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Thursday, 12 March 1998

  • Letter: Selling a house
    Friday, 13 March 1998

    I know of nowhere else worldwide where a house purchaser expects a seller to wait whilst the purchaser sells his own house. This is the real cause for delay. In Norway, and indeed elsewhere, a purchaser is bound by his offer and has to seek bridging ...

  • Letter: Duped by China
    Friday, 13 March 1998

    Most human rights organisations agree that such political appeasement - whether the retention of Most Favoured Nation trading status or the uncoupling of trade from human rights - has a direct and immediate influence on the political climate in China...

  • Leading Article: Blair's loyalty contest
    Friday, 13 March 1998

    This will stop Tony Benn's avatar using it as a power base, but might let in a fifth column of Hattersleyites (as Trotskyists are known these days) among the unknowns on the ballot paper. So, out goes to the call to loyal Blairite actors and pop star...

  • Richard and Judy commandeer the deck of our refitted vessel
    Friday, 13 March 1998

    But, while a believer in openness, I don't want to regurgitate past arguments. It would be messy, insanitary and undignified. Much more important, there was a happy ending, which is rare in journalism. So I have decided to regard my head-first plunge...

  • Letter: Women and computers
    Friday, 13 March 1998

    First, that IT (in the form of e-mail) provides by far the most cost- effective way of keeping in touch. Almost none of the female friends to whom I've described the benefits of the Internet realised initially that messages were sent in fractions of ...

  • Letter: Duped by China
    Friday, 13 March 1998


  • Letter: Voting reform
    Friday, 13 March 1998

    DAVID HOWARTH Clare College, Cambridge

  • Letter: Selling a house
    Friday, 13 March 1998

    In the real world of trade and commerce, to which he was obviously a complete stranger, no one has their "downside covered". In the hotel business, for instance, we have to maintain a building with comfortable beds in it and food ready to feed guests...

  • Letter: End of duty-free
    Friday, 13 March 1998

    Dire warnings of chaos on ferries and aeroplanes represent one of the most narrow arguments yet put forward by those trying to get the decision reversed. They should be answering the question of why air and ferry passengers, particularly regular ones...

  • Letter: A safer railway
    Friday, 13 March 1998

    However, the management of maintenance, renewal and investments involves considerable logistical and safety considerations, not least the management of "possessions", whereby track is made available for work and handed back for service at agreed inte...

  • At last, the tobacco industry admits the link it has always denied
    Friday, 13 March 1998

    Yes, the tobacco industry has finally agreed to admit something that it has never admitted before. It has finally agreed to admit that there is a link - let me spell this out clearly - that there is a DEFINITE PROVEN LINK between tobacco and smoking....

  • Leading Article: The long shadow of Hassan
    Friday, 13 March 1998

    So why is Turkey different from Estonia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania? The first, and very important, answer is human rights. Despite its aspirations, and despite the very recent democratic credentials of the convoy of countries which has jumped th...

  • Scottish tremors should act as an early warning for Blair
    Friday, 13 March 1998

    In England, at least. If you wondered what UK politics might be looking like if Blair was facing Italo-French style competition on the left, it's worth examining the case of Scotland. This week an opinion poll asked Scottish electors how they would v...

  • Letter: Don't knock it
    Friday, 13 March 1998


  • Letter: Diversification
    Friday, 13 March 1998

    DAVID GIBBS London SW4

  • The news on television presents its viewers with a smaller world
    Friday, 13 March 1998

    No, the news on ITV will profit to this extent alone: at 11pm it will no longer have to worry about catering for such a large and diverse audience as the one it struggled to inform at 10; because they won't be there, as sure as eggs is eggs. The true...

  • 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


  • 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...

  • Get to the point
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