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Home 1995 September

Friday, 29 September 1995

  • LETTER: Off the rails
    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    Sir: It appears that the old joke "Excuse me, librarian, do you have a copy of the BR timetable, please" - "Yes, we do, you'll find it in the fiction section" is about to become fact ("Railtrack timetable set to become pulp fiction", 26 September). Y...

  • LETTER: The lost tribes of terracottas
    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    Sir: In his article "The government, the terracotta and the Academy" (Visual Arts, 26 September), David Sweetman mentions that the Royal Academy's secretary, Piers Rogers, "is struggling to maintain his customary urbanity" in the run- up to the openi...

  • Drop your feet and use your fingers
    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    Lengths of wood can now legally be sold only in multiples of "the length of the path travelled by [a beam of] light in a vacuum during a time interval of 1/299792558 of a second". A second is "the duration of 9192631770 periods of the radiation corre...

  • LETTER: Grant asylum to East Timorese
    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    Sir: It is to be hoped that Britain does grant asylum to the five East Timorese men who have sought refuge in the British Embassy in Jakarta ("Timorese plead for UK asylum", 26 September). The atrocities carried out by Indonesia in the two decades si...

  • LETTER: Policing financial traders
    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    MEP Sir: The revelation that a trader at the Daiwa Bank has carried out more than 30,000 unauthorised deals, losing more than pounds 700m over an 11-year period, highlights the gross inadequacies of the global financial trading system's ability to de...

  • LETTER: Where are the female artists?
    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    Sir It is notable that in keeping with the Nineties ethos of selling the sizzle, not the steak, there is not one painter, composer or writer in your catalogue of future female leaders in the arts (Section Two; "Business and the arts - 40 women under ...

  • LETTER: Get rid of poor health education
    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    Sir: If social factors such as male unemployment have such a large effect on teenage health ("Children today are 'healthier but less happy' ", 22 September), then groups such as Healthcare 2000 ("NHS is told: charges or cuts", 19 September) which are...

  • Conkers plonkers
    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    "Because there was less water around during the summer the horse chestnut trees have had to ration supplies," explained a spokesman for the Forestry Commission. "The conkers have not had a chance to develop to their full potential before dropping. No...

  • LETTER: NHS ageism and idealism
    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    Sir: Of course young Brian is too old to be a doctor (leading article, 27 September). NHS trusts depend upon the blind enthusiasm and natural energy of their youthful junior doctors, working for 72 hours a week, at 50 per cent of the hourly rate thro...

  • LEADER: We look in the mirror of the UN and see ourselves
    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    Here, roughly speaking, is the quality of debate in this country - but not just this country - on international institutions. Witness the obloquy poured on the European Court of Human Rights this week for a painfully split-decision on an honestly dif...

  • Can Blair cope with democracy?
    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    On Wednesday, the national executive decided not to endorse Ms Davies as the candidate in Leeds NE because, according to the party general secretary Tom Sawyer, of "her perpetual opposition to the mainstream of the party and its policies over a long ...

  • Success will lie in the small print
    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    Elliott, 48, is a quiet, modest man, yet the launch has been anything but. He flew most of his London staff over for the occasion. All week he has claimed that he is offering something New Yorkers have been deprived of, and that they can do without n...

  • LETTER: Decade of cruel imprisonment
    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    and others Sir: On 1 October, Mordechai Vanunu will start his 10th year of solitary confinement in Ashkelon Prison, Israel, in conditions described by Amnesty International as "cruel, inhuman and degrading". For revealing the truth about Israel's nuc...

  • LETTER: Human rights: Britain's obligations and aberrations
    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    Sir: In today's "Another View" (29 September) Bill Cash MP argues for ditching the European Convention on Human Rights on the basis that "we would barely notice" if we withdrew. He condemns himself from his own mouth: if we wouldn't notice, why does ...

  • LETTER: Human rights: Britain's obligations and aberrations
    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    Sir: Stephen Ward is right in arguing that one of the consequences of not having a written constitution or a domestic Bill of Rights is the relatively high number of cases against Britain in Strasbourg ("When Britain stands accused in the dock", 28 S...

    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    God knows perfectly well that I have nothing to do with the Mafia - Giulio Andreotti, Italy's former prime minister, accused of being organised crime's political Godfather In two days, I'll be forgotten. That's life - Joseph Le Guen after rowing acro...

  • LETTER: Human rights: Britain's obligations and aberrations
    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    Sir: With regard to the coverage you give to the Strasbourg ruling (reports, 28 September), one essential point seems to have been missed. To the IRA, the conflict was war. They say that their prisoners are political or prisoners of war. IRA members ...

  • LETTER: Human rights: Britain's obligations and aberrations
    Saturday, 30 September 1995

    Sir: You observe that the real problem with the European Convention on Human Rights is that Britain is alone, with the Republic of Ireland, in failing to incorporate it into domestic law ("Human rights on the rocks", 28 September). This is deeply iro...

  • 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: 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 ...

  • 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...

  • 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: 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...

  • 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: 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...

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