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An artist for our times

If faith can be said to have fashions, then it has been worn loosely for several seasons. The Christian belief that underlies the great religious paintings of the Renaissance is for many people an alien concept: it can appear, to modern eyes, too structured, too certain, too sentimental. At this time of year in particular,

The tree without

Since last Christmas, John and Edie have been watching their tree, which they keep outside, with the mixture of helplessness and pride familiar to mothers of sons. They first decided to have a tree that was to enjoy a full life, roots and all, in its pot, five years before. ‘I thought it might have

How to win hearts and minds

Saddam Hussein’s mountain of documents now awaiting analysis by UN experts has temporarily flummoxed those in hot pursuit. It has thus bought a little more time before a final reckoning is visited upon him. He is playing a weak hand with customary tactical adroitness. But the underlying realities have not changed. Despite seasonal injunctions to

How Alastair Campbell betrayed Cherie

THERE is something eerie, and a little sinister, about the rise of the Campbell-Millars, as Alastair Campbell and his longstanding partner, Fiona Millar, are known in north London. Their rise started in the 1980s when they were young, unknown and ambitious. They ingratiated themselves with Neil and Glenys Kinnock: helping with the shopping and being