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Friday, 2 June 1995

  • British Gas backers should be made more accountable
    Saturday, 3 June 1995

    Sir: Am I the only person who believes that Cedric Brown deserves his financial remuneration? In my opinion, the mistake that Mr Brown is making is not renaming British Gas. If it were to be called American Gas, Mr Brown would be on three times his p...

  • Myth of PC in Islington
    Saturday, 3 June 1995

    Sir: The state of Islington's children's homes in the late Eighties was a disgrace, and Islington Council must take the responsibility for the failure to rectify this earlier. However, before Margaret Hodge is assigned to history as the propagator of...

  • 'Sir Harold' gaffe
    Saturday, 3 June 1995

    Sir: Having read in the past week countless reports, obituaries and anecdotes concerning the late Harold Wilson, I would like to add my own account of the one and only occasion on which I met him. It occurred in a supermarket checkout queue in Victor...

  • When gerbils bite
    Saturday, 3 June 1995

    Sir: Concerning Geraldine Tausig's and Chris Moncrieff's comments on gerbils (letters; 30, 31 May), I would not wish potential gerbil-keepers to be discouraged by Mr Moncrieff's unfortunate experience. Due to their gregarious and inquisitive nature, ...

  • I have heard the mermaids singing
    Saturday, 3 June 1995

    I used to come to the Ivy when I was a theatrical manager. I winged a few pigeons here in my day, once, with both barrels, brought down David Jacobs, the fashionable solicitor. I took him for pounds 10,000 and the next time I saw him, I, through a co...

  • Prisons policy: victims, recidivism and home leave
    Saturday, 3 June 1995

    Sir: Polly Toynbee raises the issue of whether it was lawful for the Home Secretary to withdraw home leave from prisoners. Until the new criteria were introduced, a large number of prisoners up and down the country enjoyed home leave and temporary re...

  • High street blues
    Saturday, 3 June 1995

    Sir: I can understand Peter Popham's concern for the future of towns like Dorchester (Magazine: "Doomsday for rural England", 27 May), but what does he suggest as a practical alternative? I have lived and worked in or near towns in rural England all ...

  • Prisons policy: victims, recidivism and home leave
    Saturday, 3 June 1995

    Sir: The most interesting thing about Polly Toynbee's long article about crime and punishment ("Listen, minister; prison doesn't work", 31 May) is that she made no mention of victims. The success of prison as a punishment cannot be measured solely by...

  • Prisons policy: victims, recidivism and home leave
    Saturday, 3 June 1995

    Sir: Contrary to Polly Toynbee's claim, Home Office Research Finding No 12 states, "There was no firm evidence that community penalties outperformed custody or vice versa in preventing re-offending". In fact, probation orders with a probation centre ...

  • British Gas backers should be made more accountable
    Saturday, 3 June 1995

    Sir: Now that shareholders have been shown to be impotent in the face of the block vote wielded by unscrupulous British Gas executives, non- violent direct action is the only channel left open to those who seek to get fat snouts out of the trough. Ce...

  • British Gas backers should be made more accountable
    Saturday, 3 June 1995

    Sirs: Would the City institutions and pension funds who, by their block voting tactics, supported the salaries awarded to Cedric Brown and other British Gas directors, please be so kind as to let the UK population know their identities. I am sure the...

  • British Gas backers should be made more accountable
    Saturday, 3 June 1995

    Sir: The Prime Minister has insisted that the huge increase in boardroom salaries is a matter for shareholders. As a result, I and 700 other shareholders of British Gas attended its AGM this week to test out the shareholding democracy that privatisat...

  • It's the real power of Gas
    Saturday, 3 June 1995

    Now, sitting in their kitchens and lounges, out shopping or playing with the kids, the Gas shareholders, like Mr Nadin (Letters, opposite), should reflect not on their failure, but on their success. Not just in winning a moral victory, but in represe...

  • A decisive week with no clear outcome
    Saturday, 3 June 1995

    "Of course," says Douglas Hurd, the Foreign Secretary, "there is no such thing as 'the international community'. That is part of the problem." As if to underline Mr Hurd's world-weary point, this morning in Paris ministers from 14 countries will meet...

  • A wrinkled, saggy woman carrying a foetus? Yuk
    Saturday, 3 June 1995

    Imagine an old woman with wrinkled dugs, prune-shrivelled womb, dewlaps and liver spots, challenging nature with such effrontery. Yuk. Could anything be more disgusting than pumping her full of eostrogen and implanting a poor innocent little fertilis...

  • Lifting their weary spirits at home
    Saturday, 3 June 1995

    After all, the spirits industry spent pounds 39.3m last year plastering poster sites, colour supplements and cinema screens with its seductive messages, leaving consumers with the wholly justified impression that a plug for Bacardi or Gordon's Gin wa...

  • QUOTE UNQUOTE
    Saturday, 3 June 1995

    You choose the shape of breasts you want from Polaroid shots, which I thought was rather fun - Shirley Conran, novelist, who had surgery to reduce her bust size from 46DD to 36B Much as we would all like to do it, bombing terrorist armies into submis...

