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Home 1995 September

Thursday, 28 September 1995

  • Just make mine a little bit metric
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    In a way, this is a pity, as imperial measures always seemed to me to be more flexible than metric ones. If you ever listen to the conversation in our shops such as butchers and fishmongers, you will realise that the basic units of imperial measure w...

  • Away with price-fixing - and on with VAT!
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    As physical objects, books are worth less than they ever were. The quality paperback is anything but. So-called perfect binding can be guaranteed to shed leaf after leaf and whole chunks of book within months of purchase; printing is mechanical and s...

  • Can he make Mr Blair great?
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    Blair talked of reform to unemployment benefit so people would be encouraged to work, of a new income support system which would create incentives to self-help instead of curbing it, and of the need to move the nation's pensions into the private sect...

  • LETTER: Self-selection
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    Sir: Robyn Willis (Letters, 26 September) shouldn't worry too much over uncouth remarks about Australia by Britain's noisy chattering classes, for there is a positive aspect. As a person (not unconnected with the Australian government) put it to me s...

  • ANOTHER VIEW: Making our own judgements
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    Yesterday's Independent argued that we should incorporate the European Convention on Human Rights into British law, supposedly to reduce the risk of such embarrassments. I disagree. We would lose nothing if we withdrew from the court and the conventi...

  • LEADING ARTICLE: Fat cats cry over spilled cream
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    Now even government ministers and the only slightly thinner cats who run Seeboard, one of the companies which owns the grid, are crying foul. They can see that the fate of the privatisation process, the reputation of the electricity industry and even...

  • LEADING ARTICLE: A new war against cancer
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    Many people will be understandably sceptical about yesterday's predictions that we are entering a golden age in cancer treatment. The Imperial Cancer Research Fund forecasts that developments in drug therapy, combined with advances in screening and i...

  • LETTER: Support your local bookshops
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    Sir: There is no such thing as a "bargain" book. All that the largest publishers and the multiple bookshops are doing is simply to admit that most "bestsellers" were overpriced in the first place. If, for example, a book with a realistically arrived ...

  • LETTER: The no-passport rule
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    Sir: Chris Patten, Governor of Hong Kong, has recommended that we give British passports to Hong Kong citizens. The Conservative government, which wants to keep down the number of immigrants at all costs, naturally opposes this humane plan. But then ...

  • LETTER: Is quality alien to satellite TV?
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    Sir: Many of your readers will endorse the comments of Roy Hattersley, and not only those who wish to see Coronation Street saved from the clutches of Sky. I missed the Ryder Cup and was more than a little displeased that this biennial event had been...

  • LETTER: Paying for the public good
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    Sir: It is quite wrong for the Treasury Minister, Angela Knight, to assert that it is due to more people being in work now, as compared with at the time of the last general election, that more people are paying income tax ("Wider spread of tax net he...

  • LETTER: Coleridge's worry
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    Sir: Coleridge, as Bryan Appleyard says ("Two Cultures: a science fiction", 27 September), once wrote in a letter that the souls of 500 Sir Isaac Newtons would go to the making up of a Shakespeare or a Milton, but he later twice begged his correspond...

  • No room on the left
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    Sir: Tom Sawyer, Labour's general secretary, says I am not a "suitable" candidate for Labour - even though I was democratically selected in accordance with the party rulebook - because I broke the whip as an Islington councillor on "numerous occasion...

  • LETTER: The legal duty of those who care
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    Sir: Stephen Laudat is a schizophrenic who stabbed his fellow inmate 82 times at a day centre in Newham. Relatively isolated incidents such as this inevitably make national headlines, as do the inquiries that always follow. The Woodley report, sensib...

  • LETTER: Palestinian deal is nothing new
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    Sir: In the headline to Patrick Cockburn's article about the Taba accords between Israel and the PLO, you declare the "New Palestinian state [is] shackled at birth" (Foreign News, 25 September). In reality there is nothing "new" in the accords. They ...

  • LETTER: Our secretive government
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    Sir: Sarah Hogg presents a quaint but blinkered view of the conduct of government in Britain ("Opening up the staff of politics", 26 September). She praises cabinet committees, agencies, self-governing bodies, regulators and inspectors as being a man...

  • LETTER: Is quality alien to satellite TV?
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    Sir: Would you allow a little factual light to penetrate Roy Hattersley's uncharacteristic gloom ("Not up Rupert's Street", 25 September) [about the consequences of Sky seeking to buy Coronation Street]? "Poach", "predators", "pirates", "plunder": al...

  • LETTER: Paying for the public good
    Friday, 29 September 1995

    Sir: Andrew Marr's article ("Why Paddy can spend, spend, spend", 20 September) suggests that the UK cannot afford the tax rises Liberal Democrats fear may be necessary to improve public services. He writes that the British electorate "is very heavily...

  • LETTER: Milk miracle was no `sinister Hindu plot'
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    Sir: I am keeping an open mind about the "milk-drinking" by Nandi at the Vishwa Temple in Southall, but my husband, who witnessed this phenomenon, has not been in the pub since, and now drinks only milk. Now that's what I call a miracle. Yours sincer...

  • LETTER: Britain's deadly export trade
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    Sir: Governments are about to review the 1980 inhumane weapons convention. We have recently spent nearly two years working in the former Yugoslavia, one of us a paediatrician, where the effects of anti-personnel mines on children have been tragically...

  • LETTER: Credit note
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    Sir: Your women readers will, no doubt, have noticed that it took six journalists to write the first part of your feature "Forty women under forty" (Section Two, 27 September), and that all of them are men. Yours faithfully, Linda Evans London, W4

  • LETTER: The Science Minister's diary
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    Tom Wilkie's article "A bit of a blunder? Yes, Minister" (26 September) displays less than his usual balance and accuracy. I may have attended the British Association for the Advancement of Science festival in Newcastle only on 13 September but also ...

  • LETTER: Aids discovery is largely irrelevant
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    Sir: The discovery that a combination of therapies has been successful in treating people with Aids is exciting and encouraging (report, 26 September). It is largely irrelevant, however, to those with HIV and Aids in the developing world, where 90 pe...

  • LETTER: Briefly bemused
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    Sir: Helen Jones's article about changing fashions in men's underwear ("Not-so-brief-history of Y-fronts", 26 September) contained a rather puzzling statistic. According to the Marks & Spencer spokeswoman, Y-fronts now account for only 13 per cen...

  • Cold front on the edge of Blairism; BOOK REVIEW
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    Peter was not a great embracer of other people's politics, even though he did join the SDP and offer, famously, to canvass for it "weather permitting". He was very thick with some politicians, but would never have made one himself because of his inab...

  • Now is the time to say sorry
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    For ministers, wallowing in anger is hard to resist. Yesterday's moralising by IRA apologists and former Dublin ministers was nauseating. The judgment was a national embarrassment. There was nothing synthetic about the fury of Conservative MPs when t...

  • Start writing a different chapter
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    Perhaps even more important, books remain, as the US business magazine Forbes put it earlier this year, "society's dominant clearing house for ideas". If you want to instil an idea into the minds of everyone, from an American president to a Chinese p...

  • LEADING ARTICLE: Human rights on the rocks
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    In its ruling, the court does not accuse the government of the day of committing murder. It does not claim that Britain encouraged the "execution" of the trio. Nor does it condemn the four soldiers who carried out the operation: they acted, says the ...

  • LETTER: No pity for a reckless judge
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    Sir: Angela Lambert's views on prostitution and "men's needs" are refreshing from a woman in what increasingly seems to be a feminist world. However, she has avoided certain points, and her mention of hypocrisy is dangerous. The greatest hypocrisy mu...

  • New genre: check-out prose
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    Apparently not. Only observe America, which has no Net Book Agreement, and where the tyranny of the bestseller (discounted, naturally) is such that everyone you see reading is reading the same book, because that's all every bookshop and kiosk is sell...

  • LEADING ARTICLE: Does anyone care about chickens?
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    The broilers - the chickens farmed for eating not eggs - are bred for super-fast growth. The chick is born, bloated and butchered all within six weeks - twice as fast as 30 years ago. But their hearts and legs can't keep pace. So if they don't die of...

  • A great night for British football
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    "This is a seldom-used rule," says happy M1 Wanderers' manager Joe Supremo, "which says in the event of an otherwise drawn match, the team that settled its hotel bills quickest during their away leg shall be the winner. Luckily, we had paid in advanc...

  • LETTER: Did Humphrey try to swim for it?
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    Sir: Do cats, as well as rats, desert sinking ships ("Happy return for moggie", 27 September)? Yours faithfully, Brian North Lee London, W4 27 September

  • LETTER: Milk miracle was no `sinister Hindu plot'
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    Sir: The sensational news and television pictures of Hindu idols imbibing milk offered by devotees has generated a mixed reaction in the media, and various explanations for the phenomenon have been proffered. Capillarity seems to be the most popular ...

  • LETTER: No pity for a reckless judge
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    Sir: Angela Lambert blames the media for intruding into the private lives of the high and mighty and famous, often destroying them. However, she also refers to sociologist Maggie O'Neill's evidence that many such people deliberately seek street prost...

  • LETTER: Milk miracle was no `sinister Hindu plot'
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    Sir: Randhir Singh Bains (Letters, 25 September) contrasts what he calls "traditional Asian" thought and "Hindu philosophy" with what he calls "Western materialism" and "Western rationalism", and applies the distinction to the consideration of curren...

  • LETTER: No pity for a reckless judge
    Thursday, 28 September 1995

    Sir: Angela Lambert ("Keep out. This is a private view", 26 September) asserts that media intrusion is on the verge of destroying the notion of a private life, citing the case of Judge Thornton, who was caught in a sex and drugs orgy with two prostit...

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