The Spectator

Portrait of the week | 29 November 2003

A speedy round-up of the week's news

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In the Queen’s Speech the government announced plans to remove hereditary peers; take failed asylum-seekers’ children into ‘care’; let universities charge fees of £3,000 a year; make sellers of houses produce ‘information packs’; prosecute wife-beaters; control firemen; impose identity cards; introduce ‘gay marriages’; but not to ban hunting. The government let it be known that it was prepared to see negotiations for a European constitution fail. On a visit to Mr Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, President Jacques Chirac of France was given roast pork and Ch