3 MARCH 2001

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The Spectator

F oot-and-mouth swept the land after an outbreak was found in pigs at an abattoir in Essex, and livestock suffering with the disease were soon discovered at farms in...

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The Spectator

I n that charming wartime spirit which has Britons falling over themselves to 'do their bit', the countryside this week has embarked on an orgy of responsible behaviour....

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As Nick Brown may discover, it's an ill epidemic that blows no one any good

The Spectator

BRUCE ANDERSON T he Countryside Alliance does not make mistakes. On Monday morning, when it announced the postponement of the March 18 grand remonstrance, there was dismay...

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The Spectator

CHARLES GLASS O n Sunday night, the actress Goldie Hawn, her beautiful daughter Kate Hudson and Kate's husband, the rock star Chris Robinson, took me with them to the Balla...

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The Spectator

DJ. Taylor wonders why we tolerate abuse of Christianity, but not of any other religion NOT many Spectator readers, I imagine, will have heard of a musical ensemble called...

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The Spectator

Andrew Gilligan identifies Nice Iraqi Syndrome — the way in which locals are hying to distance themselves from Saddam Baghdad EVEN under Jack Straw's law-and-order policies,...

Banned wagon

The Spectator

A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit A PECULIAR phenomenon of our times is the selective libertarian: he who screams blue murder at any attempt to outlaw...

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The Spectator

Justin Rushbrooke accuses the Guardian of revelling in stolen rubbish HAD he lived long enough to watch it, the late-lamented George Carman, QC, would have enjoyed Channel 4's...

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Second opinion

The Spectator

NOW that we're abolishing the right to silence, the presumption of innocence and jury trial, and will soon have the preventive detention of psychopaths before they've done...

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The Spectator

Philip Delves Broughton watches a reformed Woody Allen go about his business as a Manhattan conservationist New York SIX feet to my left, a scuffed pair of tennis shoes on a...

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Ancient & modern

The Spectator

THE It Girls — whatever 'It' is — are up in arms about their reputation as pin-headed parasites who would go to the opening of a lavatory door if it got their faces in a glossy...

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The Spectator

Last week's anti-Israel diatribe by The Spectator's High Life columnist is almost worthy of Goebbels, says Conrad Black THE Spectator's social writer, Taki Theodoracopulos, has...

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The Spectator

Moldova's free-market' economy is collapsing, but the old nomenklatura — the new mafia — are living high on the hog, says Anthony Daniels Kishinev AFTER a decade of free-market...

Mind your language

The Spectator

DEPRESSION is all the rage at the moment. The papers are full of it. The other night my husband left his whisky glass on an open page in one of his medical magazines where there...

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The Spectator

It was not Sir Richard Wilson but Tony Blair himself who decided that Peter Mandelson had to go, says Robert Peston IF there is any reason for sympathy with Peter Mandelson, it...

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When a philoprogenitive artist paints his dream children, dirty feet and all

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON O ne aspect of the new horror sciences which does not disturb me is the technique now available to help people to have children. I was one of five children and...

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These days biography is about chaps who fancy other chaps

The Spectator

FRANK JOHNSON M aking money out of writing biographies, or more especially out of their newspaper serialisation, has become so easy that many of us, who would not otherwise do...

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The triumph of the free press over Mugabe's regime of terror

The Spectator

STEPHEN GLOVER R obert Mugabe's greatest mistake may turn out to have been the bombing of the Daily News's printing plant in the early hours of Sunday 24 January. By expertly...

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Sherlock Holmes solves the intractable problem of the black hole in the Aldgate area

The Spectator

CHRISTOPHER FILDES I t was Sherlock Holmes who first identified the black hole in the Aldgate area. By now it is engulfing ministers and mayors and money, but in his time it...

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Dissembling Rome

The Spectator

From Mrs Sheila Donaldson Sir: It seems that the Roman Catholic Church and its spokespersons are unaware of the alarm raised in Protestant England by such claims as 'the unity...

Erroneous committee

The Spectator

From Mr Alistair B. Cooke, OBE Sir: Peter Oborne (Buffer zone'. 24 February) repeats a common historical error by ascribing the origins of the Conservative 1922 Committee to the...

Never the euro

The Spectator

From Professor Tim Congdon, CBE Sir: Economic commentators sometimes have to write about the world as it is, rather than about the world as they would like it to be. When they...

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The wrong Ross

The Spectator

From Mr Jeremy Lewis Sir: I was puzzled by D.J. Taylor's suggestion (Books, 24 February) that Alan Ross was almost monosyllabic in conversation, especially over the telephone....

Arrogance at Westminster

The Spectator

From The Hon. Steve Rodan, MHK Sir: Tim Luckhurst's article (`The wit of the Irish', 24 February) cites the Irish government's welcoming ways with visiting Scottish and Welsh...

Our name's the same

The Spectator

From Mr Christopher Kitching Sir: The Duchess of Devonshire (Diary, 17 February) includes the Historical Manuscripts Commission in a list of those organisations that have...

Sked addled

The Spectator

From Mr Christopher Booker Sir: For all his huffing and puffing, I note that Alan Sked (Letters, 24 February) cannot actually answer any of the specific corrections I made...

Schools' obstacle race

The Spectator

From Mrs Philippa Francis Sir: As a London mother of three children, I grinned empathetically through Rachel Johnson's article ('Cruelty to grown-ups', 24 February). I have box...

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Forget ethnic integrity

The Spectator

Charlotte Metcalf is not ashamed to admit it: she likes Barbados WHEN I told people I was going to Barbados, everyone, without exception, sneered. It was clear that, whereas I...

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The Spectator

Addictive city Bruce Anderson IN 1477, a beautiful princess ascended a troubled throne. Charles the Bold, the warrior Duke of Burgundy and Count of Flanders, was killed at the...

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Queen Elizabeth II

The Spectator

Putting on the style Bill Hagerty THE most stylish gesture I ever saw was on board Queen Elizabeth II during a force-eight gale. We were dining luxuriously when a mighty wave...

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Comrades, leave me here a little

The Spectator

Geoffrey VVheatcroft UNACKNOWLEDGED LEGISLATION by Christopher Hitchens Verso, £17, pp. 358, ISBN 1859847862 W hen Humbert III sold his principality of the Dauphine to Philip...

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Saint Crispin's day

The Spectator

Kenneth Fowler THE BATTLE OF AGINCOURT edited by Anne Curry The Boydell Press, £40, pp. 474, ISBN 0752417800 This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian...

Messy lives, wronged wives

The Spectator

Jane Gardam THINKS . . . by David Lodge Secker, £16.99, pp. 341, ISBN 0436445026 D avid Lodge's new novel opens with the Director of the Department of Cognitive Science in the...

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Stealing and dealing

The Spectator

Andro Linidater THE ISLAND OF LOST MAPS: A TRUE STORY OF CARTOGRAPHIC CRIME by Miles Harvey Weidenfeld, £12.99, pp. 405, ISBN 029784234X T he fascination of a map is that it...

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Big nose goes East

The Spectator

Mark Swallow RIVER TOWN by Peter Hessler John Murray, £18.99, pp, 402, ISBN0060195444 W hen I taught in a quite remote Chinese town four things got me down: the persistent...

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Creme de la crème

The Spectator

A. N. Wilson FAIRNESS by Ferdinand Mount Chatto, £16.99, pp. 306, ISBN 0701169753 R eviewers are not supposed to give away the plot of crime stories, but I forget what the...

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Is it one of ours?

The Spectator

Evelyn Joll COLLINS BIRD GUIDE by Lars Svensson and Peter J. Grant Collins, £29.99, pp. 399, ISBN0007100825 T his book took 15 years to complete, but is unlikely to be...

Supping with the devil

The Spectator

Frank Egerton KATE CATERINA by William Riviere Sceptre, £14.99, pp. 378, ISBN0340770384 W illiam Riviere's new novel is set against the dramatic events of the second world...

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Pyrotechnic flashes of intuition

The Spectator

Michael Levey LECTURES ON SHAKESPEARE by W. H. Auden Faber, i30, pp. 400, ISBN 057120712X O pening this book is like opening a box of wonderfully varied, well-preserved...

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Not so plain Jane

The Spectator

Jonathan Keates JANE AUSTEN by Carol Shields Weidenfeld, £12.99, pp. 154, ISBN0297646192 U ntil recently, the popular image of Jane Austen's life was that of an untroubled...

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Goya's flights of fantasy

The Spectator

Martin Gayford on two absorbing exhibitions at the Hayward Gallery W hy draw? There are all manner of reasons. Artists make drawings as preparation for paintings, to try out...

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The Spectator

Lisa Milroy (Tate Liverpool, till 18 March) Warmth amid humour Mark Glazebrook L isa Milroy has had eight solo shows in London since 1984. The Tate started buying her...

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Pop music

The Spectator

Making fools of themselves Marcus Berkrnann A strange moment on television last weekend. On Ant and Dec's SM:TV — the sort of rubbish you end up watching on Saturday mornings...


The Spectator

Turandot (Royal Opera) Carmen (English National Opera) Preposterous Puccini Michael Tanner E very so often a couple of familiar operas are performed in such close...

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The Spectator

Les Ballets C de la B (Queen Elizabeth Hall) Myriad images Giannandrea Poesio S tylistic unity is out, choreographic diversity is in. At least this is the message that comes...

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The Spectator

The Playboy of the Western World (National) Under the Doctor (Comedy) Synge shocker Sheridan Morley T his is where it all started, back in 1907: The Playboy of the Western...

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The Spectator

Chocolat (12, selected cinemas) Recipe for boredom Mark Steyn H ollywood loves fighting the last war. So here we go with another film in which a free-spirited sensualist...

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The Spectator

Dazed and confused James Delingpole Y ou probably wouldn't guess this from my deceptively carefree manner, but I can get fearfully agitated when trying to decide what to...

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The Spectator

Turbulent history Michael Vestey ewish Journey: 1,000 Years of Jewish Life in Britain has been something of a triumph on Radio Four (Thursdays), a four-parter unravelling the...

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The turf

The Spectator

Ups and downs Robin Oakley L ife is all about perspective, as was first brought home to me by the tale of the small boy at Rome's arena-side plucking at his parent's...

High life

The Spectator

The US, Israel and me Taki I respectfully disagree with Conrad Black's assessment of my 24 February column concerning Marc Rich. I do not for the life of me see where I...

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No life

The Spectator

King of the road Toby Young W as Gore Vidal right? Does a little part of you die every time a friend succeeds? I've been asking myself that question every night at 11.20...

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Country life

The Spectator

It never rains . . . Leanda de Lisle F irst we hear of an outbreak of footand-mouth disease, an almost mythical plague that few have seen in their adult lifetime. Then the...

Singular life

The Spectator

What about the women? Petronella Wyatt L ast week I made one of my forays into public speaking. It is a brave person who invites me to give a speech. I never know what to do...

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The Spectator

FIRST off, I must say I'm pretty miffed. I mean, how long have I been at the back of The Spectator now, holding it up virtually single-handedly? A year? At least, I'd say. So...

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More than beloved

The Spectator

Simon Barnes IT IS one of the rules of life: when a friend falls for someone who is dramatically unlike the sort of person he usually goes for, someone who is not really his...


The Spectator

Dear Mary. . . Q. Some years ago in White's Club I found myself standing at the urinal alongside the late Sir lain Moncreiffe of that Ilk. Seeing me washing my hands...