29 NOVEMBER 2003

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I n the Queen's Speech the government announced plans to remove

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hereditary peers; take failed asylum-seekers' children into `care'; let universities charge fees of £3,000 a year; make sellers of houses produce 'information packs'; prosecute...

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So why not we us a vote?

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W hen former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing referred to the writing of the proposed EU constitution as Europe's 'Philadelphia moment', he was presumably referring not...

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I keep forgetting where I am. A different American city every

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week makes it hard to remember where the light switch is on the bedside table. Is it up or down, do you push it or twiddle it or is it connected to a more complicated system...

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Jack Straw scents the impending demise of Tony Blair

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S ix years into the Thatcher government, and there was no question about who the Prime Minister was, what she stood for and where she was going. There was already a substantial...

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T his column — over the weeks and months to come

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— is hoping to compile a modest anthology of stories designed to cast Richard Desmond, the banana-smoking proprietor of Asian Babes and Spunk-Loving Sluts, in an agreeable...

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Who hates the Jews now?

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The new anti-Semitism is being spread by both the Right and the Left, says Mark Strauss, and it is at its most virulent among globophobes T hey're at it again: the Jewish...

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These five regimes must go — and soon

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Mark Steyn lists the countries that must be dealt with if we are to win the war against terrorism New Hampshire G eorge W. Bush is right. Tony Blair is 'plenty independent';...

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Women who won't

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Rod Liddle says there may be good reasons for women to stay at home, but a lot of them do it because they are plain idle Iv hat is it that afflicts our women at the moment? They...

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Our son of a bitch

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President Karimov is a ruthless tyrant, says Daniel Hannan, but he supports the war on terror and is backed by the West. He shouldn't be A strange little row has been bubbling...

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Mind your language

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In connection with J.R.R. Tolkien — who with the much feebler J.K. Rowling is soon to be dominating school-holiday cinema once again — there was an interesting piece in the TLS...

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How to scare a US marine

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American troops in Liberia refused to take malaria pills, because they fear the side effects more than bullets. Brendan O'Neill on the undermining of morale rivv hatever...

Ancient & modern

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With the Tory party facing defeat at the third election in a row, no ambitious young tiger would want to be leader at this juncture. Hence Michael Howard. He has never quite...

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Constitutional vandalism

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Anthony Lloyd says that the government's plan to replace the law lords is an attack on tradition, and pointless too n 12 June the Prime Minister issued a press release...

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You calling me an

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anti-American? Matthew d'Ancona has prepared a quiz for those who are wondering whether they are Americo-sceptics, or just a bit wet L et's face it: these are tough times for...

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A weekly survey of world restrictions on freedom and free trade Given President Bush's refusal so far to lift his illegal tariffs on steel imports, European retaliation is...

Page 30

The Times has gone tabloid: where will

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the broadsheet revolution end? F irst the Independent goes tabloid, now the Times follows suit, though both papers are still available in broadsheet form. The Daily Telegraph...

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Enoch has a tip for Gordon, and another for Mrs Watanabe

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E noch Powell fixed me with an eye like the Ancient Mariner's and asked why I thought he was joking. He had called on the government of the day (Margaret Thatcher's) to...

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Trudging along in the mindless mob of the useful idiots

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lw hile their friends and allies, the Istanbul bombers, were murdering humble clerks, janitors and cleaners in Turkey, the anti-Bush protesters were out in London — in rather...

Page 38

The brutal ruthlessness of the police is typical of modern Britain

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I was on my way to dinner in London last week in the company of a bookseller friend of mine when I saw something happen that bodes deservedly ill for these wretched islands. I...

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Sorry, Stephen, but I certainly would work for Richard Desmond

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H ow incredible it is,' wrote Stephen Glover in last week's Spectator's Media studies, 'and how depressing,' that Richard Desmond might buy the Telegraph. He went on to paint a...

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Right to march

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From Cathy Vale Sir: After attending the Stop the War Coalition demonstration on 20 November, I read your leading article of 15 November with interest. I was struck by the...

Plastic fantastic

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From David I. Marks Sir: Contrary to Paul Robinson's assertion ('Identity crisis', 15 November), my EU identity card works extremely well in practice. Flying from Nairobi...

Death penalty not practical

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From Tom Benyon Sir: Bruce Anderson rightly says that there is a sound moral case for the reintroduction of the death penalty, for you can argue morality any way you want; there...

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Faraway countries

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From Allan Massie Sir: In the wake of the Istanbul bombings. I look forward to an article by Mark Steyn assuring us that the war on terror is being won, and offering as evidence...

Striving for peace

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From Frederick Forsyth Sir: It may seem odd for a gentile to take up the cudgels against a Jewish MP in the matter of excoriating Israel, but Gerald Kaufman's indictment omitted...

Gay Lionheart?

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From Katie Grant Sir: On what facts does Paul Johnson base his assertion that Richard the Lionheart (one illegitimate son, one marriage) indulged in homosexual practices with...

Gellhorn in the USSR

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From John Hatt Sir: In his letter to you about Martha Gellhorn (11 October), Peregrine Worsthorne claims that she was 'infuriatingly blind to the wickednesses of the Soviet...

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Cheesy feat

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Damien McCrystal sings the praises of vacherin T his is the most important time of year in the calendar for that part of me which loves cheese. I yearn for it all year. I talk...

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Best for giving

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Karen Robinson H ave you made your Christmas provisions list yet? Chestnuts, check; brandy for lighting the pudding, check; Stilton, check; selection boxes for the kiddies,...


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by Sir Trevor Nunn My wife !mown gave birth to our first child in 1991. Ellie arrived over many hours during the night of 61h April 1991, I telephoned as many family and...

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The new seekers

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Flora Gathorne-Hardy T wo summers ago I drove to Poland 1 with a friend to finish a house that she had been building near the border with Russia. Our journey brought us to...

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Pheasant pilav

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T hanks to a hot summer, the countryside 1 heaves with pheasant, dead and alive, and it must be eaten, or shooting, too, will enter the sights of the anti-enjoyment lobby. If...

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The age of innocent adventure

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Aidan Hartley THE GATES OF AFRICA: DEATH, DISCOVERY AND THE SEARCH FOR TIMBUKTU by Anthony Sattin HarperCollins, 05. pp. 382, ISBN 0007122330 B etween antiquity and the 18th...

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Letting it all hang out

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Marcus Berkmann BROKEN MUSIC by Sting Simon & Schuster, £18.99, pp. 339, ISBN 0743231848 F or all of us who are paid to make jokes about pop music, Sting is a bit of a godsend....

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A season in hell

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Anita Brookner TOMBER SEPT FOIS, SE RELEVER HUIT by Philippe Labro Albin Michel, 17 Euros, pp. 236, ISBN 2226141748 W hen Philippe Labro, novelist, journalist, cineast,...

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Recent cookery books

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Elfreda Pownall W ith Jamie and Nigella away frying other fish the TV-tie-in cookery books lack glamour this Christmas. Admittedly Delia, the most successful television cook of...

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Hunting the killer rhyme

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D. J. Taylor THE BOOK OF MY ENEMY: COLLECTED VERSE 1958-2003 by Clive James Picador, £15.99, pp. 437, ISBN 0330420046 T wenty years ago Clive James's poetry represented all...

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The Dutch manipulator of the Pelvis

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Andrew Barrow THE COLONEL: THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF COLONEL Tom PARKER AND ELVIS PRESLEY by Manna Nash Aurtim, ,E19.99, pp. 394, ISBN 1854109480 B ehind many great stars of...

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Above and below blood temperature

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Caroline Moorehead A MIGHTY HEART: THE BRAVE LIFE AND DEATH OF MY HUSBAND DANIEL PEARL by Mariane Pearl Virago, £10.99, pp. 278, ISBN 18440804439 WHO KILLED DANIEL PEARL? by...

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Making it a just so story

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Stephen Abell LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF STORIES by A. S. Byatt Chatto, £12, pp. 279, ISBN 0701173246 T his new collection is, surprisingly for a little black book, decidedly unsexy....

Sexing up American history

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Harry Mount INVENTING A NATION: WASHINGTON, ADAMS, JEFFERSON by Gore Vidal Yale, £14.95, pp. 198, ISBN 0300101716 T his lovely little bluffers' guide to the founders of the...

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Beholding sundry places

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Justin Marozzi A BOOK OF LANDS AND PEOPLES edited by Eric Newby HarperCollins, £25, pp. 620, ISBN 0007149395 H ere's a Christmas present for anyone with a serious interest in...

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Recent art books

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David Ekserdjian A o 4 ncient Egypt seems to be one f the evergreens of the art book market, and Jaromir alek's Egypt: 4000 Years of Art (Phaidon, £24.95) is a handily chunky...

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How we got into this mess

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John Laughland THE GREAT DECEPTION: THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION by Christopher Booker and Richard North Continuum, £20, pp. 474. ISBN 0826471056 T N T rough his...

Granny takes several trips

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Anne Chisholm A ROUND-HEELED WOMAN by Jane Jnska Chatto, £10.99, pp. 27Z ISBN 0701176938 W6I y, oh why, would a pleasantlooking, intelligent woman of 6, a retired English...

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Recent gardening books

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Mary Keen G ardening publishers have gone for heavyweight ideas on design this year. Light reading and prettification are not an option and a pile of their newest could...

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Trouble in Manhattan

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Petroc Trelawny on the malaise affecting the New York Philharmonic New York C oncert-goers here have always been pretty scornful about the quality of music-making outside...

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Digging for gold

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Andrew Lambirth Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past Room 35, British Museum, until 14 March 2004 A s a a child, various hobbies and entbusisms haunted my spare time in a rather...

Page 66

Colour attack

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Sebastian Smee L'Orioines d'abstraction Musae d'Orsay, Paris, until 22 Febntary 2004 I 'Origines d'abstraction, a new show at i / the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, does a great...

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Transformation problems

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Mark Steyn The Shape of Things 15, selected cinemas 41" don't like art that isn't true,' says 1 Evelyn in the opening scene of The Shape of Things. I know how she feels. This...

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Missing Martha

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Giannandrea Poesio Martha Graham Dance Company Sadler's Wells Theatre I : st week, in the middle of one of Martha Graham's most famous creations, a mobile phone went off at...

Fighting for one's ideals

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Michael Tanner Vanessa Barbican Pelleas et Mellsande Linbtay Studio S amuel Barber's Vanessa has at last received a professional performance in the UK, with first-rate...

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Out of Place

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Lloyd Evans Fascinating Aida Comedy The Lisbon Traviata King's Head Happy Days Arts M y job is superfluous. I needn't be here, Fascinating Aida is so firmly established in the...

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On-the-edge genius

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Robin Holloway Ts Hector Berlioz one of those maverick Icomposers who never quite settle into an indisputable mainstream (if not. as Stravinsky lethally observed of Liszt's...

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Rare finds

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Susan Moore A uction-houses neglect niche markets at their peril. The most marginalised and least publicised departments will invariably flourish the lion's share of thrilling...

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Bleak view

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Simon Hoggart T AST Saturday I watched a tape of LeMonkey Dust (BBC 3) and the next day saw Love Actually, the new Richard Curtis film. These are two quite different visions of...

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Camelot shenanigans

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Michael Vestey I mentioned in this column last week a programme called When the World Was Young, which was about why the British seemed captivated by President Kennedy when he...

French challenge

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Robin Oakley T hank you Jonny Wilkinson. That extratime dropped goal in the Rugby World Cup final was the best answer to an Australian question since the England cricket...

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Character assassination

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Taki New York T o the Four Seasons, for Lord Black's party to celebrate the publication of his magnificent opus, Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom. My hosts are...

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In Coventry, in Verona

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Jeremy Clarke efore going to Venice, we spent two //days in Verona. It was my first time in Italy and I got a crick in the neck from looking up at so many amazingly old,...

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Beagles and booze

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Petronella Wyatt Virginia rtn a Sunday afternoon in the winter 4 ...../there is practically nothing that welloff people in the state of Virginia like to do more than go...

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A class act

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MICHAEL HENDERSON S ome time last year I fell into conversation, as one does in smoky bars, with an entertaining, mischievous talker. It was Piers Pughe-Morgan, the editor of...

Q. Recently I have developed an enigmatic passion for a

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rather grand gentleman. Unfortunately it is not entirely reciprocated and I wondered if I could glean some advice as to how to go forward with this. I fear the main problem is...

Q. I hale, for as long as I can remember,

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as did my grandfather and father before me. worn a gold-wire stock pin in my tie. In these increasingly egalitarian and 'non-elitist' days, it appears to elicit either quizzical...

Q. What starters are fashionable at this time of year?

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M.W., Wiltshire A. Guests at a luncheon at Waddesdon Manor last week enjoyed a warm salad of pheasant breast and chestnuts, all lubricated nicely with a pomegranate dressing.