20 JULY 2002

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T he Irish Republican Army offered 'sincere apologies and condolences' for

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the hundreds of civilians it had killed. More than a million council employees held a one-day strike, Shares fell sharply, closing at 3,994 on the FT-SE 100 index, the lowest...

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I f Gordon Brown wants a historical role model, he could do worse than Captain Smith of the Titanic. As the icebergs of the stock market crashed around him, there was an eerie...

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T here will shortly be a tussle over who succeeds Sir Edward George next summer as governor of the Bank of England. Greasing up to Mr Blair for the post is Sir Howard Davies, a...

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How Desmond the porn king has put the frighteners on the Rothermeres

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STEPHEN GLOVER M y breakfast last Sunday was enlivened by the front-page headline in the Sunday Express: 'Daily Mail Link to Vice Girls.' I write a column for the Daily Mail....

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Why don't the Tories hold a conference in France seriously?

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MATTHEW PARRIS A a seaside resort, Dinard is what Brighton ought to be. Why don't the Tories hold a conference there? Just over the Rance river from St Malo on the Atlantic...

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Peter Oborne on the Conservative party's controversial hunt for women, blacks, gays — and anyone else who isn't just a Tory boy IN the early 1970s a British soldier carried...

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Mind your language

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'DOUBLE helix, double helix,' sang my husband to the tune of 'Bread of Heaven' in what he imagined was a light baritone. He was provoked by an announcement by Michael Buerk on...

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Petronella Wyatt talks to Piers Morgan about sex, politics and why Cherie Blair is trying to get him sacked AT 37, Piers Morgan of the Daily Mirror is one of Fleet Street's...

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Pope Pius XII is once more accused of being lenient towards Hitler John Laughland meets the man who can prove his innocence WHEN you visit a senior official in the Vatican,...

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Banned wagon A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit

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THE NSPCC's Stalinist ideas on childcare, mentioned in this column before, are being adopted by those in positions of power. Edinburgh city council has banned teachers in its...

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Bruce Anderson explains why, how and when the West will topple Saddam 'IF THE trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?' At last, the rallying...

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Arafat is as deceitful and uncompromising as evei; says Douglas Davis. It's time that Europe's love-in with him ended I AM bothered though not enough to tell my shrink that...

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Nigel West reveals the Foreign Secretary's hitherto undisclosed role in the downfall of Jeremy Thorpe THE extraordinary story of the trial of the former Liberal party leader...

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Neil Clark on our disgraceful prejudice against the Visegrad Four — all countries more civilised than Britain RACISM is on the march in Western Europe. I refer not to...

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Second opinion

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THERE is nothing as boring as perpetual entertainment, and the ennui of those who regard life as a poor imitation of a video is like a slow wasting disease, The late Malcolm...

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'Abroad is utterly bloody and all foreigners are fiends'

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PAUL JOHNSON N ow that the London season is virtually oNer, people are thinking of holidays. I never take them. The idea of going to a hotel, at a 'resort', is abhorrent to me....

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Drink, sex and justice

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From Dr Robin Moffat Sir: Your leading article, `Yesh means Yes' (13 July), sums up very well the predicament of the accused male facing a charge of rape. I have been a medical...

From Mr R. H. McKeown Sir: Although your leading article

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began persuasively, some of the comments are not justified. Even though Mr Hann may be considered innocent, and to have deserved his acquittal, it does not necessarily follow...

More Persian than Greek

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From Mr P. G. Urben Sir: Dr Kempe's Chitrali Kafirs (Letters, 13 July) are the remnant fringe of a once more numerous culture. The Siah Posh Kafirs centred on the Afghan region...

Not hard to take seriously

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From Councillor John Whelan Sir: Peter Westbrook ('Hard sell', 13 July) trivialises in his laddish style the real misery of thousands of men who suffer from impotence. Not only...

Fat is a PC issue

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From Annabel Gill Sir: Tania Kindersley's rough, tough and objective article CA job for nanny', 6 July) was a joy to read. As she points out, obesity is a self-inflicted injury...

Danger of euro delay

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From Dr Alan Bullion Sir: Peter Oborne's column on the growing frustration with the endless delays in holding the euro referendum (Politics, 13 July) was spot-on. As a long-time...

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Let the fur fly

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From Mr Richard Adams Sir: In your leading article (6 July) you deride backbenchers busying themselves sticking up for 'furry little animals'. You may not be fully aware of how...

Influencing the US

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From Dr Alec Ryrie Sir: Matthew Parris (Another voice. 6 July) says three-quarters of what needs to be said about America and the world. It is true that 'boss nations' will...

A pinch of opinion

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From Mr Tom Carver Sir: Honoured though I am to be mentioned in Stephen Glover's article (Tower without responsibility', 29 June), he surely could have uncovered a more...

Eton ruled the airwaves

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From Mr Wilfred De'Ath Sir: Michael Morton-Evans's letter (13 July) reminds me of the first current affairs meeting I attended as a BBC radio producer in the Reithian Talks...

Not guilty of Swindon

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From Mr Clive As/et Sir: In writing about Fiona Reynolds, director-general of the National Trust ('Save her for the nation', 29 June), I wrongly attributed the decision to move...

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How to pay more and more for less and less ask Gordon to collect the money

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CHRISTOPHER FILDES T he workload poster is going up in every staffroom in every state school in the country. It is supplied by the Department of Education and Skills, and tells...

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In his own lunch-time

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Alan Watkins HOME TRUTHS: LIFE AROUND MY FATHER by Penny Junor HalperCollins, £18.99, pp. 224 ISBN 0007102135 J ohn Junor became a national figure, in a small way of business...

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Towards a moment of truth

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Philip Glazebrook REAL TIME: STORIES AND A REMINISCENCE by Amit Chaudhuri Picador, £15.99, pp.I84 , ISBN 0374281696 T his collection of Amit Chaudhuri's writings makes up a...

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The dawn that never reached noon

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John Michell A HISTORY OF THE OCCULT TAROT by Ronald Decker and Michael Dummett Duckworth, 119. 99, pp. 379, ISBN 07156312225 T his is the latest product of Professor...

Reading between the lines

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P. J. Kavanagh ACTORS ON SHAKESPEARE edited by Cohn Nicholson Faber, £4,99 each T he other week, coming out of a matinee of Much Ado About Nothing at Stratford — a sparkling...

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Life in a cold climate

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Clayre Percy THE HOUSE by Teresa Waugh Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 116.99, pp. 224, ISBN 0297829173 T his is the story of the last five agonising years of a country house on its...

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The triumph of trousers

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Vicki Woods SEX AND SUITS: THE EVOLUTION OF MODERN DRESS by Anne Hollander Claridge Press, .£15.50, pp. 224, ISBN 1870626672 S ince the EU is staffed by suits, pension funds...

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The invisible friend of man

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Robert Macfarlane THE GLASS BATHYSCAPHE: HOW GLASS CHANGED THE WORLD by Man Macfarlane and Gerry Martin Profile Books, £15, pp. 255, ISBN 1861974000 A n Amazon search reveals...

Torture as a text

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Jonathan Mirsky EVERY STEP A LOTUS: SHOES FOR BOUND FEET by Dorothy Ko University of California Press, £29.95, pp. 162, ISBN 0520232836 T his beautifully produced book, despite...

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Muddling through to a marvel

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Charlotte Moore I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT by Allison Pearson Chatto, £12.99, pp. 372 ISBN 0701173025 W hy is nothing ever in the right place in this house?' wails Kate...

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Rape and intrigue in Rome

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Martin Gayford on the relative merits of the painters Artemisia and Orazio Gentileschi R ape is a horrible and perennially sensational crime. But no rape has seized the...

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Lib eskind's skill

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Alan Powers F rom beneath the grey sky, mirrored in the grey water, one grey building faces another across the Manchester Ship Canal. The Lowry Centre, designed for the...

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Mixed bag

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Toby Young I had a moment of horrible recognition while watching The Producers at the St James Theatre in New York last week. In the opening scene, Max Bialystock is seen...

Haitink's Farewell (Royal Opera House) The Ring (I) (Longborough)

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Leaving cum laude Michael Tanner O fficial farewells tend to be embarrassing, fraught with sentimentality and other forms of phoniness. No fear of that with Haitink, who chose...

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Money, money money

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Susan Moore N o one can deny that the London summer season ended with a bang. The sale of a 'lost' monumental panel painting by the great Flemish master Sir Peter Paul Rubens...

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Daring to

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remix Stuart Nicholson J azz, a music not noted for being hidebound by rules and regulations, does have several unwritten laws. One of them states that, if any recording...

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Notorious affairs

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Simon Hoggart e ars ago I met Christine Keeler, who was permanently short of money, and who was plugging yet another book she'd written about the Profumo affair. Except to her,...

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Head-scratching times

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Michael Vestey T he very title of last week's Analysis on Radio Four, Flirting with Fascism? (Thursday), indicated what we were in for, The programme clearly believes that the...

Distinguishing marks

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Alan Judd Y ou can always sell a Jaguar. Like Bentley, Range Rover, Aston Martin, Porsche and Ferrari, they're high on recognition and glamour. This is partly because of the...

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Undervalued herb

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Simon Courtauld I am not familiar with the ways of young women in the Czech republic, but it is said that, when going out on a date, they are in the habit of hanging a little...

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Expensive mistakes

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Robin Oakley h ere are few more visible trainers in the winning enclosure than Newmarket's towering blond-maned Ed Dunlop. But recently Dunlop must have been wondering where to...

Mediterranean blues

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Taki T h St Tropez e meltdown of the financial markets has not been felt in this overcrowded, once-upon-a-time sleepy fishing village. Not yet, anyway. The behemoths known as...

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Festival fury

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Jeremy Clarke M y eyeballs go hard when I'm angry, or they feel like they do anyway. Last weekend I felt like I had a couple of marbles in there. I don't know why exactly. It...

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Budapest's glory

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Petronella Wyatt I have spent the past week in Hungary, rediscovering my roots. My family that is, not my vegetable garden. Unlike my mother, my Aunt Livia never escaped from...

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OH dear, Back — again — to north Wales, the

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totally non-gourmet capital of the world, where coffee still tastes like a chemistry experiment gone extremely wrong, extremely tepid and extremely beige. I'm sorry, but we do...

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Pique practice

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Michael Henderson 'WE're asked to console with each tremulous soul who steps out to be loudly applauded./ Stars on opening nights weep when they see their names in lights./...

Q. For nearly 40 years we have enjoyed the rewarding

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friendship of the owners of one of England's finest stately homes. We have stayed with them on a number of occasions but now feel that we simply cannot face another visit. They...

Q. I have been watching Big Brother and cannot understand

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why Tim should be so unpopular, purely on the grounds that he is 'posh'. He does not seem that posh to me but, even if he were, is it now a crime in England to be posh, Mary?...

Q. I am shortly to hold a drinks party in

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my garden and would welcome your advice. We have a friend whose wife seems to react badly to alcohol, often becoming argumentative with her husband and fellow guests after only...

Q. At this time of year I am invited to

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a number of drinks parties in people's gardens. I do want to go to the parties but at my age I do not wish my face to be scrutinised too closely in the unforgiving early-evening...