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Home 1998 May

Thursday, 21 May 1998

  • Pandora
    Friday, 22 May 1998

    WITH JAPAN'S Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko due to arrive on a state visit next week, the Japanese have hired the slick PR firm Brunswick in an attempt to nullify protesters demanding that the Emperor apologise for Japanese war crimes. In an inf...

  • Letter: Nuclear dead end
    Friday, 22 May 1998

    It would only take another Chernobyl or Three Mile Island to halt the programme again. It would be madness to commit long-term investment into an industry with this degree of political uncertainty hanging over its head. If the newly industrialised co...

  • Ireland will owe Trimble a great debt if the divides are bridged
    Friday, 22 May 1998

    They greeted Trimble's unexpected interruption warmly, stretching out their hands to shake his. But Irish dancing is one thing, politics another. Helen Acheson, one of the mothers, was, she told him, "tempted to say no". But she feared the settlement...

  • Leading Article: A modest victory for the workers
    Friday, 22 May 1998

    It is worth pausing to note how extraordinary this historic settlement is. Here is the leader of a party founded by the trade unions, who still hold 50 per cent of the votes in Labour's policy-making conference and who still pour millions into party ...

  • Why this is not the exclusive story of Tony Blair's horrifying ordeal
    Friday, 22 May 1998

    "Mr Blair and his junior colleague Mr Hague have undergone a great deal of suffering and distress in the past few months," said the Daily Tabloid in a prepared statement, "so we do not think it is in their best interests to face the public just yet. ...

  • Letter: Take the fast train
    Friday, 22 May 1998

    Why too are high-speed lines under construction from Rome to Naples, Florence to Bologna, Hannover to Berlin, Cologne to Frankfurt, Madrid to Barcelona and Lyons to Marseilles? Growing enthusiasm would seem a more accurate description. MURRAY HUGHES ...

  • Letter: Army fights back
    Friday, 22 May 1998

    Second, because the Army's business is so exacting (there are no silver medals for coming second in soldiering) we demand exceptionally high standards from our people. However, we recruit from society and we are not a nation of saints. It is a measur...

  • Letter: Hedgehog victim
    Friday, 22 May 1998

    While this may have been a very silly and cruel thing to do, how on earth can it justify a custodial sentence? Nobody was harmed, nothing was stolen, and no property was damaged. Biodiversity is not threatened by the death of one hedgehog. It appears...

  • Letter: Nuclear dead end
    Friday, 22 May 1998

    The scientific and technical arguments in favour of waste disposal have also been thoroughly discredited. The final act of the Conservative government was to refuse Nirex, the nuclear waste disposal company, planning permission for the first stage of...

  • Who killed Yvonne Gilford? Who cares - certainly not the tabloids
    Friday, 22 May 1998

    Basically it goes like this: the newspapers that have bought up the women's stories will loudly proclaim them innocent, those who were in the bidding but failed will accept the Saudi verdict that they are guilty. Thus we have the bizarre spectacle of...

  • You can judge a Culture Secretary by what his book leaves out
    Friday, 22 May 1998

    Just as the Secretary of State for Culture, Chris Smith, was launching his book Creative Britain in a bash at the Tate Gallery on Thursday night, so the entire drama panel of the Arts Council made a crisis out of a drama and resigned en masse. The ne...

  • Leading Article: Fears are real, but still vote `Yes'
    Friday, 22 May 1998

    Today's is not a simple vote for or against "peace". A "Yes" vote cannot deliver a permanent and complete cessation of violence. Since the signing of the latest agreement, there have been bombs, killings and punishment beatings. The so-called Real IR...

  • Letter: Labour shortage
    Friday, 22 May 1998

    When I had my first child nine women were in labour, cared for by three midwives. I spent most of my labour "supported" by two first-year student nurses on their first day in obstetrics, a pre-clinical medical student and my bewildered husband. When ...

  • Letter: Now talk to India
    Friday, 22 May 1998

    India's decision to demonstrate its nuclear capability with five underground tests was taken for geopolitical and domestic reasons, not because Britain has a Trident submarine in the Atlantic. Regrettable though these tests are - and Pakistan's likel...

  • Letter: Slimmer Arts Council
    Friday, 22 May 1998

    Let me put the record straight with a few facts. We have increased the money going to the performing arts through the Arts Council, with the addition of the pounds 5m "new audiences" fund I was able to put in place two months ago. We believe every bi...

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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