16 AUGUST 2003

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PORTRAIT _r __J L e ord Hutton began his inquir into the events

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leading to the death of Dr David Kelly, the xpert on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Mr Andrew Gilligan, who had used Dr Kelly as his source for a report on the BBC about the...

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Bring back failure

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I t has become customary to preface any comment on the government's policy on school examinations with a glowing tribute to schoolchildren who have worked hard for their...

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I was sad to hear about the death of Bob Hope, although hitting 100 is a fabulous record — almost like batting 1,000. I worked with Bob several times on his television variety...

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Gilligan has committed the worst crime known to New Labour: he has told the truth

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ROD LIDDLE I don't know if you are fully acquainted yet with that careerist Teutonic harridan, Gisela Stuart. She is one of New Labour's muppets on the now disgraced foreign...

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Why some newspapers will always demonise Andrew Gilligan

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STEPHEN GLOVER hat is the view of the Andrew Gilligan affair at the Frog and Firkin? It is some time since I have been down to the Frog, but I feel I know its ways so well that...

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How Labour has subverted British Intelligence

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Nigel West says that the lesson of the Hutton inquiry is that the government is using the intelligence services for political purposes, and that this Soviet approach is making...

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Weep for Wales

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David Lovibond returns to his Welsh roots and finds poverty and decay I remember Wales: the early start from a sleeping Liverpool, the changes of trains and freezing...

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Banned wagon: global

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A weekly survey of world restrictions on freedom and free trade It didn't take long for the heatwave to bring out the nation's puritans in force. Police, we learn, have told...

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Mind your language

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It is by no means clear to me which words are acceptable in what social circumstances. I mean words from bloody southward. It was, 20 years ago, the case that in the grown-up...

Give me a break

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Philip Hensher was rude about Tracey Emin. Now, he suspects, she is ordering incontinence pads for him 1 t started with some junk mail. I threw it out: I gave no consideration...

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Charming wit or oily Welshman?

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Andrew Gimson on Sir Hayden Phillips, the unfailingly agreeable civil servant in charge of constitutional affairs his name is seldom, if ever, on the lips of the man in the...

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Ancient & modern

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It is fashionable to dismiss the ancient historians' descriptions of tyrannical Roman emperors as so much literary stereotyping. But the evidence offered by. e.g., Saddam and...

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Man of the people

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Mark Steyn says that Arnold Schwarzenegger is not part of the trivial, self-promoting, self-obsessive political club New Hampshire I haven't really followed California...

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Country slickers

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Ross Clark on how the new CAP rules make it profitable for city folk to buy farms and use them as homes — with big gardens ir f the words 'Get orff my land' are delivered in...

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Sex and the City means family values

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Many people have a low opinion of the cult TV soap, but not Mary Kenny, who sees 'the forces of conservatism' in it T he sexually explicit scenes in Sex and the City — now into...

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A reasonable assumption

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You'd have to be mad to believe in a dodgy dogma invented in 1950. Christopher Howse takes a rationally long view of it A nglicans in the United States believe it is a good idea...

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Euan doesn't need to change a light bulb, so a bell rings at Barclays

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.4RISTOP4EP FILDES uestion: how many Bristol University undergraduates does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: none — they just move into MiThmy and Daddy's other flat....

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From la France profonde, troubling thoughts about Marshal Main

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FRANK JOHNSON Nr Pezenas, L Herault T he British who reach here — the Midi — from the pas de Calais through la France profonde at this time of the year think of the histoty...

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Founding Fathers' faith

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From May Ellen Synon Sir: Peter Hitchens (God save the nation', 9 August) is right when he says that the decline in the Episcopalian Church in America is due to its urge to...

Favours from her Grace

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From La/age Bosanquet Sir: Having read Mary Keen's article (Gardener's question time', 9 August), I must defend our Duchess. Together with rny husband we run our small family...

Beeb's boobs

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From Helen Brady Sir: I sympathise with Tom Fort (The rising tide of cliches', 9 August) and his weariness with BBC spoken English. If he would like to experience further BBC...

Muck in your eye

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From C.R. Smith Sir: Yes, you certainly could open the carriage windows under British Rail (Diary, 9 August), but all you got through them, in the days when porters came,...

De haut en bas

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From G.B. Gilbert Sir: I enjoyed Rod Liddle's complimentary article (Thought for the day, 2 August) on the Labour spin doctor David Hill, but has something important been left...

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Hazlitt, Margaret Thatcher and the Chinese oak

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PAUL JOHNSON T he report in Le Monde began `L'Europe meurt de soir I looked out of the window into my London garden, where the rain was pouring down, as it had been all week....

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Two wheels good, four wheels bad

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Boris Johnson offers cyclists an A to Z of how to survive in the capital know what,' I told my publisher the other day, as a light went ping in my head. 'I've got just the book...

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Divided they fall into line

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Lloyd Evans I 've always favoured the ghetto. In the 1980s I lived in Brixton, where the night sky was often tinged with volcanic orange as embittered youths took their anger...

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Transcending tribulations

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Andrew Gimson T here is in London all that life can afford, or at least a great deal more than appears in the newspapers. We know that this modern Babylon, which thanks to the...

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Mr Punch revisited

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Elisabeth Anderson A few hundred yards from the computer a nd high-tech shops of Tottenham Court Road sit two smallish houses. one 18th-century, the other 19th. Step inside and...

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More means better

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Ken Livingstone M atthew Parris recently recounted a Russian fable in which a woman is sent to Hell, but then redeemed by an angel because of one good act in her otherwise...

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Mad, good, and delightful to know

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Miranda Seymour A DOUBLE LIFE: A BIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES AND MARY LAMB by Sarah Burton Penguin/Viking, £16.99, pp. 445, ISBN 0670893994 S arah Burton has picked herself a plum of...

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Blundering in the realm of comparison

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Anthony Daniels BROTHERS UNDER THE SKIN: TRAVELS IN TYRANNY by Christopher Hope Macmillan, £17.99, pp. 288, ISBN 1405005556 B y now it is clear that, with one or two...

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Laughter erupting like lava

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Toby Young DR SWEET AND HIS DAUGHTER by Peter Bradshaw Picador, £10.99, pp. 341, ISBN 03304921260 I n the world of Dr Sweet, an unas suming research scientist, it doesn ' t...

A fate far better than death

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Salley Vickers COURTESANS by Katie Hickman HatperCollins, £25, pp. 343, ISBN 0007113919 A ny woman worth her salt has a touch of the courtesan about her — or wishes she had....

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Too deep for tears

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Michael Glover REGARDING THE PAIN OF OTHERS by Susan Sontag Hamish Hamilton. £12.99, pp. 117, ISBN 024142075 DON MCCULLIN by Don McCullin Jonathan Cape, £17.50, pp. 294, ISBN...

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Left, Right, Left, Right

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Patrick Marnham REGIME CHANGE by Christopher Hitchens Penguin, £5.99, pp. 104, ISBN 0141015675 1 nthis collection of republished polemics, Christopher Hitchens sets out his...

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Not roses, roses all the way

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Jane Gardam LEARNING TO TALK by Hilary Mantel Fourth Estate, £6.99, pp. 160, ISBN 0007166443 W e look out eagerly for anything new from Hilary Mantel, These six stories, with...

Cook's tour with cool comments

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Giles Waterfield THE BOOK OF SALT by Monique Truong Chatto. 412.99, pp. 261, ISBN 0701175222 B inh is the Vietnamese cook to Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in Paris, until...

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Stations of the cross

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Robert Edric PARALLEL LINES OR JOURNEYS ON THE RAILWAYS OF DREAMS by Ian Marchant Bloomsbury, £12.99, pp. 320, ISBN 0747565783 1 an Marchant is a long-suffering, ever hopeful,...

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The spirit is willing . . .

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D. J. Taylor MR GOLIGHTLY'S HOLIDAY by Salley Vickers Fourth Estate, £16.99, pp. 356, ISBN 0007156472 m r Golightly, the male lead of Salley Vickers' decorously written third...

. . . but the flesh is weak

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Harriet Waugh A HISTORY OF FACELIFTING by Duncan Fallowell Arcadia, £11.99, pp. 354, ISBN 19900850796 I 'mnot sure there's such a word as lacelifting . . When starting Duncan...

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The dark side of the Enlightenment

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Raymond Carr FOR THE GLORY OF GOD: HOW MONOTHEISM LED TO REFORMATIONS, SCIENCE, WITCH-HUNTS AND THE END OF SLAVERY by Rodney Stark Princeton University Press,124.95, pp. 488,...

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Bristol's animal magic

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Andrew Lambirth on an exhibition which looks at our relationship to nature 1 t's the height of the silly season, and the capital glows in the unexpectedly seasonal heat. For...

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Finnish fireworks

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Henrietta Bredin T seem to have fallen in love with Finland. 1 This has come as an unexpected and delightful act of bouleversal by a country which, admittedly, for a week in...

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Sensational hoofing

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Giannandrea Poesio Tap Dogs Rebooted Sadler's Wells Theatre I f the four weeks of Kirov Ballet left you longing desperately for something different, worry not. Remedy is at...

Personal morality

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Lloyd Evans Tape Soho Theatre Hamlet Royal Observatofy Greenwich and Middle Temple Clod. I was happy to get into the Soho V Theatre. It's refrigerated and as I sat in the...

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Perfect gentleman

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Charles Spencer O n the rare occasions when I dip a tentative foot into the social whirl I almost always regret it. In the old days I almost invariably got embarrassingly...

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Force for good

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Michael Tanner Stiffelio Holland Park S tiffelio has been one of my favourite lesser-known Verdi operas since I saw its first revival in modern times in Parma at the end of...

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Goofily endearing

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Mark Steyn American Pie: The Wedding 15, selected cinemas W as it last year or the year before that they came out with / Still Know What You Did Last Summer? That was the...

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Listener neglect

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Michael Vestey N o more, it seems, will the jaunty theme tune of The Archers on Radio Four drift through the open window into the piazza in Umbria, whereas, on previous visits,...

Back to basics

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James Delingpole T here was a lovely piece about me in Private Eye this week suggesting that the influence of this column is so powerful that I am destined to sell as many...

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Fat and fresh

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Simon Courtauld y ou don't want to eat plaice, they say in East Anglia, until the corn is in the ear. Others don't really want to eat plaice at all, judging it to be a little...

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Family Courage

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Taki Gslaad I remember it as if it were yesterday. Rodney Solomon, a friend no longer with us, came into the Clermont club all huffy and puffy and dressed in a morning coat,...

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Fair play

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Jeremy Clarke I was running the Whack-the-Malteaser stall yet again this year. My sister put me on it the first year I helped out at the 'fun day' she organises every summer at...

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What, moi, pretentious?

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Jaspistos In Competition No. 2302 you were invited to write a letter gratuitously exploiting an imperfect grasp of foreign languages. As soon as this competition was set in...

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he other morning, with the heat being what it was — phew, what a scorcher! I felt just like Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, minus the looks — I went and bought an...

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A Classified View

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Four play Europe Jane Ardizzone writes: H eathrow, Sunday, three guys and a girl off to five European cities in five days, all business, no pleasure. Tee hee. John and Stewart...

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A whole new ball game

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MICHAEL HENDERSON Cape Cod L ord's one week, Yankee Stadium the next. Both are bastions of long-estabished games, though only one can be considered the true home of the sport....

Dear Mary

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Q. What should you answer when a lady whom you have not seen for 30 years greets you with the question, 'You do not remember who I am, do you?' when you don't? P.S., Cornwall...