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

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour's Jeremy Corbyn arrives to take part in a Labour party leadership final debate, at the Sage in Gateshead, England, Thursday, Sept. 3  

Jeremy Corbyn is here to stay and the Labour Party is never going to look the same again

Andrew Grice
Serena Williams  

As Stella Creasy and Serena Williams know, a woman's achievements are still judged on appearance

Holly Baxter
The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea