Newly released papers reveal a startling lack of unity in Government circles over how to respond to the 1982 Argentine invasion

Letter: Policing Ulster

Sir: Fergal Keane (Comment, 24 November) refers to the withdrawal by Donegal Celtic from their match against RUC.

Parliament: Patten rules himself out of Mayoral race


Don't drop your tights, Lord Irvine

Dressed like a glittering beadle, he can blame his true ludicrousness on something else

Leading Article: Europe must connect with the people

THE EUROPEAN Union is heading for trouble. The single currency starts in eight weeks, and new countries are set to join in a few years' time. Yet the basic structure of its central bureaucracy is unchanged since it was set up as a community of six nations in 1957. So we say, as an unashamedly pro-European newspaper, that the EU will retain its legitimacy among the peoples of Europe only if it derives more direct democratic authority from them.

Downing Street is not so far from Clapham Common

WE HAVE most of us done it at one time or another. The cause may be drink, lust, a desire to show off or, more usually, simple foolishness. We may act on impulse, going for a silly walk with troublesome consequences. Usually they last only a few days. What the newspapers call a gaffe - one of those words, like "zany", used exclusively by the press rather than in ordinary discourse - can commonly be repaired by an apology, a note, a present, most of all the passage of time. The embarrassment can still bring a blush to the cheek at the mere thought. But it can equally well become the foundation for a humorous anecdote, polished over the years by endless retelling, at first amusing, finally tedious.

Patten's visit makes waves in Hong Kong

THE FIRST return visit to Hong Kong by Chris Patten, the last colonial governor, has sent officials of the new government into a spin.

Peking link for Patten's aide

Peking link for Patten's aide

Cassell spurns MacMillan

CASSELL, the publisher behind titles ranging from Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch to the Catechism of the Catholic church, looked set to lose its independence yesterday as rival publisher MacMillan launched a hostile takeover bid.

Pupils should be awkward, says Patten

SCHOOLS SHOULD teach their pupils to be awkward and cussed, Chris Patten, the former governor of Hong Kong and a former Conservative education minister, said yesterday.

Comment: A few of my pet hates

Trying to buy a tortoise had turned into a kind of job interview that I was rapidly failing

Comment: Why all radicals should support William Hague

GOSSIP among the more alert Conservatives is of a gathering in August at the home of Lord Howe, Sir Geoffrey Howe as he once was. Mr Kenneth Clarke was there. So too was Sir Leon Brittan. Mr Stephen Dorrell and Mr Chris Patten were there in spirit. Certainly Mr Dorell did quite a bit of summer briefing for the cause under discussion.

The Deborah Ross Interview: Chris Patten - He's a JOLLY DECENT chap but isn't his book a bit self-congratulatory?

Lunchtime in Bibendum, a smart Conran eatery situated on a corner of smart Fulham Road and even smarter Sloane Avenue. I arrive early - which is good, because it shows me for the fine professional I am - but rather dirty, which is not so good, obviously. A quick coffee round the corner had, I am afraid, ended with most of it spilling down my trousers. My trousers are a very pale blue. The coffee is a very dark brown. You get the picture, I think.

Rebels to Hague: Where's the beef?

Tory party: Left-wingers bemoan `policy vacuum' while Shadow Cabinet brain-storms

Tory Euro-rebels accuse Hague of `lacking vision'

TORY LEFT-WINGERS will open a new front in their battle with William Hague tomorrow by accusing him of failing to set out a clear vision of what the party stands for.

It's my party and I'll criticise it if I want to...

TERROR AND farce - maybe even the end of civilisation as we know it - so occupy our minds this holiday weekend that it is easy to overlook the ordinary miseries of British party political life. These are, at any rate, unhappy times for dissenters and radicals in the Labour Party.
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