IoS letters, emails & online postings (19 September 2010)

Related Topics

Joan Smith's article on Bahraini politics ("Bridging the Gulf: Bahrain's big experiment with democracy", 12 September) is as dismaying as it is deceptive. Framing the analysis in terms of a process of political liberalisation under challenge from political Islam diverts attention from the ruling al-Khalifa family's policy of divide-and-rule. Far from being a successful "modernising experiment", the last elections in 2006 were marred by allegations of vote-rigging on a massive scale, and recent weeks have seen a repressive crackdown on human rights activists and political opponents ahead of the next round of elections on 23 October.

Activists returning from a human rights seminar at the House of Lords organised by Baroness Falkner in August were arrested on arrival at Manama airport and held in solitary confinement and tortured; one detainee alleged he was hung from his wrists while being beaten. The state-controlled media has begun a campaign of misinformation to persuade popular opinion that these activists were orchestrating a plot to overthrow the government. The detainees include a British national, Jaffar al-Hasabi.

It is disingenuous and disappointing to see an article containing statements such as "political exiles have been allowed to return home" appear in a newspaper renowned for its campaigning stance for human rights and its opposition to illiberal and authoritarian regimes.

Dr Kristian Ulrichsen, Centre for Global Governance, London School of Economics, London WC2

I am a Bangladeshi man living and working in Bahrain for the past six years. I understand that Bahrain gives equal rights to women as well as to men. Women can travel alone anywhere in Bahrain without fear. Also, democracy in Bahrain is growing and is a good example for democracy among other Arab countries, which they can follow.

Mohammed Abu Sayed, Sugeya, Kingdom of Bahrain

Most of the time I agree with Janet Street-Porter's views, but I find her take on the Wayne Rooney and prostitute situation bizarre (12 September). You cannot write an article about the "sex trade" without serious reference to sex-trafficked women or pimped "lower-class" girls, and women hooked on drink and drugs and fear. JSP is exceptionally naive if she thinks that the Belle de Jour clones she writes about only take money from "young and attractive" punters. Wake up Janet. They are not fussy. They are prostitutes. These assignations are not a try-out for a hot sexual relationship. They are seedy encounters with sordid, grubby, pathetic men who, by the way, ought, at a very minimum, be outed in their local paper if they are found using brothels housing sex-trafficked women. The idea that there are "respectable" men around who want sex with a frightened, terrified, unwilling girl thousands of miles from home who clearly does not want it, is something society ought to be addressing.

Jane Crossen, Knutsford, Cheshire

I refer to Simon Read's article, "Leave our cheques alone even if we don't use them" (12 September). I opened an account with Santander when I retired last year. I was amazed when I went into my local branch and found that a cheque would not be issued for an amount below £1,000. I complained, saying I considered it a security risk if I had to accept cash (£500) and walk down the high street with notes in my pocket. I was given a standard response about the way Santander carries out its business.

It seems to be the case nowadays that organisations run to their own convenience, while telling their customers that they are continually looking to improve the service. The sum of £1,000 is not "low value" to everybody!

Terry Sykes, Ilford, Essex

Sarah Sands is wrong ("Shake my hand and give yourself away", 12 September). The evidence clearly shows that the factors that decide health and longevity are mostly your position in the poverty/ affluence gradient across society. Genetics is mostly irrelevant.

Colwyn Jones, Consultant in dental public health, Edinburgh

Pavan Amara can't have seen an American crayfish ("Village fights back by killing and eating its alien invaders", 12 September). Only last night, on a camping expedition, I was involved in trapping and eating crayfish, and can assure you that the illustration is not "many times life-size"; it's roughly the right size. Think "small lobster".

Terry Walsh, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Surely Prince Charles deserves some credit for his interest in the world around him and is at least trying to do something to improve the environment. If he was a hard-drinking, womanising layabout, then you would have something to gripe at. It is so easy to snipe at people who are unable to reply.

M Drage, Wigston, Leicestershire

Have your say

Letters to the Editor, Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF; email: sundayletters@ (no attachments, please); fax: 020-7005 2627; online:

React Now

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

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Content and PR

£35000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - Mid / Senior

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing digital agenc...

Recruitment Genius: E-commerce Partnerships Manager

£50000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a newly-created partne...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella, with her boyfriend, fellow vlogger Alfie Deyes  

If children are obese then blame food manufacturers, not Zoella

Jane Merrick
Amos Yee arrives with his father at the State courts in Singapore on March 31  

Singapore's arrest of a 16-year-old YouTuber is all you need to know about Lee Kuan Yew's legacy

Noah Sin
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor