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Home 1995 December

Thursday, 21 December 1995

  • Letter: Who benefits from the assisted places scheme?
    Friday, 22 December 1995

    My concern about the pounds 105m spent on Assisted Places was based on independent research, not, as he says, "assertions". I refer to the dedicated study published in 1989, The State and Private Education: an Evaluation of the assisted places scheme...

  • Letter: Rudolph the toasted reindeer
    Friday, 22 December 1995

    The idea that only the well-behaved get presents goes back to an old German custom where an adult dressed up as St Nick and distributed small gifts to "good" children. Santa underwent the full transformation from child rescuer and occasional gift-giv...

  • Letter: Rudolph the toasted reindeer
    Friday, 22 December 1995

    Santa, on the other hand, is a little harder to get your head round. I have it on good authority that if each child receives no more than a medium-sized Lego kit then Santa's sleigh will have to carry 321,300 tonnes. Apparently this would require 214...

  • Time to switch off the royal soap opera
    Friday, 22 December 1995

    But the truth is now out and the "experts" can be shown the door. The constitution has nothing to do with it. How could it? We don't have one. Only one thing really counts these days: the approval or disapproval of the masses. To those of us unblinde...

  • Letter: Just say no to drink - always
    Friday, 22 December 1995

    Why, therefore, should the Government's general advice to people on drinking differ from that given to those driving a car? Yours faithfully, George Lowrison Bradford, West Yorkshire 13 December

  • When the monarchy went into showbiz
    Friday, 22 December 1995

    Diana could not continue to confuse the roles of princess and film star, to have it both ways - to talk about her husband and her unwillingness to divorce while using television to explain her grievances against the prince as if she were on an Americ...

  • Letter: Hindley: punished and rehabilitated
    Friday, 22 December 1995

    My daughter, age 27 and unborn when the murders took place, is one of those vociferous in the belief that Myra Hindley should remain in prison for the rest of her life. It is a view I no longer share. There can be no doubt that Myra Hindley is being ...

  • Letter: Ashby's expensive libel action
    Friday, 22 December 1995

    There is nothing that a libel action can do which could not be achieved by a statutory right of reply. Even if Mr. Ashby had won, the "no smoke without fire" syndrome would have ensured that, with certain people, he would always remain "guilty". A st...

  • 1995: thanks for the trouble spots
    Friday, 22 December 1995

    These were the words which galvanised those who were still awake at the 1995 Independent Awards of the Year ceremony, which took place this week in the Canary Wharf Executive Disco Suite. "As you know," said Lord Shareholder, head of the Independent ...

  • Letter: Who benefits from the assisted places scheme?
    Friday, 22 December 1995

    Yet I, too, am in favour of withdrawing the APS money, for more positive reasons. Britain, uniquely in Europe, has two educational cultures. The theory is that the APS narrows the gap, yet the more the independent sector is subsidised, the wider the ...

  • Letter: Europa's bull, to coin a symbol
    Friday, 22 December 1995

    Yours faithfully, Jenny Morris Head of Classics Bedford High School Bedford 20 December

  • Depressive Diana and the Prince of Wimps
    Friday, 22 December 1995

    It has been one long saga of unpleasantness. No doubt the Queen feels, like a vet faced with an animal in agony, that it would be kindest to put this marriage out of its misery. But if they divorce, what will happen to Diana? She must have known divo...

  • Leading Article: Divorce is not the only answer
    Friday, 22 December 1995

    Of course, the deal is not yet done: Charles has agreed, Diana has not yet concurred. It is difficult to imagine her standing in the way of a divorce. In her now famous Panorama interview, she said she did not want a divorce but added that she awaite...

  • Letter: Ashby's expensive libel action
    Friday, 22 December 1995

    Yours faithfully, Lucy Haire Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire 20 December

  • LETTER : Risk assessment by league tables
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    Sir: As an anaesthetist, the assessment of risk to health is part of my everyday life. Similarly, every insurance premium that individuals pay is based on the likelihood of a particular event. Yet, as a society, risk assessment is something that rece...

  • LEADING ARTICLE : A warm glow in South Mimms
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    But yesterday, in the warm, well-lit halls of the South Mimms service station, whose thousands of cheerful lights cast a rosy glow out on to the grim greyness of the M25, stress was being banished. The benevolent ladies and gentlemen of the Royal Aut...

  • LETTER : Distorted view of teachers
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    Sir: I, along with my colleagues, am thoroughly sickened by the incessant attack on our professionalism ("Schools need much more than money", 16 December). It is the end of a long term and we are generally on our knees, having spent lunch breaks, eve...

