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Saturday, 3 June 1995

  • Crisp new tenor
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    Not only audiences but critics, harder to please than the paying public, have most of them gone overboard. Alagna is "full of bravura, with a ringing top", one wrote. "His tenor is gaining power by the year and he is not afraid to use it at full thro...

    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    However, the original tycoons weren't businessmen - they were Japanese shoguns, or commanders-in-chief. Early in the 17th century the shogun Tokugawa Iyeyasu, that benevolent despot, took over pretty well all the Mikado's secular powers and in 1635 i...

  • LEADING ARTICLE : Peacekeeping all the way to catastrophe
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    Consider the sequence of events that led to the present crisis, a sequence that began only 13 days ago. Bosnian Serb forces seized UN weapons and began firing on Sarajevo. The Muslim-led Bosnian government forces fired back. The UN issued ultimatums ...

  • LETTER : How to distinguish between Labour and Conservative
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    You are wrong to lump Labour's policy of toughness on crime with the Conservatives'. Labour also aims to tackle the causes of crime through attention to the distribution of wealth,devolution to local bodies and the availability of resources to public...

  • LETTER : Can ideas ever be banned?
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    Instead of worrying about people's opinions, the question, as Bishop Berkeley so clearly saw, is to be able to think. And thinking is certainly in short supply within the German state legislature. If history has taught us anything it is that you cann...

  • CAPTAIN MOONLIGHT : Porn King and I ... a stroll in Hay ... Sher height
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    "Oh, you know Jimmy?" he exclaimed. "We were just having lunch in Le Caprice! Let's call him in. Hey Jimmy!" he yelled, and Jimmy couldn't have bounced in more quickly if he'd been listening at the door. "She done me! I get to 39 wiv'aht having one a...

  • Keep your tin hat and gas mask within reach, Mr Major
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    The Tory Party is not pacifist but it has always been pacific. David Lloyd George was kicked out of the Coalition premiership by the Conservatives in 1922 principally because of his military adventurism on the Greek side against the Turks. "We cannot...

  • British Rail card sir? That'll do nicely, thank you
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    This all seems perfectly reasonable to the Germans, but it would not be as appropriate in this country. If British Rail brought out a credit card I don't think the idea would meet with the same response. Can you really imagine a waiter in a posh rest...

  • Thank Major for stable house prices
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    Since he was a junior Treasury minister at the time of the boom, it has been widely remarked, a larger slice of the blame for that spiral lies with him than it does with the imprudent people who beggared themselves with massive mortgages or with the ...

  • Why be so careless with the facts?
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    The truth about pollution and penises is somewhat different. Scientists are concerned about the effects of certain pollutants that appear to mimic female hormones, and thus could inhibit the development of male sexual organs, but they are a very long...

  • quotes of the week
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    Lord Owen making his first speech to the House of Lords You are the most interesting thing to come out of Docklands since the Kray Gang. Ken Livingstone, Labour MP, addressing the board of British Gas at its annual general meeting I felt like an old-...

  • LETTER : NHS staff in pay dispute
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    Jocelyn Prudence PAMs, London WC1

  • LETTER : No mortgage False claims
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    This allegation, made by both The Cook Report and the Daily Mirror in 1990, was found by an inquiry headed by Gavin Lightman QC to be "entirely untrue" - not surprising in view of the fact that I had no mortgage in the last quarter of 1984. Accountan...

  • LETTER : Can ideas ever be banned?
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    Their purpose is served by attempting to mythologise the events of those days. By doing so they can subvert fact into fiction, and in the absence of any personal testimony, inevitable as the survivors of the camps pass away, reduce those facts to the...

  • LETTER : Gear for plant hunters
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    The pith helmet or sola topee and the knife are reasonable to conjure up but not plastic bags and snake-bite serum. Plastic bags are a post- 1950s phenomenon and snake-bite serum varies with the type of snake. As a Colonial Office publication puts it...

  • LETTER : How to find a good trustee
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    National Council for Voluntary Organisations research shows that the main reason why people become trustees is a commitment to the cause of the charity. Only 29 per cent even bother to reclaim expenses. The pool of potential trustees is far from empt...

  • LETTER : How to distinguish between Labour and Conservative
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    Kate Ashbrook Chairman The Ramblers' Association London SW8

  • LETTER : When Edward D Wood really died
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    Ian Townsend, Surrey

  • LETTER : Church Mission Society correction
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    P A Dowsett, Church Mission Society, London SE1

  • LETTER : Manipulation isn't power
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    Manipulation is generally understood as the exertion of influence by indirect means rather than by asserting one's right to overt authority. A woman who resorts to manipulation may succeed in achieving her ends, but in so doing she unwittingly reveal...

  • LETTER : Through the eyes of innocence
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    Does it really matter that Wood may have been an asexual mother's boy, an opium eater, a manic depressive, a suicide and a late starter? Gaugin's life, for example, was equally flawed. He was an even later starter and died of syphilis through his own...

  • A vile calumny on our politicians' wives
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    For a time in the early Seventies, I was an occasional guest with Anouska Hempel and that admirable songbird Vince Hill on the immortal Call My Bluff (now, alas, long-forgotten). To be perfectly honest, I still accept the odd invitation to present Wh...

  • We may frighten each other but the wild things find us tame enough
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    Sorry, this isn't supposed to be a nature column, and if all I've described were in the countryside it wouldn't be worth mentioning. But it's happening in an inner-London borough, six miles from Leicester Square. Those foxes have their earth in a sub...

  • LETTER : When laudable goals and fine words offer simplistic solutions to complex problems
    Sunday, 4 June 1995

    This critique of local government officers and the use of external consultants have given public services a new language. Notions such as the pursuit of excellence and total quality management are difficult to resist because they combine laudable goa...

  • 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

    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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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, ...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • '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...

  • 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

    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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

    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...

  • Get to the point
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