25 JUNE 2005

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PORTRAIT OF THE WEEK S pies will be sent out to

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inform upon people smoking in public places, including bus shelters and office doorways, under plans by Miss Caroline Flint, the minister for public health, who advocated ‘an...

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What is hate?

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I f this Labour government deserves to be remembered for anything at all, it will be for the systematic stamping out of freedoms that have been enjoyed in this country for...

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J ust as no man is a hero to his valet,

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no mother-in-law is a heroine to her son-in-law. Except mine, that is. Miloska Nott (bullet dodger, charity fundraiser, daffodil farmer) is a remarkable woman. In 1992 she...

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Now Blair silences the Tories with his Euroscepticism. What a genius!

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T he recent death of Hugo Young, while still at the peak of his powers, has left an unfilled hole in British political discourse. Nobody has since emerged to match Young’s...

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L ast week I went to hear Jung Chang and Jon

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Halliday talk about their new biography of Mao Tse-tung at a lecture in memory of the Great Helmsman of Moderation, Roy Jenkins. Almost every claim made in favour of Mao, they...

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How African leaders spend our money

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Bob Geldof has urged us not to dwell on ‘the corruption thing’ — but, says Aidan Hartley , corrupt African leaders are using Western aid to buy fleets of Mercedes-Benz...

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Mind your language

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‘How do you spell carcase ?’ asked my husband, mistaking me for an animated dictionary. I wasn’t feeling animated at that moment, being up to my elbows in the feathery...

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Action stations

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Mark Steyn says that if you really want to be charitable, you should send your cheque to the Pentagon or the Royal Australian Navy New Hampshire T here’s a moment in the new...

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Oh, yeah, that’s right, I went to the 2002 G8

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summit in Alberta. And, mainly because the then Canadian prime minister didn’t want it to be all about terrorism and war and Iraq and other issues to which his own country was...

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Wild card

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Alan Duncan tells Petronella Wyatt that he is serious about his leadership bid (and that he now regrets having appeared in that saucy calendar) A lan Duncan, the dapper shadow...

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When the state takes your child

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Alasdair Palmer talks to a mother whose daughter has been forcibly adopted — and who, in common with thousands of other women, now faces the agonies of separation ‘T here is...

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Your party needs you, William

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Simon Heffer says that William Hague is the man best qualified to lead the Conservative party L ast Monday Lord Saatchi, who until a month ago was joint chairman of the Tory...

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My right to cough up blood

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Smoking may not be good for you, says Rod Liddle , but the anti-smoking fascists must be resisted D id you know that smoking stops you getting cancer of the endometrium? Well,...

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Dirty rotten journalists

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Sadistic, debauched and full of hate: Ruth Dudley Edwards on tabloid newspapers and trash TV I had a look at my 89-year-old mum’s Sunday People ,’ a chap called Fred...

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Sixth sense

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From Andrew Reekes Sir: Anthony Seldon is quite right about exams (‘More exams, less education’, 18 June). A-levels since 2000 have encouraged hoop-jumping, no more so than...

Sex and Google

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From Jonathan Mirsky Sir: I add to the Google debate so well described by John Naughton (‘The engine that runs the world’, 18 June). As of today there are 7,110,000...

Levin’s mighty pen

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From Neil Swindells Sir: Can there be anything sadder than Elisabeth Anderson’s Diary news (18 June) that Bernard Levin is to be remembered with a flat stone? Flat? I was a...

Dangers of dope

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From Edward Collier Sir: David Hockney’s letter (18 June) is a good deal further off the mark than Eric Ellis’s original article. To us in the decadent, morally...

Gay means bad

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From Stephen Paxton Stephen Paxton Hampton Hill, Middlesex Sir: I have just read Rod Liddle’s splendid piece on Millwall’s being guilty when proved innocent (‘A city...

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The power of negative thinking

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Roger Scruton says that France has never recovered from Jean-Paul Sartre’s horror of the bourgeoisie and his repudiation of both Christianity and the idea of France J ean-Paul...

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Whatever else you do, don’t miss the bus!

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A mericans grumble to me that the price of cabs in London is outrageous, and they are right. I tell them to take a doubledecker red bus, but they look doubtful. Too complicated?...

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If you are sick and tired of pasta, here is a modest proposal

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F ew things are more awkward than confronting, well past middle age, a truth whose name one has never dared speak. It looks cowardly to have lived a lie for so long. Why,...

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Do the white thing

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Inigo Thomas makes a fashion statement in New York A month ago, I bought a white suit. Cheap it was: just over a hundred bucks at the downtown Brooklyn branch of Daffy’s, the...

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The Queen and I

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Iain Murray A stranger to this country curious to know what summer means for the English, and to see for himself the rituals involved, should take himself to St John’s Wood...

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Keep it simple

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Rose Prince T he picnic knife I carry in my handbag came from Seville. It has a smooth, polished olive-wood handle, a built-in corkscrew and the kind of blade that would give...

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Imagine what can be eaten inside pastry. I like half moons of shortcrust or flaky pastry that can be held in the hand; wrapped around fresh cheeses and herbs, then baked. Use...

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An odd couple

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P. J. Kavanagh F IRST B OREDOM , T HEN F EAR : A L IFE OF P HILIP L ARKIN by Richard Bradford Peter Owen, £19.95, pp. 272, ISBN 0720611474 W hen the poems of Philip Larkin...

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Before and after Babel

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James Buchan T HE U NFOLDING OF L ANGUAGE by Guy Deutscher Heinemann, £20, pp. 360, ISBN 0434011355 ✆ £18 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 T he origin of language is one of...

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Viragos on the march

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Ian Thomson R ENAISSANCE W OMAN by Gaia Servadio I. B. Tauris, £19.95, pp. 274, ISBN 1850434212 ✆ £17.95 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 L ucrezia Borgia was not the fiend...

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The unacceptable face of capitalism

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Martin Vander Weyer T HE G REED M ERCHANTS by Philip Augar Penguin/Allen Lane, £20, pp. 240, ISBN 0713997850 ✆ £18 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 P hilip Augar has found...

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Sweet Lady of Misrule

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Hugh Massingberd N ELL G WYN by Charles Beauclerk Macmillan, £20, pp. 432, ISBN 0333904710 ✆ £18 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 T o my shame, back in the 1980s, I wrote a...

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Grande horizontale et verticale

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Adam Zamoyski I MPERIAL D ANCER : M ATHILDE K SCHESSINSKA AND THE R OMANOVS by Coryne Hall Sutton, £20, pp. 326, ISBN 075093557X ✆ £18 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 O ne...

A hard act well followed

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Andro Linklater A DMIRAL C OLLINGWOOD : N ELSON ’ S O WN H ERO by Max Adams Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 333, ISBN 029784640X ✆ £18 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 T he names...

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Hell is other people

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James Delingpole T HE D ONE T HING by Simon Fanshawe Random House, £9.99, pp. 328, ISBN 1841138739 A couple of weekends ago I travelled up to Liverpool on a rubbish Virgin...

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The Doctor’s dilemma

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Byron Rogers M ARY A RCHER : F OR R ICHER , F OR P OORER by Margaret Crick Simon & Schuster, £17.99, pp. 352, ISBN 0743259629 ✆ £15.99 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 W ith...

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Low-level challenge and response

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Zoe Williams E VERYTHING B AD I S G OOD FOR Y OU : H OW P OPULAR C ULTURE I S M AKING U S S MARTER by Steven Johnson Penguin, £10, pp. 238, ISBN 0713998024 S teven Johnson has...

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Tricks played by memory

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Alberto Manguel T HE M YSTERIOUS F LAME OF Q UEEN L OANA : A N I LLUSTRATED N OVEL by Umberto Eco, translated by Geoffrey Brock Secker & Warburg, £17.99, pp. 458, ISBN...

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A peacock on the Peacock Throne

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Parviz Radji A N E NDURING L OVE : M Y L IFE WITH THE S HAH by Farah Pahlavi, translated from the French by Patricia Clancy Miramax, £9.99, pp. 465, ISBN 140135961 I t will...

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Is he worth it?

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Stephen Pettitt on the celebrations in honour of Hans Christian Andersen, born 200 years ago I have a good Danish friend in France, as well read as anyone I know. On the door...

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At the shrine of Frida

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Andrew Lambirth Frida Kahlo Tate Modern, until 9 October Sponsored by HSBC F rida Kahlo (1907–54) is apparently the most famous female artist in history (who is the nearest...

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Exhibitions 2

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Spiritual dimension Laura Gascoigne Paul Feiler: The Near and The Far Tate St Ives, until 25 September T he human eye is an amazing mechanism, but its vision is limited. We...

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On the waterfront

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Robin Holloway S o much for equality! More subtly than in mediaeval, Tudor, baroque times, the musician is placed below the salt if not literally below stairs. (I mean the...

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Orchestral mastery

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Michael Tanner Duke Bluebeard’s Castle Opera North, Birmingham Arabella Garsington W hile the Grand Theatre in Leeds is being refurbished, Opera North is doing concert...

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Back to basics

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Mark Steyn Batman Begins 12A, selected cinemas E very culture creates heroes in its own image: it’s difficult to imagine transferring the British adventurers — Rudolf...

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Sombre journey

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Giannandrea Poesio One of a Kind Nederlands Dans Theater 1, Sadler’s Wells Theatre Inspired by Ashton Royal Ballet, Linbury Studio Theatre P erformance-makers like to...

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Tangled phonetics

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Lloyd Evans Pericles Globe The UN Inspector Olivier This Is How It Goes Donmar S trange goings-on at the Globe. After a Tempest performed by Mark Rylance as a Reduced...

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What tosh

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Michael Vestey O ccasionally, the Radio Times reaches heights of absurdity in its gushing praise of broadcasters, but it excelled itself last week with its report on the 40...

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Channel surfing

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Simon Hoggart I answered the door the other day and a cheerful, rangy Afro-Caribbean youth stood on the step with a remote control. I suddenly recalled the appointment....

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Veterans on top

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Robin Oakley T he absence of the social butterflies who attend Royal Ascot at its normal Berkshire venue, and of the women who accompany them, ensured the success of Royal...

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Sailing into the sunset

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Taki T o the Royal Hellenic Yacht Club, high above the tiny gem of a marina once upon a time known as Turkolimano, its name changed to Mikrolimano after the 1974 Turkish...

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Bourgeois complacency

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Jeremy Clarke L eaning against the hotel bar after dinner on the first evening of our residential erotic-writing course. On my right, John, a tall young energetic skinhead...

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Feeling at home

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Aidan Hartley London T his summer’s big G8 Africa palaver has turned London, or at least the London I know, into a little African village. It makes it great fun for me, since...

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By Tim Hitchcock T he word may have Italian origins but there is something very British about ‘alfresco.’ It encapsulates the frantic activity that is triggered when the...

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Captain Bligh’s bounty

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FRANK KEATING M idsummer — Wimbledon at fullthrottled grunt, England’s cricketers in meaningful challenge with Australia at last, down by the river the bunting’s gay and...


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Dear Mary Q. The new fashion of women wearing pants (sic) that do not fit properly and reveal their underwear is in full flight here. There is no hope for the young, who will...

Q. I recently attended a dinner party of about a

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dozen in a household where the custom persists of evacuating the women at the conclusion of the meal to the drawing-room, leaving the men to focus on anecdote and port. Three of...