This England

A reader would be forgiven for thinking that universities systematically discriminate against women and that there are separate pay scales for men and women. In fact, neither is true. What is true is that women employed by universities earn less, on average, than men do.
This fact means that women occupy, on average, a lower level on each pay scale than men. Unless the pay figures quoted are adjusted for age, experience and, dare I say it, ability and eminence, no conclusion of discrimination is possible. - Letter in the Guardian (David Browning)

A man robbed a corner shop while wearing a pair of Y-fronts over his head. The thief escaped with some cash from the shop in Clevedon, Somerset. "Somebody must have seen the offender removing the knickers from his head," said a police spokesman. - Sunday Times (Sigrid Rabiger)

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This article first appeared in the 07 June 1999 issue of the New Statesman, Europe grows after Kosovo