17 AUGUST 2002

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F ifty-eight per cent of voters believe an attack on Saddam

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Hussein is not justified under present circumstances, according to an Internet poll by YouGov for the Daily Telegraph. Focus groups organised by Mr Philip Gould, a Labour party...

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T hanks to the government, the National Health Service has now become the International Health Service, at least in the sense that British patients are being exported to...

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A merica's South West Airlines are now insisting that their seriously overweight passengers must pay the price of two tickets when they fly, for which they will be entitled to...

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Suddenly Tories are asking: who is John Galt?

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The answer is: bad news MICHAEL HARRINGTON A ccording to the Daily Telegraph, a number of Conservative MPs and candidates are seriously planning to establish a breakaway...

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If you want to have a good time, go to

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a funeral, not to a wedding MATTHEW P \RRIS F unerals are much to be preferred to weddings. There is something sad about a wedding: a shapeless, grimly joyful occasion...

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Former shadow foreign secretary Gerald Kaufman reveals his deep suspicion of President Bush, and warns Tony Blair that war would mean a widespread Labour revolt IT WAS Cato...

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Robin Cook to lead the rebels

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THERE is a moral certainty about Tony Blair that was seen at its most inspiring — and revolting — when he outlined New Labour's new imperialism at the party conference last...

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Mind your language

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'WHY don't you try the Internet?' said my husband, whose idea of a search engine is running his thumb down a column of type in a 19th-century catalogue of surgical instruments....


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Rachel Johnson says that the taxman's rapacity will destroy our inheritances IF Princess Margaret had lived for just one more year, Viscount Linley would not have had to pay...

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Ancient & modern

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TOM STOPPARD has written a trilogy, The Coast of Utopia, and the critics are reeling with amazement that the National can put on a nine-hour marathon, lasting all day, involving...


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Leo Mainstry reports on the ludicrous, pompous and self-regarding press releases of Britain's Euro MPs THE languid Edwardian prime minister A.J. Balfour once warned a Tory...

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Hugh Russell unveils the recipe for nshima, and the cause of Zambia's impending famine Lusaka UNLESS you're suffering a severe attack of compassion-fatigue, you'll know that...

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Ross Clark on the government's agenda: to crush small business and renationalise care for the elderly THE families who send their elderly relatives to Alison Cowley's nursing...

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Unfair to Major

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From Professor John Studd Sir: Max Hastings's article (The hounding of country folk', 10 August) was accurate and timely, but why was there a need for the gratuitous insults...

From Mr Jason Dack Sir: Max Hastings lavishes praise on

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the Blair government, but what are this government's specific achievements? If you think that crippling the police service by pursuing an anti-racist witch-hunt and sucking up...

Stereotyping Iran

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From Mr Majid Ghahremani Sir: I was distressed to see, in a prominent magazine such as The Spectator, Mark Steyn CA war for civilisation', 10 August) assailing the Islamic...

Patten's foibles

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From Mr Henry Keswick Sir: Commissioner Patten's meddling in the affairs of Israel and Palestine (Letters, 10 August) is bad news for the ordinary people of both states who...

Don't run off with the EU

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From Mr Richard A. Heddleson Sir: In an otherwise excellent article, Bruce Anderson (A new special relationship', 10 August) makes two points with which I must take issue. The...

Strong constitution

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From Miss Mary Ellen Synon Sir: Simon Nixon (`Bum wrap', 10 August), though admirably sceptical about any new Euro-constitution, gets in a tangle when he looks to America's...

Free at last

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From Mrs Pauline Grove Sir: Nicholas Coleridge's article (Where have all the grannies gone?', 3 August) caused a few laughs in our household. Only the previous day a son,...

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Theological throwback

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From The Revd Richard Fothergill Sir: As one of those disparagingly described in Damian Thompson's article (`Fighting primates', 3 August) as an African Third World Anglican,...

Thinkers v. drinkers

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From Mr Neil Clark Sir: John Moloney misses the point in his letter (3 August). The fact that 'the participation of Polish youth in higher education is below 10 per cent' is...

The risks of retrials

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From Mr Francis Miers Sir: Well done for sounding the alarm on the government's proposal to get rid of the double jeopardy rule (`Try, try and try again', 3 August). Boris...

Monty's achievement

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From Mr Charles Cameron Sir: As a junior officer (captain and compa ny commander) at Alamein, I would like to take issue with comments in the review of Alamein by Jon Latimer...

Hollywood, enemy of history

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From Mr Daniel Guenzel Sir: Peter Jones's column (Ancient and modern, 10 August) on the latest attempt by Hollywood to make a film with a historical theme, this time on...

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Let's have no more offensive attacks on Andrew

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Neil. He is obviously the right man for Newsnight STEPHEN GLOVER 0 ver the years this column has not always been sympathetic towards Andrew Neil (aka Brill° Pad). It declined...

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Beware of town houses with Bond Street addresses: head offices can damage your wealth

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CHRISTOPHER FILDES T he new chairman walked into his office and took an instant dislike to it. 'I got a stiff neck looking at the fireplace,' he explained. 'It had a...

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A 000m monument to MPs' yam

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David J. Black charts the scandalous rise of the Scottish Parliament building SO FAR, so good. The iconic Scottish Parliament building may have notched up vertiginous budget...

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Sassenachs' stereotypes Alan Taylor THERE are many Scotlands. but the majority of them are mythical, imagined by fevered, myopic commentators who write for publications such...

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Sulky teachers, dotty directives Katie Grant THE next time somebody from England tells me how lucky I am to live in Scotland and so, by definition, can send my children...

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The Lockerbie scapegoat Tam Dalyell THERE is an innocent man languishing in the Barlinnie jail in Glasgow tonight, and, all too probably, he will be there every night for the...

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Robbing Jack to pay Jock Tim Williams WHILE the Scots may have invented the modern world, the English actually paid for it. Almost 400 years after Union, and five years after...

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Facing up to failure

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Raymond Carr IN CHURCHILL'S SHADOW by David Cannadine Penguin, £25, pp. 385, ISBN 0713995076 W ith Winston Churchill's resignation as Prime Minister in 1955, David Cannadine...

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Pabulum for pilgrims

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Digby Anderson PONDER THESE THINGS: PRAYING WITH ICONS OF THE VIRGIN by Rowan Williams The Canterbury Press, Norwich, £7.99, pp. 74, ISBN 185311362X P ractising, orthodox...

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The child is father of the man

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Patrick Marnham LITTLE BOY LOST by Marghanita Laski, with a new afterword by Anne Sebba Persephone Press, 110, pp. 230, ISBN 1903155177 N 0 one in their right mind would...

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Gentlefolk up against it

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Patrick Skene Catling MINNIE'S ROOM by Mollie Panter-Downes Persephone, £10, pp. 125, ISBN 190315524X ollie Panter-Downes (1906-97) for many years was The New Yorker's most...

The fatal truce

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Blair Worden THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE by Geoffrey Moorhouse Weidenfeld, £25, pp. 448, ISBN 0297643932 O ver the middle third of the 16th century, between 1536 and 1569, the...

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Street cred in spades

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Sandra Howard THE BORRIBLE TRILOGY by Michael de Larrabeiti Macmillan, £12.99, pp. 726, ISBN 0333908619 H oping to capitalise on the curious phenomenon of adults openly and...

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The bent sword of justice

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Jonathan Sumption THIRTY-SIX MURDERS AND TWO IMMORAL EARNINGS by Ludovic Kennedy Profile, £16.99, pp. 340, ISBN1861973543 L clovic Kennedy is the most persistent and effective...

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The good soldier

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Peter Carrington WAR AND SHADOWS by General Sir David Fraser Allen Lane, £10.99, pp. 336, ISBN 0713996277 T o those who read this absorbing book, it will be clear how David...

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Mahler, his symphonies and me

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Michael Henderson has been to his 100th performance and is still wanting more L ast Sunday, at the Royal Albert Hall, Sir Simon Rattle led the National Youth Orchestra (not to...

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Van Gogh vu par Bacon (Fondation Vincent Van Gogh, Palais de Luppe, Arles. till 6 October) Homage to the master Tanya Harrod I n the early part of 1957 Francis Bacon made...

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Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (U, selected cinemas) Fun with the half-pint spooks Mark Steyn I took a couple of members of the target audience to see Spy Kids 2 and...

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La vida breve (Royal Albert Hall) Fulfilled by de Falla Michael Tanner M anuel de Falla's La vida breve is by far the most distinguished piece of genuinely Spanish music in...


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Much Ado About Nothing (Theatre Royal Haymarket) On An Average Day (Comedy) Follies (Royal Festival Hall) Unapologetic crowd-pleaser Toby Young D uring the interval of...

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Think again Simon Hoggart P eople sometimes say that all modern TV documentaries have to debunk their subjects, along the lines that Churchill was an incompetent drunk who...

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Ada's vision Michael Vestey T hose of us who use computers at home and work now take them for granted as we once did the typewriter. The growth of PCs, though, has been a...

The turf

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Quality operation Robin Oakley Y ou know within a few minutes when you've walked into a well-run racing stable. It is not just neat tack rooms or a wellswept yard: it is...

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Cautionary tale Alan Judd T his is a tale of two Range Rovers. The first, alas, is mine, a 1993 Classic model, 3.9 V8, on 64.000 miles. Since having it converted to run on LPG...

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High life

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Earthly power Taki Art Gstaad article in the Herald Tribune announces that the UK's upper crust has made way for CEOs and celebrities. 'It's not so much your family that...

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Low life

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I've cracked it Jeremy Clarke I am not a policeman. (My brother is: I'm not.) But my local is a drug users' pub and new customers are suspected of being undercover policemen...

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Muck and no brass

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Michael Henderson THESE are terrible days for Yorkshire, the most famous county cricket club in England, indeed the most celebrated club in the world. County champions on 30...

Q. I have been invited to stay in Northamptonshire with

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a man who has everything. Can you recommend a novel house-present? NA., London W6 A. Humidor-designer Kitty Arden has recently knocked up a charming range of plywood pet...

Q. I felt I had to write following your advice

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to 'East Lothian' about parrots (3 August). Years ago I visited Richard, a friend of mine, at his home. He kept me waiting in the hall with his parrot and, to amuse myself, I...

Q. I observed at the age of 22 that I

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was becoming prematurely grey. On the advice of my barber, I began to dye my hair. Some years afterwards I married a young beauty who, to this day. remains ignorant of my vain...

Q. I have been asked to deliver a eulogy at

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a memorial service for a lifelong friend. To say that speaking in public is an ordeal is putting it mildly, but to refuse would be out of the question, so close were we for a...