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Home 1995 March

Sunday, 19 March 1995

  • How Mr Clarke could feel better
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    Had Kenneth Clarke been entirely candid, he would have drawn attention to the reverse double whammy which the unconfessed failure of the exchange- rate mechanism (ERM) continues to inflict on the long-suffering but now angry British (and Conservative...

  • LETTER:Teeth, money and politics
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    Sir: I wish to register with an NHS dentist because I believe that health care, free to all at the point of access, without regard to patients' income, is one of the bases of a civilised society. Yours sincerely, ALICE GOLDIE Brighton

  • LETTER:Seatbelts make a useful Euromyth
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    Sir: A small paragraph on yesterday's front page of the Independent states that regulations about seatbelts in coaches and buses "will only apply to vehicles carrying children as otherwise they would conflict with EU rules which do not specify the ne...

  • LETTER:Attitudes to Irish people in Britain
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    Sir: Contrary to Gearoid O'Meachair's sad letter on the plight of the Irish and, in particular, that of the Irish emigrant in Britain today, sadly, I fear that "millions of people" in Britain were not in fact celebrating St Patrick's Day on Friday, e...

  • Lost options under a sexual ID system
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    A lifetime's living together most probably indicates a highly successful friendship (unless one woman is the prisoner of the other, as would happen in the case of the paid companion with nowhere else to go) but the example as given so far could easil...

  • Such a lovely man, our Ron
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    Sir, I find it sad that in all the coverage given to the late Ronnie Kray, no mention has been made of his abiding love of cricket, and which I think shows a gentler side to his nature than has often been depicted. He and I often played together in t...

  • A piggy bank for knowledge
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    National education and training targets have been established. The staying-on rate at age 16 has climbed from 30 per cent to almost 75 per cent, and the proportion of young people going on to higher education has risen from 10 per cent to 30 per cent...

  • LETTER:EC subsidies lead to overfishing
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    Sir: Last year my wife and I sailed our boat across Biscay and down the west coast of Spain round to the Mediterranean. We were delighted to find that seemingly every port which we put into for the night was equipped with a large new harbour and fish...

  • Anorak tendency at Westminster
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    And we all know what conclusions to draw, don't we? Most MPs are lazy, self-serving and greedy, content to lecture on the need for hard work, and then swanning off on freebies, or moonlighting to earn a second salary. The trouble is that the Observer...

  • ISMISM New concepts for the Nineties No. 8: consettism
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    consett v to reveal, usually unwittingly, that one lives in the past. Orig: late C20, usually attributed to K Clarke, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, a now largely forgotten figure, who waxed lyrical about the town's unsuccessful steel works as if ...

  • LETTER:Europe's role in bringing about reconciliation in Algeria
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    Sir: Robert Fisk's articles over the past two weeks and your perceptive leading article highlight the disintegrating situation in Algeria. You state that this is a textbook case for the European Union to speak with the authority of its common foreign...

  • LEADING ARTICLE:Science and apple pie
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    This week is the second of its kind, a follow-on from last year's efforts at raising the public profile of science, engineering and technology. That the public should understand more about science has become rather like motherhood and apple pie; ther...

  • LETTER:Wages of Sinn Fein
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    Sir: Now that Sinn Fein is raising loadsadollars in the US, perhaps it will be able to pay Gerry Adams a salary so that he will no longer have the humiliation of receiving state benefits from the UK. Yours faithfully, ELIZABETH THOMAS Halvergate, Nor...

  • LETTER:Comic relief: a sick joke
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    Sir: Tony Blair's Islington, in the top 10 of charity givers, and Dennis Skinner's Bolsover, in the bottom 10 (report, 17 March), perhaps hints at something about where new Labour is departing from "old" in planning a future welfare state. Mr Blair's...

  • LETTER:World of banking
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    Sir: Hamish McRae (13 March), writes that the World Bank should ask itself what it is for. The Bank's Articles of Agreement state that the purposes of the Bank are to facilitate the investment of capital for productive purposes, to promote private fo...

  • LETTER:Europe's role in bringing about reconciliation in Algeria
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    Sir: Your call "for a concerted European and Arab initiative to identify (Algerian) moderates in the government and Islamic groups" to establish dialogue (leading article, 16 March) should be commended. However, there is no need to waste more time in...

  • LETTER:Teeth, money and politics
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    Sir: Your article on the state of NHS dentistry ("Do your teeth hurt yet?", 16 March) was most perceptive. I am a just-retired dental specialist who entered the profession in the early days of the NHS. After spending half a lifetime battling for bett...

  • LETTER:Comic relief: a sick joke
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    Sir: Red Nose Day, like the National Lottery, is an indulgent distraction from the real needs of the poor, raising only £10 million and giving the false impression that something effective has been done. In this country, Income Support levels are abo...

  • LETTER:Attitudes to Irish people in Britain
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    Sir: As I read Gearoid O'Meachair's letter (17 March) berating the British for their maltreatment of the Irish in Britain, I thought the Irish must celebrate both St Patrick's Day and their equivalent of April Fools' Day together. After throwing off ...

  • LETTER:Teeth, money and politics
    Monday, 20 March 1995

    Sir: It's a pity that dental surgeon Simon Fox (letter, 16 March) felt the need to be offensive about his professional colleagues. There is high (and low) quality dentistry in both private and NHS dentistry, but only in the NHS is there quality contr...

  • LETTER : Costing the social chapter
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    Social security costs, which add to expenditure on labour by the employer and reduce employees' take-home pay, include (in addition to income tax) items such as health insurance, pension contributions and other obligatory social taxes. All of these a...

  • LETTER : Conservation in the suburbs
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    All of this is a bit like my house now actually, or according to one of the "heritage police" quoted, my "slum". Anna Withers Leeds

  • LETTER : Inflated education sums
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    Would Ms Abrams argue for a substantial increase in the defence budget because military inflation was running at 20 per cent above RPI? Lesley Gear Kew, Surrey

  • LETTER : Island facts
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    And for the benefit of television and radio newsreaders: the correct pronunciation of the name is Newf'ndLAND, with the stress on the last syllable. As Newfoundlanders explain to come-from-aways: "underSTAND? Newf'ndLAND". Alan Fisk Stowmarket, Suffo...

  • LETTER : Women graduates struggle to get jobs too
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    I find the language of the article chilling when it might instead have been compassionate and informative. The point is that we just are, and a society or community that values people for simply being is not likely to have the difficulties you descri...

  • LETTER : Fairies don't do the cleaning
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    I am the retired caretaker of a local high school which employed some 24 "ladies" daily on a part-time basis. Prior to contracting out we had a school to be proud of. Now there is a workforce of 16, the hourly rate is reduced by £1, there is no holid...

  • LETTER : Health costs are not endless
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    The demand for health care is not infinite; it is quantifiable. Some people need very little health care: they go through life with scarcely a day off and end up "dying on the golf course". Others are less fortunate and need varying amounts. It is th...

  • LETTER : In disbelief
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    And his argument that Orthodox Judaism has something to teach us today is absurd in a society where almost no one believes in Jewish scriptures or Jewish law and where a third of the population doesn't believe in any religion at all. Nicolas Walter H...

  • LETTER : Labour's public-private tussle
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    Tony Blair and the "modernisers" are wrong in attempts to remove Clause IV from the constitution of the Labour Party. It defines what the party has stood for and should stand for; not Thatcherism or Majorism with a human face but a real alternative. ...

  • LETTER : A name for the mentally ill
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    John Knight Policy Development Officer Leonard Cheshire Foundation

  • Rebel theologians are `wreaking havoc'
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    Richard Coles Grafton Underwood, Northants

  • REAR WINDOW: NEWFOUNDLAND Where fishes swim, men will fight
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    Cabot, having forsaken Italy for Bristol, had in that spring and summer sailed westward over the Atlantic in a small ship, the Matthew, and eventually sighted land. Returning to Bristol with the story of his discovery he had been greeted as a hero, m...

  • LETTER : Rebel theologians are `wreaking havoc'
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    This "message" was not from the council; it was from numerous rebellious theologians who since the 1960s have invoked a spurious "spirit of Vatican II" to wreak havoc in the Church they supposedly serve. Dr Stuart should study the council's real mess...

  • LETTER : BRIEFLY
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    Alan Griffiths, London E5

  • LETTER : BRIEFLY
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    Edgar Shippen, Hatfield, Herts

  • LETTER : BRIEFLY
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    Philip Best, New Malden, Surrey

  • LETTER : BRIEFLY
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    Despite this, Guildford Borough Council has just adopted a plan to tackle the problem of poor air quality caused by excessive traffic. Jayne Marks, Councillor, Guildford Borough Council

  • LETTER : A name for the mentally ill
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    The term "mental distress" is preferred in some circles, but for reasons that are more to do with factual than political correctness. Since there is no proven biological cause for any form of mental distress (with a few exceptions such as senile deme...

  • LETTER : Conservation in the suburbs
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    Far from being "self-appointed heritage police" or "cultural Stasi", the local Conservation Committee is elected by residents. I can only think that the "virtual war" Pennington describes breaking out during the discussion was set up for the occasion...

  • LETTER : Women graduates struggle to get jobs too
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    First, the figures apparently showing that "women graduates now find it easier to get jobs than their male counterparts" are considerably biased by teacher- training courses where women outnumber men by four to one. Since more than four-fifths of the...

  • LETTER : Labour's public-private tussle
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    ALAN Watkins ("Labour has a splendid solution. It's Clause IV", 12 March 1995) could not have been more wrong about nationalised industries. I have spent 30 years working in a nationalised utility and the last five years in the successor privatised b...

  • So that's the real Dr Rude
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    When Dr Starkey isn't queenily over-enunciating on Radio 4's The Moral Maze, he's discussing what he calls "cannabeese" on his new Saturday morning show on Talk Radio UK, or popping up in the Sun to denounce Diana - "Like a schoolgirl on heat ... she...

  • Once we worshipped our ancestors, now we worship our descendants
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    The custodian greeted me gravely. To reach him, I had descended into a cellar and then passed through a sort of air-lock chamber, with a sealed door at each end. On the wall of the airlock there was a red button. The custodian advised me that if he w...

  • Boys need men to teach them to be really silly
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    Why don't men become primary teachers? Partly, I suppose, because the pay is so insulting; but then it is for all teachers, as the state seems to consider the manufacture of adults less important than the manufacture of just about anything else. But ...

  • The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold : How I helped the poor in wonderful Copenhagen
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    "Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen!" I jested, for I am blessed with a pleasant singing voice. When young Leeson's hoots of laughter had died down, he managed to gather himself sufficiently to garnish me with some further details. "It'll be a real smas...

  • LEADER : More gaffes, more truth
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    Gordon Brown, the Shadow Chancellor, need not have been outdone. He could have gaffed in a big way, too, and said: "A return of the `feel-good factor' would be bad for Britain. People feel good when they have tax cuts, rising house prices and cheap c...

  • When the cat's away, the rats start scurrying
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    What makes it worse is that such questions are usually justified. Prime ministers either choose troubled party times for their overseas expeditions or find that their very absence from the scene has provoked a crisis of sorts. As a news editor of my ...

  • CAPTAIN MOONLIGHT : Canada goose ... pedalling Gordon ... red and proud
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    n WELCOME to Captain Moonlight's Consumer Corner.May I show you a recent purchase of mine, bought with an eye to the approach of more clement conditions? Your experience might be different, but I have always found the conventional pith helmet a touch...

  • WORDS : Solidarity
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    Solidarity was just the ticket. Old Socialists would glow with the memory of battles waged by the workers against an exploitative capitalist class. But others would think, not of confrontation between one section of society and another, but of that b...

  • Must we copy everything American?
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    Yet this is the country to which Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, repeatedly looks for new ideas on how to tackle crime: private prisons and the US security companies that operate them are already here and, if Mr Howard has his way, military-style...

  • Not quite as mad as we are
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    The myth of the mad scientist is oppressive to us, the scientists claim. It creates an atmosphere of distrust, it makes progress difficult. How is science to get its funding, ask the scientists, if the writers keep presenting us as monsters? How are ...

  • quotes of the week
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    What is this thing called the EU which is sending ultimatums on our behalf to Her Majesty's subjects in Canada? Col Maurice Willoughby in a letter to the Daily Telegraph Last year you said you had three bastards in the Cabinet. I don't think you can ...

  • THE LIST
    Sunday, 19 March 1995

    TODAY is the feast day of Saint Joseph, father of Jesus. He was a carpenter and was told by the angel that Mary's pregnancy was divinely ordained. One visionary biography tells us that he was 89 at the time he married Mary and was celibate throughout...

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