21 JANUARY 2006

Page 2

Way to go, Mr Cameron

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T his week a new expression enters the lexicon of Conservative thought: social justice. According to David Cameron, the Conservative party now offers ‘a forward-looking vision...

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PORTRAIT OF THE WEEK M iss Ruth Kelly resisted pressure to

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resign as the Secretary of State for Education after it was learnt that a minister had approved the employment in a school of a man who had been put on the sex offenders...

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I have a strange aversion to white goods and have never

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been able to bring myself to buy a washing machine. Once a week, therefore, I take my clothes off to the washeteria and sit in a sort of trance, watching them blur round. The...

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The real threat to Ruth Kelly is not the paedophile scandal but the Education Bill

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A lmost without exception Tony Blair’s Cabinet reshuffles have been a shambles, sometimes descending into farce. The reshuffle that followed the 2001 general election was a case...

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J ack Straw says that military action against Iran is ‘inconceivable’.

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The President of Iran says he wants to wipe Israel ‘off the map’. Why doesn’t an interviewer ask the Foreign Secretary whether, if Iran tried to do this, military action would...

Page 8

Hate, hypocrisy and hysteria

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Leo McKinstry says that the tabloid moralists should stop hurling abuse at Ruth Kelly and think about their own role in perverting national life W hen it comes to sex, Britain...

Page 10

Washington must talk to Tehran

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Andrew Gilligan says that this time we would all benefit if America took the diplomatic lead L ast November the Iranian people were privileged to watch perhaps the year’s most...

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Ancient & modern

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Prime Minister Blair is trying to restore ‘respect’ to our mean streets. The impossibility of the task may be judged by the observation that no one in government has yet...

The politics of Pleasantville

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Rod Liddle on why our insulated ruling elite doesn’t allow political differences to get in the way of its cosy consensus T here is a sort of golden crescent in London — and they...

Page 13

Boomtown rats

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Matthew Continetti says that crooked lobbyists are what you get when Republicans embrace big government and go on a spending spree Washington O bservers of American politics...

Page 14

Mind your language

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It would be the luck of Sir Menzies Campbell, known familiarly as Ming, to reach a height of fame just when minging and minger have become voguish terms of opprobrium. The...

Exploiting genocide

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Brendan O’Neill on how ‘Holocaust relativists’ on both Left and Right use the greatest crime in history for political ends D avid Irving, the British historian and anti-Semite,...

Page 16

The danger of China

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Peter Hitchens says that the miraculous new Chinese economy is not all that it seems T he Chinese word for an empire of prison camps is just as easy to remember and to pronounce...

Page 18

A question of ethnics

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The government is trying to persuade ethnic minorities to visit the countryside, but the only black farmer in Britain tells Mian Ridge that the scheme is misconceived T wo...

Page 19

Are there still convicted Tories lurking in the Conservative party?

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O nly one thing about British politics looks like continuing for the foreseeable future. That is the continuing rise of Mr Cameron. Four points ahead of Labour in a weekend...

Page 20

’Nuff respect

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From Daniel O’Flaherty Sir: Using that drearily fashionable word ‘respect’ seems to have become an epidemic among politicians (Leading article, 14 January). First we had George...

Streaming is easy

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From Paul Wright Sir: In his cover story (‘Why did he do it?’, 14 January) Ross Clark stated, ‘It is all but impossible for a school to timetable classes so that pupils can be...

Lodge: a complaint

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From David Lodge Sir: Frederic Raphael’s review of No Man’s Land by Graham Greene (Books, 10 December) has recently come to my attention. Mr Raphael is entitled to express his...

Scruton vs Dawkins

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From Graham Barnes Sir: Roger Scruton offers his usual measured, rational response to Richard Dawkins on the matter of religion, even boldly taking on Dawkins’s ridiculously...

Page 21

From Dr Chris Scanlan

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Sir: There are only two fundamental challenges to the spread of atheism: the first is that faith is demonstrably true, the second is that faith is necessary for the wellbeing of...

From Christopher Heneghan

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Sir: The interesting thing about Dawkins is why he protests so much. Why not simply say he does not believe in any god, and move on? He spends no time on the Tooth Fairy or...

Blazing trails

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From John Hunt Sir: I wholeheartedly agree with Rod Liddle’s rant against trailing in his article (Thought for the day, 14 January) and admire his restraint when referring to...

Dizzy heights

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From Martin Green Sir: Peter Oborne’s star-struck article on David Cameron (‘a joy to behold’) compares him to Disraeli, ‘the greatest of Tory politicians’ (Politics, 7...

Send them up north

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From Brendan Duggan Sir: So the answer to all our housing problems is a big increase in subsidised housing (Letters, 14 January). Just let everyone depend more on the state,...

Ninety years young

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From Eric Dehn Sir: I read the article about Betty Parsons (‘Labour of love’, 7 January) with great sympathy and also a touch of jealousy. What Mrs Parsons and I have in common...

Page 22

Labour tries its hand at privatisation — and hands John Major’s firm a fast buck

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Q inetiQ, the business created out of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, is Labour’s first attempt at full-scale privatisation, and it has deservedly run into heavy...

Page 23

What I would do if I were a multibillionaire

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T here is nothing sinful in amassing wealth, provided it is done justly. Andrew Carnegie, in his essay ‘Wealth’, got it right. What is reprehensible is to hang on to it: ‘The...

Page 24

The riddle of the sands

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Bruce Anderson visits St Antony’s monastery, in the Egyptian desert ‘T he monks are fasting,’ said the gatekeeper, with an expression like a locked door. ‘How appropriate,’ we...

Page 25

Falling in love

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Michael Heath D one the Isle of Wight, been to Brighton, went to Paris in the Fifties when it looked and smelt like a foreign country — I saw Bud Powell play piano and lived...

Page 26

Go with the flow

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Victoria Lane ‘P repare to find nature at its most vulgar!’ said a friend who had already been to Hawaii. He warned of garish birds and neon fish and lurid flowers. And he...

Page 27

Jibe talkin’

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Lucy Helliker Y ears ago I promised myself that if ever I won the Lottery, the first thing I would splash out on would be a spot of island-hopping around the Caribbean, on...

Sadism and sentimentality

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Emily Laughland F rau Heigl opened the door of the Blue Goat Inn with a scowl on her face. Looking for a Narnia-esque winter wonderland, I had decided to spend Christmas in...

Page 29

The other Life of Brian

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Bevis Hillier B RIAN H OWARD : P ORTRAIT OF A F AILURE by Marie-Jaqueline Lancaster Timewell, £14.99, pp. 398, ISBN 185725211X ✆ £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I n 1968...

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Duty and pleasure in happy tandem

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Alistair Irwin A B RITISH A CHILLES by Lorna Almonds Windmill Pen & Sword, £19.99, pp. 278, ISBN 1844153541 ✆ £15.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I have never met the 2nd...

Page 31

A very smokable blend

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Lloyd Evans T HE Y EAR OF THE JOUNCER by Simon Gray Granta, £14.99, pp. 282, ISBN 9781862078963 ✆ £11.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 E ven the rubbish on the flyleaf isn’t...

Just imagine that

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Philip Womack S NATCHES : A P OTTED G UIDE TO THE W ORST D ECISIONS THE H UMAN R ACE H AS E VER M ADE by Martin Rowson Cape, £10.99, pp. 326, ISBN 0224076043 ✆ £8.79 (plus...

Page 32

The brilliant and the damned

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Jane Rye E. M C K NIGHT K AUFFER : A D ESIGNER AND HIS P UBLIC by Mark Haworth-Booth V&A Publications, £24.99, pp. 128, ISBN 1851774661 ✆ £19.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655...

Manners elevated to a high art

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Caroline Moorehead T HE A GE OF C ONVERSATION by Benedetta Craveri, translated by Teresa Waugh New York Review of Books, £17.99, pp. 475, ISBN 1590171411 ✆ £14.39 (plus £2.45...

Page 33

A man in a million

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M. R. D. Foot T HE G REAT D OMINION : W INSTON C HURCHILL IN CANADA by David Dilks Thomas Allen & Son Ltd, Toronto, £20, pp. 472, ISBN 0887621627 ✆ £16 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870...

