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Sunday, 3 May 1998

  • Letter: Gay Age Of Consent
    Monday, 4 May 1998

    This debate went west a good three years ago. The real gay political debate is about whether OutRage!'s direct-action style politics is more effective than the polite lobbying approach of Stonewall (backed as they are by an army of luvvies). Or indee...

  • Letter: Financing fillings
    Monday, 4 May 1998

    It would be appropriate for the Secretary of State to sanction inclusion of the use of composite filling materials in NHS general dental practitioners' fees where they are used in pregnancy. DR J A HASSAN BDS Diss, Norfolk

  • Letter: Oldthinkers
    Monday, 4 May 1998

    I hope that the worrying practice of giving MPs scripts isn't going to mean that people could be charged with thought-crime. Could Tony Blair be worried that not enough people "bellyfeel" his policies, as in "Oldthinkers unbellyfeel New Labour"? ALEX...

  • Letter: Dump the car
    Monday, 4 May 1998

    Go shopping twice a week and buy less in one go; get a taxi (a lot less expensive than you think); honestly work out how much a car costs to run a week; demand home delivery in the price or threaten to take your business elsewhere. I've also found th...

  • Letter: Caxton's first
    Monday, 4 May 1998

    WILLIAM HALE Assistant Librarian (Retroconversion) John Rylands University Library of Manchester

  • Letter: Difficult pupils
    Monday, 4 May 1998

    SUZANNA JACOBY Penzance, Cornwall

  • The students in Prague, not Paris, were the true heroes of 1968
    Monday, 4 May 1998

    I wasn't there - in Paris, Berlin or Grosvenor Square, being three years old at the time and otherwise occupied with inflicting violence on my toys. Perhaps that is why these hallowed reminiscences leave me cold. The soixante-huitards were bored and ...

  • Charity commisioners: a suitable case for retirement
    Monday, 4 May 1998

    With the approval (presumably) of the Home Office and Number Ten, the Charity Commission has just launched a huge exercise in redefining charitable purposes. It is taking "a long hard look at the Register of Charities to consider whether those organi...

  • Letter: Difficult pupils
    Monday, 4 May 1998

    There are some enlightened local authorities which provide a counselling service for students. Teachers are neither qualified, nor do they have the time, to address the school-based and personal issues which interfere with everyday school life. Whils...

  • Letter: Gay Age Of Consent
    Monday, 4 May 1998

    Nearly half of all teenagers have their first sexual experience before the age of 16, most after the age of 14. For this reason, 14 seems a fairer and more realistic age of consent. My motive is to reduce the criminalisation of young people involved ...

  • Leading Article: Europe united in a clash of nations
    Monday, 4 May 1998

    But the presidency of the central bank, at least, has been settled for the next 12 years: a little-noticed aspect of the deal is that after Wim Duisenberg, the Dutchman, steps down in four years' time, Jean-Claude Trichet, the Frenchman, gets a full ...

  • Letter: Risks of staying out
    Monday, 4 May 1998

    All of which leaves British policy-makers in a dilemma, yet again, over Europe. By appeasing Murdoch-inspired public opinion and staying out of monetary union, we risk one of two perils: on the one hand, if the euro is strong, there may well be an un...

  • European history was rewritten this weekend - without the UK
    Monday, 4 May 1998

    Although it would have been preferable if the French had not decided at the last moment to put forward as their own candidate Jean-Claude Trichet (who, it is now agreed, will start an eight-year term when Duisenberg steps down), if a deal had not bee...

  • Your Bank Holiday fun guide to virtual politics
    Monday, 4 May 1998

    Tory in Opposition Celebrations Hyde Park, all day. It's a year since Labour won office, but the Labour birthday partying has overshadowed the fact that it's also a year since the Tory party achieved their long-awaited goal of getting a refresher sea...

  • Letter: Supermarket blight
    Monday, 4 May 1998

    The ecology of towns like Malvern and Ludlow is delicate and little understood, or cared about, by planners, supermarket companies, and central government. A local trader only needs to lose 10 per cent of his business to a supermarket giant to find h...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • '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 ...

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