IoS letters, emails & online postings (20 June 2010)

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He may have been a Labour supporter once but D J Taylor (That was the week, 13 June) now writes like a true blue Conservative. The supposed bias against Margaret Thatcher that he sees in the left-liberal media might just have something to do with the fact that she was the most divisive prime minister in our democratic history. She devastated this country's industrial base, ruining countless people's lives and sowing the devil's seed of market fundamentalism, environmental destruction, financial madness and the egregious social inequality we see all around us today.

On the other hand, the sympathy that Taylor believes the right now extends towards people such as Tony Benn is just their traditional patronising hypocrisy, following the barrage of lies, jeers and character assassination to which they subjected him when he was considered a threat. Taylor now chooses to accept their sickly sweet "accommodation" at face value, but I bet Tony is not so easily fooled.

Steve Edwards

Wivelsfield Green, West Sussex

There has been an unspeakable tragedy. Two little children have been attacked by a fox as they lay upstairs in their cots. People are baying for the death of all foxes. However, it is already acknowledged to have been an exceptional incident. Only two or three cases have been known in the past. It should be viewed in that context.

As a mother, I completely understand the grief and shock endured by the parents of these children. I deeply sympathise, as everyone does. It is unbearable.

But foxes are wild creatures and beautiful ones, forced to adapt and exploit our increasingly urbanised country, lured by the temptation of an "easy" meal, courtesy of our refuse collection system. By feeding them in our gardens are we perhaps habituating them so that they lose their natural fear of humans – a vital part of their survival strategy?

We need to modify our behaviour to help to ensure that this recent tragedy remains a once-in-a-lifetime incident, so that foxes can live in relative peace and, of course, children can sleep easy in their beds.

Virginia McKenna

The Born Free Foundation

Horsham, West Sussex

Bonjour from deepest France (holidaying in a mole-ridden area). In response to your report "Mole numbers soar as strychnine ban checks pest control" (13 June): a friend in the UK gave me her mother's sovereign remedy for discouraging moles – diluted urine poured into the molehills. I dutifully pee'd and poured for a week. Result. After the week, no new molehills. After three years, no moles anywhere in the garden. Don't knock it till you've tried it.

Jackie Hughes


You ask why Bruce Forsyth has not been awarded a knighthood ("So, just what has the Queen got against this man?", 13 June). Another national treasure who is constantly overlooked but who surely deserves a knighthood is Ken Dodd. At 82 years of age, Dodd is still touring the country and plays to packed theatres every night. He also does a great deal of charitable work. As in Forsyth's case, there have been national petitions in support of a knighthood for Doddy but with no success.

Mike Stroud


I must take issue with Katy Guest ("It's just one long list of things to get done in Anguilla", 13 June) that the Caribbean airline Liat means Leave Island Any Time. When I used to fly Liat, it definitely meant Luggage in Another Terminal.

Jo Rees

Winchcombe, GloUcestershire

As a lifelong Scottish nationalist, I would like to comment on Tim Lott's article "Britain needs a flag that reflects our artists, not our racists" (13 June). With Eire a free state for nearly a century, and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all having different degrees of self-rule, English people don't even know if they are British or English, whereas in the past they could pretend that there was no difference. When Scotland becomes independent, and the others decide if they want to follow suit, England will become independent, too.

Like all countries, England has some skeletons in its cupboard, but it also has much of which to be proud. You do not need a new flag, unless you want one. Whatever flag you fly, fly it with pride, make it stand for the best in your life and traditions, and deal as best you can with the problems on which the fascists have fed.

John Smart

via email

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