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Home 1998 January

Saturday, 10 January 1998

  • Letter: Happy to pay
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    The truth is that contraceptive use is only minimally related to whether people have to pay. I believe that the vast majority of contraceptive users would be perfectly happy to pay a charge, provided the amount saved was devoted to medical care for t...

  • Learn to let go, Tony, and use the Cabinet
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    The new rule of cabinet government is that it is a sickly institution which revives nowadays only when the Prime Minister is in trouble. Even in the supposed golden age of the cabinet - BMT, Before Margaret Thatcher - the body had off-days when key d...

  • The perfect game for obsessives and depressives
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    While the rest of us wondered what to do to quell the storm, a male voice piped up from the other end of the table: "Does anyone happen to know the Test score?" The effect was dramatic - rather like that early Renaissance painting in the Ashmolean Mu...

  • 'The ship looked like an enormous toy full of lights'
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    The 90-year-old Frenchman, one of only seven living survivors of the Titanic, spoke to his local newspaper last week, in what may well prove to be the final public account of the disaster. Navratil remembers that on the night of the wreck he ate frie...

  • Letters: Briefly
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    Peter McKenna, Liverpool THE investigation of the present state of religion in Britain (Review, 4 January) was spoilt by the repeated equation of belief in God with "spiritual health". The unbelieving minority is just as healthy; indeed, several of t...

  • Good excuse to clean up
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    The Government stresses that nothing has been decided for sure and, between now and the publication of the Integrated Transport White Paper in May anything is possible, but the hints are clear. When a politician says, "read my lips, no more taxes," h...

  • Letter: Biafra's tragedy, Britain's shame
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    Under government pressure both Oxfam and the International Red Cross cut off all aid to Biafra in 1968. All BBC radio and TV reporting was stopped. There was an unholy implicit alliance with Moscow when the Russians provided the aircraft and trained ...

  • Letter: Docklands has a bright future
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    Contrary to Mr Blackhurst's claim, excellent progress has been made in the Royal Docks. The University of East London starts building its new campus in spring, opening in September 1999 for up to 3,000 students. The campus will be a major tenant of t...

  • Letter: They need help, not barbed wire
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    As I dictate this letter I have the transcripts of the comments I made in the television programme Frontline Scotland. I certainly referred to the ghetto in terms of those people who should, in my opinion, be marginalised, but at the end of the progr...

  • Letter: Unjustly dim view of Israel
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    Fisk sees only a "poisoned agreement" between Israel and the Palestinians, and "opprobrium" for King Hussein over Jordan's peace treaty with Israel. In fact, we are witnessing the difficult start of a regional renaissance grounded in the fundamentall...

  • Letter: Lottery applicants should seek advice from their council first
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    Many local authorities, seeing the benefit that lottery projects can bring, are identifying officers who will assist groups and organisations with filling in application forms. My own authority operates a lottery unit that advises any group within No...

  • A rabbit out of his hat
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    The call to George Carman QC is a pretty standard reaction these days when a libel case rears it ugly head. And it doesn't matter which end of the writ you're on - tellingly, the next words to fall from Rusbridger's lips were: "before Aitken gets him...

  • Without the poor of the world, where would the rich world be?
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    Once again, the rich world is gripped by terror that the poor world will invade it. There is talk of "Fortress Europe", of redefining the 1987 Single European Act to deny freedom of movement to non-EU citizens. There are even fresh doubts about the w...

  • Leading Article: No more talk of Asian values
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    At the moment it is impossible to say where the downward spiral in the Far East will be arrested. The rest of the world has escaped relatively lightly so far, though investors in Asian growth funds might not think so. Some Western consumers are looki...

  • Carp not, you who know little of unhappy aristocrats
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    The grim burden of living in a fully-furnished house with well over two dozen bedrooms and a minimum of a dozen staff, excluding gardeners, chauffeurs, handymen etc, is hard for the ordinary layman to comprehend. But it is surely not difficult even f...

  • Make way for Mayor Patten
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    HOME Secretary Jack Straw has behaved with perfect media precision during his recent travails with the Kennington gendarmerie. He has even quoted Woody Allen to good effect, telling young offenders : "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plan...

  • America's curious concept of freedom
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    Wander in any time of the day or night and the chances are that at the bar you will encounter a bunch of horny-handed good ole' boys staring absently into their beer. One might be a tractor driver, possibly an employee at Francis Ford Coppola's viney...

  • Letter: Boys and girls
    Sunday, 11 January 1998

    The thesis is utter tosh. Surely Margaret Thatcher should have managed to avoid having a girl? And how does Princess Diana fit into the equation? Dominant, assertive and confident were not adjectives strongly associated with her. Possibly they would ...

  • Leading Article: Eternity is an ever-expanding idea. And so is that Dome
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    Luckily, we have scientists on hand to explain that tornadoes are surprisingly common in Britain, it is just that they hardly ever hit houses. A layer of stable cold air, a low-lying mass of warm air, a thunderstorm and - whoosh! It spins, touches th...

  • Letter: Plans for `Britannia'
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    The Manchester bid was not late. Whilst Manchester was not among those who had expressed an early interest to government, their proposal was submitted on 29 September, the same day as the updated proposals of the Clyde Heritage Trust and a day before...

  • Hallelujah! At last the Government has seen the light, if not the Beeb
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    Astonishingly, John Motson's insult has, so far, gone unpunished by the BBC; so much for the protestations of the Corporation that it really, really wants to embrace Britons of all kinds. Perhaps equally surprisingly, no black player has been asked f...

  • Letter: Nanny in the family
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    After three years, the nanny became an alcoholic. I sympathise with Charlotte Roberts's difficulties in deciding to get rid of her. What I can't sympathise with is her puzzlement over the nanny's desire to keep in touch with the children. Roberts beh...

  • The winning and losing ways of Will Carling - rugby's first superstar
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    It was not the first time England's most celebrated rugby player had fallen flat on his face on the big occasion, but it was very definitely the cruellest. After eight years as captain of his country, Carling was leaving centre-stage on a stretcher r...

  • Letter from the editor
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    My problem is that I'm not sure I believe in Anthea Turner. Yes, she seems to exist. She appears on the telly and is much photographed for the tabloid press. But that could be a stand-in, or even a hologram. It is quite clear why all-purpose celebs a...

  • Letter: Self's the man
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    C A BENTLEY Brentwood, Essex

  • Letter: Tories and Europe
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    Can Hague, Howard et al not see that to have a single market totally free of tariff controls, which they say they support, and 15 fluctuating currencies within it is a recipe for disaster? It is simply a charter for those countries with weak currenci...

  • Letter: Cure for congestion
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    Suggested cures are of two main types: those that rely on the price mechanism and those that don't. The first category includes higher fuel taxes (hitting hardest poor car users in rural areas, who cause little congestion); taxes on non-residential p...

  • Letter: Millennium doom
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    Dr M WILLIS London NW3

  • Quote unquote
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    I am a grocer's son and you are a grocer's daughter. What problems had you with the price of sago? - Peter Barry, former Irish foreign minister, recalling an abortive attempt to endear himself to Margaret Thatcher This business of being upset when th...

  • Letter: Millennium doom
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    When Jesus did not return in glory to judge them, they went to the Church to ask for their money back. They did not get it. JOHN C RUDGE Harlington, Middlesex

  • Letter: Artistic suede shoes
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    Please ask Ms Palmer to watch out for my upcoming entry for the Turner Prize, which expresses the eternal torment and surrealist futility of human existence and consists of the phrase "A-Wop-Bop-A-Loo-Bop-A-Lop- Bam-Boom" written in crayon on the bac...

  • Letter: Cure for congestion
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    CARLTON REID Editor, On Your Bike Newcastle upon Tyne

  • Letter: Out to lunch
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    What is it, exactly, that takes so long to cook? Since five and a half hours is allegedly the average, there are presumably some women who are still preparing lunch at teatime. In that case, what did their families eat for lunch and who cooked it? D ...

  • Letter: Tories and Europe
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    No, it was a vote against the Tory Party itself, which for at least ten years before had been dominated by those dogmatic, uncaring apostles of unbridled self-interest, the "Parvenu Tendency", whose doctrine is best summed up by that infamous remark ...

  • Not all that comes out of the sea is just a blob of blubber
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    But the fish was not new. It was, on the contrary, very old. So old that, until Miss Latimer pulled it out from amongst the piscatorial plebeians on the deck of the Jolly Kaffir, it had been thought to have been extinct since the Cretaceous period. I...

  • Letter: Bootleg Stones
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    Just over 20 years ago I bought a bootleg EP on the TMQ (Trademark of Quality) label from a shop in Manchester which includes some of the tracks played to David Lister. As you can see from the sleeve of the record, the tracks are "Cops and Robbers" (...

  • Letter: Squalid public
    Saturday, 10 January 1998

    The network recently introduced some attractive new trains, and of course we could do with more. But greater public expenditure does not compel drivers to turn up for work. Nor does it prevent passengers from scattering the new upholstery and floors ...

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