24 MAY 2003

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The Spectator

M r Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, sent Cabinet ministers a 2,500-page dossier on the Treasury's assessment of the five economic tests applicable in deciding if...

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Public-sector fat cats

The Spectator

A nyone organising a protest against fat-cat pay should bear in mind the experience of a group of gas customers who recently attempted to take a 40-stone sow called Winnie to...

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The Spectator

C hannel 4 outdid itself in ignorance with the dumb, grandiosely titled The 100 Greatest Film Stars of All Time. We tuned in eagerly, expecting to see a cross-section of...

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Our intelligence services haven't a clue so relax and enjoy your holiday

The Spectator

ROD LIDDLE Iv hat you need in front of you for this useful publicservice exercise is a piece of string cut to precisely five and one-tenth of an inch in length and a flat atlas...

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The Questing Vole

The Spectator

B aroness Amos's precipitous appointment to the role of International Development Secretary has been the cause of general rejoicing. But from one secluded broom cupboard in a...

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Why we must veto this alien constitution

The Spectator

John Major says Tony Blair cannot accept the European constitution in anything like its current form, and demands a referendum on the matter T . he history of the Conservative...

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Banned wagon: global

The Spectator

A weekly survey of world restrictions on freedom and free trade Stephen Byers has an apology to make. Not, sadly, for telling porkies or mismanaging the railways. He wants to...

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Mind your language

The Spectator

My husband has just been to a professional conference in La Rioja. Why do doctors feel they confer better in places renowned for wine? I was allowed along for the ride, although...

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British churchmen back Mugabe

The Spectator

Peter Oborne on the refusal of Anglican and Catholic bishops to denounce the tyranny in Zimbabwe 1 t is remarkable for Britain to be visited by a saint. But that was surely our...

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What America does for us

The Spectator

Andrew Gilligan assesses the benefits to Britain of subservience to Washington 0 ne throwaway line in Sir Peter Stothard's recent account of Tony Blair, war leader, rather blows...

Ancient & modern

The Spectator

Apologies for singing a very old song, but with the debate on a referendum over the European constitution in full swing, and the term 'parliamentary democracy' being bandied...

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Growing old gracelessly

The Spectator

David Lovibond discovers, post-50, that no amount of multi-vitamins or gym visits will put off the onset of 'sordid infirmity' M y parents died quickly and hygienically,...

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let go of life'

The Spectator

Sam Kiley describes the terrifying experience of being captured by Baathists bent on revenge A purple-coloured Korean saloon was gaining on us fast as we zigzagged the wrong way...

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Are whites cleverer than blacks?

The Spectator

Sean Thomas breaks a taboo on the subject of IQ tests, but believes there are grounds for hope 1 n February this year, the Department for Education and Skills issued a report...

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The euro's sixth test: to what problem could it possibly be the solution?

The Spectator

CHRISTOPHER FILDEt c must all make sacrifices. Gordon Brown's Cabinet colleagues spent a weary weekend ploughing their way through the Treasury's answers to his five tests for...

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An act by the aesthetician of the universe in a Bayswater garden

The Spectator

I .mt he glory of my library in 'Bayswater are the ten-foot-high windows at the north and south ends, which open into nature in . all her moods and seasons. She seems to enter...

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Williams v. Phillips

The Spectator

From Liane Jones Sir: I was impressed that you published Emma Williams's article about the Israeli occupation (The reek of injustice', 17 May). I visited the Occupied...

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Thatcher's tears

The Spectator

From Sir Archie Hamilton Sir: Matthew Parris (Another voice, 17 May) quotes someone close to Margaret Thatcher as saying that she was unmoved by the satirical portraits in words...

Benefits of tax

The Spectator

From Dr Peter Mandler Sir: In writing about the current spate of works of art threatened with export, Susan Moore (New ways to keep Old Masters', 17 May) mourns 'the decline in...

Friendship without favours

The Spectator

From Mr Paul Kincaid Sir: Your reference to the Arthur C. Clarke Award (The Spectator's Notes, 17 May) has been drawn to my attention. I was honoured that Christopher Priest...

Windowpanes on alert

The Spectator

From Mr Michael Grosvenor Myer Sir: Gerald Warner (Sight of fashion', 17 May) is in error in saying that Bertram Wooster's eyeglass (or monocle) 'eludes detection in the text'....

No pigeonhole for me

The Spectator

From Mr Robert H. Bork Sir: George Osborne's review of David Frum's book, The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W Bush (Books, 3 May), refers to me as a 'religious...

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Of dyers, drapers, weavers and other trichological Fabrications

The Spectator

(") ne day last week, the only sub ject of conversation among those of us employed to observe proceedings from the House of Commons gallery was the blond hair of Mr Michael...

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The government will face the biggest fight of its life over the European constitution

The Spectator

/ t was in these pages four weeks ago that the idea of a non-governmental referendum on the new European constitution was first mooted. Paul Robinson explained how, if Tony...

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All things to all brothers

The Spectator

Philip Hensher BEETHOVEN'S NINTH: A POLITICAL HISTORY by Esteban Bach, translated by Richard Miller University of Chicago Press, £19.50, pp. 327, ISBN 0226078124 W hat does...

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This month's Rasputin

The Spectator

George Osborne BUSH'S BRAIN: How KARL ROVE MADE GEORGE W. BUSH PRESIDENTIAL by James Moore and Wayne Slater John Wiley, £18.50, pp. 395, ISBN 0471423270 W ho is the second most...

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Worst possible scenarios

The Spectator

Steve King OUR FINAL CENTURY by Martin Rees Heinemann, £17.99, pp. 228, ISBN 0434008095 S ir Martin Rees has written three thrillingly good books on cosmology for...

Plumbing the lower depths

The Spectator

William Leith A MILLION LITTLE PIECES by James Frey John Murray, £16.99, pp. 381, ISBN 0719561000 T his book, a memoir, opens with James Frey, a former drug addict, telling us...

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Uncouth maybe, but not a cad

The Spectator

David Edelsten THE BIRD MAN by Isabella Tree Ebuty Press, £14.99, pp. 246, ISBN 071262158X I n Milan just before Easter I stumbled on a stack of lithographs from John Gould's...

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The great survivor among cities

The Spectator

David Caute PETERSBURG PERSPECTIVES edited by Frank Althaus and Mark Sutcliffe, with photographs by Yury Molodkovets Fontanka, with Booth-Clibbom Editions, .02, pp. 320, ISBN...

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Tearing a passion to tatters

The Spectator

Lucy Beresford DEATH TRAP by Patrice Chaplin Duckworth. 114.99, pp. 220, ISBN 0715632159 D eath Trap is a torrid tale of vampiric, lesbian lust. Having piqued your interest, I...

London's gloomiest couple

The Spectator

Simon Hefter THE COLLECTED LETTERS OF THOMAS AND JANE CARLYLE, VOLUMES 29 AND 30 edited by Ian Campbell and others Duke University Press, 905 West Main Street, Suite 18B,...

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Grand old amanuensis

The Spectator

Jane Ridley MARY GLADSTONE: A GENTLE REBEL by Shelia Gooddie Wiley, £16.99, pp. 257, ISBN 0470854235 p rime ministers' families are interesting subjects for biography, and the...

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From labyrinth to trailer park

The Spectator

Sam Leith THE MINOTAUR TAKES A CIGARETTE BREAK by Steven Sherrill Canongate, £12.99, pp. 320, ISBN 1841953989 W hat if, millennia ago, the Minotaur escaped Knossos alive? What...

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The road from Ryde Pier

The Spectator

Hugh Massingberd BABYCHAM NIGHT by Philip Norman Macmillan, £15.99, pp. 332, ISBN 0333900979 1 n his recent essay in these pages about George Orwell, Philip Hensher ruminated...

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How the West was filmed

The Spectator

Allan Massie SEARCHING FOR JOHN FORD by Joseph McBride Faber, £25, pp. 838, ISBN 057200753 I t s a rare film that knows its own author. Actually it's a rare one that had a...

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Only the first two mattered

The Spectator

Raymond Carr SIX WIVES: THE QUEENS OF HENRY VIII by David Starkey Chatto, £25, pp. 852, ISBN 0701172983 F ew historians would question David Starkey's assertion that the...

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Quick-fix solutions

The Spectator

Andrew Lambirth looks at why art schools are producing so many conceptual artists H ere's a random sample of my postbag: an invitation to a mixed exhibition of nine artists'...

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Meticulous artistry

The Spectator

John McEwen Stella Ross-Craig: Drawings of British Plants Kew Art Gallo, Kew Gardens, until 4 October T he factual probity of science has always been in bracing contrast to...

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Beauty in the suburbs

The Spectator

Angela Summertield Pissarro in London National Gallen', until 3 August S taged to mark the 100th anniversary of Camille Pissarro's death, this small exhibition is also...

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Responding to history

The Spectator

Mark Glazebrook Sense And Sensibility: Artists Take On Art History Transition, 110a Lauriston Road, E9, Friday to Sunday, 12 to 6, teL 07941 208566, until 1 June Merlin James...

Selective vandalism

The Spectator

Martin Gayford F or a while something puzzled me about the sacking and pillaging of the Baghdad museum. The looting was not hard to comprehend — after all everything movable and...

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Persistence pays

The Spectator

Susan Moore E xceptional works of art are becoming real rarities at auction. And if our masterpiece-starved international art market does deliver the kind of object that stops...

Dispiriting events

The Spectator

Michael Tanner Hamlet Royal Opera La Damnation de Faust Opera North T he most celebrated English tragedy, and the most celebrated German socalled tragedy, each set to music by...

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Unpatriotic travesty

The Spectator

Toby Young Henry V The Lady from the Sea Almeida Sexual Perversity in Chicago Comedy I let out an involuntary groan of disappointment as soon as the curtain went up on...

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Blatant propaganda

The Spectator

James Delingpole A f fi t n er Cambridge Spies I really hadn't cant to spend another week ranting about how utterly crap and leftie the BBC is. Unfortunately, fate decided...

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Indomitable spirit

The Spectator

Michael Vestey I Vs difficult to imagine how grim life could be for many in the post-war years in Britain. It was even worse for the 80,000 Eastern European displaced people...

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Unsung hero

The Spectator

Alan Judd XText month sees the 90th birthday of an automotive designer whose impact on our high streets and on perceptions of what it is to be British are arguably as great as...

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Stanford smarts

The Spectator

Tat k I Palo Alto enty-five minutes by taxi going south from San Francisco, Palo Alto is the home of Stanford University, the school where brainy types who wish to make lotsa...

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Getting away with it

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke A friend at our karate club, Colin, does bondage and 'water sports' pictures and sells them to a web porn site called 'After Midnight'. When I spoke to Sharon in...

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Lessons from Toby

The Spectator

Aiclan Hartley Malindi A fter five years in the writing, my .rlbook The Zanzibar Chest is coming out in July. Based on the advice of my friend Toby Young, whose New York memoir...

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Footie's Mr Toad

The Spectator

MICHAEL HENDERSON C ommentating on sport is a difficult task. When do you let the images speak for themselves, and when is it appropriate to reinforce the visual with a few...

Dear Maly

The Spectator

Q. I am shortly to take the stage at a certain literary festival. I always enjoy talking afterwards to those readers who have brought along their copies of my book for me to...