29 JUNE 2002

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M r Tony Blair. the Prime Minister, said, 'It is for

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the Palestinians to elect their own leaders,' Earlier he had told Parliament that Britain had failed at the European Union summit at Seville to carry a proposal to link the...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 020-7405 1706: Fax 020-7242 0603 FREE IS FAIR B eware the political message which conies printed on T-shirts and...

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A n I getting paranoid? During a bookshop talk in New York, I noticed a weaselfaced character in the front row taking notes of everything I said. His expression was...

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The real Tory war is between the frantics and the long-garners

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PETER °BORNE L st Tuesday's ICM poll in the Guardian, showing a ten-point lead for Labour, came as a sharp blow to the Tories. There had been fervent hopes that recent Downing...

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Stephen Glover explains the growing assertiveness of the press: newspapers are now dominated by Oxbridge-educated clever clogs MINISTERS believe the press is out to get them,...

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Mind your language

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A DOLLOP of Trollope again, but only a little one. I mentioned (25 May) that in The Prime Minister there was an adumbration of the modern political cliché of 'spending more time...

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Osama bin Laden is dead, says Mark Steyn, but it suits the Bush administration for the Eurosophists to believe he is alive New Hampshire HE's back! Or he will be. Any day now....

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No matter how casual fashion becomes, a woman always wants to wear her diamonds. They are, in my view, the only accessory that you can wear around the clock. Whatever the...

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The National Trust and its director-general, Fiona Reynolds, are getting a lot of stick from some Tories. It's not fait; says Clive Asiet IMAGINE that you have it in for the...

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Ancient & modern

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IT HAS been claimed that beards are now back in fashion. Pogonic fashion certainly changed in the ancient world. For the most part, beards were de rigueur; the difficulty of...

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Turkmenistan may not be a free counny, says Katie Grant, but there is no trash culture, no graffiti, and the people are happy BY any standards apart from his own, President...

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Dr Jane Goodall thinks apes are almost human, so why, asks Aidan Hartley, doesn't she punish one of her chimps for killing a boy? DR JANE GOODALL, the chimpanzee expert,...

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Daniel Hannan says the Eurofedera lists are uying to win over sceptics by seeming to promise tougher asylum policies YOU didn't need to look very far to find the kind of voter...

Banned wagon

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A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit THE engineering bore who tells his children 'What you want to do is get yourself a trade, my son' is guilty of giving...

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Simon Heifer says that Prince Michael of Kent is being maliciously smeared because republicans know that they can no longer take on the Queen NEXT week a shy, modest,...

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Sarfraz Manzoor used to fail the Tebbit test — but now he is wrapping himself in the flag of St George IT was a wet Friday afternoon in Luton, and I was standing outside a...

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A salute to those who labour in gardens and refresh humanity

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PAUL JOHNSON T his is the time of year when a garden is the greatest of blessings. As a non-gardener, I pay humble tribute to those who create and tend them. I know of none who...

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Blowing hot and cold

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From Dr Wilson Flood Sir: In his excellent article debating the likelihood of global cooling, Andrew Kenny ('Prepare for the big chill', 22 June) stated that we do not know what...

From Mr Patrick S. Briggs Sir: Andrew Kenny's informed blast

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at fix. global-warming scaremongers was a welcome antidote to the sanctimonious claptrap we usually hear on this subject. However, I fear that his view that the 'oil companies...

From Mr Julius Wroblewski Sir: Concerning Andrew Kenny's article on

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the weaknesses of the 'global warming' theory, let me add that some of its advocates have been inventive (devious?) enough to suggest that global warming effects will actually...

Amnesty's political bias

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From Mr Paul Banks Sir: Although Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) frequently assert their impartiality (Letters, 22 June), a comparison of their behaviour in...

Muslim turned Christian

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From Dr Jenny Taylor Sir: Melanie Phillips's important article (SHow the West was lost', 11 May) contains one serious error of fact concerning the book she cites. Faith and...

