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The Spectator

M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, made a speech at the Welsh National Assembly intended to rally wavering support for the war. 'Never forget how we felt watching the planes...

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The Spectator

H enceforth, the homeowner defending his property from thieves must go to bed armed with more than a shotgun. He must equip himself, too, with a credible history of paranoia, a...

Page 8


The Spectator

S ince readers of this diary expect glamour, let me begin with Miss Naomi Campbell, the celebrated supermodel. I was shooting on an estate last Saturday where the talk was of...

Page 10

Blunkett steals a 'racist, nasty, extremist' Tory idea and lo, it becomes 'courageous and wise'

The Spectator

PETER OBORNE W hile Tony Blair's commitment to prosecution of the war has so far been unswerving, since 11 September his government has changed its mind on practically...

Page 11

If this war ends in chaos, the hawks must be prepared to admit that the doves were right

The Spectator

MATTHEW PARRIS T his is a declaration of war. The enemy are the British hawks. We doves should identify them in their caves, hunt them down and show no mercy in victory. We...

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The Spectator

Andrew Gilligan says our troops can keep up with the cracking pace set by Her Majesty's Royal Corps of Spin As Suwayh HERE in the empty Omani desert, the generals have shaken...

Page 13

Mind Mind your language

The Spectator

MR Torn Utley, a journalist who always writes well, has recently become a little obsessed with the way people make use of the jocular term underwhelmed. He felt it was being...

Page 14


The Spectator

Anne McElvoy on David Blunkett's sudden emergence as an heir to Blair TIME was, when you wanted to launch a surreptitious leadership bid, that you got your mates to install a...

Page 16


The Spectator

Julian Manyon braves the robust bureaucracy of the Northern Alliance to witness the US bombing of the Taleban line Jabal-us-Siraj IN the month I have been here I have formed a...

Page 18


The Spectator

America should not be trying to win friends and influence people, says Mark Steyn. America should be destroying her enemies New Hampshire IT's not easy being a compassionate...

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Banned wagon

The Spectator

A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit THE Home Secretary's latest piece of rushed legislation, in reaction to the anthrax scares of the past fortnight, is a...

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The Spectator

Andy MeSmith finds the TUC general secretary resolutely opposed to private sector involvement in the NHS JOHN MONKS sits patiently in his fourthfloor office in Great Russell...

Page 24


The Spectator

The massacre of 11 September has saved the Ulster peace process, says Bruce Anderson THE most dramatic consequences of terrorism are often the accidental ones. In 1990 the IRA...

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The Spectator

Efraim Karsh on the surprising ignorance of those who blame Jewish intransigence for the attack on the twin towers FROM the moment the dust settled over the ruins of the World...

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Ancient & modern

The Spectator

THE Northern Ireland 'peace process' is a weasel phrase: how will we know when the 'process' is ended and 'peace' delivered? If there is currently a 'truce', we must eventually...

Page 29

Friends and enemies in the intellectual and aesthetic heart of London

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON L ast Friday afternoon produced a spectacular display of warm autumn sunshine, and I sat for a spell, enjoying its gentle caresses, at an outdoor café on...

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The greater the number of New York victims, the easier it is to justify bombing Afghanistan

The Spectator

STEPHEN GLOVER T he attack on the World Trade Center T on 11 September was without doubt the worst single act of terrorism ever committed. Those dreadful images will live...

Page 32

Why can't we build the grands projets we need?

The Spectator

We ought to try asking the frogs CHRISTOPHER FIL DES T he French have a name for them: grands projets. It does not exactly translate into English, and that goes for the...

Page 34

Cultural clashes

The Spectator

From Siddiq Bazarwala Sir: Your cover story (The abuse of women', 27 October) only serves to contribute to the constant stereotyping of Muslims. Forced marriages take place in...

Doubts over vaccination

The Spectator

From Mr Ian Gardiner Sir: Emma Tennant ('Senseless slaughter', 20 October) has repeated the falsehood that the National Farmers' Union (NFU) opposed vaccination because of the...

Our friends in the East

The Spectator

From Mr Rand/hr Singh Rains Sir: Andrew Roberts (With friends like us. . . ', 27 October) claims that the West seldom stands by its friends and often leaves them in the lurch....

No checks in the Post

The Spectator

From Mr Christopher Booker Sir: I fear that J.D.F. Jones, in his letter (27 October) defending himself as the biographer of Laurens van der Post, displays that same compulsion...

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Annuity scam

The Spectator

From Mr Colin Sutherland Sir: Simon Nixon's article (Pensions? I'm not buying one', 20 October) hit the nail on the head. But what he did not address was the consequent rip-off...

Captains courageous

The Spectator

From Professor Richard Holmes Sir: James Delingpole threw me a wonderful bouquet in his first review of the BBC2 series Battlefields, but his tailpiece (Arts, 27 October) has...

Tunnel vision

The Spectator

From Mr Paul Ravenscroft Sir: Ross Clark's assertion (Banned wagon, 13 October) that the sole benefit of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) will be to 'shave 15 minutes off the...

Hippie shakes

The Spectator

From Mr Paul Miller Sir: I recognise the hippie types in David Giimour's article (Back to the Stoned Age', 20 October), but I must confess that it is far harder to recognise the...

Open Amazon

The Spectator

From Mr Robin Terrell Sir: I would like to respond to Chris Lewis's article (`Cooking the books', 20 October). At Amazon we believe that we make it very clear to our customers...

Maestro of the buttonhole

The Spectator

From Mr Paul Johnson Sir: A misprint in my column last week has Balenciaga saying that Dior had never seen a buttonhole. The word was sewn, the point being that Balenciaga could...

Page 38

Make mine a Manhattan

The Spectator

Philip Delves Broughton takes us on a bar crawl through New York BURIED in most imaginations is a classic New York dive: smoky, sleazy, a little funkysmelling; full of drunks,...

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French toast

The Spectator

Michael McMahon THE nose of the first was remarkable: the rich, full, intense aroma of time-worn leather, heavy as cigar smoke and almost as visible. Leather predominated in...

Page 42

Of rice and men

The Spectator

Sam Leith IT is 10.30 on a Thursday morning, and I am sitting in the empty bar of a Japanese restaurant off the Tottenham Court Road drinking rhubarb-flavoured sake. Sake, it...

Page 43

Grape expectations

The Spectator

Jonathan Ray AT almost 41 and seven-twelfths I reckon that I was the youngest person on the flight to Funchal the other week. This supports my view that Madeira is an old...

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Sobering thoughts

The Spectator

Andrew McKie ALCOHOL is a subject that I have researched exhaustively. I have read studies on whether acetaldehyde, a major metabolite of alcohol, is mutagenic in the liver...

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Bathing in burgundy

The Spectator

Petronella Wyatt WINE, women and song are supposed to have been the passions of rumbustious folk down the centuries. But while men and song — to a respectable and limited...

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A great British failure

The Spectator

Philip Hensher CHERRY: A LIFE OF APSLEY CHERRY-GARRARD by Sara Wheeler Cape, L17.99, pp. 303, ISBN 0297643339 T he three defining myths of the English 20th century are, I...

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From darkest Derbyshire

The Spectator

P. J. Kavanagh COUNTING MY CHICKENS . . . AND OTHER HOME THOUGHTS by Deborah Devonshire Long Barn Books, £9.99, pp. 175, ISBN 1902421051 We have heard a lot lately about two...

Page 50

Arms and the ambiguous man

The Spectator

Norman Stone SPEER: THE FINAL VERDICT by Joachim Fest, translated by Ewald Osers and Alexandra Dring Weidenfeld, £20, pp. 417, ISBN 0297646168 A s Albert Speer told Hitler, in...

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An accurate autopsy

The Spectator

Peter Oborne TORY WARS by Simon Walters Politico's, £10.99, pp. 320, ISBN 1842750267 T he first question that historians will always ask about the Tory leadership election of...

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Much matter within a small compass

The Spectator

Anita Brookner HATESHIP, FRIENDSHIP, COURTSHIP, LOVESHIP, MARRIAGE by Alice Munro Chatto, £14.99, pp. 323, ISBN 0701172924 R eaders of Chekhov's short stories will feel utterly...

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What makes Toby run

The Spectator

Julie Burchill HOW TO LOSE FRIENDS AND ALIENATE PEOPLE by Toby Young Little Brown, £9.99, pp. 352, ISBN 0316857912 I met Toby Young when he was a 20-year-old undergraduate and...

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Testing the minefield

The Spectator

Philip MacCann ZENO AND THE TORTOISE: HOW TO THINK LIKE A PHILOSOPHER by Nicholas Fearn Atlantic Books, 19.99, pp. 193, ISBN 1903809134 P hilosophy is not a body of doctrine...

A bicycle not made for two

The Spectator

Robin Shepherd CZECHOSLOVAKIA: THE SHORT GOODBYE by Abby tones Yale, £25, pp. 345, ISBN 0300090633 I f the measure of a work of non-fiction is its ability to question your...

