24 FEBRUARY 2007

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You've got mail

The Spectator

1 f there is such a thing as e-panic, New Labour is in its grip. Alarmed and caught off guard by the 1.7 million people who have signed an online petition against national...

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MARIANNE MACDONALD Iarrive at David Bailey's Clerkenwell studio. Bailey is doing a shoot for Lancome; I have been asked to interview the Spanish supermodel, Ines Sastre. The...

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Blair takes the stabilisers off the Basra bike': how long before it falls?

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FRASER NELSON The Shatt al-Arab hotel in Basra offers arguably the most wretched four-star accommodation in the Arab world. It has flushing toilets, but that is where the luxury...

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The Spectator Notes

The Spectator

CHARLES MOORE The Anglican Communion, trying to hold itself together in Dar-esSalaam, is like the Commonwealth. Indeed, it exists for the same reason — the inheritance of the...

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Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

The Spectator

By Tamzin Lightwater MONDAY OK, OK, I was wrong. (It does happen you know.) I may have been a teensy bit oversensitive about the whole 'marriage' thing. But I am now prepared to...

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It's Cameron's political language that is doing for Brown

The Spectator

The US pollster Frank Luntz has made a huge impact on recent British political conference seasons. Here he explains why the Tory leader is pulling ahead of the Chancellor — and...

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I won't make life easy for Gordon by defectin

The Spectator

Fraser Nelson talks to Frank Field, who is leading the campaign for a leadership challenge to Gordon Brown. On social policy, he says, 'Cameron is on the right track' Frank...

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Black people are shooting each other because we treat them as a 'community'

The Spectator

Rod Liddle says that the spate of gang shootings is rooted in the pernicious politics of 'identity', which encourages young black males to think of themselves as fundamentally...

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Mind your language

The Spectator

If 2006 was the year of issues, when the word problem gave way to 'issues around' things, then 2007 looks as if it will be the year of challenge. Dreary managementspeak types...

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Ulster's A.J.P. Taylor gets his just reward

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Paul Bew is regarded in No. 10 as the most influential thinker in 'the island of Ireland'. Dean Godson pays tribute to a remarkable historian who has been elevated to the...

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Here's why the Brits win so many Oscars

The Spectator

Toby Young looks forward to the 79th Academy Awards and explains why the British tend to do so well on Hollywood's biggest night out — and still be self-deprecating about it he...

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Tolerance: for and against

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From Corin Vestey Sir: John Gray argues that 'relearning the habit of tolerance' may allow us to reach a 'modus vivendi' with Islam (The best we can hope for is tolerance', 17...

Education 'captured'

The Spectator

From John Blundell Sir: I congratulate Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth for their two fascinating articles on our failing schools (Look back in anger', 3 February; 'Liberate...

Now we are online

The Spectator

From R. Molony Sir: Charles Moore has some suggestions for updating children's books for the internet age (The Spectator's Notes, 13 January). May I widen the field a little? At...

Cameron's equivocation

The Spectator

From Martin Newland Sir: Michael Gove (The anniversary of Emperor Ming', 17 February) rightly criticises Sir Menzies Campbell's stance on the Middle East peace process in his...

No justification for torture

The Spectator

From PL. Nock Sir: On the subject of torture (Meeting Professor Torture', 17 February), I would like to make two points. First, that it's difficult to see how a so-called...

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There are worse things than 35ft crocodiles

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON Iadmire the late Steve Irwin, the Australian crocodilaphile who, corning from nowhere, contrived to make £2 million a year sporting with these ugly, dangerous and...

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Racing uncertainties

The Spectator

Dominic Prince says you'd have to be potty to buy a racehorse as an investment — unless your name happened to be John Magnier or Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum wning and breeding a...

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Money really can grow on trees

The Spectator

Merryn Somerset Webb With the endless talk about private equity these days you could be forgiven for thinking it must be the only sensible investment out there. Not so. In fact...

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Toys for boys who play the markets

The Spectator

Jonathan Davis says many smart punters now prefer to bet on share prices rather than investing the old-fashioned way Twelve years ago, on a rainy afternoon when nothing much...

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It ain't half hot in Mumbai

The Spectator

Elliot Wilson explains how to navigate India's rigid investment rules and buy into a dazzling growth story Sweat was pouring off the commodities broker sitting next to me in the...

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A rollercoaster ride with the Caucasian billionaire

The Spectator

Jules Evans says the London stock market would be dull without colourful new players like Suleiman Kerimov n his annual meeting with foreign journalists in January, President...

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Princes meet in the desert to discuss the bank that has lost its way — and its brolly

The Spectator

ROBERT COTTRELL IN NEW YORK Ivhen Charles Prince, the chief executive of Citigroup, announced two weeks ago that he was getting rid of his bank's rather likeable corporate logo,...

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A tale of treachery

The Spectator

Geoffrey Wheatcroft AN UN-AMERICAN LIFE by Sam Tanenhaus Old Street Publishing, £25, pp.688, ISBN 9781905847075 © £20 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Ivhen The Spectator recently...

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Hospital Music

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In the square at St Bartholomew's hospital, Crates of flowers are stacked for bedding out Round the plane trees. Patients with paper cups sit about In wheelchairs or under the...

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Something is rotten except in Denmark

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Lewis Wolpert AFFLUENZA by Oliver James Vemallion, £17.99, pp. 382, ISBN 9780091900106 £1439 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 Are we really so emotionally distressed that one...

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Sublime treason of the clerks

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Jonathan Keates PAGES FROM THE GONCOURT JOURNALS by Edmond and Jules de Goncourt, edited, translated and introduced by Robert Baldick, foreword by Geoff Dyer New York Review of...

The greatest honour of all

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Philip Ziegler THE ORDER OF MERIT by Stanley Martin I. B. Tauris, £12.99, pp. 647, ISBN 9781860648489 The Order of Merit is the only honour which almost everyone would like to...

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Misfortunes of the rich

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Anita Brookner DAVID GOLDER by Irene Nemirovsky, with an introduction by Patrick Marnham Vintage Originals, £7.99, pp. 159, ISBN 9780099493969 © £6.39 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429...

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The lunatic space race

The Spectator

John Michell DARK SIDE OF THE MOON by Gerard DeGroot Cape, £18.99, pp. 320, ISBN 9780224075930 © £15.19 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 The 1960s brought in the Beatles, drugs,...

The longest day

The Spectator

Andrew Taylor LOSING YOU by Nicci French Michael Joseph, £12.99, pp. 292, ISBN 9780718147821 © £1039 (plus £2.45 p&p) 0870 429 6655 As Hitchcock knew, the best thrillers use the...

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Bells to St Wystan

The Spectator

Grey Gowrie This week sees the centenary of the birth in York of W. H. Auden. All over the world this season, Audenites should at 1755 hours precisely prepare a very cold, very...

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I don't believe it!

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Lloyd Evans meets the actor Richard Wilson, and is surprised by the twinkle in his eye Cot the right place? Yup, this looks like it. I'm about to meet TV's grumpiest man, and...

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Distinguished company

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Andrew Lambirth Citizens and Kings Royal Academy, until 20 April If ever there was an exhibition which warranted a speedy and assessing first look, and then a longer, more...

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Feathered friends

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Mark Fisher The Parrot in Art: From Diirer to Elizabeth Butterworth The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, until 29 April The Parrot in Art? Unraise your...

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The importance of being British

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Sheridan Morley Sheridan Morley died suddenly last weekend. He was The Spectator's theatre critic from 1990 to 2001. His knowledge of both the stage and its leading...

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The quiet American

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Lloyd Evans Underneath the Lintel Duchess The Glass Menagerie Apollo Boeing-Boeing Comedy irst a tribute. Just over a week ago the death was announced of Sheridan Morley, my...

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Dynastic dissonance

The Spectator

Patrick Camegy Richard III — An Arab Tragedy Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon Richard III Courtyard Theatre The RSC's Complete Works festival continues to produce wondrous...

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Marriage of minds

The Spectator

Robin Holloway Made in Heaven': the contrasts and complements linking Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky in two-way reciprocality form a felicitous marriage of true minds perfect for...

Elegy to futility

The Spectator

Letters from Iwo Jima 15, Nationwide you know, prior to taking up this beat, I simply would not have gone to see a second world war film at the cinema. First world war, yes, and...

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Act of sabotage Michael Tanner Orfeo Opera North M

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Act of sabotage Michael Tanner Orfeo Opera North Madama Butterfly Royal Opera -Elxactly 400 years ago, 24 February i 1607, the first great opera received its premiere in Mantua....

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Missing ingredient

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Giannandrea Poesio American Ballet Theatre Sadler's Wells Theatre El or many dance and cinema goers of my generation, the opening sequence of The Kingdom of the Shades, from the...

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Comfort station

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Kate Chisholm Sometimes when listening to Radio Four you can have the odd experience of spiralling downwards into your very own time warp. Lying in the bath on Sunday morning,...

Morpheus descending

The Spectator

James Delingpole T nsomnia is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I When, for example, I made up my mind that I was going to review the BBC's new series Sleep Clinic (BBC1, Monday), I...

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Classic appeal

The Spectator

Alan Judd There's a fascinating new book about a man with a passion for a house which he lost and regained, brick by red Jacobean brick. The house was Thrumpton in...

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Manners over money Taki St Moritz The lack of snow

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Manners over money Taki St Moritz The lack of snow drove me to the Engadine valley and the queen of ski resorts, St Moritz. Mind you, the queen is no longer what she once was....

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Inner conflict

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Jeremy Clarke During the last week of my stay in the Alpujarras, the almond trees flowered. It happened almost overnight. There was an exceptionally warm afternoon and evening,...

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Getting a first

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Peter Grogan weighs up the worth of rare books 1 've worked in the rare book trade for far too long to expect the prices of first editions to make any sense to the uninitiated....

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Fare deal

The Spectator

Jonathan Ray loves owning a black cab ur people carrier has just clocked up 300,000 miles and is going as strong as ever. It is sleek, black and beautiful and draws admiring...

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Supermodels of the jungle

The Spectator

Alex Bilmes has an exhilarating, face-to-face encounter with a tiger in Rajasthan We found her lying in the tall grass on the banks of Lake Rajbag, a Royal Bengal tiger, 12...

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Your Problems Solved

The Spectator

Dear Maly Q. lam frequently invited to book launches. I always make a point of buying a copy of the book in question and leave the party with every enthusiastic intention of...

The road to Wembley?

The Spectator

FRANK KEATING Football's relishable League Cup final at Cardiff tomorrow has Arsenal and Chelsea, the big guns from London, intriguingly squaring up for what is, officially, the...