30 MARCH 2002

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M r Stephen Byers, the Secretary of State for Transport, approved

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a deal to spend £300 million of public money, which, with £200 million raised in the City, would enable Network Rail (a new non-profit company limited by guarantee set up by his...

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S tephen Byers has in recent times been compared to a snake-oil salesman, But that does snake-oil salesmen an injustice. They are at least good at what they do: selling. The...

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I t is exactly a decade since I pupated from a caterpillar of the banking world to a butterfly of journalism, having made my debut in these pages on general election day 1992. I...

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lain Duncan Smith's speech was the most important by a Tory leader since Margaret Thatcher

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PETER OBORNE T here is no word yet on whether Tony Blair intends to mark the fifth anniversary of his arrival in Downing Street on 2 May 1997. Doubtless his advisers will...

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The dons of Pembroke have done nothing wrong unlike the Sunday Times

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STEPHEN GLOVER W hen in 1994 the Sunday Times offered to pay two Tory MPs to ask questions in thc House of Commons, I had misgivings. It was entrapment — the encouragement of...

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Reduce operating costs without an 'aggressive overhead reduction strategy'

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Times are tough. Every organisation has to find ways of cutting costs. Unfortunately, that can often mean cutting something else in the process. And all for a short-term gain....

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Simon Heifer on the growing phenomenon of English emigration from England IF you have read Ayn Rand's objectivist epic Atlas Shrugged, you will remember the novel's compelling...

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WE Deedes on how we are failing to come to terms with the huge rise in global migration HOW odd, I thought, to leave the United Kingdom while a storm blows across the English...

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Rightly or wrongly, the Zimbabwean leader feels Britain reneged on its promises, says Algy Cluff TO rehearse President Mugabe's lengthening list of misdemeanours and outrages...

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Neil Clark says that the agitation against Saddam shows there are no limits to the stupidity of liberal imperialism THEY are at it again. Despite the unfinished business in...

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Ancient & modern

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AS Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat continue their murderous assault on each other's people, an Aristophanic image comes strongly to mind. In his comedy Peace (421 BO,...


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Simon Courtauld was editing The Spectator when Galtieri invaded the Falklands. Here he describes his role in the destiny of the nation I REMEMBER quite clearly what I was...

DI Stephen Marston: an apology

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In an article published on 31 July 1999, we referred to Operation Whiting, an investigation into alleged child abuse in Lancashire. We also referred to the case of James...

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Mind your language

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WHY, asks David Taylor of Allington, Lincolnshire, does cleave mean both 'to split' and 'to stick together'? Why, soon found myself asking, do we say cleft stick but cloven...

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Hasan Unal says the European Commission's representative in Turkey is acting like a colonial governor Ankara FOR some years, chilly-voiced, trouser-suited Scandinavian ladies...

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Banned wagon

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A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit A BAN on hunting, the Prime Minister has long sought to assure us, would not be followed by bans on other country...

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While the bubbling and loud-hissing urn throws up a steamy column

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PAUL JOHNSON E aster is a good time for tea parties,' my Uncle Jack used to say, 'for it gives, d'you know, a good excuse for eating a nice, fresh, soft-boiled egg.' To have...

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Manners maketh hunters

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From Mr J. N. P. Watson Sir: David Welch (`Cruel, cowardly and boorish', 23 March) is indeed unfortunate if, when at home in Somerset he informs fox-hunters that they are not...

From Mr Alexander Baldock Sir: David Welch's pique over the

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deplorable manners of his local hunts seems to have misted his judgment. The merits of hunting don't depend on risk to the participants, any more than the slim chance of being...

From Lesley Bryant Sir: David Welch was most fortunate in

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that he could hunt with different packs of foxhounds and staghounds in England, Ireland and the USA before deciding that hunting was 'cruel, cowardly and boorish'. If he and...

From Mr John Verney Sir: Thank you for printing the

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excellent article on fox-hunting. Addicted as I am to The Spectator, I must say I never expected to read in it an article which proves, in the right-wing's own backyard, that...

Niceness isn't enough

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From Mr David Williams Sir: Francis Maude's thoughts CA phoenix, not a dodo', 23 March) are the essence of why hard-working, real-world, natural conservatives just cannot be...

From Mr Francis Reunion Sir: After reading Francis Maude's article

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I felt like starting the Indecent party. Maude says that a decent party shows real respect for everybody, whereas I believe respect belongs to those who have earned it by their...

Justice is complex

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From Sir Jonah Walker-Smith Sir: Why should one assume, as Judge Andrew Geddes appears to do (Blind justice', 23 March), that, when a judge disagrees with the verdict of a jury,...

From Mr Karl Schaffenburg Sir: The origin of the jury

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lies in the process of `compurgation of law'. Under this system an accused needed to produce a number of people (neighbours from his hundred) to swear that his oath was clean....

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Paddick's pink herring

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From Mr Frank Pulley Sir: Your leading article (23 March) on Commander Paddick of Lambeth is interesting. It is difficult to know why this 'rum cove' is winning the propaganda...

Zimbabwe's real devil

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From Mr Phil Wyness Sir: Fergal Keane (Blind eye to slaughter', 16 March) makes an isolated snide reference to 'the ghastly Ian Smith'; however, he enlightens us no further....

Two Simon Callows

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From Mr Simon Callow Sir: I have just read Toby Young's fascinating review of my show The Mystery of Charles Dickens (Arts, 16 March). Or was it? Was it not perhaps another show...

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Can it be that Nott is right and the Americans were not our staunch allies during the Falklands war?

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MATTHEW PAR RIS R eviewing for the Sunday Telegraph John Nott's rather remarkable biography, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, I was struck by one brutal disjunction between his...

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Light at the end of Stephen Byers's tunnel?

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More like an approaching lawsuit CHRISTOPHER IILDES T he man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client, and that goes double for retired law lecturers from Newcastle...

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Mary Wakefield FOUR years ago, in a pub in Canary Wharf, I discovered that it was OK to hate the Welsh. It was my first week at work, and I was excited to be making friends...

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Anatomy of a tyrant

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Philip Hensher THE FEAST OF THE GOAT by Mario Vargas Llosa Faber, f16.99, pp. 404, ISBN 0571207715 T his ugly, mesmerising, masterly novel is as steeped in facts as Macbeth...

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That damned elusive ghost

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Jane Gardam OLD MAN GOYA by Julia Blackburn Cape, £16.99, pp. 239, ISBN 0224062794 T he biographical novel, or imaginative biography where the author awards himself or herself...

Conversations in Church Hanborough

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'Buckler found that steeple tricky. You've seen The drawing he did? It's in the church guide.' Outside The Hand and Shears, chance-met, we chat. It's some years,' I say, `since...

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The truth about hymns

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Emma Tennant FAVOURITE HYMNS: 2000 YEARS OF MAGNIFICAT by Marjorie Reeves and Jenyth Worsley Continuum, £16.49, pp. 224, ISBN 0826448720 D r Marjorie Reeves, CBE, FBA, is a...

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Grim home thoughts from abroad

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Lee Langley FAMILY MATTERS by Rohinton Mistry Faber, £16.99. pp. 488, ISBN 0571194273 I n his last novel, A Fine Balance (shortlisted, like his first, for the Booker), Rohinton...

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Caught between east and west

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Antony Beevor MICROCOSM: PORTRAIT OF A CENTRAL EUROPEAN CITY by Norman Davies and Roger Moorhouse Cape. £20, pp. 525, ISBN 0224062433 B reslau, the former capital of Silesia,...

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Diplomatic danse

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macabre in old Kabul Justin Marozzi THE MULBERRY EMPIRE by Philip Hensher Flamingo,L17.99, pp. 493, ISBN 0007112262 T he Taleban spy who accompanied me around Afghanistan was...


