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Home 1995 July

Wednesday, 5 July 1995

  • Bad timing
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    Sir: Your caption in today's Independent claiming to show Bill Cash being interviewed before the Tory leadership election is clearly wrong. Big Ben in the background shows 6.15, nearly an hour after the result was announced. Yours faithfully, Philip ...

  • Tourism funds the tyrants of Burma
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    Sir: The marriage of convenience between a newspaper's editorial and advertising content is a necessity we accept, but as the industry's own codes of conduct recognise, there are limits. It was disappointing therefore to see that you accepted a full-...

  • Poetry of a pilot
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    Sir: Peggy Noonan may well have been the most influential sentence-doctor in recent history ("Er, say that again, Prime Minister?", 4 July), but she did not create the phrase "slipping the surly bonds of earth" for Ronald Reagan. She was quoting from...

  • Housing help for those that need it
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    Sir: "The idea that everyone should own their own house is neither achievable nor desirable," declares your editorial (28 June), and it continues, rightly, to reject the Government's worthless proposal to allocate housing in a way to suit respectable...

  • Imported treasure
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    Sir: Chris Martin ("From the dawn of time, a bargain", 1 July), does not seem to be aware of the proposals for an International Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects, under the auspices of Unidroit, which was adopted by an inter...

  • A child's life at Barnardo's
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    Sir: In response to Polly Toynbee's article on Barnardo's ("Suffer the little children", 4 July). I am an "old" Barnardo's girl and proud of it. Barnardo's personnel provided warmth, understanding, stability, encouragement and interest, allowing me t...

  • When a Rolls is a sales ambassador
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    Sir: In your report about nine British Embassies overseas having Rolls- Royces as their official vehicle ("Foreign roles with luxury perks", 30 June) you ask, "Why, Brasilia?". You quote John Hutton, MP, as describing it as perks for the select few. ...

  • Before Clegg
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    Sir: Christopher Sallon, QC, knows of no other case where an individual was released on licence after four years, having been convicted of murder (report, 4 July). He must be unaware of the case of Private Thain, the only other member of the British ...

  • Communitarians, authoritarians and nonconformists
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    Sir: Anna Coote sees Alasdair MacIntyre, Charles Taylor and Michael Sandel as "the high priests of communitarianism" and links them with Amitai Etzioni, to whom they never refer and with whom they have little in common. Dr Haridimos Tsoukas (Letters,...

  • Communitarians, authoritarians and nonconformists
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    Sir: Jack Straw ("Good neighbours start here", 4 July) accuses Anna Coote of naivety in daring to criticise communitarianism. I was surprised, though, by how naive his own views seem to be. Not all forms of communitarianism are authoritarian - no one...

  • Communitarians, authoritarians and nonconformists
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    Sir: Anna Coote's criticisms of communitarian ideas may understate what could potentially be a radical agenda and one that could pose a real problem for Labour. For example, Etzioni in his Spirit of the Community has argued that it is vital to revive...

  • Communitarians, authoritarians and nonconformists
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    Sir: Jack Straw's response to Anna Coote's questioning of Labour party policy shows, only too depressingly, how right she is about its authoritarianism. She expressed qualified support for the proposed policy of expanding the power of the police to s...

  • A congenial Cabinet - and Hezza
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    This is not the Major we thought we knew. His previous form and instincts would have suggested the arrival of Michael Howard at the Foreign Office, a top job for Michael Portillo and perhaps even something, in a spirit of reconciliation, for the chal...

  • Death: the surgeons' best-kept secret
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    The NHS Performance Guide 1994-5, published yesterday tells us equally little about the real performance of doctors and hospitals. Even so, predictably, the professionals were indignant: the BMA passed a unanimous emergency motion regretting the publ...

  • true gripes: the shipping forecast
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    The job of reading out the daily five-minute reports on live radio is rumoured to be one of the most stressful occupations going. Anyone who listens to the wireless regularly will know that the forecast has to be finished just before the Greenwich Ti...

  • expert jury: should we take more care of NHS doctors?
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    Dr John West London GP I usually work an 11-hour day, but even then I have to put things off for the morrow. It would be quite possible for me to work 24 hours a day with my workload. We don't have an hourly structure, rather we are self- employed, s...

  • Murky secrets below the surface
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    For instance, the Drinking Water Inspectorate could have calculated that in 1992, supplies to around 14 million customers at times exceeded the legal limits on pesticides - but they didn't. Using the inspectorate's data, Friends of the Earth did. Alt...

  • Move over Hippocrates
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    Like so many matters the BMA makes much of, the foundation for the fuss is poor. Hippocrates is probably not the author of the document. Of the 70 works ascribed to the Hippocratic Collection, Hippocrates might have written only six of them. The fact...

  • Mr Major's next trick
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    As this Government reaches late middle age it is thickening in the middle. The loyal centre is rewarded for its fidelity and strengthened slightly in Cabinet. There are no concessions whatsoever to the disaffected and defeated right. John Redwood, pr...

  • Over to you, Sir George
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    So the wheels are moving - but oh, so slowly! The bureaucracy of the European Commission has been forced grudgingly into action and next year is expected to issue draft legislation on making belts mandatory, but there has been a terrible lack of urge...

  • numbers: the anaesthetist
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    And when you take into account the advantage of the serve, it all comes down to tossing a biased coin in a curiously irregular series of experiments. To take a simple example: suppose we have reached a score of deuce and the server has a two-to-one c...

  • chess
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    First let us see how they arrived there: White: Ivan Sokolov Black: Jonny Hector Queen's Gambit, Semi-Slav. 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bd3 e5 Black allows his d-pawn to become isolated in exchange for freedom for his pie...

  • The smartest card around
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    Here's how it works: Let's say that you are in a strange town and you suddenly get an overpowering desire to put pounds 50 on My Delight in the 3.30 at Chepstow at a very favourable 70-1. You don't know where the bookie is in this strange town, and e...

  • yesterday was...
    Thursday, 6 July 1995

    Dutch home-owners, with the news that Rotterdam police have begun taking earprints of criminals. Burglars who confound conventional methods of forensic science by wearing hats and gloves often leave incriminating earprints when listening at doors and...

  • LETTER:Our heritage of shipbuilding skills
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Sir: While decisions concerning our heritage are ultimately taken by the Treasury Solicitors' department ("Historic wreck's rescue scuppered by bureaucrats", 27 June), we cannot expect them to be the right ones. The Amsterdam should not be considered...

  • LEADING ARTICLE:Strike, and everyone loses
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    You can imagine what everyone will be saying: that the railways charge ever more for ever poorer services. Any support that rail workers may once have enjoyed will melt away like a penny lolly on a hot summer's day. Aslef's case is that drivers deser...

  • LETTER:Intolerable Westminster delay
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Sir: It is nearly six months since the last of the accountancy evidence was submitted by the defendants objecting to the Westminster auditor's provisional, but highly publicised, view that we were guilty of costing the city council pounds 21m. Yet, s...

  • Shout Hallelujah!
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    All charges have been dropped against Joan Sudwoj and Cynthia Balconi, the two women who had been accused of disrupting church services in Pennsylvania by praying too loudly and drowning out the priest. The women have now moved to Vienna, Ohio.

  • Chew says no chewing
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Chew Lai Leng, spokeswoman for the Singapore customs, has emphasised the government's ban on the import of chewing gum. The ban was imposed in 1992 following subway delays caused by wads of gum gumming up the doors of trains.

  • chess
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    The following game, played on board four, was a total knightmare for the Middlesex player. Of Black's 34 moves, exactly half were made by knights. Black effectively won this game in the opening with a little-known positional trap in the Alekhine Defe...

  • Major's/Redwood's triumph/disaster
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    So. We now know that the result of the Tory leadership contest is a clear victory/indecisive draw, and that we are relieved/doomed to have got it all over with/face yet another bout of politicking and manoeuvring. Many of us said that Mr John Major c...

  • A steep and slippery hill to climb
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Let's be clear: this ought to mean a healthier political atmosphere at Westminster and indeed through the whole country. We have had far too much of poisoned gossip and intrigue, and far too little argument about health, education, political reform, ...

  • LETTER:Fabricated stories of gang-rape
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Sir: I refer to your story "Bhutto agonises as Karachi burns" of 26 June and, in particular, to the following sentence: Soon after, the 16-year-old sister of another Mohajir activist was gang- raped, allegedly by a rival faction with shadowy governme...

  • LETTER:When a killer can walk free
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Sir: I find the decision to release Lee Clegg so soon after being convicted of killing a young person, in order to assuage right-wing unionists in the Tory party, utterly outrageous. Patrick Mayhew warned two weeks ago that John Major's unpopularity ...

  • ANOTHER VIEW; The value of celibacy
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    What difference will it make? It could mean around 100 married priests among more than 5,000 celibate priests in England within the next four years. The Pope personally asked English Catholic bishops to "be generous" in welcoming suitable ordination ...

