23 AUGUST 2003

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D ocuments presented to Lord Hutton's inquiry into the events surrounding

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the death of Dr David Kelly, the expert on Iraqi weapons, showed that Mr Geoff Hoon, the Secretary of State for Defence, overruled a recommendation from Sir Kevin Tebbit, the...

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The common enemy T he murderous attack on the United Nations in Baghdad has brought some clarity to the situation. It has exposed the essential community of interest between...

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N aked ambition is harder to disguise in the country. Take

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the duck race at a neighbouring village fete. A hundred yellow plastic ducks went whizzing along a turbulent stream. My grandson Phineas's duck was number 94, a prankster who...

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If you like human beings, steer clear of Human Resources

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ii ^ f you've ever been involved in managing people, on however small a scale and to whatever bathyspheric depths of ineptitude, it's a fair bet that you've been sent on a Fair...

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Those who opposed the war must not allow

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themselves to hope that things go wrong n human governance, men matter as much as measures. If this is true for us in Europe, why should it be any less true for the occupying...

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The Gospel according to Bravehe art

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Last week Mel Gibson launched an interfaith initiative following accusations that his film about Christ is anti-Semitic. Deal W. Hudson says that the star has been wrongly...

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Sick, thick and dangerous

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Inner-city doctors need police protection from thugs demanding prescriptions, says Theodore Dalrymple A s a conservative, I am against all unnecessary change, of course, but I...

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Bark, don't bite

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You'll be surprised what a firm word can achieve: Michael Hanlon says we should not give in to our fear of children M odern life is full of terror. We quake at global warming,...

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Mind your language

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Thwuh, this is a bit scatological,' said my husband, looking up from last week's column, his brow glistening with recycled Black Bush. From a man who is seldom ten yards from a...

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Can we liberate Zimbabwe?

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Mike Dewar concludes that the best way to topple Mugabe is to enlist South Africa's help A s Mr Mugabe continues to flout international opinion, suppress democratic opposition...

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The all-purpose bogeyman

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Idi Amin was up to his elbows in blood, says Tom Stacey, but the appalling truth is that he had some admirable qualities ne has to be careful of saying anything nice about...

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Sorry, traditional fare's off

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The Savoy Grill is no longer the place to be seen. Damien McCrystal on the sad decline of a once great restaurant N obody I know goes to the Savoy Grill any more. It used to be...

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Ancient & modern

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Schools minister David Miliband, condemned to a life of perpetual enthusiasm for New Labour policies as he attempts to climb the greasy pole, has drawn an analogy between...

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Grey shades of grade

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From Martin Jacoby Sir: The main problem with examination results is the entirely artificial concept of passing and failing (Leading article, 16 August). In the real world,...

Blowing hot or cold

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From Martin Livermore Sir: Congratulations for publishing some sense about this summer's heatwave (Leading article, 9 August). If the predictions of disaster were based just on...

If the CAP fits. . .

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From Elizabeth Burton Sir: While I appreciate that Ross Clark had his tongue well tucked into his cheek (`Country slickers', 16 August), there are one or two small errors which...

Laws that back burglars

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From Tom Warner Sir: As a US citizen, I was struck by the irony of Aldan Hartley's horrific tale of highly justified self-defence being published in a British journal (*How to...

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I'm backing Labour

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From Tony Woodley Sir: In his article based on an interview with me ('How to sack Blair', 2 August), Jasper Gerard asserts that I 'intend to make Tony Blair suffer', that I plan...

The euro hikes prices

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From Alessia Iacovone Sir: I wonder what makes Bruce Anderson (Politics, 9 August) and, indeed, most of the British media think that EU citizens living in the UK would vote in...

Keen to find fault

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From Rupert Hambro Sir: For some reason, Lady Mary Keen tries to be nasty about the Alnwick garden but ends up telling a story that is rather heartwarming (`Gardener's question...

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Smokers' paradise lost as pipes are pocketed for good

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A photograph of Tony Benn putting out his pipe and emitting clouds of smoke reminded me of what an old-fashioned Englishman he is. For who dares to smoke a pipe nowadays? When I...

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Dealmakers lunch where the customers are, so the City is going west

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eoffrey Ackroyd was the partner in Cazenove who developed a strategy for lunching: 'The Savoy,' he – would say, 'is a jolly nice little place for lunch, and nice and handy,...

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One forgotten masterpiece

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Philip Hensher TOBIAS SMOLLETT by Jeremy Lewis Cape, ,f25, pp. 360, ISBN 0224061518 p ersonally, I have a soft spot for Smollett, but from most rational points of view he is...

Looking for Lines

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A drift of butterflies — filigree flakes of snow — hover above dark ivy over my garden wall, searching for nectar. Advance, retreat, advance: in triple or quadruple time they...

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His master's voice

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Francis King A DOG'S LIFE by Paul Bailey Hatnish Hamilton, £15.99, pp. 182, ISBN 0241142015 T he first of Paul Bailey's Acknowledgments is to his former partner and continuing...

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The daily round, the common task

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Jane Ridley THE VICTORIAN HOUSE by Judith Flanders HaiperCollins, £20, pp. 476, ISBN 000713887 T oday we tend to see the Victorian woman as a bird in a gilded cage, lying on a...

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Where there's a will there's a wife

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Hugh Massingberd MISTRESS OF THE HOUSE: GREAT LADIES AND GRAND HOUSES, 1670-1830 by Rosemary Baird Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 320, ISBN 0297830783 he survival of historic houses,'...

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What did the Republic die of?

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Allan Massie RUBICON by Tom Holland Little, Brown, £20, pp. 406, ISBN 0316861308 T . he Republic won an empire, and destroyed itself in doing so. Tom Holland tells the story of...

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In the good old Bond tradition

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Jessica Mann p revious guests had left a pile of tatty paperbacks in our hotel, and there, buried among the blockbusters, was a thriller by John Lawton. It was a happy surprise...

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Paying the penance for Culture

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Lloyd Evans, on his first visit to Edinburgh, finds a grey city in need of a Parliament I mpossible to estimate how much the Scots have enriched the Life of Man. They gave us...

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Rural retreat

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Laura Gascoigne Three Painters of the Sea: Monet, Schueler and Nicholson Edinburgh Festival T he skreel of the pipes may be just the thing to fire the blood for battle, but...

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Dangerously good

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Michael Tanner The Ring Edinburgh Festival D ominating the Edinburgh Festival this year are two cycles of Wagner's Ring, which Scottish Opera has been building up over the past...

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Emperor's clothes

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Lloyd Evans The Last Night of Mankind Royal Lyceum Theatre The Seagull King's Theatre The Wicker Woman Pleasance Cavern M ystifying. What on earth possessed the directors of...

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Madame Mao in the desert

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Michael Kennedy visits Glimmerglass and Santa Fe Opera Festivals A lm)"American opera festivals, Santa Fe is the nearest to Glyndebourne both in high standards and in its...

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Style obsession

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Mark Steyn Confidence 15, selected cinemas E ally on in James Foley's Confidence, an underworld kingpin called The King (Dustin Hoffman) gives some advice to a con man...

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Unsung heroines

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Michael Vestey A s m I don't believe in God, even as a etaphor, I am obviously not a religious person. Yet I will happily undertake a sticky drive in a heatwave to revisit...

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Transfixing battle-axe

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Simon Hoggart rrhe sleep of reason brings forth mon sters,' Goya wrote, and the sleep of reason that is summer television has just brought forth a cracking monster. Christine...

'Thinking jockey

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Robin Oakley wallows in the sunshine were darting Omer the thatched roof of the July course saddling boxes. The local sausages and mash were as good as ever, and Neville...

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Italian brains

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Alan Judd T hree and a half historic works of art are on display until 12 October at London's riverside Design Museum. Being a design museum, it's not too obvious where...

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Perils of love

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Taki Gstaad T he bad news is I had yet another birthday — 67 — along with my friend Claus von Bulow, who hit a double seven. Claus, incidentally, has turned into a fine...

Game over

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Jeremy Clarke I 'm over the limit so I'm driving home down the back lanes to avoid the police. You have to drink-and-drive round here because we're a bit isolated and the...

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Trust me, I'm a doctor

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Aldan Hartley Laikipia M y mother's house on Kenya's coast in August is my favourite place to decompress. After a month in London and Edinburgh, it was such a relief to kick...

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Diet of despair

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Petronella Wyatt T have been singing for my supper here in 1 Italy in a big way. For the first course, the pasta, the entrée and the gelati. The manageress of the hotel, 11...

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Sangfroid and Scotch eggs ligivkatiALL HENDERSON New York The reporter

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from the paper in Cumberland had called to find out how New Yorkers had coped with the blackout. But Pete Myers was interested in more pressing matters, like Carlisle - United's...

Q. When eating, my 15-year-old daughter knocks her teeth with

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her fork or spoon. She is very amenable to being corrected, but we are about to join a large house-party where we will all be eating en famille, and! can't nag her in public. I...

A. The overhandfork po.sifion to which you refer is not

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even practised in the 'flyover states' of the American interior (where food is vertically impaled with the left hand and sawn up with the right into Kennomeat-style chunks)....

Q. What puddings are currently fashionable?

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T.S., Polzeath, Cornwall A. One easy-to-assemble pudding which has been popular in house-parties this summer is quality vanilla ice-cream thawed sufficiently to permit the...