  • LETTER:13 million mines in French fields
    Friday, 2 June 1995

    Sir: You refer ("Scandal of PoWs sent to deaths on minefields", "Minefield plague was legacy of war for France", 23 May) to the French estimate that "2,500 Germans and 500 French died during the mine clearances" [in post- war France], while "archives...

  • LEADING ARTICLE:At last, some sense from Washington
    Friday, 2 June 1995

    Yet both the wording of his statement and the immediate congressional reaction to it suggest this will not be an easy option. Mr Clinton said he would send troops if necessary and only after consulting the Congress. He defined their possible task as ...

  • LETTER:Snakes with a suitable diet
    Friday, 2 June 1995

    Sir: Chris Moncrieff (Letters, 31 May) could do a lot worse than choose a snake as a first pet, but I would suggest a corn snake would be ideal, rather than a boa constrictor. Three years ago, we bought a hatchling corn snake (nominally for the child...

  • LETTER:Well-trained
    Friday, 2 June 1995

    Sir: Surely Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends (Letters, 29 May) teach us not altruism but "altrailism"? His readers grow up with a recognition of the importance of railways, not begrudging the spending of their taxes on a sensible transport poli...

  • LETTER:In utero music a case of headbanging
    Friday, 2 June 1995

    Sir: Janet Mason's account of playing tapes to her baby reminds me of the similar claims that were made for abdominal decompression treatment in pregnancy, which was supposed to create brighter progeny. Mothers who went through the treatment insisted...

  • LETTER:Bosnia: failure to deliver medical aid, and a promise not kept
    Friday, 2 June 1995

    Sir: In his eloquent and obviously deeply felt columns on Bosnia, there is one issue that Andrew Marr has not addressed. If, by military intervention, we bring about some settlement of the conflict, how are we going to ensure that this will outlast o...

  • LETTER:School speech day
    Friday, 2 June 1995

    Sir: School speech days can be turgid affairs, not least because of the predictable nature of those presenting the prizes. So how refreshing it was to hear recently of Hurstpierpoint College inviting the German defence minister, Volker Ruhe, to be th...

  • LETTER:Barbie's elusive black friend
    Friday, 2 June 1995

    Sir: The children of Anthony Femelly are lucky to have been bought the Duplo "World People" set last Christmas (Letters, 26 May). I searched high and low for the set for my own two avid Duplo collectors and finally discovered that it had been withdra...

  • LETTER:Sharing theatrical production costs
    Friday, 2 June 1995

    Sir: Co-production between theatres ("Co-productions alone cannot keep curtains rising", 31 May) can also include partnerships with commercial producers as one way to relieve the financial crisis of regional theatres in England. Such companies are ab...

  • A tax on men? It's dafter than it sounds
    Friday, 2 June 1995

    Now the state has come up with something new, in the form of June Stephenson, a feminist psychologist. In her new book, Men Are Not Cost Effective: Male Crime In America, she argues that a special tax should be imposed on men because they are the mai...

  • ANOTHER VIEW; The rate for regulating gas
    Friday, 2 June 1995

    The truth is, I am having discussions - which have been going on for several months - with the Department of Trade and Industry about my pay and conditions. Before I explain why, let's look at the job I do. The decisions of regulators affect the live...

  • LEADING ARTICLE:Phone call from a heavy breather
    Friday, 2 June 1995

    It is tempting to snigger. Mr Baker himself is the health and fitness editor of a new men's magazine, Maxim. The cover of the June edition advertises a story entitled "What can a lesbian teach you about sex? (If you reckon the answer is 'nothing', yo...

  • Fantasy, lovingly rebuilt
    Friday, 2 June 1995

    The great attraction lies in the nature of the building's restoration: it has, with great expense (pounds 20m), time (six years), and energy (the skilled labour of more than a thousand craftworkers) been restored to more or less the exact state it wa...

  • LETTER:Serious research into breast cancer
    Friday, 2 June 1995

    Sir: "Where's the serious research?" asks Esther Oxford in her article about "loony advice controlling breast cancer" ("Eat more soya and burn your bra", 30 May). The answer is that the serious research is there, in laboratories, in clinics. We under...

  • Making a knight of it
    Friday, 2 June 1995

    Roger was a civil servant. He worked in the Ministry of Sundries. The Ministry of Sundries looks after all the business of government that nobody else admits responsibility for. If the Home Office don't want to know, and the Foreign Office is not inv...

  • LETTER:Bosnia: failure to deliver medical aid, and a promise not kept
    Friday, 2 June 1995

    Sir: Yesterday, I returned from Bosnia after unsuccessfully attempting to enter Sarajevo with medical and surgical supplies for the State Hospital. It soon became clear that the choices, as described to me by my "minders" from the charity with which ...

  • LETTER:In utero music a case of headbanging
    Friday, 2 June 1995

    Sir: Janet Mason's description ("How my baby joined the beat generation", 30 May) of playing sounds to her daughter in utero, through loudspeakers worn on a belt, mentions her worry about the sound being too loud. The intended recipient was, of cours...

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