6 JULY 2002

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PORTRAIT OF THE WEEK No. 10 Downing Street is being

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expensively refurbished M r Sam Younger, the chairman of the Electoral Commission, commenting on the question to be posed in a referendum on joining the euro, said, Tin sure it...

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T ermites who laid waste to religious houses in 18th-century Brazil could expect more merciful treatment than a visit from the Rentokil man. In Maranhao in 1709, a group of the...

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J oan Rivers is at full wattage. The show is flying. Her capacity audience is sobbing with laughter. She has skewered Cher, Filipinos, Hillary Clinton. And then, abruptly, she...

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Tony Blair will have to choose between the US and the Labour party

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PETER OBORNE T his political year was only ever going to be about three things. First, the Comprehensive Spending Review, signalling the conversion of New Labour into a...

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Is New Labour putting the frighteners

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on the editor of the Daily Mirror? STEPHEN GLOVER M uch ink has been spilt over the abortive price war between the Daily Mirror and the Sun. which, as I suggested would be the...

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The Guardian calls it a national scandal but even top Labour figures are doing it. Rachel Johnson on the amazing ubiquity of private tuition MY eight-year-old daughter...

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Mind your language

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I'M glad all the football is over, but a legacy of the World Cup, according to the BBC, is that the word hooligan has passed into Japanese with the meaning merely of 'football...

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Simon Heifer finds lain Duncan Smith convinced that the Tories can win the trust of the nation THE Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition looks intently at me across the...

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Black magic is illegal in Zambia, says Hugh Russell, but there's a lot of juju about. The results can be embarrassingly painful Lusaka THE Zambia Copperbelt police chief...

Correction We regret that a letter published last week under

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the name of Oleg Gordievsky was not, in fact, from him.

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Are the blond, blue-eyed Afghans descended from Alexander the Great's soldiers? Matthew Leeming is determined to find out LAST summer I went on holiday to Afghanistan. I had...

Second opinion

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NATURE, in her infinite wisdom and mercy, has decreed that a goodly proportion of mankind should be born ugly: but that, of course, has not in the least discouraged mankind from...

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Fat people aren't victims, says Tania Kindersley. They're just fat, and it's time they were urged to shape up WE are all vast now. Columnists, doctors, cross-bench committees...

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Ancient & modern

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AT the Austrian Grand Prix last month, the Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello was ordered to pull over and let his world champion team-mate Michael Schumacher win. This caused...

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John Littlewood says that British share prices are weak because Labour loves regulations and hates profits age of hero worship. Why not harness that power in a campaign for...

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Banned wagon

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A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit WITH stock markets collapsing around her, taking our pensions with them, one might imagine that the Trade and Industry...

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The bees teach us that selfishness is the real face of altruism

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PAUL JOHNSON W hen I am looking at the poultry in Somerset, I am not idle. I am thinking. The three main species — ducks, geese and chickens, of various kinds — often fight...

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Escaping poverty

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From Mr Julian Filochowski Sir: Your commentary (Leading article, 29 June) on the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development's policy positions was wide of the mark, Cafod's demand...

Hell of a country

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From Mr J. Morrell Sir: Katie Grant's article ('Democracy: who needs it?', 29 June) on Turkmenistan is being passed around online Central Asian groups with queries as to whether...

New Tebbit test

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From The Rt Hon. Lord Tebbit Sir: Sarfraz Manzoor ( - England, my England', 29 June), a television journalist I regard highly, has long been welcome in Britain. May I also...

Leftie pro the Prince

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From Mr Francis Wheen Sir: Simon Heffer's robust defence of Prince Michael of Kent CA prince among men', 29 June) is marred only by his assertion that the prince's critics are...

Secret weapon

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From His Excellency Ghazi Algosaibi Sir: In his most recent hilarious-as-usual masterpiece, Mark Steyn (Dust bin', 29 June) refers, directly and indirectly, three times to Osama...

When Patton was powerless

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From Mr Robert Davies Sir: James Delingpole's barrack-room lawyer (Arts, 29 June) reminds me of an incident in Italy in 1943. The US general George Patton was inspecting a...

Ale and amnesia

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From Mr James Young Sir: Stephen Glover in his excellent piece on Fleet Street ('Power without responsibility', 29 June) mentions the Telegraph's watering-hole. the King and...

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The business of America is America and we'd better get used to it

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ATTHENk PARRIS T he answer to the question 'Why do US presidents throw their weight around?' is the same as the answer to the question 'Why do dogs lick their balls?' Because...

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The will to believe is what keeps markets going, until they go over the top

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CHRISTOPHER FILDES W hat a world-beating bezzle. It will go straight into the textbooks. Professors of economics will preach from it, to pupils who will have forgotten their...

