26 APRIL 2003

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PORTRAIT _f_L - 5' _FL] I T he Daily Telegraph said that documents found in the ruined Iraqi foreign ministry in Baghdad

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by a Daily Telegraph reporter were said to discuss payments to Mr George Galloway, the MP for Glasgow Kelvin. Mr Galloway said: 'I have never solicited, nor would I have...

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Scrap targets

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here is no task more difficult than that of educating British children. To the natural indiscipline of youth has now been kL added the indiscipline of parents, many of whom...

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s an atheist. I am reluctant to intrude into the private affairs of the Church of England,

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despite having been baptised A into it (I was six weeks old at the time, and had little say in the matter). However, conscious as I am of its residual cultural significance. I...

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Is Blair just an empty, vainglorious, narcissistic creep?

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ritish politics has been frozen in a kind of reiterative cycle ever since Black Wednesday 4 1992: the Conservatives becalmed at 30 per cent in the polls, the Liberal Democrats...

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The Questing Vole

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I s Carole Caplin's continuing, apparently mesmeric, influence on the Prime Minister's domestic set-up going to produce a casualty? Westminster rumour has it that Alastair...

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The people must decide their fate

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The government must not be allowed to adopt a European constitution without the consent of the governed, says Paul Robinson. Here he explains how we can hold our own referendum...

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82 per cent want a referendum on the constitution

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Q nly 15 per cent of people in Britain are aware that the EU is drafting a constitution. That's up 5 per cent from the month hefore (our YouGov poll for The Spectator was taken...

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Iraq's answer to Jeffrey Archer

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Andrew Gilligan on the charm of Ahmad Chalabi, the man the Americans want to lead the liberated nation Baghdad F or a would-be leader of the Iraqi people, Ahmad Chalabi is...

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It's still the

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'nasty party' No opposition party has ever done so badly in the polls, says Michael Gove, and none has ever had less chance of winning over the voters A melancholy anniversary...

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Why I nearly resigned

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Mark Steyn says he is disgusted by what he sees as The Spectator's ill-judged and idle defence of the UN New Hampshire The UN should be appointed overseer of the peace not...

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Mind your language

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A curious piece of information came the other day from my friend Patrick Williams, the chef and flute-player, accompanying a very English set of photographs of the people of...

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Lions betrayed by donkeys

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When our boys come home, hundreds of them will end up on the street: Mary Wakefield talks to neglected victims of war D on't be silly,' said my learned Tory friend Bruce....

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Dying for a cigarette

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Joe Queenan on the terror, misery and lunacy that have followed the smoking ban in New York New York F ifty-three years ago, Frank Loesser wrote a famous musical about the...

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The man who made Soho resonate before it was invented

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PAUL JOHNSON T o put up a plaque to Hazlitt in Soho was apt — he was the first Bohemian to die there. But the Hazlitt lobby should stop their nonsense about his being one of...

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Mrs Galloway's problems with the Queen of Spades

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FRANK JOHNSON A merica's numbering of the Saddam regime's leading members, and issuing this order of precedence in the form of a deck of playing cards to aid American troops...

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True cost of Europe

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From Michael Fabricant, MP Sir: Tim Congdon ('The dawning of a new Europe', 19 April) rightly points out that there is a pressing need 'for the UK to reassess the economic case...

Serial Chancellor

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From Mr Henry Keswick Sir: William Shawcross ('Pax Americana', 12 April) was quite right to point out, in his excellent Harkness Lecture, the stream of thinly disguised...

The good Hashemite

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From Mr Johnny Lea vesley Sir: Mark Steyn is often right and always engaging to read but he is wrong about the Hashemites (Leave Iraq to US', 5 April). The Hashemites rule...

Christ as God and Man

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From Mr Christopher Howse Sir: Michael Prodger's fascinating piece on Holbein's 'Dead Christ in the Tomb' (Arts, 19 April) suggests that it shows the dead body 'when Christ was...

Short memory syndrome

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From Mr Allan Massie Sir: Paul Johnson (And another thing, 19 April) quotes President McKinley's assur ance to a delegation to the White House that he had prayed `to Almighty...

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Leslie's largesse

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From Mr Raleigh Trevelyan Sir: As A.L. Rowse's executor and neighbour, I certainly can agree that he could behave outrageously (Books, 29 March), but he was also kind and...

Unhappy hookers

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From Milica Pesic Sir: Phelim McAleer ('Happy hookers of Eastern Europe', 5 April) failed to provide a balanced range of views. As an organisation which specialises in reporting...

Resisting the euro

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From Mr Harold Green Sir: It seems that, in order to get their hands on extra cash from the EU, certain anti-euro MEPs are pawning their ability to effectively promote the...

The grandest larceny

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From Mr Tom Sackville Sir: Rod Liddle (The day of the jackals', 19 April) appears to make the following accusation. A group of art-dealing Republican party supporters/backers...

Our friends the French

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From Mr Peter Hammett Sir: I was interested to see that Peter °borne writes (Diary, 12 April), 'Much less confidence . . . reposes in the officers. They are being made up by the...

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It's a great scoop, but the Telegraph is

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wrong to suggest that Galloway is a traitor STEPHEN GLOVER T he Daily Telegraph's story about the Scottish Labour MP Geor g e Galloway is undoubtedly a cracker. In some...

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Fair trade gives you a warm cosy glow, free trade delivers the goods

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CHRISTOPHER FILDES M ay Day in the City brings the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres. to St Mary Le Bow in the name of fair trade. His diocesan adviser for social justice...

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Back to the future

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Philip Hensher ORYX AND CRAKE by Margaret Atwood Bloomsbuty, E16.99, pp. 374 ISBN 0747562598 I t's quite unusual for a novelist to write two entirely separate and different...

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The Go-Away Bird

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Digby Durrant FRANKIE AND STAN KIE by Barbara Trapido Bloomsbury, £16.99, pp. 307 ISBN 074756034X D id Barbara Trapido tell brilliant bedtime stories to children and one day...

A critical century not out

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Michael Glover THE BURLINGTON MAGAZINE: A CENTENARY ANTHOLOGY selected by Michael Levey Yale, £29.95, pp. 256 ISBN 0300099118 I t is surely a cause for celebration when a...

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Thought for food

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Digby Anderson BEEF AND LIBERTY by Ben Rogers Chan°, £17.99, pp. 196 ISBN 070116980X B y Shakespeare's time, the English ate more meat, especially beef and mutton, than their...

Cousins who never kissed

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Lucy Hughes-Hallett ELIZABETH AND MARY by Jane Dunn HatperCollins, £20, pp. 535 ISBN 0002571501 E lizabeth Tudor was 25 years old when she finally got her crown. Mary Stewart,...

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In Town for the March

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Today in Castlereagh Street I Felt short of breath, and here is why. From the direction of the Quay Towards where Mark Foy's used to be, A glass and metal river ran Made in...

Mapping out the badlands

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Paul Willetts SAMARITAN by Richard Price Bloomsbury £12.99, pp. 396, ISBN 0747562245 H ollywood-bound novelists are conventionally portrayed as striking a Faustian bargain....

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An end to cant and defeatism

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Neil Clark A BRIEF HISTORY OF CRIME by Peter Hitchens Atlantic Books, 116.99, pp. 315, ISBN 1843541483 I t's fair to say that Peter Hitchens remains one of the most...

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Pig in a silk suit

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Helen Osborne SAM SPIEGEL by Natasha Fraser Cavassoni Little, Brown, £22.50, pp. 465 ISBN 0316848522 W henever 1 read of shenanigans on 'luxury yachts' I remember a trip around...

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Painter of vivid word-pictures

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Andrew Lambirth THE JOURNALS by Josef Herman Peter 1 - laWan,125, pp. 263 ISBN 1870015819 M ost people familiar with the work of the Polish-British painter, Josef Herman,...

A bird's-eye view

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Nick Seddon THE LONDON PIGEON WARS by Patrick Neate Viking, 02.99, pp. 483 ISBN 0670912646 W hen Patrick Neate's second novel Twelve Bar Blues won the Whitbread prize in 2001,...

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Business as usual in London

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Susan Moore reports on how the market for Islamic art is still flourishing T here is a certain irony in the fact that the art market least affected by the fallout of 11...

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Paraphrasing nature

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Andrew Lambirth Graham Sutherland: A Life in Focus Pallant House, Chichester until II May An l i other centenary, another reassessent. Graham Sutherland (1903-80) is perhaps...

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Pleasing and relevant

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Mark Glazebrook Elisabeth Vellacott: A Memorial Exhibition Redfern Gallery, 20 Cork Street, Wl, until 15 May - Ellisabeth Vellacott (1905-2002) studied I ' at the Royal College...

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Target practice

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Mark Steyn Trapped 15, selected cinemas K e l vin Bacon is so splendid in good rash (Wild Things, Tremors) that it pains one to see him in bad trash. Trapped goes wrong from...

Rules of engagement

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Toby Young Under the Whaleback Royal Court Scenes From the Big Picture Cottesloe A Reckoning Soho Three Sisters Playhouse Ancestral Voices Jerrnyn Street I n the past year or...

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Beware the hissing serpent

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Robin Holloway U ncanny and wonderful, to be locked up last week in the cathedral at Ely for four successive evenings from seven to ten at night, free to roam everywhere: up...

Wagner revealed

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Michael Tanner Gotterdammerung Edinburgh Festival Theatre T his year's Edinburgh Festival will have as its focus two cycles of Wagner's Ring, which got under way three years...

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What a cop-out

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James Delingpole T ast week I was on breakfast TV. When L.4he man from the BBC rang the night before I was unenthusiastic, but after I realised that the taxi wouldn't have to...

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A bom defector

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Michael Vestey S ince Malcolm Muggeridge, one of the most famous and illustrious journalists of the last century, died in 1990 little has been heard of his prolific sayings,...

Tough guys

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Taki New York F laying the Frogs has replaced baseball as the national pastime in this here great country, with Murdoch's minions doing most of the flaying, using elegant...

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Toasting Dr Atkins

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Jeremy Clarke T he moment t heard on the radio that Dr Atkins was dead. I was in a caravan next to the beach at Polzeath, in north Cornwall, eating tinned spaghetti on toast....

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Missing out

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Ai dan Hartley Laikipia T iving in the Kenyan highlands during Lathis war in Iraq I've felt like those Japanese soldiers who thought they were still supposed to be fighting...

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A bit of April

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Jaspistos In Competition No. 2286 you were invited to incorporate 11 given words, in any order, in a plausible piece of prose. Surprisingly my eccentric eleven proved tougher...

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Talent transcended

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MICHAEL Salzburg T he thought occurred — again — the other night. as Simon 'von' Rattle carried his mighty Berliners through the greatest performance of Mahler's Fifth...

Dear Maly

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Q. I am shortly to give lunch to a number of high-profile people. Two of them have rung to inquire how late they can leave it before giving me a yes or a no. Do you agree with...