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Friday, 31 May 2002

  • Football is so much more than just a game
    Saturday, 1 June 2002

    Football, as even the least interested will have observed, is more than a game. It is a billion-dollar business; but it is also more than a business. It is a vehicle for (mostly) benign nationalisms that not only heal internal divisions within nati...

  • Fewer exams would mean fewer misprints in the question papers. Discuss
    Saturday, 1 June 2002

    Even examiners make mistakes. Some errors in exam papers are inevitable, but one of the main contributory factors is the sharp increase in the number of papers. Edexcel, one of the three national boards, will set 10 million papers this year, more tha...

  • A lament for my uncle, the voice of those ground down by church and state
    Saturday, 1 June 2002

    Just west of Tarbert I caught the smell of turf smoke and I felt the tears welling up. Turf smoke, the smell of the past. I was in a daze, jet-lagged and sad, watching the bogland rolling west towards the Atlantic, small farms and little village...

  • Who says you're never too old to be a father?
    Saturday, 1 June 2002

    Fifty-seven is nothing. A friend of mine has just become a father at 72. So if Ken Livingston, beleaguered mayor of London, is worrying about the wear and tear on his nerves, his sleep and his general help with a new baby expected in December, h...

  • Why waste another fortune on Wembley just as the Dome is kicked into touch?
    Friday, 31 May 2002

    No powers of clairvoyance are required to tell the fortune of the plans for a new national football stadium at Wembley – we have the advantage of hindsight, looking back at the Millennium Dome.This is not a good week to sign the deal for the financ...

  • Don't appease the racists, Mr Blunkett
    Friday, 31 May 2002

    The Home Secretary's plan to speed the deportation of failed asylum-seekers is an ill-conceived answer to a problem that will not be so easily solved – if it is a problem at all.Certainly, there is a superficial attraction to the idea that failed a...

  • On the ball
    Friday, 31 May 2002

    Here we go. Bring on the world! Our sofas can take it! Sorry? Ah, you're one of those people who think that the flag of St George on all those vans and trucks has got something to do with the jubilee. Or you're Scots. Or Welsh. Or Northern Irish. S...

  • What on earth is the expansion of Nato
    Friday, 31 May 2002

    Critics of Europe can't have it both ways. You can't deride the Europeans for failing to get their act together on a common foreign policy and argue that the Continent is being driven by a remorseless push towards Euro-federalism. Either you don...

  • Surprise, surprise! I find that I have become a reluctant monarchist
    Friday, 31 May 2002

    The vicar has run a flag up his new, white pole. This is all a bit of a surprise. He is not an over-expressive man either in the street, or (I gather) in the pulpit, and you can't imagine him wanting to be associated with the unspiritual enthusiasms ...

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