IoS letters, emails & online postings (24 April 2011)

Share
Related Topics

Your report ("Immigration: the bigger picture", 17 April) and the commentary by Barking MP Margaret Hodge made a useful counterweight to some of the press reaction to David Cameron's speech on the subject. But little reference was made to the worsening economic climate in which the Prime Minister's fears for community "disjointedness" may prove somewhat understated.

It is easy to celebrate the enrichment of our national life wrought by immigration when times are good and work opportunities plentiful. We are rightly proud of these islands historically offering refuge to the oppressed of other lands, those bringing with them energy, insight, robustness and commitment as well as their recipes and new businesses. But even in the relatively affluent period before the banking crisis brought us recession, many parts of this country were already experiencing tensions and resentment, as Ms Hodge acknowledged in her own London constituency.

Pre-crash, work and housing openings were limited and the gap between rich and poor grew remorselessly as our industrial base shrank.

Yet once the coalition's cuts begin to bite, the consequences for community cohesion may prove profound, with even more chasing shrinking jobs and ever scarcer social housing. This will be particularly severe in those many communities where the local hospital or university is the largest single employer, and where there's little left of a healthy private sector to "pick up the slack" of those losing their jobs. Immigrants providing cheap and exploitable labour to the wealthy suburbs will be living cheek by jowl with those scratching by on scraps of work here and there or on shrunken benefits. Tragically, Mr Cameron and his government are doing little to prevent this "disjointedness" degenerating into something much more dangerous.

Clive Johnson

London SW9

Ofsted creates more problems than it solves ("Schools watchdog 'too big to work'", 17 April). Teachers and children alike are worried stiff when inspectors arrive, and younger pupils can find the whole experience frightening.

Schools can be tainted for years if the school doesn't come up to scratch – "in the opinion of the Ofsted team". All the comments go into the local press, and the school has little opportunity to give its side of the story. Not that it would be believed, because Ofsted has the authority.

The team also expects all the staff to work to perfection and according to the latest in education policy. If a fraction doesn't conform to this, a "poor", rating will follow. The children, too, are expected to absorb all they are told. The Ofsted report is based on one particular visit. It doesn't reflect all the good work that has been put in by that school throughout the rest of the year.

There must be a better and less traumatic system, if one is needed at all. The teachers are professionals, aren't they?

1J2ackBrian

posted online

We are told by some MPs that the proposed AV electoral system is flawed because it undermines the principle of "one person one vote". Yet MPs use exactly the same AV system when they are electing a chairman for a Commons select committee. Similarly, peers use the same AV system to elect their Speaker. Have the precincts of Parliament resounded to cries that it is wrong to use this method of election, and instead it should be "one MP one vote", or "one peer one vote"? Of course not, because they know that the principle of "one person one vote" is fully retained and respected under AV used for elections within Parliament or elections to it.

Denis Cooper

Maidenhead, Berkshire

Two horses died in the Grand National at Aintree this year, and at its Scottish equivalent last weekend at Ayr, Regal Heights collapsed and died and Minella Four Star died from internal bleeding. How can horse racing be considered entertaining when it involves animal misery? Most today oppose the use of animals in circuses. But what is the difference between animal circuses and horse racing? Both use and abuse animals.

Emma Richards

Brighton, East Sussex

In the vanguard of male falsetto singers ("Anything you can sing, I can sing higher", 17 April) is Geddy Lee, the singer and tunesmith of the most successful Canadian rock band, Rush, immortalised in the Pavement song "Stereo"and the Hollywood film I Love You, Man.

Peter Harvey

Aylsham, Norfolk

Note to Mr Cameron on lounge suit vs tails for the royal wedding, and other assorted U-turns: please see speech by Polonius, in Hamlet:

This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Wise old bird, the Bard.

Elizabeth Henry

via email

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/April/24

React Now

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

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour's Jeremy Corbyn arrives to take part in a Labour party leadership final debate, at the Sage in Gateshead, England, Thursday, Sept. 3  

Jeremy Corbyn is here to stay and the Labour Party is never going to look the same again

Andrew Grice
Serena Williams  

As Stella Creasy and Serena Williams know, a woman's achievements are still judged on appearance

Holly Baxter
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones