No room for Le Pen


No room for Le Pen

France's National Front führer, Jean-Marie Le Pen, and his European Right faction in the European parliament had to cancel a planned conference in Edinburgh when all the hotels refused to accommodate them.

The Edinburgh Sheraton cancelled Le Pen's booking when it became clear that anti-fascist activists were planning mass demonstrations against the visit.

Le Pen declared he would go to Dublin instead, only to find he wasn't welcome there either. He is now turning to Rome as a possible destination for himself and his racist caravan.

Virago turns 20

LONDON — Women's publishing house Virago celebrated 20 years of publishing on June 21. In that time it has published in excess of 600 titles.

"While pride of place is given to women's writing and issues — they are obviously central to everything we do — feminism at Virago has by intention taken many guises.

"It underlies the diversity and inclusiveness of the list [of titles], the passionate concern to publish the best, and the belief that women's writing and issues could be the foundation of an inspirational, financially viable list", says Harriet Spicer, Virago's managing director.

Bankers barricaded

LONDON — As a result of two devastating IRA bomb attacks over the past 16 months, costing well over £1 billion, the police have decided to throw a security cordon around the square mile of central London known as the City.

The plan involves closing the 18 smaller roads into the area and mounting armed roadblocks on the remaining eight major roads, to check on

"suspicious" vehicles. This has further congested London's already impossible traffic problems. The scheme came into force on July 3, even though the police lack the legal authority to carry it out.

Pride march

LONDON — More 50,000 gays and lesbians marched noisily (5000 whistles had been distributed beforehand) through the city centre here on June 19 on their way to the annual Gay Pride festival in Brockwell Park; there, more than 100,000 people celebrated and were entertained.

The rally occurred amidst suspicions that a serial killer was targeting the gay community, following the murders of five men over a three-month period. One of Pride's organisers, Derek Cohen, stated, "There is a certain resentment that the press only notices gays when they get murdered. The positive events, like Pride, are never covered."

Just days later, the Methodist Church voted by a substantial majority that its conference "recognises, affirms and celebrates the participation of lesbians and gay men in the church".

... Frank Noakes