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'When I won the first Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize, it was gratifying for me on every level. I had already begun to publish, but this was a big step in my career. It helped me...

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Braving the ghastly blank

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Harry Mount THE DIG TREE: THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF THE ILL-FATED BURKE AND WILLS EXPEDITION by Sarah Murgatroyd Bloomsbury, £16.99, pp. 372, ISBN 0747556776 F or all the...

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Influencing the course of painting

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Andrew Wordsworth on two exhibitions which consider the origins of modern art ertain pedigrees are above suspicion: who in their right mind would question Cezanne's status as...

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Frame 312; Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train (Donmar Warehouse) Gagarin Way (Arts)

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A sacrifice too far Toby Young A season of American imports at the Donmar Warehouse began earlier this month with two new plays: Frame 312 and Jesus Hopped the A' Train. The...

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Giselle (Royal Ballet)

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Romantic treat Giannandrea Poesio I t is difficult to believe that, in 2002, the old 1841 ballet Giselle can still captivate a variety of viewers and stir their emotions. Yet...

Benvenuto Cellini (Bloomsbury) Oberon (Barbican)

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Unpredictable adventure Michael Tanner T wo operas far better known by repute than at first hand were performed in London last week, neither, it almost goes without saying, at...

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Rigours of the Oscars

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Mark Steyn T he thing about the Oscars show is that you'd never know that these guys did this for a living. An actor can play Shakespeare, Chekhov, Quentin Tarantino, but...

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French competition

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Susan Moore A great many things happened during the decade it took to reform the French art market — not all of them expected. Who could have predicted. for instance, that two...

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Winning Walton

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Robin Holloway O ne by one the composers who had been the living icons of one's teens are reaching their centenaries. This month 100 years ago William Walton was born in...

American dream-world

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Simon Hoggart D uring the last election I was on the Prime Minister's plane when he came, as he sometimes does, into the back to talk to the hacks. This is partly to be...

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Next in line

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Michael Vestey F ollowing the government's attempts to ban hunting it, occurred to me how easy it is under Labour to buy legislation. If you are a large and well-funded...

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Getting away from Frothy

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Robin Oakley I am beginning to see why City folk come to the racecourse. With company launches these days accompanied by £6 million spread bets put on for The Plumber by The...

Too much to do . .

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Taki V Y e rb eier eier t again I've been sidetracked on my way to the Bagel. To the Dominican Republic, actually, where I was going to attend the marriage of Emilia Fanjul,...

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Self-confidence is all

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Jeremy Clarke T wo Christmases ago, Sharon gave her Mum a self-help paperback called The Duty Trap. The book is aimed at people who persist in unhappy, one-sided relationships...

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Meet me in the kasbah

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PetroneIla Wyatt I 'm off on the road to Morocco. Fortunately, not by camel as Bing Crosby and Bob Hope did in the greatest of their Road films. Rather by Royal Air Maroc. This...

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Simon Hoggart

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ONCE again, I must apologise. Last month's offer, from John Armit, was so successful that they rapidly ran out of two wines. These have now been replaced or substituted, and...

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Trivial pursuit

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Simon Barnes A.S. BYATT was questioned recently about the bizarre statement from the BBC chairman Gavyn Davies, who said that the only people who object to the BBC's...

Q. At a recent literary party in the Basil Street

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Hotel, I was introduced to one of my great heroes, Professor Roy Foster. He was on my shortlist of people I have always wanted to meet, the others being Alan Clark — alas, no...

Q. I have a good friend who is the master

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and amateur huntsman of a small foxhound pack. On a number of occasions he has hinted strongly that he needs some additional money, and that there are other supporters in the...

Q. One does not wish to strike a discordant note

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with fellow-passengers on a long-haul flight. What, then, should I have said or done when, just before drinks were served on my recent flight from Calgary to London, my...