9 MARCH 2002

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T he black newspaper the Voice called for increased use of

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police powers to stop and search in order to combat street crime in London, particularly the use of firearms. A judge told Ashley Walters, known as Asher-D in the group So Solid...

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BOYCOTT McDONALD'S A nong the sesame-seed-chomping brigands of the anti-globalisation movement

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poised with half-bricks outside their local McDonald's, there must be a sense of confusion. In America, they believed they had an arch-enemy. The sight of American brand names...

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I n the Independent last week, I compared Stephen Byers's performance

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in the Commons to Marshal Foch, a man whose centre was giving way and whose right was in retreat, and duly concluded, 'Situation excellent. I shall attack.' Or rather, I had...

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Dead children are not reliable counsellors: it is time to legalise heroin

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BRUCE ANDERSON T hey were heart-rending photographs. A young girl, whose sweet face sang of the hope and joy of youth; a couple of years later, she is a broken, beggarly...

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The editors of the Sun and the Mirror have only been to tea at Chequers, but there are some so grand that they are more lavishly received. Peter °borne reveals their names...

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Mind your language

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WITH all the enthusiasm of a neophyte I passed on the exciting discoveries I had made about the origins of Latin (26 January). I said that a sixth-century BC fibula, or brooch,...

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George Monbiot on how Tony Blair's partnership of convenience with the private sector is fleecing the taxpayer THE government can't pretend that it lacked advice. In 1997,...

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Rod Liddle on why the innocent peanut is being hunted to extinction by the allergy police IT's always a life-affirming moment — for me, at least. The aeroplane has groaned and...

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Mark Steyn says that it's time to destroy the Arab kingdom which, directly or indirectly, is responsible for 11 September New Hampshire JOANNE JACOBS, formerly a columnist...

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Ancient & modern

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AN ancient Athenian witnessing the lying of government and its hangers-on over the Stephen Byers affair would have been no more or less surprised than any of us at the sight of...


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Julian Manyon says that the intercommunal violence in India is likely to get a lot worse Ahmedabad THERE are times in this business when you feel you have made a mistake,...

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Andrew Gimson accompanies David Willetts to Birmingham, and finds misery, comedy, resentment and hope LAST week I went to Birmingham with David Willetts, the Conservative MP...

Second opinion

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A VISITOR to our grey and ghastly land might easily conclude that it had just emerged from a prolonged period of severe drought and famine, for the English seem incapable these...

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Clive Aslet says the Paris agricultural show proves that the French, unlike the British, rejoice in country living THERE is no doubt about it, the French know how to put on a...

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A threnody for the declining art of rudeness

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PAUL JOHNSON T he man who has been labelled 'the rudest man in Britain' is to be paid £75,000 an hour to entertain television viewers with the story of the monarchy. I came...

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In continuing to cut the crap, Greg Dyke is placing trash TV above public service broadcasting

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STEPHEN GLOVER T he odds are that Greg 'cut the crap' Dyke may be the last director-general of the BBC in its guise as a public service broadcaster. It becomes clearer all the...

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Royal value for money

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From Mrs Jennifer Miller Sir: Perhaps the greatest weakness of our monarchy is the constant malicious misrepresentation of royal finances; so Simon Heffer's brilliant and...

From Mr Stephen David Sir: I feel that Simon Heifer

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has rather missed the point. Many would agree that the government is wasteful and is too careless with our money, but that does not render criticism of royal expenditure...

The US and us

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From Mr John Dickenson Sir: Mark Steyn's further analysis of the soft elements in Europe (On the right side of history', 23 February) reminds me of the perfect embodiment of...

From Dr Franz Metzger

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Sir: Sorry to put a damper on Mark Steyn's almost rhapsodic praise of the great and wonderful US of A, but I don't think that America is really entitled to receive the full...

Fruit for the loins

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From Mr Duncan Blake Sir: I read with interest the correspondence regarding the article on possible links between sexual activity and prostate cancer (The wages of sex,' 19...

Immoderate Arabs

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From Mr Percy Gourgey Sir: In referring to the right of self-determination for the inhabitants of Palestine (Letters, 23 February) Piers Paul Read overlooks the fact that this...

