22 MARCH 2003

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The Spectator

ritish troops joined the American assault on Iraq, after a Commons debate in which an anti-war motion as defeated by 396 votes to 217 i (including 139 Labour rebels), and a...

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Freedom from fear

The Spectator

ear and hope are the two great motivators of human action, and neither untempered by the other leads to wise decision-making. Paralysis by unreasonable fear is as much to he...

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GERALP IrmAN O ne day last August, with the dust-motes swirling

The Spectator

in the summer heat, I ran into Robin Cook in a corridor of the House of Commons. The place was almost deserted during the long recess, whose length Cook later truncated as part...

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Tony Blair has won in the Commons; now his fate is in the hands of the generals

The Spectator

17 , or some reason Britain is always sunny on the outbreak of war. London basked under a heatwave in August 1914 as Asquith almost casually condemned Britain to four years of...

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We peaceniks are going to have to pay a heavy price for Allied victory

The Spectator

he high-water mark for modish opposition to the invasion of Iraq may this week have passed. Those who, like me, remain unconvinced of the case for war should prepare for a...

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The Questing Vole A s we go to war, there is

The Spectator

one important figure from whom we have yet to hear: Lord Ashdown of Norton-subHamdon; statesman, soldier, lover — a politician who seems to have sprung from the very pages of...

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Waiting for the bombs to fall

The Spectator

Andrew Gilligan, reporting from the weird calm of the Iraqi capital, wonders just how important a role the British military will play in the defeat of Saddam Baghdad, Wednesday...

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The frog of peace

The Spectator

Jo Johnson says that Chirac is riding high in the opinion polls because of his defiance of the United States Pans G ame over yet? Don't count on , it. As Prime Minister...

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Banned wagon: global

The Spectator

A weekly survey of world restrictions on freedom and free trade In a speech in Ontario a fortnight ago, Leo W. Gerard made an eloquent appeal for the formation of a new...

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Mind your language

The Spectator

I've just been reading with pleasure a facsimile of a little book called Orbis Sensualium Pictus, or Visible World, by Johannes Amos Comenius, as published in London in 1672....

Well, hush my mouth

The Spectator

Boris Johnson wrote for the New York Times, which found some of his words unfit to print 1 t is a measure of our natural deference to America. cultural and military, that when...

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Ancient & modern

The Spectator

George Bush wishes to see democracy — he means, of course, elective oligarchy — imposed all over the Middle East, whether Middle Easterners want it or not. Alexander the...

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The new anti-Semitism

The Spectator

Melanie Phillips says that hostility to Jews is strongest among those on the Left who claim to be fighting racism Nv . ant to make yourself really, really unpopular if you're a...

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United they fall

The Spectator

Richard Perle bids farewell to the United Nations and its history of anarchy and abject failure S addam Hussein's reign of terror is about to end. He will go quickly. but not...


The Spectator

In the old days, whenever that was, the great advantage of stating the obvious was that one was unlikely to be flatly contradicted: but it is quite otherwise in these...

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George Bush makes more sense than Charles Kennedy

The Spectator

The Liberal Democrat Richard Moore on why he cannot toe the party line on Iraq C harles Kennedy, the Liberal Democrat leader, seems to base his policy in the present crisis on:...

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When High Mass was sung with a king's escort and fixed bayonets

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON I am mystified by people who write hostile accounts of their Catholic schooling under nuns and priests. Their experience of cruelty and suffering bears no relation...

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War of the world

The Spectator

From Mr Geoffrey Regan Sir: As a British historian. I wish to say that in this current crisis I believe France speaks for the world, not Britain or the United States, The threat...

Social engineering

The Spectator

From Mr Richard Barber Sir: I don't think that Mark Steyn ('Europe is dying, and the Yanks are going home', 15 March) draws the right conclusions from his projection that by...

Upper-class prats

The Spectator

From Mr Brian Bashani Sir: Peter Oborne's recent piece ('Decline and fall of the Hooray Henry', 8 March) glorifying upper-class bullying shows that there is still a breed of...

Rewriting slavery

The Spectator

From Prudence Jones Sir: Pace Daniel Kruger (The case for colonialism', 15 March), the beginning of the slave trade did not take place in the British colonies. The slave trade...

Pinter's poem

The Spectator

From Mr Robin Cairns Sir: I noted the prominent copyright rider to the contribution from Harold Pinter last week (Democracy). Shame about that, as I would otherwise have...

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Why are we backing regime change in Baghdad but not in Harare?

The Spectator

A t the British High Commission in Harare, the going rate for a visa to get the hell out of that indiscriminately violent asylum whose government we helped to install is 79,200...

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We should toast the reporters who are staying behind to cover the war

The Spectator

STEPHEN GLOVER resident George W. Bush has suggested that journalists should be pulled out of Baghdad. You may ask what business it is of his. On the other hand, perhaps he...

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We've paid ourselves the peace dividend but now we'll have to earn it

The Spectator

CHRISTOPHER FILDES eposing Saddam Hussein is something to leave to the experts. Don't try to do it yourself. Warfare (or, to put it politely, defence) is what the economists...

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A bit of a smash in Soho

The Spectator

Philip Hensher FEAR AND LOATHING IN FITZROVIA by Paul Willetts Dewi Lewis, f14.99, pp. 392 ISBN 1899235698 T he legendarily catastrophic life of Julian Maciaren-Ross has...

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A case of premature rejoicing

The Spectator

Paul Routledge THE WAGES OF SPIN by Bernard Ingham John Murray, £18.99, pp. 261 ISBN 0719564816 I n recent days, Alastair Campbell has been demanding money with his...

Not great but definitely good

The Spectator

Jane Ridley HANNAH MORE: THE FIRST VICTORIAN by Anne Stott OUP, £25, pp. 384, ISBN 0199245320 W ho was Hannah More? William Cobbett called her an old bishop in petticoats, and...

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The Spectator

John Lister - Kaye's Song of the Rolling Earth, reviewed in last week's issue, is not published by John Murray but by Time Warner, at £15.99 in hardback (ISBN 0316861766) and...

What it's really like

The Spectator

Jonathan Mirsky JARHEAD: A MARINE CHRONICLE OF THE GULF WAR by Anthony Swofford Scribner, £14.99, pp. 260, ISBN 0743239180 I n a recent column in the Telegraph (8 March)...

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NM= The first iron curtain

The Spectator

Jonathan Sumption THE CROSS AND THE CRESCENT: CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM FROM MOHAMMAD TO THE REFORMATION by Richard Fletcher Allen Lane, £16.99, pp. 183 ISBN 0713996862 17.z....

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Is there a ghost in the machine?

The Spectator

Hugh Lawson-Tancred FREEDOM EVOLVES by Daniel C. Dennett Allen Lane, £20, pp. 368 ISBN 0719559391 1 f, in a state of background quiescence, you momentarily decide to perform...

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DIY down the ages

The Spectator

James Delingpole SOLITARY SEX by Thomas W. Laqueur MIT, £22.50, pp. 501, ISBN 1890951323 0 ne balmy summer afternoon in my final year at prep school, a group of my...

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Hovering between fact and fantasy

The Spectator

Natalie Wheen is thrilled by the sights and sounds of a largely reconstructed Dresden 1 had the strangest experience at the ballet in Dresden: all perfectly pretty onstage, the...

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Finest pickings

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth Masterpieces from Dresden Royal Academy, until 8 June Li st summer the city of Dresden was ooded by the River Elbe and many of the treasures of the State Art...

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Role models

The Spectator

Nicholas Powell Vincent's Choice: The Musee imaginaire of Van Gogh Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, until 15 June A late starter who decided to be an artist at the age of 27....

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Great minds...

The Spectator

Mark Steyn The Recruit /24, selected cinemas T his column gets results! Well, to be more precise, after decades of impotence, this column has got a result! Or, at any rate,...

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Special Cs

The Spectator

Charles Spencer R ight, to business. This week sees the IN..start of Olden but golden's definitive, cut-out-and-keep 26-part series on the glories of British progressive rock....

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Hollow swan-song

The Spectator

Michael Tanner Turandot Act III Barbican p uccini's Turandot is routinely allotted the honour of being the last opera in the great Italian opera tradition, though there have...

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Vexatious frivolity

The Spectator

Lloyd Evans Camille Lyric, Hammersmith Funny Black Women On The Edge Theatre Royal, Stratford East Early Morning Oval House D aniele Nardini has given herself a...

Novel approach

The Spectator

Giannandrea Poesio Wuthering Heights Northern Ballet Theatre, Sadler's Wells A t first, the idea of a choreographic translation of Wuthering Heights might sound a bit odd....

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Please come back

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart C old Feet (ITV) finally ended and will probably not come back, though I must ask that, contrary to the received wisdom, it should. I loved it. The last episode...

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Great survivor

The Spectator

Michael Vestey C harles Wheeler has been, deservedly, the most admired broadcasting journalist of his generation; his colleagues, myself included, pointing to him as the type...

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Indispensable herb

The Spectator

Simon Courtauld T wonder if the old-fashioned curly leaved parsley parsley may be making a comeback. This essentially British parsley, which we all knew and loved, was sent to...

Friends and foes

The Spectator

Taki Gstaad S Come days you pick up the newspaper and you don't know whether to laugh or cry,' writes Thomas Friedman of the New York Times. Actually, I haven't been shedding...

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Remorseless needling

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke I was sitting in the doctor's waiting-room when Sharon came in. 'What are you here for?' she said. 'Psychological counselling,' I said, 'You?' Hers was a bit of a...

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Blood lines

The Spectator

Petronella Wyatt I t warms the blood, as it were, to see that vampires are coming into their own again. Having been made risible by years of Hammer Horror films and then a...

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The Spectator

J am writing this at home, on an utterly gorgeous spring day. The air is crisp, the sky is blue, and daffodils and crocuses and hyacinths would, surely, be out in our little...

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club offer from Comey & Barrow is always good news.

The Spectator

With their vast range, from cheap and cheerful Chileans to Chateau Petrus, there's a terrific choice, and it was hard to pick just six wines out of so many goodies. Actually, I...

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OTT theme hotel

The Spectator

Jaspistos In Competition No. 2281 you were invited to describe in detail a ghastly theme hotel based on a famous writer, painter or musician. 'One is greeted by a notice...

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Courageous cricket

The Spectator

MICHAEL HENDERSON T he cricket World Cup continues to rumble along, and should bring an Australian victoty this Sunday. It has been a poor competition: bloated, badly...

Dear Maly

The Spectator

Q. A man and a woman are in a railway carriage either side of the door. Both want to get off at the next station. The train stops. Who gets out first, a) if they are known to...