The Independent | Archive
Home 1998 May

Wednesday, 20 May 1998

  • Leading article: A tawdry story with no heroines
    Thursday, 21 May 1998

    This is a story which does few of its participants much credit - except, possibly, King Fahd, whose exercise of royal prerogative on behalf of the nurses surely now qualifies him for the award of the Garter (which seems to be a flexible diplomatic re...

  • Letter: Excuses for Suharto
    Thursday, 21 May 1998

    Sir Richard says (as if to excuse the Suharto clan's excesses) that Javanese culture is traditionally "paternal". Quite so - but it is also much richer and more complex than that. Cultures - like children - must eventually grow up, and Indonesians (i...

  • Letter: Shambles at private jail
    Thursday, 21 May 1998

    To be blunt, the prison was a shambles. Prisoners were openly contemptuous of the abilities of staff. Perhaps as a consequence, there has been a series of disturbances and the number of disciplinary adjudications is running at more than twice the lev...

  • Letter: Hague clings to the past
    Thursday, 21 May 1998

    This means that any Liberal Democrat decision to go into coalition with Labour would be tantamount to the creation of a one-party state. Earl RUSSELL House of Lords

  • Here's Dr Wordsmith, ready to be driven to drink by your stupid questions
    Thursday, 21 May 1998

    Dear Dr Wordsmith, I've noticed that the habit of putting blackboards outside pubs, food shops, and so on, with the special of the day written on them, has spread a lot recently. I think the idea of chalk writing on a blackboard, all fresh and hand-d...

  • Letter: Albanian wisdom
    Thursday, 21 May 1998

    "If a snake had wheels, it would not need so many ribs." MEGES KOEPEK Pangbourne, Berkshire

  • Leading article: Hague's gamble could pay off for the Tories
    Thursday, 21 May 1998

    We do not share Mr Hague's Euroscepticism. But Euro-enthusiasts should still welcome discussion about whether the European Union's forty-year- old institutions, technocratic and dirigiste, are now the right ones to command the democratic respect of a...

  • On the road to Ankara with a beleaguered Foreign Secretary
    Thursday, 21 May 1998

    After the sandstorms, hailstorms and snowstorms which trailed him around the Middle East, the weather too fitted the moment. Shortly after we landed, the skies turned black and a mighty thunderstorm swept Ankara. On past form, he'd be leaving that ni...

  • Michael Flatley turns pugilist, Allen Ginsberg sings, and plants learn to talk
    Thursday, 21 May 1998

    The answer lies in the Flatley videos. Michael has been role-playing the hard man, the fistic roustabout, the don't-feck-with-me Leader of the Pack for so long, he now believes in his own creation. Those who've seen Lord of the Dance will recall that...

  • A word to the voters of Ulster from the mainland
    Thursday, 21 May 1998

    You are a pretty important person this week: not just in deciding how things will be for yourself and your children, but also in determining what they'll be like for me and mine. The big difference is that you've got a vote, and I haven't. I am not c...

  • Letter: Ulster ultimatum
    Thursday, 21 May 1998

    It is clear that a number of factors have come together at the moment to make the Irish Republic a "tiger" in European economic terms, which should benefit the whole of Ireland. Therefore, I wonder whether the time has come for the "mainlanders" to s...

  • Letter: Third World debts
    Thursday, 21 May 1998

    JAMES MUNRO Crieff, Perthshire

  • Letter: Third World debts
    Thursday, 21 May 1998

    Can I turn myself into a Third World country and so get all my debts cancelled and promise to be a good boy in the future? STEVE LEIB Hoddesden, Hertfordshire

  • Letter: Third World debts
    Thursday, 21 May 1998

    Debt cancellation is not best left as "the stuff of intricate negotiations". The issue has bounced around the corridors of creditor power for years. But the best the current initiative can deliver - in the case of Mozambique - is an extra 27p per per...

  • Letter: Third World debts
    Thursday, 21 May 1998

    When the Lord told Moses that a jubilee year is the time to forgive debts, he didn't add, "so long as the debtor is someone you approve of." JANE VAN TASSEL ERIC VAN TASSEL Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire

  • Pandora
    Thursday, 21 May 1998

    AS PREDICTED in Pandora's Tuesday diary, the Boy Wonder and his speechwriters, after opting for take-away curry rather than pizza, delivered a scorching attack on the EU in Paris, full of flaming metaphors. Warning about the dangers of further Europe...

  • Letter: Unionists no bigots
    Wednesday, 20 May 1998

    On 22 June 1921, King George V opened the new Ulster Parliament at Stormont. Rejecting the hard-line tendency of the official address provided, the King chose instead to express himself in language intended to appeal to the whole of the Irish people....

  • The Sinatra legend: how a skinny kid from Hoboken achieved cricketing greatness
    Wednesday, 20 May 1998

    Sir: In all the homage paid to the late Frank Sinatra, I am sorry that nobody has paid tribute to his abiding love of the English game of cricket. I used to play second alto saxophone in the touring band led by Harry James during the days of World Wa...

  • Leading Article: Nothing to declare but their greed
    Wednesday, 20 May 1998

    The duty-free lobby has made the most extreme predictions about the imminent loss of jobs, industries, even whole airports as a result of the change. The alarms are a little synthetic. It is not as if the proposal to abolish duty-free has come out of...

  • Leading Article: Straw calls the police to order
    Wednesday, 20 May 1998

    But Jack Straw is crafty. One of us, say the Tories, albeit in private, he is Michael Howard's legatee: look, he is keeping the prison building programme going. But they miss the distance between his populist rhetoric - for example in the Mary Bell c...

  • We can't afford confusion at the heart of the childcare revolution
    Wednesday, 20 May 1998

    In the real world however childcare is regarded as a boring women's issue, even though it is one that is central to New Labour, New Deal politicians. People who have never spent one week in sole charge of their own children debate childcare at an ent...

  • Letter: Rights of the churches
    Wednesday, 20 May 1998

    I fully endorse your objection to exemption from human rights legislation for the churches. Why should Christians have any problem with upholding human rights? My ancestors in the Faith decided some centuries ago that in things that affect obedience ...

  • The view from the sidelines - The United States v Microsoft
    Wednesday, 20 May 1998

    So it was with a certain weariness that I read about the anti-trust suit filed this week by the US Justice Department against Microsoft. Who cares which browser to use on the Internet? Surely when someone comes along with a better browser (or whateve...

  • Letter: We are the monsters
    Wednesday, 20 May 1998

    There is, indeed, a school of thought developing that life could have taken many different turns from its inception, and that there is nothing "natural" about the forms of biology as we have them today and their "natural" selective history. This some...

  • Ireland, too, is divided over how to vote in Friday's referendum
    Wednesday, 20 May 1998

    Why Newbliss ? "When they saw these rolling fields they thought they'd walked into their own hymns," a Scottish researcher once told me. Historically and topographically these counties, Cavan and Monaghan, belong to Ulster. Demographically, they are ...

  • Letter: Sad sight
    Wednesday, 20 May 1998

    JOHN HOLROYD Thornhill, Dumfries

  • Letter: Our tanks in Jakarta
    Wednesday, 20 May 1998

    The British media will eventually tire of the story, and will find other means of continuing their campaign against Robin Cook. Democracy however remains a fragile plant in Sierra Leone and the country's diamonds a powerful incentive to those who see...

  • Letter: Real nappies
    Wednesday, 20 May 1998

    We have been using one since the birth of our daughter last September and have found it convenient and reliable. Obviously, it costs money to have dirty nappies taken away and a bag of clean ones left on our doorstep. The cost, however, is comparable...

  • Pandora
    Wednesday, 20 May 1998

    In his wanderings through the sub- editors' patch, Blackhurst just managed to prune one offensive headline - "Two Wongs Don't Make A White" - before it went to press. Later he came across a veteran Express sub using the word "pervert" in relation to ...

  • Letter: Our tanks in Jakarta
    Wednesday, 20 May 1998

    We were told on many occasions by various Conservative ministers that the arms being sold to Indonesia would not be used for "internal security" and yet on the TV news over the past few days we have seen many shots of these tanks in action against ri...

  • Letter: Rights of the churches
    Wednesday, 20 May 1998

    All the churches have sought in relation to the Human Rights Bill is the freedom to act consistently with our historic beliefs. Those who do not share these are free not to do so. We like the European Convention very well so long as it applies to us ...

  • Letter: Unionists no bigots
    Wednesday, 20 May 1998

    This demonstrates more clearly than any other single act I can recall the complete misreading by the Northern Ireland Office of the thinking of the average Ulster Unionist. The mandarins are so sure that Unionism is at heart no more than a raucously ...

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