24 MARCH 2001

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T he government ordered the slaughter of all pigs, sheep and

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goats, sick or healthy, in areas within three kilometres of any outbreak of foot-and-mouth in Dumfries and Galloway and Cumbria. Some cattle would also be killed. A similar...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 020-7405 1706; Fax 020-7242 0603 NO SURRENDER N ext month a group of servicemen will receive awards for bravery....

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W c look forward to being your Close Media Partners

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on this project, Dylan,' said the Stepford-like publicist, as the California sun dipped behind her head through the vaulted window of her aerodrome-sized office. This is a total...

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The scandal that will force Stephen Byers and Gordon Brown out of office

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BRUCE ANDERSON I must begin with an apology. Last week, I claimed that the government was tainted by lies and corruption. By protecting colleagues whom he should summarily have...

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There is no practical reason not to hold an election now. Even so, it should be postponed

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MATTHEW PARRIS I t is a question not of feasibility but of respect. The reason Tony Blair should even now reconsider his determination to call a general election a year early...

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North Americans are as confused and paranoid about foot-and-mouth as we are, says Mark Steyn, but they have some agricultural nightmares of their own to contend with New...

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Edward Chancellor on why one of our largest insurance companies is reviving the most discredited pension in history WE all worry about dying early, and that is why we have...

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Mind your language

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CORRESPONDENTS on the letters page of the Daily Telegraph, before its transformation within living memory into a rather more engaged, if still slightly barmy, forum, would say...


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Michael Padilla says that the next Tory government intends to take people out of the top rate of income tax GORDON BROWN set the tone for this government in his first Budget....

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Ancient & modern

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WHETHER Johann Gutenberg (c. 1398-1468) really did invent the typesetting mould for casting individual letters or not — doubts have been raised — it is traditional to hail...

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John Laughland tries to make sense of the West's Orwellian about-face in the Balkans THE Arabs used to have a saying about the British, the grim truth of which Albanians would...

Banned wagon

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A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit TO the question posed by the old sea shanty 'What shall we do with the drunken sailor?' will soon come the response:...

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Thanks to Spectator readers, Robert McCrum has uncovered some intriguing facts about PG. Wodehouse for his new biography I AM writing a new life of P.G. Wodehouse. A few weeks...

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No one expects the Times to be Conservative, but why must it be anti-Conservative?

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STEPHEN GLOVER T he Times is undoubtedly a much improved newspaper since Peter Stothard returned to take up the reins after his illness. But in one respect it is unchanged....

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Under the sign of the Bear, these are good days for plastic bags and crusty uncles

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CHRISTOPHER FILDES T aurus the Bull sinks below the horizon and we must all adjust to life under the sign of Ursa Major, the Great Bear. It takes some doing. Some people in...

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Victorian genius holds the turbulent Thames in its elegant embrace

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PAUL JOHNSON L ast week I did something I had not done since childhood — walked across Tower Bridge. In the 1930s the experience was more spectacular. This wonderful building...

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Urban ignorance

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From C.H. Williams Sir: Tempting though it is simply to toss Ross Clark on the nearest Maff funeral pyre, his call for market forces (Toot and mouth and self-pity', 17 March) in...

Unsavoury company

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From Mrs Catharine Jessop Sir: Your correspondent Duncan Reed (Letters, 17 March) asks whether other airlines operate the same rule as British Airways, which does not allow men...

Journalistic jewel

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From Patricia Barden Sir: I am sympathetic to Peter Oborne's complaint ('Of hacks and heroes', 10 March). Until his death was announced in the Daily Telegraph, with the reverent...

'Benign' malignity

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From Dr Philippa Martyr Sir: Terence Kealey (Don't blame eugenics, blame politics', 17 March) seems blissfully unaware that those 'benign' screening technologies that 'allow...

The price is wrong

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From Mr Robert Hardman Sir: My recent report on the Prince of Wales and the Duchy of Cornwall ( - Tea with the Prince', 10 March) contained a figure which surprised me as much...

NoW we didn't!

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From Mr Stuart Kattner Sir: So far as we are aware, your correspondent Stephen Glover does not appear to have taken the elementary step of checking with the News of the World...

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The abuse of power

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From The Rt Hon. the Lord Gilmour of Craigmillar Sir: The owner of hundreds of publications, Conrad Black is a powerful man more accustomed to obedience than criticism. So I was...

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From Mr William Dalrymple Sir: What wonderfully idiosyncratic letters Conrad

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Black writes! Full of major factual errors they may be — the Palestinians, for example, recognised Israel's right to exist as far back as 1993, a gesture the Israelis have yet...

Conrad Black replies: Little in the letters of Lord Gilmour

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or William Dalrymple requires a reply. Anyone with the slightest familiarity with how any of our publications deal with the Middle East, or with what I have written or said on...

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The war against the nation

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Niall Ferguson says that demilitarisation threatens our culture and security THE news that the British army was being sent in to shoot free-range animals suspected of carrying...

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David Rattray on the extraordinary courage of the British and Zulu warriors who fought at Isandlwana Rorke's Drift WHEN Lt Col Henry Pulleine looked out from his command...

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Andrew Gimson asks the Nato secretary-general what the French are up to Brussels MACAULAY wanted, as a historian, to 'produce something which shall for a few days supersede...

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J ust what makes this south east corner of Lake Geneva

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so special. Well for a start it has a remarkable location, Sheltered from the north and east winds, its consequent mild Mediterranean climate has resulted in an almost...

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John Keegan on why the British military establishment — 'an asset beyond price' is resisting EU defence integration THE Labour party and the armed forces have traditionally...

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T here are few journeys left that can still evoke a

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real sense of occasion — a sense of arriving at some far off magical destination and fewer still I hat can provide it in some style and at an incredibly advantageous tariff as...

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Nigel Bagnall wonders whether the former Chief of the Defence Staff was sufficiently concerned about the wellbeing of servicemen ALMOST 100 years ago Winston Churchill wrote:...

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Andrew Roberts takes his four-year-old son to the National Army Museum once a fortnight and finds it endlessly rewarding. ALMOST within the shadow of Sir Christopher Wren's...

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Petronella Wyatt paid a visit to the recruiting office and got a nasty shock when they talked about death and asked her to do decimals I AM sitting in the Army Recruiting...

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Within the law

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Philip Hensher DAWNING OF THE RAJ by Jeremy Bernstein Aurum, £19.99, pp. 319, ISBN 1854107534 T he impeachment of Warren Hastings, the Governor-General of India, between 1788...

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Strutting and fretting their hour upon the stage

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Sam Phipps THE OSCARS by John Atkinson Pocket Essentials, £3.99, pp.96, ISBN I90304734X T he trick with the Oscars, like all award ceremonies, is to dress up subjective, biased...

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Gallantry on the field of play

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Raymond Asquith DYNAMO: DEFENDING THE HONOUR OF KIEV by Andy Dougan Fourth Estate, .£14.99, pp. 243, ISBN 1841153184 H ere's a book you may glance at in the shop and quickly...

In it, not quite up to his neck

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Jonathan Mirsky HIROHITO AND THE MAKING OF MODERN JAPAN by Herbert P. Bix Duckworth, £25, pp. 800, ISBN 0715630776 N ews arrives from Tokyo as I write that the Ministry of...

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Dragoons and Luddites

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Graham Stewart A REGIMENTAL AFFAIR by Allan Mallinson Bantam, £16.99, pp. 326, ISBN 0593043758 E very schoolboy should have a hero. The object of my adoration was, admittedly,...

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Making with the flash-bulb

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Angela Huth MISADVENTURES by Sylvia Smith Canongate, £9.99, pp.248, ISBN 1841950955 F act: Sylvia Smith, unlike many who feel they have a book inside them, did not send a...

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Seriously furrowed middle brows

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Hugh Massingberd READING GROUPS by Jenny Hartley OUP, 15.99, pp. 194, ISBN 0198187785 A few years ago I inadvertently joined what I suppose could be classified as a 'reading...

Grey remembered houses

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Frederic Raphael A DOUBLE THREAD: A CHILDHOOD IN MILE END — AND BEYOND by John Gross Chatto, £18.99, pp. 189, ISBN 0701163305 h e 'double thread' of John Gross's title boasts...