  • LEADING ARTICLE:Good for Major, better for Blair
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    A Heseltine premiership, full of rant and daring, might have given the demoralised Tories a lift. The youthful Portillo could conceivably have managed to find the electoral G-spot of the disenchanted middle classes, promising patriotism and pork barr...

  • word of mouth same old song
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Even though they say that soon we'll all be marching to a different drum, for all we care they can go and whistle Dixie. Let the bandwagons roll by, let them blow their own trumpets as loud and as long as they like, because whoever ends up taking the...

  • Finn caught in lift
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    The Finnish president, Martti Ahtisaari, became stuck in a lift while visiting a school. The lift, intended for disabled children, could not cope with the weight of the president, his wife Eeva, and two aides. "The elevator worked again as soon as we...

  • Congratulations, you're a boy...
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Li, a married woman of 26, has been told by doctors in China that she is actually a man with a rare genetic disorder.

  • Had his chips
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    A Pennsylvanian man has been sentenced to between three and ninety days in jail, and ordered to stay away from branches of McDonald's, after a dispute over chips. Mr Briggs claimed he was short-changed when two extra- large orders of French fries did...

  • Giving up the horses
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Singapore racehorse owner Herry Cahayadi Si, who threatened to shoot his 57 horses if he was suspended over allegations of betting irregularities, has decided to reprieve the horses, give up racing and raise chickens instead.

  • LETTER:Deliberate errors
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Sir: In reviewing Mark Lawson's novel Idlewild ("Whatever happened to JFK", 24 June) I thought of raising the dire possibility that the various inconsistencies, contradictions and howlers in the text were deliberate, but decided to give Lawson the be...

  • LETTER:Who is a true Englishman?
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Sir: How depressing it is to read the sentiments written by Robert Henderson in Wisden Cricket Monthly. Describing black Englishmen as "foreigners" might incite others to racial hatred, an offence under the Public Order Act 1986. Talk of being "unequ...

  • LEADING ARTICLE:Truth in old wives' tales?
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    This latest medical discovery should not surprise us too much. We now appreciate that some religious taboos, such as the Jewish ban on eating pork, have a sound scientific basis, unbeknown to those who originally forbade the practices. It may therefo...

  • LETTER:Speaking up for the oppressed
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Sir: Anna Coote ("A bit too much of a prig and a prude", 3 July) quotes approvingly Anthony Crosland's belief that anarchism and libertarianism should run through the blood of socialists. It is unfortunate that in doing so Ms Coote dismisses the day-...

  • Uncomfortable questions must be faced
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    The moment that I will remember most from the campaign is the meandering nonsenses from Brain Mawhinney when he was invited, as a Major spokesman, to name any independent nation that did not have its own currency. He mumbled and stumbled. He hummed a...

  • Dorsal Finns
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Twelve Finns, carrying women on their backs, entered the annual national wife-carrying championships in Sonkajarvi near the Arctic Circle. The women, according to the rules, had to be over 17 and preferably someone else's wife. The course was 780ft l...

  • LETTER:Memoir lane
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Sir: I suggest: The Funny Old Lucrative World. Yours faithfully, Kathleen Newell Newcastle upon Tyne

  • LETTER:Who is a true Englishman?
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Sir: Robert Henderson's view that "foreigners" cannot have the same commitment to the national cricket team as "white" players ("Black cricketers may sue over claim they lack commitment", 3 July) is nonsense. Using such xenophobic, spurious reasoning...

  • Richard D North
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    I put the route in these terms because I am trying to see the old names and the geology which lie still, and as real as ever, under the palimpsest of trunk roads, motorways, service stations and junction numbers which threatens to blind us to what a ...

  • Uncomfortable questions must be faced
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Inevitably, plenty of questions are raised by this leadership election, and often they imply uncomfortable answers for the Conservatives. First, there is the style of leadership. I do not believe John Major can change his innate qualities. He is a li...

  • LETTER:When a killer can walk free
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Sir: One law for the soldiers, a different law for others? No. One presumption in favour of those engaged in upholding the law, a different presumption for those deliberately breaking it? Yes. To start doing something which is illegal: criminal. To c...

  • LETTER:Memoir lane
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Sir: With apologies to Frances Edmonds, a suitable title for Lady Thatcher's third volume of memoirs would perhaps be Another Bloody Tour - at least it might interest cricket-loving John Major. Yours faithfully, Adrian Brodkin London, N2 F

  • LETTER:Memoir lane
    Wednesday, 5 July 1995

    Sir: After The Path to Power and The Downing Street Years, surely volume three of the Thatcher story has to be titled The Road to Ruin? Yours faithfully, James Lindesay Edith Weston, Leicestershire 30 June

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