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M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, said at a press

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conference in Sedgefield that a dossier on Iraq's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons development would be published. 'I hate war. Anyone with any sense hates war,' he...

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S addam Hussein is a dangerous and evil man, and the world would be a better and safer place if he were removed from power. A killer from early adolescence, he is brutal and...

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T his being the first anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, I feel that prudence requires anyone writing a Diary in The Spectator — which has become the...

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Will Brown do to Blair what Macmillan did to Eden at Suez?

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PETER OBORNE T he greatest part of the Blair premiership has been notable for its sideways, crablike movements. Even on the occasions when the Prime Minister has been clear in...

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After 11 September America knows who the enemy is, says Mark Steyn. There can be no more polite fictions. Moral clarity and the Bush doctrine of pre-emption now govern world...

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The Saudi ambassador tells Boris Johnson that America is hated and war on Iraq is mad 'NO, no,' says the Saudi ambassador. 'this is how you do it. You cannot lift your arm...

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Neil Clark is a fierce critic of US foreign policy, but he detests the ignorant anti-Americanism of left-liberals 'I AM 25, a graduate who has travelled extensively after...

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Ancient & modern

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THE media have been collectively tuttutting over the mindless mob that gathered to abuse a woman held on bail over the Soham murders. Nothing new there: the Roman historian...


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Inigo Thomas was a mile from the Twin Towers when the planes hit. Here he describes his day of terror IF you have lived in New York for some time, you will know that the days...

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Mind your language

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'COO, coo, coo,' said my husband. 'Like a pigeon.' This was not, fortunately, a command, though, heaven knows, it might have been. He was merely giving his opinion, fairly...

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Mary Wakefield reveals the sorry secrets of the psychics who have been doing brisk business since 11 September AFTER 11 September, New Yorkers started going to church again....

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The only way to save the planet is to get rid of poverty, says Andrew Kenny; but at Johannesburg the eco-fascists missed the point Johannesburg WHEN an African arrives in...

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There is little doubt that Dr Kissinger possesses opinions, but is he prepared to use them?

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FRANK JOHNSON D r Kissinger recently wrote an article on what should be done about Saddam. The liberal New York Times's front page reported that Dr Kissinger's article had come...

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The Seven Railway Virgins and Supermac's Golden Seal

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PAUL JOHNSON I have recently sampled long-distance rail travel in New Labour Britain. It is not as horrible as some claim, but it is crowded, slow, dirty and tedious. All the...

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Wales for the Welsh

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From Mr Nicholas Bennett Sir: Despite Jan Morris's attempt to disguise her view that the Englishman should not buy a home in Wales ('Go home, Englishman', 31 August) as cultural...

From Mr James Noble Sir: The combination of Jan Morris's

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ludicrous praise of the Welsh Ca courteous race, all too anxious to please', 'practising their harps') with her denigration of the English (who like 'pot noodles and crisps') is...

You cannot be serious

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From Dr C.J. Caldwell Sir: On reading your leading article (Nothing is "sustainable" ' , 31 August) 1 assumed that April Fool's day must have been moved to August at The...

Fair exchange

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From Mr Jeremy Lowry Sir: South African President Thabo Mbeki's Earth Summit demand for cash from the West to 'eradicate poverty and underdevelopment' will attract little...

Taking over

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From Mr Rodney Atkinson Sir: Eve-Ann Prentice ('German invasion', 24 August) details the ways in which Germany is invading Serbia by commercial means. One of the prime targets...

A majority sport

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From Virginia Fettarappa-Robinson Sir: Many thanks to Michael Yardley (Conspiracy against shooting', 24 August) for his robust defence of this 'minority sport' and condemnation...

An English legacy

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From Mr Paul Callan Sir: Mary Wakefield's study of Lynda LeePotter's personal universe ('She must be joking', 31 August) made fascinating reading. I recall all too vividly...

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Fathers and children

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From Dr Stephen Baskerville Sir: Griffin Stone's excellent piece ('When your wife kidnaps your child', 24 August) on child-stealing from fathers implies that it is a British...

Presence recorded

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From Mr Adrian Sanders, MP Sir: Shelagh Shepherd's otherwise excellent article (Parish slump', 3 August) on New Labour's attitude to parish councils was spoilt by an...

Dangerous friendship

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From Mr Roy Whittaker Sir: The Revd Frank Gelli's letter (31 August) in response to Mark Steyn's article (The war Bush is losing'. 24 August) does him credit as a Christian. But...

Primacy regained

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From Mr Frederick Forsyth Sir: Mr Jack Straw would have it that the EU needs a written constitution to 'reassure the public that national governments will remain the primary...

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There are lies, damned lies and newspaper circulation figures

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STEPHEN GLOVER N ewspapers, as we know, love truth. They castigate evasive politicians and track down dodgy businessmen. They deliver ringing lectures in their editorial...

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Sardines do a brisk trade in the High Street, so long as no one opens the tins

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CHRISTOPHER FILDES 0 ne of the first laws of trade is that that there are two kinds of sardine. One is for eating, but the other kind is for buying and selling, so there is no...

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An ending but not a conclusion

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Philip Hensher A WHISTLING WOMAN by A. S. Byatt Chatto & Windus. f16.99, pp.423, ISBN 0701173807 W ith A Whistling Woman, A.S. Byatt concludes one of the grandest and most...

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Sniggling with a darning needle

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Digby Anderson THE BOOK OF EELS by Tom Fort HarperCollins, L16.99, pp. 286, ISBN 000711592X I have always counted myself a loyal, even an enthusiastic eel fan. I seek them out...

A phoenix rising from European ashes

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A. N. Wilson THE ORCHARDS OF SYON by Geoffrey Hill Penguin, £9.99, pp. 72 ISBN 0141009918 I t is impossible in a short space to convey not merely how good, but how important...

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Grimly comic menace

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Sam Phipps PORNO by Irvine Welsh Cape, 170, pp. 484, ISBN 02246181X P omo is billed as 'the sequel to Trainspotting', which immediately is a worrying sign, like the blow-up...

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The master of reticence and timelessness

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Christopher Woodward ON A GRANDER SCALE: THE OUTSTANDING CAREER OF CHRISTOPHER WREN by Lisa Jardine HarperCoffins. £25, pp. 624, ISBN 007107757 J ardine's book begins inside...

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The law of the letter

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Kevin Jackson ELLA MINNOW PEA: A NOVEL IN LETTERS by Mark Dunn Methuen, £9.99, pp. 203, ISBN 0413772470 T he quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog': almost everyone knows...

Plucking at the sighing harp of time

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David Caute THE STORY OF LUCY GAULT by William Trevor Viking, £16.99, pp. 227, ISBN 0670913241 W illiam Trevor is the voice of a civilised Anglo-Ireland capable of apologising...

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There had been dew. Perhaps a light rain. And a blot drew my eye to that square of light through my kitchen window. Closer. I saw pincer legs measure out each wire. That pause...

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Sense and sensitivity

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Museums are restricting access to certain artefacts so as not to give offence, says Tiffany Jenkins D espite much talk of access, museums are being encouraged to hide artefacts...

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Intriguing priorities

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Martin Gayford S ometimes a smaller exhibition can be more revealing than a big one. Ben Nicholson got the full Tate retrospective treatment almost a decade ago on the occasion...

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Wagner excitement

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Michael Tanner reliefs are more earthy and wonky, irregular shapes and earth colours — as in the nutty brown of '1970 (Tuscan Landscape)'. They obviously belong to the same...

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Shocked by Brecht

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Toby Young 0 ne of the surprising things about being a theatre critic is how many of the socalled masterpieces of the stage turn out to be damp squibs. Tartuffe, for instance,...

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New beginnings

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Ursula Buchan W hen does the autumn begin? Is it that moment when the last ball is bowled in the C & G final or the last obstacle cleared at Burghley Horse Trials? When the...

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Romantic romp

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Mark Steyn C an Oscar Wilde be played as P.G. Wodehouse? That's the question raised by Oliver Parker's take on The Importance of Being Earnest. You know the plot: 1895, two...

Imbalance and bile

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Michael Vestey T here is something about George W. Bush that almost unhinges his political opponents. Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan aroused similar hatred, not just for...

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In a dither

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James Delingpole I t's a ludicrously hot day and I don't really want to be writing a TV review at all; I want to spend the afternoon swimming, possibly appeasing my Protestant...

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Sandown celebs

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Robin Oakley D erek Thompson would, I suspect, like to have been Busby Berkeley or Cecil B. de Mille. In the unsaddling enclosure at Sandown on Saturday the Channel 4...

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Puffing away

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Taki INew York started smoking aged 13 at Lawrenceville school. Pall Mall's unfiltered, in a large red packet. It was illegal, but so was masturbation, which we were told by...

Literary intercourse

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Jeremy Clarke A Christian acquaintance sends me a typed newsletter once a month. She lives 'by faith' (no job) and at the end of her newsletters always invites me to contribute...

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Passing on

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Aidan Hartley A the anniversary of you-know-what comes up I have been reading about the Mad Mullah of British Somaliland. He was inspired by Wahabism and on the eve of...

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Living dangerously

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PetroneIla Wyatt T he fashion folk are upon us again. The other day I was reading a list of so-called must-have fashion items in one of the newspapers. These included a Matthew...

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On song and off form

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Michael Henderson EARLIER this year, during a conversation in Munich with John Tomlinson, the great bass, who was appearing in that city's famous opera house, we wondered...

Q. For years I have suffered embarrassment at the hands

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of my father's gluttony — specifically his habit of ordering an entire pint of ice cream when we go out, enough to satisfy an entire family, and devouring it at the gelato shop...

Q. I am 33 years old. My problem is that,

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although I sleep very well, for the first part of each day my face looks terribly old and haggard as though I have slept badly. I find myself at a loss as to what to say when I...

Q. A friend has self-published a novel after having had

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his manuscript rejected by numerous publishers. Needless to say, it is embarrassingly had and almost unreadable. He is pestering me to tell him what I think of it. What can I...

Q. I have been invited to appear on Question Time.

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I am loath to make the journey to somewhere like Sheffield or Middlesbrough and to have to join someone like Ann Widdecombe or Jo Brand for dinner unless I am handsomely...