16 JUNE 2001

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M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, reshuffled his Cabinet after

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the Labour victory in the general election. Mr Robin Cook was moved from the Foreign Office to become Leader of the House. Mr Jack Straw took his place, and Mr David Blunkett...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 020-7405 1706; Fax 020-7242 0603 A DEAD TREATY A k any Europhile to define his core beliefs and, somewhere in his...

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What we learn about Mr Portillo in the next week will decide the fate of the Tories

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BRUCE ANDERSON T his was a paradoxical election. Ulster excepted, there was minimal movement in percentages or constituencies. Fewer seats changed hands than in any election...

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M New York emorial Day in Manhattan dawned fair and fine, so I was glad that I had accepted the invitation of Admiral Don Hayes to visit the aircraft-carrier John F. Kennedy,...

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I'll tell you why Transport isn't getting there

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MATTHEW PARRIS P oor old Transport. Shafted again. If Stephen Byers is the chap to slam his fist down on the table and ram through Cabinet the big, costly, controversial...

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What the Tory party must do now, says Peter Oborne, is to convince the people that it knows how to provide better public services — and nobody speaks the language of the people...

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Mark Steyn says that William Hague did not learn the lessons of conservative victory in America and failure in Canada New Hampshire LAST November, the day after the US...

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Tristan Garel - Jones explains why he is glad that Labour, his mother's party, escaped from the Valley of the Shadow of Death THE land of my fathers. More importantly,...

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. . . and Speaker of the House of Commons: Simon Carr on Michael Martin's barely believable deficiencies `GORBALS Mick', writes the Daily Mail. 'From the same chimp farm as...

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The US President may make friends in Europe this week but, says Anne Applebaum, his visit will be accompanied by a wave of hatred Warsaw AS I write this, thousands of ardent...

Ancient & modern

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IT takes a party that is about to be blown out of the water to argue that it will be a disaster for 'democracy' if voters vote for the party they wish to vote for. But if the...

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Mind your language

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DON'T mind my husband enjoying what he calls forty winks in his armchair at any time of day; it's when he snores that I feel his comportment requires adjustment. So his irony...


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Geoffrey Wheatcroft says that William Hague should never have followed the advice of right-wing newspapers TWO comical sights can be seen today at the crossroads where politics...

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Banned wagon

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A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit PAEDOPHILES and other sex offenders do not enjoy a lot of public sympathy. Yet is that any reason for the attack on...

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Second opinion

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AS it so rightly says in the Bible, the imagination of a man's heart is evil from his youth. It was for this reason that, after the Flood, God decided never again to destroy the...

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There is little evidence that speed cameras reduce accidents, says Leo McKinstiy, but they certainly increase police revenue 'GEEZ, mate, what's happened to this country?...

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David Lovibond on the gangs who bring colour — and sometimes terror — to the school playground TO join my gang, supplicants had to face a gruesome rite of initiation. Francis,...

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Don't believe what you read in the newspapers: the opinion polls did not get the election right

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STEPHEN GLOVER T here is a general assumption that the opinion polls got it right. The only dissenting voices I have come across are John Curtice in the Independent and Alan...

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The quality of mercy

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From Mr Peter Weitzman, QC Sir: Neil Clark ('Bring back the rope' 9 June) thinks that 'it is just that convicted murderers should pay with their lives; and second, that the...

From Dr Mike Diboll Sir: My objection to the death

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penalty is based firmly on libertarian principles: having a public employee place a noose around one's neck is the ultimate intrusion of the state into an individual's life. It...

Computer error

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From Mr Jo Johnson Sir: Fair enough if your magazine can't stand the euro. But deliberately to use computers that can't read euro signs — see the erroneous substitution of...

From Mr C.H. Williams Sir: Jo Johnson says that the

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French cannot afford the losses of their rail network; but at least they invest in their system, and it works. We do running repairs and have chaos. The French system may leave...

