IoS letters, emails & online postings (22 May 2011)

Related Topics

Tim Lott appears to enjoy good old fashioned racist stereotyping, using the attack on Celtic manager Neil Lennon as an example of "that cussed, narky country" ("Good riddance to this unequal union", 15 May). There is an irony in an Englishman taking the high ground on football hooliganism, but I do not believe every English soccer fan is a hooligan, or that EastEnders is a realistic depiction of life in London. I know that people are varied and unique, regardless of postcode or popular myth.

I am Scottish, yet do not eat haggis, unless made by my daughter in her cookery class. I do not drink whisky or Irn-Bru, or eat deep-fried Mars bars. I do not read Robert Burns, nor own any Simple Minds or Wet Wet Wet. I find Braveheart largely a piece of fiction and do not support Scottish independence. The world is getting smaller, and in the 21st century we should be breaking down barriers and borders and embracing unity, not attacking people for their religion, colour, or the country in which they have been born.

Politics and politicians come and go, but the people can move forward, if not quite as one, then as many, with mutual respect, not letting the sins of the past colour a future we have yet to make. And, it is to be hoped, we will leave behind bitter old dinosaurs, from both sides of the border.

Peter Getty


No English reader who has made the effort with Burns's gritty Scots dialect would deny that he is a great poet, with a unique voice, and a man full of powerful humanity. But greater than Shakespeare? Come on!

Gavin Turner

Gunton, Norfolk

It is self-evident that the Foreign Office needs offices in foreign countries, but we have not been increasing our "global property empire" ("Foreign Office expands its £2bn global property empire despite the cuts", 15 May). Changes in value have been largely due to changes in sterling, not to an increased estate. The "increase" in buildings is because we now count each property, rather than compounds. We are, indeed, expanding a programme of property sales overseas, replacing property that is no longer cost-effective and getting rid of buildings. We share property at 164 of our missions overseas with other government departments, and are looking to do more. In the lifetime of this Parliament we will reduce our presence in central London, moving to a single building in the capital, not two as now. Rather than a global estate spending spree, we will sell £240m of property in the next four years and reduce running costs by £34m.

David Lidington

Minister of State for Europe

London SW1

As illness costs firms billions of pounds, investing in promoting good health among their workforce would be sensible ("Failure to tackle depression at work costs firms billions", 15 May). The total economic cost associated with working-age ill-health is put at £100bn. But while good work undoubtedly promotes health, the reduction of much work to repetitive, programmed activity in the name of efficiency, is hardly conducive to good health.

Is it possible that some work makes people unwell? The answer might offer a clue to what is needed to make the business case for promoting healthy work.

Professor Desmond Sheridan

Newton Abbot, Devon

A classic argument against soaking the rich will soon be dead ("Salaries for top executives are rocketing...", 15 May). If 1 per cent of earners take a big enough slice of the pie, then taxing the rich will no longer be just a symbolic act of class envy – it will raise enough to make a difference to public services. The rich who don't want to emigrate should, in their own interest, be trying to stop the runaway pay train. The greater the inequality, the more radical the politics it will be used to justify.

Jeremy Carne

London SW6

One reason that only 22 per cent of voters think Ed Miliband is a good leader of the Labour Party(15 May) is that it is hard for an opposition politician to get any kind of media coverage when faced with a coalition in power. Normally you have two main party leaders challenging a prime minister. Today we have two leaders in government and only one opposed to them.

Tim Mickleburgh

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

The real tragedy relating to the amount of money paid to Catherine Meyer for her work on behalf of the child abduction charity Pact is the loss of needy funds to worthy causes (Diary, 15 May). Those who kindly donate to charity have limited funds, and believe that their money will go towards assisting those in need. They do not expect a substantial proportion of their cash to be paid out by trustees on salaries.

A beggar claiming to be "homeless and hungry" may not be telling the full truth as to why he wants donations, but at least he is being honest as to who will be the recipient of any donation.

Michael N Ezra

London NW3

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

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

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist / Physio / Osteopath

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for o...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next

Don’t pity me for eating alone, just give me a better table

Rosie Millard
Aerial view of planned third runway at Heathrow  

Heathrow expansion: This final 'conclusion' has simply fanned the airport flames

Chris Blackhurst
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most