25 JANUARY 2003

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P olice raided the North London Central Mosque in Finsbury Park,

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long suspected to have terrorist links. Seven people were arrested and a stun gun and a CS gas canister were seized. The government dispatched 30,000 troops and 120 Challenger...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC] N Telephone: 020-7405 1706; Fax 020-7242 0603 LIBERATE THE LORDS I t is probably some time since even the keenest student of...

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I spent Tuesday evening watching Ashley, a 15-year-old blonde girl from

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Oklahoma, flirt with a British boy called PJ. `Wanna see some photos of me?' asked Ashley. PJ grinned. 'I think you'll like them, they're hot,' said Ashley, and winked. A boy...

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Why Labour has signed a non-aggression pact with the Tories over sleaze

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PETER °BORNE T he announcement that Michael Trend, Tory MP for Windsor and formerly chief leader-writer of the Daily Telegraph, is to step down was slipped out late on Tuesday...

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I am not in principle against killing people, but talk of the 'right to die' is humbug

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MATTHEW PARRIS S ometimes one's creed points logically where one is intuitively reluctant to go. The flesh is willing but the spirit is weak. Item: we should not give money to...

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By promoting mass immigration from the Third World, New Labour has been importing killer diseases, says Anthony Browne. And it is bying to hide what is happening from the...

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Banned wagon: global

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A weekly survey of world restrictions on freedom and free trade THE world of environmental science begins to resemble the Catholic Church before the Reformation. Anyone who...


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Rod Liddle on why there is nothing we can do to stop Algerians — or anybody else — remaining in the country I DON'T know what Mrs Sadako Ogata is doing these days, or where...

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'I would have liked to have given her the Taj Mahal but it would have cost too much to transport,' remarked Richard Burton on the occasion of Elizabeth Taylor's 40th birthday....

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Only market forces — backed by government endowments — can save higher education, says Martin Jacomb THE government has got itself into a serious mess in its approach to...

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Andrew Gimson talks to a former antiques dealer whose exhibition of nude portraits — 'art as therapy' opens next week WOULD you like 'a framed 16 x 20 inch nude portrait' of...

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Mind your language

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I HAVE, I discover, had a letter on the kitchen table for many weeks. Its vintage is indicated by the plum juice which somehow found its way on to the lower part. It is from Mrs...


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Thousands of disabled babies are living longer than ever before, says Sarah Barclay. Why don't we pay for them? WHEN Emmy Myerson was born in June 1991, everyone celebrated....

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Ancient & modern

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EVERY week professionals such as teachers and doctors express their desire to get out of their jobs. Why? Because they have lost their independence. Greeks and Romans would have...

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Mark Steyn says Donald Rumsfeld's talk of a deal with Saddam is dispiriting, but believes the phoney war is coming to an end New Hampshire LAST weekend was going pretty...

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Listening to the tales that the clouds tell the trees

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PAUL JOHNSON O ne of my greatest pleasures is to sit outside my house in the Quantocks, 500 feet above sea level, and watch the clouds arriving from the west. In they conic,...

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Starvation as a weapon

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From Mr Horace Buxton Sir: Peter Oborne (`Living in a state of fear', 11 January) has not grasped the importance of white farmers, and the catastrophe that their eviction is....

Brains are classless

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From The Revd Canon Geoffrey Ravalde Sir: Paul Johnson (And another thing, 18 January) scores so many valid direct hits that it is a shame he spoils it by implying that Oxford...

Your move, Bishop

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From Miss Susan Clarke Sir: I read with surprise the letter of the Bishop of London (18 January). As a journalist, I reported the trial of R v. Burrell and heard all of the...

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Drug treatment for prisoners

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From Emma Soames Sir: The research that RAPt has conducted over the last ten years bears out the findings of lain Murray (Let them eat porridge', 18 January). Treating...

Mob-handed mosque raid

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From Mrs Richard de Graaff-Hunter Sir: I realise that there is a serious crisis in the UK over the possible use of ricin by terrorists, but surely a more diplomatic method could...

Anti-Tory hysteria

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From Mr Ciaran Walsh Sir: I would like to thank James Delingpole (Why I daren't admit to being a Tory', 4 January) for reassuring me that I am not alone. As a 23-year-old...

The crime of curiosity

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From Mr B.H. Highton Sir: Does it not occur to anyone that the motive of at least some of the 7,000 British men who have accessed child pornography on the Internet was simple,...

A bribe to licence

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From Mr Alex Siddell Sir: Aidan Hartley's view of corruption (Wild life, 18 January) in Kenya is slightly misguided — it was not only the African population that was involved in...

Decongestion programme

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From Mr Claus von Bulow Sir: Steven Norris (I blame Ken', 28 December 2002) comments on the alleged plot behind the rephasing of traffic lights in favour of pedestrians. But...

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British hacks may be disgusting but we keep the politicians on their toes

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STEPHEN GLOVER A very high-minded European recently complained to me about British newspapers. Why are they all so awful, he asked? Even the so-called serious ones look like...

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Gain work experience as a non-executive director and watch the engine seize up

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CHRISTOPHER FILDES L ord Carrington — it was the kind of thing that happened to him — was asked to become a director of Rio Tinto-Zinc, one of the world's two biggest mining...

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Pride and preservation

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Bruce Anderson joins the Masai on an eco-friendly safari A PAIR of lionesses were ambling through the grass; three cubs were scampering around them. A delightful spectacle, but...

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Fonda memories

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Anthony Torrance As with all tourism, there is a precarious balance. How do you enable people to look at something unspoilt without spoiling it? So far, A&K have succeeded. As...

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Onanist heaven

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Nicholas Farrell Predappio NO ONE back home has ever heard of the Romagna where I live. 'It's between Bologna and Florence,' I say. 'It's like Tuscany without the British.'...

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Nancy to the rescue

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Peter Tatchell TRYING to arrest tyrants like Robert Mugabe is a tiring, stressful business. Even I need a break. So I headed for Palm Springs, California. to indulge my passion...

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Tatar source

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Julian Holloway IN THE 14th century, Timur the Lame led a nomad army against the whole settled world. He plundered from the Ganges to the Dardanelles, but the heartland of his...

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Morton in the marshes

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Michael McMahon IN 1924, feverish, depressed and in Palestine, far from his native land, the travel writer H.V. Morton found himself overwhelmed by a sudden wave of...

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Shame about the kids

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Clare De Burca THE video finally flickers to life and a shot of my father-in-law's nose is followed by a tiled terrace, steps down to a turquoise swimming pool and green fields...

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Lost, stolen or strayed

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Philip Hensher MISSING MASTERPIECES by Gert-Rudolf Flick Merrell, £40, pp. 344, ISBN 1858941970 his is a strange, tantalising book of unintentional poetry; it is rather like a...

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Tunes of vanishing glory

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Julius Purcell THE RADETZKY MARCH by Joseph Roth, translated by Michael Hofmann Granta, £14.99, pp. 363, ISBN 1862075131 J ust as Gustav Mahler wove a bugle fanfare into his...

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The lure of the jungle

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John Casey THE PIANO TUNER by Daniel Mason Picador, £14.99, pp. 356, ISBN 0330492675 T his is a curious story. In 1886, a year after the final British conquest of Upper...

In America we trust

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G. S. Rousseau 20:21 VISION: TWENTIETHCENTURY LESSONS FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY by Bin Emmott Allen Lane/ Penguin, £20, pp. 327, ISBN 071399519X B ill Emmott. the editor of...

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The usual Soho suspects

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William Feaver RESTLESS LIVES: THE BOHEMIAN WORLD OF RODRIGO AND ELINOR MOYNIHAN by John Moynihan Sansorn & Co., £24.99, pp. 280, ISBN 1900178443 W hen John Moynihan was three...

Learning the hard way

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Ian Thomson I'LL TAKE YOU THERE by Joyce Carol Oates Fourth Estate, £10.99, pp. 290, ISBN 0007146442 J oyce Carol Oates is a prolific, even prolix writer, with more than 50...

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Classics in the classroom

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David Nokes TEACHING LITERATURE by Elaine Showalter Blackwell, 145, pp. 176, ISBN 1631226230 T here comes a time when all professors of literature think of writing a book like...

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Bosoms, football and money

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Caroline Moorehead THE DARK HEART OF ITALY: TRAVELS THROUGH TIME AND SPACE ACROSS ITALY by Tobias Jones Faber, £16.99. pp. 288, ISBN 0571205828 I taly, Carlo Levi once famously...

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Spreading sweetness and light

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Rupert Christiansen LIVES OF THE MIND: THE USE AND ABUSE OF INTELLIGENCE FROM HEGEL TO WOODHOUSE by Roger Kimball Ivan R. Dee, $28.95, pp. 375, ISBN 1566634792 I read the first...

The Paraguayan way

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Miranda France AT THE TOMB OF THE INFLATABLE PIG by John Gimlette Hutchinson, .£14.99, pp. 363, ISBN 0091794331 J ohn Gimlette and I both won this magazine's Shiva Naipaul...

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SPECTATOR SPECTATORS FOR AFRICA The Spectator Appeal A t a time when so much of Africa is in the grip of near famine, sending copies of The Spectator might seem a perverse...

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The triumph of outrage

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Raymond Carr PICASSO'S WAR by Russell Martin Scribner, £18.99, pp. 274, ISBN 0525946802 I n this book Russell Martin seeks to explain to the common reader how Picasso's largest...

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A view from the squint

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P. J. Kavanagh LIGHT YEARS by Augustus Young London Magazine Editions, £25, pp. 312, ISBN 0904388913 T his is a most unusual book. It might be thought we could do without...

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Hockney's controversial experiment

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The artist is a great draughtsman but is he a great watercolourist? asks Mark Glazebrook he last David Hockney show at Annely Juda Fine Art was in the summer of 1997. It was a...

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Inflaming hearts

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Michael Tanner M onteverdi's Orfeo is an intensely moralistic work. Although La Musica launches it by telling us, and showing us, how 'now with noble anger, now with love' she...

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Ideal trio

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Giannandrea Poem() A though his work might not be everybody's favourite, Jiri Kylian remains one of the most eminent and significant figures of European modern ballet. His...

That's showbiz

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Mark Steyn C hicago opened in December, getting lost in the great Speccie void of the Christmas double-issue, but it just won a bunch of Golden Globes and there's Oscar talk in...

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Classic dilemma

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Charles Spencer T his is a column in crisis, My brief is to write about the popular music of the past half century, and during recent weeks I have hardly listened to any....

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Charmed by students

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Robin Holloway W orkshops', piously fetishised in recent decades, have never been my idea of fun. Too often there's a sense of implicit condescension; and even when in the...

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Mind out

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Toby Young L e Talking Cure, Christopher Hampton's new play about psychoanalysis, has finally opened at the National. The curtain was due to go up last December but it had to...

Self-taught great

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Michael Vestey J ulian Bream was rightly described by Humphrey Burton on Radio Three last week as one of our greatest living musicians and a clear successor to Segovia. The...

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Baffled spectator

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Simon Hoggart I suppose the reason that The Lost Prince (BBC1) works so well is that viewers identify with little Johnnie, the autistic and epileptic uncle of the present...

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Let it be

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Robin Oakley 0 n the death last year of Labour MP Frank Allaun one obituarist recalled Frank's story of the young man who returned from the first world war trenches full of...

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All is not lost

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Taki T Gstaad hese are quiet days and nights here, the noisy mobile telephone brigades having left immediately after the New Year. It is a sign of the times, the mobile...

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Shocked and shaken

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Jeremy Clarke I 'm sleeping with a 104-year-old woman. Yep, 104, going on 105. Have been for the last fortnight, too, since she fell between bed and commode in the night. The...

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Simply stupid

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Michael Henderson A BROKEN man came home last week on a slow boat from China. Paul Gascoigne still thinks there is some football left in him. Perhaps his rejection in the Far...

Q. As a newly commissioned officer in a regiment that

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considers itself both pukka and professional, I have recently encountered a problem concerning the etiquette at formal dinner nights. Once seated, one may not rise for relief...

Q. We recently spent a shooting weekend in the greatest

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comfort in Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, the sporting delights of the house party were marred by the behaviour of one of the guns — Red Chris — who not only missed every bird...

Q. My husband has recently enrolled in a lip-reading course.

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This follows his refusal to wear ear-protectors over many years of shooting, which has resulted in his becoming increasingly deaf. Can you recommend any way in which he can gain...