IoS letters, emails & online postings (2 January 2011)

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Your "smug list" (26 December) failed to include someone who should have been a shoo-in for the top spot. His vanity and conceit are perfectly exemplified by his desire to have countless photographs of himself taken, often touched up for maximum effect. He also loves to hear the sound of his own voice, talking volubly but saying little. Furthermore, his arrogance enables him to indulge in the most pathetic PR stunts in order to hoodwink the public. Yes, for being the most smug, ubiquitous and irritating person of 2010, David Cameron takes the honours.

Norman Evans

East Horsley, Surrey

As the proud, and possibly even smug, owner of a Toyota Prius, I was rather surprised to see a picture of my car placed next to your description of the G-Wiz. The two vehicles are entirely different, the G-Wiz being mostly bought as a second car by Chelsea tractor-driving yummy mummies to compensate for the outrageous carbon emissions of their main vehicle.

Christopher Trill

London SW11

Hunters always get a lot of press at Christmas because of their high profile Boxing Day meets, and they have again used the opportunity to rubbish the law, describing it as a "useless and confusing, vindictive piece of legislation" ("Tories abandon promise of early vote on hunting" 26 December). They mean that it is a law that is full of loopholes which they are ruthlessly exploiting to continue to hunt foxes, hares, mink and deer in the same old way. It is their behaviour that is vindictive, not the ban, which has huge public support. A recent YouGov poll found that only 3 per cent of the public trust hunters to regulate themselves, and placed hunters at the very bottom of a list of trustworthy characters. This not only shows the heartwarming perspicacity of the public, but also points to a solution: strengthen the law, close the loopholes, and teach hunters they must obey the law of the land like everyone else.

Penny Little

Hunt Monitors Association

Great Haseley, Oxfordshire

While Rowan Williams's Christmas Day message called on the rich to shoulder their fair share of an economic crisis that at least some of their number caused, it seems unlikely that the leaders of the Government will pay any attention. Indeed, the days when the church was the Tory party at prayer seem to have long passed. In which case, surely it is also time to disestablish the Church of England as well.

Keith Flett

London N17

The reason why the UK cuts are happening faster and harder than any other country, is purely political ("Spend! Spend! Spend! Nine days to save economy", 26 December). The Conservatives know that if they make the cuts stretch over a longer period, it will impinge on their chances of getting re-elected. It is we who pay the price, and take the risk.


posted online

Voting Yes in May's referendum on changing the electoral system is most certainly "a reason to be cheerful" ( Leading article, 26 December ). Not only does a Yes vote move on British democracy from an appalling system that often elects MPs with considerably less than 50 per cent of the vote share in their safe seat, but, importantly, it kicks open the trapdoor for a more fundamental reform of our antiquated system.

Richard Denton-White

Chair of Fair Votes For Dorset

Portland, Dorset

As a medical officer at St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne, I was

horrified to see people in their twenties having legs amputated after developing diabetes ("Fat of the land: Nauru tops obesity league", 26 December). Diabetes was unknown in Nauru until the customary diet changed when supermarkets came in tandem with the mining of guano. Diet plays a major role in health, and our society has developed without educating children accordingly. I am now an oral surgeon, and despair at the demands put on the NHS to remove teeth in people who seem oblivious to the cause of tooth decay. What is the point of spending money on conserving teeth that will need to be extracted a year later?

Garry Gregory

Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Scunthorpe General Hospital

One word typifies Eric and Ernie, and that's "warmth" "Morecambe and Wise bring us sunshine..." (26 December). Their peak coincided with that of an up-and-coming Billy Connolly (no stranger of expletives), and dinner-jacket wearing racists such as Bernard Manning: the 1970s was no innocent age of British comedy. Throughout this period, however, M&W entertained millions with top-notch material. Eric and Ernie engender huge amounts of goodwill, because they were good guys whom the viewers loved.


posted online

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