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

Share
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

Glasgow

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: sundayletters@independent.co.uk (with address; no attachments, please); fax: 020 7005 2627; online: independent.co.uk/dayinapage/2011/May/22

React Now

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

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron faces the press as he arrives in Brussels for the EU leaders summit on Thursday reuters  

On the Tusk of a dilemma: Cameron's latest EU renegotiation foe

Andrew Grice
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959  

Stephen Ward’s trial was disgraceful. There can be no justification for it

Geoffrey Robertson QC
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families