6 OCTOBER 2001

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'He who hesitates, . . L abour gathered for a protracted party conference in Brighton. The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, confirmed that strikes would be made against the Taleban,...

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T here are some people who cannot stick the Prime Minister at any price. They find him phoney, insincere and reeking of greasepaint. They resent his clenched chin, his toothy...

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T he publishing director of The Architectural Review sends an urgent message for help. He was about to chair a meeting on the place of tall buildings in London, for the City...

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One wishes Blair the best of luck, but has he gone ever so slightly mad?

The Spectator

PETER OBORNE W ar has always been the accomplice of the Left and sometimes the motor of revolution. Income tax was first imposed by the younger Pitt in the Napoleonic wars. The...

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Almost everything you read about the 'war' is pure speculation and will turn out to be untrue

The Spectator

MATTHEW PARRIS I suppose we all remember where we were on that fateful morning when the Times and the Daily Telegraph published their graphologists' reports on the handwriting...

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Julian Manyon warns that America and her allies may find themselves bogged down in an old-fashioned war in their attempt to defeat the Taleban and bring Osama bin Laden to...

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Mind your language

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THERE are some books of which we imagine ourselves to be the discoverers, and so we like to bring our friends into the secret. Examples that are always being rediscovered are...

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Nothing offends like success, and, says Anne McElvoy, our warrior PM is making new enemies in New Labour GORE VIDAL told us that whenever he heard of a friend's success, a...

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Our reactions to the mass murder of 11 September must not be governed by the taste police, says Ross Clark UNLIKE Afghans under the Taleban, we free citizens of the world can...

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Ancient & modern

The Spectator

COMMENTATORS continue to huff and puff about the 'tragedy' of the Conservative party tearing itself apart. Democrats will not blink an eyelid. The purpose of a party is to serve...

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Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reveals that the EU is using the war on terrorism to threaten our freedom LET us be thankful. briefly, that the current director of Europol is a stout...

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Andrew Roberts on the political correctness and ignorance that contribute to America's intelligence failures SO where was Felix Leiter? In the James Bond movies the threatened...

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Theo Hobson invites the media's 'devout sceptics' to put up or shut up THERE is one attitude to religion especially favoured by the media, even more prevalent than left-wing...

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Mark Steyn says that the dead-eyed zombies of the peace movement are both heartless and stupid New Hampshire WHAT have we learnt since 11 September? We've learnt that poverty...

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Banned wagon

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A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit IT IS hard to believe that only a year ago the government was championing human rights as its big idea. Now it has...

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Bruce Anderson on the one group of terrorists that Tony Blair won't be able to defeat CENTRALISATION and authoritarianism can produce results. On all non-economic questions,...

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Tina Brown has nothing to worry about except perhaps 'infantilism against a backdrop of sexuality'

The Spectator

STEPHEN GLOVER A I was saying, Judy Bachrach has written a controversial book about Britain's most famous journalistic exports. Tina Brown and Harry Evans, which has recently...

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Less power to the lawyers

The Spectator

From Dr Charles Tannock, MEP Sir: The recent events in America and the possibility of further terrorist attacks make it all the more important to ensure that our borders are...

Something must be done

The Spectator

From Mr Joe Roeber Sir: It is not merely legitimate, it is necessary to look for the reasons why terrorists chose to bomb US targets, from large generalities (ways of life) to...

Khyber carry-ons

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From Joseph Aliharn Sir: Philip Hensher has given a splendid illustration of the pitfalls of Central Asian politics ('Death in the Khyber', 22 September), but he overlooks the...

The tug of loyalty

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From Maureen Mullarkey Sir: Stephen Schwartz makes passing reference to the 'lamented 1941 internment of Japanese Americans' (The Saudi connection', 22 September). There is...

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Not too much zeal

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From Mr Peter Dunsmore Sir: It has been well observed that countries have no friends, only interests. Politicians would do well to remember this and rein in their effusive...

Double standards

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From H.P Raynor Sir: Stephen Glover (Media studies, 22 September) makes an encouraging stand against terrorism, and is surely right to say that no crime of America's — real or...

Muslim virtues

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From Kristine Montamat Sir: Paul Johnson (And another thing, 22 September) proves the aphorism that the first casualty of war is truth. To claim that Muslims have always...

Above politics?

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From Mr John Young Sir: A great many people will endorse your concern (Profile of Gavyn Davies, 29 September) that the three most sensitive posts in the BBC, including those of...

Baptism of fire

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From Mr Robert Harbord Sir: It is interesting that last week's horrific attacks were carried out on a very important day in the Christian calender: on Tuesday, 11 of September...

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As Hamlet said, 'You lispe and

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nickname God's creatures' PAUL JOHNSON S o what has happened to nicknames? They used to be a feature of English (especially male) life. Everyone at a public school had one...

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T he world's financial markets now find themselves in the front line. They learned that last month in a few hideous minutes. Now they have to adjust to a new and more dangerous...

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Our railways are suffering thanks to a lack of dialogue between Treasury, Ministiy and the Strategic Rail Authority, says Alastair Morton SHOCK, horror! The Strategic Rail...

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Andrew Edgeeliffe-Johnson says that Wall Street and New York are determined to rise again New York JUST as every email on that first day started with the same words, Are you...

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Clive Holliek on how Labour became the party of business and how it could blow it POLITICS and business do mix, and are now doing so with increasing intimacy. No political...

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Alison Cottrell says the introduction of euro notes and coins alters everything WITH the shock waves of 11 September still reverberating, governments and central bankers alike...

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It will be harsh, but a weaker yen and a rise in interest rates is the only way to rebuild Japan's economy, says Tadashi Nakamae Tokyo EXCESS capacity and deflation are the...

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The new Culture Secretary has got off to a bad start with media moguls, says George Trefgarne THE prawn-cocktail offensive, when New Labour courted the City in the run-up to...

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Sarah Hogg says that history shows that venture capitalists should keep their nerve THESE are testing times, with the markets scared by terrorism, profit warnings and...

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The City is dominated by foreign companies. But, says Alastair Ross Goobey, these assure its future THE recent publication of David Kynaston's final volume of his history of...

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Favourites' chances in the Threadneedle as the City's great race opens up

The Spectator

CHRISTOPHER FILDES A shake-up in the betting for the City's classic event, the Threadneedle Street Stakes. The early favourite has dropped out and, with Sir Edward George a...

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Still making waves

The Spectator

Jasper Griffin THE MEDITERRANEAN AND THE ANCIENT WORLD by Fernand Braudel, translated by Shin Reynolds Allen Lane/Penguin, £20, pp. 354, ISBN 0713993316 F ernand Braudel is a...

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Mighty, if fallen

The Spectator

Douglas Johnson NAPOLEON BONAPARTE: ENGLAND'S PRISONER, THE EMPEROR IN EXILE by Frank Giles Constable, £18.99, pp. 206, ISBN 1841193909 W illiam Warden, a navy surgeon, served...

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Much given, something kept back

The Spectator

John Mortimer A COMMONPLACE BOOK by Alec Guinness Penguin,112.99, pp. 162. ISBN 024114146X A re you acting any more, Alec?' I asked him when I last saw him. 'Too old,' the...

A fine little malice machine

The Spectator

Hilary Mantel THE LAYING ON OF HANDS by Alan Bennett Profilel LRB,f6.99, pp. 110, ISBN 1861973748 I n his recent TV series, Telling Tales, Alan Bennett claimed that he had...

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A journey without maps

The Spectator

Anita Brookner AUSTERLITZ by W. G. Sebald Hanish Hamilton, £16.99, pp. 357, ISBN 02411.11257 E xiles inhabit another dimension, somewhere beyond nostalgia, in which acuity of...

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Posh pulls it off

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Vicki Woods LEARNING TO FLY: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Victoria Beckham Michael Joseph, £16.99, pp. 371, ISBN 0718144910 interviewed little Victoria Beckham four years ago when...

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Reader, I was that girl

The Spectator

Julie Burchill GIVE THE ANARCHIST A CIGARETTE by Mick Farren Cape, £16.99, pp. 421, ISBN 0224060740 H ere's one for 'Dear Mary' and no mistake. Recently, I have noticed that...

Turn and turn about

The Spectator

Christopher Ricks FURTHER REQUIREMENTS by Philip Larkin Faber, £25, pp. 377, ISBN 0571209459 B ccause Philip Larkin did not care for the thought of 'required reading' (with...

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Poet's guide to the galaxy

The Spectator

Grey Gowrie HERE TO ETERNITY by Andrew Motion Faber, £16.99, pp. 402, ISBN 0571 S ince he became Poet Laureate in 1999, Andrew Motion has been the subject of some teasing, in...

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An innocent, but not at home

The Spectator

Patrick Marnham HALF A LIFE by V. S. Naipaul Picador, £15.99, pp. 228, ISBN 0330485164 Wil lie Chandran, from a family of temple priests, grows up in a maharajah's state in...

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Amor Scientiae

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Ammo, a mass of Bunsen burners raised Above a mat, gas fire's blue-flamed salute A welcome into science; feeling praised, The classics left, a willing new recruit, I watched the...


The Spectator

home coming Sybille Bedford h e Naples boat was on time. The crossing — it was May — had not been too gruelling. Lightly one stepped ashore and into the funicular, and after...

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The Last Wave Before the Breakwater

The Spectator

The engine dies. The dream has by degree Come to where the green is lightening, the rocks Are somewhere in the civil distance — sea Is moving up in mist, a paradox Within this...

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Desperately seeking relevance

The Spectator

Josie Appleton on the identity crisis facing museums L istening to supporters of the social inclusion agenda call for the museum to become an 'agent of social change', one...

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Exhibitions 1

The Spectator

Surrealism: Desire Unbound (Tate Modern, till 1 January 2002) Disturbing pursuits Martin Gayford A t the age of six, Salvador Dali committed one of his first outrages. 'While...

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Exhibitions 2

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Bryan Wynter: A Selected Retrospective 1948-1975 (Tate St Ives. till 2 December) Elemental forces Laura Gascoigne T here's a famous story of an exchange between Laurence...

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Jenufa (Royal Opera) Olympian heights Michael Tanner I used to think that Jenufa was an uncomplicated opera of great power, direct and straightforward in its moral bearings....

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Allaying fury Peter Phillips I n the world of poetic allusions, music is probably most commonly associated with inducing sleep. Titania's 'Music ho, music, such as charmeth...


The Spectator

Les Ballets Trockadero de Montecarlo (Peacock Theatre, London WC2) A Streetcar Named Desire (Northern Ballet Theatre, Alhambra Theatre, Bradford) Irresistibly irreverent...

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (18, selected cinemas) Where evil triumphs Mark Steyn I had forgotten, if I ever knew, that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 had been banned in...

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The Homecoming (Comedy) Afore Night Come (Young Vic) Fourteen Songs, Two Weddings and a Funeral (Lyric Hammersmith) Vintage thugs Sheridan Morley O f all the plays of Harold...

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Blood, mud and bullets Simon Hoggart S teven Spielherg's Band of Brothers (BBC 2) has already been criticised for implying that the Americans won D-Day single-handed. People...


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Perilous pleasures Michael Vestey I have never read Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater, first published in 1822 and still in print. I find books about...

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Food for thought

The Spectator

Fungal forays Simon Courtauld 0 iie Sunday morning, a year ago, I joined a party of two dozen enthusiasts for what was described as a fungal foray in Savernake Forest. We were...

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Compulsive passions Alan Judd T hree books and two cars this month. The late Alan Clark's motoring writings. Backfire (Weidenfeld, £18.99), have been rightly praised. Clark...

The turf

The Spectator

Keeping the faith Robin Oakley P utting your faith in four legs is a swift route to the poor-house. I know, and I was disappointed when Nayef turned out in the 2000 Guineas...

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High life

The Spectator

Modern barbarians Taki IVenice felt like Aschenbach over the weekend, but in my case it wasn't over Tadzio, but Vittoria. Undoubtedly, Italian is the language d'amore, and...

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Low life

The Spectator

When the cat's away. . . Jeremy Clarke H ere at the residential home, Mum runs a tight ship. Too tight if you ask me. Both of our residents must think so, too, because the...

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Fare in the air

The Spectator

Petronella Wyatt W here is this deli?' asked the woman passenger next to me of the stewardess with eyes like Adriatic rock pools — grey and rimmed with thick black. 'We are not...

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Deborah Ross I PHONE my older sister and ask her if she would like to go to Harvey Nichols for lunch. 'Oh, goody,' she says. 'I'll just dust off the Christian Lacroix.'...

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Simon Hoggart I WAS discussing the present disturbing times over lunch with my old boss, Ian Aitken of the Guardian. 'What should we do to keep ourselves cheerful and sane on...

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Without the golden boy

The Spectator

Simon Barnes ENGLAND go into their final World Cup qualifying match against Greece on Saturday — and where is Michael Owen? Clutching his bum and cursing his fate. Pele. who...


The Spectator

Dear Mary. . . Q. We've just moved to the country. Do we have to give our guests in the spare bathroom brand-new, wrapped-up guest soap on both basin and bath, or can they...