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Tuesday, 10 February 1998

  • The future of marriage: Valentine's Day proves that romance is alive and well
    Wednesday, 11 February 1998

    If you do, you will be carrying on a tradition that is more than 2,000 years old. The day carries the name of St Valentine (a Roman priest clubbed to death circa 270) or possibly the other St Valentine (Bishop of Terni, martyred a few years later). B...

  • Letter: Abolish the church
    Wednesday, 11 February 1998

    ROBERT SMITH Merstham, Surrey

  • Laeding Article: The choice is yours, Mr Blair: Britain, or your friend Rupert Murdoch?
    Wednesday, 11 February 1998

    The issue to hand is his government's response to defeat in the House of Lords on control over predatory pricing in our segment of the newspaper market. Of course The Independent has an interest but - as political and media commentary across the boar...

  • Letter: Flying finance
    Wednesday, 11 February 1998

    Airbus Industrie does not receive subsidies - if Mr McRae means free, financial hand-outs. Rather, its industrial partners have received refundable launch-aid for some of the costs of research and development of specific aircraft programmes, with pri...

  • Letter: Tax benefits
    Wednesday, 11 February 1998

    You praise the psychological advantage of shifting to a culture where people feel that they stand on their own feet rather than relying on state handouts. This has always been the traditional Treasury distinction between tax reliefs / allowances and ...

  • Letter: Changing countryside
    Wednesday, 11 February 1998

    I love the landscape and the villages in my part of England. I like to walk in the woods and experience the passing of the seasons. I do not complain about the noise of tractors nor the smell of slurry. At the same time, I enjoy rock concerts and the...

  • Letter: Local democracy
    Wednesday, 11 February 1998

    The fact is that, in 1989, when responsibility for setting the business rate was still with local government, businesses in inner London contributed three times more to local authority coffers than did domestic ratepayers - voters. This model of loca...

  • I can't stand Sylvia Plath's poetry, but you should hear her comic material
    Wednesday, 11 February 1998

    A lot of us in private life probably risked a lot of flak by asking unsayable questions about Princess Diana. (Questions like: "Who cares?" and "Why has everyone gone mad?") But I think it is very healthy to say the unsayable, to question comfortable...

  • Power to the people: Elected mayors could give Personality to local government
    Wednesday, 11 February 1998

    Labour councillors ought to be fuming. Since last May, ministers from their own party have cut their grants, moved to take away what is left of their control of schools and social services, excluded them from the new regional set-up, screwed their sp...

  • Trouble at the Brits: A Deputy Prime Minister should watch the company he keeps
    Wednesday, 11 February 1998

    The poor old Deputy Prime Minister fell victim at what is fast becoming an annual event at the Brit Awards - the Jarvis Cocker Moment. Named after the lead singer of Pulp, it is the moment when pop stars suddenly remember that their job isn't all abo...

  • Letter: Moral policy on Iraq
    Wednesday, 11 February 1998

    We share the concern of the British and American administrations that every effort be made to stop - or at least limit - the damage being done by Saddam Hussein's regime to his own people and to the stability of the entire region. However, any action...

  • Letter: Pre-millennium Bug
    Wednesday, 11 February 1998

    PETER HARRIS Rugby, Warwickshire

  • Letter: Save the arts
    Wednesday, 11 February 1998

    We must not adopt the American model holus-bolus. America's most renowned living playwright has been urging us for years to keep our system of government subsidy. Arthur Miller has good reason. His fascinating later plays could not find a stage at ho...

  • The US and Britain are giving Saddam just what he wants
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    The Allied objective is to prevent Iraq developing weapons of mass destruction and threatening its neighbours. Probably the United Nations' inspectors have removed Iraq's nuclear capability, so the focus is almost exclusively on chemical and biologic...

  • Letter: Iraqi crisis
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    ALEC HOLMES New Malden, Surrey

  • Letter: Sri Lanka's struggle
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    Peter Popham states that there was no freedom struggle in Sri Lanka and that "independence was handed to them on a plate" ("Tamil terror blights Prince's Sri Lanka visit", 4 February). Attempts to establish freedom by the natives were ongoing through...

