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Saturday, 17 January 1998

  • Is the Council of the Isles a paper-thin dream or a path to a new vision?
    Sunday, 18 January 1998

    There was the North Sea and the Firth of Forth beneath the port wing. To the west glittered the Clyde estuary, and beyond it the hills of Antrim. A few minutes later the Solway gleamed ahead. The mountains of the Lake District caught the setting sun,...

  • Why I am sick of women MPs
    Sunday, 18 January 1998

    Night after night her pillow talk is about how wonderful women MPs are. They work harder and have greater empathy with constituents than I. Their rooms are tidier, their egos smaller, but they also devote more time to spouses and children than I ever...

  • Not so much an apology, more a tabloid PR stunt stunt
    Sunday, 18 January 1998

    It was hardly a good start, but I don't think any of us guessed what Mr Blair's spin-doctors had up their sleeves. That was revealed only last week, when Japan's Prime Minister, Ryutaro Hashimoto, acting on advice from Mr Blair's aides, finally said ...

  • In the box and on the box
    Sunday, 18 January 1998

    When he was young he went through scores of shoes, bought to be worn for church, kicking balls around the south-east London council estate where he grew up, until his mum refused to buy any more. Now that the Arsenal striker's feet have made him a mi...

  • Tories never could work out percentages
    Sunday, 18 January 1998

    For they lack human interest. They remind people of school. Anything involving percentages - as the system for choosing a Conservative leader did - is likely to recall those days even more disagreeably. Once the phrase "15 per cent surcharge" is ment...

  • Leading Article: Hard choices, plain language
    Sunday, 18 January 1998

    That requires the clear use of language by all the participants in this great debate. When Harriet Harman speaks about an "affluence test" instead of a means test, we should be in no doubt what it means. It means that there is nothing inherently corr...

  • Britons arise, and waddle over to the feeding trough
    Sunday, 18 January 1998

    The love of our four-footed friends is surely the mark of a True Brit. It has long been my belief that the only possible hope for the much- needed Conservative revival in this country lies in kicking the dread Hague into touch and letting either a) a...

  • Just leave me alone
    Sunday, 18 January 1998

    It all started so innocently. I wanted to write a book about the first Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer for two decades. I knew him a little, and certainly admired him. Had he stood for the party leadership after John Smith's death in 1994, I would...

  • Windows, Gates and closed shops
    Sunday, 18 January 1998

    The judge was Thomas Penfield Jackson, an imposing, white-haired veteran of the American court in Washington DC. The young man was David Cole, a vice president of Microsoft Corporation, the world-dominant computer software maker. Cole - round-faced, ...

  • Letter: Asthma in Cuba
    Saturday, 17 January 1998

    Two years ago I went to Cuba on holiday. While I was on a group visit to a collective farm the resident nurse was asked about the main medical problems encountered locally. She said that one of their main concerns was the steady increase in childhood...

  • Letter: Bike victim
    Saturday, 17 January 1998

    In the case of my little girl's broken leg, her collision with a cyclist took place on the pavement, but I suppose Mr Johnson could claim that it was her fault for not stopping and looking both ways before emerging from her garden gate. NEVILLE CONDE...

  • Letter from the Editor
    Saturday, 17 January 1998

    Here, surely, was a great opportunity for a ruthlessly amoral editor (Marr, A) to make a buck. We should have outbid everyone, splashing out pounds 50,000 or pounds 100,000, for the pigs. Then we could have announced that they were going to be turned...

  • Letter: Welfare reform
    Saturday, 17 January 1998

    A system whereby individuals hold a lifelong account with the state into which they pay when they are able and from which they draw as they need would obviate the distortions of the current parallel systems and offer a more subtle set of policy lever...

  • Letter: Fast answers
    Saturday, 17 January 1998

    MICHAEL KINSELLA (aged seven) JAMES KINSELLA (aged 10) Glasgow

  • Letter: Welfare reform
    Saturday, 17 January 1998

    CYRIL AYDON South Newington, Oxfordshire

  • Letter: Bike victim
    Saturday, 17 January 1998

    New cyclists and children in particular are going to need all the help and encouragement they can get if we are going to have any chance to stem the car culture and reap the manifold benefits which this efficient, low impact machine has to offer. The...

  • The best vacations are not an escape, but a liberation
    Saturday, 17 January 1998

    Back at the start of this decade, when Vincent Van Gogh held his centenary bash, I did my culture-vulture duty and booked timed, dated tickets to the two big shows in Holland. Vincent's graphic works, which I love almost more than than those over-exp...

  • Letter: Unfilled jobs
    Saturday, 17 January 1998

    I have noticed unwillingness among my children's peers to enter any industrial or manufacturing business. Their view is that potential employers offer no security in the long term in return for lower remuneration during training and, as a result, the...

  • If only I were a hard-working, hard-drinking Jewish agnostic
    Saturday, 17 January 1998

    The first important figure tells us that there is less of this sex stuff going on than we thought. (Although a warning here: as far as I can tell onanism is not counted as sexual activity by the Penn State researchers.) Twenty per cent of respondents...

  • Leading Article: Professionalism and imagination: the only response to falling arts subsidies
    Saturday, 17 January 1998

    Well, scanning the latest Arts Council budget allocations, it's hard not to agree. Here is a miniature example of the wider point. How exactly do we measure the relative worthiness of supporting - out of a limited and shrinking total of public money ...

  • Letter: Welfare reform
    Saturday, 17 January 1998

    Maternity payments no longer benefit those most in need. In fact, they redistribute resources away from the poorest in society, because the more you earn, the more you get. For example, a woman earning pounds 50,000 a year will receive maternity paym...

  • Quote unquote
    Saturday, 17 January 1998

    Robin Cook is obviously dangerous around airports. First he ditched his wife, now he's declaring undying love. His advisers should make sure he only travels by road or rail - Linda McDougall, author of the book `Westminster Women' We need to make rea...

  • Letter: Pigs in clover
    Saturday, 17 January 1998

    PHILIP R EVANS Hengrave, Suffolk

  • Letter: Esterhazy's fate
    Saturday, 17 January 1998

    TIMOTHY ROBEY Southport, Merseyside

  • The New Toryism as preached by Michael Portillo
    Saturday, 17 January 1998

    Still, the decision to offer the party's members a say in this and other big decisions - not least electing the leader - must be causing some furrowed brows down at the Carlton Club, which has carried the torch for Tory traditionalists for centuries....

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