IoS letters, emails & online postings (1 November 2009)

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Peter Stanford says that for 470 years the Church of England has "... been walking a careful middle line, halfway between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism..." ("Has the Pope outfoxed the Archbishop", 25 October). The position on the Protestant-Catholic continuum varied in accordance with the views of the reigning monarch. So, Henry VIII was more "Catholic" than his son Edward, who was more "Protestant" than Elizabeth I. The debate about the nature of the Church of England became a feature of the English Civil War, not as a result of the need to tread a middle line, but because of the growth of the Protestant Puritan faction. The Church of England's Anglo-Catholics may want to trace their line back 470 years, but it is doubtful that it can be traced further than the 19th century, to Newman and the Oxford Movement.

Roger Bannister

Kirkdale, Liverpool

I travel around many parishes and churches in my role as a professional organist, and there is simply no appetite for the Pope's welcome to Anglo-Catholics. Broadly speaking, the evangelicals are anti-gay and anti-women and the handful of remaining Anglo-Catholics don't care overmuch about gender/sexuality as long as they get their nice rituals. This is a bid by the Pope to sweep up a few cross High Anglicans in America and London, but most of all it is a bid to establish a tradition of married clergy within Catholicism, without which it will collapse in 25 years – perhaps less.

the halfwelshman

posted online

While Nick Griffin was appearing on Question Time, I was returning from a day trip to the Holocaust-related sites of Oswiecim, Auschwitz I and Birkenau. Though an emotional and harrowing day, it has inspired me as a 17-year-old A-level history student to speak out against hatred and racism. I believe the BBC was right to broadcast the programme: it has made the public aware of how disgusting Nick Griffin and his opinions are and shown the distance between the BNP and the Nazis to be frighteningly small.

Madeleine Stottor

Worcester Park, Surrey

How could anyone think of Tony Blair as a candidate for EU President? It's time he disappeared from public life, to spend the rest of his days repenting his folly. "One may smile, and smile, and be a villain."

Professor Robert Turner

Leipzig, Germany

Forestry across the UK is a very small part of the economy, and selling small conifer trees for fuel generates half the income of selling the same volume for sawing into planks for construction etc ("Who says it's green to burn woodchips?", 25 October). The process of thinning not only improves the value of the growing wood, but it also improves the habitat and ecology of the forest by letting light into the forest floor. It is going to be a number of years before sourcing wood gets difficult. We use local wood, and are aware that certification of the chain of custody will become a higher priority for us and for our customers.

Will Frost

Forest Fuels

posted online

The idea of shipping in other people's trashed forest to torch it so that we can continue our unsustainable lifestyles is appalling. Wood plantations grown densely for fuel and harvested young are just an example of monocropping. Pesticides are also employed, and biotech firms are already trialling GM trees. There is nothing green about this at all.


posted online

As a lecturer and parent of two children at university, I am appalled that the "Government is expected to raise the cap on annual tuition fees from £3,225 to as much as £7,000 a year" ("Colleges told: raise standards if you want more cash, 25 October"). There were many more applicants chasing too few places this year, because the Government limited the numbers universities could accept. It should lift the cap, not raise the cost.

James Derounian

University of Gloucestershire


Why hasn't all the Danish talent and intelligence left a country which taxes them at above 50 per cent ("Obama envoy warns of 'no deal' summit", 18 October)? Maybe it is because Danes enjoy living in a well-run country with a government that aims to ensure a healthy – in the fullest sense – lifestyle for all. Why do we only hear about and follow the disastrous American model?

George Appleby

via email

"First Blair's babes, now it's Dave's dolls", you report (Joan Smith, 25 October). Can anyone tell me why women should get special treatment, but not the black community or those over 60?

Connor Ferris

via email

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