  • Letter: Japanese pets
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    Your article "Japanese fads condemn pets to mass slaughter" (7 February) made very depressing reading. Unfortunately, such appalling treatment of unwanted dogs is not uncommon in the Far East. But it is especially inexcusable in Japan, which is a ric...

  • Letter: Dance of the oceans
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    Across England and Wales, the drought may appear to be over (report, 4 February; letters, 7 February), but for how long? Oceanographers and meteorologists are uncovering evidence that our weather may be heavily influenced by a climate fluctuation kno...

  • Letter: Alias T E Lawrence
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    There was absolutely no reason for T E Lawrence to have lied about his enlistment ("Files reveal Great War secrets of British literary heroes", 3 February). There is, however, a very strong possibility that Lawrence could have enlisted under a false ...

  • Letter: Driver density
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    Nick Austin (letter, 6 February) suggests that the UK's high rate of road deaths is due to its high population density. Belgium and the Netherlands are both much more densely populated than the UK, but while Belgium's roads are more deadly than Briti...

  • Letter: St Valentine's treacle
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    Soon the treacly sentiments of St Valentine's Day will seep over us. Could we not introduce an anti-Valentines column? A whole new lexicon of nicknames might appear... RICHARD P WARNER Warwick

  • Letter: Enriching lawyers
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    A M Robinson (letter, 6 February) fails to acknowledge the realities of civil legal aid as they occur in litigation. The Legal Aid Board relies on the advice of the applicant's lawyer in deciding whether to fund a claim. Such advice is not independen...

  • And the next question for news-watchers: who will believe in the new National Libelry?
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    Well, here we go! Because I am issuing you that challenge! Right here and now! And having used up my entire week's quota of exclamation marks, we go straight into the quiz, which is simplicity itself. Here are six news stories, from the last seven da...

  • A little less of Camelot, and a bit more of FDR
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    The new style that Tony Blair brought to Downing Street was a real break with the past. Suddenly here was a Prime Minister who appeared to enjoy the job - in contrast to a predecessor who often looked as he wished he were somewhere else. As the first...

  • The real mystery of the Sphinx: why do falsehoods drive out truth?
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    Our bookshops are bulging again with pyramid-shaped displays designed to the shift the newest wave of speculative ancient history. Fanciful theories about the Pharaohs, and the baffling monuments they built, have excited cranks and mystics for centur...

  • Leading Article: Three steps forward and one step back for Mr Brown
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    But we are still some way from a clear "big picture" - the sort of thing the Prime Minister wanted us to keep our eyes on throughout the distracting blizzard of politico-sexual trivia. The central idea of the Budget is work, as in "welfare-to-". The ...

  • Letter: Risk assessment
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    Ivan Massow, quoted in your article "A change in policy on HIV Risk" (31 January), is quite wrong about Allied Dunbar in his assertion that we are "cherry-picking" clients based on discrimination. The job of our underwriting team is to assess risk, a...

  • Letter: Spelling? Ugh!
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    Rather than reform English spelling to conform with pronunciation (letters, 30 January, 4 February), why not alter pronunciation to accord with spelling? The return of the "gh" sound to English, similar to the Scottish "ch", as in loch, would simplif...

  • Letter: Iraqi crisis
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    P J WOOD London SE3

  • Letter: Iraqi crisis
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    The British government is allying old, imperial patterns of thought with American physical power in order to enforce our intentions on Iraq. In, say, 20 years' time, there may be some quite different power centres in the world: maybe a Chinese one, o...

  • Letter: Save the arts
    Tuesday, 10 February 1998

    "The Independent Save the Arts": now there's a headline (9 February) to gladden the morning! After working for 14 years in the US, I am well aware of the advantages of a fiscal system which offers tax relief as an incentive to charitable contribution...

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