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Friday, 30 January 1998

  • Anniversaries
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    TOMORROW: Births: William Clark Gable, actor, 1901. Deaths: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Godwin), author of Frankenstein, 1851. On this day: the first volume of the Oxford English Dictionary was published, 1884; some 1,200 people were killed after an...

  • Quote unquote
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    We are still fighting with steam and brass cannon on little wooden rollers. We have been taken completely by surprise by the new techniques - Alan Clark, MP, on the Conservative Party's style of opposition New Labour's most irritating characteristic ...

  • Letter: Town or country
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    It is true, no doubt, that much of England's wealth is contained in towns and in their industries. Yet Mr Resheph's vision of an idle rural idyll is grossly unjust. Agriculture, which is necessarily a country business, is far from being the practice ...

  • Faith & Reason: Feuding theologians will always be ignored
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    Given that the circulation of journals dedicated to academic theology is fairly small, I suspect that most Independent readers might have missed a statement by a group of academics calling for "A New Theological Vision". But the statement could prove...

  • Leading article: They are our servants, and they should be humble
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    It was a moral injunction that always was going to be hard to honour. And so it has proved. The newspapers have been full of stories. The Lord Chancellor's new wallpaper. The VIP lounge at Heathrow. The grace and favour homes. The Downing Street part...

  • Letter: Gays no outlaws
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    The view that I have defended, in Sexual Desire and elsewhere, is that homosexual desire is distinct from heterosexual desire in ways that matter, both personally and morally. I defend this view because of its truth, and not from any desire to censor...

  • Letter: Forests in peril
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    In 1995, 29,000 square kilometres of rainforest was lost, compared with 14,000 square kilometres in 1994. This is the single most catastrophic figure for Amazon deforestation ever recorded, and represents an area of loss almost the size of Belgium in...

  • Letter: Town or country
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    You report (leader, 29 January) that only 2 per cent of the workforce is now in agriculture. If it is no longer economic to farm the land in an environmentally friendly manner and make it pay, why does the nation not simply withdraw from this market ...

  • Letter: Lives on film
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    Of course, biopic is a difficult genre and there are failures, but this shouldn't discourage writers and directors from aiming for success, which is why we at the London Screenwriters Workshop have set up seminars on writing fiction based on fact. Af...

  • Obituary: Maria Judite de Carvalho
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    The very rare contemporary novelists whom we read for style rather than for story - Anita Brookner is one of the most celebrated in Britain - include the Portuguese author Maria Judite de Carvalho. There are many resemblances between her and Brookner...

  • Obituary: Hilla Limann
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    Hilla Limann was the elected President of Ghana from 1979 until 1981. It was a brief and politically unstable interlude of civilian government in a succession of military regimes. Limann was a Muslim from northern Ghana. He was educated at the London...

  • Obituary: The Rev Kenneth Hayes
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    On 21 October 1966, in the mining village of Aberfan in south Wales, a colliery waste tip slid down a mountain and engulfed the village school, killing 144 people, 116 of them children. Those who saw the deeply moving television programme on the disa...

  • Obituary: Mario Schifano
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    Mario Schifano was one of Italy's leading modern painters. Urban signs were his chosen territory: the fuzz of the television screen, the blare of advertising. He loved to epater les bourgeois, using his conspicuous earnings to fund terrorist groups o...

  • John Mitchell London SE13
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    Sir George Throckmorton warned Henry VIII against marrying Anne Boleyn "for it is thought ye have meddled both with the mother and with the sister". Henry retorted sleepishly, "Never with the mother," leaving Thomas Cromwell to add, "Nor never with t...

  • Letter: Clinton distracted
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    Particularly worrying is the coming Senate debate on the expansion of Nato to include Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, a vital measure for European security. Its enemies, like the wreckers of Woodrow Wilson's League of Nations, are coming out ...

  • Letter: Foreign but familiar
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    The dead hand of the European Union has ironed out national variety. In the remotest village you find exactly the same range of goods as at home; no surprises, no regional specialities or holiday loot. Worst of all, most foreigners now speak English,...

  • Birthdays
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    TOMORROW: Lord Abernethy, a Senator of the College of Justice in Scotland, 60; Mrs Hazel Alexander, sculptor, 86; Dr Christopher Barnett, Headmaster, Whitgift School, Croydon, 45; Sir Kenneth Bond, former vice-chairman, GEC, 78; Sir Peter Crill, judg...

  • What Hillary saw last week in New York - Harlem renewed
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    The steely edge she showed to the nation on Tuesday morning has apparently convinced people here that she is twice the man her husband is. If she had experienced the urge to entertain Monica Lewinsky in private, the session was more likely to involve...

  • Sympathy for the logistically challenged of Jamaica
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    Nevertheless I have always thought of this as the most contemplative of sports, one in which the passage of time was relatively unimportant. Cricket lacks the chaotic urgency of soccer or rugby, or indeed, of tennis. Once or twice a year - and planne...

  • France and Germany: still at odds after all these years
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    The quotation from Mr Renan is displayed at a fascinating exhibition at the Petit Palais in Paris, which chronicles the artistic and political relationship of two peoples in the 19th century: a relationship of mingled fascination and terror; loathing...

  • Letter: Tax form loopholes
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    Unfortunately, the Inland Revenue's warnings seem to be rather "the film of the book", the book being the Taxes Management Act 1970, which curiously does not seem to be at the top of any bestseller lists, and the "film", as is so often the case, only...

  • Letter: Slavery and abortion
    Saturday, 31 January 1998

    The issue of abortion is quite different.

  • Letter: Prescott's task
    Friday, 30 January 1998

    That is a huge leap for the Labour Party to make, and more than a short step in the right direction for the environment. Liberal Democrats are rejoicing that the Labour Party has finally started to take the environment agenda on board. We have had a ...

  • Letter: Learning to read
    Friday, 30 January 1998

    I do not know Flemish, but the spelling of both German and Hungarian is highly phonetic, unlike French and English, which have far less regular matching between letters and sounds. French has all those mind-boggling different written verb endings whi...

  • Letter: Bubbly baths
    Friday, 30 January 1998

    JOHN MITCHELL Hertford

  • Letter: Abortion debates
    Friday, 30 January 1998

    The silliness of this statement can be illustrated by replacing abortion with another moral-cum-political issue where Dr Abrams presumably takes a less libertarian view. Would he accept, for example, that the slavery debate of 200 years ago was about...

  • Letter: Endless loans
    Friday, 30 January 1998

    War Loan was originally supposed to be redeemed in "1956 or later" and as late as 1950 it was confidently expected that it would be redeemed in 1956. The stock was then standing at about 97. Many pensioners bought it on their bank manager's recommend...

  • Letter: Bubbly baths
    Friday, 30 January 1998

    TONY DAVIE St Andrews, Fife

  • Letter: In the 1951 dome
    Friday, 30 January 1998

    Dr J B POOLE Datchworth, Hertfordshire

  • Leading Article: Discovering the woeful truth is part of the peace process
    Friday, 30 January 1998

    The Bloody Sunday killings still matter, above all, because they underpin so much of the sense of grievance which sustains republican terrorism. The events of this day in 1972 were critical in changing perceptions of the British Army among nationalis...

  • Lament the lyricist's dreams of glory, and don't put your hopes on the stage
    Friday, 30 January 1998

    All yours, Nat. Dear Nat, How do I set about being the next Rik Mayall? Nat West writes: You don't. Nobody ever set out to be the next anybody, or if they did, they haven't been heard of since. Do you think Rik Mayall set out to be the next Rik Mayal...

  • Letter: Prescott's task
    Friday, 30 January 1998

    The Oxford company provides tours of our city, having re-engineered the rickshaw to include 21 gears, hydraulic disc brakes and halogen lights The elderly share a cause with the disabled, shoppers, and adults in charge of small children. Rickshaws mu...

  • Letter: Cambodia in peril
    Friday, 30 January 1998

    It is increasingly evident that the atmosphere for holding free and fair elections largely devoid of intimidation and possible violence is far from satisfactory. We fear lest Hun Sen, following his successful coup last July, is slowly being allowed t...

  • Insults, soundbites, repetition, clubbiness, obfuscation ...
    Friday, 30 January 1998

    There is a wonderful casualness about this assertion which reveals the confidence with which it was written. It transcends the possibility of contradiction, because this is something that we all know; it is incontestable, forming a backdrop to everyt...

  • Letter: Price of brown fields
    Friday, 30 January 1998

    Why not legislate for industrial rates to be raised on all unused urban land? Those great forgotten tracts will become a liability for their owners and will come on to the market at realistic prices. MARY BANNERMAN Bristol

  • The most misogynistic film ever - or just a visceral slice of real life?
    Friday, 30 January 1998

    In The Company of Men is about two men who deliberately decide to hurt someone. "Let's do it," says one of them. "Let's hurt someone", in a wonderful re-working of Tarantino "Let's go to work." For this is in many ways a film about work as much as it...

  • Letter: Learning to read
    Friday, 30 January 1998


  • Letter: Abortion debates
    Friday, 30 January 1998

    L R McILMOYLE Newcastle upon Tyne

  • Tony's backing is all that Robin really needs
    Friday, 30 January 1998

    Cook can be a difficult and prickly man at the best of times; and these are not the best of times, given the personal pressures caused by the break-up of his marriage. Although his relations with most officials have been significantly better than por...

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