IoS letters, emails & texts (28 June 2009)

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Brian Brady ("Crackdown on second jobs", 21 June) is clearly incensed that MPs have so little to do that they can support up to 20 outside jobs; most taxpayers find one job exhausting and moonlighting in the outside world frequently leads to dismissal. If MPs are not doing a 40-hour week like the rest of us, then they are ridiculously overpaid and over-pampered.

Mr Brady's research, however, begs the question as to the legitimacy of private gain from privileged parliamentary information which is essentially what is being sold through memoirs, lectures and consultancy. This inside information belongs to the state, and the parliamentarian or mandarin owes a duty of loyalty and exclusivity to the electorate. This ruthless trade has got to stop and, together with the expenses issue, now is the time to do it.

Steve Osgood

Bath, Avon

Your article on faith schools ("Inside Britain's first Hindu state-funded school", 21 June) mistakenly labelled the Accord Coalition as being "a body opposed to faith schools", whereas we recognise that they are part of the current educational system and are much more concerned with the way they operate.

We do not want a multi-faith society to end up as a multi-fractious one, and so we oppose anything that creates educational ghettos and fragments the next generation, such as discrimination in pupil selection or staff employment.

We also call on the Government to make religious education part of the National Curriculum – the current national guidelines are optional and often not followed – because knowing about different faiths and their cultures would not only be valuable general knowledge but a vital ingredient in producing tolerant citizens.

Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain

Chair, Accord Coalition London WC1

Now that The Independent on Sunday has exposed how the parameters of the Chilcot inquiry were set by Blair and Co – an inquiry supposedly set up to expose their duplicity in the illegal Iraq war – isn't it time that the Stop the War Coalition re-formed under the banner "Stop the Whitewash", and brought people on to the streets to register our disgust at this still-corrupt administration?

In any case, the Government backtracked so far last week that there's now little point to the investigation going ahead at all – unless it is a judicial inquiry, held with everyone under oath.

And we should all get out on to the streets to be sure they do that.

Stephen Devlin

London N20

Sylvia Howard writes (Letters Special: "An audience with a racist", 21 June) to say that though she, her husband and sons all vote BNP, "we do not hate anyone". Maybe not, but wherever the BNP has established a presence, violent attacks on ethnic minorities increase.

Sasha Simic

London N16

In your otherwise excellent article "Who cares for our runaways?" (14 June) Girl Guides were described as "resolutely middle class".

This is incorrect. Guiding is for all girls and young women. We have thriving diverse units both in inner cities and in rural areas, in economically deprived areas and in better off areas. Our inclusion of girls and young women from different backgrounds, is part of our heritage and one of our greatest strengths.

Liz Burnley

Chief Guide, Girlguiding UK

London SW1

So Chris Maume blows Samantha's cover in his review of Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue ("No Humph, no Samantha, but plenty of quality smut", 21 June). What next? An explanation of the rules of Mornington Crescent?

Nicholas Royle


Joan Smith is right ("Just who does Prince Charles think he is?", 21 June). Prince Charles has never been chosen by the British people or elected to any public position; therefore he has no democratic legitimacy and can represent nobody but himself.

Cyril Meadows

London N8

Thank heavens David Beckham is on hand to help Andy Murray cope with fame ("Beckham helps Murray to handle the pressure", 21 June). As our tennis hero says, it is important to "... keep the same friends, the same people you have around you, be true to yourself". Being good with a football hasn't changed Beckham one bit, as I'm sure his friends Elton John and Tom Cruise would testify.

Gary Clark

Radlett, Hertfordshire

With reference to Simon Evans's article "Sexual equality survey homes in on six of City's biggest banks" (21 June), our inquiry focused on 50 organisations across the country, and included 20 banks.

Susie Uppal and Krista Eleftheriou

Equality & Human Rights Commission

London SE1

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