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Groping for the Great American Novel

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Philip Hensher LEOPARDS IN THE TEMPLE by Morris Dickstein Harvard, £10.95, pp. 242, ISBN 0674006049 A merican culture and American polity exist in an uneasy relationship....

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From rages to riches

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Trevor McDonald SERIOUS by John McEwen Lit/c, Brown, £17.99, pp. 346, ISBN 0316859869 T his is a racy account of a turbulent odyssey from one-time tennis genius and foulmouthed...

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The China-sex-Bloomsbury formula for success

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Jonathan Mirsky K: THE ART OF LOVE by Hong Ying, translated by Nicky Harmon and Henry Zhao Marion Boyars, £9.99, pp. 252, ISBN 0714530727 A s China was adopting Leninist...

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Pop anthrop flop

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Digby Anderson IN THE DEVIL'S GARDEN: A SINFUL HISTORY OF FORBIDDEN FOOD by Stewart Lee Allen Canongam £14.99, pp. 315, ISBN 1841952222 M r Allen is quite the traveller. He...

On Reaching the Age of Eighty-five

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Gone are the days of youth No more returning. This is the simple truth, No point in yearning. First it's the eyes that go, Then it's the knees; Then comes the cruellest blow,...

The 'hero'

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on a pedestal Christopher Woodward THE ARCHITECT AND HIS WIFE by Jane Ridley Chatto, £25, pp. 488, ISBN 0701172010 S ome years ago Jane Ridley (with her mother Clayre Percy)...

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The latest and the worst

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Timothy Mo FRAGRANT HARBOUR by John Lanchester Faber, £16.99, pp. 300, ISBN 0576201768 H ong Kong is the elephants' graveyard of novelists, the last resort when they can...

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The real Sir Humphrey

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Jonathan Cecil STRAIGHT FACE by Nigel Hawthorne Hodder, £18.99, pp. 339, ISBN 0340769424 I n 1968 I appeared in my first radio play. It was a fustian historical piece peppered...

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Power and status in the city

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Robert Adam on why he believes Ken Livingstone wants more skyscrapers in London A bout a year ago Ken Livingstone said that he would like to see 15 new skyscrapers in London....

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Exhibitions 1

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Gilbert & George: The Dirty Words Pictures, 1977 (Serpentine Gallery, till 1 September) Grim outlook Martin Gayford A few years ago, during an interview, George of Gilbert &...

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Exhibitions 2

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Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Daniel Katz Gallery, 59 Jermyn Street, London SW!, till 19 July) Love of virtuosity Bruce Boucher M...


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Euryanthe (Glyndebourne) The Silver Tassie (Coliseum) Solemnity of Weber Michael Tanner E veryone wishes Euryanthe well, but it is an opera that simply refuses to oblige. Not...

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Take Me Out (Donmar Warehouse) Coming out Toby Young I 've been a theatre critic for only nine months so perhaps I'm not qualified to make this judgment, but contemporary...

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Rosemary Clooney Mark Steyn I t's slightly unsettling to think that these days Rosemary Clooney is best known as George Clooney's aunt. But then George's dad, Nick Clooney, a...

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Pop music

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Cultural divide Marcus Berkmann E ven in this time of great national pride, when the Cross of St George adorns every Irish pub and Chinese takeaway, and barely a third of the...


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The Wimbledon experience Simon Hoggart T he problem isn't really dumbing down, it's broadening out. The BBC doesn't think we're all stupid; it just believes that we can't...

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On wolves and saints Michael Vestey W hen I returned a call to BBC Television's Breakfast I was asked to be in Wembley the following morning to say why I hated football; it...

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The turf

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I should have plunged Robin Oakley S ome things in life give one a special, familiar pleasure: slipping into a slightly battered old pair of suede shoes, eating baked beans on...

High life

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Playing the game Taki L et me quote you a passage from a book of a second world war battle by Antony Beevor: The Greek garrisons on the Metaxas line fought with great...

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Low life

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Intimate discussions Jeremy Clarke I wasn't looking forward to visit six. Visits one to five of the clinical trial to test the relative merits of two rival anti-impotence...

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Singular life

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Tunes for the Tories Petronella Wyatt T he other day my singing teacher, Kate, took me to see a show at the King's Head pub in Islington, which has a small theatre. The...

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THANK YOU so much for your incredible response to Whichever?, the first ever non-subscription-only magazine for people who don't give a stuff about value for money and just want...

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No place for little girls

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Michael Henderson NO matter how snootily some people may dismiss Wimbledon, the annual festival of tennis on grass remains a magnificent event. You can grumble about the cliché...


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Q. When the local elections are due I always receive a visit from a councillor who speaks for himself or the colleague due for re-election. He is a charming man and we have...