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Will Haig end up as a cuddly toy?

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Hugh Cecil T HE G REAT W AR : M YTH AND M EMORY by Dan Todman Hambledon & London, £19.99, pp. 299, ISBN 1852854596 ✆ £15.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 I f you ask most...

Page 35

Good companion in the field

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Allan Mallinson T HE B ATTLE by Alessandro Barbero Atlantic Books, £19.99, pp. 350, ISBN 1843543095 ✆ £15.99 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 A S URGICAL A RTIST AT W AR edited...

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A desert as dangerous as ever

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Jeremy Swift W ORLDS W ITHIN : R EFLECTIONS IN THE S AND by Robin Hanbury-Tenison Long Riders’Guild Press, £11.99, pp. 284, ISBN 1590481623 E xploration has come a long way...

Page 37

Celebrating Mozart’s genius

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We are in for a media extravaganza. Peter Phillips on the pros and cons W hy, exactly, are we celebrating Mozart this year? Because the anniversarial numbers have trapped us...

Page 38

Poetry of place

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Andrew Lambirth London Now: City of Heaven, City of Hell Guildhall Art Gallery, London EC2, until 9 April I s London a model city or a sink of iniquity? Defining things in...

Page 39

Adventures of the gods

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Roderick Conway Morris Mythology and the Erotic: Art and Culture from Antiquity to the 18th Century Palazzo Pitti, Florence, until 15 May T he Christian Church sought to...

Page 40

Bennett’s Golden Age

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Toby Young The History Boys Lyttelton The Gem of the Ocean Tricycle Lies Have Been Told Trafalgar Studio T here’s a good deal wrong with The History Boys , which has returned...

Page 41

Strauss stunner

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Michael Tanner Salome Opera North, Leeds Town Hall I nspired, cathartic, even revelatory. These are exciting, dangerous words for a critic to use in relation to a particular...

Meet the moppets

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Mark Steyn Fun with Dick and Jane 12A, selected cinemas Y ears ago a movie buff pal said to me he couldn’t understand why I liked the theatre. ‘A great show is only great to...

Page 42

What’s the point?

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James Delingpole T he older I get the less tolerant I grow towards any form of entertainment a play, a film, a TV programme, a book, whatever — that doesn’t deliver sufficient...

Page 43

Rough justice

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Michael Vestey T he International Criminal Court is one of those glutinous supranational bodies so beloved by bureaucrats everywhere. These and others like them, the so-called...

Page 44

Everyday supercar

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Alan Judd W hen VW took over Bentley and its Crewe factory it decreed that all new Bentleys should be subject to VW testing and quality-control procedures. It wasn’t that it...

Milestones and millstones

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Taki Rome T hey say that the invading Barbarians were so overwhelmed by the Pantheon’s beauty that they didn’t take it apart brick by brick. It is, of course, the most...

Page 45

Rays of sunshine

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Jeremy Clarke T he sun came out last Wednesday. Partly because I’ve been confined to bed, first in south London, then in south Devon, and partly because it’s been an unusually...

Page 46

Ode to a leaf

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Aidan Hartley Laikipia A ccording to an imminent Home Office decree, I am on drugs, I cultivate drugs and I intend to push drugs. I thought Blair’s government was moving to...

Page 49

F ifa has tossed back the sponsored ball which was expensively

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designed for June’s World Cup: it was too inclined to wobble in flight. Also last week, the ongoing fuss over the size and aerodynamics of the golf ball came to an interim...


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Dear Mary Q. I have an aversion to shaking hands. How should I avoid this, without giving offence? My doctor informs me that more germs are passed by hand than by kissing. At...

Q. Concerning your Brian Eno problem (17/24 December). After a

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Britten/Pears concert at the Wigmore Hall in the 1960s I heard Benjamin Britten respond to the question of what he was working on with the words ‘same notes, different order’....

Q. Growing your own organic vegetables has become very competitive

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here in the Vale of Pewsey. The place is awash with city money and many of these new country squires can afford full-time gardeners, which puts those like me who cannot afford...