17 MARCH 2001

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T he total number of foot-and-mouth outbreaks rose above 200. More

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than 30,000 slaughtered cattle remained unburnt while pyres were with difficulty prepared in the wet weather. A rendering plant at Widnes, Cheshire, was designated for...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WCIN 2LL Telephone: 020-7405 1706; Fax 020-7242 0603 IS THERE A PLAN B? T he common charge that the government is made up of 'control...

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For Mr Blair, morality is a platform affectation; ethics are whatever he can get away with

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BRUCE ANDERSON 0 \.er the past few days. the Prime Minister has behaved disgracefully. He has defended ministers who are guilty of lying and corruption and who have treated...

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T his week several hundred thousand of us expected to be trooping through London on the Countryside March — which is why the editor asked me to write the Diary. It is a symptom...

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Terence Kealey, vice-chancellor of Buckingham University, on how Nazi ideology perverted a science that could still benefit mankind PROFESSOR SEVERING ANTINORI, a...

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Claire Fox says that politicians are creating a victim culture so that they can profit from tragedy YOU may well have missed Victim Support Week in February. After all, you...

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Julian Manyon on why the Serbian authorities are in no hurry to bring the former president to justice Belgrade SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC has at least two remaining sources of...

Banned wagon

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A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit IF you wish to excite the disapproval of the British, there are better ways than by embarking on the slaughter of the...

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Ross Clark says it's high time countryside folk stopped being a drain on the state and got themselves proper jobs ONE hates to put ideas into the minds of the Countryside...

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Mind your language

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ONE of those footballers who seem to be on trial all the time these days told the court that he had been drinking on the night in question, but had not been 'mortal drunk', for...

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Sir David Ramsbotham is praised by the Left, but Chris Woodhead is damned. Leo McKinstry detects hypocrisy ONE of Her Majesty's chief inspectors marches into a public...

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Ancient & modern

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FOURTEEN people, including eminent classical scholars, have been arrested in Sicily for allowing the Mafia to run Syracuse's ancient Greek theatre with losses of billions of...


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David Shukman reveals an awkward fact about the great Mozambique flood: most of the 'victims' don't want to be saved Beira, Mozambique ONE benefit of chartering a helicopter —...

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Second opinion

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IT is difficult to escape the less attractive aspects of modern existence, for two reasons: first, they are many, and second they are ubiquitous. Last week there was a most...

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Daniel Hannan on the ignorance and narrow-mindedness of federalists who dismiss sceptics as xenophobes I THINK I finally understand where these Euro-zealots are coming from....

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Ten reasons for going on living in this horrid world

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PAUL JOHNSON T he other day a lady sitting next to me at lunch asked me what my ten favourite paintings were. A good question, that, for it forces one to attend to priorities,...

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The truth about Israel

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From Mr Conrad Black Sir: The correspondence in last week's Spectator revealed the three most frequently encountered problems in any discussion of the Arabs and the Israelis....

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Badgered by Benjy

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From Mr David Leigh Sir: Mr Justin Rushbrooke has a go at the Guardian (We've bin robbed', 3 March) in a way that makes me think he should stick to his own trade of trying to...

Plane stupid

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From Mr Duncan Reed Sir: A colleague and I were together on a British Airways plane bound for Paris a week or so ago, but seated a few rows apart. Just before take-off, a...

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Mandelson is to the National Spin Service what Bevan was to the NHS

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FRANK JOHNSON R eform system of spin doctors, say MPs' (Independent, 13 March). It is all very well for MPs to say that, but how? We all want reform of the spin-doctor service,...

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When the News of the World visits the Saatchi Gallery, you know we're in for a moral panic

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STEPHEN GLOVER E ight weeks ago an exhibition opened at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Among the exhibits were 15 photographs by a female photographer called Tierney Gearon...

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This year we must all slave for the Chancellor until Derby Day is over

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CHRISTOPHER FILDES T hat's splendid, Chancellor. After your last Budget and could it be that? I can write a date into my diary and pin a gloatchart to the wall. Only 83 more...

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From China to Peru

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Raymond Carr 1688: A GLOBAL HISTORY by John E. Wills Granta, £20, pp. 345, ISBN 1862074135 I t would seem that economic globalisation has engendered a vogue for global history....

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Bolted together by history

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P. J. Kavanagh A LIFE by Gabriel kisipovici London Magazine Editions, £15, pp. 295, ISBN 0904388891 T ime and again, reading this book, I found myself thinking how admirably...

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A hero and his choices

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Sara Maitland ACHILLES by Elizabeth Cook Methuen, £12.99, pp. 116, ISBN 0413757404 A chilles is now probably best known for his dodgy ankle tendon. The popular hardy...

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A managing manner

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Katie Grant THE LAST TIME THEY MET by Anita Shreve Little, Brown, £10,99, pp. 330, ISBN 0316855960 G osh, I must be mean or warped or just plain horrible, but this...

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Not half so bad as painted

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Nicholas Fearn NICCOLO'S SMILE by Maurizio Viroli I.B. Tauris, £18.95, pp. 259, ISBN 0374221871 T he beatific smile captured in Santi di Tito's famous portrait of Niccolo...