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Afghan deaths

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From Mr Oliver Kamm Sir: John Collins (Letters, 2 March) dissembles in his defence of Noarn Chomsky's claims of several million casualties of US action in Afghanistan. Chomsky...

Calgary flame

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From Mr William R. Morosse Sir: Please pass on to Taki that there were at least two gold medallists of African descent in the recent winter Olympic Games (High Life, 2 March)....

From Mr R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr

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Sir: Taki writes in his column of last week . , handball, whatever that is'. Many of our mutual friends on both sides of the Atlantic have written to me saying that they were...

Ussher nonsense

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From Mr Chris Wheal Sir: Paul Johnson (And another thing, 16 February) wants another 'religious reawakening' in America. Bad idea. There are more than enough religious wackos...

Exams for MPs

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From Mr Harry Woolf Sir: Your leading article of 2 March says that all spin doctors and special advisers to government should sit civil service exams. Many years ago I...

In praise of big bums

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From Mr Paul Coletti Sir: Jo Johnson (Down with Oncle Sam!', 23 February) quotes Jean-Pierre Chev'enement as saying that America is responsible for the tretinisation of the...

Heavenly hostile

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From Mr James Young Sir: Dot Wordsworth (Mind your language, 2 March) is right about the pronunciation of Osama bin Laden's first name. It's Osama, with the stress on the first...

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Napoleon and Hitler would have been hopeless at business; so why is business obsessed with war?

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FRANK JOHNSON T he new Times editor, Robert Thomson, is reported to be a student of Sun Tzu's Art of War (c. 500 ac). His having been long in the United States suggests that he...

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What though the spicy breezes blow soft o'er Buenos Aires, incompetence messes it up

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CHRISTOPHER FILDES T he missionary Bishop Heber wrote a hymn about Ceylon: 'Where every prospect pleases And only man is vile.' On being told that this was unfair to his...

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On the beach with the peacemakers

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Charlotte Metcalf visits East Timor, the first new country of the millennium THE immigration official raised his eyebrows, then frowned. 'What is the purpose of your visit?' he...

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Profoundly glorious

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Thomas Cussans SPRING comes early to the CharenteMaritime. In the first week of March the temperature sometimes nudges the 70s. Children run about in T-shirts and shorts under...

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Venice is optional

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Francis X. Rocca IT WAS going to be the working holiday of my dreams. I'd spend mornings in the luminous, high-vaulted reading-room of the state archives, poring over...

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Michael Henderson FIRST, it is important to recognise what Lancashire is. Despite the worst efforts of local government reorganisation in 1974, which created the metropolitan...

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'I'm the other one'

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Anita Brookner NEGOTIATING WITH THE DEAD by Margaret Atwood CUP, £13.50, pp. 219, ISBN 0521662605 N o man is a hero to his own body, observes Margaret Atwood in her...

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My kingdom for a mother!

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Robert Macfarlane BABEL: A NATURAL HISTORY OF LANGUAGE by John McWhorter Hamish Hamilton, £15.99, pp. 400, ISBN 04434007897 C ertain languages, particularly tonal languages,...

The fabulous Baker boys

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Michael Glover IMPERIAL VANITIES by Brian Thompson HarperCollins, £17.99. pp. 271, ISBN 0002571889 h is piece of fairly frothy historymaking, a rollicking good 'human-interest...

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The Captain and the deflater

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Sara Wheeler CAPTAIN COOK: OBSESSION AND BETRAYAL IN THE NEW WORLD by Vanessa Collingridge Ebuty, £17.99, pp. 376, ISBN 0091879132 G iven the appetite of our troubled times...

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The auld, auld story

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Christian Hesketh THE NEW PENGUIN HISTORY OF SCOTLAND FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE PRESENT DAY edited by R. A. Huston and W. W. J. Knox Penguin, £25, pp. 573, ISBN...

Exploring the revolutionary legends

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Douglas Johnson REVOLUTIONARY FRANCE: 1788-1880 : THE SHORT OXFORD HISTORY OF FRANCE edited by Malcolm Crook O(1P, L37.50 6E14.99 paperback), pp. 250, ISBN 0198731868 I n his...

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Pointing the finger

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Andro Linklater INDEXERS AND INDEXES IN FACT AND FICTION edited by Hazel K. Bell The British Library, £16, pp. 160, ISBN 0172347291 A n index indicates. And if it did no more...

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Faith and regiment

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Allan Mallinson FUSILIER: RECOLLECTIONS AND REFLECTIONS, 1939-1945 by John McManners Michael Russell £17.95, pp. 225, ISBN 0859552691 L ike Brother Cadfael, another soldier who...

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The lad done good

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D. J. Taylor A SEASON WITH VERONA by Tim Parks Seeker, 416.99, pp. 447, ISBN 0436275953 W hen was it, you wonder, that football stopped being football? In some ways this is a...

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Aspects of love

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Christopher Holmes rirninally atmospheric music introduces Ian Rankin's Witch Hunt. The scene is set for a gripping detective thriller from the successful Rankin, this time...

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From stage to screen

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Michael Kustow on Peter Brook's television version of Hamlet As a precocious child in Chiswick, Peter Brook performed Hamlet in his parents' drawing-room, playing all the parts,...

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Too easily influenced

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Martin Gayford C harles Baudelaire, in addition, of course, to being a great poet, was no mean art critic. Writing in 1846 about the annual Parisian exhibition known as the...

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Beset by problems

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Robin Simon T he Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, has reinvented itself as the National Gallery of the North'. It is still housed in the same majestic neoclassical building but...

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Lacking vitality

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Michael Tanner S ally Beamish's first opera, Monster, sports a distinguished cast: Byron, Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, Charles and Mary Lamb, Coleridge and...

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In the name of God

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Peter Phillips L ooking at the icons of Andrei Rublev, the eponymous hero of Tarkovsky's great film. in Moscow's Trityakov gallery, I felt I could have been looking at...

Change for change's sake

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Ursula Buchan I their lives, gardeners seek perfection in what they do, endeavouring to create immaculate landscapes populated with ideal plants. In doing so, they know they...

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Colonial condescension

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Toby Young I find myself in a minority of one this week, The Mysteries has opened to universal praise from the critics and rapturous, ecstatic applause from audiences. On the...

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Read the book

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Mark Steyn T he best thing about We Were Soldiers is how bad it is. I don't mean 'bad' just in the sense that it's written and directed by Randall Wallace, screenwriter of...

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Digital drivel

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James Delingpole L ast weekend, along with a zillion and one other saps, I paid £10 to go and see a large number of giant silk-screen prints little different in quality to the...

Those touchy feely times

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Michael Vestey A nthony Howard's brilliant six-part series about the monarchy on Radio Four drew to a close on Monday with an assessment of the effect on the royal family of...

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Dawn raids

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Robin Oakley I think it was George Orwell who once described advertising as the rattling of a stick in a swill bucket. Some seem to think the Jockey Club's action in choosing...

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Brave little island

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Taki T Valetta o Malta, where St Paul was shipwrecked in 60AD on his way to Rome under arrest, to be judged before Caesar as was his right as a Roman citizen. Although a...

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Dressing the part

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Petronella Wyatt H aving fallen down the stairs last week, I am back in inaction. The following days were spent doped-up on some painkiller they once gave me when I had...

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Sticky wicket

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Simon Barnes IN a way, it was easier to deal with despair. There was a time when the England cricket team lost every match, and generally did so disastrously. We became...

Q. Various men seem to fancy me, so I know

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I can still pull 'ern, but there is one man in my office whom I really have my eye on. He is a bit of a genius and a wonderful writer, which is why I have fallen for him. The...

Q. In the course of a normal day, I find

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myself spending infuriating amounts of time on the telephone being told by robot operators to press this and that button, then being given four different options, followed by...

Q. Your correspondent R.J.S., Notts (9 February) tried to answer

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a question for you before it was asked (how discreetly to avoid taking Communion when bumped out of the queue and into a procession). I fear that he has given incorrect...