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Sunday, 31 December 1995

  • LETTERS: Emma Nicholson's familial precedent
    Monday, 1 January 1996

    Sir: It is interesting to compare Emma Nicholson's comments on changes in the party she now leaves with those of her great-grandfather, William Nicholson, Liberal MP for Petersfield, who left that party to join the Conservatives at the election of 18...

  • LETTERS: What second post?
    Monday, 1 January 1996

    Sir: Ken Wright seeks to impress with the Royal Mail's statistics and aims (letter, 30 December). As a Lincolnshire resident for 20 years, I have but one question: What is this mythical (or even fictional) beast called a "second delivery"? I know it ...

  • LETTERS: Self-gratification at Christmas
    Monday, 1 January 1996

    Sir: Mary Kenny alleges that: Christmas is a rotten time to be an atheist: but then atheists embrace such a bleak view of life (in my experience) that perhaps they do not care for the "sentimentality" of Christmas anyhow. ("Meanings of Christmas", 28...

  • LETTERS: Emma Nicholson's familial precedent
    Monday, 1 January 1996

    Sir: Why is it that when a politician changes parties it is called defection, but when a politician changes religion it is known as conversion? Yours faithfully, Christopher Passmore Weldon, Northamptonshire 31 December

  • Little England has no future
    Monday, 1 January 1996

    Let me dismiss out of hand some of the implausible explanations generated by the Conservative Central Office propaganda machine in the past 48 hours. I can assure readers of the Independent that it has not been out of "ambitious careerism" or "person...

  • Oxford? Sorry prof, I'm into media studies
    Monday, 1 January 1996

    There is a difference, however. The dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII was essentially a political act: it was by confiscating and selling the assets of the religious orders that the king was able to buy support for his reformation of the c...

  • LETTERS: English jubilee
    Monday, 1 January 1996

    Sir: 1996 sees the 25th anniversary of my starting to campaign for clear, understandable English. It is a campaign that is still far from over, although we have made many advances. To celebrate this silver jubilee, I am placing a time capsule in the ...

  • Is it just Emma - or is it really The End?
    Monday, 1 January 1996

    Well, she has been inconsistent (but so are most of the Cabinet). And she is composed of personal ambition and vanity, alongside public-spiritedness and idealism (they, too.) Both fleeing woman and fled-from party abominate the other as extraordinary...

  • I name this boy Newt. Or possibly Ratko
    Monday, 1 January 1996

    To take the boys' names first, I have to reiterate what I have often said before - that it is no short cut to fame to have an ordinary name. When you think of some of the names that have been in and out of the White House this century - Franklin, Dwi...

  • Counting the cost of defection
    Monday, 1 January 1996

    Inevitably it will help to bring to a head the fears of the remaining One Nation and pro-European Tories in Mr Major's ranks, who have become increasingly disillusioned at the Conservatives' rightward and anti-European drift. Despite their claims to ...

  • LETTERS: Symbolism in decommissioning of IRA arms
    Monday, 1 January 1996

    Sir: Your leading article ("Justice from a barrel of a gun", 29 December) is fundamentally flawed, both in its analysis and in its prescription. Since August 1994 we have not had a cessation of political violence by Sinn Fein/IRA. Instead, we have ha...

  • LETTERS: Self-gratification at Christmas
    Monday, 1 January 1996

    Sir: Your leading article "Even a Pocahontas Christmas is a chance to dream" (23 December) suggests that, for all its hypocrisy, the festival remains a net gain as a social institution. But you had to omit certain negative aspects of the "goodwill" e...

  • Dole vs Clinton: the circus comes to town
    Monday, 1 January 1996

    The sour, septuagenarian Senator Robert Dole is overwhelming favourite to become President Clinton's challenger in the autumn. Both Dole and Clinton are fearsome campaigners, but are also notorious for their ability to put one foot in their mouth whi...

  • LETTERS: Blair must resolve the tartan problem
    Monday, 1 January 1996

    Sir: Your leader "Tartan Terrors of Mr Blair" (27 December) suggests that one way around the "West Lothian" question would be to ignore it as just another of the British constitution's many contradictions. You defend this view by stating that the Eng...

  • LETTERS: How not to police the Internet
    Monday, 1 January 1996

    Sir: The attempts by German prosecutors to censor the Internet via CompuServe (report, 30 December) are misguided and dangerous. Quite apart from the effect of their actions impinging on citizens in countries outside Germany, their partially successf...

  • LETTERS: Symbolism in decommissioning of IRA arms
    Monday, 1 January 1996

    Sir: George Huxley (letter, 28 December) got it wrong. It matters not a whit that the preliminary decommissioning of some or all IRA weapons was not, in fact, a precondition set out in the Downing Street Declaration. It matters even less that the dec...

  • LETTERS: Briefly
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    Keith Flett, London N17

  • Quotes of the Year: 'Take my soul ... but the struggle continues'
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    In the early days privatisation signified liberty, equity, prosperity. Now it's just a bunch of slobs stinging the consumer and putting each other's salaries up over a heavy lunch - Alan Clark What is this thing called the EU which is sending ultimat...

  • LETTERS: Jail crisis hits young hardest
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    In 1991 the Government claimed to be so concerned about the appalling conditions suffered by juveniles on remand - and the inherent nature of the abuse and suicides that take place - that it proposed in itsCriminal Justice Act that custodial remands ...

  • LETTERS: Rail competition is no answer
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    As anyone who has followed "True stories from the Great Railway Disaster" will be aware, the root cause of most of the farcical aspects of privatisation has been the fragmentation of the network and the enforced introduction of competition. A private...

  • CAPTAIN MOONLIGHT: Ninety-five things we can do without in ninety- six
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    1. The Queen of Hearts in socks and coat and trainers with head down emerging from some vital rendezvous or other 2. People bleating on about the demise of the old blue passport, this year's red telephone box 3. Another article about the stagnant hou...

  • Dialling 1996
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    Pick up the telephone and punch some numbers, Ted. It summons up the living via the static of the dead. Dante needed Virgil to get down among the shades. John Major sticks to Margaret and his O-level grades. One way and another we subscribe to our fi...

  • LETTERS: Newt avenger
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    To compare him, as does the Independent on Sunday, with "the ultimate hitman" and "the coldest of killers by contract"(Flat Earth, 24 December) is, at best, in poor taste. At worst, it is an extreme expression of "political correctness" and biased jo...

  • profile: Emma Nicholson: Not her sort of party
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    Emma Nicholson was not put off at the time: within a decade she had persuaded Margaret Thatcher to make her the party's vice-chairman (for women), and in 1987 she was elected as MP for Torridge and West Devon. But now, with her defection to the Liber...

  • The real romance in the stars
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    Hardly respectable, but surely something must be going on when even the Independent on Sunday can devote two pages plus a double picture spread to the question of who would inherit the mantle of a dead charlatan. Picardie's attitude to these well-hee...

  • LETTERS: Legal overhaul is just a smokescreen for Tory failures
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    It is also wrong to link libel cases and their expense with common or garden cases where the cost is less ("Tories back court overhaul to bring down cost of justice", 24 December). As a barrister engaged in less worthy cases than some recent libel ac...

  • LETTERS: Testosterone is not trivial
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    Instead of focusing upon recent enlightenment in the treatment of testosterone deficiency (the male equivalent of the well-accepted HRT), you overlay the report with a veneer of scientific respectability by mentioning inconclusive experiments linking...

  • Tories press self-destruct
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    Old Labour self-destructed because the great pillars that supported it crumbled: on the one hand, the industrial working class and the vehicle of its ambitions, the trade unions; on the other, the curious jumble of Methodism, Marxism, collectivism an...

  • LETTERS: Science and religion never stopped talking to one another
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    It isn't true that attempts to bring science and religion back together are new. This has been a frequent phenomenon ever since the Renaissance. Nor is it true that science is essentially dualistic. On the contrary, it sees all nature as one. Science...

  • LETTERS: Water rage
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    But when we had wept, we thought about Sir Gordon, and how he and his fellow knights of the round board had poured gold into the soilpipe called "Dividends" instead of into the horn of plenty called"Investment", and how he had amassed so much gold th...

  • Like Cats with Fleas playing the patriot Card
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    Accordingly, with this Picture in my Mind's-eye, I inquired of severall Friends and Acquaintances, in El Vino's publick-house and similar Resorts, whether this annual Performance should now cease; and I am gratified to report that with one Voice, lik...

  • Seasonal advice to the snow-bound: move to the city
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    This is no accident, believe me. What happens between Christmas Eve and 2 January when everyone finally goes back to work? The weather, that's what. Either it's unseasonably warm and the front pages are taken up with pictures of people in summer clot...

  • LETTERS: Genes are only half the story
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    Her appeal is to emotion, not to facts; and her notion that I invented the IQ is sufficient evidence of her lack of knowledge in this field - the IQ was invented five years before I was born! She throws doubt on one of the most established facts in p...

  • LETTERS: Briefly
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    P W Goldberg, London NW8

  • LETTERS: Science and religion never stopped talking to one another
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    Although he is correct in identifying a recent renaissance of interest in the subject, his historical introduction appears to suggest that the topic has been off people's agendas since the early 17th century. On the contrary, there has been a flow of...

  • LETTERS: Briefly
    Sunday, 31 December 1995

    Charles Murray, London N17

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