Michael Williams: Readers' editor

Did you miss the train? We certainly did

Share

Sat in the same train carriage as David Cameron the other day. Nothing remarkable about that, you might think. Except Tory leaders have generally been renowned for their dislike of trains. Margaret Thatcher was a rare and reluctant train traveller after an incident in which a militant student protester burst into her compartment and harangued her.

Modern trains don't have compartments – and party leaders have to mingle with the plebs, albeit First Class ones. Mr Cameron's discomfiture was clear after delays caused by Network Rail signal failures. Should he become prime minister, it is likely that the railways will become even more friendless than they have been under the present government, which has starved them cruelly of investment.

Now the 'IoS', too, seems intent on removing the rail system from the map, according to reader Jess Holbrook from Reading: "I am a teacher and have always used your mostly excellent maps and charts as a teaching aid. However, there are no railway lines to be seen – although the road network is highlighted. Shouldn't you, as a 'green' paper, be encouraging people to use the most environmental form of transport?"

Quite right, Ms Holbrook. So was this policy? Or an omission? I rang Marcus Kirby, the managing director of The Future Mapping Company, who produced the map for the 'IoS'. "What we were trying to do was something different from traditional, lifeless maps – more colourful and interesting. We wondered just how much data we could get in there. We've got nothing against the railways and we'll certainly consider putting them in for the future now I've heard about reader concerns."

Another small victory for reader power.

readerseditor@independent.co.uk

Message Board: Why have our children reached breaking point?

Last week's alarming UN report about the poverty, unhappiness and fear of crime that blight childhood in Britain led to this debate:

Mack

Many troubled youngsters come from poor backgrounds. The Government could introduce a scheme to adopt and care for these poor children. Then society is directly responsible for them.

Carin

Perhaps some of this is true of children's lives in London, but it's not for the rest of the country. Also children are unreliable witnesses and make up stories which simply aren't true.

Thomas

We give lip service to the idea that children are human beings, but we don't take them seriously or allow them to be free. Herding and controlling children creates liars, bullies and shallow thinkers.

Rowan

As a home educator I agree with Thomas. Most of the angst that young people feel is a result of coercion to do things that they have no urge to do. Incessant testing is bound to have dire results.

Flipped

Has Mack any idea of the level of abuse in those homes where children were once put? Rather than removing them from their parents, let's educate them. Offer them a chance for a future, not a dead end.

Rose

Children do need limits and boundaries, but the state shouldn't have to erect them. They should be built by responsible parents. Society is at fault only in that we have become awfully decadent.

Sarah

The pressure of unnecessary exams is appalling. I am shocked at the pressure my 12-year-old is under, and how little time she has to play. The Government is taking the joy out of childhood.

Robbo

Kids do so many out-of-school activities – sport, music, Brownies etc. All of them are great, but the children are permanently knackered. By the end of term, their behaviour is really bad.

To have your say on this or any other issue visit www.independent.co.uk/IoSblogs

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

£30 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software / Web Developer (PHP / MYSQL) i...

Guru Careers: Account Executive

£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive is needed to join one...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Software Engineer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Software Engineer i...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: Inequality in Britain – a defence of the mansion tax

John Rentoul
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada