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M r Michael Howard remained the only candidate for the leadership

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of the Conservative party after a vote the week before of 90 to 75 against a motion of confidence in Mr lain Duncan Smith, who later likened the event to a 'near-death...

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The cowardice of Labour

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1 t is too much to hope that by the time all our subscribers have received this week's magazine there will have been a change of government. Nevertheless, world events may have...

Page 11

T his is the best time of the year to be

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in northern China. The monsoon is over and the summer temperatures are cooling down in Beijing and Shanghai. It's the best time for food, too. 'The peaches are in season in...

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The growing mystery of a coup without a conspiracy

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L ast week's display of virtuosity by Michael Howard was immaculate, ruthless, perfectly executed: high politics at its purest and most beautiful. His clarity of vision,...

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B limey. You can't trust even an authorised biographer to draw

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a discreet veil these days, can you? In Niv: The Authorised Biography of David Ni yen Graham Lord — previously the biographer of Dick Francis and Jeffrey Bernard — exposes his...

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If ichael Howard can disown the past, so can we all

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T he Tory party's embrace of Michael Howard has caused much wonderment, particularly in the liberal press. One moment shadow minister after shadow minister declares undying...

Page 15

In the trough of the Long Wave, the Tories must move on from panic to funk

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ew economists have been martyred for their theories — more, perhaps, should be — but Nikolai Kondratieff fell foul of Stalin, was sent to Siberia and shot. Michael Howard should...

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Why Britain is furious with America

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As Iraq seems to be turning into a quagmire, Max Hastings reveals that proposals made by the British government and military have been repeatedly ignored by the Bush...

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A weekly survey of world restrictions on freedom and free trade This column acquires a new identity this week. We don't claim to have coined the term `globophobia' to describe...

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Europeans are worse than cockroaches

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There is a Cold War between the US and the EU, says Mark Steyn, and it will end with the collapse of Old Europe New Hampshire H ere's a round-up of recent items from the...

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'I been born to play domino'

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Sam Leith attends the World Championship of Dominoes in Jamaica, and finds the contestants thumping the tables and dancing the funky chicken T he sound in the Grand Hall is...

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The key to \o. 10

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Bruce Anderson on the challenge facing Michael Howard in the run-up to the next election T , here is a piquancy. Back in 1997, Michael Howard launched a confident challenge...

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God bless the future king

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Enough is enough, says Simon Heifer. We must stop kicking the Prince of Wales. In time he will make an excellent monarch I n the autumn of 1896 the then Prince of Wales was...

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The price of liberty

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Adrian Hilton says that the Act of Settlement must not be repealed, because a Roman Catholic monarchy would destroy our religious and civil liberties A cross the whole gamut of...

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Ancient & modern

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What should men pray for? The Roman satirist Juvenal (writing c. Al) 120) famously answered mens sana in copore sano, a healthy mind in a healthy body'. One wonders what he...

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Mind your language

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'This is a good one,' said my husband, bubbling into his Famous Grouse. Abbreviator: An officer of the court of Rome appointed to draw up the Pope's briefs.' 'But that can't...

Why we need Khodorkovsky

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Rachel Polonsky on the fight to save a private school that is threatened by Russia's new cultural and economic thuggery Moscow I n Britain, it is easy to forget what an...

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I was out in Westminster one morning last week when suddenly the streets seemed to fill with traffic wardens. It was 8.30, and I was most impressed; such signs of punctuality...

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Why do the Aussies hate us? Can it be because they feel inferior?

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ii. wonder if there is anything we might do to help the Australians? They seem to be suffering from both an identity crisis and an inferiority complex. It must be terribly...

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A tribute to the greatest writer

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in English of the 20th century R ummaging through a pile of old books in a fierce attempt to impose order on one tiny corner of the house, I pulled out a tattered volume, 58...

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Racism in the army

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From John R. Brown Sir: Leo McKinsuy argues that a double standard is applied when the British police are held to a higher standard than other citizens in regard to making...

Fascists and Falangists

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From Robert Key MP (Conservative) Sir: In his trenchant review of the state of the Conservative party (The cult of treachery', 1 November), Peter Oborne makes two assertions...

Impossible universe

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From Julius Wroblewski Sir: Many creationists and evolutionists see the debate about Darwinism as a battleground over the existence or non-existence of God (The mystery of the...

Safire said it first

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From The Lord Feldman of Frognal Sir: Much as I enjoyed the positive tone of Howard I. Shapiro's letter on the state of Iraq (25 October), I must tell him that he is wrong in...

Magnificent signing

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From Robin Hitchcock Sir: As a profoundly deaf opera-goer, I was absolutely appalled to read Max Hastings's diary entry in your magazine (25 October) regarding a signed opera at...

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The wit of Whitlam

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From John Peel Sir: The Questing Vole (18 October) is taking liberties in attributing the 'I'm a country member/I do remember' exchange to something overheard in the London...

Liddle errors

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From The Revd Jonathan Jennings Sir: I hesitate to come between Rod Liddle and the wrath he wishes to visit on his successor as editor of the Today programme and on the BBC more...

Judgment of Donovan

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From Paul Donovan Sir: Your splendid critic Michael Vestey (Radio, 1 November) has unfortunately been led astray by one of those anonymous informants who plague us all. He says...

Noble paparazzo

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From Michel Dion Sir: Princess Diana's death has given rise to a lot of speculation and will continue to do so. Stephen Glover's reckoning (Media studies, 25 October) is wrong...

Allowed a grouse

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From Stephen Hardwick Sir: Before Max Hastings exacts vengeance on BAA for the unfortunate temporary confiscation of his grouse at Heathrow, can we be allowed to plead for our...

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So that's settled until the plotters next lose the plot

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M uch has been made of how Mr Howard has started with the support of all Conservative factions, no matter how opposed they may be to one another. He is supported by...

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Well preserved

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Victoria Lane goes in search of some tasteful taxidermy ehind the bar in my local pub, above the pork scratchings and jars of pickled mussels, is more preserved wildlife, a...

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It's my bag

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John Laughland T here are moments in life when one realises that one has gone a little bonkers. In my case, they occur quite frequently. The last occasion was when I was...

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High spirits

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Michael McMahon I Vs not often that one gets to taste cognac that costs £1,000 a bottle. It's not often that I do. anyway. I was most particularly looking forward to my stay at...

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Fighting fit

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Jonathan Ray M y wife believes that men fall into two categories: those who take to their beds and whinge at the slightest cold — which they call flu — and those who grit their...

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Soft option

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Jeremy Clarke years ago I dated a woman whose body, when I first clapped eyes on it, was so amazingly well proportioned that it intimidated me and I was unable to function...

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Gathering nuts

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Harry Mount arely had it landed on its final flight than 1./Concorde was being stripped for collectors, And it's only a couple of weeks before the first auction related to the...

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Great escapes

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Lucy Vickery It's time you took a swim in Lake You' is lthe sort of advice that would probably make you want to throttle the well-meaning self-help practitioner dispensing it,...

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It's the same the whole world over

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Philip Hensher STRANGERS: HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE 19TH CENTURY by Graham Robb Picador, £18.99; pp. 336, ISBN 0330482238 Q ne has to ask the question: is this, intrinsically, an...

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Backing into the limelight

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Montagu Curzon BACKROOM BOYS: THE SECRET RETURN OF THE BRITISH BOFFIN by Francis Spufford Faber, £15.99, pp. 234, ISBN 0571214967 T he traditional boffin. as is well known,...

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Battling for Britain Prussian style

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Raymond Carr PROF: THE LIFE OF FREDERICK LINDEMANN by Adrian Fort Cape, £18.99, pp. 377, ISBN 02244063170 D uring my first term at Oxford in 1938, when walking down the south...

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The butler's done it now

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Anne Chisholm A ROYAL DUTY by Paul Burrell Penguin/Michael Joseph, £17.99, pp. 395, ISBN 0718147202 I n all the uproar of indignation surrounding the publication of this book,...


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by Mrs Moneypenny One evening, many Augusts ago, I spent an unforgettable evening with a remarkable man. Academically, intellectually and commercially he was leagues ahead of...

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Plumbing the freezing depths

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Adam Nicolson TRAWLER by Redmond O'Hanlon Hamish Hamilton, £20, pp. 339, ISBN 0241140145 p retty soon after beginning his twoweek descent into the Dantean world of the modern...

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The Marxist and the Methodist

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Murray Sayle CHIANG KAI-SHEK AND THE CHINA HE LOST by Jonathan Fenby Free Press, £25, pp. 562, ISBN 0743231449 E ven in his glory days Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, durable...

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A girl's own adventure

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Olivia Glazebrook OLIVIA JOULES AND THE OVERACTIVE IMAGINATION by Helen Fielding Picador, £12.99, pp. 343, ISBN 0330432737 0 livia Joules is born Rachel Pixley, a 'normal...

Airbrushing out and filling in

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Nicholas Fearn How THE MIND FORGETS AND REMEMBERS: THE SEVEN SINS OF MEMORY by Daniel L. Schacter Souvenir, £18.99, pp. 206, ISBN 0285636839 I f one ever wonders just how...

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Man of many guises

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Andrew Lambirth on an exhibition showing the diverse talents of the actor manager David Garrick D avid Garrick (1717-79) was widely acknowledged to be the greatest actor of his...

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The rule of opera

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Peter Phillips S itting around the cafés of central Europe, as I am having to do at the moment, is not all bad. The Austrian ones have accretions of unthreatening-looking dust...

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Fun for all ages

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Giannandre a Poesio Inbal Pinto Dance Company Barbican Russell Maliphant Company Queen Elizabeth Hall M agic creatures do not normally populate the realms of modern and...

Enthusiastic response

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Michael Tanner Emma civAntiochia Royal Festival Hall Ion Linbuty Theatre M ost seasoned opera-goers wouldn't feel ashamed of never having seen, or even heard, an opera by...

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Political Primer

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Toby Young Justifying War Tricycle The Straits Hampstead A View from the Bridge West Yorkshire Playhouse T went along to the Tricycle with high hopes last Tuesday, expecting...

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Sedating the masses

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Mark Steyn Matrix Revolutions 15, selected cinemas Meo is back, though he's looking some what palaeo for a guy who's only been around four years. When first we met him in The...

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Dipping into digital

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Michael Vestey W hen the BBC asked me, and other critics, recently if we listened to digital radio I had to reply that I didn't, If I had digital, I added, I probably wouldn't...

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No votes for Pooh

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James Delingpole T his has been the year when I finally learned the true meaning of insomnia: not, as I once innocently thought, tossing and turning for a couple of hours...

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Big mouth

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Simon Courtauld I 'm not sure that I have ever seen a whole anchovy, freshly caught with its head on. They are to be found in Mediterranean markets, especially between Nice and...

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Dressed to kill

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Charles Moore en an effort — temporarily success ful is made to declare Mr Jorrocks mad, part of the clinching evidence is his attitude to the weather. A witness deposes that...

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Missed opportunity

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Taki New York H ad I known that Sandra Howard would turn into such a star, I would have given her Tender Is the Night 40 years ago. It was 1963, and Edmond de Rothschild...

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Signing the Declaration

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Jeremy Clarke B yday Clive drives a tractor. At night he tramps the fields with a pair of greyhound collie crosses called Knocker and Tip and a lamp. The lamp he is currently...

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Telling the Americans

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Petronella Wyatt Virginia H ooray, hooray, I shouted from my present American perch when I heard the news that the nice but ineffectual kin Duncan Smith was being replaced by...

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M y parents are heartbroken. Their favourite restaurant, Laurent, a cosy couscous place in Childs Hill, has

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closed. 'We are heartbroken,' says my mother, 'Laurent just had enough.' `Oh dear,' I say, sympathetically. `But a new Italian place has opened, where the waitress adores your...

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Still tickling

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MICHAEL HENDERSON W hat a treat it was to encounter Ken Dodd again last week, at the Hippodrome Theatre in Birmingham. As youthful revellers frolicked in the city's bars and...

Q. I have a pressing question. Although I am as

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addicted to my mobile as anyone else, I do try to keep conversations in public to a minimum. But I have noticed that on London buses there is a very plague of incessant...

Q. My wife and I invited a friend to dinner

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along with another mutual friend. He told this fourth party that he could not 'hack' the journey to Streatham, where we live, suggesting that we meet instead at an expensive...