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Wednesday, 11 March 1998

  • Letter: Underground revolt
    Thursday, 12 March 1998

    I deeply resent paying the company's usurious levy for the privilege of squeezing myself onto its squalid, filthy, overcrowded trains; for patiently tolerating the "18 minutes to next train" indicator, with no announcement to explain or justify it, f...

  • Ashes to ashes and dust to dust - a waking dream in an Irish hospital
    Thursday, 12 March 1998

    Come back with me two weeks, to a Wednesday morning when, as I sat by her bedside, a male nurse appeared by my side, bearing a little bowl full of ashes. He could have been a sales rep from the offices of Mr Boffin, the dust millionaire in Dickens's ...

  • Leading Article: Prescott is bigger than this farce
    Thursday, 12 March 1998

    The first is that John Prescott, in his capacities as Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and the Regions has other, much more important fish to fry. Not every newspaper allegation is worth reading, especially if i...

  • Pandora's Box
    Thursday, 12 March 1998

    HERE IS AN IDEA whose time has definitely arrived: charging PR firms for the press releases they bung through our fax machines. The Los Angeles Times-Washington Post news service has announced that it now bins any and all unsolicited PR fax messages....

  • Don't let the facts get in the way of a good prejudice
    Thursday, 12 March 1998

    Me, I'm, predisposed to think he didn't. After all, he seems a decent kind of bloke. So if you can offer me any facts which speak to that predisposition, I'm open to them. Otherwise not. What we need, said Dickens's utilitarian petit-capitalist, Mr G...

  • Letter: Freeing of McAliskey
    Thursday, 12 March 1998

    I did not discuss the case with any other minister outside the Home Office, nor did I receive representations from any other minister about what you alleged are wider political implications. I took my decision having considered the representations pu...

  • Black beasts take a rain check in the ball park of today
    Thursday, 12 March 1998

    Dr Wordsmith writes: There are several reasons why people use foreign expressions. These include arrogance, snobbery, exhibitionism, pedantry, playfulness, superiority and a desire to show that one has had the money to spend time abroad. Nothing wron...

  • Letter: Internet curbs
    Thursday, 12 March 1998

    Mr Burton is right to be concerned about any apparent means of restricting the free flow of information. However, in over a year of debate on this issue with governments, service providers and regulation bodies around the world, I have not come acros...

  • Letter: Save European TV
    Thursday, 12 March 1998

    This also creates unfair competition with terrestrial channels, who do invest in home-made programmes. These terrestrial channels are coming under increased pressure to cut budgets for kids' programmes, in order to compete. Our kids are told that Eur...

  • Letter: Defying Murdoch
    Thursday, 12 March 1998

    PETER CALVOCORESSI Bath

  • Letter: Underground revolt
    Thursday, 12 March 1998

    I wonder if I will ever again enjoy the bliss of sitting on a train for such a length of time and not being subjected to people shouting into their mobile phones. ANDREW J CHISHOLM Northampton

  • As Nato and the EU expand, beware a scowling Russia
    Thursday, 12 March 1998

    But no matter. "The meeting is the message" is the amended official catchphrase for the occasion. And, amid the ornate and gilded splendour of Lancaster House, so destructive of the critical faculties, who is to disagree? The enlargement of the EU to...

  • Letter: House sales
    Thursday, 12 March 1998

    Viewing is publicised for one or two specific time periods, then bidding begins. Bids tend to be time-limited both on the buyer's side and the seller's (you have so many hours to enter a higher bid and the seller has a certain time period to decide w...

  • Letter: Doom for jazz
    Thursday, 12 March 1998

    The coup de grace was administered by those intellectuals who saw that jazz was becoming unpopular and might therefore be Art. This led to 15- minute bass solos, sheets of sound, free jazz and other phenomena that only a musician's mother could love....

  • Letter: Town and country
    Thursday, 12 March 1998

    I am sick to death of hearing the mantra "70 per cent of people support the ban". That means that 30 per cent do not. This a very large minority to have their views ridden over roughshod by Parliament on a matter which should be for individual consci...

  • Leading Article: Buttling for Britain
    Thursday, 12 March 1998

    Yet the problem with butlers, at least in this country, is the old social class associations - witness our insatiable enthusiasm for Edwardian costume dramas in which the lower orders still knew their place. Can a butler buttle in, as it were, a pure...

  • Letter: Harmless dope
    Wednesday, 11 March 1998

    ROB MURPHY Newcastle upon Tyne

  • Letter: It's Latin to them
    Wednesday, 11 March 1998

    There is a temptation to assume that the new Europe is a recreation of the Latin West, but this ceased to be the case, if it ever was, when the Greeks came on board in 1983, and will be even less so with the accession of (say) Bulgaria and Romania, w...

  • Leading Article: Negative ads can work
    Wednesday, 11 March 1998

    The key words were "deceitful and manipulative". If cigarette companies were made out to be dishonest and unscrupulous, they were "delegitimised" and people started to ask themselves hard questions about their own behaviour. Becoming aware of what li...

  • Letter: Art for all
    Wednesday, 11 March 1998

    His implication, that only those trained in art are qualified to assess art, ignores the popular and voluble interest in public works of art and the continued investment in them by local councils. Art is an expression, mirror and critique of a cultur...

  • Letter: Cancer toll in Iraq
    Wednesday, 11 March 1998

    There were far more oil well and refinery fires in Kuwait than in all of Iraq. The retreating Iraqi troops deliberately set fire to 715 Kuwaiti oil wells and three refineries, which took months, not weeks, to put out. There were tank battles, in whic...

  • A view from the clifftops at Porthbeor beach
    Wednesday, 11 March 1998

    A 9x12 print of this photograph can be ordered on 0171-293 2534

  • Leading Article: Who is to blame for water scandal?
    Wednesday, 11 March 1998

    The story is complicated, but it matters a great deal, not just to current pensioners, but potentially to hundreds of thousands of other state employees and to the taxpayers who may have to do the bailing out. Talk by ministers about tight belts and ...

  • Failed your exams? Start a business in the playground
    Wednesday, 11 March 1998

    There is one obvious and valid explanation - that the students who come to both countries do so because they are coming to the best universities. The problems in America and Britain are not with our elite universities which are excellent, but with th...

  • The Box
    Wednesday, 11 March 1998

    Of course the polls show that a majority of Londoners will vote in favour of having a mayor. In the meantime, Archer's effort is entirely made up of volunteers, he says, including his new treasurer, wealthy businessman Greg Hutchings. "I haven't spen...

  • Letter: Phone 'rip-offs'
    Wednesday, 11 March 1998

    The charges by Cellnet, BT and Vodafone, which Mr Cruickshank describes as a "rip off", involve another dimension not emphasised in recent reports. Of the five billion calls made from landlines to mobile telephones, a significant number connect to re...

  • Letter: School agreements
    Wednesday, 11 March 1998

    We believe this requirement could lead to division rather than partnership between parent and school and will impose an extra administrative burden on schools. Rather than the Government imposing this detailed legal requirement on all schools we want...

  • Letter: Beyond the Dome
    Wednesday, 11 March 1998

    The Dome is the single biggest project funded by the Millennium Commission and less attention has yet been given to the other projects which will take up the other 80 per cent of Millennium Commission funding. We are funding 186 capital projects incl...

  • What really goes on at the BBC - an absolutely, totally genuine fly-on-the-wall report
    Wednesday, 11 March 1998

    Birt: We have recently come under a lot of criticism for faking documentaries. Does anyone have anything to say to that? Man with Glasses: Is this the thing about the Learner Driver? Birt: Yes. Man with Glasses: Oh, that. I can explain that. Birt: Go...

  • Why America's teenage girls can't get enough of 'Titanic'
    Wednesday, 11 March 1998

    Almost three months after the film's release, the surprise comes from the complexion of the audiences. In front of cinemas across America, the winding queues comprise not laggardly first-time viewers curious to see if what everyone else says about th...

  • Letter: Lively competition
    Wednesday, 11 March 1998

    Miss World is now arguably the most-watched annual television show in the world, with more than 2 billion viewers in over 150 countries. In this country, Sky believe that there is life in Miss World, for they televise it. We are alive and kicking, an...

  • Letter:Watery Moon
    Wednesday, 11 March 1998

    RICHARD WINSTONE Stroud, Gloucestershire

  • Spare the Teletubbies: they've dumbed-up Watch with Mother
    Wednesday, 11 March 1998

    The Teletubbies' biggest achievement is that they have become a symbol for those who want to argue that children's TV is "dumbing down". The fact that the Teletubbies are designed to appeal to pre-school infants: to babies in other words, seems to ha...

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