IoS letters, emails & online postings (14 June 2009)

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Gordon Brown is unable to deal with women, either as colleagues or as members of the electorate ("We don't do female sacrifice any more, Prime Minister", 7 June). This reduces the amount of talent available at the highest levels of government. It also means that the interests and concerns of half the electorate are not being taken into consideration.

This lack of balance in government is in marked contrast to other modern liberal European democracies. If there were more women in politics and in government the current political crisis may never have developed, at least in the form that it did.

David Cameron would be well advised to consider the proportion of women amongst his senior colleagues in order to avoid the mistakes made by Gordon Brown.

Manny Goldstein

posted online

It is grand that women now have equality of opportunity and, hopefully, esteem (I would have given the proverbial eye teeth for either in my working days). However, there is a definite danger of crying "unfair" in the heat of a battle willingly entered.


posted online

Janet Street-Porter's comparison of food price inflation in the UK and Europe is misleading ("Supermarkets lop a penny off, then ring up millions", 7 June). The pound weakened by more than 10 per cent against the euro over the year to April 2009. Therefore if the price of a particular food – say, milk – was flat in euro terms year on year, it would be 10 per cent more expensive in sterling. A large proportion of the food we buy in supermarkets is imported. It is therefore hardly surprising that UK food inflation was higher than that in other European countries, it is the simple consequence of our currency weakening significantly.


posted online

The European and county elections were not victories for the Conservatives or Ukip, but for apathy ("Labour prepares for new rout as Europe declares", 11 June). The number of people who voted Tory this year was 200,000 down on 2004. The Ukip figure was also down by 150,000. David Cameron boasts in Cardiff that there is no place the Conservatives cannot go, but fewer Welsh people voted for them this time than last time.

Paul Davies

Via email

I have long been concerned about food wasted because of best-before dating ("Kitchen bin war: tackling the food waste mountain", 7 June).

My mother, aged 104, who is in very good health, has always set her very large family an excellent example by ignoring all these dates, with no ill effects. Products in her larder which pre-date "best before" dates, include sugar, mincemeat, chocolate and corned beef she prudently put by during the Second World War. When I tidied her cupboard I found 50 tins of wartime evaporated milk. Although the milk was slightly brown, it tasted fine.

Gerald Bradley

via email

One of the best ways of tackling waste is to make your own meals from scratch and make only as much as you need. We have an organic box of vegetables delivered every fortnight while we wait for our own crops to ripen, and grow herbs for cooking and medicine, all on our small patio in Newcastle-under-Lyme. I also bake bread, biscuits and cakes. We intend to get a couple of chickens for eggs, and a beehive, for honey and the care of all our plants and the surrounding area. We find living like this exhilarating; it is a great stress buster.

Anne Beirne

via email

D J Taylor's article on Silly Suffolk implieded it to be a derogatory term ("My father's D-Day" 7 June). It is, in fact, a historical reference to the county's spiritual wealth, the word "silly" being used in its original sense to mean holy or unworldly. As for the jibe at the new Suffolk University, this could only come from a native of the county that calls its higher education institution the University of East Anglia, ignoring the existence of that insignificant one in Cambridge.

David Bennett

Ipswich, Suffolk

James Delingpole says: "We abrogate for ourselves the power of cosmic justice normally reserved for God" ("Revenge", 7 June). No we don't. We arrogate the power for ourselves.


posted online

You describe the Secretary of State for Media, Culture and Sport, Ben Bradshaw, as "openly gay" (Inside Lines, 7 June). But the other two people mentioned were not described as "openly heterosexual". Surely The Independent on Sunday would not be promoting the idea that homosexual males are in some way more suited to arts and culture than they are to sport?

Michael O'Hare

Northwood, Middlesex

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