IoS letters, emails & online postings (31 July 2011)

Share
Related Topics

Donating to crisis appeals such as your Give a Day's Pay appeal for Somalia is extremely important, and saves lives.

Indeed, donors' contributions are needed more than ever because their money will only buy half as much food as it did 10 years ago: the World Food Programme paid $390 per tonne of food last year, compared with $200 in 2001.

Food prices have soared in the past decade, driven through speculation by investment banks like Goldman Sachs. Around $100bn has poured into agricultural markets over the past 10 years, as financial players have looked for new areas to place their money, without a penny of this going to actual improvements in agriculture.

The US has moved to limit the ability of financial players to speculate on food, and the EU is debating similar measures. But the British Government is set to block European regulation. The crisis in East Africa should provide sufficient evidence to impel the Government to support the proposals, and ensure that financial gambling no longer puts lives at risk. Readers can help exert pressure by writing to the Treasury.

Deborah Doane

Director, World Development Movement

You reported that "Anders Behring Breivik 'wants to explain himself'" ("A nation's enemy within...", 24 July). I don't think we have anything to learn from someone whose response to teenagers pleading for their lives was to shoot them in cold blood. He can teach us nothing new that we have not already witnessed from the Nuremberg trials to the War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague; from the Nazi concentration camps, through the Rwanda genocide to Srebrenica. He has confessed to mass murder. That should be all that needs to be put before the court before he is sentenced and incarcerated.

Peter Nielsen

Worcester

My exposure to children's TV is driven by the tastes and demands of my 20-month-old twin daughters, but I have to disagree with my colleague Jo Swinson ("Children's television lacks female role models, says MP", 24 July). Nina (of Nina and the Neurons), Bella in The Tweenies, Dr Juno in Me Too!, or presenter Cerrie Burnell do not strike my daughters (or me) as socialising inequality, but represent part of a diverse range of female characters on CBeebies

Tom Greatrex MP

Blantyre, Lanarkshire

The widespread provision of affordable homes will not solve the problem of rural regeneration (Letters, 24 July). The real issue is the lack of rural employment and transport links. In my corner of West Oxfordshire, the nearest station is 40 minutes' drive away, and the main arterial road comes to a standstill for at least two hours every morning. There is little work in the district due to the centralisation of distribution, the lack of large employers, and the traffic bottlenecks. More housing will only worsen the problem.

One reason these picture-postcard villages fill up with holidaymakers and the retired is that they don't have to work locally or commute. If you wish to build houses, put them where the jobs are.

Roger Bellamy

Bampton, Oxon

Your anonymous pharmacist makes a good point – we all have very confused ideas about death and the quality of life (Letters, 24 July). I know of no one of my age – in my seventies – who is not on preventative medication. Some of us try very hard not to be prescribed drugs that actually make us feel worse. Some of us would be happy to have to hand the means of a peaceful quietus if the need arose, although, perversely, that is the one remedy doctors fear to provide. However, the last time I said lightheartedly to my doctor that I had had a good life and was not afraid of dying, he replied solemnly: "A stroke can be very disabling." That is why we all take the pills, resignedly. It is not death we fear, but disability and dependency.

Doraine Potts

Woodmancote, Cheltenham

The Independent on Sunday in its recent campaign in defence of allotments drew attention to their benefits in terms of nutrition, exercise, social interaction, energy conservation and the environment. But one reason that councils do not provide more plots is that, once an area of land is used for allotments, it can never be used for any other purpose without the permission of both the secretary of state and the National Society of Allotments and Leisure Gardeners, whose remit is to preserve allotments.

What landowner in their right mind would agree to their land being used for allotments in perpetuity? Clearly this needs to be amended to allow landowners to make land available for 10 to 20 years at a time.

The current legislation that ensures that the number of allotments available doesn't go down also ensures that it doesn't go up.

Let us amend this crazy piece of legislation – and make sure all lawyers know that it has changed.

Richard Taylor

Bracknell, Berkshire

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/July/31

React Now

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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
An Indian bookseller waits for customers at a roadside stall on World Book and Copyright Day in Mumbai  

Novel translation lets us know what is really happening in the world

Boyd Tonkin
 

Nature Studies: The decline and fall of the nightingale, poetry’s most famous bird

Michael McCarthy
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine