18 JANUARY 2003

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M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, said at a press conference: ' If there is a breach of the existing UN resolution I have no doubt at all that the right thing to do in those...

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L ooking at the wan, pathetic face of Pete Townshend, the rock musician arrested for possessing child pornography from the Internet, it is hard not to feel a smidgen of sympathy...

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W hen the Crimean war began in 1854, the prime minister was Lord Aberdeen, who carried a deep burden of guilt. Years later he was asked to pay for the rebuilding of a church on...

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The man who could stop Blair supporting a US war against Iraq PETER ()BORNE W ar with Iraq, previously a nebulous prospect, has come sharply into focus in the first two weeks...

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The Lib Dems are a mess of contradictions, says Simon Heifer. They want to build and conserve; they want to decriminalise cannabis and ban smoking in public places,...

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James Tooley on the extraordinary success of private education in Africa and India SCHOOLBOY WORLANYO leaves his crowded home in the townships of Accra. Ghana, early in the...

Second opinion

The Spectator

AS anyone who reads our newspapers knows, there are in essence two medical stories: murderous doctor and miracle cure. Last week in our ward there was an outbreak of miracle...

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Spectators for Africa appeal

The Spectator

WE would like to thank all the readers who have contributed so generously to the appeal. It remains our strong belief that African students would benefit enormously from...

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Douglas Davis believes that the Prime Minister's foreign policy initiatives are a sign of weakness JUST one month ago a senior Israeli government official assured me that...

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lain Murray says that the only way to rehabilitate law-breakers is to jail them Washington, DC A FEW months ago, I had the temerity to suggest in an article that American...

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Peter Hitchens on the worship of Philip Pullman, who has set out to destroy Narnia WHATEVER the atheist equivalent of canonisation is, they are doing it to the children's...

Mind your language

The Spectator

THE vogue word of the year so far is extreme. It has been around for centuries, deriving from the Latin superlative extremus, outermost'. But for the English word recently a...

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Is the home of lost causes planning another self-inflicted wound? PAUL JOHNSON I intended to write this week about Trevor Nunn's thumping revival of Anything Goes at the...

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Posh and Becks have graced the ballet. All we need now is hooliganism FRANK JOHNSON M iss Posh Spice and Mr David Beckham dominated a Covent Garden ballet evening which I was...

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Episcopal explanation

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From The Bishop of London Sir: Your article The bishop and the princess' (11 January) suggests that 'I have some explaining to do'. It may help readers to know that since my...

Fair-minded Auntie

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From Mr Mark Damazer Sir: Tim Luckhurst (`The extreme centre', 11 January) asserts that the BBC has played a large part in the 'narrowing of the once broad plain of tolerated...

Ass-saving Ivan

The Spectator

From Mr Michael A/loorcock Sir: As an Englishman living in the USA, I'd like to answer Mr Herb Greer (Letters, 28 December). While respectfully aware that many young Americans...

A bequest to Winston

The Spectator

From Mr Stephen M Goodson Sir: Andrew Roberts ('The secret of Churchill's gold', 28 December) highlights the loan of £18,000 that Churchill received from Sir Henry Strakosch in...

Surviving Mugabe

The Spectator

From Major Sidney Vines Sir: While I do not doubt the story of the horrors of present-day Zimbabwe, as recounted by Peter Oborne ('Living in a state of terror', 11 January), it...

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If it weren't for political scandals and lunacy, we probably wouldn't bother to vote at all ROD LIDDLE W hy are we so disillusioned with, or uninterested in, Our politicians...

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This column hereby promises maximum scrutiny of the private life of Rebekah Wade STEPHEN GLOVER T he appointment of Rebekah Wade as the editor of the Sun has given rise to...

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If you don't like a strong pound, try a weak one, or switch from kirs to martinis CHRISTOPHER FILDES H ung be the heavens with black, yield, day, to night. Cancel that ski-ing...

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Blair's lack of 'process'

The Spectator

Samuel Brittan RATIONALITY AND FREEDOM by Amartya Sen Harvard, 426.50, pp. 752, ISBN 0674009 W hat is really wrong with the Blair government? The unease it excites is at least...

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Going with the wind

The Spectator

Simon Ward ENEMY WOMEN by Paulette Tiles Fourth Estate, £10, pp. 307, ISBN 0007146418 I t is rare for a first novel to be launched with the degree of enthusiasm that Fourth...

A young explorer of horror

The Spectator

Patrick Boyle THE REMARKABLE MICHAEL REEVES: HIS SHORT AND TRAGIC LIFE by John B. Murray Cinematics Publishing, £16.99, pp. 360, ISBN 0951179314 ow many people have heard of...

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Daisy Chain Reaction

The Spectator

(For Tom Phillips RA, after reading his summary treatise on ornament) Patterns of word, like ornament Plundering nature's primal signs, Assert the mind's emblazonment, Stripes...

Education via the gymnasium

The Spectator

Michael Glover BENCH PRESS by Sven Linqvist Grano, £8.99, pp. 122, ISBN 1862075727 S ven Lindqvist used to be a fairly flabby intellectual Swede with a natural disclination...

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Crime dressed up as heroics

The Spectator

Patrick Skene Catling JESSE JAMES: LAST REBEL OF THE CIVIL WAR by T. J. Stiles Cape, £20, pp. 510, ISBN 022406925X L ee's surrender at Apponratox was not really the end of the...

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Recent first novels

The Spectator

Lucy Beresford I selected Overnight to Innsbruck by Denyse Woods (Sitric Books, £9.99, pp. 255, ISBN 1903305063) by chance from the reviewing shelf and discovered a real treat...

The not so beautiful game

The Spectator

Ian Buruma AJAX, THE DUTCH, THE WAR: FOOTBALL IN EUROPE DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR by Simon Kuper Orion, £14.99, pp. 244, ISBN 0752851497 T he main fixture of the Dutch...

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Keeping one's head above water in Venice

The Spectator

David Ekserdjian GONDOLAS AND GRAPES by John Hall Sibilline Press, £25, pp. 320, ISBN 0954219805 I have an unusually vivid recollection of the first time I met John Hall. I...

Shooting the mechanical pianist

The Spectator

John de Faibe AGAPE AGAPE by William Gaddis Atlantic Books,19.99, pp. 112. ISBN 1903809835 I n a secluded room at my prep school stood an old pianola. By operating the pedals...

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Only art can make us human Michael Tanner raises the complex issue of art and the Holocaust T he Holocaust seems, sometimes, not only to silence art but to silence thought,...

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Mnemonic (Riverside Studios) Followers of fashion Toby Young O ne of the things I like most about being a theatre critic is dragging my sceptical friends along to things that...

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8 Mile (15, selected cinemas) Guys and bitches Mark Steyn Y ou can't get steamed about everything. I never got around to getting mad about Eminem during all the time he was...


The Spectator

La Cenerentota (Royal Opera) The Secret Marriage (Opera North) Unintentional comedy Michael Tanner T he revival of Rossini's La Cenerentola was one of those evenings that I...

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Bad night in James Delingpole F rida; night is sacred in our house as the night we like to have a really proper veg in front of the box. Sometimes I even cook supper in...

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Keep it mild Michael Vestey W e all. of course. observed the latter part of the last century with our own eyes, absorbing extraordinary changes in social history and the...

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Brush with death Charles Moore F rost has stopped us hunting the Vale of Tears in the last few days. The sodden, lukewarm dankness of Christmas has given place to a champagne...

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Transporters of delight Alan Judd I think I am becoming a god,' said the dying emperor Vespasian, assuming the posthumous promotion that emperors expected. Lower down the...

The turf

The Spectator

All-weather stars Robin Oakley I f Jimmy Quinn rode horses as fast as he speaks, the rest of them would never catch up with him. He is a 7st 101b ginger-haired bundle of...

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High life

The Spectator

It's the Fraulein's fault Taki D Gstaad amn! Why didn't I think of it? Of course I, too, was abused as a child and, needless to say, when I was busted at Heathrow with coke...

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Low life

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Happy eating Jeremy Clarke T o get to the nearest main road from here, you have to drive for five miles along a cow-shit-covered country lane. Twothirds of the way along,...

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Wild life

The Spectator

An end to a way of life? Aldan Hartley I n our bad old days there used to be the joke of the Nigerian and Kenyan ministers, The Kenyan visits Abuja, is impressed by the wealth...

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Top Gunners Michael Henderson AUDEN encouraged us to 'honour if we can the vertical man though we value none hut the horizontal one'. If 'Uncle Wiz' was referring to himself,...


The Spectator

Dear Mary. . . Q. Can you suggest an original birthday present for a novice gardener who is not yet very experienced? S.B., Aldeburgh, Suffolk A. Yes, you can buy 1,000 worms...