WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN? by Studs Terkel Granta, £15, pp. 407 ISBN 1862075115 T en years ago I approached a literary agent with an idea for a book; an...

Conspiracies galore

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Charles Mitchell N o doubt the officers of Her Majesty's Secret Service would like to weave supersubtle webs of deception and bluff to ensnare the opposition, if only for the...

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Leaving his heart with the dead

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Benji Wilson WHO'S WHO IN HELL by Robert Chalmers Atlantic Books, £12, pp. 272, ISBN 1903809991 N ewspaper obituary notices used to be paper gravestones until Hugh Massingberd,...

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Shrouds have no pockets

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P.J. Kavanagh HEAVEN Peter Stanford HarperCollins, £1799, pp, 374, ISBN 0002571013 T his interesting book gives an odd impression of having been written by two people, and...

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Deserving a small place in history

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Kevin Myers PUBLIC SERVANT, SECRET AGENT by Paul Routledge Fourth Estate, £16.99, pp. 392, ISBN 1841152447 S o who did murder Airey Neave, Margaret Thatcher's closest political...

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A pantomime with real bombs

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Alan Wall HATCHETT AND LYCETT by Nigel Williams Viking, £10.99, pp.424, ISBN 0670912557 0 ne of the problems all historical fiction confronts is usage. At its most parodic the...

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Stop being so tight-fisted

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Martin Gayford has some advice for the new directors of our museums M any years ago, some people I know took a long walk in Suffolk to the site of Sutton Hoo. At the end of...

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Tiaras (Victoria & Albert Museum, till 14 July) What a lot of sparklers Selina Mills E dward Burne Jones once said that, if you didn't want to swallow a jewel when you saw...


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Tristan und Isolde (Royal Opera House) La Vestale (Coliseum) Haitink triumph Michael Tanner T he Royal Opera's revival of its 2000 production of Tristan und Isolde is notable...

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The Full Monty (Prince of Wales) South Pacific (Olivier) My One and Only (Piccadilly) American rip-off Toby Young W atching The Full Monty — a musical version of the 1997...

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Live compromise Peter Phillips W hen is a live recording not a live recording? And what is gained when it is live? The answer to the second question, if it were done as the...

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Voices for freedom Stuart Nicholson S oul of Things, a new album from the Munich-based ECM label, provides an answer to a question jazz fans have been debating since 1959. The...

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Pauline and Paulette (PG, selected cinemas) Take four sisters Mark Steyn I t occurs to me I don't review enough films about old Flemish women. My mother happens to be an old...

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At home with the Forsytes Simon Hoggart F irst things first, and so we must acknowledge that the new Granada production of The Fors - yte Saga is very good indeed. I've...


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Victory against the odds Michael Vestey B roadcast at last, The Falklands Play on Radio Four last Saturday did not disappoint and was really quite gripping. The play was...

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The turf

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Sense of purpose Robin Oakley S tand on the top of Tom George's gallops and you can feel you own the world. You can experience, too, quite a nasty jab from the green-eyed god...

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High life

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Natural friendship Taki T h New York e first friend I made when I arrived in the then merry old England during the swinging Sixties was a cherubic, incredibly pink, forever...

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Low life

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Looking different Jeremy Clarke I cut my face shaving the other day, quite badly, up near the cheekbone. If I'm not more careful, I'm going to cut my head off one of these...

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Singular life

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Trouble in Marrakesh Petronelia Wyatt T he donkey and its car-load full of wood was barring the way down the narrow dust-strewn Moroccan street. We were late. Our table at...

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AFTER all that grumbling about this job turning out to

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be rubbish and not being sufficiently appreciated and all those years of training at the LSC going to waste and never getting a single fan letter or anything, I suddenly...

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Matt Bannerman HENRY O'DONNELL, champion swimmer of all Donegal, took four hours to swim the ten miles to Tory Island, and six to swim back again, a disparity due more to the...

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Diaz, Drew and me, too

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Patrick West BRENTFORD is one of those places that the press is fond of calling 'unglamorous'. Driving towards Heathrow, one can discern its presence by six grey-brown...

Q. How much body contact and heavy breathing should one

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have to tolerate from an optician in the course of an eye-examination before feeling justified in complaining of sexual harassment? A.S., Horsham, West Sussex A. A certain...

Q. I am a quite successful artist and have regular

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West End exhibitions. Unfortunately. I also have a very rich sister-in-law who thinks she is helping my career by buying up quantities of rny pictures at each show, often under...

Q. In The Spectator last year (22 September) a correspondent

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wrote about the 'mystery dog's-mess vigilante' of Wiltshire who spraypaints dogs' messes with fluorescent paint. Here is a further suggestion along the same lines. Carry a small...