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Wednesday, 16 August 1995

  • LETTER : War crimes and 'acts of war'
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    Sir: In answer to your correspondent Andy Clarkson's question (16 August) as to who decides what is a war crime, the answer is simple. A war crime can only be committed by the losers, and it is exactly what the winners define it to be. The winners, o...

  • Chess
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    While proper mega-blunders do indeed leave no hope of survival, the average crude oversight, while still objective enough to cause eventual defeat, still leaves room to regroup and at the very least make the opponent work for his victory. And there i...

  • Bonnie Prince John rides off to Utopia
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    Or perhaps I should say "King o'er the water". Or even "Young Pretender". For by an irony of timing, Mr Redwood has picked a rather unfortunate moment to reassert his claim to the Conservative throne. It is almost exactly 250 years since that other c...

  • LETTER : Being fair to British fare
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    Sir: Emily Green is a bit hard on the idea of Modern British Cooking (Magazine: "Sugar plum", 12 August) . This was never a marketing gimmick, rather it was a term coined to recognise a genuine change in the cooking. Even in 1986, much of what passed...

  • LETTER : Partisan use of Railtrack's safety record
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    Sir: The Department of Transport and the authorities in Railtrack have denied that safety is being compromised on the railways, despite warnings given by persons responsible for the operation and maintenance of the system. However, a recent advertise...

  • LEADING ARTICLE : The mirror of Mandelson
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    Only Roy Hattersley, now enjoying an esteem denied to him when mere deputy leader of the Labour Party, is really articulating a position with which Mr Blair should feel forced to engage in debate. Nevertheless, given the scope of the New Labour revol...

  • A world apart from A-levels
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    First, congratulations to those who have got the grades they need. Ignore the sneers that the general standard has been falling: the British A-level is the hardest set of mass exams sat by 18-year-olds anywhere in the world. They are narrow, of cours...

  • LETTER : Rousing chorus
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    Sir: Further to KH Brend's inquiry (letter, 12 August), I grew up in the eastern United States and we stood for the Hallelujah Chorus. Later, in 1951, in Paris, my companions and I and a number of other "Anglo-Saxons" dotted about the hall found ours...

  • LETTER : Penguin 60s: don't kill the messenger
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    Sir: It is saddening, though not surprising, to read in your article on the Penguin 60s ("Penguin turns a new page", 12 August) the intemperate and ill-informed criticisms of Bookwatch's bestseller lists by publishers who feel deprived of "their" bes...

  • LEADING ARTICLE : And it's run for the money
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    Christie ruled himself out of next week's meeting between Britain and the United States at Gateshead, after hamstring and knee injuries ruined his World Championship defence. Following a week of intensive treatment however, he feels well enough to ra...

  • ANOTHER VIEW : All credit to A-level achievers
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    There is no question that standards must be rigorously maintained, but there still seems to be an almost wilful disregard by the critics of the quality controls imposed on and exercised by the examining boards. Another example of the British attitude...

  • Expert jury: How important are A-levels?
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    Tony Higgins Chief Executive, UCAS A-levels can be a stepping stone to promising academic and business careers. Of course GNVQs and other vocational qualifications are no less valuable. Indeed, performance at A-level is a notoriously bad predictor of...

  • True gripes: Work experience
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    In today's difficult job market, more students, including myself, are doing work experience to impress future employers and avoid the dole queue. What is it, then, about these two words that gives employers the idea they have an office skivvy for two...

  • BOOK REVIEW : Wolf, wolf! in fun-size cries Neat and pithy, to tell the truth
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    It is a familiar theory. Newt Gingrich is selling a snake-oil version of it to middle America. So it is vexing to find Handy giving it another spin, in the urgent preachy tones that have become the convention. Author of several successful guides to b...

  • LETTER : War crimes and 'acts of war'
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    Sir: The Japanese Prime Minister's "apology" that - sorry to say - (maybe) never was, is not, of course, the first time that translation from a more or less exotic language has gone puzzlingly, bizarrely or, indeed, disastrously awry. The Japanese wo...

  • Rare books and the chambermaid gag
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    I think that's wonderful. In these days of information technology, the Internet and all the rest of it, we are constantly being given the impression that everything is online, available and just around the corner. This is so clearly a load of baloney...

  • LETTER : War crimes and 'acts of war'
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    Sir: During an eventful trip to Japan in 1980, I visited not only Hiroshima, but also Nagasaki. Previously, while staying with friends in Yokohama, I was asked if I would like to visit the nearby Commonwealth War Cemetery which, I was told, was a ver...

  • Numbers: The anaesthetist
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    Seventeen, according to Plutarch, was a number to strike fear into the hearts of the Pythagoreans, "For 17 lies midway between 16 and 18, these two being the only numbers representing rectangular areas for which the perimeter equals the area." Sevent...

  • LETTER : War crimes and 'acts of war'
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    Sir: Two letters today (16 August) accused the UK of "war crimes" during the Second World War. Ideally, there would be no wars as war is always terrible, usually involves considerable suffering, and is often avoidable; but there is a clear distinctio...

  • LETTER : War crimes and 'acts of war'
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    Sir: This is a small postscript to Vera Lynn's Another View (10 August) concerning help available to veterans of the Second World War. The War Pensions Agency basically does a splendid job for those entitled to Disability Pensions. It also has to ens...

  • LETTER : War crimes and 'acts of war'
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    Sir: Charles Hughes (Letters, 14 August) makes the wrong point: the August 1941 oil embargo against Japan was made at a time when it was already committing atrocities against its Asian neighbours. However, Mr Hughes might well have asked who forced J...

  • Yesterday was...
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    Big-heads: A Chinese husband and wife have knitted a hat 18ft in circumference and nearly 10ft high as a good luck charm for the World Conference on Women in Peking. It needed 43,500 feet of wool and 845,700 stitches. Luo Yuefeng and his wife Chen Xu...

  • LETTER : Partisan use of Railtrack's safety record
    Thursday, 17 August 1995

    Sir: Given the Labour party's well-chronicled opposition to privatising the railways, its current campaign attacking the safety record of Railtrack is no surprise. While it is not part of my role to make political judgements, I feel I must defend Rai...

  • LETTER: Engineering a piece of software
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    Sir: Hamish McRae asks ("Is this the start of something good?", 3 August) the meaning of capacity in a service company. As an example, he states that "it does not take long to write more software". This rather indicates a lack of knowledge about soft...

  • LETTER: Legislative change and lone parents
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    Sir: Your leading article on John Redwood's speech about young unmarried mothers ("A legacy of disadvantage", 14 August) suggests that his recommendations barely differ from the status quo. That poses the obvious question as to why it has generated s...

  • Word of mouth: Homosexuality
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    Homosexuality is the only sexual practice with eponymous placenames. Buggers began life as 11th-century heretics in Bulgaria, sodomites came from the Dead Sea town twinned with Gomorrah, and lesbians from Sappho's island of Lesbos, although it is arg...

  • A winning reform for Labour
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    Two years ago, the then leadership and the party conference accepted that a referendum was the right policy. John Smith took the view that the electoral system was not the property of a party or a government or of MPs - it was a matter for the people...

  • LETTER: Legislative change and lone parents
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    Sir: John Redwood's suggestion that adoption should be considered before state support is offered is a threat to children's welfare. In most cases, it is damaging for the child to be removed from its natural mother. Nevertheless, John Redwood's comme...

  • LETTER: Allies committed war crimes, too
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    Sir: I am sick of all the whingeing about how we suffered in the 1939- 45 war, and about all the war crimes that other nations involved committed. Of all the major participants, we probably suffered the least. The main loss we suffered was that of ou...

  • Railroaded into taking the blame
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    It has come from my mole within Railtrack. (Oh, yes, I, too, have a mole within Railtrack. All good journalists have moles everywhere. I, for instance, have moles within the Tate Gallery, several water boards, the Cabinet, Tottenham Hotspur Football ...

  • LEADING ARTICLE: To the Tower, Virginia
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    So why then has the retirement age of the Yeomen Warders been reduced from 65 to 60? Because, apparently, now that they come under the Department of National Heritage, they are subject to the same pressure to retire at 60 as all DNH civil servants. A...

  • LETTER: Electoral reform: rhetoric or 'new' politics?
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    Sir: At a time when the media is full of talk of a new politics and a democratic agenda, mainly generated by Tony Blair, I find it difficult to understand the talk of dropping Labour's commitment to a referendum on giving the British people a say on ...

  • LETTER: Goodbye to garlic
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    Sir: I was most heartened to see from Eve Wittenberg's "True Gripe" (15 August) that I am not alone in my inability to eat onions and garlic. Throughout my life this problem has crippled my ability to eat away from home, and thus to travel, as well a...

  • LETTER: Appeasers of Bosnia genocide
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    Sir: James Fenton's eloquent indictment of our policy in Bosnia ("Political platitudes that allow genocide", 14 August) discriminates between the tragic exodus of Krajina Serbs and the still more appalling fate apparently suffered by the Muslim men o...

  • Fate of the Union Jack
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    People who camp are a tolerant bunch, so no one complained that it was an English lot who flew the foreigner's flag, and it looked very handsome. But it wouldn't quite do, either. One shouldn't make a joke of a national flag, and our flying this one ...

  • LETTER: Allies committed war crimes, too
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    Sir: Your leading article ("Sorry seems to be the hardest word", 12 August) does not mention what is surely the main reason why the Japanese government finds it so difficult to acknowledge and apologise for their war crimes - namely that such an acti...

  • In tune with the British way of pop
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    This means that pop, once it has acquired a certain level of sophistication, seldom really changes. The audience is forever new to the game, eternally surprised, moved and delighted to find its preoccupations validated in the world outside the home. ...

  • LEADING ARTICLE: Don't panic about rail
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    The first leaked memo details recent minor crashes and near-misses that threatened to take on the proportions of the 1988 Clapham disaster. Blame for these is laid at the door of lax safety procedure. Jack Rose, the Railtrack safety assessment manage...

  • ANOTHER VIEW: A drop of realism
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    Critics called it selling off the family silver - but it was more like off-loading its junk, to be turned into something our industry and its customers could be proud of. In six years we have come a long way, but surely common sense alone would preve...

  • LETTER: Allies committed war crimes, too
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    Sir: Why do the American and British governments still refuse to apologise even to the ordinary people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for engulfing their cities in the holocaust of atomic warfare? After all, before the war both governments went on record ...

  • LETTER: Electoral reform: rhetoric or 'new' politics?
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    Sir: What is important about Labour's commitment to a referendum on voting reform for the Commons ("Labour unease over electoral 'U-turn'", 14 August) is not whether such reform is or is not a good idea. It is critical to any evaluation of just how "...

  • Meanwhile...
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    American way of life Robert Brecheen was rushed to hospital in an Oklahoma prison after taking an overdose of sedatives. After his stomach was pumped, he was taken back to prison and executed by lethal injection. The director of the state Corrections...

  • Chess
    Wednesday, 16 August 1995

    So you want to put your son on the boards? The chessboards, that is. As Noel Coward, "The Master" himself, might have put it, the profession is overcrowded. Although your baby may be keen on a chess career, here are some facts and one table that may ...

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