IoS letters, emails & online postings (3 October 2010)

Related Topics

Caroline Lucas is right to say that climate change should be tackled with the utmost urgency, especially given Oxfam's estimate that 375 million people could be affected annually by climate-related disasters by 2015 ("Let MoD tackle climate, says Lucas", 26 September).

However, to shift responsibility for tackling climate change only to the Ministry of Defence would be to attack it from far too narrow a perspective.

Vulnerable people in poor communities around the world are already unable to grow enough food to eat or sustain their livelihoods due to increasingly unpredictable and erratic weather; dengue and malaria are spreading to higher altitudes because of warmer temperatures; and children are being pulled out of school to walk the extra distances needed to get water.

A far-reaching and broad response is clearly needed. The Government must lead the way, energising a cross-departmental approach, and policymakers, businesses and individuals everywhere should prioritise climate change. Everyone must play a part in being the solution – and only by doing so now can we begin to manage the impacts of today and minimise the threats of tomorrow.

Phil Bloomer

Campaigns and policy director, Oxfam

Cowley, Oxfordshire

As a female CEO in a male-dominated industry, I believe that imposing gender quotas on financial institutions is not the way to increase the number of female board members ("Crash makes it harder to attract women into bank boardrooms", 26 September). The long-term success of women in senior positions means female board members need to be seen to have earned their position through ability and hard work. Getting more women to board level is only half the battle. Once there, they must have the respect and authority to be effective, and quotas could serve to undermine this credibility. Firms should set their own targets. And, crucially, more women need to have the ambition, vision and self-belief from an early age to strive for board-level positions. There is a need for more female role models for girls to look up to and aspire to.

Marion King

Chief executive officer, VocaLink

Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire

Paul Vallely is right that the numbers don't really matter: minorities should be respected whatever their strength in numbers ("Minorities do not have a pecking order", 26 September).

However, the figures on homosexuality and bisexuality from the Office for National Statistics do look very unconvincing. An admission of having homosexual tendencies, even to a discreet stranger such as an ONS canvasser, will remain problematical for many who wrestle throughout their lives with the issue of disclosure. If ONS thinks that only 1.5 per cent of the UK adult population is gay, how does it square this with the gay website Gaydar's list of 1.5 million mainly male UK subscribers? In addition, there are the many British male homosexuals, never mind a majority of lesbians, who are not even Gaydar subscribers anyway.

Gavin Turner

Gunton, Norfolk

In the West, celibacy is merely a matter of custom and discipline, not of the substance of Catholicism (Letters, 26 September). Exceptions can be made, as for former Anglican priests who wish to continue their ministry. In many of the Eastern (ie, not "Roman") Catholic churches, which are nonetheless in full communion with the Holy See, married secular priests are common, though they must be married before their ordination to the diaconate.

Thomas Tallon

Bexleyheath, Kent

I have watched Harriet Harman's career with enthusiasm and admired the gusto with which she has fought national and personal battles ("So, farewell then, acting leader...", 26 September). In my view, she numbers among the great women of European politics. evoking the spirit of the great Alva Myrdal of Sweden, and is on track to becoming a towering figure of sense in a world of politics dominated by self-aggrandising men.


posted online

Why do people think in extremes all the time? Beth Ditto ("Some do coke. Others do ciggies...", 26 September) claims that she is healthier at an "ample" size 26 than a skinny person who takes cocaine and smokes cigarettes to stay thin. That may be so, but between these two extremes is a world occupied by healthy people with a much better prospect of staying that way.

Francis Kirkham

Crediton, Devon

Your new ages of man and woman stop with the sixties ("Act your age!", 26 September). But many will live healthily into their seventies, eighties, nineties and maybe longer. Some will do paid work – soon most will have to – well into their seventies, take a degree, raise grandchildren, travel, engage in sports and art. It isn't all over by your sixties – you're just warming up.

Phyllida Morgan


Have your say

Letters to the Editor, Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF; email: (with address; 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

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Recruitment Genius: PA

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A PA is required to join a leading provider of...

Day In a Page

Read Next

Any chance the other parties will run their election campaigns without any deceit or nastiness?

Nigel Farage

The digital world is incredible – but it’s human bonds that make us who we are

Joanna Shields
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness