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Friday, 13 December 2002

  • The real damage of the Cherie Blair affair has been to the body politic
    Saturday, 14 December 2002

    Graham Greene used to divide his books into novels, which were profound studies of the human condition, and entertainments, which weren't. If the Cherie Blair saga were a work by Greene, it would be more an entertainment than a novel. The events of ...

  • How Ira Gershwin foresaw the success of online shopping
    Saturday, 14 December 2002

    That Ira Gershwin knew what he was writing about with his lyrics, you know. Noting that they all laughed when Edison recorded sound, and that they told Marconi his wireless was a phony, Ira observed it was the same old cry – and he had learnt from hi...

  • I simply can't stand animals wearing clothes
    Saturday, 14 December 2002

    Poor old Mog. I only hope she didn't suffer at the end. Mind you, at 32 she was no chicken – well, of course she wasn't, she was a cat and the news that her creator, the children's author Judith Kerr, has decided to hang up her flea collar (Mog'...

  • Why does Washington concentrate its fire on Iraq rather than North Korea?
    Saturday, 14 December 2002

    Think of a country that possessed weapons of mass destruction, had already waged war on its neighbour, which kept its citizenry in a state of abject misery and fear, and you would think of a certain country which was shortly to be the target of ...

  • Paul Vallely: The Catholic church deserves to do its penance
    Saturday, 14 December 2002

    I received a letter yesterday from the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales. It was asking me for a £250 "one-off" donation to help fund the office they set up last year to sort out the mess over paedophile priests. I read through the letter with a...

  • Stuck in a groove
    Friday, 13 December 2002

    Just in time, scientists have discovered why – or, rather, where – some tunes stay in the head. There is a bit just behind the forehead, apparently, which is where tunes get processed and, in some cases, stuck.If you spot the warning signs, therefore...

  • A chance for the EU to cover itself in glory
    Friday, 13 December 2002

    The summit in Copenhagen that started last night really is a big chance for the European Union to recover some of its weakened credibility.If its leaders can rise to the challenge of history, they can this weekend secure three great, interlocking a...

  • The authoritarian tendency does not have the answer to Britain's deep problems
    Friday, 13 December 2002

    Two of the most hopeful promises on which Tony Blair's government was elected were those concerning education and crime. But after five and a half years, progress seems stalled and, worse, the Government is increasingly heading in the wrong directio...

  • Robert Verkaik: Her judicial ambitions are dead in the water
    Friday, 13 December 2002

    Just for one moment, try to forget that Cherie Blair is the wife of the Prime Minister. How should we judge her? Stripped of the trappings of Downing Street, Cherie Booth QC is a successful barrister, with four children, who for 15 days of the year ...

  • Michael Brown: Don't put blind trust in blind trusts. Or the Government
    Friday, 13 December 2002

    "Is it not now time we had an urgent debate on blind trust?" I thought I heard Eric Forth, the shadow Leader of the House, inquire of Robin Cook in the Commons. Then again, he might have actually been asking for a debate on "blind trusts".But the ...

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