Letters: In Brief
Wednesday 28 July 1999
Sir: May I put in a plea in support of Austin Mitchell's defence of the Upper House (Comment, 22 July). Recent history has provided many examples of administrative reforms that have failed to deliver the promised advantages. The widespread return to unitary local authorities has in many cases reinvented the county borough after a series of enormously costly changes. No amount of expenditure could allow us nowadays to reinvent such an anachronism as the House of Lords, however well it functioned.
Sir: David Williams (letter, 26 July), querying the need to ban mobile phones on aircraft, doesn't understand the inverse square law. If you double your distance from a transmitter you reduce the signal strength by a factor of four, and so on. It is possible that a passenger might be within20 feet of a vital piece of equipment. It is unlikely that anybody on the ground will be within 200 feet of a landing aeroplane.The man on the ground's signal is one hundredth of the passenger's.
Sir: The Government is to be congratulated on the dramatic improvement in English and maths tests results for 11-year-olds (report, 23 July). Imagine the improvement there would have been if teachers could have discovered the magic of the daily "literacy hour" before last autumn. It is also amazing the effect a numeracy hour can have on maths results before it has even started!
Sir: It may be creative to change the colours of the Union Jack for the front cover of Vision: Fifty Years of British Creativity (Book Review, 23 July), but would other nationals fly their flag upside-down?
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Best underrated Christmas movies from Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food