IoS letters, emails & online postings (14 November 2010)

Related Topics

Harry Patch, the British First World War veteran who died last year aged 111, described war as the "calculated and condoned slaughter of human beings", and said that "war isn't worth one life". He urged that disputes be settled by discussion and compromise rather than fighting.

The governing institutions that we devise are extremely influential in determining whether contentious issues can be resolved by legal and judicial means, rather than by military conflict. Germany and France were at war during the time of Napoleon, then again in 1871, again in 1914 and once more in 1939. Today, as part of the EU, these countries participate in a shared currency, enjoy open borders, and elect representatives to a common European Parliament. The threat of a general European war has receded to practically nil.

On the international scene, we can similarly start building the institutions and consciousness of a global community by supporting the establishment of a Parliamentary Assembly at the UN. Building the next generation of governing institutions would be a much wiser focus for our resources and intelligence than a fatalistic resignation to violence, and a never-ending search for ever more destructive and insidious techniques of warfare.

Larry Kazdan

Vancouver, British Columbia

Many serving and ex-military personnel will take offence at the action of Celtic FC in seeking to ban from their ground those who expressed a negative opinion towards the Poppy Appeal and the UK's armed forces. My father fought two world wars to allow people to be free to express themselves. If he were still alive, he would take on Celtic too.

John Eoin Douglas


It was known in the 1980s that benzodiazepines caused brain damage ("Drugs linked to brain damage 30 years ago", 7 November). Sadly, millions more were given the drugs after this information was known. I don't understand why a million or so people who were prescribed benzodiazepines after 1985 aren't suing. Those individuals were severely damaged by the drugs. And doctors knew of the dangers.

Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc

Via email

The reason that vigorous support for voting reform is dying is the behaviour of the Lib Dems in the coalition ("Here lies electoral reform. RIP", 7 November). AV [alternative vote] is a mechanism purely designed to give them more MPs. It is just a shame that the price of moving Nick Clegg 20ft across the floor of the House is the almost complete dismantling of Britain's welfare state.

Paul Harper

London E15

Keith Bushnell argues against us moving to central European time, but in fact we would benefit enormously (Letters, 7 November). Central European time is what we would call summer time in the winter, and double summer time in the summer. This means colder, darker mornings and lighter, warmer evenings. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents says the change would be likely to mean 80 fewer road deaths per year. And lighter summer evenings would lead to reduced lighting needs, lower fuel bills and lower carbon emissions.

Richard Mountford

2% for the Planet

Hildenborough, Kent

"One, two, three, four – Nick Clegg is a whore." This was the chant of one very young man on his way home from the protests against university fees in London last week. Putting aside the fact that there were children nearby, and whether one agrees with his sentiment or not, I hope this lad does get to college, if only because he might learn to couch his sincere feelings in words of more than one syllable – Shakespeare's "Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows", perhaps. Doesn't have quite the same ring, though, does it?

Rachel Henry

London E17

What next from Iain Duncan Smith? Workhouses? Slave camps? Chain gangs ("Jobs, not threats, get families off welfare", 7 November)? How easy it is to kick the poor and the unemployed. Hitler did the same, making certain sections of society scapegoats for all that was wrong with the nation's economy.

Simon Icke

Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire

Oxymoron of the week – "compulsory voluntary work".

Gina Keene

Ely, Cambridgeshire

I am 49. I don't see "older women" when I watch the likes of Miriam O'Reilly; I see myself ("Who said the sisterhood is dead?", 7 November). If you don't have such women on screen, you are telling me I don't fully exist, don't have to be considered. I don't want to watch blank-canvas women all the time. When will someone force the BBC to be representative of its viewers?

Penelope Else

Posted online

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

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

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Day In a Page

Read Next

Errors & Omissions: how to spell BBQ and other linguistic irregularities

Guy Keleny

South Africa's race problem is less between black and white than between poor blacks and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa

John Carlin
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...