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Wednesday, 28 January 1998

  • Yes, Zippergate is unedifying - but have you heard the latest joke...
    Thursday, 29 January 1998

    Seeking intellectual stimulation, I fled to talk to Graham Robb, the talented young author of the life of Victor Hugo which win the Biography prize. No trace of politico-sexual shenanigans about that life, I trust. Only honest creative endeavour, tir...

  • Letter: Caring for disabled
    Thursday, 29 January 1998

    Mr Gordon's "maiden lady" looking after an aged and infirm parent is seen as deserving, but presumably a married woman, who is also sacrificing career, occupational pension and probably health, isn't. It is true that the recipient of invalid care all...

  • Interview: John Bird: From the street to City Hall: the first mayor of London?
    Thursday, 29 January 1998

    The idea that this could be a non-party campaign is fast fading. There will probably be a Labour and Tory primary - (there'll be an outcry if either party tries an inside fix). That will leave just one candidate each, with the others banned from runn...

  • Letter: Nursing crisis
    Thursday, 29 January 1998

    Pay is an important factor but not the only one. My own experience suggests that nurses at ward level have become disillusioned as they have felt devalued with the general drift from public service to business ethic. There is a sense of two cultures ...

  • Letter: `Boring' politics
    Thursday, 29 January 1998

    "Boring" is a word my 11-year-old uses about any subject outside his immediate range of interest. I normally respond by telling him that as he grows older and understands more, then the world around him will appear increasingly interesting and releva...

  • Letter: Town vs country
    Thursday, 29 January 1998

    As viewers rush to emulate the urban British lifestyles of their new favourite TV characters, we could expect a corresponding reduction in demand for housing in sprawling suburban estates. ALISTAIR LENCZNER London SW4

  • Leading Article: Divided by the Channel, but increasingly united by everything else
    Thursday, 29 January 1998

    That is not to say people watching ER or Fargo are somehow being falsely entertained; there is no cultural rule that says we should be more excited by Jean de Florette or Lucie Aubrac because France is closer to hand. But we must not let the prevalen...

  • Letter: Hughes's Ovid
    Thursday, 29 January 1998

    The context was a reference to other recent English translators of Ovid, praised at Hughes's expense by the classicist Bernard Knox in a recent issue of the New York Review of Books. Their renderings may be more correct but Hughes's Ovid, like Chapma...

  • Letter: Bad debts for arms
    Thursday, 29 January 1998

    Pressure groups have argued that the export credit guarantee scheme, which underwrites these arms orders, only encourages oppressive regimes, such as Indonesia, to buy weaponry beyond their means and actually to increase their military spending. Oppr...

  • Europe may speak English, but it remains foreign
    Thursday, 29 January 1998

    Make no mistake. For all our domestic political ructions over Europe, and whatever our "semi-detached" stance towards the process of European integration, Britain has exerted much influence on the Union's development. Almost everywhere, free trade an...

  • Letter: Heroic dockers
    Thursday, 29 January 1998

    It is deeply disappointing that throughout the long dispute the leadership of the TGWU have offered no active support, other than financial contributions from the hardship fund. The Labour government, despite containing MPs and ministers with TGWU li...

  • Letter: Ramadan moon
    Thursday, 29 January 1998

    If Islam is a progressive religion which believes in science, then its followers in the UK should consult the Greenwich Observatory. It saddens me as a Muslim that the end of Ramadan each year is celebrated not on one day but on two or three, dependi...

  • You can keep the River Cafe - I'll take a pantomime dame any day of the week
    Thursday, 29 January 1998

    Well, as I live a hundred miles or more from London, it's unlikely that I will make the trek to the capital and see the new darlings of the West End. Luckily, I don't really have to. I have seen The Right Size already. I saw them at the Edinburgh Fes...

  • Letter: Town vs country
    Thursday, 29 January 1998

    I am a self-employed van courier and recently my vehicle broke down, which prevented me from working and earning money for five days. I received no compensation despite my van being "ill". Why can farmers claim government help and I cannot? JOHN PRIT...

  • The Pope in Cuba, via CJD, Robin Cook and the contents of the millennium Dome
    Wednesday, 28 January 1998

    Well, if you think you are reasonably well versed in what's what and who's doing it to whom, we challenge you to take our monthly news quiz! All you have to do is read the following questions and then answer them. OK, here we go: 1. If President Clin...

  • Leading Article: The Broadcasters say politicians on television are bor ing. They're quite right
    Wednesday, 28 January 1998

    But now the BBC is asking questions. The acid test is audience appreciation, because if viewers don't like what they are served they will exercise their zapping option. According to the research, they profess themselves ignorant of the archaic termin...

  • Letter: Miners' suffering
    Wednesday, 28 January 1998

    In 1661 John Evelyn first noted the harmful effects of "Newcastle cole" to those who mined and used coal. By 1831 medical authorities had recorded lung disease in coal miners. In 1915 HM Medical Inspector of Factories, H M Collis, noted higher levels...

  • Letter: Clinton's historic role
    Wednesday, 28 January 1998

    CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS Westerham, Kent

  • Letter: Pampered rustics
    Wednesday, 28 January 1998

    The fox is not a significant pest to farmers but if his dispatch is essential then this can be achieved by shooting - swiftly, selectively and with the minimum of disturbance to the target and its surroundings. Those of us privileged to manage land, ...

  • She may be a tough cookie, but I don't have to stand by her man
    Wednesday, 28 January 1998

    But, hey, what do I know? If you are shocked by the very mention of cunnilingus then I am in turn shocked that some newspapers refer to Clinton indulging in an "an unorthodox sex act" with Lewinsky. Unorthodox? And you thought it was compulsory. We a...

  • Letter: Air and Rail
    Wednesday, 28 January 1998

    Dyce, just north of Aberdeen, was reopened for the airport, though restoration of the "subbies", Aberdeen's lost local trains, would improve matters. Glasgow's airport link was hampered by the notorious politics of Paisley, but is now being prepared ...

  • Letter: Forgotten Dome
    Wednesday, 28 January 1998

    On the other hand, 46 years on I can still draw a reasonable sketch map of the Science Exhibition in the basement of the Geology Museum at South Kensington, showing where to find the giant carbon atom, the spiral periodic table, the Brownian movement...

  • Labour's arms policy - so where are the ethics?
    Wednesday, 28 January 1998

    Seven months before the general election, Labour's conference voted to review export credit guarantees, a quarter of which are used to underwrite arms deals. But apart from ending backing for arms deals with some of the most deeply indebted Third Wor...

  • Letter: No Superwoman
    Wednesday, 28 January 1998

    I don't believe there's anything "super" about big-bucks managing staff who also manage their domestic responsibilities. She's very bright and very privileged and that's about all that should be said. I work full time, have a 10-month-old daughter, t...

  • When cool Britannia meets hard-headed economics
    Wednesday, 28 January 1998

    Knowing the fragile state of most newspapers' finances I replied warily that, provided he didn't mind not being paid very much, I was sure the papers would love to have him on board. "Oh, I'm not worried about the money," he said - and of course I th...

  • Letter: Bubbly Baths
    Wednesday, 28 January 1998

    JEFF PICKTHALL London SW4

  • Letter: Pampered rustics
    Wednesday, 28 January 1998

    To send a postman in a van thirty or forty miles down narrow roads to deliver a single postcard to a rural idyll costs a great deal more than the chap who bicycles 500 yards from the sorting office and walks down my street, but the postcard carries t...

  • Letter: Clinton's historic role
    Wednesday, 28 January 1998

    PAUL REIDERMAN Brussels, Belgium

  • Letter: Clinton's historic role
    Wednesday, 28 January 1998

    JOHN DAVIS Bookham, Surrey

  • Letter: Clinton's historic role
    Wednesday, 28 January 1998

    I think the King is but a man as I am: the violet smells to him as it doth to me ... All his senses have but human conditions; his ceremonies laid by, in his nakedness he appears but a man; and though his affections are higher mounted than ours, yet,...

  • Letter: Clinton's historic role
    Wednesday, 28 January 1998

    He is not alone in seeing peccadilloes in perspective. Edward Gibbon wrote of Charlemagne: "Of his moral virtues, chastity is not the most conspicuous: but the public happiness could not be materially injured by his nine wives or concubines, the vari...

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