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Friday, 15 December 1995

  • LETTER: Elected mayors: visible leaders or puppets on a string?
    Saturday, 16 December 1995

    Sir: Before we get too excited about the idea of directly elected mayors as a means for revitalising local government, remember that central government exercises direct and very tight control over more than 90 per cent of each local authority's budge...

  • LETTER: Christians unite on campuses
    Saturday, 16 December 1995

    Sir: Jim Murphy, president of the National Union of Students, comments on the findings of a survey among Oxbridge students showing that Jesus Christ is the most admired person and the Bible is the most favoured book (report, 11 December). You quote h...

  • Why shouldn't I be a mummy-granny?
    Saturday, 16 December 1995

    At her husband's environmental consultancy in Oxford, Mrs Cobb, an animal technician, joked: "Please don't make me look like a mad granny with a Zimmer frame." She still shudders at the memory of the public outrage, almost two years ago, when it was ...

  • What keeps Norman stormin'
    Saturday, 16 December 1995

    Not Mr Norman. The Asda chief executive removed his jacket and paced the room with his rather stooping walk. Pinned to his slightly crumpled white shirt was a bright yellow badge bearing the simple legend: "Archie". He used no notes but spoke fluentl...

  • LETTER: Passengers vote with their feet
    Saturday, 16 December 1995

    Sir: Your article on the Transport Select Committee's report on bus deregulation ("MPs voice support for 'Ofbus' ", 14 December) described the chaos that has resulted from this failed experiment, but it is also important to note that despite all the ...

  • Schools need much more than money
    Saturday, 16 December 1995

    Controversial it may be; party political it is not. My aim throughout is to identify the issues and to explore the arguments, not to plump for particular solutions. Take, for example, the role of the local education authority. On the one hand, we hav...

  • LETTER: Refugees cast as criminals
    Saturday, 16 December 1995

    Sir: The last sentence in Ann Widdecombe's letter (13 December) about proposed government legislation in relation to asylum-seekers in Britain struck me as extraordinarily significant: "Genuine refugees have nothing to fear from our proposals." In th...

  • LETTER: Two different Christmases
    Saturday, 16 December 1995

    Sir: Radio One presenter Simon Mayo ("The blasphemy of a meaningless Nativity", 12 December) fails to see the difference between the religious festival of Christmas and the secular one that occurs at the same time. True Christians can see the differe...

  • LETTER: Judge deserves a knighthood
    Saturday, 16 December 1995

    Sir: Polly Toynbee's article "Man enough for poisonous porridge" (13 December) makes very depressing reading. I sincerely hope that there is no truth in the rumour that Judge Tumim is to receive no honour for his very distinguished service as our Ins...

  • LETTER: Under the skin of mutant tomatoes
    Saturday, 16 December 1995

    Sir: When food such as a tomato rots, a number of chemical reactions take place, in which many different nutrients deteriorate at different rates. Some deteriorate remarkably rapidly. Genetically engineered food may preserve the appearance of freshne...

  • LETTER: Keeping the heat under his hat
    Saturday, 16 December 1995

    Sir: Subterfuge is part of the armoury of every foreign correspondent, as I am sure Angus Roxburgh, the BBC's Moscow resident, is aware (Letters; "Hats off to the BBC's heads", 13 December). It is no good railing at his masters' bare-heads edict, coc...

  • Hard to swallow Beef tomato
    Saturday, 16 December 1995

    But this control is now threatened. For all this week my gorge has been rising as claim and counterclaim about BSE and genetically engineered foods have horrified the nation. Doctor Doom has declared that he never will eat beef again, while Professor...

  • LETTER: Sale of knives should be banned
    Saturday, 16 December 1995

    Sir: The murder of brave headmaster Philip Lawrence ("Knife curbs to follow head's killing", 11 December) and the stabbing to death of a supermarket security guard demonstrate clearly that stronger sentences are needed to punish the carrying of knive...

  • LEADING ARTICLE: Let us eat, drink ... and let go of nanny's hand
    Saturday, 16 December 1995

    And then Britain started to grow up and tug at the constraints. We got fed up with killjoy licensing laws that were more puritanical than those of other nations in Europe. So they were relaxed. Alternative medicine thrived as people sought out their ...

  • LETTER: Elected mayors: visible leaders or puppets on a string?
    Saturday, 16 December 1995

    Sir: Tony Blair is right to seek a full-scale "revival of local government" and he is also right to suggest that directly elected mayors could do much to strengthen local authority leadership ("Blair plan for elected city bosses", 12 December). The e...

  • QUOTE UNQUOTE
    Saturday, 16 December 1995

    I hope you won't think I am being a nuisance but I have changed my mind as to what I want for Christmas. I wanted to have a telescope but now I want to have my daddy back because without my daddy I will not be able to see the stars anyway - Lucien La...

  • 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: 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...

  • 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 ...

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