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Home 1998 May

Thursday, 7 May 1998

  • Letter: Children who need help
    Friday, 8 May 1998

    Sir: Working mother-friendly hours (City +, 6 May) are not necessarily child-friendly. It is not fair to expect a three-year-old to cope with a developmental assessment after its mother has come home from work at 5.30pm - just when all the child want...

  • Will Blair go all the way on electoral reform?
    Friday, 8 May 1998

    Charged by Tony Blair with establishing by the end of October an alternative to the first-past-the-post system to be put to a referendum, Jenkins briskly corrects a factual error here, congratulates a speaker for his succinctness there. And when he s...

  • Letter: Royalist riposte
    Friday, 8 May 1998

    Sir: Alan Williams MP says he was refused information on subsidised accommodation for royal employees ("More power for auditors to study royal spending", 1 May). A few weeks ago I wrote to Mr Williams to draw his attention to the secrecy which shroud...

  • Don't criticise 'victimvision' - it's just ordinary people enjoying themselves
    Friday, 8 May 1998

    Quite possibly. But I have been this way for a long time. Until recently I had to go to America to get my fix. Oprah, Geraldo, Sally Jessy Raphael, Ricki Lake and of course wily old Jerry Springer have at times stopped me seeing much of the country I...

  • Letter: Children who need help
    Friday, 8 May 1998

    Sir: Suzanne Moore's rubbishing of the ideas behind National Parenting Day (Comment, 6 May) does her little credit. As a prosperous, caring, single parent with strong middle-class social (i.e. moral) values, it is easy for her to say "people may want...

  • Pandora
    Friday, 8 May 1998

    PANDORA salutes Boris Yeltsin, the Russian President. On Wednesday, Boris sent Tony Blair a very warm message congratulating our Prime Minister on his 45th birthday. According to the Russian press, Boris wished Blair "health, happiness and success". ...

  • Letter: Children who need help
    Friday, 8 May 1998

    Sir: Clearly Suzanne Moore feels that the Government should not get too concerned with family health. But communication skills are the foundation of good relationships. How to become good parents and to maintain a satisfying relationship is something...

  • Letter: Choc tactics
    Friday, 8 May 1998

    Sir: Your article "Are chocaholics safe from the pods of doom?" (6 May) reminded me of a visit I made to the Procter & Gamble factory in Cincinnati back in the mid-1970s. At that time, there was a world shortage of cocoa, and the boffins at P&amp...

  • Letter: Charity lifeboats
    Friday, 8 May 1998

    Sir: David Walker's attack on the RNLI in his discussion of the role of charities is ill-considered (Comment, 4 May). That the operation of a maritime rescue service is a government responsibility is quite correct. The Navy and RAF provide rescue hel...

  • Letter: Cyber-Samaritans
    Friday, 8 May 1998

    Sir: In response to Pandora's piece "Surfing samaritans" (5 May), I would like to add that The Samaritans regularly surf websites, such as and post notices for our service. We offer an e-mail service on or (anony...

  • Letter: Inspecting Ofsted
    Friday, 8 May 1998

    Sir: Ofsted's methodology needs constant assessment if it is to help in the continual raising of school standards. But surely there is an easy explanation for the fact that standards in uninspected schools are rising faster than those which have been...

  • Leading article: Monarchy: Blair must tackle the final taboo
    Friday, 8 May 1998

    Today however Canon Eric James breaks from deep Establishment cover to demand, in an article in The Independent, that the Government confront the contradictions now washing around Buck House. The advent of a republic in Australia, the abandonment of ...

  • Leading article: Judges strike a blow for freedom
    Friday, 8 May 1998

    Even more disgraceful - the Appeal Court says it was "most unfortunate" - was the way doctors obtained an order to deliver the baby by Caesarean section. The judge who made the order was told that M S was in labour, which was not true, and was not to...

  • Letter: Gays and God
    Friday, 8 May 1998

    Sir: Tim Beach writes (letter, 2 May): "A good God cannot have created in us a powerful gay sex drive just to punish us for acting on it." Would he find this argument for sexual action as convincing were "child-love" to be put in the place of the wor...

  • Letter: He's scored!
    Friday, 8 May 1998

    Sir: I'm in love! I'm in love! At last I've found a man desperate to avoid the World Cup. It makes my girlie little heart all aglow to know that Mr Right could be just round the corner, sipping champagne, not lager on the terraces, purchasing "proper...

  • Help! We never knew governing would take so much time
    Friday, 8 May 1998

    His colleague was surprised by the question, but answered: "Knackered." "That's exactly how I feel," said the other minister. The two are middle ranking ministers in the Blair Government - young, dynamic, and not given to fainting fits at the thought...

