IoS letters, emails & online postings (10 November 2013)


Labour wants to temporarily subsidise employers into paying more than the minimum wage ("A One Nation policy", 3 November). But such a "living wage" would attract even more unskilled migrants from within an ever expanding European Union.

There is an unwillingness across the political spectrum to acknowledge that a living wage and mass immigration are mutually exclusive. Either curtail immigration, in which case the market will raise unskilled wages, or let business decide how many to let in.

An end to importing cheap labour from within as well as without the EU has a "democratic" cost. There will be a transfer of purchasing power from the majority "haves" to the minority "have-nots" as menial jobs that cannot be outsourced abroad become more costly. This is a small price to pay for all who espouse One Nation cohesiveness.

Yugo Kovach

Winterborne Houghton, Dorset

The best and most productive way of helping all workers to achieve the "Living Wage" is by raising the personal allowance to £12,000 while abolishing National Insurance contributions for such earners. It would be simple, effective, reduce the tax burden for the low paid, and does not need "Make Work Pay Contracts" that would require parliamentary committee time and bureaucratic enforcement.

James Paton

Billericay, Essex

No doubt many of us are happy to join Archie Bland (3 November) in sneering at the fact-distorting bigotry of Richard Littlejohn. But it is surely an indictment of the British public that the Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday have a bigger circulation than any other "newspaper" except The Sun/Sun on Sunday – almost certainly bigger than all the centre-left-liberal leaning nationals put together.

Littlejohn is one of their star writers, with a tone and content that typifies the Mail's output. Are we a nation of bigots? I don't believe so, but it seems that a huge section of the press is trying very hard to turn us into one.

Francis Kirkham

Crediton, Devon

"Ethics" can be defined as a civil code of behaviour considered correct. This must encompass honesty and integrity. Given this I would be interested to hear why Paul Vallely (3 November), the visiting professor of public ethics at the University of Chester, believes that Sharon Shoesmith should have resigned. He might explain why she should be singled out and yet the head of the police service and the head of the NHS should remain in post. Maybe he could explain why the Minister for children should not resign when we all know the real problem is that social services are grossly under-funded and social workers are stretched to exhaustion. Maybe he has forgotten that honesty and integrity go hand in hand with ethics.

Malcolm Howard

Banstead, Surrey

We're told "Mitchell police to face further investigation" (3 November) but if the original investigation into "Plebgate" had been conducted correctly then so much time and attention would not have been wasted.

Andrew Mitchell is guilty of swearing at the officers who dealt with him in Downing Street, the officers are guilty of lying that he called them plebs, and the media are guilty of blowing the story out of proportion over one word. Being verbally abusive to police would be enough for anyone to be arrested and charged with verbal assault. You'd think "pleb" would go unnoticed.

Emilie Lamplough

Trowbridge, Wiltshire

DJ Taylor's article on 3 November got two facts wrong. The 67,000 inhabitants of King's Lynn voted in a poll against the incinerator in March 2011, hardly recently. The incinerator has not been built yet, planning permission given by Norfolk County Council is under review by Eric Pickles. The decision is due next year.

Planning for such schemes is very high risk, yet Norfolk did not set aside monies to cover a planning failure costs of possibly £20m, leaving them considering bankruptcy last week.

Jim Elliott


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