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M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, flew about, to Berlin,

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Paris, New York, Washington and Brussels, speaking face-toface or on the telephone to more than two dozen heads of government in support of the wide alliance that America sought...

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The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 020-7405 1706; Fax 020-7242 0603 FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM J ust as priests will pray and pacifists will call for...

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T hey did try to get some sort of military type to do the Diary this week — Colin Powell, maybe, or that SAS bloke who fought in Afghanistan — but, as you see, they failed. What...

Page 10

To say that Charles Kennedy faces both ways is to exaggerate the clarity of his position

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PETER OBORNE E ven though the election result was very bad indeed for the Tory party, matters have since got worse. The latest opinion poll, carried out by the pollsters MORI...

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Christopher Hitchens says that intellectuals who seek to understand the new enemy are no friends of peace, democracy or human life Washington WHAT is known in American...

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Youthful idiot

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LAST Saturday I went to my first CND rally; in fact, to my first political rally of any sort. In the 1960s, when I should have been standing shoulder to shoulder with...

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Simon Nixon says that recession is the price that the United States must pay for two decades of uncritical faith in the stock market THERE are those who say that the terrorist...

Page 15


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Damian Thompson on how loopy American bom-agains are reacting to — and in some cases inspiring — Islamic fundamentalism IT is a sunny day somewhere in the American heartland...

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Second opinion

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I WAS driving home from the hospital one evening last week when an interesting sociological observation popped into my mind, unbidden as it were. Namely, that you can tell the...

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Frank Johnson on what the Prime Minister can learn from other British leaders as he prepares for a new crusade MR BLAIR has joined a line of rulers of these islands stretching...

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Mind your language

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'THEY won't let you put that in,' my husband said. 'Don't be silly, darling. It's a grownup magazine.' I have to report my progress with the term cuntlines. (Anything like...

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Matthew Leeming describes his unnerving encounter in Afghanistan with the murderers of General Massoud 'EVERY year there's one place in the globe worth going to where things...

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After the grief the relief: Philip Delves Broughton on how Manhattan's heroic firemen are finding comfort under the duvet New York THE good news from here is that the firemen...

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lain Duncan Smith on how there is no question of letting down our oldest and staunchest ally ALTHOUGH we in the United Kingdom have suffered a terrorist onslaught for 30...

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The new BBC chairman is not only a crony, he's a crony's crony

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I t is outrageous to call me a crony,' Gavyn Davies protested last week. This claim from the new BBC chairman merits the closest examination. Davies, 51, has been a Labour...

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Yesterday's Anglo-Saxons, today's Tibetan spaniels, tomorrow's Afghans

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PAUL JOHNSON G lobalisation is not just a commercial phenomenon. It is a human one too, and a natural one. As part of this process, Britain is being invaded, on a larger scale...

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Lessons to be learned

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From Mrs Robin Theurkauf Sir: My husband, Tom Theurkauf, lost his life in the World Trade Center disaster, I offer these thoughts as both a new widow and a mother of' three...

False analogies

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From Captain H. Holmes (Retd) Sir: Sir Michael Howard's ideas of what happened in 1914 expressed in his letter (22 September) are totally at variance with mine. There had been...

Baffled by faith

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From Mr Dennis Sewell Sir: Matthew Parris proposes that a world without religion would be a more peaceful one (Another voice, 22 September). This is hard to square with the...

Osama's origins

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From Mr Michael Rice Sir: Only those who seek to disparage it use the term Wahhabr or Wahhabism' (The Saudi connection, 22 September). The term in English is 'Unitarian', which...

A better BBC?

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From Mr J.G. Cluff Sir: In the same way that the Church of England emptied every church of its constituency — the British middle classes — by hectoring them with sermons that...

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Tony Blair and Osama bin Laden may have changed the Guardian's line on Northern Ireland

The Spectator

STEPHEN GLOVER F rom time to time Tony Blair is in the habit of paying a visit to the Guardian, where he is welcomed by Alan Rusbridger, the paper's editor, and senior...

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The law of gravity, suspended for so long, returns to the markets in force

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CHRISTOPHER YILDES L , us greet the unseen with a cheer and look on the bright side. The Dow Jones index, Wall Street's barometer, need only fall by another couple of thousand...

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Doloroso and allegro

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Philip Hensher MISCONCEPTIONS by Naomi Wolf Chatto, £12.99, pp. 282, ISBN 0701167270 A LIFE'S WORK by Rachel Cusk Fourth Estate, £12.99, pp. 224, ISBN 1841154865 B ooks about...

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Neck and neck in the decency stakes

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Peter Oborne INSIDE TRACK by Robin Oakley Bantam, £20, pp. 415, ISBN 0593047699 GIVE ME TEN SECONDS by John Sergeant Macmillan, £20, pp. 400, ISBN 0333904494 A central...

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Nothing succeeds like failure

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Harry Mount NINETY DEGREES NORTH by Fergus Fleming Granta, £20, pp. 470. ISBN 1862074496 AN UNSUNG HERO: TOM CREAN, ANTARCTIC SURVIVOR by Michael Smith Headline, £20, pp. 341,...

Sins of the fathers

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Carole Angier THE DARK ROOM by Rachel Seiffert Heinemann, 412.99, pp. 391, ISBN 0434009865 T o my knowledge, there have been two revisionist masterpieces about Nazi Germany:...

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Such darling dodos

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Hugh Massingberd THE LYTTELTON HART-DAVIS LETTERS: A SELECTION edited by Roger Hudson John Murray, .f22.50, pp. 368, ISBN 0719562066 I t seems only the other day that Lesley...

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Tweaking the glands

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Andro Linklater BITTERROOT by James Lee Burke Orion. £12.99, pp. 334, ISBN 0752841548 R eading thrillers is good for your health. Your brain may turn to mush but. according...

Last lost land

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Justin Marozzi THE WHITE ROCK by Hugh Thomson Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £20, pp. 277, ISBN 0297842447 E xplorers are an endangered species these days. The relentless march of...

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Winning the battles, but losing the war

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Graham Stewart A FEW BLOODY NOSES: THE AMERICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE by Robert Harvey John Murray, £25, pp. 480. ISBN 0719561418 A t this hour, as much as at any time of trial...

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All the fun of the fare

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Digby Anderson HAPPY DAYS WITH THE NAKED CHEF by Jamie Oliver Michael Joseph/Penguin, £20, pp. 320, ISBN 0718144848 G ordon Bennett! I bet you guys didn't expect The...

Sexual tourism gogo

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Anita Brookner PLATEFORME by Michel Houellebecq Flammarion, FE 131.20, pp. 370 M ichel Houellebecq, whose novel Les Parricides elementaires (translated as Atomized) raised...

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Neighbours becoming good friends?

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Paul Routledge THE RIVALS by James Naughtie Fourth Estate, f16.99, pp. 346, ISBN 1841154733 W hat a pity that this engaging book should have to come out now, because war...

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Mahler's triple exclusion

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As Ronald Harwood's play opens, Michael Kustow ponders the history of Jewish assimilation R onald Harwood's new play, Mahler's Conversion, is the latest probe into a wound that...

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Majestically unglamorous

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Martin Gaylord T hey are, to our eyes, some of the most unpleasing, not to say disgusting, pictures ever produced by a great artist,' Now what could have provoked such an...

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A touch of nature

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Alan Powers I n 1966, for two weeks, my family rented a cottage near the sea in Donegal. It was built of whitewashed rubble stone, with golden thatch fastened with pegs. It had...

Tale of two sittings

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Michael Tanner O n 19 September the Royal Opera's season opened with a new production of Rigoletto, and the second performance, three evenings later, was televised. I saw both,...

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Lazy charm

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Sheridan Morley T he autumn season for the West End opens in a difficult international time, but is off to a dramatic start with Anthony Page's rare revival of Tennessee...

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Circuit love

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Mark Steyn A .1: Artificial Intelligence is based on a (very) short story from 1969 by Brian Aldiss called Supertoys Last All Summer Long, about a robot boy who doesn't...

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Maverick Mahler

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Robin Holloway A mong the enjoyable performances of standard symphonic rep at the Proms, by which long experience is annually refreshed, comes the occasional revelation that...

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Strike a balance

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Michael Vestey A s I've mentioned before, listening to Broadcasting House on Radio Four can sometimes be like wandering into a gathering of the Fabian Society or a Guardian...

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Better on a paper napkin

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James Delingpole P obably like you I've been finding it quite difficult to take seriously any programme which isn't a) the news b) a Panorama documentary about Osama bin Laden...

Worth every penny

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Robin Oakley D espite bedtime in Brussels past 2 a.m. following the heads of government meeting on Friday, and that without the moules et frites I had promised myself, I still...

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Who's for tennis?

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Taki E Rougemont ver since the suicide bombing, tennis hasn't exactly been uppermost in my mind. Just before 11 September I won my age group in the Lenk International, and am...

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Speech daze

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Petronella Wyatt T he man rose to his feet, extending his arm towards the audience in a gesture that was both imperious and final. 'We welcome Petronella Wyatt,' he boomed,...

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Second-home owners are local heroes

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Rachel Johnson AS the proud new owners of an ancient farmhouse in Somerset, we are more overexcited than most about the big property news down our way. Briefly, a chap called...

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I wanna be a trailer junkie

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Mary Wakefield ON my scooter, droning back home from work along London's Westway, I glanced down over the parapet to my left and noticed, for the first time, what looked like...

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Winning ways

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Simon Barnes WHEN it comes to a straight choice between cock-up and conspiracy, the wise historian goes for cock-up. But sporting historians are faced with a different...

Q. My wife, who is French and an art historian

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of repute, insists on us visiting stately homes throughout the British Isles to examine their architecture and art collections. We never know how to deal with the imperious...

Q. This morning I queued for 20 minutes at Peter

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Jones in the schoolwear department to buy five pairs of boys' socks and to exchange two sweatshirts. I then queued for about five or ten minutes to pay. Just as I was starting...

Q. I have drained my drawers of foreign currency and

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sorted it into freezer bags according to country. Unfortunately, my girlfriend and I are not planning any trips abroad before 1 January 2002, at which time the introduction of...