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

Recruitment Genius: Technical Service Engineer - Vehicles

£25000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's premier supplie...

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Separate lives: Boston’s streets illustrate the divide between the town’s communities  

Migrants have far more to offer than hard work and wealth creation, yet too many exist in isolation from the rest of society

Emily Dugan
Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird has sold 40 million copies  

Go Set a Watchman: Harper Lee’s new novel is more than just a literary event

Joseph Charlton
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate