IoS letters, emails & online postings (22 August 2010)

Share
Related Topics

As a Pakistani I am no less touched by the catastrophe of the floods than the persuasive Ayesha Siddiqa ("My country needs help, not disapproval", 15 August).

But before any foreigners part with their penny, I would request them to demand that the government of Pakistan levy a tax on income from agriculture and recover all the hefty, written-off loans advanced by banks. These two measures should bring in at least 10bn rupees or more than £650m. Readers may be shocked to learn that Pakistan's politicians oppose agricultural income tax and land reforms, whereas Bangladesh, even when it was part of Pakistan, introduced both measures at provincial level in the 1950s.

We should also ask how much of the Zardari-Benazir billions the president of Pakistan has donated, and see a list of donations by the fat-bottomed lawmakers in this hour of national crisis. They spend tens of millions to get elected. Such measures would automatically convince the international community of the sincerity of Pakistanis in grappling with the crisis and sympathy would be translated into donations.

Jilani Syed

By email

The article by Susie Mesure ("Take shorter breaks more often for the happiest time off", 15 August) while making some valuable psychological points does not consider the environmental impact of travel. As a high proportion of vacations involve flying, such short breaks should avoid flying, and be confined to the UK and rail or a short drive on the Continent. We need to do what we did 30 years ago: take an occasional flight every few years, make it a long stay and a two- or three-centre one, with different activities. The current culture of taking three or four foreign holidays a year if you can afford it has to stop. We have to rediscover creative ways of catering for our material, recreational and spiritual needs. Recreational breaks can take all sorts of forms beyond the conventional holiday: a residential course on a hobby, perhaps. We need to become aware of the carbon footprint of every major thing we do.

John Kemp

Whitstable, Kent

Community right-to-build schemes, far from creating a "nimby's charter", will ensure residents are able to back developments they want in their area, rather than have building work imposed upon them ("Nimby charter will allow small groups to block development", 15 August). Such schemes will not need planning permission, so it is right that any development would need the overwhelming support of local people, likely to be between 80 and 90 per cent. With housebuilding at its lowest since 1924 under the previous government, we're handing power to local communities to back the new homes they need.

Grant Shapps MP

Minister for Housing and Planning

Baby boomers can't be blamed for the tax breaks and lack of regulation which caused a house price bubble of epic proportions ("Baby boomers can't retire – they need the money", 15 August). But it is tragic that 4.6 million adults are delaying starting a family due to the lack of affordable housing, because the Government is protecting over-extended house "owners" to the detriment of more productive areas of society and the economy.

Bob MacCallum

London SE21

As a hospital chaplain I have listened to many going through a miscarriage (Letters, 15 August). Statistics about healthy pregnancies within three months of miscarriage encourage the "forget about it and get on and have another" approach. But the physical and emotional readjustment is considerable. If hospitals quote these figures, how will this help the fearful and those who miscarry again? When will doctors learn that we are people with feelings, not just statistics?

Rev Dr John Grant

Chorlton, Manchester

Janet Street-Porter is wrong to imply that cancer is down to luck ("Cancer doesn't steer clear of vegetarians", 15 August). Diet and lifestyle make a big difference to the likelihood of one contracting most illnesses, including cancer. The Oxford Study tracked 11,000 people over 12 years and found that non-meat-eaters reduced the likelihood of early death by 20 per cent and of death from cancer by 40 per cent. In 1986, a BMA report stated that "vegetarians have lower rates of obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, large bowel disorders and cancer and gallstones".

Richard Mountford

Animal Aid

Tonbridge, Kent

Chill the elderly, malnourish the young, close their exercise spaces, stop school building, deprive the needy and abandon the vulnerable while the wealthy prosper .... This is not a government: it's a satire.

Margaret Collins

Liverpool

Corrections and clarifications

In Vox Pop on 15 August we attributed Dave Jewitt's reply to David Miles, whose photograph we carried. Our apologies to both men.

Have your say

Letters to the Editor, Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF; email: sundayletters@independent.co.uk (with address; no attachments, please); fax: 020-7005 2627

React Now

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

Learning Support Assistant

£65 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Due to the continual growth and...

Learning Support Assistant - Newport

£65 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Due to the continual growth and...

Operations Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am currently recruiting for an Operati...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, Security Cleared

£100 - £110 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Ham...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Prime Minister David Cameron walks on stage to speak at The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) annual conference on November 4, 2013  

Does Cameron really believe in 'British Values'?

Temi Ogunye
The Lada became a symbol of Russia’s failure to keep up with Western economies  

Our sanctions will not cripple Russia. It is doing a lot of the dirty work itself

Hamish McRae
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz