Letter: ...and Woolsack

...and Woolsack

The evidence: The barrister's desk

Barrister Chris Cleverly is the founder of Trafalgar Chambers. He specialises in legal-aid defence work in criminal law.

Letter: Jimmy wigs

AL KENNEDY'S picture of a nation otherwise contented in the contemplation of its own paradoxes is wide of the mark ("The Scottish national street- party", Culture, 16 August). Despite the restrictions with which the Government has hedged it round, the Scottish Parliament will be a radical departure from the present England-Scotland relationship. Imagine what will happen the first time the new parliament tries, as it surely will, to exceed its remit. It is not hard to imagine plausible scenarios, perhaps involving demands from the English regions to cut "subsidies" to Scotland, or Scottish attempts to debate Trident and the nuclear warheads at present stockpiled upwind of Glasgow and Edinburgh. How will the government of the day react? By imposing direct rule from Westminster? For 50 years it had to let Stormont do as it wished, and then it was dealing with people whose main aim in life was to remain part of the Union. Genial football fans, Tom Leonard and hey Jimmy wigs are only part of the story. Many of us expect a bumpy ride.

TRIED & TESTED: WIG OR WITHOUT

Hair today, gone tomorrow. For the quickest beauty makeover, why not buy yourself a wig? Our panellists step out in a range of styles

Theatre: If at first you don't succeed, kill, kill and kill again

SERIAL KILLING, one would imagine, is a serious business. And an actor playing a serial killer would have his work cut out preparing for the role. But what about an actor playing an actor playing at serial killing? In a musical? Well, in Douglas J Cohen's 1997 off-Broadway musical No Way to Treat a Lady, Tim Flavin is having a ball. As Kit Gill the role-playing murderer, he gets to sing, dance, laugh maniacally and dress up as a priest, a flamenco dancer and a stiletto-heeled woman. He gets the best tunes in a weak score, and, perversely, he's just about the most credible character in the whole show.

Rhyme with no reason - an American visitor's guide to that quaint British slang

THE THING that really separates the British from the Americans is our use of rhyming slang. As all Americans know, the streets of our great cities are full of Cockney people speaking to each other in rhyming slang, and maybe the lanes of our great villages as well, come to that. Just as the English suspect that when they go into a Welsh pub, everyone in there switches immediately from English to Welsh, so Americans have a vague suspicion that when they wander into a group of Britons, they will immediately start conversing in rhyming slang, not so much to avoid being understood by the Americans as to seem a bit more colourful and add a bit of zest to their humdrum tourist existence.

SCIENCE: WHY EUNUCHS DON'T WEAR TOUPEES

Castration may well prevent baldness but wouldn't you prefer something just a little less extreme? Hilary Bower reports on the scientists rooting out a cure for hair loss

Privates on parade

Dull, lifeless, flyaway pubes? Help is at hand: the pubic wig will cheer up your short and curlies for those special nights out.

He's back, and he's got a new toupee

In the Seventies he ruled Hollywood, in the Eighties he fell into B-movie, chatshow hell, and now, finally, Burt Reynolds is back, as the slimy porn merchant in the hit disco nostalgia fest `Boogie Nights'. Nick Hasted charts his recovery.

Woman Of The Year: Mo Mowlam; 'Nothing I can do about being me'

On the evidence of our poll, Mo Mowlam is in danger of becoming a national treasure, exciting as she does a mixture of admiration, sympathy and straightforward liking.

Wigs and wives: a double take on the fame game

Sport on TV

Lawyers: Wigs make us look smug, says Irvine

It is an issue which has long exercised the finest legal minds: to be wigged or not bewigged. The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg, has now added his views by claiming that such headgear gives an image of barristers and judges which is "old-fashioned, out of touch and self- satisfied".

Going bald, girls? Don't worry, it's distinguished

Look carefully next time you venture into the City. According to a Sunday newspaper yesterday you will see "thousands of young women" all apparently going bald. The reason? Their high-flying careers.

Yesterday's man must put his wig on the table

David Aaronovitch on Mo and Mandy
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