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Home 1998 February

Wednesday, 25 February 1998

  • By the waters of the Thames, I sad down and wept ...
    Thursday, 26 February 1998

    I am astonished that a government normally so sure-footed in judging the public mood has taken on the uphill task of persuading many millions of sceptics up and down the nation that something to justify the enormous outlay can be created in the time ...

  • Pity the rich Swiss - they have to accept their own normality
    Thursday, 26 February 1998

    Switzerland is a prisoner of its myth. For the Swiss, theirs has been the land apart, which thanks to its valour, industry and good sense had avoided the traumas that engulfed the rest of Europe. It has seen itself as the purest distillation of indep...

  • Letter: What now for Iraq?
    Thursday, 26 February 1998

    First, the plight of the long-suffering people of Iraq. Last week, on the initiative of the United Kingdom, the Security Council agreed to an increase in the amount of humanitarian aid available to them. The citizens of Iraq deserve to be told, by al...

  • That millennium - the big stories you wouldn't have thought of in a thousand years
    Thursday, 26 February 1998

    "It's the big one," said Adrian. "The Millennium." "Oh, no - don't tell me you've got mixed up with the Peter Mandelson crowd!" "The Dome gnome? No, no - nothing like that. I'm heading up the new Millennium Press Authority." "The WHAT?" Adrian looked...

  • Bombs, bullets and hard words: but there still is hope in Ulster
    Thursday, 26 February 1998

    This is a mercy partly because it will concentrate the minds of the more fearful politicians who are often tempted to filibuster rather than cut a deal. But it's also a blessing in that it will limit the time available to those intent on using death ...

  • Letter: Too old for the Dome?
    Thursday, 26 February 1998

    MARY HODGES Oxford

  • Letter: Gents in the loo
    Thursday, 26 February 1998

    I have never known any man replace a loo roll, either curling over or peeping out. Where did you find them? Certainly not in the Long Room. SUSAN FREEMAN Hampton Hill, Middlesex

  • Letter: Titanic injustice
    Thursday, 26 February 1998

    The film shows Ismay urging Captain Smith to increase speed, in order to gain favourable publicity by arriving in New York ahead of schedule. According to W J Oldham's The Ismay Line, quite the reverse is true. Before sailing, Smith received Ismay's ...

  • Leading Article: Male Crusties' Club
    Thursday, 26 February 1998

    And isn't that the real point here? The issue has nothing to do with gender on the pitch: it is about a social club with a public and to some extent a political identity. The MCC is one of those peculiar British institutions which, ostensibly private...

  • Letter: Right to roam
    Thursday, 26 February 1998

    Unfortunately this has not been the case. The 1949 Countryside Act made provision for voluntary agreements and, to quote Angela Eagle, Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions: "Although some use has been m...

  • Letter: False Masons
    Thursday, 26 February 1998

    I work with victims of abuse by healthcare professionals, psychiatrists, GPs, psychiatric nurses and so on. When those who have suffered long-term sexual abuse begin to show signs of independence, it is surprising how often they are told, "You won't ...

  • Leading Article: Hague gropes for a New Toryism
    Thursday, 26 February 1998

    Some say that at this stage in the game, with Tory recovery still far off, inconsistency does not matter. Look at Disraeli and Peel - they rose out of adversity and played two ends against the middle. (Tory historical consciousness leaps over such pr...

  • NO-HEADLINE
    Thursday, 26 February 1998

    And particularly unfair to the nation's punters who, after all, have contributed pounds 399m to the Dome via their lottery bets. One of the principal corporate sponsors of the Dome, Manpower, the UK's largest employment agency, has pledged pounds 12m...

  • Letter: What now for Iraq?
    Thursday, 26 February 1998

    He will now do what is necessary to get the UN inspectors off his back and out of Iraq as quickly as possible. With sanctions consequently lifted, he will buy new weapons, and rebuild his chemical and germ warfare capabilities. The latter are cheap a...

  • Letter: What now for Iraq?
    Thursday, 26 February 1998

    But the bombs are still in their hands. We will not be safe until the sanctions are ended and all the troops and weapons pulled out. JOHN NICHOLSON Manchester

  • Letter: Right to roam
    Thursday, 26 February 1998

    Very careful consideration of these problems must be undertaken if the countryside is to be protected. P HARDING Breamore, Hampshire

  • Pandora's column
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    Isn't this taking Minimalism a bit too far? The Met Bar, London's most fashionable drinking den until the Pharmacy opened last month, has removed all the loo seats in the Gents. When I asked the staff for a line of explanation, all I received was a k...

  • Why liberals owe a grudging debt to the threat of force
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    The first myth is that Britain was merely the lapdog of the US. Britain was never, once the crisis began, going to withhold its backing from the US. But it's becoming clearer that London played a significant role in persuading Washington that Kofi An...

  • Letter: Time to celebrate
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    There is a solution - recognise that the next millennium really starts on 1 January 2001. There now - you have a whole year more than you thought. MICHAEL TAYLOR Stenton, Lothian

  • Letter: Housing for volcano isle
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    Given the tools, a traditional blockwork house can be completed in three weeks at a fraction of the cost, providing essential local employment. If nannyism destroys the skill of West Indian domestic woodcraft, the indigenous character that visitors c...

  • How to cope with the cheapest energy ever - make it expensive
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    Expect this situation to continue. The main determinant of energy use in the world is economic growth, and East Asia, which has accounted for two-thirds of all growth since 1990, is currently stalled. Cheap oil means cheap energy. Oil, and gas (which...

  • I think, monsieur, the shy, reserved Englishman is trying to tell you something
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    The British are internationally renowned for their shyness and reserve, and today I am bringing you fourscore different ways in which the English language can be used to tell someone to go away, ranging from the silkily polite to the blunt. Next time...

  • Who would study theology? I did, and I'll tell you why ...
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    Being reasonably good-natured, I tried to laugh it off, perhaps adding: "No, actually. A nun." But deep down all the feelings of paranoia about the future, career, and Life, broke the surface of student illusion and I would ask myself why on earth I ...

  • Letter: Robbed in Kenya
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    Having spent some time in Kenya in 1995, I was shocked at the severe decline that the country has taken in two years. Local people I spoke to gave graphic accounts of the crime epidemic that is slowly eroding their tourist industry. How long will it ...

  • Letter: Irvine's wallpaper
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    If the architecture is distinguished and the expenditure is necessary to preserve it then Lord Irvine can do as the rest of us do - live in his own home and commute to work. The official residence might then be open to the public at all times and we ...

  • Letter: Cannabis as medicine
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    The evidence that cannabis is non-habit-forming and less damaging than heroin, tobacco or alcohol is now overwhelming. Many people suffer pain that only cannabis can relieve, and sufferers from ME can get relief by its use. What is the justification ...

  • Leading article: Unfair veto on Sir Sean
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    Where in all that is Connery's claim on a knighthood and where the veto? If Donald Dewar gave him the black spot because he is a Nat, that shows the Scottish Secretary lacks political imagination. To have a member of a republican party on his knees a...

  • Letter: Brownfield building
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    The last government instructed our county council (Devon) to plan for 99,000 new dwellings; 70 per cent of these are required to satisfy inward migration; two new settlements will be needed to achieve this target. An inspector recently supported this...

  • Letter: Brave whistleblowers
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    However, it is not clear that those dismissed could be reinstated under the legislation. The law would be unlikely to enforce what would be a very strained employer-employee relationship, especially in small or medium- sized companies. The scale of t...

  • Leading article: Political follies under the Dome
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    The Dome's fate rests on the myriad details of leisure business planning. This is for professionals. Yet what we had yesterday was a Cabinet minister - Mr Mandelson - behaving as if he were the project's chief executive. The problem is not just that ...

  • Letter: Brownfield building
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    The new policy will bite only if it is backed by better incentives and grants to build well and offset the extra costs of brownfield sites. The funding could come from measures such as Civic Trust's proposals for a greenfield levy, which Mr Prescott ...

  • Letter: Working mothers
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    Mrs M A MASKELL Maidenhead, Berkshire

  • Letter: Working mothers
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    TOM HUDSON Buckingham

  • Letter: Working mothers
    Wednesday, 25 February 1998

    As The Independent so rightly points out, paying for childcare is a major item in the household budgets of all working parents and cost of childcare can act as a barrier to women returning to work. We are also delighted that The Independent is giving...

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