28 APRIL 2001

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T he Commission for Racial Equality called upon all MPs to

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sign a declaration against exploiting racialist themes during the election; it then began to post on its Internet site the name of those who declined to sign. The declaration...

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M any free-born Englishmen will be frothing this weekend as they are forced to fill in, under pain of a £1,000 fine, 20 pages of personal questions posed by the Office for...

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What the Tories need is not another Thatcher but another Major

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BRUCE ANDERSON A though the two main parties would appear to be at opposite ends of the popularity spectrum, they have a common problem. Neither is confident in its...

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A Paris funny thing happened to me on the way to l'Opera the other day. I was taking a break in the Café de la Paix. Perhaps a curious choice, but I've always wondered if the...

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As Timothy McVeigh prepares to die, the crusading British lawyer Clive Stafford Smith explains why he decided not to represent him and why he believes that the world is...

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Mind your language

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OONA KING, MP, the daughter of a professor, has a hobby of learning languages. So I took the more note of her pronunciation of the word plethora on the wireless the other day....


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William Cash on how naive Westerners are tricked into buying the ,freedom' of slaves THE SIGHT of the Etireno 'slave ship' being greeted at the rickety old West African port...

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Andrew Roberts on a man who gained a criminal record after his whippet barked at a couple of police horses IN P.G. Wodehouse's masterpiece The Code of the Woosters, PC Eustace...

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Bridget Storrie visits the oil explorers of Arctic Alaska and can't see why the greens are being beastly about Bush Juneau NEVER volunteer for anything, especially if it...

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Ancient & modern

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A HALIBUT eight feet long and weighing 20 stone has been landed off the coast of Sutherland. The Roman satirical poet Juvenal (c. AD 60-130) would have known what to do with it...


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Michaela Young went on a management course and discovered that boys will be nasty but that girls can be cows I WORK for a high-street bank and I recently attended a three-day...

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Handbag: the most expensive you can afford, and ideally in direct proportion to your body size.

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Jewellery: minimal. Clothes: never anything that might look like evening wear. Cardigans should be avoided — you might be mistaken for a secretary, Make-up: discreet. As...

Second opinion

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IT IS reassuring to know that, contrary to what is often asserted by certain ill-disposed people, the forces of law and order in this country are sometimes extremely vigilant...

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Edward Heathcoat Amory finds that the BBC is biased in favour of EU integration even when it is straining to be impartial TWO months ago there was a curious meeting in a...

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Banned wagon

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A week l y survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit THE foot-and-mouth crisis has spawned plenty of cod theories about agriculture, but few quite as dramatic as that...

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Our busy Home Secretary grants another interview, and Anne MeElvoy discovers what gets his goat JACK STRAW is the New Labourite that a certain breed of stout Tory secretly...

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To mention the unmentionable is increasingly baroque these days

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PAUL JOHNSON T his is a most distasteful subject. All genteel readers are asked to turn the page now. Still with me? Right, then. The other day I overheard two women talking at...

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The wrong Europhiliac

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From Mr Brendan Donnelly Sir: Peter °borne upbraids his journalistic colleagues for not checking their stories (1 - low they invented a Tory plot', 21 April). If he had...

Unfair to South Africa

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From Professor Kader Asmal, MP Sir: R.W. Johnson (Pride becomes prejudice', 31 March) constructs a picture of a South African higher-education system that is disintegrating. In...

Teacher buyouts

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From Mr Tom Burkard Sir: Your leading article (21 April) suggests that the best way to ease the consciences of middle-class parents who opt for independent schools is to issue...

Strasbourg geese

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From Mr Colin Bullen Sir: Nigel Farage's strictures on Conservative MEPs (`The wimps of Strasbourg', 21 April) would carry considerably more conviction had his party remained...

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Why Turkey is stuffed

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From Mr Laurence Raw Sir: I would like to thank Professor Stone for drawing readers' attention to the consequences of the recent economic crisis in Turkey ('The sick man of...

Baldric boob

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From Mr Matthew Stadlen Sir: Impressed as I was by your article linking the Aeneid to the Middle East conflict ('Virgil's message for the Middle East', 7 April). I feel bound to...

Less ammo for anglophobes

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From Q.G. Daniel Sir: While anyone with sense must deplore the attitude of the Scottish football fans described by Tim Luckhurst (`Scotland the terrified', 12 April), it seems...

Meat is good

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From Mr Andrew Macdonald Sir; Matthew Parris's arguments for eating less meat (Another voice, 21 April) are as timid as they are flawed. One of the issues he neglected to look...

De Gaulle and the US

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From Mr Robert Low Sir: Jonathan Freedland must be easily surprised if he finds it 'curious' that 'the leading anti-American voice in Europe today is . the Gaullist President of...

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What Mr Cook has on the back burner along with his chicken tikka masala

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FRANK JOHNSON A few years ago, Lord Tebbit announced his 'cricket test'. He said words to the effect that the real test of whether a Briton of immigrant origin owed ultimate...

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The BBC has spent £15 million showing America singlehandedly winning the second world war

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STEPHEN GLOVER T he BBC has not had much luck with its blockbuster dramas recently. Audiences have been disappointing. So the corporation is investing a great deal of hope in...

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Looking the other way

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Caroline Moorehead UNDER HIS VERY WINDOWS: THE VATICAN AND THE HOLOCAUST IN ITALY by Susan Zuccotti Yale, 119.95, pp. 408, ISBN 0300084870 THE DEFAMATION OF PIUS XII by Ralph...

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Foul play suspected

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Anthony Gottlieb WITTGENSTEIN'S POKER by David Edmonds and John Eidinow Faber, £9.99, pp. 267, ISBN 057120547X P icture the scene. The place is Athens and the time is around...

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A thorn in the side of the Papacy

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Piers Paul Read THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: A SHORT HISTORY by Hans Kiing, translated by John Bowden Weidenfeld, £14.99, pp. 237, ISBN0297646389 h e nearest our Prime Minister, Tony...

Keeping the sharks at bay

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Bronwyn Rivers WRESTLING WITH THE ANGEL by Michael King Picador, £16, pp. 583, ISBN 0330352768 L iterary biographies, particularly those of living subjects who, like Janet...

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A researcher's revenge

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Miranda Seymour MYSTERIES OF PARIS: THE QUEST FOR MORTON FULLERTON by Marion Mainwaring University Press of New England, $30, pp. 327, ISBN 1584650087 M orton who? A few...

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The best of companions

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Anne Applebaum POLAND: A TRAVELLER'S GAZE .12 FEER by Adam Zamoyski John Mut-ray, L16.99, pp, 301, ISBN 0719557720 T here are countries where it is easy to be a tourist, and...

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'The baddest and boldest of a bold, bad gang'

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Lucy Hughes-Hallett LOST LION OF MPIRE by Edward Paice HatperCollins, £19.99, pp. 470, ISBN 0002570033 I n 1900 Cecil Rhodes wrote an introduction to a book by a young man...

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Unique New York

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Anita Brookner ON GREEN DOLPHIN STREET by Sebastian Faulks Hutchinson, £16.99, pp. 341, ISBN 0091802105 C ontinuing his remarkable investigations into the history of the 20th...

Here be sundry marvels

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David Profumo MAPPING THE DEEP: THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF OCEAN SCIENCE by Robert Kunzig Sort of Books, £8.99, pp. 345, ISBN 0953522715 A lthough I spend much of my life...

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Travelling without making progress

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Jonathan Mirsky HOTEL HONOLULU by Paul Theroux Hamish Ham Won, 116.99, pp. 492, ISBN 0241141303 I n 1997 Paul Theroux published Kowloon Tong, a novel many readers in the colony...

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The Master who never got old

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David Ekserdjian TITIAN: THE COMPLETE PAINTINGS by Filippo Pedrocco and Maria Agnese Chiari Moretto Wiel Thames & Hudson, £50, pp. 344, ISBN 0500092974 T his is the kind of...

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Making it up as you go along

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Mark Ryan believes a new green paper on culture and creativity is funny, sad and dangerous O n almost any day of the week, Tate Modern is thronged with school children, herded...

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Creative Quarters: The Art World in London 1700-2000 (Museum of London, till 15 July)

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Capital attraction Angela Summerfield I f one was to conduct a popular poll of London, somewhere amongst the polarised views of the metropolis would be a reference to London's...

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Ii Trovatore (Coliseum) Otello (Royal Opera House)

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Lost on stage Michael Tanner T he commemoration of the centenary of Verdi's death is slowly getting under way in the United Kingdom — about time, since the Battle of the...

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Anything Goes (National Tour) The Ramayana (National Theatre) Clockwatching (Orange Tree, Richmond)

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It's deghastly Sheridan Morley T he trouble with Anything Goes is that nothing does. At the start of a six-month tour, this new production (which I caught in its Wimbledon...

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The Mexican (15, selected cinemas)

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Bungled assignment Mark Steyn T he Mexican is like The Maltese Falcon. Well, okay, it's not like it at all really, except in two respects. First, the title role is one of...

Variations on a theme

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Robin Holloway T he most famous example of a Composers' Collective, wherein an invited miscellany pools its resources to vary a given theme, will always remain Diabelli's 1819...

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Valley of hell

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James Delingpole I t came as quite a surprise to me that the British soldiers who fought in 1951 at the battle of the Imjin river could be described in a Korea Remembered...

It's a funny old thing. . .

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Michael Vestey In recent years the standard of radio comedy has been abysmal to the point where I stopped listening or switched off soon after the latest offering came on. I...

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Sporting favourites

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Robin Oakley A pologies first to any of the fellow regulars in the Tote Credit Room at Newbury last Saturday who were deafened by a demented figure shouting home the 12-1...

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Kennedy cult continued

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Taki T o New York the Metropolitan Museum on Fifth Avenue, natch, for the Costume Institute's annual ball at $3,500 smackers per person. My hostess, the great designer Carolina...

Farm fodder

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Toby Young I have a word of advice for any men out there thinking of getting married: don't go to Verbier, With the exception of the Playboy Mansion, I can't think of a better...

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Save our heritage

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Leanda de Lisle I n Northamptonshire one of England's most important country houses is falling into ruin. Apethorpe Hall has a long and romantic history dating back to the 15th...

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Nightmare on Hyde Park

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Petronella Wyatt I nearly killed the dog the other day. It was early in the morning and we had been walking in Hyde Park. The mist had yet to ascend and it covered the park...

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Deborah Ross

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HAPPY Easter? Thanks for asking but not especially, no. I've become rather obsessed with medical sites on the Internet and, in particular, typing in any symptoms I might have —...

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Rising doubts

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Ross Clark IF THERE is one group of people who should be bursting with enthusiasm to reelect the government, it is the chartered surveyors. Never exactly the most popular group...

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Crisis at United

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Simon Barnes AT the end of a bad week at the office, the well-adjusted man is supposed to kick the cat. Roy Keane, the captain of Manchester United, kicked Alfie Haaland....

Q. Since acquiring a property in Switzerland, I have become

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an enthusiastic `Swiss kisser' — i.e., I greet ladies with whom I am moderately familiar on an equal or quasi-equal basis with three proper kisses on the cheek, in the sequence...

Q. A minor gaffe (14 April) but, as Geoffrey Madan

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(sic) noted, 'Two languages are universally understood: love and gaffes.' Anyway, you're the lucky one — you will know just how to excuse it. Lower John Street, London W1 A....

Q. I recently attended a weekend party in the country with many of my old-time uni

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versity friends. Since some of them had to travel a long way home by train, I happily offered my house for the night to a few, so that they could take the journey at a less...