Vainglorious Thatcher

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From Mr DennLs Outwin Sir: Your campaign against Tony Blair over the Queen Mother's lying-in-state leaves a slightly nasty taste in the mouth. I cannot believe there would have...

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From Mr Frederick Forsyth Sin The filthiest press coverage since

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the second world war was almost certainly accorded to William Hague, For four unbroken years there was not a sneer, jeer, jibe, insult, mockery, slander, lie or calumny that can...

My Viking heroes

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From Mr Claus von Bulow Sir: Tania Kindersley's analysis ('Why chicks love Becks', 22 June) of her sex's conversion into football fans was eloquent to the point of ecstasy. As...

From Mr William Macke* ,

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Sir: After a fortnight in Japan and South Korea, I can confirm that the female love affair with football described by Tania Kindersley is not restricted to Britain. Outside the...

Dearth of engineers

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From Mr Graham Hay Sir: PetroneIla Wyatt (Singular life, 15 June) is to be congratulated. Alone among media commentators she has hit upon the root cause of Railtrack's problems:...

Dear strawberries

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From Mr Jocelin Crocker Sir: It is indeed heartening to read Simon Courtauld's praise of the English strawberry (Arts, 15 June), which is not to be confused with the cheap...

Number conundrum

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From Louise O'Connor Sir: I was always hopeless at maths, especially fractions, so ever since reading Caroline Moore's review of Rosamond Lehmann by Selina Hastings (Books, 15...

Not one of us

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From Mr Oleg Gordievsky Sir: I refer you to the final paragraph of Peter Oborne's excellent piece ('Where is Black Rod's killer memorandum?', 15 June). I must correct him on one...

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Is the spirit of the age against the Tories?

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FRANK JOHNSON B oris Johnson wrote a piece in the Daily Telegraph this week commemorating his first anniversary as an MP. Unlike so many other people, I preferred not to go to...

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Six to four against and back-end loaded welcome to the new world of money

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CHRISTOPHER FILDES J ames Bond said that life was six to four against, and a wise City owl now says that it is back-end loaded. They may amount to the same thing, and, for the...

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Toe-breaker or epoch maker?

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John R. G. Turner THE STRUCTURE OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY by Stephen Jay Gould Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, £27.50, pp. 1433, ISBN 0674006135 I HAVE LANDED: THE...

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Bright days, dreary coves

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Andrew Barrow THE MAIN CAGES by Philip Marsden Flamingo, £12.99, pp. 264, ISBN 0007136390 T he Main Cages' is the local name for a treacherous and rock-strewn part of the...

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

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Philip Ziegler SIX DAYS OF WAR by Michael B. Oren OUP, .f25, pp. 446, ISBN 0195151747 M ichael Oren's subtitle for his book is 'June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle...

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By Jingo,

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we won — but lost Jane Ridley THE BOER WAR by Denis Judd and Keith Surridge John Murray, £25, pp. 352, ISBN 071955585X T he Boer war was a curious hotchpotch. It began as a...

Maps' Happiness

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Maps make you happy! Cradled in their safe grid the ways are plain to the ends of the earth. Beautiful irregularities of coastlines! Broad bulge billowing out from the narrow...

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Last chance saloon

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Sara Maitland THE NEXT BIG THING by Anita Brookner Viking, 416.99, pp. 247, ISBN 0670896357 0 ne of the central themes of Brookner's novels has been 'resignation': Is it...

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An outsider among insiders

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Judith Flanders MARK GERTLER by Sarah MacDougall John Murray, ,f25, pp. 398, ISBN 0719557992 T he painter Mark Gertler, on the fringes of Bloomsbury, fascinated his...

Web-warfare in cyberspace

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Archie Cotterell LEAVING REALITY BEHIND: THE BATTLE FOR THE SOUL OF THE INTERNET by Adam Wishart and Regula Bochsler Fourth Estate, £16.99, pp. 359. ISBN 1841155934 E ver since...

