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Home 1995 May

Wednesday, 17 May 1995

  • Labour's attempt to regulate the privatised utilities
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    Sir: Your Business Comment column is wrong to report that Labour has done a "U-turn" on a windfall profits tax (16 May.) My proposals for more fairness in the distribution of profits in privatised monopoly industries are not an alternative to a windf...

  • Seeing the dividends of devolution
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    Sir: James Fenton's article on Scottish devolution is one of the more sensible and sensitive ones I have read to date ("The time is right for a velvet divorce", 15 May). His likening of it to a trial separation is indeed magnanimous, implying as it d...

  • Australian statehood
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    Sir: Patrick Cosgrove (letter, 15 May) is wide of the mark with his remarks on the constitutional status of the Northern Territory of Australia. The Northern Territory, formerly administered from Canberra, the federal capital, has had statehood for m...

  • Seeing the dividends of devolution
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    Sir: John Major, while being "clearly against any dilution of the Union", nevertheless is committed to upholding policies that put the strength of the Union to test. This is demonstrated in his refusal to countenance any decentralisation of power fro...

  • Doubts about donations
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    Sir: Lord McAlpine seems to think he has settled the problem of political funding when he says that people have the right to give money privately to the party of their choice. However, the issue is not the donor's right to privacy but whether the rec...

  • If the name fits ...
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    Sir: Miles Kington's piece on surnames ("Why Mr Bugg's idea backfired", 15 May) reminds me of some advice I heard given by a canny old solicitor some years ago. He told a client, who wanted to be rid of an insulting surname, to change it twice - firs...

  • Woolly thinking in the Army
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    Sir: Your "Generation Why" strip cartoon (12 May) showing animal lovers releasing sheep on to a Ministry of Defence gunnery range reminded me of National Service infantry exercises in Wales in 1960. It was explained by our directing staff that the fa...

  • Burden of an unwieldy name
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    Sir: Your leading article comments that Baroness Cumberlege's name "suggests unwieldiness on the brink". I understand what you are saying, she should have acquired a more media-friendly name, perhaps from the ranks of the make- believe characters of ...

  • Labour's attempt to regulate the privatised utilities
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    Sir: Tony Blair's condemnation of the "unseemly racket" in the privatised utilities is to be welcomed, although Labour's proposed remedies such as enhanced regulation and a consumer dividend do not go far enough. A pledge to bring gas, water and elec...

  • Cosmetic changes will not affect crime
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    Sir: The Home Secretary's plans to tilt further the trial process in favour of the prosecution display an offensively cynical approach to his remit to deal with the problem of crime ("Howard gives prosecution a better chance", May 17). The day the Bi...

  • Contract pressure on charities
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    Sir: Polly Toynbee's piece about the dilemmas facing charities which take on contracts to provide local authority or health authority services was well argued (17 May). She misses one point though. There are some charities, Carers National Associatio...

  • Doubts about donations
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    Sir: Lord McAlpine ("Don't waste your time, Lord Nolan", 16 May) seeks to justify the acceptance of money from overseas donors by the Conservative Party by claiming that, as party treasurer, he applied the criteria "would money from this particular s...

  • Labour's attempt to regulate the privatised utilities
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    Sir: Was it a coincidence that the Independent published news of Labour's plans for controlling privatised utilities ("Labour plans 'fat cats' act", 17 May) in the same edition as a full-size reproduction of a classic Monopoly board? To the serious M...

  • 'Bill' Carling and other odd stories
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    1. As it has become increasingly embarrassing for John Major or any cabinet minister to address the dwindling numbers of Scottish Conservatives - and indeed decreasingly cost-effective to do so - it has been decided from now on that whenever the Scot...

  • Even hamburger flippers have to eat
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    It wasn't always thus, and it is about to change. Back in 1909, introducing an early version of wages councils, Winston Churchill called it ''a serious national evil that any class of His Majesty's subjects should receive less than a living wage ... ...

  • Hello, sailor ... or goodbye?
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    Mr Turnbull is to sailing what Frank Spencer was to home maintenance and his fellow Dundonian William McGonagall was to poetry. Much as he tries, everything seems to go wrong. Since setting sail from Hastings five weeks ago in the Curlew, his 18ft ya...

  • REFLECTION; Why bishops are like apes
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    The Bishop of Edinburgh is not the first nor probably the last cleric to look to nature for an explanation of human sexual desire. A century or more ago, a Reverend FO Morris, a keen amateur naturalist, was so impressed by the tranquil monogamy of th...

  • Hurray, they've noticed the problem
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    In the space of three days, there have been four important contributions to this discussion, two from Labour politicians, two from Conservative ones. The ideas from the left are Gordon Brown's plans to reform monetary policy, disclosed yesterday, and...

  • Don't sack the manager
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    Since the start of the season in August, 43 of the 92 Premier and Football League clubs have changed managers. Some even managed to wield the axe more than once, so that 52 managers were involved on the merry-go-round. That's more than twice the aver...

  • It's prudent, but is it radical?
    Thursday, 18 May 1995

    Yesterday's speech, the second in a series, addressed the question of "Labour's macroeconomic framework". It represents a fundamental break with Labour's past. The mood music is all about fiscal probity, public audit and the absence of quick fixes. "...

