The Week in Review: Home News

BRITISH motorists feeling disillusioned with French roads may care to consider a day out on a major artery closer to home. Chauffeur-driven trips along the M25 are among a range of summer specials offered in a brochure produced by a consortium of hoteliers this week.

Convinced that the infamous orbital motorway around London has untapped potential as a tourist attraction, the group is offering a free picnic as part of the deal, provided it is consumed within sight of the traffic.

Only the seriously rich can afford Thomas Cook's latest package holiday, a 37-day, first- class world tour costing all of pounds 24,000. Judges and mandarins may have to give it a miss this year; the Prime Minister rejected a 19.7 per cent pay recommendation for senior public sector workers to award them 9.8 per cent over three years.

There will be few tears shed for them, particularly by the nation's dentists, whose two professional bodies voted not to accept new patients for National Health Service treatment in anger at a fee cut imposed by the Government.

Fishermen also opted for the politics of confrontation. Led by a flotilla of trawlers which sailed down the Thames, thousands of them converged on Westminster for a protest rally against plans to limit the number of days on which they may fish.

Supermarkets and DIY stores were defiant in the face of a European Court of Justice judge's opinion that the Shops Act banning Sunday opening does not violate the Treaty of Rome. Legislation liberalising Sunday trading is expected to be announced by the Home Secretary in the autumn.

But the Garrick Club, the drinking establishment frequented by lawyers, actors and media people, is to remain closed seven days a week to one half of the population. At the annual meeting of the West End gentleman's club, a motion to extend membership to women was defeated 4-1.

Andrew Neil, one of the few newspaper editors who does not belong to the Garrick, might have had reason to feel self-righteous this week. Instead, his discomfort increased daily.

After mounting criticism of the Sunday Times over the involvement of the right-wing revisionist historian David Irving in its serialisation of Joseph Goebbels' diaries, it emerged that Mr Neil had been scooped by the Daily Mail, which began its own serialisation of the diaries two days before his newspaper.

Over in Oxfordshire, there was much consternation at an old people's day centre when it transpired that the pensioners' favourite herbal brew was in fact made from cannabis leaves.

'They'll just have to go back to PG Tips,' one drugs squad officer said.

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