A case of black and white

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Michael Carlson RIGHT AS RAIN by George Pelecanos Orion, £16.99, £9.99, pp. 298, ISBN 0575071702 W ashington DC is two cities. Obscured within the one, administered by the...

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More than forty shades of green

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Christopher Nobbs BEING IRISH: ONE HUNDRED PERSONAL REFLECTIONS ON IRISH IDENTITY TODAY edited by Paddy Logue Oak Tree Press, Dublin, £14.95, pp. 279, ISBN 1860761763 M ost of...

Cleeve Abbey

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The walls of hand-hewn stone where plaster fell gave up the secrets of their masons' care some centuries ago. The office bell that measured out the daily round of prayer has...

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An early Kremlin watcher

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John Jolliffe ASTOLPHE DE CUSTINE by Anka Muhlstein, translated by Teresa Waugh Duckworth, £18, pp. 416, ISBN 0715630555 A stolphe de Custine is best known for two things....

Varsity blues — dark and light

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Richard 011ard OXFORD AND THE DECLINE OF THE COLLEGIATE TRADITION by Ted Tapper and David Palfreyman Woburn Press, Frank Cass, £42.50, £18.50, pp. 256, ISBN 0713040335 T his...

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Mid-century tales of Manhattan

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Kate Grimond THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS by Douglas Kennedy Hutchinson, £9.99, pp. 416, ISBN 0091794374 W hen hauled before inquisitors in the McCarthy era in America and coerced...

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The Sphinx of Sanary

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To mark the 90th birthday of the novelist Sybille Bedford this Friday, Martin Mauthner recalls her remarkable role as a multilingual gobetween in the bohemian colony that...

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Long live history

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Simon Reade on the Royal Shakespeare Company's London season of five new plays T he Royal Shakespeare Company in London is currently presenting This Other Eden, a short season...

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The Sainsbury African Galleries (British Museum)

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Back to Bloomsbury Martin Gaylord I n 1832 Eugene Delacroix travelled to Morocco. There he found, as he reported back in letters, nothing less than Classical Antiquity. Or...

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Beyond the Easel (Art Institute, Chicago, till 16 May)

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Aesthetic delight Roger Kimball I t was not so long ago that one of the worst things you could say about a work of art was that it was 'decorative'. The adverb 'merely' was...

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Madam remembered

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Giannandrea Poesio and Nicola Katrak on Dame Ninette de Valois who died last week N inette de Valois, the exceptional lady who gave Britain the Royal Ballet, an internationally...

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Malena (15, selected cinemas)

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Sicilian beauty Mark Steyn A h, you can't go wrong with the old coming-of-age routine. As Bobby Goldsboro sang in his highly seminal ballad 'Summer (The First Time)': 'I sat...

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Golden Boy (Southwark Playhouse) No Place Left for the Heroes (Union Theatre, Southwark)

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Boxing fever Sheridan Morley Y ou wait several decades for a play about boxing and then two open not only in the same week, but on the fringe in the same small area of...

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Good game

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Michael Vestey I t was good to see the return of What Ig the counter-factual history series on Radio Four last week (Thursday) presented by the historian Professor Christopher...

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Under the spotlight

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James Delmgpole T he other day I took our cat Beetle to the vet's to get him treated for one of those mega-expensive urinary tract infections that no one warns you about when...

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Painful progress

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Robin Oakley I f I had been a horse last Saturday you wouldn't have taken me out of my box. A back spasm had me pretty sore and nearly rigid. But at the moment the enthusiast...

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Swiss sense

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Taki H Rougemont appiness is waking up in the country which Papa Hemingway called more upside down than sideways and reading that Swiss voters had sent a message to Brussels...

Who needs friends?

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Toby Young 0 h dear. I think my forthcoming marriage to Caroline may be in jeopardy. I should never have allowed her father to meet my friend Cromwell. Cromwell, a 34-year-old...

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Strange attitudes

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Leanda de Lisle W hat is the point of the RSPCA? The charity does a pretty good job of encouraging people to look after their pets properly, for which we should all be...

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Pooch power

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Petronella Wyatt I t could only happen in England. Only in England would they permit a Grade II-listed house to be destroyed for the sake of one rather aesthetically...

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THIS week, I'm not writing about eating. Or food. Sorry,

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but I'm not. I'm going to write about cars. From now on, this is going to be a car column. I know a lot about cars. They tend to have wheels and go 'I/room, vroom', don't they?...

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Bad vibes

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Simon Barnes HOW hard it is to be a slave to sport. If I were a true fan of English cricket, I would be writing all sorts of horrible things about Sri Lanka. The current series...

0. A friend of mine is stepmother to a girl

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who will soon be married. The wedding will take place from my friend's home, but her stepdaughter is insisting that the invitations should come from (let us call them) Mr John...

Q. Re your response to M.H. of Lerida, Spain (10

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February), regarding 'rodeoformation' in loo usage, just how does one rid oneself of one's knickers to achieve such a pose? A better question, I reckon, would be how does one...

Q. In response to a recent correspondent's query on how

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to avoid eye-contact in foreign public conveniences equipped with half-doors, you recommended mounting the lavatory side-saddle._May I suggest that this advice is...