Letters: Briefly

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The Independent Online
I AM surprised at the Independent on Sunday publishing such a racist remark by Thomas Pakenham ('Do you still drink tap water?' Opinions, 2 August). Try substituting the word 'Asian' for Welshmen, to see what I mean. Maybe it's just another example of English sour grapes, as it dawns on the people of the South- east that they are responsible for inflicting another season of Tory rule on themselves and the rest of the country.

Hilary Miles, Swansea

Devotees of bottled water should know that bottled waters are not subject to the same stringent controls as tap water. Recent independent tests showed that two bottles in every three failed to meet some of the standards for UK drinking water. Drinking-water in the UK is the best in Europe, and getting even better.

Colin Skellett

Wessex Water, Bristol

I FEEL that readers may be misled by your article 'Funeral cost sharpens death's sting' (26 July). My mother died recently. Since she had been on income support and had no capital, I assumed from your article that benefit would be payable. I phoned the DSS helpline and was told that this was so only if the person responsible for arranging the funeral was on income support. When I asked what would happen where a relative or friend, not on income support, could not pay, I was told that the council would arrange a 'pauper's funeral'.

Ronald E E Sloggett, Fleet, Hants

YOUR editorial ('Save their skins - let the Bosnians in', 2 August) implies that this country should open its doors to refugees from the slaughter in the former Yugoslavia. We agree, and have written to our MP to tell him so. Will other readers write to their MPs too, please?

Gabrielle Storey and R Hall


MUCH as I admire Kimberley Leston for recognising a fit-and- flare dress when she sees one ('Wannabee Catwoman? Didn't we all . . .' 2 August) it should be made clear that Catwoman did not 'debut in the first Batman comic story', which came out in May 1939 rather than 1940 as claimed. Close readers of Frank Miller's Dark Knight will also note that Catwoman never appears, strictly speaking; we only see her out of costume as Selina Kyle. Despite my pedantic objections I did like the picture of pointy boots.

Will Brooker, London SE18

I AM pleased to see that, at least according to the picture which adorns his Sunday Review column, William Leith has shaved off his beard. Somebody as ideologically unsound as Mr Leith should never have grown one in the first place.

John Leno, London N17