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The Italian job

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Allan Mallinson THE ROAD TO RIVOLI: NAPOLEON'S FIRST CAMPAIGN by Martin Boycott-Brown Cassell, £20, pp. 560, ISBN 0304353051 I once heard of a vicar who, as the end of Lent...

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A choice of recent crime fiction

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Harriet Waugh ill Benson, Charles Spencer's shambolic, alcoholic, hero in Under the Influence (Allison & Busby, £16.99) is not entirely unlike Simon Brett's alcoholic actor...

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Battles with my trustees

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As the Whitechapel celebrates its centenary, Mark Glazebrook remembers his time as director T he primary impulse behind the founding of the Whitechapel Art Gallery, 100 years...

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Exhibitions 1

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Botticelli's Dante (Royal Academy, till 10 June) Botticelli's cast of thousands Martin Gayford T he artists of the Italian Renaissance were great masters, among other things,...

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Exhibitions 2

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2001: A Space Odyssey (RIBA. till 18 August ) Millennium munificence Alan Powers T he word 'space' has multiple meanings. Architects have inevitably appropriated several of...

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My Fair Lady (National) The Servant (Lyric Hammersmith) Lady takes a wrong turn Sheridan Morley T o start with the good news: the new Cameron Mackintosh revival of My Fair...

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II Trittico (Coliseum) Puccini triptych Michael Tanner I f there is such a thing as conventional wisdom about Puccini's II Trittico, it is that the central panel, the...


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My brilliant cage Ursula Buchan W hen psychologists talk of Life Events, they mean momentous incidents such as marriage, giving birth, divorce, unemployment, a change of...

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Enemy at the Gates (15, selected cinemas) Stalking in Stalingrad Mark Steyn T he old-time Hollywood execs would have identified the problem easily enough: Nazis vs Commies —...

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Jekyll and Hyde (Northern Ballet Theatre, Sadler's Wells) Horror without passion Giannandrea Poesio T he new ballet Jekyll and Hyde demonstrates that Northern Ballet Theatre...

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Many a slip Michael Vestey I didn't know you could be a professor of radio but you can and one was actually broadcasting on the radio last Saturday evening in Radio Four's The...


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Upfront misery Simon Hoggart P ul Whitehouse's Happiness (BBC 2) is part of that newish genre, the situation tragedy, or sitraj as I think of it. Other recent examples include...

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Looks good, feels good Alan Judd L ast month the Beast, now the Beauty. The Beast was the frog-eyed Fiat Multipla, unmistakable in its quirky ugliness but practical, versatile...

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The turf

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Professional problems Robin Oakley P ity the poor trainer. What, you may say, those men and women who have all the joys of the outdoor life while we toil at our stuffy desks,...

High life

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Havana, here I come Taki 0Rougemont f all the wedding invitations I've received throughout the years, I can't think of a more romantic one than the following: 'Viscountess...

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No life

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Chance bedfellows Jeremy Clarke S pare some change,' said a figure crouching in a doorway in Tottenham Court Road last week. It was gone midnight and cold enough to freeze the...

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Singular life

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Sacrificial offerings Petronella Wyatt I n case you hadn't noticed, I ain't the rustic sort. But even the likes of me, who think that cattle grids are things you get your...

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A FEW years ago, when I was the restaurant critic

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of the Daily Express, I was taken by a PR man called Jack Soames to L'Ortolan, John Burton-Race's restaurant near Reading. I made it clear that I would not review it on an...

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England on the up

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Simon Barnes THE England cricket team won the Test series in Sri Lanka for a very good reason: they keep winning Test series. This is their fourth on the trot. But before this,...

Q. I am responding to the hand-washing question (Your problems

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solved, 3 March). Research has revealed that when bowls of peanuts and crisps on bar counters and at private functions were examined, an alarming mixture of urines was found...

Q. Reading your correspondence about hand-washing after visiting the urinal,

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I remember a conundrum that used to be posed: 'An Englishman washes his hands after visiting the urinal, a Frenchman washes his before.' What lesson does this teach us? P.M,...

Q. I always believed that the reason that we,

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in Britain, removed the bands from our cigars was that it is vulgar (as only the better and more expensive cigars have bands on them) to overtly display our wealth and to appear...