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Thursday, 11 May 1995

  • LETTER: Afraid to fight for Europe
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    Sir: Three cheers for Polly Toynbee for articulating the disgust felt by many like me for the feebleness of the pro-Europe lobby. I would go further and accuse the majority of Tory MPs - as well as the majority of the Cabinet - of failing to speak ou...

  • LETTER: Empire's fight against fascism
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    Sir: Perhaps, as Niall Meehan claims, we did not fight in order to save "the Jews, gypsies, Communists, gays and other groups" but the fact that we did fight saved many of these people. No doubt Mr Meehan is proud of his country's neutrality, unlike ...

  • A certain kind of Conservative
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    Things to Come eschews gossip: the publishers have not provided an index, but if there were one it would, I think, contain only one entry for Thatcher, none for Major and two for the President of the Board of Trade. Notwithstanding the claims of the ...

  • New ecology in public life
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    Next they found them wanting; the rules, such as they were, were often imprecise and unenforcable. Finally, the committee recommended clarity, transparency and an element of independent scrutiny backed by a degree of force. Outside intervention, for ...

  • Fur flies over animal traps
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    We would point out that most of the animals taken in the wild are killed as part of wildlife conservation programmes, or for reasons of pest or disease control or crop or habitat protection. Many industries use the animal by-products; the fur trade, ...

  • LETTER: Hot air for sale
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    Sir: Not long ago, the Government promoted VAT on fuel and power on the grounds that this would encourage energy conservation. Now (report, 10 May) it is promoting the privatisation of nuclear electricity on the grounds that this will reduce prices. ...

  • LETTER: Empire's fight against fascism
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    Sir: What ignorance Niall Meehan shows to write that Britain ruled over two-thirds of the Earth's surface when in fact never more than a quarter of the map was ever coloured red. Of this, the four dominions were self- governing, as was his own countr...

  • LETTER: Afraid to fight for Europe
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    Sir: Polly Toynbee ("Who will come out fighting for Europe?", 10 May) is right in castigating pusillanimous business leaders and frightened Conservative pro-European politicians for failing to provide finance or speak out for Britain in Europe. The u...

  • LEADING ARTICLE: A tonic for Westminster
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    A defining feature of a modern liberal political culture is that its leaders are not a law unto themselves. There must be carefully designed checks and balances between the powers of the elected politicians and the judiciary. For too long British leg...

  • Funny you should ask
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    This was a difficult question to answer. I had seen one or two of the early episodes, and laughed, and hadn't laughed since, even though I have seen quite a lot more episodes, because it struck me that what made the early episodes funny either didn't...

  • The loneliness of the long-distance city
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    For example, the vast internal distances within Australia meant that the main cities developed independently of each other, even to the extent of building railways of three different gauges - the final conversion to a single standard has been complet...

  • LETTER: Barnsley Labour: reborn and ready
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    Sir: As a member of the Barnsley Labour Party, I am surprised by the views attributed to activists in Simon Garfield's article, "They're not bitter, they're for Blair" (9 May). Statements such as the present leadership is so terrified of activists sa...

  • LEADING ARTICLE: Kenneth Clarke's big gamble
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    If the Bank's analysis is half-way right, it means that the Chancellor has taken a tremendous gamble with the economy. Britain's ignominious exit from the ERM on Black Wednesday tarnished the Tories' reputation for competent economic management. Mr C...

  • LETTER: Healthy drinking
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    Sir: I wish you'd stop parroting claims about the salutary effects of wine-drinking ("A bottle of wine a day 'keeps angina away' ", 5 May). The only demonstrable fact is that someone who enjoys a few glasses a day is likely a priori to be a better-ba...

  • LETTER: How to control UN agencies
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    Sir: You perceptively analyse what is wrong with international agencies ("A world order of scandal and graft", 11 May), but you are wrong in the conclusions you draw from the one instance in recent years when Western countries have withdrawn from a U...

  • LETTER: US embassy ploy is threat to peace
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    Sir: Patrick Cockburn is wrong to report that Senator Bob Dole had "hitherto shown little interest in the location of the US embassy in Israel" before introducing his congressional bill to relocate it to Jerusalem ("US embassy plan adds to Jerusalem ...

  • LETTER: Power to the House of Lords: Enoch's dilemma
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    Sir: Your leading article "Ermine in the gloaming" (10 May) jumps upon an old and very rickety bandwagon with the statement: "The anachronism of hereditary membership should be abolished." In reply, I would maintain that the hereditary peerage is the...

  • LETTER: Empire's fight against fascism
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    Sir: Niall Meehan (Letters, 10 May) vastly exaggerates the size of the British Empire, which even at its greatest extent occupied less than a quarter of the Earth's land surface (12m square miles out of 52.5m, according to the Encylopaedia Britannica...

  • LETTER: Power to the House of Lords: Enoch's dilemma
    Friday, 12 May 1995

    Sir: However we reform the composition of the Lords ("Should be change the rules of this club?", 9 May), Enoch Powell's dilemma remains insoluble. If we give the House of Lords too little power, it will not be able to protect us from misbehaviour on ...

  • Why go on meeting like this?
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    In a sense it should not be so. In terms of the global economy, far more hinges on America's ties with Japan, "the most important bilateral relationship in the world", as officials in Washington will intone with appropriate gravity. Yet US/Japanese s...

  • LETTER : Pro-Europeans are organising to fight back
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    Sir: Polly Toynbee makes some useful points. However, her sweeping indictment of the European side of the national debate left out some pretty fundamental points. Westminster was not even mentioned, yet it is badly informed backbenchers and anti-Euro...

  • LETTER : Pro-Europeans are organising to fight back
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    Sir: Polly Toynbee is absolutely right when she writes that the pro-Europeans have let down the case for full British participation in Europe ("Who will come out fighting for Europe?", 10 May). It is true that most pro- Europeans, including the Europ...

  • LETTER : Still a reason to celebrate
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    Sir: As a 33-year-old member of the white working class, as Ruth Picardie ("Time to put away national symbols that leave bad taste", 9 May) calls me, I celebrated VE Day with union flags and bunting on the walls of my terraced house. We had a party f...

  • LETTER : More projects for the millennium
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    Sir: I understand that there is a possibility of putting spires back on the three towers of Lincoln Minster with funding from the Millennium Fund. I have known the cathedral for a long time - looked at it close to, and from afar. Always, something se...

  • LEADING ARTICLE : After the vote - the debate
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    It is natural for Labour, a party that still identifies itself with the creation of the welfare state, to treat the NHS more as a monument to be preserved than a service to be modernised. Labour says it wants a "moratorium" on closures, and to "slow ...

  • LETTER : Serious money for Channel 5 licence
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    Sir: As a member of a group which has bid £36m for the Channel 5 licence, I was naturally interested to learn from Rhys Williams ("Identical bids for C5 provoke disbelief", 4 May) that, according to Kleinwort Benson's media analyst, "the experience o...

  • You can't bank on bluffness, Ken
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    You would not have gathered from his pugnacious, uncomplicated speech to the Scottish Tory conference yesterday that Clarke was facing such a test. It was full of the conventional stuff about the Tories and sound money. Yet by disagreeing with the Go...

  • LETTER : More projects for the millennium
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    Sir: I hope the European Union is also considering how to commemorate the millennium (Letters, 10 May). A bridge or tunnel linking Ireland to Britain, if technically feasible, would be a good way for the European Union to celebrate the millennium. Yo...

  • LETTER : Still a reason to celebrate
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    Sir: Ruth Picardie, who lives in a free and democratic country and makes her living writing for an independent and uncensored newspaper, thinks that the 50th anniversary of the defeat of Nazism is irrelevant. What a very stupid thing to think. Yours ...

  • LEADING ARTICLE : Spare the cash, spoil the parent
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    Modern children do not expect to make sacrifices for the sake of the family. They are like the schnorrer (beggar) in the Jewish story, who regularly receives food and clothes from a respectable household. One day the woman of the house tearfully tell...

  • LETTER : Pro-Europeans are organising to fight back
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    Sir: Polly Toynbee claims that "anti-Europeans have effected a stranglehold on the media". Presumably, she does not read the Independent. Yours sincerely, JOHN TORODE London, NW3 10 May

  • Why go on meeting like this?
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    The images, with soldiers dressed in the uniforms worn when American and Soviet armies met on the River Elbe, were deliberately old-fashioned. But it is more than the clothes that were dated. The tandem, born in the alliance against Hitler and then f...

  • LETTER : Election result
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    Sir: The Tories must feel well satisfied for at last giving us the "feel good factor". Yours sincerely, JOHN PEMBERTON Hathersage, Derbyshire 6 May

  • LETTER : Gloom among rail bidders
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    Sir: Lord Kirkwood's rejection of "ghost" trains as a ploy to evade statutory line closure procedures ("Sleeper reprieve may slow privatisation", 10 May) is another blow to companies expecting formal invitations to tender for the first three franchis...

  • ANOTHER VIEW : Hereditary peers have uses
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    That view of the Lords, although perhaps a little extreme, emphasises one of the greatest strengths of the upper chamber. It is seen as the legitimate part of Parliament, a legislative chamber that has survived for almost a thousand years. It has an ...

  • Celtic names to make you spit
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    It is not given to many people to be able to restore a local native pronunciation at the same time as they are warding off a banal misreading. We English tend to be pretty cackhanded and conservative about pronunciations, and generally take the easy ...

  • LETTER : Wherefore silence? It's all relative ...
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    Sir: Paul Vallely ("Silence. For two whole minutes. Can this man be serious?", 8 May) is right to emphasise the importance of silence in music as presaged by the groundbreaking innovation of John Cage, yet, erroneously, he states that devotees search...

  • LETTER : Browned off by skin cancer patrol
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    Sir: I was amazed by your report of skin cancer counsellors patrolling Welsh beaches (8 May) and persuading holidaymakers to protect themselves from the carcinogenic effects of sunlight. So now we cannot even in sit in the sun without suffering the u...

  • LETTER : Moscow farce ignores Chechnya's fate
    Thursday, 11 May 1995

    and others Sir: Fifty foreign leaders, with many heads of state among them, have been in Moscow celebrating the victory over fascism. Out of consideration for these visitors, the Russian government has declared an interruption to hostilities during t...

  • Get to the point
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