6 AUGUST 2005

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PORTRAIT OF THE WEEK T he Irish Republican Army sent out

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a digital video disc in which Mr Seanna Walsh, once imprisoned for his deeds, read out a statement saying, ‘The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann has formally ordered an end to...

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Boosting the gangsters

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T he speed with which the government propitiated republican opinion since last week’s socalled declaration of peace by the IRA suggests a prepared strategy. Within days of this...

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I have recently returned from a fortnight spent floating around the

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Baltic. Because of global warming which seems to be making the Mediterranean very hot — and cheap air travel (which seems to be making it very crowded) I have long suspected...

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Why do greens hate machines?

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The best way to save the planet, says Michael Hanlon , is for the eco-lobby to abandon its ideological aversion to new technology W hen George W. Bush last week stunned the...

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Muslims are right about Britain

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John Hayes says Islamic moderates are correct to despise our decadent culture of gay rights and lager louts M any moderate Muslims believe that much of Britain is decadent. They...

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Stolen Tory votes

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Peter Oborne says the Boundary Commission is doing little to remedy the catastrophic electoral bias against the Conservatives M atters could scarcely look worse for the...

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New squawk

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Harry Mount on the return of the egret and other beautiful birds to the Manhattan skies W hile Rudy Giuliani’s zero tolerance policy took care of crime, the Audubon Society,...

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War balls

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Rod Liddle scorns the government’s belief that white grannies are as likely to be terrorists as young Asian men A t times like this you look for clarity of purpose from your...

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Mind your language

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As his contribution to Anglo-Islamic understanding, my husband asked me what the connection was between genius loci and the genie in the bottle. I couldn’t say that I knew,...

Just the ticket

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Matthew Bell on the many virtues of Kate Middleton, who is being tipped to marry Prince William K ate Middleton is a Home Counties brunette with pretty, if not quite supermodel,...

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The evil of Hiroshima

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From A.N. Wilson Sir: Andrew Kenny’s article on the blessedness of dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima had an unpleasant whiff of 1945 propaganda (‘Giving thanks for...

Should Islam reform?

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From J.W. Hurst Sir: What an excellent and overdue piece by Patrick Sookhdeo on ‘The myth of moderate Islam’ (30 July). Having read Bernard Lewis, Roger Scruton and Samuel...

From Chris Doyle Sir: Patrick Sookhdeo’s absurd polemic against Islam

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echoes the intolerance and language of the extremists who carried out the London attacks. He holds the entirety of Islam to account for the horrific actions of a minority in the...

Terror tactics

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From B.J. Clifton Sir: Peter Oborne is spot on (Politics, 30 July) in his appraisal of this posturing oaf of a Prime Minister’s gibberish. Blair and his MPs can deny it all they...

From Liam O’Flathertaigh Sir: Peter Oborne contends that al-Qa’eda’s objective

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— to remove US and coalition forces from Arab soil — is ‘neither more nor less reasonable and legitimate than the IRA terrorists who sought the removal of the British presence...

Building a better Britain

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From Shaun Spiers Sir: James O’Shaughnessy claims that Britons ‘live in some of the oldest, pokiest, most expensive homes in the world’ (‘Let them build houses’, 16 July). He...

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A call for Sir Nicholas Goodison to save the Stock Exchange for the nation

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W e need a fund for the preservation of financial monuments. Sir Nicholas Goodison — successively chairman of the Stock Exchange, the TSB and the National Art Collections Fund —...

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Desecrating Europe’s most beautiful mountains in the name of sport

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D o you ski? And do you sign petitions against wind turbines too? Yes? Then how dare you? How dare anyone who claims to care about mountain landscapes object to a row of...

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The magic moment when you go under the great Forth Bridge

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T here are times when I think that a great bridge is the noblest work of man. I recently had the thrilling experience of travelling under the famous Forth Rail Bridge on a...

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The home of jihad

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M.J. Akbar says the legacy of Jinnah, the father of Pakistan, has been squandered by his Islamist successors M uhammad Ali Jinnah, aristocrat by temperament, catholic in taste,...

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Welcome, an American Pepys

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Sam Leith J UDGE S EWALL ’ S A POLOGY : T HE S ALEM W ITCH T RIALS AND THE F ORMING OF A C ONSCIENCE by Richard Francis Fourth Estate, £20, pp. 412, ISBN 1841156760 ✆ £18 (plus...

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Cleopatra’s nose again

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Olivia Glazebrook M AKING I T U P by Penelope Lively Penguin/Viking, £16.99, pp. 247, ISBN 0670915793 ✆ £14.99 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 I n these eight stories Penelope...

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The Emperor’s real clothes

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Roy Strong D RESSED TO R ULE : R OYAL AND C OURT C OSTUME FROM L OUIS XIV TO E LIZABETH II by Philip Mansel Yale, £19.95, pp. 237, ISBN 0300106971 L ike Philip Mansel I am a...

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Marriage à la mode

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Nicholas Haslam T AKE A G IRL L IKE M E by Diana Melly Chatto, £14.99, pp. 280, ISBN 0701179066 ✆ £12.99 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 I t is surely rare to find a book that...

From the inside looking out

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Peter J. M. Wayne D EATH AT THE H ANDS OF THE S TATE by David Wilson Howard League for Penal Reform, £12.95, pp. 143, ISBN 0903683784 C onsider this. Does lightning ever strike...

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A beatitude of books

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Jasper Griffin A R EADING D IARY : A P ASSIONATE R EADER ’ S R EFLECTIONS ON A Y EAR OF BOOKS by Alberto Manguel Canongate, £12.99, pp. 253, ISBN 1841956384 ✆ £11.99 (plus...

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Protecting the infant republic

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Robert Stewart T HE T ERROR : C IVIL W AR IN THE F RENCH R EVOLUTION by David Andress Little, Brown, £20, pp. 437, ISBN 0316861812 V £18 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848 E ver...

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Celebrating William Blake

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Andrew Lambirth visits an exhibition in the first museum of garden history S t Mary-at-Lambeth, built beside the walls of the Archbishop’s Palace, was once the parish church of...

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Orton dazzles

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Lloyd Evans What the Butler Saw Hampstead H ow sweet and innocent the 1960s now seem. The state censor, the Lord Chamberlain, operated as a kind of blushing aunt who would...

Web of deceit

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Patrick Carnegy Sejanus: His Fall Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon The Comedy of Errors Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon T he other day on Radio Four David Hare...

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Pure pleasure

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Charles Spencer I was packing for our holidays on the Ile de Ré in France, when my son Edward, 12, turned an inquiring eye on the CDs I was taking. Three of these were...

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Suffering for art

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Peter Phillips H aving to give concerts on jetlag is a requirement of modern touring. Gone are the days when promoters would pay for their artists to arrive several days before...

Irresistible nights

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Michael Tanner The Merry Wives of Windsor Buxton Andrea Chénier Holland Park N icolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor is something I have been longing to see for the whole of my...

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Beetle power

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Mark Steyn Herbie: Fully Loaded U, selected cinemas I f Herbie can come back from the movie junkyard, anything can. The Love Bug just about held Disney together in those grim...

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Watching over Whicker

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Michael Vestey A lan Whicker has entertained the nation since he appeared on the pioneering Tonight programme on BBC television in the late 1950s. Apart from the way he looked...

Sinatra and the Mob

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Simon Hoggart T he height of summer is celebrated by the television networks telling us things we already know. Such as, Frank Sinatra was in hock to the Mafia. Actually,...

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King of the sprint

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Robin Oakley A fter last Saturday’s Stewards’ Cup, trainer Dandy Nicholls was bouncing around the unsaddling enclosure like one of those rubber balls one always coveted as a...

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Spite and envy

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Taki On board S/Y Bushido W ith plenty of time on my hands to read — television and DVDs are forbidden on board although both are available — I am shocked at the severity,...

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Picture of health

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Jeremy Clarke T he crowded hour I spent at The Spectator summer party was prefaced by nine convivial hours on the terrace of a pub at Liverpool Street station that ended with...

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S ome of the Australian cricketers, it seems, are cagey about

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sport’s timehonoured hobby of autograph collecting. At Highbury stadium new signs order you never to approach Arsenal players for autographs. There was a minor fuss at the Open...

Q. I was entertaining a friend to drinks one evening

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after the pub. When he left (at approximately 1 a.m.) he called up to me from the pavement to say that as he was leaving he had heard one of my neighbours (there are six flats...

Q. Should your 59-year-old sandal-wearer ever get to the east

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coast of Bali (23 July) he can have a massage, a manicure, a pedicure and a hair-cut for a snip at £4. What’s more, if he doesn’t want to walk or cycle to the village, a motor...

Q. In response to M.L. from Germany (23 July), with

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reference to the ongoing debate about thongs visible above low-cut trouser waistbands, I submit hereunder my German version of Ogden Nash’s poem: Sicher, zieh Dir Hosen an Ueber...