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

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

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
New rules mean individuals will no longer be allowed to register other people in their household  

A political voice that really needs to be heard

Rebecca Armstrong
If Miliband is PM, it is expected that Cameron will stand down as party leader quickly  

Election 2015: The Ed Miliband I worked with in Downing Street

Nick Rowley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living