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Home 1995 December

Thursday, 14 December 1995

  • Letter: Santa Claus - the Real Thing
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    Sir: Jonathan Leckie (Letters, 13 December) does well to remind us that the image we have of Santa Claus as a rotund, jovial character attired in red and white is no more than a creation of the Coca-Cola publicity machinery. It was the dipsomaniac Sw...

  • Letter: Feeling confused by the figures? Blame it on the drink
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    Sir: The Government has announced an increase in the recommended amounts of alcohol that adults can safely consume ("Doctors' fury over 'safe' drink limits", 13 December). The Health Secretary's assertion that this change is in line with recent scien...

  • Letter: Feeling confused by the figures? Blame it on the drink
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    Sir: Now that the initial impact of the Secretary of State for Health's statement on the "sensible drinking" limits has passed, some points need to be made clear. Stephen Dorrell has not raised the limits, but his remarks have been so interpreted. A ...

  • Letter: What's on Channel 4 these days?
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    Sir: I was interested to read Melvyn Bragg's extraordinary claim that Channel 4 has cut its arts output ("Bragg claims Channel 4 has lost the plot", 13 December). This is news to me. In fact, the arts budget for 1996 has been increased by a massive p...

  • Threat to success
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    The most recent police statement, about young black men being involved in mugging incidents, has only served to worsen an unstable relationship between the police and the black community in London overall. In 1981, Lord Scarman, in the aftermath of t...

  • Letter: What's on Channel 4 these days?
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    Sir: I suppose it's tautology for a Scotsman to be described as "cannily myopic" but Thomas Sutcliffe's review of my argument about Channel 4 missed the point about why their schedule has become less public service and more commercial ("General Grade...

  • Letter: The way to a riot-free city
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    Sir: Nicholas Timmins has written a perceptive analysis ("London: the new melting pot of Europe", 13 December) of the report on the growing ethnic minorities in the capital produced by the London Research Centre and based on the 1991 census. He sugge...

  • So ... is Angus Deayton an alien?
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    Here is a run-down of a few of the most baffling dealt with in the book. Whatever happened to crop circles? All during the Eighties and Nineties there was an outbreak of attractive geometric patterns in British crop fields which caused something of a...

  • Letter: Spare us the party police
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    Sir: The Government's planned legislation against noise nuisance really is over the top ("Noisy neighbours face spot fines", 13 December). Not to be outdone, new Labour is promising legislation that could lead to seven-year jail sentences for offende...

  • Letter: Santa Claus - the Real Thing
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    Sir: Concerning Jonathan Leckie's assertions about Santa Claus, his origin and personality (Letters, 13 December), my Webster's dictionary confirms what I have always heard: that Santa Claus is "US, [a] colonial corruption of Dutch Sant Nikolass". Co...

  • Letter: Divine tonic
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    Sir: I much enjoyed the letter from Dr Richard Dawkins (13 December) questioning the alleged turn to religion of Oxford and Cambridge students. It is so refreshing - these days - to read someone who obviously takes religious issues, and indeed the is...

  • A dream unfulfilled
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    As far as the police go, there is a lot of work to be done to re-educate them to understand that they are not a power unto themselves: their actions must be accountable. But anger at the police is coupled with deprivation and lack of opportunities. T...

  • Grand schemes do not quell riots
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    Received wisdom in dealing with urban unrest has been that riots can be stopped by throwing money at regeneration schemes. Since the unrest in the 1980s the Brixton area has received grants of pounds 100m. Some people have set up businesses, some hav...

  • Would you invest here?
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    After the 1981 riot we lost a lot of business. We had four main jewellery stores: after the riots three went because people couldn't afford the insurance. There were several menswear stores and three, four or five shoe shops. Now there isn't a reason...

  • 'Tis the season to be sensible
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    Mr Major goes to Spain determined to impersonate Margaret Thatcher. A European single currency in 1999 is not only bad for me, he will tell the gathering, it is bad for all of you. And, what is more, the Conservative Party cannot accept the changes p...

  • Letter: Feeling confused by the figures? Blame it on the drink
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    Sir: It is ironic that opposition to the new "safe" drinking limits should come from doctors ("Doctors' fury over 'safe' drink limits", 13 December). It was, after all, the research by Sir Richard Doll on the drinking habits and health of doctors whi...

  • Discontent in the ranks of Tory women
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    This might sound far-fetched. After all, I don't know of a single female Conservative MP who is committed to affirmative action or positive discrimination. But this week there has been a shift in emphasis. Sara Biffen, wife of John Biffen MP, who her...

  • Bulls in Brixton's china shop
    Friday, 15 December 1995

    In this situation, Mr Narayan and his ilk are a menace. Obsessed with an ideological-driven, two-dimensional view of the world that ranges black against white, authority against citizen, they seem unconcerned about the consequences of arousing hatred...

  • 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." ...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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: 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. ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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