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Questions that can never be answered

The Spectator

Anne Applebaum INTERROGATIONS: THE NAZI ELITE IN ALLIED HANDS, 1945 by Richard Overy Allen Lane, 125, pp. 650, ISBN 0713993502 I f, in the next few weeks, Western commandos...

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The light that failed

The Spectator

Turi Munthe THE LOST MESSIAH by John Freely Viking, £20, pp. 286, ISBN 0670886750 I n 1666, a year that saw millenarian anxiety reach fever pitch across the Christian world,...

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Breakfast food for thought

The Spectator

Michael Vestey THIS IS TODAY: A BIOGRAPHY OF THE TODAY PROGRAMME by Tim Luckhurst Aunon Press, £16.99, pp. 174, ISBN 18541079765 T his is the second 'biography' in four years...

Crafted with too much care

The Spectator

John de Falbe A MULTITUDE OF SINS by Richard Ford Harv ill, f15.99, pp. 278, ISBN 1860468403 I am told that Richard Ford describes the stories in this long-awaited volume as...

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Messrs Nasty and Nice

The Spectator

Harry Mount STAN AND OLLIE: THE DOUBLE LIFE OF LAUREL AND HARDY by Simon Louvish Faber, £25, pp. 503, ISBN 0571203523 I t's a fairly reliable rule of thumb that anybody who...

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Empire on the Thames

The Spectator

Martin Gayford on the ever-expanding displays of Tate Britain T he exponential growth of art galleries is among the untold stories of our time. Bigger and bigger they become,...

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The Spectator

Don Quixote (Royal Opera House) Bubbling enthusiasm Giannandrea Poesio L ike many balletomanes in their forties, I too was first introduced to the fun and charm of the 1869...

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Glances at the dots

The Spectator

Peter Phillips A nother weekend, and stories are circulating of another concert given by an English professional ensemble (not mine, though it might have been) in a major...

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The Spectator

Kiss Me Kate (Victoria Palace) Star Quality (Apollo) Backstage shenanigans Toby Young K iss Me Kate. which opens this week, is the ultimate test of whether London's...


The Spectator

Hollywood great Mark Steyn remembers the songwriter Jay Livingston, who died recently J ay Livingston died a few days ago, barely a month after attending a Hollywood allstar...

Page 65

Op e ra

The Spectator

Die Frau ohne Sehatten (Royal Opera House) L'anima del filosofo (Royal Opera House) Weighty and whimsical Michael Tanner D ie Frau ohne Schauen is a work which I find it...

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The Spectator

Toasted cockles Simon Hoggart F orget the battle for viewers on Saturday night; the fierce hand-to-hand struggle is now on Sunday nights when the nation, battered by the news...

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The Spectator

One side of the story Michael Vestey W hen I heard Melissa Benn's opening remarks to her documentary The Grim wick Legacy on Radio Four this week (Thursday) I realised what we...

Page 68

Food for thought

The Spectator

A good green thing Simon Courtauld A small town in south-west Texas, not far from the Mexican border, will be holding its annual spinach festival this weekend. Quite...

The turf

The Spectator

Broad church Robin Oakley W.0 . Fields, star of early-day movies, was reputed to be a considerable gambler. One day, the story goes, a vicar sat down in the railway carriage...

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The Spectator

Soft touch Alan Judd W hen Toyota launched the Lexus LS400 a decade ago many thought they were on a hiding to nothing in trying to compete with the Mercedes S class, the BMW 7...

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High life

The Spectator

Loss of elegance Taki A New York man and a woman I knew in my youth died last week, and the memories came flooding back. One was Daniel Wildenstein, the French-born art...

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Low life

The Spectator

Pushed for space Jeremy Clarke W e were so high up that, apart from Freddie Kanoute who is tall and black and moves like a ballerina, and Shaka in goal, I couldn't make out...

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The Spectator

Simon Hoggart AS Christmas hurtles towards us, we need plenty of good wine for entertaining. Not, perhaps, the very grandest wines to go with Christmas dinner, but the kind you...

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The Spectator

THIS week I've discovered a true find: a local restaurant that's staggeringly brilliant. And, amazingly, it's all thanks to my partner and his singing. He's a Welsh boy, so of...

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Why they won't play the game

The Spectator

Simon Barnes WE work a very mean trick on our athletes. First, we demand that they win things, and then we demand that they behave like normal human beings. The snag is that...


The Spectator

Dear Mary. . . Q. My husband, who is totally tactless, has let slip to some troublemaking friends of a friend that we have a nickname for our mutual friend. I fear that the...