Letter: Yacht baffles US newcomer

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The Independent Online
Letter: Yacht baffles US

Sir: The decision to commit pounds 60m of public money to replace the Royal Yacht has me dumbfounded.

To me, a newcomer to this society - I moved to London from the United States last September - it seems that political decisions are entirely class (middle to upper) driven, and this is a result of the existence of the monarchy. There is a great emphasis on tradition for tradition's sake. Britain has a very rich history, but how relevant is this yacht today?

I accept your challenge (leading article, 13 January) to come up with better ways to spend the yacht money.

First, the London Underground. This government has apparently cut to the bone the budget for the Underground. This has caused more people to drive themselves to work, which increases traffic and pollution.

The education system in this country is so unfair it is heartbreaking. I wish Princess Diana would embrace this cause. There is quite enough work to do in this country to ensure that all children have access to excellent education.

Finally, there is the level of pollution that Londoners seem content to live with. The emissions that are legally allowed to come out of vehicle exhaust systems is appalling. In comparison, the air in New York City seems sparkling.

Let the Queen and private interests finance the Royal Yacht. There are more worthy causes.


London SW1