30 AUGUST 2003

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T he Hutton inquiry into the events surrounding the death of

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Dr David Kelly, the expert on Iraqi weapons, heard evidence from Mr Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, Mr Geoff Hoon, the Secretary of State for Defence, and Mr John Scarlett, the...

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A true conservative S ir Wilfred Thesiger, who died on Sunday,

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needs no memorial beyond his own books and photographs. These will live for as long as mankind is interested in the traditional societies of which he left such a brilliant...

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San Andreas Bay B ack from a flying visit to friendly, overheated Britain, we begin the annual migration north. Like thousands of other Texans, we are escaping our terrible...

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Some things never change: the Euro enthusiasts are still avoiding serious debate

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1 f a week is a long time in politics, how long is 12 years? The last time I wrote this column was in September 1991. Tony Blair was just a frontbench spokesman on employment;...

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The Questing Vole F urther evidence of the imminent collapse of

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Western civilisation arrives, as usual, from the knitwear manufacturer Benetton. They write, proudly enclosing the latest issue of their magazine Colors — slogan 'En magazin qui...

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The hand of history is pointing to the door

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The government brought the Hutton inquiry into being by its own shoddy actions. The lying and dissembling of No. 10 has so eroded public trust that, says Rod Liddle, the man...

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Ancient & modern

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Year by year at exam results time, every Candice in the world points to her sheaves of A-grade A-levels and from the depths of her Pot Noodles ululates her indignation at the...

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Render unto the Pope. . .

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Adrian Hilton says that the EU is a means of undoing the Reformation and extending Vatican sovereignty over Britain T his realm of England is an Empire .. . governed by one...

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:IL ] 1_LI _I

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THEODORE DALRYMPLE As I was walking through the prison last weekend shortly after the inmates had had their lunch, I was reminded very forcibly of the Strand Hotel in Rangoon....

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The perils of Pauline Hanson

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Anthony Daniels on why support for Australia's version of Jean-Marie Le Pen surged last week after she was sentenced to three years in jail Sydney 1 n his heart of hearts,...

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Class slobbery

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Catherine Maskell went to Warwick University and learnt what it is to clean up after students. It is not nice 0 rdinary. old-fashioned snobbery and the class war are supposed...

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Mind your language

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Some people who didn't exist have entries in the Dictionary of National Biography and some words that don't exist have entries in the Oxford English Dictionary. One such is...

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Leave it to America

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There are now calls for greater UN involvement in Iraq. That's the last thing the country needs, says Mark Steyn New Hampshire U sually in Iraq, the Westerners getting blown...

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Don't vote for us

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Geoffrey Howe argues against the introduction of an elected element into the House of Lords Nv . here next for the House of Lords? The debate has moved on a long way since that...

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Breaking the butterfly upon the wheel of today's fashion-art

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I t is not difficult to imagine what Whistler would have said about the fashion artist who presents hundreds of butterfly and moths' wings stuck together in a pattern as his...

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Religious blind spots

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From Andrew Ha/per Sir: It's too bad that Deal W. Hudson ( - The Gospel according to Braveheart', 23 August) doesn't deign to tell us anything about how The Passion actually...

From P.L. Hill

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Sir: I very much want to see Mel Gibson's film of the Passion. If the new film is accurate and sensitive, there is no need to remove anything because of so-called anti-Semitism,...

From Andre flattingh

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Sir: Why is it that Jewish critics of Christian history refuse to acknowledge that Jesus himself was a Jew — along with all his initial followers? The story of the Passion is...

Ride on

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From Patrick Longford Sir: I read with wry amusement the article by Boris Johnson on the vicissitudes endured by the bicyclists from motorists, for they are a mirror image of...

From Christopher Wyke Sir: Much as I welcomed Boris Johnson's

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robust cycling philosophy. I was dismayed by his wimpish approach to rain. Rather than wrap himself inelegantly in red rubber, he should use a gentleman's umbrella. This is a...

Making an Assumption

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From His Honour Judge Morrell Sir: May I beg to differ from Christopher Howse's assertion that 'an empty tomb proves nothing' CA reasonable assumption', 16 August)? On the...

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From Joseph McMahon

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Sir: What a pleasing surprise to read the article on the Assumption. I cannot think of another periodical or paper that would publish it. It makes such a change from the...

Binding obligation

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From Abdullah Al Shaghrood Sir: Your column 'Portrait of the Week' (16 August) refers to the recent release and pardoning of six British detainees. In your commentary, you...

Behind the times

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From Don McClen Sir: Raymond Carr (Books, 16 August) protests that "' enlightened" atheists have distorted the record to obscure the role of the Catholic Church in the...

Undeserved insult

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From Lord Hanson Sir What personal grudge against Sir Hayden Phillips causes Andrew Gimson to write his spiteful piece (16 August) about one of the finest examples of our much...

Ken's tune

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From Steven Norris Sir: Ken Livingstone is spot on when he says that he is running a socialist administration in London (More means better', 16 August). He is spending like a...

Colonial chaos

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From Robert Davies Sir: 'We never once handed over to its people a territory where ordinary administration had broken down,' writes Matthew Parris (Another voice, 23 August)....

Emotional spin

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From Peter Hughes Sir: Rachel Billington (Diary, 23 August) seeks enlightenment about the distinction between emotion and sentiment. Emotion is organic, as in bliss; sentiment...