  • LETTER : Interesting point
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    Sir: I am surprised that Tam Dalyell and/or Godfrey Agnew got the Chinese proverb wrong (obituary, 14 December). It is, of course, "fortunate are those who live in uninteresting times" - a much more oriental comment. Yours faithfully, K. Milnes Hudde...

  • LETTER : Permanent record of stage plays
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    Sir: David Lister argued (Section Two; "As not seen on TV", 6 December) that more theatre productions should be televised. Simon Curtis, executive producer of BBC's Performance series replied (Section Two, 13 December), pointing out that "superb thea...

  • LETTER : Civil liberties on the slippery slope
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    Sir: David Aaronovitch cites me in his interview with Jack Straw (Section Two; "Labour's Essex man", 20 December) as a representative of "liberal- minded folk" concerned with the rise of social authoritarianism in the ranks of new Labour. OK, I admit...

  • LEADING ARTICLE : Something fishy at Westminster
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    But fish are not the precursor of an early election. Although Conservative numbers in the Commons are gradually being whittled down by death and defection, Mr Major still maintains an outright majority of three (five if you include Sir Richard Body, ...

  • LETTER : Impartial inquiry on Wayne Douglas
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    Sir: Your editorial ("Bulls in Brixton's china shop", 13 December) on the death of Wayne Douglas said "his death requires an independent investigation". I can assure you that our inquiry will be thorough and impartial. It will seek to get at the trut...

  • LETTER : Nice schools, pity about the pupils
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    Sir: I am interested in the reasons why so many parents favour private education. Is the real problem for the unpopular state schools the pupils who attend them, and not that they are providing inferior education? Yours faithfully, David Robinson Ele...

  • ANOTHER VIEW : In the name of fairness, keep assisted places
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    In "Buying more than just a good education" (20 December) she comforts herself with the thought that, wherever she lived and "like most people who can afford it, I would be secure in the knowledge that I still had the choice to go private if I didn't...

  • Chess / Dutch treat
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    In the first round, the only win came from a fine endgame by the lowest- rated player, the Dutch grandmaster Loek van Wely. From the diagram position (van Wely playing White against Zoltan Almasi), play continued 29.Kb3 Ke7 30.Ka4 Be3 31.b4 axb4 32.a...

  • Numbers / The anaesthetist
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    0: Number of people who signed up for a Leeds University course on the works of Catherine Cookson. 2: Times Diana uttered the name "Charles" in her Panorama interview. 8: Cups of tea drunk each day by the average inhabitant of Dagenham - the tea-drin...

  • Yesterday's man, today's hot spot
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    "My lords, ladies and gentlemen, and workers in the press media. This is not a ceremony like other ceremonies. For one thing, we will not be presenting a prize to any Personality of the Year. "To be a Personality is a dreadful thing. Whenever I hear ...

  • LETTER : Christian Christmases need Santa - and cribs
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    Sir: It will be a sad day for Christianity when the nativity play is "suppressed", as the Rt Rev Dr David Jenkins suggests it should be (Another View; "Separating the nativity from the naivety", 18 December) As an infant teacher who has staged the na...

  • LETTER : Prison regime for women
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    Sir: You are right to place responsibility for the horrors of Holloway at the door of the Home Secretary ("Howard must act on prison misery", 20 December). The excessive use of imprisonment, the overemphasis on security, the budgetary restrictions, a...

  • Why the ranters are right about EMU
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    And so it will be with the "Euro", the new European currency, the name of which was agreed last weekend. A grand battle is beginning in earnestbetween the common-sense instincts of ordinary people and the plans of Europe's most important politicians....

  • The great American stalemate
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    The conventional wisdom is now that Clinton, having climbed from the depths of public disgust and evaded the probing fingers of the Whitewater affair, will be triumphantly re-elected, the first Democratic president to gain more than one victory since...

  • Ivory towers / Christmas viewed from an unusual angle
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    First, dolls and guns. The problem of sexual-stereotyping of Christmas presents has been widely researched. A study in 1989 ("Age and gender differences in children's Christmas requests", Play and Culture, 1989) showed that while boys and girls reque...

  • LETTER : Christian Christmases need Santa - and cribs
    Thursday, 21 December 1995

    Sir: The upset caused by Canon Brian Andrews to the parishioners and children in his congregation is a lesson which the theologically minded need to learn ("Vicar's attack on Santa ends in tears", 18 December). Christmas is not about the historicity ...

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