IoS letters, emails & messages (9 November 2008)

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Our family is jumping for joy, along with so many others around the world, at the news of Obama's historic victory. What he has achieved was unthinkable just 40 years ago. Obama's victory gives great hope to all black, coloured and mixed-race people, indeed all people who haven't come from a privileged background; that they too can realise their dreams, whatever their skin colour or social and economic origins.

Simon Icke

Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire

Last week's editorial states that Obama benefited from the perception that "the party of the rich is less qualified to manage a recession". That's not only true in the US.

Alex Black


While Dr Tim Stone, as the chair of KPMG's global infrastructure and project group, advises the Government on nuclear issues, I have been nuclear advisor to Friends of the Earth and also to the nuclear industry waste management body Nirex ("There was a time when you couldn't talk about nuclear power at dinner parties", Business, 2 November).

It is perfectly true that exposing uranium to neutrons in a nuclear reactor does not result in large amounts of greenhouse gases. But it does, instead, produce the nuclear weapons material plutonium, together with other fiercely radioactive wastes. We do not know what to do with these radioactive materials – and the financial implications of this could be extraordinarily significant.

Dr Stone should swot up on the chemistry of nuclear waste management before he provides his next briefing for Government – so that this government does not encumber Britain with a truly "toxic debt".

Rachel Western

London N16

Your report "City meltdown turns to a chill wind in the north" gave the wrong impression about Sunderland. There has been a net gain here of 7,500 jobs in the past five years, capital investment of more than £1bn, and more people are now employed in a more diverse range of jobs than ever worked in traditional heavy industries. Where jobs were lost in Citifinancial and Northern Rock, both companies have retrained staff or utilised natural wastage.

While global economic problems will have an impact, to exaggerate the position when we are increasing job and employment opportunities, is potentially damaging to the work we have done to overturn the stereotypical images of struggling northern cities that we see portrayed in the southern-based media.

Cllr Paul Watson

Leader of Sunderland City Council

Your article bemoaning the lack of road building in the UK quotes the Road Users' Alliance. The RUA was formed to provide a voice for those organisations with an interest in ensuring the future of our road system. Why is the IoS serving as a mouthpiece for those with a vested financial interest? You state that "Britain's major road network increased in length by just 1.1 per cent". This is not apparently a quote from the RUA, so why the "just"?

Helena Forsyth

via email

Simon Evans reports on Tesco's recent decision to pay its suppliers after two months instead of one, and suggests we shop elsewhere. Alternatively, customers should take their Tesco trolley-loads to the checkout, wait for the price to be calculated, and offer to pay in two months' time.

Sam Boote

Keyworth, Nottingham

I was one of the 30,000 who complained about Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross, but I am not a right-wing evangelical (Janet Street-Porter, 2 November). A lot of lefties cannot stand filth, either.

Maddy Kerslake


Chaucer didn't include sexual bullying against women. Round the Horne and other comedy from the 1950s was similarly harmless, because they were subtle, clever, and involved good writing.

Henry Lawson


Humour in Reginald Perrin, Rising Damp, Dad's Army and Fawlty Towers comes through without the need to shock. I totally disagree with Janet Street-Porter when she calls Brand "a comedy genius".

John Oates


How can we tell children that it is wrong to use mobile phones to bully others when these grossly overpaid morons set such an example?

Mike Stroud

Sketty, Swansea

Despite the smug cynicism of hunters who claim to obey the Hunting Act while hinting that they don't if there are no witnesses around ( IoS p24 last week), with almost 30 convictions the Act is slowly strangling the cruel anachronism of killing for fun. That's why David Cameron and his chums want to repeal it, despite a recent poll showing that even Tory voters oppose repeal by 2:1.

Christopher Clayton

Waverton, Cheshire

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