Teachers' tricks

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From Mr Huw Pateman Sir: Andrew Gimson's excellent article on lowering the school-leaving age Mown with school', 9 June) fails to mention one of the most important aspects of...

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An NHS true story

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From Mr Joe Haines Sir: At about the same time on Bank Holiday Monday that Charles Moore's dog became ill (Diary, 2 June), I was stung on the mouth by an insect while gardening....

Why I'm not a Tory

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From Mr James Morgan Sir: I am inspired, as a 62-year-old homeowner in a green suburb, by your essay on the virtues of the Conservative party (lust say no to Tony Blair', 2...

Galileo's right error

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From Dr. L.C. Laming Sir: It is not exactly clear which stick Professor Geach has got hold of the wrong end of (Letters 9 June), but the cause of Galileo's upsetting the Church...

Parliamentary gaffes

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From Mr Christopher Silvester Sir: Petronella Wyatt's credentials as a scholar of parliamentary lore are wanting (Singular life, 19 May). Ms Wyatt wrote that 'Robert Peel,...

Heroes of old

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From Mr Sam Whitbread Sir: Paul Johnson (And another thing, 9 June) deplores today's lack of belief in heroes. The best remedy for this is the obituaries of war heroes printed...

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Deep in the trough of the long wave, the Tories could learn something to their advantage

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CHRISTOPHER FILDES S talin knew what to do with inconvenient economists. He sent Nikolai Kondratieff to the salt-mines. A pity, for if he had lived he might have been able to...

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Keeping the black dog on the leash

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Caroline Moorehead THE NOONDAY DEMON: AN ANATOMY OF DEPRESSION by Andrew Solomon Chatto, £20, pp. 560 ISBN 0701168196 L ewis Wolpert, whose book on depression, Malignant...

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Having something or other to declare

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Jan Morris HAND LUGGAGE by John Bayley Continuum, £16.99, pp. 189, ISBN 0826457746 I gather Professor John Bayley of Oxford, the editor of this pleasant little anthology, has...

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Women all over the place. .

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Jane Gardam LADIES OF THE GRAND TOUR by Brian Dolan HatperCollins, £19.99, pp. 330, ISBN 0007105320 T he title is misleading. The Grand Tour was never for girls but...

S. . and men

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behaving badly abroad Zenga Longmore SULTRY CLIMATES: TRAVEL AND SEX SINCE THE GRAND TOUR by Ian Littiewood John Murray, £17.99, pp. 248, ISBN 0719556023 T hose of you who...

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Poet with an unfair advantage

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Diana Hendry IF I DON'T KNOW by Wendy Cope Faber, £14.99, pp. 76, ISBN 0571207677 I t's a dangerous job reviewing a new book of poems by Wendy Cope. When Robert O'Brien...

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A passage in India

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Lee Langley THE ELECTRIC ROCK GARDEN by Philip Glazebrook Michael Russell, .£16.95, pp. 183, ISBN 0859552659 P hilip Glazebrook and David Singh became friends at Cambridge in...

More about people than place

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Mary Keen SPIRITS OF PLACE by Jane Brown Viking, £20, pp. 340, ISBN 0670880000 h e sophisticated art critic Richard Dorment admits that, because he is a foreigner, he cannot...

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A man, two women and a dog

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Francis King THE IDEA OF PERFECTION by Kate Grenville Picador, .E6.99, pp. 401, ISBN 0330392611 H ow can one regard the £30,000 Orange Prize, for which only women novelists...

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Donnish hoax involving five husbands

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David Nokes THE MEMOIRS OF LAETITIA HORSEPOLE, BY HERSELF by John Fuller Chatto, £14.99, pp. 212, ISBN 09701172053 T his book is full of trickery. The story of how John...

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Homage to a Catalan

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Simon Courtauld GAUDI by Gijs van Hensbergen HatperCollins, £24.99, pp. 322, ISBN 0002556243 H as anyone else so famous been killed by being run over by a bus? To be precise,...

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Brimming with adrenaline

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Damian Thompson talks to Valery Gergiev, artistic director of the Kirov V alery Gergiev, artistic director of the Kirov Opera and Ballet, is the most electrifying conductor in...

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Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (Burlington House, till 13 August)

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Sense from chaos Martin Gayford N aturally, it is a feature of Herculean tasks — leading the modern Conservative party, for example — that they seem impossible until they are...

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Beguiling Bolsover

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Annabel Ricketts on a scheme to restore some of the glory of an early 17th-century castle h e Doe Lea valley in Derbyshire was an Elizabethan and Jacobean millionaires' row;...

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All You Need Is Love (Queen's) Broadway 2001

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Pointless torture Sheridan Morley T his is about as bad as it ever gets. All You Need Is Love, as they would have you believe on the posters outside the Queen's, is at almost...

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Help save Crarae

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Ursula Buchan F rom time to time, while walking in woodland in central Nepal recently, I was mildly bemused by how familiar my surroundings seemed to be. At last it dawned on...

Orfeo ed Euridice (Royal Opera House)

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Soggy fare Michael Tanner T he Royal Opera's season came to a close with two concert performances of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, passionless, bloodless accounts (the second one...

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Swan Lake (Barbican)

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Magic revived Giannandrea Poesio M ats Ek's 1987 Swan Lake is more than a radical revisitation of a 19th-century ballet. It is a masterwork in a league of its own. Based on a...

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Autumn in New York (15, selected cinemas)

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Unfulfilled promise Mark Steyn I know every screen romance has to be named after an "old song, but, if they'd asked me, I'd have told them to steer clear of 'Autumn In New...

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Unveiling a murky past

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Michael Vestey O ne of the most disgraceful episodes in French history is being explored in Listening to Silence, a two-part documentary on Radio Four (Monday). Presenter James...

Wildly indulgent

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Simon Hogart W e had American friends round for lunch the other day, and we all agreed that US sitcoms are hugely preferable to the dreary, limp ones we have here — except for...

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Snorting and pounding

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Alan Judd W e've all heard of Mondeo Man but no one ever speaks of Passat Bores. Being one, this troubles me mildly. It's important that people realise it's no longer the cars...

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Speed is his thing

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Robin Oakley N ot so long ago, after Golan's burst of speed took him from last to first in the 2,000 Guineas, we were talking of him as a potential world-beater. The only...

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Royal leanings

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Taki A New York some of you may have noticed, I hold Constantine, King of the Hellenes, in great esteem and affection. Some of my friends — who are also friendly with the...

One tablet will do . .

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Jeremy Clarke O n election day, after an early morning swim, I went to the weekly sexual health clinic at the local cottage hospital. The receptionist told me to take a seat...

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Beware the loony Bourbons

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PetroneIla Wyatt T he day after the election I went to a party — the non-political kind — in London. It was peopled by youngish Tories. Strangely enough, in defeat, smugness...

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by Robert Hardman

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IF awards were dished out for social climbing, then Notting Hill's All Saints Road would be up there with Ivana Trump and Lady Docker as one of the all-time greats. It is not...

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A star is reborn

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Simon Barnes ORDINARY people envy sports stars; sports stars envy ordinary people. Such things are inevitable. Jennifer Capriati tried being both. Her former flatmate, Angelica...

Q. Following your piece about the difficulties of engaging in

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conversation from a wheelchair and your entertaining advice about how to deal with them, I would suggest that a more modern and independent solution might be to consider the...

Q. An old friend of mine is finally getting married,

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aged 37. He was best man at my wedding, and has asked me to be best man at his. The problem is that I now have two children under the age of four and my days of hell-raising are...

Q. Re inefficient cleaners (9 June). My father has been

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unable to find anyone within a 20-mile radius of his quite remote bothy in the Borders to clean for him, but he has found someone prepared to do his laundry in her own home. The...