16 JULY 2005

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PORTRAIT OF THE WEEK M ore than 50 were killed and

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700 injured when four bombs exploded in London on the morning of 7 July. At about 8.50 a.m. three bombs exploded in the Underground: between Russell Square and King’s Cross on...

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No concessions

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T he bombs in London last week killed people of all races and religions indiscriminately — as of course they were intended to. The terrorists who planted them were not...

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W ednesday last week, back when travelling on the Tube was

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no big deal, I was on the Central line on my way to White City to appear on a BBC2 lunchtime business programme whose usual select viewing audience was going to be greatly...

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The Tory beauty contest is enough to bring on an attack of terminal revulsion

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M eanwhile, back at the Tory party, they are still looking for a new leader. Thanks to the perceived brilliance of the Prime Minister — he has fed Africa, secured the 2012...

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O n the whole, I believe in what politicians like to

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call ‘the innate good sense of the British people’, but the reactions of so many friends to last week’s bombings depress me. There is a funny mixture of complacency — ‘We will...

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Just don’t call it war

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Boris Johnson says it is time to reassert British values in the face of extremist Islam I f we were Israelis, we would by now be doing a standard thing to that white...

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No surrender

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Douglas Davis talks to José María Aznar in Madrid about terrorism, multiculturalism and the Atlantic alliance M y obituarist will, please God, pass lightly over my lamentable...

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Don’t treat us like fools

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It’s all very well to boast that London can take it, says Rod Liddle , but there is no excuse for the patronising evasions of the authorities A ccording to all the newspapers...

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Literary courtesan

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Stephen Schwartz on the Albanian writer Ismail Kadare, winner of the first Man Booker International Prize C ultural tourism can be an edgy adventure when promoted by...

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Mind your language

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A recent cartoon in the Los Angeles Times showed a punkish teenager saying to a more conventional youth, ‘I’m bored. Can I shave your head?’ Ho, ho. But then the paper...

Driven cyclist

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Geoffrey Wheatcroft on the miraculous life of Lance Armstrong, who has just embarked on his last Tour de France Pau, France U ntil 1981 no American even so much as rode in the...

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Let them build houses

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We live in some of the world’s oldest and most expensive homes, says James O’Shaughnessy , and it is time to do something about it W hen President Chirac criticised Britain’s...

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All the liberal clichés went off within seconds of one another

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T here we Londoners were on that Thursday morning going about our traditional business of being all multicultural and vibrant under Mr Livingstone. Suddenly we were innocent...

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Hockey and hanging baskets count as risks, but now we have a real one

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R isk assessment is the mantra of our time. You cannot organise a girls’ school hockey match without having to assess the risk that the combatants will bark their knuckles. The...

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An operation for fistula and its creative aftermath

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M y book Creators was finished some weeks ago and whizzed off to the publishers without my having fixed on any theory of the creative process. But the problem continues to nag...

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Findings of the Dismal Science

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Philip Hensher FREAKONOMICS by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner Penguin/Allen Lane, £20, pp. 242, ISBN 0713998067 ✆ £18 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 But things look up...

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The fake’s progress

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Digby Durrant T HE N IGHTINGALE P APERS by David Nokes Hesperus, £9.99, pp. 193, ISBN 1843917033 E ver since Dixon’s pie-eyed lecture on Merrie England in Kingsley Amis’s Lucky...

With not much help from Freud

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Harriet Sergeant M R M UO ’ S T RAVELLING C OUCH by Dai Sijie Chatto, £12.99, pp. 264, ISBN 070117739X ✆ £11.99 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 S hortly after the end of the...

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Comes the blind fury

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William Leith M Y F RIEND L EONARD by James Frey John Murray, £16.99, pp. 304, ISBN 0719561159 ✆ £14.99 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 I n his first book, A Million Little...

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Tripping and bonking

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D. J. Taylor B LINDING L IGHT by Paul Theroux Hamish Hamilton, £17.99, pp. 438, ISBN 0241142555 ✆ £15.99 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 P aul Theroux’s new novel finds Slade...

Turning failures into heroes

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Michael Howard MONEYBALL by Michael Lewis W. W. Norton, £8.99, pp. 320, ISBN 0393324818 B aseball is a minority sport in Britain, and a tiny minority at that. It is played in...

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Goings-on after sunset

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Raymond Carr A T D AY ’ S C LOSE : A H ISTORY OF N IGHTTIME by A. Roger Ekirch Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 447, ISBN 0297829928 ✆ £18 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 A fter 20 years of...

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Among the Siberian gentry

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Jonathan Mirsky O LGA ’ S S TORY by Stephanie Williams Viking, £20, pp. 412, ISBN 0670913766 ✆ £18 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 T he first half of Olga’s Story is as good as...

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Let’s get intimate

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The old-fashioned concert party is back. Henrietta Bredin enjoys the music-making T hrowing open the doors of your home for select musical gatherings seems a splendidly grand...

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Exhibitions 1

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Master of the horse Andrew Lambirth Stubbs and the Horse National Gallery, until 25 September G eorge Stubbs (1724–1806) is best remembered as the dedicated anatomist of the...

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Exhibitions 2

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For the people Tanya Harrod Folk Archive: Contemporary Popular Art from the UK The Curve, Barbican Centre, until 24 July and touring W hat is folk art? It is usually defined...


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Hearts of darkness Toby Young Talking to Terrorists Royal Court Aristocrats Lyttelton The Obituary Show The Bush P oor Robin Soans. His new play, Talking to Terrorists, opened...

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Private patronage Ursula Buchan S ir Edwin Lutyens reckoned that there will never be great architects or architecture without great patrons, and I rather think the same is...

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Slaughter of a masterpiece Michael Tanner Giulio Cesare Glyndebourne I read an interview last week with David McVicar, director of Glyndebourne’s new production of Handel’s...

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The ultimate movie pro Mark Steyn I happen to be writing this on board ship, in a little café, at a table by the window, with an idle eye on any glamorous women passing by....


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After the bombs Michael Vestey W hen I heard of the London explosions last Thursday — I was rung shortly before leaving to catch a train to London, which I had to abandon — my...

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Green was good James Delingpole Q uite the most important programme on TV last week — possibly all year — was Bjorn Lomborg on Environmentalism, part of Channel 5’s excellent...

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Food for thought

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Waiting for whiting Simon Courtauld W hiting does not seem to be fashionable these days — perhaps it never was — but in my early 20th-century edition of the Encyclopaedia...

High life

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Out of control Taki I was on a fast beam, sailing under high winds and a choppy sea off the north coast of Corsica, when the bombs went off in London. We heard about it when...

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SIMON HOGGART S ometimes wine merchants lay in stocks of wine that they know to be terrific, but which don’t sell as well as they might because the public don’t know about...

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By Tim Hitchcock L ast night I dreamt I went to Manderley – well, actually things became a blur of delights once my snoring conscience crossed the Tamar but it was Cornwall...

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Love at first sight FRANK KEATING T hree good old boys of summer portly Pickwickian paragon cricket umpire, David Shepherd, took off his white coat for the final time in an...

Dear Mary

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Q. I have a six-week-old baby and have been invited to a lunch party by a neighbour. It was going to be my chance to meet all the other mothers in the street and chat about...

Q. ‘C.W., Glasgow’ — where else? — (2 July) was

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whining about paying £2 or £3 extra at restaurants and a possible ‘challenge of some kind’ from his, perhaps ‘immature’ stepson (who always chooses the most expensive dish on...

Q. What is the correct procedure to be followed when

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driving away from a house where one has spent an enjoyable luncheon or perhaps an entire weekend? Name withheld, Somerset A. Occupants of a car should roll down all the windows...