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Home 1998 May

Saturday, 23 May 1998

  • I saw Major Ronald Ferguson in the fitting room
    Sunday, 24 May 1998

    It was a crisp autumn afternoon in 1989. I had just finished an excellent luncheon with William Rees-Mogg at Simpson's-in-the-Strand (I had the Roast Beef, he had the Potted Shrimps) and I was heading north towards The Garrick when who should I spy b...

  • Today's humble writers have made the lonely garret fashionable again
    Sunday, 24 May 1998

    You wouldn't think so from the lurid way authors are often portrayed, which suggests that their income is inflated and that it comes in four basic forms, all dodgy. Blood money is what writers are said to get for writing about murder - like Gitta Ser...

  • Leading article: A bright new day in Ireland
    Sunday, 24 May 1998

    The vision, energy and commitment of Tony Blair have been a blessing. Through the months of talks and the weeks of campaigning he has persistently demonstrated an unreasonable amount of optimism and an unusual amount of skill. His only stumble was th...

  • Beware the Fossil Tendency flexing its muscles
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    The rank-and-file's attitude to trades unionism is almost precisely the attitude that most people have to serious journalism on television: it's not really for them most of the time - but thank God it exists in moments of crisis. So far, there is har...

  • Why the world's most famous capitalist hated the free market
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    The lawsuit, which accuses Microsoft of manoeuvring to extend its crushing grip on the software industry to the newly discovered terrain of the Internet, was dismissed in indignant tone by Mr Gates as "a step backwards for America, for consumers and ...

  • Letter: Paying the Saudi nurses
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    Only a couple of weeks ago, judging by their reaction to the Mary Bell case, it was morally repugnant to pay convicted criminals for their stories. Are we to assume then that their moral outrage is simply the bawling of those too slow to get an exclu...

  • An agony uncle writes: take no heed of the generation gap
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    But, somehow, when it's the Treasury spokesthing for the Liberal Democrats who is getting hitched to a woman half his age, it all seems less sinister. Malcolm Bruce, aged 53, is not some ageing star attempting to prolong his professional life by bath...

  • Letter: Hague's damaging stance
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    The strength of a currency rests, in the final instance, on the confidence placed in it by the people who use it. If Mr Hague has any real and specific concerns about the euro, then of course he should voice them, but simply attempting to inculcate f...

  • Letter: Arts Council walkout
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    Executive staff, highly respected by practising artists, and with a broad overview of the arts and serious knowledge of their own art forms, will now be able to get on with what they do extremely well indeed - talking directly to artists and taking d...

  • Letter: Mothering: a full-time job
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    For the child, shouldn't it be their right to be mothered by their mother? Why do women have children only to hand them over to be cared for by someone else? Going out to work is the easy option; your day is structured for you, the job description wr...

  • Letter: Fight to save duty-free
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    Independent studies of the implications of abolition cannot be so arrogantly dismissed as "extreme predictions". Abolition of duty-free will affect everyone - costing EU taxpayers up to pounds 6.3bn over the next five years. The fight to save duty-fr...

  • Letter: Army discipline
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    Only in the Army is it deemed necessary to hold a court martial, inevitably attended by media reports. ANTHONY BILLINGTON Horsham, West Sussex

  • Letter: Cruelty to hedgehogs
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    No human being was harmed, it is true, but hedgehogs are not pizzas, they are living and, more importantly, sentient creatures. It was an act of appalling cruelty reflecting a singular lack of compassion for living things. Many people do find this di...

  • Letter: Parc teething problems
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    As with all new prisons - both public and private - Parc has had teething problems and an action plan has been drawn up to rectify them. As a governor with more than 30 years' experience in the Prison Service, I am wholly committed to implementing be...

  • Letter: Third World debt
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    That the Third World borrowers have on occasions been corrupt or naive is not open to question. But the real paradox is this: the poor saw little or no benefit from the loans, and are now being expected to bear the brunt of the suffering. JAMES M B M...

  • Letter: Cost of high-speed trains
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    One traditional justification for subsidising railways is to divert traffic from the environmentally damaging modes of travel by air and road. But it is not clear that high-speed trains, as distinct from conventional trains, are more environmentally ...

  • Leading article: If only Blair's Babes would complain
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    That's why the Tribune attack on "whingers" is misplaced. If only they had complained and done something about it. Feminists! Then at least we might have seen them pressing unstoppably for alterations in the antiquated practices of the place. It's no...

  • Leading article: Give politicians a chance, too
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    Mr Major's motives were both intangible and honourable. He identified Northern Ireland as one of his first priorities when he became Prime Minister, although he found it hard to pinpoint why. "It had been in my mind for a long time... The thought kep...

  • Letter: PoWs' protest
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    In terms of overall financial compensation, therefore, the PoWs continue to come off immeasurably better than those who did the actual fighting against the Japanese and were killed in action. (They have much else to be thankful for, not least their l...

  • Letter: Mothering: a full-time job
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    In the absence of this vital evidence, it seems to me extraordinary that the Government is prepared to spend vast sums of taxpayers' money on encouraging mothers not to bring up their young children but to hand them over to childcare agencies. I woul...

  • Quote unquote
    Saturday, 23 May 1998

    "I didn't know Mars Bars were kosher. How wonderful" - The Prince of Wales. "As we can now see clearly, the Government's new ethical policy turns out to be mainly paint and plaster" - Lord (Douglas) Hurd, former Foreign Secretary. "If I was a politic...

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