IoS letters, emails & online postings (20 March 2011)

Share
Related Topics

Retirement may be leisure for a few, but for many nothing could be further from the truth ("Pensioners should pull their weight", 13 March). People are living longer, but not necessarily healthier. Each has a life-limiting persistent illness or disability for, on average, 15 years. Although those in their late sixties and seventies may wish to continue to work, they can find themselves caring round-the-clock for a family member or friend. The biggest increase in the ageing population is in the oldest old, whose own children are likely to fall into this particular age group.

We pensioners help to save the state £90bn a year, by offering care and support free. Many of us look after grandchildren to enable their parents to work and thereby contribute to the economy, or are involved in unpaid work in the community. We pay tax, and the astronomical charges levied on us for care services end up lining the pockets of investors in the care industry.

Paid for doing nothing? I don't think so.

Barbara Pointon

Thriplow, Cambridgeshire

Newly trained community workers should make use of the valuable experience and talent of our retired citizens. The untapped human resources available in every neighbourhood can be valued at billions of pounds.

Teddy Gold

London N3

Like other high-profile opponents of AV, David Owen does not appear to understand the system ("The alternative vote will not reform our electoral system," 13 March). He writes that "it won't end safe seats, tactical voting, or wasted votes". The truth is, AV will greatly reduce safe seats and wasted votes, and will end the need for tactical voting. It is absurd to say that "the second preferences of the least popular candidates have the most influence". AV is the system used by the political parties to elect their leaders. If David Cameron thinks that first-past-the-post is so marvellous, perhaps he should give up the Tory leadership to David Davis, who was the leading first-round candidate in the 2005 leadership battle.

Alan Pavelin

Chislehurst, Kent

That school students understand the narrative of British history is important ("The dangers of allowing children to drop history at 13," 13 March). If you don't know that the English Civil War came before, and not after, the 1832 Reform Act, you will struggle to understand how modern British society came to be what it is. Give them the basic facts of historical chronology, and we can then debate their significance. If narrative is dull in the classroom, discussing what it means shouldn't be.

Keith Flett

London N17

Having been interviewed for every job I applied for in my twenties, once I hit my thirties I stopped getting asked to interview even for jobs my experience was clearly perfect for ("Childless and happy? I am, and so are many others", 13 March). Employers could no longer ask women if they wanted to have children.

If I cannot even get an interview, I don't have the chance to tell the potential employer that I don't want children. Instead of discriminating against women who want children, now we just discriminate against women of a certain age. If I was an employer, I would do the same, and not interview women in their thirties.

Lorna Hamilton

Posted online

We Japanese were greatly encouraged by the message on your front page ("Don't give up, Japan, Don't give up, Tohoku"). It was the best written support we could have hoped for. My mother in Fukushima had no electricity, so couldn't see the message, but many Japanese media in Tokyo carried it and it was gratefully received.

Mitsuko Kanno

Via email

Every other front page showed devastated images from Japan, to report the terribleness of the tsunami or earthquake or nuclear plants. The Independent on Sunday was the only one that showed support with Japanese letters and the rising sun. It cheered me up very much and made me even prouder of being Japanese. Thank you.

Fuyuka Sato

Via email

There's a Japanese saying which encapsulates the people's courage and steadfastness over the many centuries of fighting the unforgiving elements: Seven times down, eight times up.

Howard James

Chester-le-Street, Co Durham

Have your say

Letters to the Editor, Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF; email: sundayletters@independent.co.uk (no attachments, please); fax: 020 7005 2627; online: independent.co.uk/dayinapage/2011/March/20



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: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

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 ...

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
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own