6 JANUARY 2001

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T he FTSE 100 index closed 10 per cent lower at

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the end of the year 2000 than it had been at the beginning. Labour was pressed to name the anonymous donor of £2 million to the party a few weeks before legislation comes into...

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T he Prime Minister is believed to have wiped his brow with relief when the doors of the Dome finally closed last Sunday, disgorging. among its final customers, a radiant Cherie...

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The stakes are appallingly high, yet few Tory MPs realise it

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BRUCE ANDERSON F rom a Tory perspective, the New Year dawned in inspissated gloom. At most, there are four months left before the election, yet the party's political identity...

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I f my passport had not gone missing just before Christmas, I would have been in New York this week for the funeral of my brother-in-law William Patrick Bruton. He died of...

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Boris Johnson reads the Lawrence report and comes to the conclusion that the right-wing caricatures are misleading: the laird of Cluny is no loony LADIES and gentlemen of the...

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Ancient & modern

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THE proposed European Army is yet another important step along the road to creating a sense of the European Union as a superpower ruling from its centre in Brussels. But...

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If we want racial and cultural harmony, says David Coleman, we must curb immigration FOR the first two millennia of the Christian epoch, and indeed for as far back as our...

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Christopher Caldwell on the dubious motives behind the lawsuit against Vodafone THREE days after 4.5 million Britons received mobile phones under their Christmas trees, the...

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Second opinion

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PEOPLE are easily led, but only to evil: they are never led easily to virtue, good taste or refined pleasures. When a man says he is easily led, therefore, you may be sure he is...

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Vivian Linacre on the shalp EU practice behind the prosecution of the Sunderland stall-holder for selling a pound of bananas THE foot-rule produced by the British Weights and...

Mind your language

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I MUST say my feminism, such as it is, has been given a fine tonic by the extraordinarily sexist response of some readers to my admitting ignorance of the term offer up to mean...

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President-elect Bush should end the West's cold-shouldering of the Afghan regime, argues Justin Marozzi Kabul I TOLD him his beard wasn't bushy enough, but he wouldn't listen....

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New Year message to Gordon from the rest of us: we're more productive than you are

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CHRISTOPHER FILDES G ordon Brown's message to us all, as the new year begins, is that we must be more productive. Only thus can we hold up our heads and compete with the...

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Banal, biased BBC

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From Mr Jonathan Miller Sir: Stephen Glover writes (Media studies, 30 December) that all decent people should support the BBC' before going on to be surprised that it is...

From Mr C.R Cheeseman Sir: The situation is far worse

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than depicted by Stephen Glover. The flagship current affairs programmes of the BBC (Naughtie excepted) are not as routinely anti-Tory as practically all of their 'comedy'...

Growing up too quickly

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From Mr John Prust Sir: The rap music phenomenon ('Your children are rap victims', 30 December) is an illustration of the proverb, 'Clergymen's sons always turn out badly.' Tim...

The value of life

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From the Ambassador of the Netherlands Sir: Your leading article of 2 December concerning the Bill on euthanasia passed by the second chamber (lower house) of the Netherlands...

Sport of queens

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From Mr Paul Healy Sir: The Queen's action in dispatching the injured pheasant would certainly not find disapproval with her predecessor, Queen Elizabeth I (Country life, 9...


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From Mr David Evans Sir: Re your leading article (9 December), it is true that in America there is a strong civic sense inculcated in immigrants. How ever, when I recently...

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Money matters

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From Mr Chapman Pincher Sir: Mutual friends in MI6 have confirmed to me, on several occasions, that the contributions to Western security made by the senior KGB officer, Oleg...

Flying too high

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From Mr F.G.B. Smith Sir: With regard to Christopher Fildes's column (City and suburban, 16/23 December) on British Airways' style of manage ment, may I offer a few...

Target for Euro-army

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From Mr Basil Dewing Sir: The reason for creating a European Army, even if it is called a Rapid Reaction Force, appears to he to enable the European Union to intervene in...

Diamond Gemma

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From Mrs Pat thechin Sir: In the morning I read Theodore Dalrymple's article (Don't call me Theo', 16/23 December), in which he recounts his conversation with `Gemma' on the...

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How the snow lights up the 'dark backward and abysm of time'

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PALL JOHNSON S now is the great transformer. It obliterates countless objects, including what is dingy, worn and ugly, so that it appears to purify and to render the world new,...

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Why is Mr Blair prepared to get into bed with 'Anal Annie'?

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STEPHEN GLOVER F or two weeks little has happened at Express Newspapers. The company's new owner, Richard Desmond, has been on holiday in Thailand, whence he returned on...