  • Taxi etiquette, the vastness of the Universe and other issues that divide humanity
    Friday, 8 May 1998

    There are those who wave frantically at taxis which already contain passengers, and there are those who patiently wait for an empty one to come along. There are those who, when they hear their telephone ring, settle themselves in comfortably for a lo...

  • Everyone's nightmare: when Tony Blair and friends drop by for a photo-op
    Thursday, 7 May 1998

    "One of the local councillors visited the cafe and presumably liked it because she came back with lots of New Labour men in black suits to check us out," said Andrew. Operation Jabberwocky was on. The suits warned the Brownlees not to tell anyone abo...

  • Leading article: Coup plot Cook never noticed
    Thursday, 7 May 1998

    He would like us to think that he doesn't have a clue. If Mr Cook does know what the Foreign Office gets up to then he would be aware that officials had connived at a British firm of "military consultants", Sandline Ltd, supplying arms and mercenarie...

  • Leading article: Londoners must vote for a credible mayor
    Thursday, 7 May 1998

    The Government's plan for London is far from perfect. It runs the risk of spreading a luxuriant new foliage of office-holders and advisers above the boroughs. At the same time the mayor may be impotent; the Treasury has ensured there is no financial ...

  • Letter: `Understanding' Bell
    Thursday, 7 May 1998

    Clearly, any understanding derived from the story of Mary Bell, recounted in the public arena in all its appalling detail, should help us to make some sense of the crimes involved. However, we do not all reach the same conclusions in terms of the und...

  • Letter: Safer trains
    Thursday, 7 May 1998

    Time and again we are told by those in charge of our railways that the ATP system that they have in mind is far too costly, requiring expensive computer equipment in every driving cab and at every signal. But the London Underground has a system of AT...

  • Letter: Keep the pound high
    Thursday, 7 May 1998

    A strong currency is overwhelmingly beneficial because it confers the power to command economic output. Suppose the pound traded at twice its current value against the US dollar. We could purchase any dollar-denominated commodity or property for half...

  • pandora
    Thursday, 7 May 1998

    THE TORIES were pleading poverty in front of the Niall Committee yesterday during its hearings on party funding. First Gillian Shephard, shadow leader of the House, appeared; she was followed by Lord Cranborne, Leader of the Opposition in the House o...

  • Letter: US threat to peace
    Thursday, 7 May 1998

    First, when the world's greatest nation (in terms of military power) fields a Secretary of State whose contribution to this meeting will be remembered with the words, "It's up to the parties [to decide] whether we are serving the vegetables well," th...

  • Love, war and lost pyjamas - at last, the romantic novel everyone has been waiting for
    Thursday, 7 May 1998

    Yes, Mills & Bang was created solely to bring you military romance, in other words blushful war sagas which combine killing and kissing, hand- holding and hand-to-hand combat in the same pulse-racing works of fiction! Here are some new titles whi...

  • Letter: Legal fat cat?
    Thursday, 7 May 1998

    OLIVER MISHCON Temple, London EC4

  • Leading article: New men, real men
    Thursday, 7 May 1998

    Well, the NSPCC has decided to do something about this with a "Men as Fathers" conference to study and heighten awareness of this phenomenon. Laudable though this is, it will take more than a conference organised by a charity to change society's assu...

  • Letter: Sex or football
    Thursday, 7 May 1998

    SIMON WEBSTER Brentford, Middlesex

  • A new civic duty - giving a sample of DNA to the fuzz
    Thursday, 7 May 1998

    Yesterday's meeting between Home Office ministers and Peter Gammon, president of the Police Superintendent's Association, to discuss the latter's call for the establishment of a national DNA database was completely coincidental. Almost any week bring...

  • Bill Clinton could look to the UK for a human rights lesson
    Thursday, 7 May 1998

    Take China, admittedly always a tricky case. A policy of substituting public hectoring with private pressure is one thing. But quite another is President Clinton's agreement that the welcome ceremony for his visit to China next month should be held i...

  • Letter: Chance Blair has to seize
    Thursday, 7 May 1998

    Sir: In Lichfield Cathedral recently, I received, alongside other West Midlands church leaders, over 15,000 petitions to the Government to support measures for sustainable debt relief for the world's poorest countries. When Mr Blair welcomes his fell...

  • Letter: Keep the pound high
    Thursday, 7 May 1998

    While it may make it more difficult to close orders, the selling has never been easier. The high value of the pound means that overseas selling costs are greatly reduced. With return air fares to the Far East for under pounds 400 and, for the first t...

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