5 JANUARY 2002

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The Spectator

Happy New Year B ritain failed to enter the New Year definitely free from foot-and-mouth when the government ordered the precautionary slaughter of 2,100 sheep near Hexham,...

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The Spectator

M uch sententious babble has issued from the mouths of European magnificos, as the Continent this week celebrated the launch of the euro in its tangible form. Commissioners and...

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Tony Blair will have to pay a high price if he wants to take Britain into the euro

The Spectator

PETER °BORNE B ack in the late 1990s. when I still worked for the Daily Express, Tony Blair would occasionally stroll into the newspaper's offices for lunch. Three things stick...

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The Spectator

I t is a truth universally acknowledged that a single Tory in possession of a marginal seat must be in want of a wife. So my heart goes out to Adrian Flook. the Conservative...

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The Spectator

Fifty years after her accession, the Queen's life is governed by her dedication to the constitution, and she knows more about statecraft than Mr Blair Simon Heifer on the real...

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Banned wagon

The Spectator

A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit HEAVEN forfend! After two years writing this column I finally have a case of deregulation to report. Unfortunately,...

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The Spectator

Bill Penn finds that media studies graduates don't know much about anything least of all the media I TAKE a firm grip on the desk, for at any moment I may need to thrash my...

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The Spectator

A boom in paganism is creating new work for the Church: Rod Williams witnesses a terrifying exorcism in Tuscany THE Convent of Santa Gemma in northern Tuscany is a...

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The Spectator

The West would not listen to Mubarak's warnings about terrorism, says Justin Marozzi, and now we're paying the price Cairo THE pyramids were almost deserted when I visited them...

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The Spectator

Matthew Richards reveals how a Labour housing scheme is biased in favour of state sector professionals I LIVE on a council estate in the East End of London. It's not my dream...

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The Spectator

In an interview with Simon Courtauld, Sir Wilfred Thesiger condemns the 'bloody' awful' bombing of Afghanistan 'OF course the Afghans will go on fighting each other. After...

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Mind your language

The Spectator

WHAT foolishness and annoyance await our ears in 2002? Who could have predicted the not unfeeling cliché of 2001: the Tragic Events of September the Eleventh (Tese)? The...

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A person who apologises has the moral ball in his court

The Spectator

PAUL JOHNSON I have sympathy for the butler in The Big Sleep. Marlowe detects him in a contradiction and asks him aggressively, 'You made a mistake, didn't you?' To which the...

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Books R Us

The Spectator

From Baroness Blackstone Sir: I read with interest Julia Lewis's article ('An axe to the roots of our national culture', 15/22 December). As a pre-Christmas knockabout piece, it...

Greed of the alma mater

The Spectator

From Mr Osman Streater Sir: Felipe Fernandez-Arrnesto may understandably not know the saying in Turkey, where I was brought up, 'If a beggar spits at your child, you do not give...

Beware the steamroller

The Spectator

From Mr Richard Stead Sir: Mark Steyn (The war between America and Europe', 29 December) raises a valid point about the determination of the European elite to steamroller us all...

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In Bron's defence

The Spectator

From Mrs Teresa Waugh Sir: No doubt some of your readers will have been a little perplexed by Geoffrey Wheatcroft's unattributed quotation in his review for your Christmas issue...

Israel and I

The Spectator

From Melanie Phillips Sir: Michael Leggatt (Letters, 29 December) claims that I said on Question Time that if there were war between Israel and the UK, I would leave the UK, and...

Porn assertion

The Spectator

From Mr Clive Turner. Sir: In her letter (29 December) about the effect of pornography on society, Debra Lake mentions quite inexplicably that 'the numbers of men with prostate...

Speeding frenzy

The Spectator

From Mr Mark Tinney Sir: Ross Clark (`They've got the wrong man', 29 December) apparently believes that no one can have any sensible objections to speed cameras. If the cameras...

Bing time

The Spectator

From Mr Christopher Perkins Sir: Mark Steyn states (Arts, 15/22 December) that 'White Christmas', which was the signal for the evacuation of the US embassy in Saigon, has never...

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Brussels sprouts a currency in M&.S's tills, but we don't have to swallow it

The Spectator

CHRISTOPHER FILDES S hiny blue stickers are appearing on the doors of Marks & Spencer, saying We accept the euro.' How deplorably insular. Why does M&S address its customers in...

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I did not say that the bombing would fail; I do say that it will end in tears

The Spectator

MATTHEW PARR IS F rom those of us who opposed the bombing in Afghanistan, a few words do now seem to be required. The bombing seems to have worked. A new year begins in Kabul...

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The path from Rome

The Spectator

Piers Paul Read THE GATEKEEPER by Terry Eagleton Allen Lane/ Penguin, £9.99, pp. 177, ISBN 0713995904 T his brief memoir by Terry Eagleton, with its black binding, red...

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A cock-eyed optimist

The Spectator

Sheridan Morley SOMEWHERE FOR ME: A BIOGRAPHY OF RICHARD RODGERS by Meryle Secrest Bloomsbury, £25, pp. 457, ISBN 0747552169 M eryle Secrest, born in Bath but long resident in...

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Bring back the people and the dogs

The Spectator

Mark Girouard ENGLISH MANOR HOUSES by Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd and Christopher Simon Sykes Laurence King, £40, pp. 236, ISBN 1865669221 T he latest product of the fruitful...

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Getting back to basics

The Spectator

Thomas Wright FIVE MORAL PIECES by Umberto Eco Seeker, £10, pp. 111, ISBN 0436410591 C harles Lamb wrote that no one ever lays down a newspaper without feeling disappointment....

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Our northern alliance

The Spectator

Magnus Linklater THE SCOTTISH EMPIRE by Michael Fry Tackwell Press, £30, pp. 608, ISBN 186232185 W hat was it that gave the Scots, a country of less than two million people at...

Lost on the page

The Spectator

Richard Shone ON THE WAY TO WORK by Damien Hirst and Gordon Burn Faber, £25, pp. 232, ISBN 0571202578 I n almost every generation of British artists, there is one figure who...

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Beware: blockbusters ahead

The Spectator

Martin Gayford looks at what museums and galleries have to offer in 2002 I n the art world, as in many other areas, the events of 11 September have so far made less difference...

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Mulholland Drive (15, selected cinemas)

The Spectator

Sensory experience Mark Steyn T he first time I went to Los Angeles, Mulholland Drive was one of the mythic highways — a street we outsiders and hicks had heard of, but a...

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Brief lives

The Spectator

Marcus Berkmann L ife . . . isn't everything,' as Elton John so poignantly sang in 'Song For Guy'. It was his way of trying to come to terms with the death of a 17-year-old...

Tales from the wings

The Spectator

Michael Vestey T here was a time in my childhood when I thought I might like to become an actor. Wisely. I decided against it. Perhaps it was my experience in a school house...

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Impressive endurance

The Spectator

Simon Hoggart G oodness, Charles Sturridge's Shackleton (Channel 4) was vast. It seemed to stretch forever, more than four hours over two nights, as immense, impressive and...

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Winning smile

The Spectator

Robin Oakley I had backed Best Mate in the King George on Boxing Day. But, like countless thousands nationwide, I cheered home Adrian Maguire on Florida Pearl as the hope of...

The real danger

The Spectator

Taki H Rougetnont ere's some very bad news in order to start the new year without any illusions. Throughout history, barbarous warriors wearing funny headgear have more often...

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Trouble at home

The Spectator

Jeremy Clarke 0 n Christmas Day I was still limping from the battering I'd received at our last karate training session of 2001. Traditionally the staff at the old people's...

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Family friction

The Spectator

Petronella Wyatt S pending part of the winter in Hungary has become an annual fixture in my life. Budapest, where my mother was born, is an intriguing hybrid of a town. It is...

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The Spectator

GOOD Christmas? Fine; thanks for asking. Spent most of it in north Wales at my parents-in-law. Not much to do in north Wales. Bit boring, actually. Sometimes I had to shake my...

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Proles apart

The Spectator

Simon Barnes WE are all middle class now, said Tony Blair, who clearly hasn't been to the Circus Tavern, Purtleet. for a while. This strange place is a triumph of ergonomics: a...


The Spectator

Dear Mary. . . Q. A friend has invited me to stay for a few days in a Landmark Trust property he has rented. Does one bring a house present if not actually going to someone's...