IoS letters, emails & online postings (4 October 2009)

Share
Related Topics

Janet Street-Porter is right to question why front-line services allowed a vulnerable family such as Fiona Pilkington's to be picked on for being different ("Harassed to death – why did no one listen?", 27 September).

While the tragic case of Ms Pilkington is extreme, it does highlight that there are thousands of families with disabled children who face stigma and prejudice every day. Our research has found that almost 70 per cent of families with disabled children feel that understanding and acceptance of disability from their community is poor.

Having a child with a disability can be very isolating, and families are often under enormous pressures. Prejudice, lack of understanding, and sometimes cruelty from people with whom families come into contact add to this feeling of isolation and can lead some to breaking point.

People working in front-line services – police, social services and health – should be trained to understand and recognise the pressures that families with disabled children are under. This would help them to prioritise services, to protect these often vulnerable families and avoid a repeat of such a tragic case.

Srabani Sen

Chief Executive, Contact a Family

London EC1

How is it that the police were powerless to control the gang of feral youths who hounded a mother and her daughter to a terrible death, but had absolutely no trouble in calling upon the full might and majesty of police powers, including surveillance, videoing, confiscation of balloons, food and musical instruments, assault and false imprisonment when faced with the men and women carrying out legitimate protest in the climate camps?

Irene Barker

Mendlesham Green, Suffolk

With instinctive compassion for both the Attorney General and her former housekeeper in what I sadly recognise to be a society still riddled with prejudice, I had harboured some sympathy for Baroness Scotland until I read that Ms Tapui had been paid a mere £6 per hour ("Housekeeper: Baroness 'did not ask for my passport'", 27 September). Even three years ago, I – a man of far more modest means than Baroness Scotland – was paying my Brazilian cleaner £7.50 an hour, so I cannot help but wonder whether what we have witnessed may have been unscrupulous exploitation of cheap and vulnerable immigrant labour. If so, then for that reason alone the baroness must be deemed morally unfit for her position.

Chris Hutchison

Kingston upon Thames, Surrey

I wouldn't want to deny Alan Watkins his ritual enjoyment of recalling the occasional eccentrics at Liberal assemblies of the past ("The party's over before it has begun", 27 September), but he is rather selective. Following Margaret Thatcher's election victory, the Liberals embarked on a review of their philosophy and scheduled a full afternoon's open-ended debate at the 1979 assembly. I recall Alan approaching me enthusiastically to say that, although he had expected it to be disastrous, it had turned out to be one of the best sessions of any party conference.

Michael Meadowcroft

Leeds

The Independent on Sunday distinguishes itself by keeping out of the popular media scramble to write off Gordon Brown ("Come out fighting, Mr Brown", 27 September). The more bickering there is about the Labour leadership, the easier it is for the Tories to cruise into office without policy, experience or concern for society as a whole. We do well to remember the wretched reality of life under the Tories, characterised by inequality, self-interest and missed opportunities for progress. Those who have forgotten it, or who have not experienced it yet, should be careful what they wish for.

Anna Distin

London E1

The decision of the UK government to refuse a seat to a Scottish government minister at the climate change summit in Copenhagen sidelines a government that has already produced world-leading legislation on climate change. And while the Secretary of State for Scotland, Jim Murphy, has argued that sending a Scottish government official to observe at such talks is in line with practice in previous years, this is not strictly correct. In 2002 the then Labour First Minister, Jack McConnell, attended the world summit on sustainable development in Johannesburg as part of the UK delegation. Climate change is too important an issue to use as a political pawn.

Alex Orr

Edinburgh

The denizens of Chicago would be appalled to find even colder winds than usual on Lake Superior ("The rise and rise of Brazil", 27 September). The Windy City lies on Lake Michigan. And the Brazilian President's name is not Luis Inácio da Silva, it's Luiz.

Terry Walsh

Bury St Edmunds, suffolk

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/2009/October/4

React Now

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

MS Dynamics NAV Developer

£45000 - £52000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Excellent oppor...

SAP GRC/SECURITY CONSULTANT

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP GRC/SECURIT...

Senior Marine / Shipping Solicitor - South Coast

Highly Competitive Package: Austen Lloyd: SOUTH COAST - MARINE / SHIPPING Th...

SAP GRC Architect

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am currently looking for a PERMANENT S...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Are we politely looking the other way when it comes to Kate, the ever-shrinking Duchess?

Grace Dent
 

The daily catch-up: art of the unapology, a bet on UKIP and printer ink molecules

John Rentoul
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game