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M r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, returning from a meeting

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at the White House with President George Bush of the United States, said, 'I believe there will be a second resolution,' referring to a further United Nations Security Council...

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The Spectator

E veryone knows that the National Health Service employs too many managers and too few nurses. Enter any saloon bar in the land and you will be told as much, But this popular...

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G eorge Bush is a reformed alcoholic, and takes staying on

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the wagon seriously. I have recently discovered that you can't get a drink at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, since it's located in the dry gulch of prohibitionist counties. As we...

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Cook the Martyr now has the luxury of resigning on his own terms

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PETER OBORNE T here is a moment in the Uncle Remus stories when Brer Rabbit is finally cornered by Brer Fox, who genially informs his victim 'I'm eoing to barbecue you today,...

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As pensions continue to fall in value, jobs are disappearing in the City. But, says Martin Vander Weyer, the fattest cats are still spending millions on the good life; and the...

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Mind your language

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'ARE you interested in penises, darling?' I asked my husband. 'Not really, dear. Wrong end of the market for me. I did once do the week after Christmas in a pox clinic when I...

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Mark Steyn says America has no place in a body whose Human Rights Commission is headed by Colonel Gaddafi New Hampshire EARLIER this week, on NBC's Today Show, Katie Couric,...

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Paul Robinson on why Europe's constitutional convention is a bureaucrat's dream — unlike the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 I ONCE heard of an Ivy League professor who had...

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Bishop Montefiore talks to Mary Wakefield about his new book on the paranormal — and shows her his watercolours THE country-and-western singer Kinky Friedman has a song called...

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Banned wagon: global

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A weekly survey of world restrictions on freedom and free trade THE genius of modern Europe is to have honed protectionism to such an art that in the minds of many Europeans it...

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Rod Liddle does not want to be offensive but he believes that blacks are better at soccer than whites — and so does the FA HERE's something to he cheerful about. At an English...

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With the BBC about to show a film about Philip Larkin, Robert Gore - Langton praises the poet who knew how to offend everyone PHILIP LARKIN, the miserable old git, has never...

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Hugh Trevor-Roper and the Monks of Magdalen

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PAUL JOHNSON H ugh Trevor-Roper was the unofficial but undisputed head of the histoly profession in England. I admired his wide learning and literary ability greatly. but...

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Unless Piers Morgan is careful, Richard Desmond could buy the Mirror

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STEPHEN (JLOVER P iers Morgan, the editor of the Daily Mirror, is an opponent of the coming war against Iraq. Fair enough. Many of us are unhappy about it. But he has taken his...

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The answer to Tony Blair's problems is staring him in the face

The Spectator

MATTHEW PAR RIS B rainwaves are unusual in the governance of men and it is rare that a knotty political problem invites a simple solution nobody had thought of before. But a...

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Green fightback

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From Mr Zac Goldsmith Sir: Lloyd Evans was apparently so agitated following lunch with various greens at The Spectator that he couldn't resist spilling the beans on a private...

Iraq's future

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From Dr Franz Metzger Sir: I couldn't help wiping some tears of happy emotion from my cheeks when I read Mark Steyn's predictions of a golden future not only for the people of...

Goering at Nuremberg

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From Mr f.M. Carder Sir: What a scoop for Petronella Wyatt (Singular life, 1 February)! The mystery of how Goering obtained a cyanide capsule to avoid the gallows in Nuremberg...

Bush and Blair

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From Mr Andrew Rawnsley Sir: I'm always flattered to be quoted in your pages, but much less so when the quotation is inaccurate. Contra Christopher Caldwell (The fruits of...

Minor worries

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From Mr Richard Abram Sir: The spirit of the Climbie caseworkers (How welfare killed Victoria', 1 February) is not confined to the social services. The other morning at rush...

Art for the people

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From Mr John V. Sheffield Sir: Philip Hensher's assertion (Books, 25 January) that art never belongs to anyone is rubbish. He says that it is not ours to lose or destroy — maybe...

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Whiff of La Dolce Vita

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From The Count Capponi Sir: What is lacking in Tobias Jones's book (Books, 25 January) is a more truthful description of Italian politics. No mention is made, so it seems, of...

US universities

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From Mr John Gadney Sir: Rachel Johnson (It's time for alumni preference', I February) is not strictly correct when she suggests that 'American universities do not depend on...

Pasiphae's progeny

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From Mr James Mulraine Sir: The addition of Tristan Garel-Jones (Arts, 1 February) to The Spectator staff as taurine correspondent would seem, after the appointment of Charles...

From Mr Laurie Stewart Sir: Do you really expect us

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to take your taurine correspondent seriously? Tristan Garel-Jones writes that it is 'a place where our proxy, the matador, looks real death in the face, and, in doing so,...

Wrong body part

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From Mr Jonathan Bouquet Sir: Your esteemed media correspondent Stephen Glover (Media studies, 1 February) refers to a girl having 'her bottom akimbo'. Apparently Mr Glover...

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It's a miracle that these snowdrops return, so please don't jump up and down on them

The Spectator

CHRISTOPHER FILDES I t is nature's annual miracle. Peeping up above the frozen ground like snowdrops, here come the High Street banks to tell us that they have survived another...

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The Spectator

question of upbringing Philip Hensher HITLER AND CHURCHILL by Andrew Roberts Weidenfeld, £18.99, pp. 202, ISBN 0297843303 S uperficially, Hitler and Churchill resembled each...

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Too funny for words

The Spectator

D. J. Taylor THIS IS CRAIG BROWN by Craig Brown Ebtay Press, £12, pp. 467, ISBN 0091888077 canning the preface to this lavish selection of Craig Brown's journalism, I was...

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A picture that tells a story

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Honor Clerk WHAT I LOVED by Sid Hustvedt Hodder. £14.99, pp. 370, ISBN 034068237X C an it be said that anyone is sane, that anyone is healthy — or does all life consist of...

Stopping short of omniscience

The Spectator

Sebastian Smee READING CHEKHOV by Janet Malcolm Granta..£13.99, pp. 210, ISBN 1862075867 A lthough Janet Malcolm has written in depth about an extraordinary range of subjects,...

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Feeling good in one's skin

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Ferdinand Mount RESPECT: THE FORMATION OF CHARACTER IN AN AGE OF INEQUALITY by Richard Sennett Allen Lane, 120, pp. 288, ISBN 071399617X O f all the unfashionable ideas you can...

among the least respectable people you can think of. Mafia

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dons demand — and get — rispetto. The most ruthless villains do not neglect to 'pay their last respects' to other villains. On our own mean streets gangstas and rappers insist...

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The hunter hunted

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Harriet Waugh LAND OF THE LIVING by Nicci French Michael Joseph, 116.99, pp. 320, ISBN 0718145186 A bbie Devereaux, the heroine of Land of the Living, finds herself hooded and...

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I was a camera

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Judith Flanders FROM LIFE by Victoria Olsen Aururn, £20, pp. 336. ISBN 1854108913 J ulia Margaret Cameron is hip. This would not have astonished her — she had every...

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Liquid and solid satisfaction

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Henry Hobhouse INDULGENCE by Paul Richardson Little, Brown, £14.99, pp. 311, ISBN 0316860956 C ocoa beans were 'found' by Europeans on Columbus's fourth, final and failed...

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Hepworth's silent classicism

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John Spurling on a centenary exhibition celebrating the sculptor's work B arbara Hepworth died in a fire in her St Ives home in 1975 and, although her reputation has not...

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Constable to Delacroix: British Art and the French Romantics (Tate Britain. till 11 May)

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Basement hotchpotch Andrew Lamb irth W hy are museums so fond these days of mounting shows in basements? The two least attractive suites of galleries currently used for...

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Brave old world

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Peter Phillips I don't know whether it is quite proper to say I knew it; but it is certainly accurate to say I'm glad of it. For some time it has been obvious that Macmillan...

The Capture of Troy (Coliseum)

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Greek travesty Michael Tanner O f all the composers who have treated dramatic subjects from the ancient world, only Handel, Gluck and Berlioz recreate anything like the...

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Spray happy

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Ursula Buchan I t was, in the words of Lou Reed, such a perfect day. The sun shone warmly, even though it was still only January, the more adventurous garden birds sang as if...

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Midnight's Children (Barbican)

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Losing the plot Toby Young I expect you've heard what a turkey Midnight's Children is. Or, rather, Sabnan Rushdie's Midnight's Children, to give it its proper title. The great...

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The Kid Stays In The Picture (15, selected cinemas)

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Boy mogul Mark Steyn T he Kid Stays In The Picture is the film of the book — or, more accurately, the film of the audiobook, since it was the tape version of Robert Evans's...

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Hazardous journey

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Michael Vestey V ietnam was the subject of Saigon Stories on Radio Four throughout this week, an insight into this once-closed country of contradictions. Dai Le, an Australian...

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Captivating conflict

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Simon Hoggart S ome programmes sneak up on you, like A Count - 1y Parish (BBC2). At first I thought in my metropolitanist way that the show, made in Manchester, didn't reach...

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In the know

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Robin Oakley I t is funny what you can come to enjoy when you are in the mood. There are even pleasures to he had, I discovered last week, sloshing along a forest trail in...

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Hurting people

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Taki D New York own to the nation's capital where war fever separates the boys from the girls. The former are fearless samurai such as Richard Perle, Bill Kristol, Elliott...

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Called to account

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Jeremy Clarke T he tax man, a Mr Matthews in my case, rang the other day. He said, 'Why haven't you answered our letters for the last four years, Mr Clarke?' I'd been dreading...

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Who's who?

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Petronella Wyatt A, I wrote last week, Florida, not to mention the United States, is full of surprises. Many practising Christians show a marked lack of opposition to...

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Deborah Ross

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MY friend Oscar says [should take him out to eat because he is 'poor'. 'Look at these shirt sleeves,' he says, hoiking them up. 'I've had this shirt since I was 12.' But Oscar,...

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Curtain-down time

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Michael Henderson FRANKIE HOWERD, that superb comedian, was once asked whether he enjoyed performing. I enjoy having performed,' was his reply, and plenty of his fellow mummers...

Q. I am in my gap year, have been travelling

The Spectator

to Vietnam and the Far East already, and was supposed to have gone off travelling again, this time to Eastern Europe, shortly after Christmas. This trip has now been postponed...

Q. At Paddington the other day I noticed a middle-aged

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female of my acquaintance pulling a suitcase with wheels on it. I have always been led to believe that wheels on a suitcase are irredeemably common. Is this no longer the case?...

Q. A recent reversal in fortune has meant that I

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am forced to use the Underground system as a means of transport. Is there any way in which I might give the impression to acquaintances who catch sight of me underground that I...

Q. My husband and I, and three children aged four,

The Spectator

six and nine, travel to Suffolk from London most weekends. We go directly past the door of a drive-in McDonald's just at a time when the traffic tends to grind to a halt with a...