Letters: In Brief

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The recent proposals for the measurement of quality of life (report, 24 November) are a welcome improvement, increasing, as they do, the number of indicators from just GDP. But for those of us with jobs it will still fail to meaure the significant impact that the culture of long working hours is having on our health and the family life that the Government is keen to encourage. A 12-hour working day does ensure that you miss the rush hour traffic, so how many points do you score for that?

JAMES MASTERS

Priors Marston, Warwickshire

Sir: I would like to respond to Martha Searle's letter (21 November) describing the utter lack of respect for pregnant women by tube riders. A bit of advice: stick your belly in the face of the most complacent and/or virile-looking man and ask sweetly for his seat. I always got a seat. A worse problem lies in the future when you must contend with thousands of stairs in the Underground with a pushchair. Public transportation in London, including buses, is a nightmare for mothers. Can we address this?

KAREN DONOVAN

London W9

Sir: If Marsham Towers and the Faraday Building are fit for destruction (letter, 23 November), so too surely is the former Department of Education office building which flanks Waterloo station along York Road. This Sixties eyesore obscures from view what is arguably the most beautiful and adventurous modern building in Britain, the Eurostar terminus. Its demolition and replacement by a garden square would wonderfully enhance the whole South Bank. Anyone for a Millennium Dynamite Fund?

DAVID HARGREAVES

London SW11

Sir: The Queen's Speech represents no less than the third time headlines have been milked out of Jack Straw's promise to end the right of rape defendants to cross-examine the complainant, a measure that will only affect a handful of cases every year. Let's have some serious action from the Government to increase the conviction rate in rape, not simply lip- service.

JULIE BINDEL

Assistant Director

Research Centre on Violence, Abuse and Gender Relations

Leeds Metropolitan University

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