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Sunday, 26 February 1995

    Monday, 27 February 1995

    Sir: If Adam Smith were alive today, I doubt whether he would endorse the views (24 February) of Madsen Pirie on public libraries. The president of the Adam Smith Institute ought to be aware that Smith saw the measure of the wealth of a nation as inc...

    Monday, 27 February 1995

    Sir: Madsen Pirie (Polemic, 24 February), as one might expect of the president of the Adam Smith Institute, has his head stuffed full of misconceptions. Just two: (1) that public libraries were created to bring literacy to the masses. Wrong. It was t...

  • ISMISM New concepts for the Nineties
    Monday, 27 February 1995

    2. sb, arch Art, craft, cunning [C10, Old English, obs but vide Emily's List below] List, n 1. an item by item record of people or things, usually written one under another [C17, from French, compare Italian lista (strip, vide Football Association, b...

    Monday, 27 February 1995

    Sir: I was born in Belfast in 1972, on the same day the Northern Ireland Parliament was prorogued. I grew up in a middle-class Protestant area never experiencing the peace that now exists. On the day of the IRA ceasefire, I left Northern Ireland to t...

    Monday, 27 February 1995

    Sir: I find your coverage of the Stephen Fry affair, morbid and intrusive, but fascinating nevertheless. It feels like picking over the carcass of an admired but envied rival in the "Aha, I told you so!" mode. It is as if the bubble had to burst at s...

  • Fruity, with a hint of chaos
    Monday, 27 February 1995

    Along with all of these is the kind of bottle of wine that is too disgusting to open but not horrible enough to throw away. These are usually brought by guests, dragged back from holiday or purchased on a whim because they are lying in a basket at th...

  • LETTER: Unionist input needed at Framework talks
    Monday, 27 February 1995

    Sir: Originally from Norway, I have lived in the UK for six years and have taken a keen interest in the Northern Ireland conflict since the Nobel peace prize was awarded to Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan in 1976. As an outsider, I consider mysel...

  • LETTER: Stephen Fry's two options
    Monday, 27 February 1995

    Sir: My husband and I have lived in many countries, among them the United States, Sweden, South Africa and Italy, and never have we read such a vicious press as that in Britain. In all my 12 years in the US, I found only respect for artists and thoug...

  • LETTER: Not a mere quango
    Monday, 27 February 1995

    Sir: The photograph you publish flatters me, but I must protest at the distorted picture presented by your article "Unloved institutions that grew like Topsy" (7 February). The Lands Tribunal is not a quango, unloved or not. It is a court of law, est...

  • LEADING ARTICLE: Why we buy fewer rounds
    Monday, 27 February 1995

    Despite this young man's agony, it will not help to be po-faced about the weekend's events. If boxing were not so attractive it would not have survived this long. An estimated 12 million people watched the fight on television. At its best, boxing is ...

  • LETTER: Orange casualties
    Monday, 27 February 1995

    Sir: There is a word that rhymes properly with orange, although its uses are pretty limited. Someone I know who served in the trenches in World War I told me of a General Gorringe, believed to be responsible for causing heavy British casualties. He w...

  • LETTER: Charged issue
    Monday, 27 February 1995

    Sir: Andrew Marshall's problems with Europlugs ("It's hard to hack it when the Europlugs don't fit", 20 February) will be of interest to those rich enough to own a computer and to travel abroad. There is a much greater problem with Europlugs, however...

  • Money doesn't make the world go round
    Monday, 27 February 1995

    But what was most surprising about Major's promise was not that he made it, but rather that it had so little impact. Part of the problem was the public's unwillingness to believe that the recession is really over. But the hollow reception may also ha...

  • LETTER: Prescription rise: no link to nurses' pay
    Monday, 27 February 1995

    Sir: Health minister Gerry Malone argues that the revenue generated by the increase in prescription charges would help to fund the nurses' pay award ("Prescriptions rise by triple inflation rate", 23 February). But as Virginia Bottomley has already p...

  • `I'll run away and then they'll be sorry'
    Monday, 27 February 1995

    Parents go into a rage like that, when a child casually turns up after going missing (and I'm not talking about anything as astonishingly ambitious as running off to Malaysia). It comes from a feeling of having been emotionally tricked. First you go ...

  • An accident waiting to happen?
    Monday, 27 February 1995

    It remains to be seen if the Barings collapse provides the trigger for the financial Armageddon that Congress foresaw. Even by City standards, Barings is a relatively small player. On a world scale it is tiny. None the less, as many seasoned City obs...

  • LETTER: Bootless claims
    Monday, 27 February 1995

    Sir: There was no "feverish round of bidding" between newspapers for Oleg Gordievsky's memoirs, as your report "The sorry tale of Agent Boot" (23 February) states. His agent offered the book solely to the Sunday Times. And much as I am flattered, as ...

  • LETTER: Moral victory
    Monday, 27 February 1995

    Sir: Broadcasters, you say (leading article; "Babies, BBC and the BCC", 24 February), are obliged to get things right. The reason the Broadcasting Complaints Commission found Panorama's "Babies on Benefit" flawed and irresponsible was because it got ...

  • LEADING ARTICLE: Barings and the Bank
    Monday, 27 February 1995

    It is of real importance that the current crisis leads to changes in the method by which bank regulators monitor and control the use of derivative financial instruments. There have been too many warnings about their potentially destabilising effect f...

    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    Pippa R. Holmes Cambridge

  • LETTER : Unfair tax benefits help superstores kill market towns
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    Any action taken from now onwards can only have a modest effect in dealing with the two main culprits - over-dependence on the car and the development of shopping outside the natural town centres. However, the most important action that could be take...

  • LETTER : Glasgow wants motorways
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    The accusation that air and noise pollution will be increased in Pollok Park ignores the fact that the new road will be separated from the park by the width of a golf course. The suggestion that the Kingston Bridge is about to collapse will come as n...

    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    Charles Kyriacou Bradford

  • LETTER : Unfair tax benefits help superstores kill market towns
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    Yet, two simple changes to the Uniform Business Rate would balance things up between the supermarkets, town centre shops and the corner store: 1) Assess rates on the undeveloped rental values of all sites. 2) Make the rates payable whether the site i...

    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    On reflection, this was probably a good idea as in the example given, Lagos is described as being the capital of Nigeria. Since December 1991, the city of Abuja has held that honour. M T S Edwards Twickenham, Middlesex

  • LETTER : Glasgow wants motorways
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    Whether or not you approve of what civil engineers design, it is time this important profession was recognised, and not inaccurately described as "architects". John Pegler Cambridge

  • REAR WINDOW : COLD WAR :The British Ministry of Propaganda
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    We know that the KGB was painstakingly compiling its files in Moscow, allegedly recording Michael Foot as "an agent of influence" and logging contacts with Richard Gott, the Guardian journalist. But few people are likely to have heard of the Informat...

  • LETTER : Britain faces Trident flak
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    Unfortunately for the Government, its planned procurement of D5s is far from complete: only 44 out of 65 have been purchased. The Americans may want to know why Britain wants so many missiles when it has said it will only deploy a maximum of 96 warhe...

  • LETTER : No censorship on index
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    First, the changes to the Retail Prices Index First Release announced last week do not constitute a switch away from either the all-items RPI or the all-items RPI excluding mortgage interest payments. These measures will continue to be produced and p...

  • LETTER : 'Ere we go again
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    Blaming "the yob culture" only fuels the calls to take away the passports of "troublemakers" - ie anyone who the police say is one. The experience in Italy in 1990 illustrates the police's attitude to arrests in crowds worldwide - hit the person clos...

  • LETTER : Unfair tax benefits help superstores kill market towns
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    It is physically impossible to introduce into the heart of the town the number of cars implied by its population and hinterland without demolishing many of the buildings that constitute its beauty. As it is, its two main Georgian streets have been de...

  • LETTER : The language of money
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    By the time the single currency becomes a reality, the EU will speak at least 11 different languages. Banknotes have to be written in a language. The idea of each note being written in 11 separate languages is silly; there would not be enough room. T...

  • LETTER : My heritage
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    Like Neal Ascherson I cut my teeth on opposition to the Suez war of 1956. I was bitterly opposed to the Falklands expedition. And I believe this country still has an unsettled account with those who sent thousands to their death at Passchendaele and ...

  • LETTER : Mega tingle
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    He is also misrepresenting his loss to his insurance company. As certain as is the cycle of seasons, a computer with "comparable RAMage and Megabytage" and presumably processor power is less expensive than it was when he bought it 11 months ago. Gabr...

  • LETTER : Road accident
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    1The border incident referred to involved no more than a Land-Rover belonging to the Tunisian Garde Nationale which fell in a ravine because of high-speed driving. The accident caused the death of two national guardsmen and the injury of four others....

  • LETTER : A good option for directors
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    Of course, directors (at no cost) were betting on something approaching a certainty, as the profits could be increased simply by sacking staff. Ronald Eyres London NW5

  • LETTER : Putting MacNeice back in the picture
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    Glyn Maxwell's reappraisal of Letters from Iceland - a paradigm of literary travelogues - did, I was pleased to note, touch upon the Irish heritage of the Icelanders. Yet he ignores the obvious fascination that the island had for the Irish poet and t...

    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    Cameron MacDonald Glasgow

  • quotes of the week
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    Carlo de Benedetti of Olivetti on the folly of trying to regulate information technology If we were to say that "bad taste" is indefensible, then we would have no Impressionist painting, no jazz music, no modern art, nor hundreds of things now deemed...

    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    TODAY is the feast day of Saint Porphyry, 4th-century monk of Macedonia. Crippled by illness, he travelled to Jerusalem to distribute his wealth to the poor and visit the holy places. At Calvary he had a vision that the thief, Dismas, crucified with ...

  • War of the film worlds
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    The symbolism couldn't have been starker. In 1987 Wenders' solicitous angels looked down on a city where East still faced West over a wall. Both parts of the city could already share much the same electronic culture on television and video. But the c...

  • Put your talents in focus, Mr Fry
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    It's difficult for me to empathise with Fry because when I get bad press, it's usually to do with the characters I do on telly rather than personal attacks and, if the attacks are personal, I can hardly complain because I spent five years on Spitting...

  • LEADING ARTICLE : The poverty of family policy
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    Now, it seems that the decline of the traditional family has eroded one of our social cornerstones. So, argue some politicians, we need a "family policy" to deter divorce and to restore the cosy firesides of the 1950s. But is this the right answer? A...

  • words : Process
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    The word (it comes from the past participle of procedere, to go forward, a hopeful verb) has had both meanings for about 600 years, which could be why "the peace process" has a touch of ambivalence about it. It is not a matter of throwing people toge...

  • CAPTAIN MOONLIGHT : All these wigs look the same to me, Your Honour
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    n THIS MEDIA business can be frustrating and thankless, let me tell you. Take Talk Radio, the new commercial radio station. There you are, on a mission to offend, packed out with characters called "shock jocks'', operating "at the edge" of broadcasti...

  • Political Commentary : Mr Heath paid dearly for asking a silly question
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    These questions perplexed Norman St John-Stevas too. Just before the decision to hold the election was taken, Walter Annenberg, the United States ambassador, gave a dinner party where several ministers were present. With Margaret Thatcher, St John-St...

  • What are you supposed to say when the world is coming to an end?
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    The German paper I read runs daily a selection of items from the same day in 1945. It is a collage: official bulletins, scraps from letters home, diary entries, fragments of memoir. No commentary is needed. Germany was dying, and everybody knew it. S...

  • Why more women are going to prison
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    It was not just the formidable Baroness who thought that way. The few women in prison were often seen as mentally ill rather than as criminally deviant in the way that men were - hence the plans, announced in 1968, to rebuild Holloway women's prison ...

  • Mad on animal rights
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    Carla Lane, creator of The Liver Birds, Bread, The Mistress, Solo and Butterflies, celebrity animal activist, is being immensely polite, as befits a demonstration at which lipsticked blondes carry placards announcing "JPs against live animal exports"...

  • The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold : I adore women but members must come first
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    I have long been a passionate believer in women being given more executive jobs, particularly if those jobs involve neither driving nor mathematics, which, as they would be the first to agree, are not their strong suits. In my experience, women make ...

  • LEADING ARTICLE : Just a few bits of old history
    Sunday, 26 February 1995

    The beauty of this thing called history is its variety, the layers of life that merge imperceptibly with each other, down and down and back and back. The uses of this thing called history can range from the modest to the immense. A woman buys a jar o...

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