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Solving the golden goose mystery

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Grey Gowrie THE VILLAGE BOOK by Nicholas Freeling Arcadia, £11.99, pp. 224, ISBN 19008506320 T hirty years ago, Nicholas Freeling's sequence of novels about Van der Valk, a...

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Enterprise patience and persistence

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John Spurting visits the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, now in its 25th year T he argument that history is not made by single individuals is easily disproved by the history of the...

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Views to charm

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Martin Gaylord I n 1836, John Constable gave a lecture in which, as art pundits are prone, he set about slaughtering a few sacred cows. For the 17th-century Dutch painters of...

The past is orange

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Andrew Lamb irth T he Scottish Colourists (a term first used in 1948 to describe a loose association of turn-of-the-century Francophile painters) are now so popular that it is...

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Tchaikovsky masterpiece

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Michael Tanner T chaikovsky's The Queen of Spades is in all respects a fascinating work, even in its commonplaces and strange gaps in plot and motivation. His sympathies are so...

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Pay-back time

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Mark Steyn B ig Fat Liar operates in that potentially perilous terrain between cutesy kid pies and noisy teen comedies but does it with enormous likeability. It's a Hollywood...

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Amateur hour

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Toby Young I was quite excited by the prospect of seeing Bombay Dreams. My first ever Andrew Lloyd Webber musical! He can't really he as bad as everyone says he is, can he? I...

Festival spirit

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Robin Holloway M y intended mixed dip into this month's festivals at Aldeburgh and Spitalfields has been curbed by exigencies of travel, coincidental clashes and a careless...

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Remembering Barry Took

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Michael Vestey B arry Took, who died earlier this year, will be remembered and praised at a memorial service for him in St John's Wood next Wednesday. He was a deeply...

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Victims on parade

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James Delmgpole 0 n my father's first day of National Service in the RAF, the corporal strode into the hut and screamed at the terrified recruits that if ever he came into...

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Rum old practices

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Robin Oakley R ichard Hughes had to ride only one placed horse on the last day of Ascot to pip Johnny Murtagh as top jockey and to put me in the money, having backed him at...

Publicity seeking

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Taki I must he going senile. Last week I wrote about my cricket heroics in the Hanbury-Goldsmith clash of giants in Dorset, the trouble being it was in Devon. Nothing quite...

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It's sick

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Jeremy Clarke I was standing in my Mum's kitchen last week when I coughed. I coughed so violently that I retched, and the retch set off waves of nausea. I held out as long as I...

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Exacting revenge

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Petronella Wyatt T he other day I was trying to get in touch with the gay relative of an acquaintance of mine. Recently, he had taken me to meet his boyfriend, who was a bit of...

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Getting away from it all

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David Lovibond FOR me, even as a child, the idea of going to the Falkland Islands was romantic: to journey to some far place, remote from constraint and interference, and live...

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THIS month's offer comes from Bibendum, one of the newer

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and most exciting London merchants. It includes some classics, a couple of astonishing bargains, and a delicious bottle from a country you might not know makes wine in the first...

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The last refuge

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Michael Henderson OPINIONS, as Brian Clough, the great football manager, once said, make the world go round — and Cloughy should know. He had a few. When contrasting views...

Q. A very close friend has recently been appointed chancellor

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of a neighbouring diocese. Normally modest and self-effacing, this minor honour appears to have had an adverse effect on him. I understand that he has taken to using a special...

Q. Last week I attended an excellent drinks party in

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a Holland Park garden. My problem is that the party was too good. At any time I could see at least three people across the crowded garden to whom I desperately wanted to talk,...

Q. I was very fond of the Queen Mother and

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would love to know what is happening to her old clothes. I am taller than she was but I daresay I could have some of them adjusted to fit. Have you any inside information,...

Q. I live in Balham and would like your advice

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on how to discourage uninvited people from ringing our doorbell. We have an intercom through w hich they variously purport to be window-cleaners or to be looking for someone who...