IoS letters, emails & online postings (28 March 2010)

Share
Related Topics

It is shocking that more than 50,000 people in Britain each year are dying prematurely due to air pollution ("Britain. A breath of foul air", 21 March). You point out that one of the main causes is car pollution. One way to reduce premature deaths would be to reduce the absurd distances that people travel to work. The RAC Foundation reported in 2003 that British commuting times, at an average of 45 minutes, are the longest in Europe, and that most of these journeys are by car.

If more of us lived near to our workplaces, we would have more leisure time and all get fitter by walking or cycling to work. Employers would benefit, because people could get to work even when there were transport strikes or heavy snow. Everyone would gain from cleaner air and less congestion and traffic noise. Fewer oil imports would even help the balance of payments.

The Government should encourage employers to discriminate in favour of local candidates, and instead of subsidising drivers with free parking spaces, employers, particularly in the public sector, could provide free secure parking spaces for bicycles and showers, and stop insisting on impractical workwear such as suits and ties.

Richard Mountford

2 per cent for the planet

Hildenborough, Kent

Your article on Colombia did not explain the political and economic causes of the ongoing imperialist war ("After the revolution", 21 March). You omit to mention the heavy involvement of the United States, the past and present mass human rights abuses committed by the right-wing neo-liberal Uribe government, and its deep involvement in backing the murderous right-wing paramilitaries in collusion with the Colombian military. This has been armed by both the US and British governments and ably assisted by their military "advisers", the Medellin drugs cartels and western oil and gas multinationals such as BP.

What of the thousands upon thousands of Colombian trade unionists assassinated, the hundreds of journalists, student leaders, human rights defenders, indigenous activists and progressive lawyers killed, tortured and disappeared and the "forced displacement" of millions of Colombians by the Colombian state?

All this and more is happening as part of a state terror policy and the growing, US-backed multibillion-dollar counter-insurgency programme against the Colombian people, also threatening to attack and destabilise progressive left-wing governments in Venezuela and Ecuador and beyond.

Patrick Black

Framlingham, Suffolk

The United States not only gives billions to Israel, it has to support Egypt and Jordan to keep them sweet ("Cut off the cash, and Israel might behave", 21 March). If the US had spent only a tiny part of this in helping to resettle Palestinian refugees, a lot of the friction would not have happened. I wonder how long American citizens will put up with this.

Viv Griffiths

Swansea

Of Britain's train service, Janet Street-Porter employs the journalistic boilerplate mantra "The dirt, the waiting, the filthy trains..." ("Travel is great in the UK – as long as you are a bat", 21 March). I travel regularly on the East Coast, the South East lines and the London Transport trains and buses. For the most part, the facilities are clean to the point of spotlessness, trains run on time and arrive within reasonable timetabling. Bearing in mind the numbers of persons involved, the shortage of litter bins, the profusion of free newspapers and the grazing habits of the average individual, the resulting maintenance of cleanliness is exceptional. The few hours of packed commuter transport may not come up to scratch, but this is surely an impossible task.

At the age of 75, I can only remember things getting better since the demise of steam. Travel on the rail systems of other countries, with a few exceptions such as France's TGV, is usually worse and certainly scruffier.

Ian Dunn

Chatham, Kent

A train going from A to B should not have to wait for another train passing by, going from C to D, running on the same track or even crossing it. It is not only dangerous but an aberration which we do not know on the Continent. In my native France, we have trains going from A to B and back, end of. A minister such as Lord Adonis may be Cambridge or Oxford clever, but he is certainly not Brunel.

Jacqueline Babinet

Kingston upon Thames, Surrey

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; online: independent.co.uk/dayinapage/2010/March/28

React Now

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

Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

Retail Business Analyst

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Senior C++ Developer

£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: We are winning the fight against extreme poverty and hunger. It's time to up the ante

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
David Cameron addresses No campagn supporters in Aberdeen  

Scottish independence: Cameron faces a choice between destroying his country or his party

Matthew Norman
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week