IoS letters, emails & online postings (6 March 2011)

Share
Related Topics

To squander at least £17bn of public money on the high-speed rail link (HS2) when public services are being crucified would be little short of criminal ("Protesters threaten to derail high-speed line", 27 February). For the Government to say it will benefit the Midlands generally is absolute nonsense: only those close to Birmingham would choose to use it; others, with a journey to reach it and a wait for the HS2, will lose any time saved. The line passes along the south-west boundary of Coventry, the eighth-largest city in the UK, whose citizens will be expected to travel "backwards" to Birmingham to reach the HS2.

Other areas of the rail network are in far more urgent need of investment, for example, reopening the line from Okehampton to Plymouth or reopening the old Great Central lines to revitalise cities along its route.

Ross McQuade

Poole, Dorset

You correctly note that "The price of food is at the heart of this wave of revolutions" (27 February) yet omit to mention the key underlying causes of food scarcity now leading weather-related fluctuations to hit so hard. These are the rising world demand for meat and dairy with their high land footprint, and rising incentivised biofuel use in the EU, US and elsewhere. Would it be fair to say that biofuel incentives are by far the most effective way that today's politicians can exacerbate world hunger and get away with it?

Jim Roland

London NW11

So a master war criminal with around one million dead Iraqis on his bloodied hands (Blair) is now telling a fellow war criminal (with around 1,000 of his own people slaughtered) that this is unacceptable behaviour ("Revealed: Blair's secret calls to Gaddafi", 27 February). The hypocrisy is unbelievable.

orwellsprediction

posted online

It is a sad state of affairs that a country that was once the workshop of the world now relies so heavily on just two industries, arms and finance ("Selling arms will always backfire on Britain", 27 February). What a fatal dependence on just two sectors in which fraud, deceit and greed are endemic, both of which spread destruction and misery around the world. While the profits are pocketed by a few, the consequences of their evil and the ensuing cost of their evildoings are borne by all. This is nothing to be proud of.

Beckenbauer

posted online

Sarah Sands writes that drugs are the only proven form of treatment for depression ("Walking, not whining, relieves the blues, Ruby", 27 February). In fact, as a psychologist, I know that drugs, unlike CBT (and yes, walking), struggle to outperform placebo in trial after trial. I recommend the excellent The Emperor's New Drugs by Irving Kirsch which summarises the evidence brilliantly.

Chris Beeley

Nottingham

I would like to assure readers that they can enjoy a variety of in-depth books output across BBC channels ("Books and the BBC", D J Taylor, 27 February). BBC4's books programming has not been "relegated" but is in addition to programmes on BBC1, such as the arts documentary strand Imagine, returning with a two-part special on Tolstoy, and BBC2. Highlights there include Melvyn Bragg's documentary The King James Bible: The Book that Changed the World, a new book discussion show on Friday nights, and Armando Iannucci on Dickens as part of a major BBC Dickens season in December. And there is a wealth of radio programmes and drama adaptations of literary classics across the network.

Mark Bell

BBC Commissioning Editor, Arts

London W12

D J Taylor, while rightly doubting that Whitehall's "innate snobbery" is the reason for Bruce Forsyth being passed over for a knighthood ("Dear Diary, no knighthood, sick as parrot", 27 February), leaves aside the puzzle of why Mr Forsyth's claim to the honour receives so much publicity. Two other octogenarian comics have contributed so much more to light entertainment. Eric Sykes, who has written scripts for what amounts to a Who's Who of British comedy, is still performing to much acclaim despite being virtually deaf and blind. Ken Dodd is still treading the boards in sell-out marathon one-man shows that would exhaust much younger men. Could the answer to the puzzle be Forsyth's high TV profile rather than his music hall credentials?

Gordon Peter Duff

Sheffield

Hector Wain and his wife Toni have three teenage boys and want a suitable vehicle for their needs (Car Choice, 27 February). They only cover 6,000 miles a year, and most of their journeys are stop-start around town. May I suggest they each buy a cycle? It would save them money, and perhaps make the boys less "burly".

Tim Mickleburgh

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

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/March/6

React Now

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

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Take a moment to imagine you're Ed Miliband...

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
 

Letters: No vote poses difficult questions – so why rush?

Independent Voices
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits