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Wednesday, 13 December 1995

  • General Grade's trench war
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    To date Grade remains unthrottled, which may simply be because Isaacs is too busy running the Royal Opera House to watch much television. But it seems there are plenty of others who would be happy to carry out his threat. For almost two years, ITV an...

  • In the firmament, winners take all
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    There is a common thread here. These three diverse fields of human endeavour have all seen an astonishing widening of pay differentials during the past 20 years. The gap between the competent but unextraordinary performer and the tiny handful of star...

  • Leading Article: Who should judge the journalists?
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    In this atmosphere of common contempt, libel awards - the only civil damages controlled by juries - have come to bear little or no relation to the much smaller sums usually won by victims of other wrongs. The family of 12-year-old Tim Parry, killed i...

  • Letter: Pork for the chop
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    Sir: If I were in the meat trade, I think I would be planing to take a long Christmas break. From Friday, pork sales will probably dip more than BSE beef due to the UK release of the film Babe, an irresistible tale of a polite young porker's efforts ...

  • Leading Article: Cleaning out the Korean stables
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    Ex-president Roh Tae Woo confessed last month to having amassed $650m for a slush fund, of which almost a third, according to his own admission, went into his own pocket. He is now behind bars. Ex-president Chun Doo Hwan, meanwhile, who seized power ...

  • Letter: Unpalatable pud
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    Sir: Like Matthew Harris, Bibendum's chef (Magazine: "Full fig", 9 December), I also dislike Christmas pudding. It still holds memories of a fearsome aunt who served its fried leftovers to us children 60 years ago without taking no for an answer. Cou...

  • Letter: Wake up call from the nuclear dream
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    Sir: Charles Arthur's claim that British Energy's decision to abandon the proposed Sizewell C and Hinkley C nuclear reactors is bad for the UK economy (Analysis; "Nuclear pull-out poses threat to the economy", 12 December) ignores some simple economi...

  • Letter: Totting up the tipplers
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    Sir: What will the Government now do about its Health of the Nation target to reduce the numbers of men and women drinking more than the sensible limits of alcohol? Their targets, based on the old recommendations, which most doctors still uphold, wer...

  • Letter: A place for stowaways
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    Sir: I was shocked, but not surprised, by Raymond Whitaker's article "Life terms for the stowaway massacre" (11 December). During June and July this year, I travelled as a passenger on the container ship Contship Atlantic from Felixstowe to Karachi. ...

  • Your chance to pick a personality to forget
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    So, obviously that leaves out Nelson Mandela, but it still leaves in everyone else - Will Carling, the Princess of Wales, Richard Branson, John Major, the entire government of Nigeria and many other excellent candidates. Previous winners, don't forge...

  • Will Bosnia become Beirut?
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    And the chilling memory of the 241 American servicemen slaughtered by a Muslim suicide truck bomber at the US Marine base in Beirut in 1983 sent US negotiator Richard Holbrooke back to Sarajevo to ask Alija Izetbegovic to order Arab fighters out of h...

  • Chess: Finnish first
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    White wins by ignoring the bishop with 1.e8=Q! when 1...Kg1 2.Qe3+ Kxf1 3.Qf3+ Kg1 4.Qg3+ Kh1 5.Qf2! wins as Black is not stalemated. That would be a nice idea in itself, but the real point of the position is seen if Black insists on jettisoning his ...

  • Stones from the sky: A meteoric tale
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    The Wold Cottage meteorite, as Topham's stone is known, became directly responsible for the acceptance of the idea that Earth is regularly bombarded by the debris from other bodies which share our solar system. Denied a living, rightfully believed to...

  • Yesterday was...
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    Scientists, with the publication of a "Studmuffins of Science" pin-up calendar for 1996. Each month features a different scientist skiing, swimming, weight-lifting or in other manly pursuits. The models were recruited with the help of an advertisemen...

  • Sound legal advice does not come cheap
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    The proposals need the consent of the Master of the Rolls who would have to be convinced they were in the public interest. The consumerist orthodoxy, of course, is that cheapest is always best. But the fallacy of this position is obvious. No one empl...

  • Letter: Tony Blair's ideology has little to do with the Labour Party
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    Sir: Your substantial coverage of Tony Blair's proposal to impose a system of all-powerful mayors on local government highlights the hypocritical nature of Labour's current approach to local democracy. Far from putting "voters back in the driving sea...

  • Letter: Tony Blair's ideology has little to do with the Labour Party
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    Sir: Reading Donald Macintyre's interview with Tony Blair, I could not help wondering who will be expected to foot the bill for new Labour's new Britain. Mr Blair says he wants to "equip people and business for massive global and technological change...

  • Letter: Tony Blair's ideology has little to do with the Labour Party
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    Sir: Donald Macintyre ("How to revive top-quality democracy", 12 December) tells us that Tony Blair is frustrated that he has not been given credit for shaping what he (Blair) sees as "a new, coherent, three-sided ideology" for Labour. What is this e...

  • Numbers the anaesthetist
    Thursday, 14 December 1995

    Competition: Our butcher is a curious fellow. He uses letters instead of numbers when marking the prices on meat. I asked him once how he remembered which letters stood for which digits. "That's simple," he replied, "GOOSE plus GOOSE equals TURKEY." ...

  • LETTERS: Death of a headmaster: where responsibility lies
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    Sir: On behalf of children everywhere, we are in great sorrow for the death of headmaster Philip Lawrence. Our thoughts are with him and his family. As children, we feel partly responsible for this tragic incident and we feel betrayed by this terribl...

  • Bridge
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    Our new opponents arrived, and I briefly explained that we were playing Precision Club and that we used reverse distributional signals. They were not very attentive and continued to discuss their dinner plans until this board came to the table. As We...

  • Yesterday was...
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    Visually impaired Chinese, with the reprinting of the 4 Sept Xian Evening News in an edition 95ft long by 64ft wide. "Every character in the headline is as large as a washbasin," according to an agency report. a bad day for: Promiscuous males, as a s...

  • Finger points at the National Lottery
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    It is in this context that he has taken on those running and regulating the National Lottery. His reputation for honest dealing lends special authority and credence to his allegation that he was offered and refused a bribe to drop his plans to bid fo...

  • LETTERS: Coke's Santa - it's not the real thing
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    Sir: Recent letters to the editor on the validity of telling children the truth about the myth/lies of the existence of Santa Claus have continued to make the same error. They consistently refer to this "jolly fellow" as Father Christmas. The facts a...

  • LETTERS: Hats off to the BBC's heads
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    Sir: I'm touched by Magnus Mills's concern at seeing me hatless and freezing in Moscow ("Dear Angus Roxburgh", 8 December). Perhaps he could make his feelings known to BBC management, for it is they who insist their correspondents must not wear hats....

  • Chess / A knight to remember
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    With 11.g3, White aims for a more quiet life than in the sharp lines with 11.c3 or 11.Bd3. Black is meant to be discouraged from playing f5 because of the scope it will give to a white bishop on g2. That's fine in theory, except that Kramnik never ga...

  • LETTERS: Death of a headmaster: where responsibility lies
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    Sir: A group of policemen should arrive unannounced at their chosen school with prior permission of the headmaster and check every child while leaving the gate of the school at the end of classes for lethal weapons and drugs. A little inconvenience t...

  • Why did Branson sit on bribe story for so long?
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    Mr Branson has a lot of questions to answer. Why didn't he make these allegations immediately? Then he could have caused a great deal of damage to Camelot's bid. Why did he not pursue the alleged bribery to Oflot, the lottery regulator, when the bids...

  • Man enough for poisonous porridge
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    This was an evening for the great and good to say farewell to the great and good Judge Tumim, after his eight years as inspector of prisons came to an abrupt and untimely end when the Home Secretary chose not to renew his contract. The audience was p...

  • We don't need one more drink
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    These limits previously stood at 21 units of alcohol a week for men and 14 for women. The Government has now announced daily limits - three to four units a day for men and two to three for women. The old sensible limits were backed as recently as Jun...

  • LETTERS: Maastricht mistakes can be corrected
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    Sir: Andrew Marr ("Dreams broken on the streets of Paris", 12 December) is quite right to warn us that, after 50 years of growing European unity, we are at a dangerous turning point. But the reason is not the power of the global economy. The Maastric...

  • LETTERS: Death of a headmaster: where responsibility lies
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    Sir: We have had a recent tragedy of a headmaster being stabbed to death by thugs, and no arrests to date of the assailants involved. I am a 71-year-old pensioner, an ex-able seaman and a dock worker. I remember when a seaman going ashore for a lunch...

  • LETTERS: No fears for 'real' refugees
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    Sir: Peter Popham ("Sorry, Britain is now closed", 12 December) misunderstands the intention and the effect of the Asylum and Immigration Bill. There is no question that Britain is now closed to refugees. The UK will continue to honour its obligation...

  • I put the national interest first
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    Such reporting amounts to a gross misrepresentation of what I actually said in my interview with John Humphrys, as anyone who watched it will be aware. My position was, and is, quite simple. In the entirely hypothetical event, put to me by the interv...

  • No big gestures please, Ken
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    Economic evidence has been mounting in favour of such a cut. Several factors suggest the economy is weak and in need of a boost. Economic growth and inflation are both lower than expected. Manufacturing industry looks fragile. Export markets don't lo...

  • LETTERS: Weddings and optional extras
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    Sir: The fees levied by the churches are required to be charged by law and no exceptions can be made. Any extras (such as the choir, video, etc) are not necessary to the exchange of vows in a church. Any couple wishing to take advantage of those extr...

  • Season's greetings from absent friends
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    The man in the pub, whose name was actually Pete, which is why he hadn't included Pete in the list of mundane names, trailed away in gloom. "What's so depressing about that?" asked his companion, a cheery woman despite being his wife. "Well, I just f...

  • Bridget Jones's diary
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    9st 5 (disaster); alcohol units 4 (g); cigarettes 12 (excellent); number of Christmas presents purchased 0 (bad); cards sent 0. 4pm Jude just rang in tears on her portable phone from the loos at work (Jude is Head of Futures at Salomon Brothers). She...

  • LETTERS: Weddings and optional extras
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    Sir: Mrs M. Harris (letter, 9 December) draws attention to an important issue but hits the wrong target. The legal fees for a marriage service in the Church of England, from 1 January 1996, will be pounds 114, plus pounds 12 for the banns of marriage...

  • LETTERS: Weddings and optional extras
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    Sir: When I was in full-time ministry in a fairly affluent parish, I always encouraged the less affluent by remitting most of the wedding fees and even provided modest accommodation for the wedding reception. I believe this is a fairly common practic...

  • Richard D North
    Wednesday, 13 December 1995

    The consulting geographer Simon Rendel has done good service in producing his computer-generated maps of the erosion of tranquility over the last 30 years (published by the Council for the Protection of Rural England). It's not that he has identified...

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