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Sunday, 13 August, 2000, 06:07 GMT 07:07 UK
Sunday papers condemn 'mob rule'

The Sunday papers reflect on the thanksgiving service in memory of murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne and the anti-paedophile protests across the country.

The tabloids pay tribute to the Payne family and well-wishers at Guildford Cathedral.

The Sunday People sums up their thoughts with the headline "Farewell Princess".

'Paedophile bashers'

The broadsheets concentrate more on the protests in Portsmouth and elsewhere in the UK.

The Sunday Times welcomes calls by Tory leader William Hague for the most dangerous paedophiles to be given life sentences.

Writing in the paper, Mr Hague, condemns last week's anti-paedophile violence in Portsmouth, but says that people are angry at "the apparent powerless of our society to protect an eight-year-old girl playing only a few yards from her grandparents home".

The paper predicts that he will be accused of populism by critics who think politicians should "react warily to the concerns of ordinary people".

Mary Riddell, writing in The Observer, argues that many people in Middle England "deplore the Paulsgrove paedophile bashers while tapping into their professed anxieties."

She warns that if the government cannot calm reasonable fears, then it will "face the upsurge of the brutish and the irrational".

Virginia Ironside, in The Sunday Mirror joins the condemnation of the protesters.

She believes that the sight of women taking their children "for a day of mob rule" is a sign of irresponsible parenting.

The Independent on Sunday says three men subjected to attacks by demonstrators have a good chance of winning legal proceedings against the News of the World.

Military waste

According to The Observer, Britain's military capability is being severely limited because more than 3bn has been wasted through a series of financial blunders.

It reports that it can take more than 14 years from making a decision to buy new military equipment to its being put into service.

Such long delays mean new equipment is often obsolete by the time it is in place.

Millions more pounds are then needed to update it.

Comedy greats

Under the headline "The old gags are definitely the best," The Sunday Telegraph has the results of a poll to find the funniest television sitcom moments of all-time.

Nine of the top ten date from the 1970s and 1980s, with a scene from Absolutely Fabulous the only one from a 1990s programme to be included.

The number one choice was a 1982 scene from Only Fools and Horses, in which Del Trotter and his brother Rodney talked their way into a job cleaning chandeliers.

Fawlty Towers attracted five entries in the top 50.

Jokes involving Germans and the Second World War figure in three of the top ten moments - prompting the Telegraph to suggest that both still loom large in the national consciousness.

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