2 AUGUST 2003

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im r Alastair Campbell was expected to resign as the director

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of communications and strategy at the Prime Minister's office before the Labour party conference at the end of September. Mr Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, let it be known...

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Pre-emptive force I . t is a sad sign of the times that a man who shot a burglar dead and wounded another should have become a national hero. The frustration that millions of...

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A s I was staggering round Highbury Fields in a pair

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of shorts, I saw one I knew and hailed him crying, 'Tom!', because it was Tom Baldwin, the political reporter of the Times and archfriend of Alastair Campbell. To my surprise,...

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The bushy black moustache which will replace Alastair Campbell

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A A years ago I was at a Labour party conference on behalf of the BBC and — this will not surprise you over much, I expect — missed its most important and defining moment. It...

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hris Patten. asked by the BBC to characterise the defining

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moment in his life, says it was the '15 minutes of fame' he enjoyed as a result of his governorship of Hong Kong. He tells a story by way of illustration. 'I remember shortly...

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Just when you thought it was safe. .

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Reports of the death of trade union power have been greatly exaggerated, says Ross Clark. As BA shows, privatised industries are being hit by a resurgence of labour militancy L...

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Mind your language

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Those trained train staff have come up with a new one. Until now it has been 'Peterborough is the next station stop with this train.' That is a Babylonish dialect, to be sure....

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How to sack Blair

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Tony Woodley, new head of the TGWU, tells Jasper Gerard that he and other union leaders will take back the Labour party T ony Woodley, the new head of the Transport and General...

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The white man's burden

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There is a case for intervening in Liberia, says Mark Steyn, but it is not one being urged by American liberals New Hampshire w r hat happened to Liberia? Only three years...

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Ancient & modern

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Dr David Kelly was a government expert but, in his desire to put the record straight about Iraqi arms, found himself crushed between the grindstones of government determination...

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Some truths about immigration

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Anthony Browne says Britain is already overcrowded, and that pro-immigration arguments are almost all flawed S omething strange is happening when a left-wing government publicly...

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Plain Hinglish

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David Gardner on the fractured and stately English spoken by top Indians A n early-morning phone call the other day alerted me to the news that my midday appointment in New...

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Bring back

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Beeching Simon Nixon says that we must build more motorways — and scrap railway lines p erhaps the most important discovery I have made over the last few years is that the way...

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How a lonely recluse surrounded himself with beauties

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T he display of pictures from the Winthrop Collection at the National Gallery is the most delightful treat to be enjoyed in London this summer. It takes us to the heart of...

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Those who like to laugh abandoned Hope long ago

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H e may have been born British in the London suburb of Eltham; but the humour of Bob Hope, dead this week at 100, was wholly American. (It was Hope who was dead at 100 this...

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Gilligan misled us

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From Richard Hoare Sir: In your desire to defend a reporter who has contributed to your esteemed organ, and to attack a government that you oppose in Parliament, you seem sadly...

Casualties of peace

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From Thomas Choate Sir: The contention of Nicholas Martin in his letter (26 July) condemning the war in Iraq seems to be that we should not interfere with tyranny but allow it...

Tourism sells us short

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From Mr David Gollan Sir: Sadly Leo McKinstty (Boycott Britain', 26 July) is absolutely correct in his evaluation of British tourism and its lack of value and quality. I say...

From Auriol Reid Sir: Leo McKinstry surely must be overstating

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his case. My husband and I spend most of our holidays in France and recently paid £50 a night for a simple château hotel in north-west France without any luxuries — we did not...

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Hubristic Saddam Hussein

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From Anthony G. Brown Sir: Paul Robinson's otherwise insightful piece (Sword of honour', 26 July) on the Confederacy's having visited calamity on itself through hubris reached a...

From Ed Spiess

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Sir: I am quite accustomed to the continuing bigotry towards those of us who live in the states identified as the 'Old South'. It is so old and trite that it is barely worth a...

Leave our Hearts alone

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From Christine Smith Sir: Dear, oh dear, you boys do get your knickers in a twist on our behalf! It is very sweet of you to think that we are too stupid or perhaps 'naive'...

Mutually assured admission

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From Stuart Mott Sir: Charles Spencer's article on 1970s public school life (Arts, 19 July) beautifully described the era and greatly reminded me of a similar situation at my...

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We may snigger at Richard Desmond, but we should not underestimate him

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1 s Richard Desmond the new Murdoch? Many lips were curled when he acquired Express Newspapers in November 2000. People said that he had borrowed too much money. It was...

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Did you just put two and two together?

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Don't fence with me Mr Fildes I was saved from choking last week by a Lord Justice of Appeal, who hit me smartly on the back at a City dinner, so this may have used up my luck...

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Le jour se couche

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Philip Hensher FRENCH CINEMA: FROM ITS BEGINNINGS TO THE PRESENT by Remi Fournier Lanzoni Continuum, £24.99, pp. 408, ISBN 0826413994 Nv hatever the intentions of [he author of...

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The gold crash

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John de Falbe THE CRYPTOGRAPHER by Tobias Hill Faber, £12, pp. 264, ISBN 0571218369 T obias Hill's last novel, The Love of Stones, was a compelling tale about an extraordinary...

The haunting presence of Poe

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Michael Carlson THE AMERICAN BoY by Andrew Taylor Flamingo, £17.99, pp. 485, ISBN 000710961X T he American boy is Edgar Allan Poe, whose step-parents, the Allans, brought him...

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Last and least

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Simon Courtauld SURVIVORS IN MEXICO by Rebecca West Yale, £18.95, pp. 264, ISBN 0300098863 R ebecca West was in her seventies when she first went to Mexico. She thought she...

Getting nowhere slowly

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Patrick Maume HOME RULE: AN IRISH HISTORY by Alvin Jackson Weidenfeld & Aricolson, £25, pp. 405, ISBN 01842127241 G enerations of commentators have debated whether Home Rule...

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Taking it with you

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Jane Ridley PYRAMIDS: THE REAL STORY BEHIND EGYPT'S MOST ANCIENT MONUMENTS by Joyce Tyldesley Viking, £18.99, pp. 262, ISBN 0670893226 T he ancient Egyptians faced death in...

18th July 2003

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He chose the woodland paths he knew and loved. Others will pass Remembering how he found a comfort here In trees and grass. No thrusting faces now, no avid eyes, No constant...

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Facing fearful odds

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Carole Angier SILENT REBELS by Marion Schreiber, translated from the German by Shaun Whiteside Atlantic Books, f14.99, pp. 308, ISBN 1903809894 BROTHERS IN ARMS by Peter Duffy...

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A story of bark and bite

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Aidan Hartley THE MIRACULOUS FEVER TREE: MALARIA, MEDICINE AND THE CURE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD by Fiammetta Rocco HarperCollins, £16.99, pp. 352, ISBN 0002572028 T his...

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The splendour and the squalor

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Jan Morris DECISIVE BATTLES by John Colvin Headline, £20, pp. 352, ISBN 0755310705 T he British used to claim of themselves, in their glory days, that although they might often...

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Giving something back

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Sebastian Smee talks to James Fairfax about his gifts to Australia's public galleries 1 n the past, great benefactors to the visual arts have generally doubled as tastemakers....

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Consummate professional

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Andrew Lambirth Euan Uglow: Controlled Passion Abbot Hall Art Gallery; Kendal, Cumbria until II October I n these dark days it has become a commonplace that we should be...

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Leonardo and the RAF

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One of the inevitable consequences of modern high-tech/low-accuracy warfare is damage to cultural heritage. On the eve of the second world war, the treasures of the National...

Impressive murderers

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Michael Tanner Macbeth henna E rnest Bloch's Macbeth was written to a libretto in French by Edmond Fleg, and first performed in 1910 in that language, but the composer, with...

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Remembering Bob Hope

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Mark Steyn B ack in the late Thirties, Bob Hope and his writers created two 'Bob Hopes', two public personas that kept him in business for the next six decades. For radio, he...

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Should have known better

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Marcus Berkmann people who hate pop music — such as 1 Michael Henderson, whose ears have been seen to billow with steam at the mere mention of the words — cannot believe that...

Feminist tract

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Toby Young After Mrs Rochester Duke of York Pacific Overtures Donniar Warehouse High Society Open Air T here's a startling omission in the programme notes of After Mrs...

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Variety act

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Patrick Camegy Richard III Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford R oll up, roll up for Richard HP Yet again? This is the third time the RSC has tackled the play in less than...

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Pitfalls and tussles

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Michael Vestey J udging by Custodians Of The Word on Radio Four last week (Thursday), researching and writing a biography is the easier part — getting past executors and...

Special qualities

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Taki Athens T he city of Pallas Athena is in the midst of a great rebirth, as if Zeus himself had decreed it. Had I not seen it with my own eyes, I would have bet my last euro...

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Missing the point

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Jeremy Clarke W e've moved up from a Festival 30 to a Willerby Bermuda. Or rather my philanthropic aunt has. We knew she was thinking of upgrading this year, but we thought she...

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No hiding Place

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Petronelia Wyatt I looked out of the window the other day land noticed that there was something funny looking about the car (a red Honda, if anyone is interested). The car is...

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ncreasingly over recent months, a number of people have suggested

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I try a Greek–Cypriot restaurant called Vrisaki, which I have resisted until now mainly because it's in N22, which is Bounds Green, and is much further north than I would ever...

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Singing just isn't cricket

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MICHAEL HENDERSON The marketing men are at it again. England played the first of the summer's five Test matches against South Africa last week, at Edgbaston, and the players...

Q. A few days ago I was in a flat

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belonging to one of my sister's friends, whom I do not know very well. On visiting the bathroom, I discovered a lavatory, no paper, a bidet and a neat pile of clean fluffy...

Q. In anticipation of the long, hot summer ahead,! have

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just purchased a very smart (and expensive) aluminium and glass outdoor dining suite, which now furnishes a cool garden area of my home. I also have a friend whose once...