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Kissing and telling with gusto

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Calm after the storm

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Anita Brookner DOUBLE VISION by Pat Barker Hamish Hamilton, £16.99, pp. 308, ISBN 0241141761 C haracters mesh smoothly in Pat Barker's new novel. In fact the whole narrative is...

A selection of recent paperbacks

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Non-fiction: The Indian Mutiny by Saul David. Penguin, £8.99 Robert Graves by Miranda Seymour, Scribner, £9.99 Pushkin by T. J. Binyon, HarperCollins, £10 The Wreck of the...

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More funny peculiar than ha-ha

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Byron Rogers SPIKE MILLIGAN by Humphrey Carpenter Hodder & Stoughton, £20, pp. 435, ISBN 0340826118 A shilling life will give you all the facts, or at least a £20 one will. And...

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Culture of shame

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Matthew Leeming THE BOOKSELLER OF KABUL by Asne Seierstad Little. Brown. £12.99, pp. 245, ISBN 0316726052 I really thought I had made it when I went to give a talk at my old...

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A sane cuckoo in the nest of art

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Rupert Christiansen PIECES OF MY MIND: WRITINGS 1958-2002 by Frank Kermode Penguin/Allen Lane, .£25, pp. 480, ISBN 0713996730 T his is a hugely impressive but somewhat...

Endless stint of stunts

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P. J. Kavanagh JOHNNERS: THE LIFE OF BRIAN by Barry Johnson Hodder, £20, pp. 367, ISBN 0340824700 T o be apparently always affable, a person everyone is pleased to see, 'dear...

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Settling in Seattle

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Eric Anderson WAXWINGS by Jonathan Raban Picador, £16.99, pp. 311, ISBN 0330413201 1 n Waxwings Jonathan Raban triumphantly transfers the skills of an award-winning travel...

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When seeing is not believing

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Miranda France WAKING RAPHAEL by Leslie Forbes Weidenfeld, £12,99, pp. 374, ISBN 029782984X Iv aking Raphael has all the ingredients one could hope for from a thriller set in...

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Finding a way to beat Catch-21

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Stuart Wheeler BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE: HOW SIX STUDENTS TOOK VEGAS FOR MILLIONS by Ben Mezrielt Heinemann, £9.99. pp. 257, ISBN 0434011244 ‘ y ou're not losing; we don't care...

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Where's the king?

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Andrew Lambirth finds a bit of a gap in a Holbein exhibition in The Hague E xhibitions are strange things. We might assume they are put on for our pleasure and enlightenment —...

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Music and art in a lost village

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John Spurlmg T hepity of war is one of the standard sentimentalities of our time, as the glory of war used to be in other times. But who can really believe, in the light of...

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Festival delights

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Robin Holloway Dresteigne, tiny capital of a tiny county, Radnorshire, long since rationalised into limbo, retains its ancient prettiness intact. And it has built up...

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J . ordan exercises an irresistible attraction for the traveller. Two

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sites stand out above all others; Petra, capital of the Nabataeans, subject of so many superlatives, and Jerash, a city of the Decapolis still in a splendid state of...

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Revelatory results Michael Tanner

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The Ring Edinburgh Festival M ixing business suits with swords, rocks and 'the cosmos' with executive suites and cocktail cabinets in a staging of The Ring — something which...

Unengaging cops Mark Steyn

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Hollywood Homicide 12A. selected cinemas D o you remember Mulholland Falls from a half-decade or so ago? It wasn't a big hit, but I look back on it more and more fondly as the...

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Charm deficit

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Toby Young Three Sisters Lyttelton Top Dog/Underdog Royal Court Door Katie Mitchell. Last year, she I directed Ivanov at exactly the same time as Sam Mendes unveiled Uncle...

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Leave him alone

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James Delingpole T he time I most hate being a journalist is when you find yourself doing a piece you don't want to do but the money's so good you can't not. I don't do them...

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Low value

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Michael Vestey ing out this level of premium, grade A, number one arse?' The answer, I should have realised, is that there's no point in trying to judge the Stones on anything...

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Soldiering is for others

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Taki Gstaad A "Quiet on the Western Front was written in 1929 and became an instant best-seller; in Germany alone more than 3 million copies were sold within 18 months....

West End manners

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Jeremy Clarke r o tickets, booked over the phone, in ow L of the stalls: £87.50. At the box office in the theatre's foyer we were handed our tickets by a condescending,...

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Hot stuff

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Neil Collins S cotland is not supposed to be like this. Visitors head north for the bracing climate, long evenings and the chance to stand waist-deep in a river until you can...

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Wit and women

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Petronella Wyatt A t c a dinner-party in Italy, from which ountry I have now returned, a question came up. This was, are women really bitchier than men, and, if so, why, when...

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Silent screen

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MICHAEL HENDERSON Edinburgh W e only have the sound on for major sporting occasions,' explains David MacKenzie, proprietor of the finest bar in a city not short of outstanding...

Q. I regularly enjoy Sunday lunch at a premier hotel

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here in Bangkok. The food is exceptional and the Thai service staff friendly and professional. Staff recognise and greet me on arrival with a warm, formal 'Good morning, Mr...

Q. I am shortly going to spend a few days

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in the country house of a friend. I know it is common to bring a present to a house-party but, to be frank, my hostess, whom I love dearly, is common. Money is no object and she...

Q. I have lived in New Zealand for more than

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30 years. In that time I have become used to most of the language differences between New Zealand and England, such as 'store' meaning 'cooker' and 'muffler' meaning 'silencer'....