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PORTRAIT FJJ - 2LH , J J _1_1_1 • B ritain sent about 1,400

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more troops to Iraq, the 2nd Battalion Light Infantry and the 1st Battalion Royal Green Jackets, to supplement its force of 10,000. Another 1,200 may be sent too. A man died...

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Rape and justice

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J ustice should not only be done, but be seen to be done, and therefore secrecy in trial proceedings is to be countenanced only when circumstances genuinely demand it. However,...

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L ast week The Spectator interviewed Silvio Berlusconi, and there followed

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a political furore that dominated the Italian news for — well, at least a couple of days. The cause of the crisis was the opinion of Italy's 57th Italian postwar prime minister...

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We might as well admit it: there are times when we are frightened of Islam

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S ince the editor is filling this page with its former occupants, I naturally responded to his invitation by looking back to the days 20 years ago when I filled this hole. In...

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W ith the Hutton inquiry now temporarily in abeyance, and Michael

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Meacher taking off the media heat by realigning himself, politically, with David Icke, how are the embattled understrappers in the communications department of the Ministry of...

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A sad case of schadenfreude

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Andrew Gimson says Gerhard SchrOder has unleashed and exploited his country's latent anti-Americanism, long suppressed by postwar German leaders - I _ 4 ast Sunday I attended a...

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Chirac and the son of Nippon

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Philip Delves Broughton ponders the silence of the French media in the face of revelations that the last three presidents have had second families Paris lyv . ithin the next...

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adonna of the Pseuds

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Tom Utley was suddenly conscious that he admired neither the work of Leonardo nor many other acknowledged masterpieces L eonartio's 'Madonna of the Yarnwinder', stolen the other...

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Ancient & modern

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The death of Dr David Kelly has raised questions about justifications for suicide. The ancient Greeks were equally interested in the issue. Greeks, Like Romans, tended to take...

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I was 12, she was 13

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Rod Liddle on government plans to outlaw the harmless fumblings of teenagers A ccording to a survey reported last weekend in the Independent on Sunday, almost all homosexuals...

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We're winning this war

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Mark Steyn on the remarkable achievements of the Bush administration, and his enemies' remarkable refusal to give him credit New Hampshire T , he emergency dispatcher wasn't...

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Mind your language

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Many people think a runcible spoon is a sort of pickle-fork with a serrated edge. If that is what they call it, then that is the word for it, but it is not the same word that...

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I prefer the tub of lard

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Leo McKinstty attacks the modern obsession with party loyalty and says that Roy Hattersley is a prime offender ir ust after David Hill's appointment as the new Downing Street...

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Banned wagon: global

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A weekly survey of world restrictions on freedom and free trade In spite of our late and grotty trains, it comes as a relief to return to work in Britain. A fortnight in France...

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The Young Fogey: an elegy

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Harry Mount mourns the extinction of young men who wore four-piece tweed suits, including `westkits', and loved the old Prayer Book T jewellery department at , hey're playing...

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Why the British want to reproduce themselves is a question which is as puzzling in its own way as that of the origin of life. Their existence is so wretched, so utterly lacking...

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How we trained al-Qa'eda

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Brendan O'Neill says the Bosnian war taught Islamic terrorists to operate abroad Ful or all the millions of words written about al-Qa'eda since the 9/11. attacks two years ago,...

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The price war is over, and it is time to ask who won

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L ast Saturday the Times raised its cover price to 90 pence, which is what the Daily Telegraph sells for on that day. On Monday it went up to 50 pence, pricing the paper at only...

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The brothers plead their case to Mr Hoaxem and the gentleman in Downing Street

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!the gentleman in Downing Street 'had to receive delegations, but loathed them. It was just like sham marching, he said — an immense dust, and no progress: To listen to their...

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Storm in a Martini glass

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From Giuseppe Masco li Sir: Boris Johnson's and Nicholas Farrell's article in The Spectator (Forza Berlusconi!', 6 September) has created turmoil in Italy. In particular,...

From Chris White Sir: Do not forget that Jay Gatsby

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made a virtue of keeping his mouth shut, something that Silvio Berlusconi would do well to emulate. Indeed, although the Italian premier may be for you 'better than the whole...

Dividing Israel

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From Deborah Maccoby Sir: Douglas Davis writes that the Palestinian leadership has a 'phased plan' which 'stipulates that whatever territory Israel surrenders will be used as a...

From Ruth Tenne

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Sir: Douglas Davis's claims that the Palestinians have a hidden agenda to extinguish Israel is based on distorted facts and a cavalier approach to the truth. The fact of the...

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From lima Tysoe Sir: By refusing to keep silent about

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the horror that terrorists daily visit upon Israel and are beginning to visit upon the West, Douglas Davis has redeemed my faith in intellectuals; by carrying his article, The...

Still missing

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From Brian Christley Sir: The fact that we have been unable to find war criminals in Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, or any WMD ('Catch me if you can', 6 September),...

Language reformation

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From Dr David Dendy Sir: Noel Gale concentrates too much on Henry and not enough on his successors (Letters, 6 September). Under Edward, Elizabeth and James 1/VI, the Anglican...

Can't get the staff

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From Fit Lt Gavin Outteridge RAF Sir: As an Oxford graduate and RAF officer with substantial experience, if not of cleaners, certainly of scouts and batting staff. I must take...

Blunt warning

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From Mr Alexander Nekrassov Sir: Your political editor Peter °borne was one of the passionate critics of the Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, who challenged the leadership of lain...

Quick to emote

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From Denis Vaughan Sir: Peter Hughes's brilliant summary of emotion as organic distinguished from sentiment as processed (Letters. 30 August) could be expanded a little....

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Savaging the author is replacing hunting the fox

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T he phenomenon of Martin Amis puzzles and intrigues me. He seems to arouse a passion and hostility based on envy that are quite incommensurate with his literary importance or...

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The great escape from other people

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Michael McMahon goes skinny-dipping high in the Spanish Pyrenees T here is rust on the griddle of the barbecue, dust on the shoulder of the Pimm's bottle and must in the air in...

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A bit too perfect

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Lucy Vickery I f Australia, as a nation, is negotiating late adolescence, cocksure but fragile, striving to establish its identity, then New Zealand is a child: clear-eyed,...

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The big game hunt

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Aidan Hartley W hen I return to Kenya, this is the true story I'm going to tell my muckers over a round of welcome home Tuskers. In London, in the fair postcode of W12, I use a...

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Places that suck

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Michael Hanlon A nother summer over and, once again, the question forms in my mind: where not to go on holiday next year? It seems a silly question — for the list, surely, is...

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Knights to remember

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Justin Kerr-Smiley rro the romantic, Malta smells of thyme and fig; to the cynic, tar and goat — but, whatever a traveller's disposition, he can't deny that the country's place...

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Surfing hopefully

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Clare de Burca Mmmm. Got lovely new mini-break brochure: Pride of Britain: Leading Country House Hotels of the British Isles. Marvellous. Going through all the pages one by one...

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Changing fortunes in the shifting sands

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Raymond Carr THE AMERICAS by Felipe Fernandez - Armesto Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £12.99, pp. 235 ISBN 0375504761 F elipe Fernandez-Armesto is our leading philosophe. As an...

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Rumour rushing like a backdraught

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Nicholas Seddon BY PERMISSION OF HEAVEN: THE STORY OF THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON by Adrian Tinniswood Cape, £20, pp. 330, ISBN 0224062263 B lamestorming' may be a new entry to...

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Doubting Thomas Arnold

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A. N. Wilson A VICTORIAN WANDERER by Bernard Bergonzi OUP, £25, pp. 248, ISBN 0199257418 R eaders of Rose Macau lay's Told by an Idiot will recollect the opening paragraph in...

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Legal daylight robbery

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Michael Davie THE MURDOCH ARCHIPELAGO by Bruce Page Simon & Schuster, £20, pp. 480 ISBN 0743239369 p eople who worked with Bruce Page in the 1960s, when he ran the old Sunday...

Polite, loyal and refined

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Robert Stewart CAPITAL OF THE MIND: How EDINBURGH CHANGED THE WORLD by James Buchan John Murray, £20, pp. 436, ISBN 0719554462 jr ames Buchan's book has an arresting subtitle...

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When should you enter the fray?

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Carole Angier CHARLIE JOHNSON IN THE FLAMES by Michael Ignatieff Chatto& Windus, 414.99, pp. 164 ISBN 0701176075 B efore The Reader, the German author Bernhard Schlink wrote...

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Laughter ringing in our ears

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Hugh Massingberd ADVENTURES OF A SUBURBAN Boy by John Boorman Faber, £20, pp. 304 ISBN 0517216951 S ir Michael Jagger apparently introduces his fellow Rolling Stones — all...

Spiced up with a spot of doomsday

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Donald Michie ADAM'S CURSE: A FUTURE WITHOUT MEN by Bryan Sykes Bantam Press, £18.99, pp. 310, ISBN 0583050045 F rom boyhood I recall Thor Heyerdahl's wonderful K011 Tiki:...

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Sedition, stylishly dressed

The Spectator

Steve King MILLENNIUM PEOPLE by J. G. Ballard Flamingo, £16.99, pp. 294 ISBN 000225848X iir .G. Ballard's latest novel, like Cocaine Nights and Super-Cannes, the two...

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The Tony Blair of the 1930s

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Michael Bloch THE PEOPLE'S KING: THE TRUE STORY OF THE ABDICATION by Susan Williams Allen Lane, £16.99, pp. 375, ISBN 0713995734 M uch has been written about the abdication of...

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Glimpses into the abyss of time

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Robert Macfarlane THE MAN WHO FOUND TIME: JAMES HUTTON AND THE DISCOVERY OF THE EARTH'S ANTIQUITY by Jack Repcheck Simon & Schuster, £15.99, pp. 247 ISBN 0743231899 T he...

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A brave stance to take

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Anita Brookner ELIZABETH COSTELLO by J. M. Coetzee Seeker and Warburg, £14.99, pp. 233 ISBN 0436206161 E lizabeth Costello is a celebrated writer and thinker who is invited to...

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Swimming pool or work of art?

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Martin Gayford on why we are keen to splash out on community projects yet spurn buying pictures 0 ne of the most amusing broadcast moments of the early 1990s was a radio debate...

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Tweaking and tinkering

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Laura Gascoigne The Impossible View? The Lown; until]] January T he Sunday painter can sit in a beauty spot and paint the view 'as we have learned to see it in the travel...

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Lyrical celebration

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Andrew Lambirth Paul Nash: Modern Painter, Ancient Landscape Tate Liverpool, until 19 October T here's a school of thought which denies the very existence of such a thing as...

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According to conscience

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Mark Steyn Tears Of The Sun 15, selected cinemas TT ars Of The Sun opens with footage of a i_ coup in progress and an accompanying voiceover by a British reporter in that...

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Double trouble

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Toby Young Ross Noble Garrick Al Murray Latchmere T have to confess. I wasn't a particular fan tof Ross Noble before catching his standup act last week. With his Seventies...

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Quiet genius

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Harry Eyres on the films of the Basque-born director Victor Erice I T first saw The Spirit of the Beehive soon it first came out in 1973 (I must have been 16 or 17). This was a...

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Problematic Prokofiev

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Michael Tanner War and Peace The Proms I : st Saturday's Prom performance of Prokofiev's War and Peace was dedicated to the memory of Susan Chilcott, who died two days...

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Mythical attraction

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Peter Phillips Elestival themes require a tacit agree ment between the organiser and the public that in the interests of experiment there will be dross as well as old...

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Natural decency

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Michael Vestey A fter hearing a Muslim praising the 9/11 hijackers on Today on Radio Four this week, I realised that people like him are so warped and mentally shackled by...

Chaucer triumph

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James Delingpole M y Spectator never arrives before Friday, annoyingly, but just in case you get yours a day earlier here's what you must do: cancel any engagements you might...

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Cheap and cheerful

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Simon Courtauld T am ashamed to recall that, ten or so lyears ago, to accompany an article written for Harpers & Queen on, I think, some of the food to be found on the coasts...

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Vienna lost in time

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Taki Gstaad T here seems to be a touch of autumn in the air, a damp, still greyness. How quickly summers drift away nowadays. Typically, my boat is just about ready to be...

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Safety first

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Jeremy Clarke S ophia was such a very large lady, the seatbelt of my car, even when fully extended, wasn't quite long enough to go round her, She insisted on wearing it though,...

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S o, back to Crouch End after a fortnight in Brittany,

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where I spent much of the time in the wonderful hypermarkets — E Leclerc, Champion, Geant — admiring the fabulous fish counters, until the crabs started to scrabble disgustingly...

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A Classified View

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Lost and Found in Umbria Matthew Bell writes: Whose who remember the 1980s may have 1 chosen to forget the origins of the English obsession with Tuscany. John Mortimer's 'A...

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Freddie wows the Oval

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MICHAEL HENDERSON A bloated summer of international cricket ended beautifully at the Oval when England beat South Africa in the most improbable manner to level the series 2-2...

Q. Like an earlier correspondent this summer, my wife and

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I find ourselves in the invidious position of being asked, very much as an afterthought, to the wedding of friends to whom we considered ourselves close. Worse, on the grounds...

Q. My wife and I have an ongoing conflict about

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entertaining during the summer. She likes to entertain outdoors by the pool and on the patio. While I am not too fond of sitting in the heat, my primary objection is not to the...

Q. I have been invited to spend a week on

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a friend's .. . this is the trouble. I don't know whether to say yacht or boat. Can you put me straight, Mary? Or should I write to Taki? B.P., Wootton-under-Edge,...