28 DECEMBER 2002

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JANUARY. Twelve countries of the European Union adopted the euro

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as their common currency. Lord Birt was asked by Mr Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, to draw up a report on transport. Rail fares went up and drivers went on strike. Connex...

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A Cambridge geography graduate in search of solitude was recently found starving to death in a hikers' bothy in the Scottish Highlands surrounded by KitKat wrappers. No one from...

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T his is the first Christmas in recent years that I haven't spent in traction or immobilised by glandular fever. You may imagine that I spend my days drawing and whistling in a...

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A winning performance from IDS, but Charles Kennedy plays to the gallery

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MATTHEW PARRIS M N diary said eleven in the morning so I turned up in good time at the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster last month, ready to do a turn for a sixth-form...

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He may have been the greatest ever Briton, but his financial dealings would never have survived the scrutiny of today's sleaze-obsessed media, says Andrew Roberts NEVER in the...

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Ancient & modern

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AS the argument over firemen's pay and conditions rumbles on, Mr John Scorer reminds me of the correspondence on the subject of a fire service between Pliny the younger,...


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Rod Liddle reveals that extra-marital relations are more likely to be associated with fertility FIRST, an apology. I should have warned you about this before. I should have...

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Steven Norris says London has ground to a halt because of the Mayor's hatred of motorists PUT any two Londoners together for more than five minutes and you can almost...

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Andrew Kenny says the Afrikaner nationalists love their culture but the African nationalists hate theirs Cape Town A SERIES of terrorist bomb blasts across South Africa, one...

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Banned wagon: global

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A weekly survey of world restrictions on freedom and free trade WESTERN nations are reluctantly coming to accept that the days of keeping Third World produce out of their...

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Jack Jones talks to Andrew Gimson about the plight of the poor and the luck of the middle classes, who buy 'bloody big flats for kids' AT a time when even the Labour party...

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Mind your language

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PEOPLE seem to lose the use of their native wit when they consider the origins of words. That idiot's sorting office, the Internet, has a well-intentioned site (at...

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Osama is still dead, says Mark Steyn, but otherwise the news is not good, and Bush is going to need more than luck in 2003 New Hampshire NOT every political development is...

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The wets, the drys and those who are ready for all weathers

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PAUL JOHNSON I am grateful to those anonymous benefactors who give us new, useful words. 'Bonk', for instance — accurate and unambiguous but somehow inoffensive, unlike that...

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Zionism and the Holocaust

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From Farrel Lifson Sir: I read Geoffrey Wheatcroft's 'The Jewish answer?' (14/21 December) with great interest. Mr Wheatcroft goes into great detail to document Jewish secular...

From Dr Azzam Tamimi

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Sir: I commend Geoffrey Wheatcroft for his courage and well-informed position. However, I would like to draw his attention to a missing factor in his piece — namely the other...

Ode to the Euro-Schmucks

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From Mr Herb Greer Sir: As an American living in England. I should like to offer your readers my Ode to the Guardian, the Independent, the Daily Mirror and certain schmucks...

Priapic postscript

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From Mr John Clay Sir: There is more to add to James Delingpole's review of David M. Friedman's A Mind of Its Own (Books, 14/21 December). The glossist to Horace's Satires tells...

Rowan, theologian

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From The Revd Edmund Newey Sir: I was sorry to find Gerald Warner ('Is the Pope a Catholic?'. 14/21 December) treating the new Archbishop of Canterbury as a heresiarch. What...

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A lengthy apology

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From Mr Fraser Steel Sir: George Monbiot could have expressed himself more briefly (Letters. 14121 December) to the same effect: I was wrong, but that's all right because if...

Trust and religion

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From Mr John Lea Sir: Reluctant though I am (or should be!) to take issue with the editor of the Daily Telegraph, I feel that in one element of his otherwise excellent article...

Cowardly Constantine

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From Mr Michael Coultas Sir: Taki (High life, 14/21 December) is mistaken in his belief that ex-King Constantine was 'first to rise up' against the 1967 colonels. The young...

More about the Mau Mau

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From Gitate Githinfi Sir: Like Aidan Hartley, (Wild life, 14/21 December) I watched the recent BBC Correspondent programme about the Mau Mau with great interest. As it happens....

Crucifying Cherie

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From Mr Frederick Forsyth Sir: If anyone went for my old lady with lethal intent, he would soon have to accommodate the discomfort of life with two crushed nuts. For nine days...

Bertie's beverage

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From Mr Frank Auerbach Sir: I agree with every word of Philip Hensher's article on P.G. Wodehouse (Books, 14/21 December) except for the two words 'Jabberwocky coinage'....

Bad-weather ticket

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From Mr John Bailey Sir: For the information of Bevis Hillier (Books, 14/21 December), a rain-check is an undated admission voucher issued to ticketholders when a ball-game has...

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The Sun and the Telegraph are collaborating

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with Blair's cynical scaremongering STEPHEN GLOVER A most everyone assumes, whether they are pro or anti, that Britain will go to war against Iraq. President Bush seems set on...

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Browsing for escape

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Candia McWilliam PHRASE, SAYING AND QUOTATION edited by Susan Ratcliffe OUP,179.99, pp. 696. ISBN 0198662696 T he fine, rusty-gold building of the University Press presides...

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What do you mean you don't love me?

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David Caute THE NEW BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF FILM by David Thomson Little, Brown, £25. pp. 963, ISBN 0316859052 T his is the fourth edition of a masterwork which first...

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Mr Nice and

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Mr Nasty Zenga Longmore QUENTIN AND PHILIP by Andrew Barrow Macmillan, £18.99, pp. 559, ISBN 0333780515 Q uentin Crisp was, among other delightful things, a human paradox. He...

Off the straight and narrow

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Ruth Guilding ECHOING VOICES: MORE MEMORIES OF A COUNTRY HOUSE SNOOPER by John Harris John Murray, £17.99, pp. 239, ISBN 0719564832 T he picture of a maverick which emerges...

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A congregation of clergymen

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Gerard Noel PRIESTS AND PRELATES: THE DAILY TELEGRAPH CLERICAL OBITUARIES compiled by Trevor Beeson Continuum, £16.99, pp. 256. ISBN 0826463371 h is highly readable selection...

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Searching for the elusive mind of the President

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William Leith BUSH AT WAR by Bob Woodward Simon & Schuster, V8.99, pp. 224, ISBN 0743204735 I n his first book, All the President's Men, which he wrote with fellow Washington...

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The higher the fewer

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Anthony Smith THE MAN WHO TOUCHED THE SKY by Johnny Acton Hodder, £14.99, pp. 250, ISBN 0340819324 W hat to do if you plan a book whose essence is a single parachute drop? And...

God's own country

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Sophia Watson REFLECTIONS: LIFE PORTRAITS OF EXMOOR text by Birdie Johnson, photographs by Mark J. Rattenbury Dulverton and District Chic Society, £14.95, pp. 168, ISBN...

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The making of the Taleban

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Matthew Leeming THE SEWING CIRCLES OF HERAT: MY AFGHAN YEARS by Christina Lamb HarperCollins, £16.99, pp. 338, ISBN 000714251X I saw the first tourists arriving in Afghanistan...

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Prize-winning novels from France

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Anita Brookner I t has been calculated that a record number of novels — in record quantities — were issued between late August and early October, in time for the season of...

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Treats round the country

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Andrew Lamb irth looks forward to next year's art exhibitions F or any art lover, the prospect of a new year of exhibitions — of new wonders revealed and old friends revisited —...

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Festive trawl

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Robin Holloway T o be asked to write something for the Christmas Eve service of Nine Lessons and Carols in King's College Chapel is the penultimate Anglican accolade before a...

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Gig deficit

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Charles Spencer T owards the end of his life, John Betjeman, by then in the cruel grip of Parkinson's disease, was asked in a BBC documentary if he had any regrets. Not enough...

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Deep secrets

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Toby Young M ichael Grandage has chosen to mark his arrival at the Donmar with a surprisingly good production of The Vortex. I've never really thought of myself as a Coward...

Come on, George

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Mark Steyn B efore I get to the year-in-review stuff, I must say I was a bit shocked to find George Trefgarne on the Letters page in our last issue suggesting that, Bond-wise,...

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Mind the words

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Michael Tanner T he Barbican has temporarily become the Bayreuth of the North, though fortunately higher musical standards prevail here than in the place itself. The latest...

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Not an ideal Holmes

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Simon Hoggart H eavens, Hound of the Baskervilles (BBC 1) made for a gory Boxing Day. We watched the prison warders being sucked slowly and lethally into the mire, and saw Sir...

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Digital doubts

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Michael Vestey H ave you gone digital yet? Most people haven't, preferring to stick to terrestrial radio and television stations though there are signs that this is changing....

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Looking for a way out

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Robin Oakley W oken in the night by strange noises recently, a friend of my son-in-law left his sleeping wife and baby and went downstairs. As he switched on the light he found...

Women trouble

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Taki C herie Blair's lies brought back memories. Of Evita Peron, the bottle-blonde hooker that became Argentina's first 'lady' while her crook husband robbed the country blind...

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Inferiority complex

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Jeremy Clarke T o London last week, by train, on a return ticket bought in advance for me by the BBC. It was lovely travelling with a valid ticket for once. I read it closely...

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Give them a break

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Pe tronella Wyatt T his has been the season of goodwill. Which, of course, it hasn't. I am sorry for stating the obvious but there is always less goodwill around at Christmas...

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No go Zimbabwe

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Michael Henderson THEY were drowning cattle in the rivers of Zimbabwe last week. It makes a change, I suppose, from slaying humans. White farmers being responsible for all the...

Q. How can I 'cure' my husband of his irritating

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habit of checking the sell-by date on the side of milk cartons before he pours any? Woodborough, Wiltshire A. Many men enjoy the role of domestic policeman, catching their...

Q. Our eldest son married a lovely German girl. and

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now lives in southern Germany with our two grandchildren. We visit as often as we can, about four times a year, and during each visit we are invited for dinner at our...

Q. What should one do when faced with a heap of Christmas cards from people one

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has left it too late to send to oneself? I have been very negligent this year — partly because I felt inhibited by the plethora of cards I received from people bearing...