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Tuesday, 17 March 1998

  • Letter: Duty-free axe
    Wednesday, 18 March 1998

    The decision was made against the background of an expectation of at least some degree of harmonisation of tax rates as part of the process of completing the single market. That has not happened; there remain massive differences in excise rates and a...

  • Letter: Cannabis hypocrisy
    Wednesday, 18 March 1998

    This comes at a time when a poll of new MPs revealed that 20 per cent have tried an illegal drug. Yet so far the number that have announced it publicly can be counted on one hand. Almost every adult has either taken an illegal drug or known someone w...

  • Letter: Iraq's agony
    Wednesday, 18 March 1998

    I lived in Iraq for 12 years, through the Iran and Gulf Wars. On 2 August 1990, during my school holiday, I woke up to hear that Iraq had invaded Kuwait. The Iraqis I met could hardly believe what had happened or why. The events after that are like a...

  • The new Radio 4: all your questions answered by the other Jimmy Boyle
    Wednesday, 18 March 1998

    If you have missed this programme and don't know when it can be heard because of all these changes to Radio 4, I am bringing you a transcript of this morning's programme, which was a repeat of yesterday's... Caller: Mr Boyle, I like all your changes ...

  • This could be the woman who turns the feminists against Bill Clinton
    Wednesday, 18 March 1998

    They might have been an aspiring starlet and a Hollywood director, a college student and her professor; a secretary and her boss, an army recruit and her drillmaster. But they happened to be a voluntary worker in distress and the President of the Uni...

  • Letter: Ballet at all-time low
    Wednesday, 18 March 1998

    Nor is she alone in her opinion. Most long-term observers of the Royal Ballet would agree that under its current direction the company has reached an all-time low as far as repertory and standard of performance are concerned. The overall technical le...

  • Letter: Music before image
    Wednesday, 18 March 1998

    We have always believed that our public come to hear the music, and so we strive to remove any distractions so that concentration can be focused where it ought to be, not on our "image". The result: not too many glamorous engagements with "pop" stars...

  • Letter: Pension promise broken
    Wednesday, 18 March 1998

    The agreement was that pensions would rise in line with the cost of living. It remained until the 1970s. The link was broken by the Thatcher government. If a commercial pension provider had made the decision to change the terms of an agreement unilat...

  • When even Eton doesn't want to be thought of as elitist ...
    Wednesday, 18 March 1998

    Can you imagine a worse end-of-term report for parents who have forked out the annual pounds 14,000 in fees - and that's without the frock coats? In my mind's eye, I see an irate army of county types, Arab Sheikhs and terrifying Russian businessmen h...

  • Leading Article: Europe must not outrun the people
    Wednesday, 18 March 1998

    Europe is indeed running at two speeds, but in a different sense. At one level ministers meet and deliberate - about enlargement, about the redistribution of regional funds, about the launch of a single currency. But this ministerial superstructure s...

  • Leading Article: Passport to big savings for taxpayer
    Wednesday, 18 March 1998

    Most of the above has applied for years. Under the Tories great play was made about sweeps and trawls through the government machine, efficiency reviews and so on. Yet the system survived. Till now. Labour seems to have seen the light. Jack Straw's H...

  • The biggest country in Europe is at the bottom of the table
    Wednesday, 18 March 1998

    The war-time bomb damage is still evident, with many fine 19th century buildings in the capital still just facades. There are few cars on the roads and no parking meters. There are power cuts and dim street lights to save energy. Petty bureaucracy re...

  • Letter: World in Action editor
    Wednesday, 18 March 1998

    In four years as Editor of World in Action, one of the toughest jobs in television, Steve Boulton led the team with courage and distinction. He is currently considering an offer of promotion within Factual Programmes at Granada.

  • Letter: Art for the many
    Wednesday, 18 March 1998

    His comparison with engineering is interesting. Of course, an engineer is better equipped than a member of the public to ensure an aeroplane or car performs its main task of safe transportation. However, after the basic engineering framework is deter...

  • Letter: Hospital mergers
    Tuesday, 17 March 1998

    The prime reason given by the Royal College of Surgeons and the BMA for merging so as to obtain catchment populations of upwards of 500,000 is that otherwise it is not possible to provide continuous consultant cover, and thus safe emergency services,...

  • Letter: After the hunt Bill
    Tuesday, 17 March 1998

    MARK RASMUSSEN London E11

  • Letter: After the hunt Bill
    Tuesday, 17 March 1998

    You cited adultery and abortion as practices regarded as wrong by many people where you clearly considered legislation to be inappropriate. Would you say the same about paedophilia, rape, or murder? Obviously it is a question of where to draw the lin...

  • Letter: After the hunt Bill
    Tuesday, 17 March 1998

    The majority of the nation wanted it to succeed. The majority of country people wanted it to succeed. The overwhelming majority of the House of Commons voted for it to succeed. But the Government didn't want it. An indirectly elected government chose...

  • Letter: After the hunt Bill
    Tuesday, 17 March 1998

    We had a fox earth and a badger sett on the farm. We did not interfere with our foxes. We understood wildlife and took every precaution, not allowing hens to nest in hedges and always shut up houses at night. It is useless for gamekeepers to shoot, s...

  • Letter: No Teletubbies here
    Tuesday, 17 March 1998

    I have a two-year-old boy and no television. Gasp! I spend my time with my son walking, visiting friends, museums, farms and toddler gyms, playing with trains, Duplo, "soft stuff" (wonderful invention), bits of cardboard, paper and loo rolls, drawing...

  • A newspaper is no ordinary business, it is a trophy asset
    Tuesday, 17 March 1998

    But how did we get to this point? In 1986 we raised the pounds 18m capital with which the newspaper was launched from 30 or so pensions funds, unit trusts, life assurance funds and the like. We placed a limit on the size of individual shareholdings. ...

  • Leading Article: Justice is justice, even 80 years late
    Tuesday, 17 March 1998

    The passion of the Lawrence family, so cruelly let down by the criminal justice system; the determination of the Hillsborough victims' relatives; the anger (and puzzlement) of those deprived of a loved one by CJD - there is no guarantee that state in...

  • Letter: After the hunt Bill
    Tuesday, 17 March 1998

    The helical horn was slung in double-coil, from left shoulder to right side. The huntsman's girth determined the length (and therefore, pitch). Longest was 14ft (in D) and lesser hoops 13ft and 12ft (in Eflat and F). The multiple harmonies of these l...

  • Playing happy families is not the way to the nation's heart
    Tuesday, 17 March 1998

    Meanwhile a small boy - name of Ben, the child of Sue Nye, Brown's political secretary - solemnly munches his way through his third birthday tea between the grown-ups. The irresistible effect of the picture, which was on most front pages yesterday mo...

  • Where agony aunts turn when it all gets too much for them
    Tuesday, 17 March 1998

    Dear Auntie Agony, You really must help, as I am feeling almost suicidal. I have been running a problem corner for a major group of provincial newspapers for several years now, and the pressure must be getting to me because I find myself subject to t...

  • Letter: Hospital mergers
    Tuesday, 17 March 1998

    It is perfectly simple: you just have to imagine that Canterbury was not there and you were going to build it. "Let's have a city of at least 40,000 people, and about another 100,000 just outside, with a big tourist attraction in the middle; say, two...

  • Letter: Portia's prejudice
    Tuesday, 17 March 1998

    JAMES LOADER Orpington, Kent

  • Hague's best hope: say little and pray for a recession
    Tuesday, 17 March 1998

    Here are a few - entirely unsolicited - pointers to how you should handle your speech after today's Budget. My first piece of advice is don't look up at the press gallery before you speak. It's always a bit dispiriting watching the journalists rush o...

  • Letter: Don't shun Turkey
    Tuesday, 17 March 1998

    In a wider context, Turkey is the main barrier to the coalescence of a potential sectarian war-front stretching from Bosnia to Basra and beyond, by way of Palestine. For all our sakes, the Turks should be rewarded for eight decades of secular governm...

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