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Home 1998 January

Sunday, 18 January 1998

  • Letter: Late trains
    Monday, 19 January 1998

    Trains are officially "late" if they arrive more than five minutes late at their final destination. Trains are often scheduled to have quite leisurely waits at intermediate stations, to allow for lost time. Thus a passenger can well arrive at his sta...

  • Letter: Fright at the opera
    Monday, 19 January 1998

    When I was asked a few weeks ago to give a talk to final year arts administration degree students, I found that not one of them could give me a reason as to why the state should subsidise the arts. When those who are responsible for the spending of p...

  • Letter: Asthmatic houses
    Monday, 19 January 1998

    One is the excessive use of solvent-based chemical treatments in houses for rising damp. As an architect, I keep coming across situations where surveyors are covering themselves against any claim by saying that chemical treatments may be advisable. T...

  • Letter: Fear of recession
    Monday, 19 January 1998

    GORDON PACKMAN Glasgow

  • Letter: Drugs and MEPs
    Monday, 19 January 1998

    WAYNE DAVID MEP Leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party Cardiff

  • Letter: Smoking in the pub
    Monday, 19 January 1998

    People have a choice whether or not they enter my pub. I make business decisions based on what my customers require. My customers, in the main, wish to smoke and those that don't make the choice to drink with their smoking friends. I do not need peop...

  • Leading Article: Stop this nonsense, Mr Brown, you are not the best leader we never had
    Monday, 19 January 1998

    This is the closest to a public dressing-down that can be administered without actually going public. It followed a pointed reminder to the Cabinet last week of the virtues of unity, and the announcement that Mr Blair would himself take the chair of ...

  • Letter: Free us from our cars
    Monday, 19 January 1998

    We cannot reduce the use of cars unless changes are made to meet our circumstances. Three such changes need not be costly to the taxpayer and will also provide new jobs for the less skilled young unemployed. If we are to use the train instead of our ...

  • If we could just progress this headline please to impact the reader eyeball to eyeball
    Monday, 19 January 1998

    I did not know that "progress" could be used as a transitive verb, that you could actually "progress" something. And of course you can't. At least you couldn't. But it only takes someone brave enough (or ignorant enough) to ignore the impossibility a...

  • Letter: Fright at the opera
    Monday, 19 January 1998

    Opera audiences are already full of businessmen who care more about their fellow punters than the music, and now it seems opera management is going the same way. People who can afford pounds 25 to watch Arsenal FC may be able to afford opera tickets,...

  • Letter: Pigs with names
    Monday, 19 January 1998

    Perhaps the names they were given were a device to deal with that discovery - not so much a way of saying, "Hey, they're not so different from us," as of saying, "Of course, they're not just ordinary pigs." Otherwise, we might be driven to the conclu...

  • Letter: Fright at the opera
    Monday, 19 January 1998

    Oh, and should I ever go to an Arsenal home game, I must remember to wear black tie. After all, there are standards. GRAHAM LEACH Ilford, Essex

  • 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, ...

  • 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...

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