  • LETTER:Keeping an eye on Skinner's footwork
    Wednesday, 17 May 1995

    Sir: On reading of Dennis Skinner's expulsion from the Commons this week for using "unparliamentary language" ("Ballistic anger puts Skinner in the ejector seat", 10 May), it reminded me that his rousing performances are part of a tradition related t...

  • Charities don't need a contracting role
    Wednesday, 17 May 1995

    However, that sounds reasonably clear, brave and admirable since the poor are not a cuddly cause, and they score badly in other charitable giving. The National Trust comes top, Oxfam second, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution third, followed by ...

  • LETTER:Imran's wedding: unveiling some truths about Islamic customs
    Wednesday, 17 May 1995

    Sir: The general consensus view, from both the tabloids and broadsheets, is that Imran Khan's wedding to Jemima Goldsmith is going to end in tears. The main reason given seems to be the question of how a 21-year-old, alcohol-swigging "English Rose" w...

  • Is this a blue pencil I see before me?
    Wednesday, 17 May 1995

    Well, according to John Birt, director-general of the BBC, it just tells lies and creates a new, false truth. That is why Shakespeare's play Macbeth will not be appearing again on our screens, not if the BBC has anything to do with it. The shock deci...

  • LETTER:Labour's plans for Scotland
    Wednesday, 17 May 1995

    Sir: Thank goodness for Malcolm Rifkind's sensible words about Scottish devolution yesterday ("Major and Rifkind at odds over Scotland", 13 May), the first we have heard from a senior Tory. John Major's blind opposition to Scotland's evident wishes i...

  • LETTER:abour's plans for Scotland
    Wednesday, 17 May 1995

    Sir: James Fenton unwittingly puts his finger on the precise explanation for the cynicism which he is so reluctant to believe of the Labour Party's position on devolution ("The time is right for a velvet divorce", 15 May). Trial separations, as he no...

  • LETTER:Why the hyperbole about Ebola virus?
    Wednesday, 17 May 1995

    Sir: Steve Connor ("Killer bug whose time has come", 13 May) argues his case for the world's vulnerability to infectious disease by highlighting the recent Ebola virus outbreak in Zaire. Yet, by his own account, the virus "is not easily transmitted" ...

  • LETTER:A plea for sanity
    Wednesday, 17 May 1995

    Sir: I was dismayed to read the Generation Why cartoon on 15 May. The continued portrayal by the media of psychiatrists being in need of as much help as their patients serves only to perpetuate the stigmatisation of the mentally ill and those who car...

  • LEADING ARTICLE:When being cross is not enough
    Wednesday, 17 May 1995

    Certainly nurses are very cross and sensible governments usually manage to avoid confrontation with them - if only for reasons of expediency. But being cross does not necessarily make them right. They are, for instance, wrong about local pay. It make...

  • LETTER:Loopholes in the Nolan report
    Wednesday, 17 May 1995

    Sir: With reference to the Nolan Committee's report on standards in public life, there is a real danger that media pressure and public excitement could stampede Parliament into unwise, unworkable and fundamentally unfair measures. The committee has r...

  • LETTER:The red flag still flies in Islington
    Wednesday, 17 May 1995

    Sir: Islington council's decision to raise the European Union flag on VE Day is to be welcomed, but Andrew Grant-Adamson (letter, 15 May) should not assume that the "blueing" of Labour is complete. Clause IV may have gone, but the Labour majority on ...

  • No sex please, we're sailors
    Wednesday, 17 May 1995

    But the argument did not fall down totally, for the inherent openness of a heterosexual relationship made it less problematic. I recall a Chief Petty-Officer who showed signs of becoming infatuated with a Radar Plot Wren being teased vigorously by hi...

  • LETTER:A road taxer
    Wednesday, 17 May 1995

    Sir: I read about the demonstration in Camden High Street yesterday, with the ceremonial destruction of three cars ("Road protesters 'reclaim' high street", 15 May). Did the protesters use a vehicle to bring the cars to their final wrecking place? Yo...

  • The Chancellor in waiting
    Wednesday, 17 May 1995

    Mr Brown is determined to be - wait for it - "tough on inflation and tough on the causes of inflation". But what he will not do today is announce that that the Bank of England will be independent under Labour. In the course of a long interview he rep...

  • Imran's wedding: unveiling some truths about Islamic customs
    Wednesday, 17 May 1995

    Sir: Angela Lambert is way off the mark if she (and other writers of her ilk) thinks that Muslim women are typified by "veiling from head to toe" and "taking second place to their husbands". There are thousands of career-orientated Muslim women throu...

  • LEADING ARTICLE:An organic but lonely furrow
    Wednesday, 17 May 1995

    But the best of us carry on with organic ways because we know they are a Good Thing whose time has come. We push the trolley unflinchingly past those lovely shiny vegetables in the supermarket, drenched in pesticides and covered in layers of plastic....

  • LETTER:Imran's wedding: unveiling some truths about Islamic customs
    Wednesday, 17 May 1995

    Sir: With regard to Angela Lambert's article "Has Imran bowled his last maiden over?" (15 May), there is no "process of conversion" to be completed in order to become a Muslim: merely bearing witness before two adult Muslims to one's personal belief ...

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