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Home 1995 October

Friday, 13 October 1995

  • LETTER : Obstacles to European free trade agreement with the US
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    Sir: Further liberalisation of trade between the European Union and North America, ultimately perhaps with some form of free trade area, has a lot to commend it economically and politically. However Andrew Marr reports ("Prodigal's return disguises l...

  • LETTER : Good value at opera houses
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    Sir: It is rich of Raymond Gubbay and Patrick Deuchar to accuse the English National Opera of being "elitist and icy" (report, 11 October). They are offering 20,000 people the chance to see a semi-staged La Boheme at the Albert Hall for up to pounds ...

  • Jo Brand's week
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    I attended a conference in Brighton last week. (No, not that one.) The conference was organised by a group called Threshold, which deals with problems faced by women who are mentally ill. The attendance consisted completely of women, with not a man t...

  • LETTER : Good value at opera houses
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    Sir: Raymond Gubbay and Patrick Deuchar have certainly opened up a can of worms in attacking London's two large-scale opera houses for their elitism, icy atmosphere and exorbitant costs. But are productions of classic masterpieces in the Albert Hall ...

  • LETTER : A more efficient blood service
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    Sir: Your article "Blood service crisis as staff exodus bites" (9 October) contains several inaccuracies. We are not proposing to close any blood centres. All existing centres would remain open but the processing and testing of blood donations, curre...

  • Gloves on for Honest John, the great survivor
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    Until he rose, this had been an incoherent conference. There was swagger and belligerence enough, but no real sense that the Tories believed their own propaganda. Ministers have been jousting for the post-Major succession, sending conflicting message...

  • The quintessential English gentleman
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    First, on Sunday, came the diabolical proposal to elbow McDonald's programme, News At Ten, off its venerable 10 o'clock plinth and shove it 15 minutes deeper into the night to make room for an extended bout with Cracker, Robbie Coltrane's charismatic...

  • LETTER : Avoidance tactics
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    Sir: It is clear to me that Alan Howarth MP resigned after the Labour conference and before the Conservative conference in order to avoid both. Yours faithfully, Charles Oglethorpe Woking, Surrey 12 October

  • LETTER : English as the PC speaks it
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    Sir: Who needs grammar lessons in this day and age ("Let the children sing and squawk", 12 October) when we have spell, thesaurus and grammar checks on our PCs? It is just a shame that they are all in American and that the grammatical suggestions can...

  • LEADING ARTICLE : Major to Blair: lead, follow, or get out of the way
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    But this week's conference could hardly have started less well. Fresh from a magnificent week in Brighton, Mr Blair revealed his latest recruit: Alan Howarth, one of the more intelligent Tory MPs. Given all this, it is hardly surprising that the Tory...

  • Dress 'em all
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    Nor is this resemblance accidental. As Michael made clear in his splendid speech this week, he feels passionately about this nation and its soldiers. We both do - it is bred in the bone. Down the centuries, Aaronovitches and Portillos have fought sid...

  • LETTER : Heritage costs
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    Sir: Virginia Bottomley, the Heritage Secretary, is to be congratulated for robustly opposing the Treasury's suggestion, contained in a leaked letter, that National Lottery funds should be used to relieve the Government of its financial obligation to...

  • LETTER : Out-of-date picture of Peru
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    Sir: I am writing to you concerning Virginia Ironside's "Dilemmas" in Section Two (5 October) which unfortunately misleads readers into believing that Peru is "a country fraught with danger". I would like to inform Virginia Ironside, "horrified" Chri...

  • LETTER : Better way to use Disney cash
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    Sir: Maybe I am in a minority, but I am disgusted by the news that the pounds 9,000 donated to St George's church in Gravesend by Disney ("Disney fans follow the trail of Pocahontas legend to Kent", 11 October) is to be used to floodlight the church ...

  • LETTER : Obstacles to European free trade agreement with the US
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    Sir: The Foreign Secretary's championship of a North Atlantic free trade area at the Conservative Party conference, against the background of opposition to any further integration within the European Union, is doomed to failure. The Conservative gove...

  • LETTER : Extra work time remains hidden
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    Sir: Paul Wallace's article ("Bigger rises for better-off widen the earnings gap," 29 September) reports from the New Earnings Survey on hours worked by non-manual workers, including those in professional and managerial jobs. The NES is based on empl...

  • Who is Michael Howard really frightening?
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    With this in mind I read Michael Howard's speech to the Tory party conference. I found much with which few would disagree. He wants fewer criminals to be cautioned. Quite right. In the case of minor crime and a first offender, a caution may be effect...

  • QUOTE UNQUOTE
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    The last of the gentleman politicians - Sir David Steel on the passing of Lord Home The whole country is yearning for a public school prime minister who knows how to hold his knife and fork properly - Auberon Waugh on Tony Blair She is obviously the ...

  • LETTER : Good value at opera houses
    Saturday, 14 October 1995

    Sir: Raymond Gubbay's uncharacteristically intemperate attack on the Royal Opera House is totally unjustified ("Royal Opera House 'elitist and wasteful' ", 11 October). His allegations are without foundation. Our stage practice has been and is the su...

  • Thatcher: the final challenge
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    Man says: "Pray silence for Margaret Thatcher!" I stand up. I quell the conference hall with a glance. I say: "My Lords, ladies and gentlemen ..." There is a gigantic ovation. I let it run for a minute or two then quell it with another glance. I glan...

  • Letter: Two-parent policy
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    Sir: In her comments on Frank Field's suggestion that the lone parent premium should become an extra benefit for couples, Polly Toynbee ("Why single mothers baffle Mr Lilley", 11 October) asks: "Is any man really so much better than none?" The eviden...

  • Leading Article: Stand firm against tax cuts
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    Paradoxically, the absence of a feel-good factor has helped the economy to grow without inflation taking off. A static housing market, combined with hefty tax increases, have kept consumer spending subdued. However, yesterday's unexpected jump in the...

  • Leading Article: The voters aren't daft, Mr Howard
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    No one could accuse Chief Howard of subtlety - his timetable is almost painfully political. He plans to embarrass Labour by bringing forward measures that Jack Straw and his colleagues are bound either to oppose for their illiberality or that will di...

  • No more seaside slapstick
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    The scene is a party, or a hotel room or a government office. In it, a clever, self-aware man is talking about the world, juggling pluses and minuses, arguing about the public good. This man is - well, Michael Portillo actually. Or Michael Howard. Or...

  • Letter: False fears over the national debt
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    Sir: It is about time we had a truly independent view of the public finances. Gavyn Davies ("A mountain of reasons to reduce the public debt", 9 October) likes to keep up with the latest academic papers - Ricardian equivalence and all that! But these...

  • Letter: Baroness who inspired Nobel
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    Sir: In his article on the Nobel prizes, Paul Vallely (10 October) writes that Nobel acquired his pacifism from an Austrian baroness friend "who was also a novelist manque". This is an unworthy put-down of one of the most remarkable and high- minded ...

  • Letter: Good neighbour
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    Sir: As Professor Burchell's next- door neighbour, I am aghast at Karel Schuck's slur upon me (Letters, 11 October ). I was unable to remove the offending British Telecom directory because I, too, was away at the time. Only my cleaning lady's availab...

  • Letter: Women artists, male critics
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    Sir: In answer to Clive Exton (letter, 30 September), it is worth pointing out that among the ranks of our recognised top artists women are very much in the minority, so it may not be surprising that none of the Independent's "40 women under 40" is a...

  • Letter: Michael Portillo's virtual realtiy leaves no room for the facts
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    Sir: I remember speeches like Mr Portillo's and their rapturous reception in the Thirties. But not in Britain. Yours faithfully, Peter Calvocoressi Bath 11 October

  • Of courtesy and Chinese orphans
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    If, as I did, you lingered abed long enough to catch the last hour of GMTV on Wednesday, you will have seen a handsome young English couple with a bonny Chinese baby girl. They told how they had been so moved by The Dying Rooms documentary shown on C...

  • Permit me my wrinkles
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    The thing that bothers me is the possibility that, by promoting only standard English, the other rich types of English usage are left to fossilise. I know Mrs Shephard says she is not referring to regional accents, but I wonder how successfully the t...

  • Letter: Michael Portillo's virtual reality leaves no room for the facts
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    Sir: Who now dares to put clear blue water between the Conservative Party and the National Front? Yours faithfully, Peter Neil Woking, Surrey 11 October

  • Letter: Democracy and Saudi law
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    Sir: The Ambassador of Saudi Arabia (Another View, 10 October) and other members of the Muslim religion who have expressed their satisfaction at living under its laws, are all members of the male sex. It is, unfortunately, a little late to ask whethe...

  • Letter: Democracy and Saudi law
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    Sir: I have read the articles by Robert Fisk [about judicial punishments in the Gulf states] with horror but some of the correspondence that has followed (Letters, 11 October) appears to me to be at variance with the facts. Gavin Sherrard Smith was f...

  • Letter: Democracy and Saudi law
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    From Sir James Craig Sir: I was abroad when you published Robert Fisk's article about the beheadings in Saudi Arabia ("Secret Saudi executions shame the West", 9 October). So I hope you will allow this belated comment. I am deeply opposed to capital ...

  • Letter: Michael Portillo's virtual realtiy leaves no room for the facts
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    Sir: May I say that I have the greatest respect for the SAS, and I resent its name being used for cheap political gains. In Michael Portillo's case, those letters spell out one clear message: Silly At [the] Seaside. Yours sincerely, David Rickard Ric...

  • Letter: Michael Portillo's virtual reality leaves no room for the facts
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    Sir: I beg to disagree with your editorial criticism of Michael Portillo's speech ("Michael Portillo's shabby patriotism", 11 October). Although I am not a fan of the man or his right-wing views, there is merit in the view that we must not compromise...

  • Letter: Michael Portillo's virtual reality leaves no room for the facts
    Friday, 13 October 1995

    From Mr A. L. Teasdale Sir: Am I alone in having difficulty in recognising various statements in Michael Portillo's speech to the Conservative Party conference as accurate or real? For example, the Defence Secretary says that qualified majority votin...

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