14 JUNE 2003

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M r Gordon Brown, the

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Chancellor of the Exchequer, told Parliament that only one of the five economic tests that would allow Britain to join the eurozone had been met; this was whether the City of...

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Bloody ridiculous A ny day now, you can expect Downing Street to announce that there will be a public inquiry into the Third Crusade. Did Richard the Lionheart exaggerate the...

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ne of the most exquisite houses I know lies at

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the head of a valley in Cranborne Chase in Wiltshire. It is not so much the 18th-century architecture of Ashcombe, though it is the surviving portion of a once-grand country...

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Why Gordon Brown can't recommend euro entry this side of the election

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T he late Tony Bevins, whose final public act was to resign on grounds of principle as political editor of the Daily Express the moment Richard Desmond bought the paper, was a...

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Some are more guilty than others

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Rod Liddle says that Labour wants to keep Jeffrey Archer in jail because he is a hate figure from the days of Tory hegemony D ig up the cricket pitch and chain yourself to the...

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The Trot skyists

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of the Right Aidan Rankin says the trouble with the Tories is that many of them are as absolutist, and as blinkered, as Dave and Deirdre Spart T he euro is back in the news...

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It's going to be sunny, or rainy

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Ross Clark forecasts that in spite of its new 1150 million headquarters the Met Office will still get the weather wrong G uests invited to the official opening of the Met...

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How to win votes for the B\P

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James Cartlidge says that positive discrimination is negatively discriminating against a whole generation of non-racist whites T he following statement appears on the website of...

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Ancient & modern

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Chancellor Brown has identified our national genius with 'enterprise and inventiveness, our tolerance and belief in liberty, fairness and public service — and our...

The grim reefer

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What do you get when you prohibit cannabis? Skunk. And, says James Delingpole, the hybrid dope is driving people crazy T . hey say that if you can remember where it was you had...

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Hurrah for the sexual revolution! How frustrating and dull life was before it! Men — I use the word loosely, to include women —were expected not to act upon all their sexual...

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Mind your language

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Veronica has been playing Hail to the Thief I won't say non-stop, but as obsessively as one of those South American birds in the zoo that hasn't got a big enough run and keeps...

Language barriers

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Peter Jones says that universities are becoming factories of jargon and illiteracy I , n his essay 'Politics and the English Language' (1946), George Orwell laments the...

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How the battle lies were drawn

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The WMDs haven't turned up. In 1999 there was no genocide in Kosovo. But, says Neil Clark, Tony Blair has never allowed the facts to get in the way of a good war I _ f you ever...

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Banned wagon: global

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Sir Edmund Hillary has demanded that the Nepalese government closes Mount Everest for a few years to 'give it a rest' and thereafter opens it only to serious climbers. Tourists...

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Publish or be damned

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If dons don't churn out books and articles — whether they want to or not — they will lose funding. Rachel Johnson wonders whether that's what education is about 0 ur rendezvous...

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House Dickensian ravens croaking in fatal battlements

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I have a secret desire to own a raven. Perhaps 'own' is the wrong word. A raven has a habit of owning you. They will never be pets, though they accept a form of domestication...

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'Whigs' against the EU

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From Mr Adrian Hilton Sir: Chris Patten CI am a Tory to my toes', 7 June) makes much of his 'deepest loyalty' to the institutions of the United Kingdom, but fails to reconcile...

In search of Wilson

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From Mr Joe Haines Sir: A mildly complimentary reference in my book, Glimmers of Twilight, to Philip Ziegler, the official biographer of Harold Wilson, contained the caveat that...

Burners of the White House

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From Mr C.D.C. Armstrong Sir: No doubt Paul Robinson (`Land of the free', 31 May) is right to extol Canadian military prowess. However, he goes too far when he asserts that the...

From Mr William MacDougall Sir: Paul Robinson in his excellent

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article could have been even kinder to Canada. He could also have mentioned that my homeland is spared America's sick obsession with guns and its still appalling racial...

Jews aren't a 'race'

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From Mr Alexander Home Sir: I was amazed to see a man as politically correct as Simon Evans (Letters, 7 June) refer to the 'Jewish race'. Such a comment would be expected from...

Not so enlightened

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From Professor Peter Geach Sir: According to Harry Mount (Books, 31 May), Anthony Grayling thinks that science always wins as it did in the days of the Enlightenment. Among the...

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What a lovely war!

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From Mr Allan Massie Sir: Robert Macfarlane (Books, 7 June) quotes Bill Bryson as saying that J.B.S. Haldane 'perhaps uniquely among human beings .. found the first world war "a...

Guardsman Bush

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From Mr John Wilcock Sir: Taki's wearisome repetition of 'draft dodger' to preface our last president's name is more than a little tired. Why does he not apply the same epithet...

Music review

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From Mr Esteban Buch Sir: Philip Hensher's review (24 May) of my book Beethoven's Ninth: A Political History is not only excessive but also too inaccurate to be taken as the...

Travelling incognito

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From Mr Gordon Rees Sir: Stanley Baldwin was another prime minister who regularly used public transport (Letters, 7 June). Taking the train to his Bewdley constituency one...

Winston's offer to France

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From Mrs Laura Garratt Sir: Lord Deramore (Letters, 7 June) says in criticising John Major that we must be thankful that he was not prime minister in 1940. I seem to recall that...

The power of Archer's pen

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From Mr John O'Byrne Sir: I wouldn't necessarily agree with you that the author of such works as Kane and Abel and A Quiver Full of Arrows is a bad writer (Leading article, 7...

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Why the world would be better off if Saddam were still in power

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hat would you have done? Would you have left Saddam Hussein in power? The inquiry, familiar to all of us who opposed the war, is put in a finger-stabbing sort of way — as though...

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Why was the Times so eager to do

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the government's dirty work? he Times's campaign against the billionaire businessman Michael Ashcroft is now largely forgotten. At the time it was a sensation. In the summer...

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When information of a financial nature means that there is no free lunch

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T he Midland Bank had a lofty boardroom and, at one stage in its decline, a dashing new finance director. He got his turn to speak in order of seniority, and three dozen...

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The humbling of Homo sapiens

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If genes of mice and men are the same, how do the species differ? By Matt Ridley cientists are not interested in facts. What they like is ignorance. They mine it, eat it,...

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Stories that came true

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Michael Moorcock T'm rather hoping that some of the stolries which appeared in Science Fiction Adventures during the early 1960s don't come true. Though its title suggests...

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PC goes planetary

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Michael Hanlon O ne way to throw an astrologer into confusion — well, even more confusion than that under which they normally labour — is to find a new planet. When Clyde...

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Language, learning and logic

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Carl Gierstorfer E veryone knows that the Earth is not at the centre of the universe and that mankind has descended from the apes. But what about this: according to the latest...

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Time for Tories to turn Green

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Zac Goldsmith U ntil quite recently, if it could be found at all in shops, the Ecologist magazine, which I edit, would invariably have been wedged somewhere between Motor...

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Small cause for concern

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Roger Highfield n nce again we have the Prince of Wales to thank for alerting us to the latest apocalypse that scientists are planning to unleash upon mankind. Having attacked...

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The once and future president?

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George Osborne THE CLINTON WARS by Sidney Blumenthal Penguin, £25, pp. 822, ISBN 000670912042 A friend of mine recently sat next to Bill Clinton at dinner. She was dazzled by...

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Long ago and far away

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Byron Rogers AT WAR WITH WAUGH by W. F. Deedes Macmillan, £12.99, pp. 134. ISBN 1405005734 W .F. Deedes, impelled inexorably by Private Eye and the Daily Telegraph towards...

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Cunning little vixens

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Olivia Glazebrook THE STRANGERS AT THE PALAZZO D'ORO by Paul Theroux Hamish Hamilton, £14.99, pp. 242, ISBN 0291141974 A 21-year-old American student, Gilford Mariner, is...

The Third and Fourth Estates

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Gerald Kaufman OBSCURE SCRIBBLERS: A HISTORY OF PARLIAMENTARY JOURNALISM by Andrew Sparrow Politico's, £20, pp. 238, ISBN 1842750615 1 t was as recently as 1971 that the House...

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Lone wolf in Los Angeles

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Michael Carlson LOST LIGHT by Michael Connelly Orion, £17.99, pp. 360, ISBN 0752856561 M ichael Connelly is best known for his thriller Blood Work, which Clint Eastwood filmed,...

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Beating the old man with his own umbrella

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Graham Stewart THE BRITISH POLITICAL ELITE AND THE SOVIET UNION, 1937-1939 by Louise Grace Shaw Frank Cass, £39.50, £18.50 (paperback), pp. 210, ISBN 071465398510714683337...

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That's enough Cumbria

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Paul Routledge CROSSING THE LINES by Melvyn Bragg Hodder, £17.99, pp. 490, ISBN 0340829656 y ou have to admire the man's persistence. Melvyn Bragg is determined to push Cumbria...

When is an accident not an accident?

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Patrick Skene Catling FATAL ERROR: CONFESSIONS OF AN ACCIDENTAL KILLER by Thomas Munch-Petersen Short Books,17.99, pp. 188, ISBN 1904095453 A s Thomas Munch-Petersen points out...

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The insecurity of battling Barbara

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Julia Langdon RED QUEEN: THE AUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY OF BARBARA CASTLE by Anne Perkins Macmillan, £20, pp. 499 ISBN 0333905113 T here is one remarkable impression that recurs on...

A forum for discussing freedom

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M. R. D. Foot IN VICTORY, MAGNANIMITY: A HISTORY OF WILTON PARK by Richard Mayne Whitehall History Publishing/Frank Cass, £30, pp. 424, ISBN 071454337 H einz Koeppler had a...

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Wolf in sheep's clothing?

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John Gross THE DOUBLE LIFE OF DOCTOR LOPEZ by Dominic Green Century, £17.99, pp. 402, ISBN 0712615393 I n The Merchant of Venice, Gratiano describes Shylock as being possessed...

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How charm came before a fall

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Alan Watkins EDEN by D. R. Thorpe Chatto, £25, pp. 758,ISBN 0701167440 D . R. Thorpe is the Richard Dimbleby of political biography. Like the long departed television...

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An ill wind

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D. J. Taylor SOMETHING MIGHT HAPPEN by Julie Myerson Cape, 172.99, pp. 328, ISBN 0224063928 F ifteen years ago critics used to complain that far too many lady novelists set...

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What little boys and girls are made of

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Hugh Lawson-Tancred THE ESSENTIAL DIFFERENCE: MEN, WOMEN AND THE EXTREME MALE BRAIN by Simon Baron-Cohen Penguin, £16.99. pp. 263, ISBN 0703996714 W hat would the world be like...

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Sounding too good to be true

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Jonathan Sumption TERROR AND LIBERALISM by Paul Berman W Norton, £14.95, pp. 214, ISBN 0393057755 I do not suppose that many people will be reading this book in the...

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On a roll of real charm in Botswana

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Robert Oakeshott ' would like to begin with Ernest Bevin's famous self-addressed exclamation: 'What a turn-up for the book!' It was 1945. He had just been appointed foreign...

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Words fused with music

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Henrietta Bredin on the important relationship between composers and librettists W hy would anyone want to write an opera libretto? The words are generally held to be at the...

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Benet Simon on the extraordinary growth of fanorama and why it is here to stay

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"rot as long as there have been stories, 1: children have incorporated their favourite fictional characters into games and further stories. The Internet's ability to showcase...

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Cold perfection

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Andrew Lambirth Leonardo da Vinci: The Divine and the Grotesque Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, until 9 November rr he word genius might have been I invented to describe...

A conductor's triumph

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Michael Tanner Lohenqrin Royal Opera The latest revival of Elijah Moshinsky's he of Lohengrin is musically speaking a triumph, which once more demonstrates that the most...

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All right on the night

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Peter Phillips Ctoncert cock-ups make good stories, V./until the group in question gets a reputation for them and their bad luck ceases to be funny. In nearly 1,300 concerts we...

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Powerful drama

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Giannandrea Poesio Romeo and Juliet Royal Ballet A lessandra Ferri was in her early twenties when she became an internationally acclaimed interpreter of Kenneth MacMillan's...

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You have been warned

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Lloyd Evans Brand Theatre Royal. Haymarket The History of the Troubles (accordire to my Da) :tricycle I love a good bit of hate but it has to be done properly. Religious...

Running gags

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Mark Steyn A Guy Thing (124 selected cinemas) I don't believe this column has ever discussed the vital cinematic question of the diarrhoea gag perhaps back in Graham Greene's...

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Paint what you know is sound advice for artists, but

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paint what you remember is sometimes better. Since settling here in 1978, Shanti Panchal has drawn on memories of his native Gujarat to develop a distinctive iconography that...

Bossy pants

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Simon Hoggart T never guessed that What Not To Wear Iwould be the harbinger of the hottest new trend in television: bossy women. In WNTW, Trinny and Susannah bossily told other...

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Moving on

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Michael Vestey I n his two-part trot through the history of modern satire. Laughing All the Way to the Ballot Box on Radio Four (Sunday) John Sergeant talked of Harry Enfield's...

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A truly great performance

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Robin Oakley Elaine of a sort is so easily acquired today. Minor celebs can fashion a career from little more than getting out of taxis in short skirts. A couple of gossip...

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Go for the liver

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Simon Courtauld I n France last summer, buying a couple of red mullet in the Cahors market, I asked the fishmonger who offered to clean them not to throw away the liver. With a...

Bewigged buffoons

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Taki CO good to be in London, if only to get .,.3away from the Hillary Clinton publicity machine which has blanketed the Bagel. This shrewd and shark-like operator makes greedy...

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Anger management

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Jeremy Clarke T hepsychoanalyst I'm seeing thinks I'm mad. At least I think she's a psychoanalyst. If I ask her what she is exactly she goes all bristly and reels off some...

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A place of refuge

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Petronella Wyatt T here seems to be some question as to whether Saddam Hussein's two daughters, Raghad and Rana, and their nine children aged between seven and 16 will be...

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I am always delighted by the number of wine merchants who

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queue up to make offers for The Spectator wine club. Heaven knows, it isn't for the money. By the time I have demanded a rapacious discount for readers, insisted on free...

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im y son returned home from school last Friday in something

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of a mood because there had been a supply teacher for the day who had given him a written warning for farting in a Deliberately Loud Manner. I put these last words in capital...

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Now for South Africa

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MICHAEL HENDERSON E ngland took Test cricket to the northeast last week when they 'christened' the ground at Chester-le-Street. It was a great coup for the Durham club, who...

Q. An adored friend, with whom I regularly have lunch,

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always insists on 'supporting' his club. These lunches are deeply enjoyable but, as the member, my friend is the only one allowed to settle the bill. I have tried pressing cash...

Q. I have just received a wedding invitation to which

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is attached a note that reads, 'Wedding list. . . After thinking about whether to have a wedding gift list, we decided not to. If you would like to give a gift, then a...