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Home 1995 December

Saturday, 9 December 1995

  • Letters in brief
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    Roy Greenslade, Brighton lI WAS curious to read that Peter Bamford, the managing director of WH Smith, wants his customers to be informed and tempted ("Smith's torture on the rack", 3 December). That will be why my local branch has started putting CD...

  • Letter: A sea change
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    Barring the possibility of areclamation of the Channel, or a huge number of people setting up home beneath the waves, how can the fulcrum on which the population balances desert dry land (even with another 775 years of Tory government)? Have the auth...

  • Letter: A land wihout Pharaohs
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    The results of the first round indicate that a number of ministers have failed to be elected and have to run for a second round. One is the minister of supplies, one of the most popular members of the Egyptian government. Moreover, the brother of the...

  • Letter: Border issue
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    For the best part of 300 years, the Scots have been content to be part of the unified parliamentary state of the UK, in which they are over- represented. I submit that what has made them deeply dissatisfied more recently is not some timeless, divinel...

  • Smash and grab the publicity
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    The seasonally titled Operation Christmas Cracker was hailed by all the police forces involved as a great success. Dawn raids on the homes of 3,700 suspected burglars last Tuesday netted about pounds 1.5m of stolen property and led to 2,300 arrests. ...

  • Leading Article: Keep out of the classroom
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    Most teachers, and probably most parents too, would prefer Labour meddling to Tory meddling. This is because nearly all Tory ministers send their own children to private schools and therefore haven't the faintest idea what happens in state schools. S...

  • Tough enough to talk
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    In any consideration of the characters who might yet rescue the peace, David Trimble's name would be right at the top of the list. As leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, Trimble must decide whether there are any terms on which he can talk to Sinn Fe...

  • Labour's unswerving commitment to do not very much
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    Our great public corporations, which once seemed as permanent as medieval cathedrals - testifying to an equally simple though less secure faith - have been destroyed, sold off to people who were supposed to own them in the first place. Or they are, l...

  • Words
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    CHAOS was the Greek word for the infinite void, and also for the mass of disorganised matter from which everything began. In Judaeo-Christian mythology it is the raw material of the Almighty's six-day task, a fearful storm-racked waste extending to t...

  • Why we worry about meat
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    Similarly, whether or not it is a good idea to kill fellow beings and eat them, that is the way of the world, the animal kingdom included. The few exceptions to the rule (cows, horses, deer) would probably follow suit if only they could find out how ...

  • Beef's best when chewing the cud with chums
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    I have been an enthusiastic beef eater all my life. Morning, noon and night, house guests in Chateau Arnold find that assorted cuts of beef, beef and more beef are freely available: roast rib on the television in the drawing room, chump in the servan...

  • Funnily enough, my jewellery was never recovered
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    Not that you liked it much, but everyone knows how awkward mothers-in- law can be and this one isn't exactly overflowing with good will towards her sons' wives. The saving grace, however, is that you're travelling British Airways. You get on the phon...

  • Blessed are the peacemakers, but what do they leave for the meek? than the falsely modesty 'meek'
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    I say "propose" because this is, as far as can be determined from a study of the Scriptures, Clinton's very own idea. As a child, I had to listen attentively to the bits of Matthew that occur between chapters five and nine. I experienced some of the ...

  • Letter: That's rich!
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    Michael Cole Harrods, London SW1

  • Letter: Blood changes may cost lives
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    In Oxford (one of the threatened centres) the existing blood transfusion service works so efficiently that 100 medical consultants have urged the Minister for Health to leave it intact. When an Oxford donor gives blood it is tested at the John Radcli...

  • Letter: Under the influence of brandy
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    Why are the conglomerates which form the nucleus of the Scotch Whisky Association, some of which have close links with the main Spanish sherry and thus brandy producers, not pursuing those who use the word "brandy" in conjunction with a variety of fr...

  • Letter: The French straitjacket
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    The truth is that any government committed to a single currency is also committing itself to long-term high unemployment and a declining quality of public services. While generally on course to meet the Bundesbank's "convergence criteria", France nee...

  • Letter: How we managed to fail
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    With the decline of manufacturing, we were told by the Government that the future lay in financial services. David Bowen's piece suggests that it will be a pretty depressing future. British managements have failed; once again they will collect their ...

  • Letter: Art? I'd give it space in my freezer
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    I should love to have the painting if I had a house to match its quality. Alas, I have only a shed floor covered in spots and dribbles of paint, a pile of bricks in the back yard, and some bits of dead animals in the fridge. Bernard Guile Heathfield,...

  • Letter: Don't blame the welfare state: it's cheap
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    Michael O'Loan London SE10

  • Queen snubs used headgear ... Bingo lingo ... Mr Major's big whip
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    n LET'S STAY in this area for a moment, and talk about jewellers. You will have your own views. But I think we can agree that, in the general run of things, they're not without a bob or two, either. So I get this letter from Bentley & Co, of New ...

  • Quotes of the week
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    William O'Neill, project manager at Nasa, as Galileo's parachuted probe started to transmit pictures from Jupiter at 11.11pm GMT on 7 December Another interview, another yard of rope. Sooner or later she will hang herself. Sir Bernard Ingham on the P...

  • Letter: Don't blame the welfare state: it's cheap
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    The state in fact only absorbs 23 per cent of national income. More than half of public expenditure is not part of national income at all. The 40 per cent is a ratio to GDP, not a share of GDP. In Italy, where for years the ratio has been more than 1...

  • Letter: The French straitjacket
    Sunday, 10 December 1995

    Peter D Williamson Baildon, West Yorkshire

  • LETTER: By Jupiter, there is no Planet X!
    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    Sir: These lines from Ptolemy (2nd century AD) came to light as I heard of the successful Jupiter drop: Mortal though I be, yea ephemeral, if but a moment I gaze up to the night's starry domain of heaven, Then no longer on earth I stand; I touch the ...

  • Stressed out? Here's some more bad news
    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    This study obliges us to place stress at the core of mainstream medicine as a cause of ill-health. And it begs the question that if stress really does cause disease, what can doctors do about it? Doctors do not like stress because it is difficult to ...

  • LETTER: Sheep's brains on the menu
    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    Sir: Today, in your letters column, Dr H. C. Grant says that because sheep brains were removed from the carcasses they did not enter the human food chain and so posed no risk. They were removed and sold as a common food to be prepared in a variety of...

  • LETTER: Quality television direct from the West End
    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    Sir: Channel 4 has over the last few years commissioned a number of stage plays for the screen (6 December), including Alan Bennett's Madness of George III, Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden, David Mamet's Oleanna, Jonathan Harvey's Beautiful Thin...

  • LETTER: In the vernacular
    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    Sir: In response to R. V. Wells (letter, 6 December), the Roman church actively sponsored Latin translations of the "original" Hebrew scriptures in the 16th century, as the translation of Santes Pagninus and the Alcala and Complutensian Polyglot Bibl...

  • LETTER: The benefits of a good consultant
    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    Sir: In Chris Blackhurst's piece ("Ministers fail to justify consultants' fees of pounds 95m", 4 December) health minister Tom Sackville is reported as saying that consultants were used to assist in improving efficiency, but that "it is not possible ...

  • LETTER: Snowbound with the Swiss
    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    Sir: If we have to sell British Rail, and bearing in mind the disruption at the first fall of snow, let's sell to the Swiss. Yours faithfully, Neville Conder London, SW7 7 December

  • LETTER: Can't afford a church wedding
    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    Sir: I have been reading reports from the General Synod of the Church or England regarding marriage and deploring the drop in the number of church marriages, but nowhere have I seen any reference to the high cost of getting married in a state church ...

  • No sign of panic down on the farm
    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    Mr Burtt is at once both an ordinary and an eminent figure in livestock farming. His 250-acre farm amid the wild beauty of Glaisdale in the North Yorkshire moors is "small to medium", as he puts it, on a par with hundreds of others around the country...

  • Nobel poet shaped by contradictions
    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    In an artistic life marked by an increasing volume of public celebration, culminating with his acceptance of the Nobel Prize for Literature tomorrow, Seamus Heaney has also tried to avoid subtle political commitments. He is not an unpolitical writer....

  • LEADING ARTICLE: The Queen of Hearts turns up trumps
    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    This is not the discreet, diplomatic, Windsor way of doing things. The closest the Queen has ever got to telling us how she feels about anything was when she reached for a Latin textbook. "Annus horribilis" is hardly language to stir the hearts of th...

  • LETTER: Let 100 currencies bloom
    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    Sir: One can sympathise with Andrew Marr's dream ("The secret that Blair and Major share", 5 December) of stirring up apathy about Europe. But he is unlikely to realise it. And that is probably just as well. Our politicians may agree with each other ...

  • A matter of fax
    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    And why? It's a strange tale. On Budget day, Ken Clarke announced that cars more than 25 years old would no longer be subject to road tax. Hooray, said vintage car enthusiasts. Whoopee, said the House of Commons Classic Car Club, which shot off faxes...

  • LETTER: In favour of a leghold trap ban
    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    Sir: I refer to the full-page advertisement in today's Independent placed by a coalition of animal welfare groups (7 December). It states that the European Commission has decided to propose a postponement of the implementation of the leghold trap ban...

  • LETTER: Labour fails French strikers
    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    Sir: As someone who has just returned from France, I was interested to read Tony Barber's perceptive analysis of the current industrial unrest there and its significance for the future of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) ("The battle for Europe's fu...

  • LETTER: By Jupiter, there is no Planet X!
    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    Sir: What a pity Tom Wilkie ended his otherwise excellent article on spacecraft that have gone to Jupiter and beyond (8 December) with a paragraph about a "tenth planet beyond the orbit of Pluto" that might have been written years ago. Few planetary ...

  • LETTER: Quality television direct from the West End
    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    Sir: David Lister's case (Section Two; "As not seen on TV", 6 December) for the making of television recordings of some of the best theatre productions in the British theatre is well argued. It should now be perfectly possible to negotiate rights for...

    Saturday, 9 December 1995

    In Britain, if you are blonde and have blue eyes, then you are called a bimbo, which is rather unfortunate for 90 per cent of Scandinavians - Ulrika Jonsson, television personality, who is Swedish In their teenage years, when your average lad is out ...

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