IoS letters, emails & online postings (15 September 2013)



George Osborne wastes no time in taking credit for the signs of an upturn in the economy. His talk of the sacrifices made by the British public is disingenuous.

Rather than being invited to join in the necessary measures to reduce the deficit, whole swathes of the country were sacrificed on the altars of the City, whose high priests had caused the damage to be visited on the populace as a whole, and who benefited disproportionately from the largesse designed to protect us all from the consequences.

It was inevitable that the UK economy would eventually start to pick up, when the companies sitting on vast piles of capital tired of their caution. There was a gentler, more humane way of arriving at this point, but the Chancellor now presides over a country where the rich are even richer, the worthy are being punished for their thrift, and the poor of all ages live in desolate wastelands of hopelessness, exploitation and unused talent, having endured quite unnecessary personal tragedies.

Well done, George.

Ssierra Hutton-Wilson

Evercreech, Somerset


Jane Merrick asks, “Is three too soon to start learning how to write?” (8 September). Children begin to learn to write from the moment they start to make marks with pens, paint, in sand, or in their food. And there are many activities parents and nurseries can provide to give children the resources they need to eventually learn to write. But in her independent report on early years education in 2011, Dame Clare Tickell separated communication and language from literacy, seeing these as a prime area of development before the more specific areas such as reading and writing.

Listening, understanding and speaking skills are more important for young children. And the appropriate physical skills and hand-eye coordination that help them form letters correctly.

Hilary Percival

Gosport, Hampshire


Cillian Murphy “still considers himself Irish, despite having lived in London for over a decade” (Arts & Books, 8 Sept- ember). That is because he is Irish, and that has not changed just because he now lives in the UK. My parents-in-law lived, worked and paid taxes in the UK for more than 50 years, but never considered themselves anything  but Irish. Ireland has been an independent country since 1922.

Rachel Gallagher

Gravesend, Kent


Before Margaret Thatcher, local authorities set local business rates, so they could deter big supermarkets from opening in the high street and encourage farm shops, craftspeople, and so on. But Thatcher believed market forces should be the only thing to decide the fate of our high streets. Furthermore, the charity rate relief is unnecessarily complicated. Couple the Government’s effectively paying 80 per cent of charities’ business rates with its power to set business rates, and boarded up high streets full of charity shops are explained.

Local authorities should set business rates, and charities receive a simple grant, to use as they think fit.

Henrietta Cubitt



I was appalled by the sympathetic advice given by Liz Barclay to a reader worried about the cost of car insurance for her student son at university (Business, 8 September). For heaven’s sake, tell the boy to sell the car and get around on his own two feet!

Jane Jakeman



What have you done to your arts section? If your late lamented lady armchair critic were still rating things, I reckon she would have kicked over her chair in disgust!

Jenny Roberts


Editor’s note: Changes to the arts coverage have caused consternation to several readers. The changes are in part due to un- avoidable economic constraints, but the paper remains committed to the arts. In the new, 20-page Arts & Books pull-out and in the main news section, there is still authoritative and entertaining coverage. Today, for instance,  we have everything from the Parisian craze for the Pre-Raphaelites, on the World pages, to the Royal Court’s new star playwright, in Arts & Books.

Have your say

Letters to the Editor, The Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF. Email: Online:

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
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’  

Children's TV shows like Grange Hill used to connect us to the real world

Grace Dent
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
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