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Who said what about what

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Geoffrey Wheatcroft THE TIMES BOOK OF QUOTATIONS Times Books, £19.99, pp. 832 THE NEW PENGUIN DICTIONARY OF MODERN QUOTATIONS edited by Robert Andrews Penguin, £18.99, pp....

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Haunters of the margins

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Sara Maitland TROUBLESOME THINGS: A HISTORY OF FAIRIES AND FAIRY STORIES by Diane Purkiss Penguin, £20, pp. 356 h e cultural history of . . .' has become one of the great...

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Plods, hacks and drugs

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Aidan Hartley THE CONSTANT GARDENER by John le Can't' Hodder, £16.99, pp. 508 J ohn le Cane omits most of the names of those in Kenya who helped him research The Constant...

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Every inch royal, though not in her perfect mind

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Sarah Bradford ALICE, PRINCESS ANDREW OF GREECE by Hugo Vickers Hamish Hamilton, £20, pp. 477 T his is the odd, sad story of an eccentric figure, Princess Alice, mother of...

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Going strong for the top

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Sara Wheeler HOW THE ENGLISH MADE THE ALPS by Jim Ring John Murray, £19.99, pp. 287 KILLING DRAGONS: THE CONQUEST OF THE ALPS by Fergus Fleming Granta, £20, pp. 398 FEARLESS...

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Conjuring the difficult dead from their graves

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Lucy Hughes-Hallett THE PEPPERED MOTH by Margaret Drabble Viking, 116.99, pp. 392 A large part of the action of Margaret Drabble's novel takes place on dangerous ground. The...

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Heart ruled by head

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Patrick Boyle A CENTURY OF FILMS — PERSONAL BEST by Derek Malcolm L B. Tauris, £9.99, pp. 184 F il m critics and enthusiasts of the cinema love making lists: the Ten Best...

Correction In Peter Eyre's review of Get Happy: The Life

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of Judy Garland (Christmas issue) Janet Baker was unfortunately referred to as James Baker. We apologise.

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Vintage start to the year

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Martin Gaylord believes that 2001 will be a good year for exhibitions T he year 2000 was an odd one in at least one way — apart, that is, from numerologically,...

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La Cenerentola (Royal Opera House)

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The good, the bad and the ugly Michael Tanner O f all Rossini's comic operas, La Cenerentola is the one with the most plausible claims to genuine feeling, even to depth. How...

Shocking death

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Marcus Berkmann P op stars tend to die earlier and more pointless deaths than most people, but the end of Kirsty MacColl still came as a shock. For one thing she was never...

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Life X 3 (National) The Messiah (Bush) Kate Dimbleby (King's Head)

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High fashion Sheridan Morley K nneth Tynan once said that in a hundred years' time everyone will still know exactly what is meant by 'a very Noel Coward sort of person'; will...

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What a lot of rubbish

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James Delingpole M y resolution this year is to be much more careful about how I whore myself. In future, I shall try to make all the pieces I write as totally me as possible...

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All's well with the world

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Michael Vestey W illiam allowed his cold glance to rest upon her. "I don't play little girls games," he said scathingly.' Thus was New Year's Day transformed from hungover...

New Year disappointment

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Robin Oakley N ew Year's Day was to have been such a splendid start to the year. Mrs Oakley had been fully organised for one of her thrice-yearly visits to the racecourse, a...

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The party's over

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Taki F Rougemont or the third year in a row my Palace hotel dinner-dance for 100-odd friends did not come off. Two years ago, at the Eagle club, it was the disc-jockey's...

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Why do I do it?

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Toby Young H ow can anyone afford to go skiing? I've just spent a week in Verbier and I've returned to London completely bankrupt. The prices in Verbier's clubs, bars and...

Practical heroes

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Leanda de Lisle O dd-job men are a very particular breed. An odd breed, some might say. But I sec them in the mould of the Hollywood hero: independent, individualistic and...

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Keeping up appearances

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Petronella Wyatt T he pig lurched towards me, its peonypink snout a-quivering. Its eyes had a film of yellow but they still managed to look out with a hostility that was...

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Deborah Ross

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PHEW, phew and double phew. Christmas is over. Immensely stressful for everyone, I know, but especially stressful for me because I've got this rather neurotic habit of not being...

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Don't think the unthinkable

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Simon Barnes YOU think you have seen every folly of which English cricket is capable but, every time, English cricket surprises you. Can you credit it? Sober, sensible, and...

Q. How much of his (or indeed her) nonworking life

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should a newcomer to an openplan office be expected to discuss at work? I have recently started work in an office of about ten people. About half of us are single, in the sense...

Q. This year it seemed to me that too many

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people used their Christmas cards as tools of self-promotion rather than as means of conveying messages of goodwill or celebrating the birth of Christ. My husband and I were...