IoS letters, emails & online postings (19 July, 2009)

Related Topics

With the recent deaths of eight British soldiers in 24 hours, there is a vital need for a rethink of British strategy in Afghanistan, not just to refocus efforts, but also to convince people that the best strategy is being pursued.

After the Afghan elections next month, ministers must convince us that they have a proper strategy and a proper objective which has the likelihood of success. Clearly, lack of equipment, such as helicopters, is putting soldiers' lives at risk.

But a military solution is not enough. Perhaps most crucially we need development. As Britain's former ambassador to the United Nations, Sir Jeremy Greenstock says, the Army has been "holding a wall up" in Helmand, but "no one has come along to build a buttress" of development.

What is required is a rethink that looks at all the options, and that will give people, not least our troops, the confidence that the right strategy is being pursued and is achievable.

Alex Orr



Plans to tackle climate change in the Government's Renewable Energy Strategy are good news for Scotland, a nation which has struck gold in nature's lottery in terms of potential for delivering renewable energy.

Energy related opportunities presented by Scotland's natural capital have the potential to create tens of thousands of green jobs, providing a significant boost to the economy. Scotland can more than meet its electricity demands from renewable sources by 2020, becoming a net exporter of renewable energy, according to, the report "Power of Scotland Renewed" also published last week.

Achieving this "green vision" and ensuring security of supply will require the support of an upgraded energy grid to ensure the delivery of electricity from what tends to be sparsely populated rural and coastal areas to the urban populations of the central belt and elsewhere.

Like other wind-farm developers, we have been concerned about connection charges for accessing the grid, which makes some schemes uneconomical. The commitment from the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband to look at these concerns, is to be welcomed.

Scotland is in a leading position to demonstrate how the transition to a low-carbon economy can be undertaken, with a Scottish Government target of delivering 50 per cent of electricity from renewables by 2020.

Tom Pottinger

Director, Baillie Wind Farm Ltd

Westfield, Caithness


It is interesting just how many reasons there are now to cut out meat ("The rise and rise of the vegetarian", 12 July). Certainly, animal welfare is the main reason for many people. Poultry, for example, endure immense suffering. As chickens' lives have got worse, so has the quality of the meat. Since 1970, the proportion of fat in a typical chicken has risen from 8.6 per cent to 23 per cent. It is no wonder that vegetarians are healthier than meat-eaters.

The British Medical Association report on "Diet, Nutrition and Health" concluded that "vegetarians have lower rates of obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, large bowel disorders and cancer and gallstones".

And now it is confirmed that eating meat is bad for the planet. The United Nations last year reported that "direct emissions from meat production account for about 18 per cent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions", which is more than the entire transport sector.

It is time to stop eating meat.

Richard Mountford

Development Manager, Animal Aid

Tonbridge, Kent


The needless loss of life and the blatant cruelty to animals in the Pamplona bull run, coupled with the stupidity of the people taking part and the unnecessary demands on the resources of the medical emergency crews are reasons enough to stop this cruel spectacle.

I feel sorry for the bereaved family, but people taking part do so at their own risk, and by their own decisions. My sympathy lies with the animals who are forced to run this course and who are tortured by stupid callous humans.

It debases humankind and it should be ended immediately.

Bernie Wright

Alliance for Animal Rights



In "Impressionism – the dawn of a revolution", (12 July), Charles Darwent rightly notes that "painting and politics went hand in hand". But what is truly forward-looking in Monet is his move from the tradition of modelling form and space in literal, local colour, as in his 1864 coastal view at Sainte-Adresse, to his use of invented colour in his later art (haystacks, Rouen cathedral etc). This links to Vermeer and Turner. It uses colour optically and spatially – not as an arbitrary addition or afterthought in design, but as integral to it, and as a dynamic structure, like an ecology. It presages our new age of green awareness and politics.

David Rodway

Woldingham, Surrey

Have your say

Letters to the Editor, Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF; email: (no attachments, please); fax: 020-7005 2627; online:

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Talent Manager

£30-35k (P/T - Pro Rata) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienc...

Recruitment Genius: Print / Warehouse Operative

£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Supply Chain Assistant

£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Anna Woodward: German Speaking Accountant

£45,000: Anna Woodward: My client is aleading global manufacturer and service ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The dress can be seen in different colours  

White and gold or blue and black - why has this dress captured our collective imaginations?

Victoria Richards

Daily catch-up: the battle of the election videos, and a robot sarcasm detector

John Rentoul
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower