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Saturday, 2 May 1998

  • I never imagined I'd find myself feeling sorry for lawyers
    Sunday, 3 May 1998

    This, at least, is what we were supposed to think. The men and women in question turned out to be the barristers and solicitors who earned most from legal aid in 1996-7 and the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, said his decision to authorise publication ...

  • Profile: A sharp-clawed pussycat: Craig Brown
    Sunday, 3 May 1998

    One assumes that Mr Mandelson's breakfast was not unduly disturbed by the threat of Harry Enfield's "full force". His last encounter with the television comedian was at a Labour drinks party in November, when a somewhat tired and emotional Enfield re...

  • Leading article: A harsh truth for Hague
    Sunday, 3 May 1998

    It is, however, an historical fact that a generally feeble display in the Commons is not such a great problem. All of the Conservatives' periods in opposition since the war have been accompanied by lame parliamentary performances, especially in the f...

  • Goodbye to the B-flat brigade, and good riddance
    Sunday, 3 May 1998

    Personally, I've loved the classics ever since I first heard The Black and White Minstrel Show many moons ago. But I believed then, as I believe now, that too much prominence in the Classical Canon is given to what one might call the Gloomies - those...

  • Let's dare to admit that our present way of voting delivered the goods
    Sunday, 3 May 1998

    The power of the painting lies in the way it makes Judgement Day intrude into the physical world of opulence, food and human company. Fate cannot be staved off or mitigated: hence Belshazzar's stricken terror. I thought of that moment when, in one of...

  • 'Ere we go, putting the boot in again
    Sunday, 3 May 1998

    There is a shortage of tickets for England and Scotland fans for France 98. That is, undoubtedly, one of the great humanitarian disasters of our time. (There is also a shortage for Dutch, Belgian, Italian, German and French - yes, French - fans but w...

  • Can you forgive them?
    Sunday, 3 May 1998

    "In 1968 she killed two small boys," I began. "But that was 30 years ago. And she was a child herself at the time, wasn't she?" "Yes, she was 11." "And she served a sentence for manslaughter." "Yes, 12 years." "And she's lived peacefully since being ...

  • A farewell bash for the boys
    Sunday, 3 May 1998

    The champagne flowed like ... well, champagne, so it must have cost a pretty penny. It seems that the taxpayer will foot the bill, because the invitations bore the official government hospitality crest and the personal imprimatur of the Prime Ministe...

  • Writers must tell the truth, not spare us pain
    Sunday, 3 May 1998

    The papers would almost certainly have behaved as they did anyway. They did not need the support of Mr Jack Straw and Mr Tony Blair. But these ministers clearly did not act as a restraining influence: if anything, the reverse. Mr Blair said - during ...

  • Beware politicians on the Internet, as they find forms of manipulation
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    This week, the efforts of Messrs Hague and Blair to top one another in the realm of cyberspace democracy were worthy but should not be repeated unless and until everyone has had some lessons. Mr Blairs' unfamiliarity with a keyboard was manifest; his...

  • The downside of the pill that's billed as an up
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    Viagra certainly appears to have a vroom,vroom effect, boosting manly vigour and self-image. It has even achieved the ultimate American accolade - top billing on the cover of Time magazine. It is clearly the answer to Pfizer's prayers, the pharmaceut...

  • Jarvis Cocker's mum is a Tory - and he will be one, too
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    Jarvis, it transpires, was also a Cub Scout, who passed some of his tenderest years in saluting the flag, singing hymns and collecting badges for various arcane skills involving string. Mum, a pillar of society clearly, is not only a Tory but will - ...

  • Letter: Surgeons no fat cats
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    TIMOTHY RAGGATT QC believes that his taxable income of pounds 190,000 is the same as a consultant surgeon ("Top lawyers get pounds 500,000 a year from legal aid", 29 April). He is seriously wrong. The NHS salary of a consultant is a maximum of pounds...

  • Letter: Protecting Venice
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    MICHAEL McCARTHY'S report (21 April) highlighted the threat of catastrophic flooding facing Venice. For nearly two years I chaired the international panel of experts that supervised the preparation of the environmental impact statement for the propos...

  • Letter: Hear Mary Bell's cry
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    IN YOUR leading article about Mary Bell (30 April) you state "We have learned nothing from the book that would stop such crimes happening." This is not the case. If people who have been similarly abused read Gitta Sereny's book or excepts they will r...

  • Letter: Flag upside-down
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    IT'S NOT a myth that our national flag hung upside down is a recognised distress signal (letter 28 April). However, I've only ever seen it referred to in a marine context. British-registered ships fly not a full-scale Union Flag, but a monocolour ens...

  • Letter: Gays and the church
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    The word translated "abominations" in Leviticus 18 does not only deal with matters of ritual impurity but also with moral evil. The same word is used to describe child sacrifice and idolatry in Deuteronomy 18. The teaching an sexual morality in Levit...

  • Letter: Algeria's agony
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    ROBERT FISK draws attention to the danger in Algeria of civilians armed and supported by the state ("Militias implicated in Algeria's reign of terror", 23 April). Recent atrocious massacres appear to have woken the international community to the appa...

  • Letter: 'Real' nappies
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    I AM going to have a baby in October (all going well) and find myself in the midst of a baby boom among friends. I have been seriously considering not using disposable nappies. There seem to be some great alternatives about, which don't add to the la...

  • Letter: Beef-on-the-bone peril
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    Dairy cows receive antibiotics when there is a need to treat illness, for example mastitis, and this is done under veterinary supervision. By law, milk produced by treated cows must be withheld from the bulk supply for an appropriate length of time t...

  • Leading Article: Mary Bell: time to step back
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    Mary Bell has already given her name to a part of common law, the so- called "Mary Bell order", which prevents the identification of a child, in her case, her child, now that she has changed her name. Now the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary and th...

  • Leading Article: Black-cool irony
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    The Prime Minister is also to blame, kiss-me-quick hats and black pudding being deemed too Old Britannia for New Labour. "Suddenly they're too posh to come to Blackpool when they get power," Miss Thompson laments bitterly. But Blackpool is fighting b...

  • Quote unquote
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    "Doing Blair was definitely difficult at first, but he is getting so messianic now it is a lot easier." - Rory Bremner, impressionist. "A drunk man is more likely to find a woman attractive. So, if all else fails, get him drunk." - Dr Patrick McGhee,...

  • Letter: Gays and the church
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    DENNIS WRIGLEY Community Leader Maranatha Community Manchester

  • Letter: Beef-on-the-bone peril
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    JACK CUNNINGHAM was absolutely right to protect the public from the dangers of BSE-infected bone marrow. It is most unfortunate that the powerful meat and farming lobbies are attempting to overturn this wise precaution ("Farmers hail court ruling ove...

  • Letter: Gays and the church
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    THE REV Guy Davies (letter, 28 April) opposes homosexual behaviour, but fails to admit the existence of homosexual people. I spent over 30 years trying to make myself fit the Church's traditional framework of sexual teaching and the more I tried, the...

  • Letter: Gays and the church
    Saturday, 2 May 1998

    Being cowed by the "second marriage" lobby is possibly a lot more popular among church members, and sitting in the pews with serial adulterers a lot less uncomfortable than letting in gays. ROBERT SENECAL London EC1

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