IoS letters, emails & online postings (21 July 2013)

 

Share

Thank you for publishing the correspondence between journalist Miles Goslett and IoS journalist John Rentoul on the controversy surrounding the death of the weapons expert Dr David Kelly. (“Foul play vs suicide”, 14 July).

I followed this story at the time, and, although I realised that there was some controversy still rumbling on, I thought it had been cleared up to most people’s satisfaction. Now I’m not so sure. I thought that Mr Goslett put his well-balanced and considered case for an official inquest intelligently and eloquently. On the other hand, Mr Rentoul came across as aggressive, dismissive and insulting with no real argument to counter Miles Goslett’s case. For me, John Rentoul’s argument, or manner, actually made the case for an inquest more pressing than I had previously thought.

Penny Joseph

Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex

John Rentoul says that any reasonable person would have ruled out the possibility of foul play after a cursory review of the facts! This is a shockingly complacent attitude for an investigative newspaper. I’m sure there must be a position for him in the Russian legal system.

John then invents a ridiculous scenario to prove murder would be impossible, yet Dr Kelly could have been murdered at the end of his walk and not kidnapped from his home.

I believe that any reasonable person should be worried by the lack of an inquest, lack of fingerprint and DNA evidence and lack of blood at the scene, as expressed by many eminent experts. John can only continue his insults.

Mike Wardle

Chatham, Kent

Under the 1944 Education Act, the minister of education’s very few powers and responsibilities included securing the provision of sufficient school places and the removal of air-raid shelters from school play grounds – two duties successfully undertaken despite a near bankrupt country and a baby boom.

Seventy years later, and in a less dire economic climate, the current Secretary of State has accrued for himself a very large number of powers and responsibilities but is failing to secure that most basic provision – with an unprecedented shortage of 120,000 places in England. He has also presided over a doubling of the number of children in infant classes over 30 (“Fresh crowded classes scandal – now it’s infants, 14 July). He should consider his position.

Professor Colin Richards

Spark Bridge, Cumbria

I was astonished to read that “one in four 11-year-olds [are] unable to read and write” (“Read all about it, 14 July). It turns out that one in four 11-year-olds do not achieve the expected level for writing, fewer than one in six for reading. That does not imply that these children are unable to read and write, and it is completely wrong to make that rather sensationalist assertion.

Ondine Sherwood

London NW2

I was sad to read of the bombing of Crac des Chevaliers, the great medieval castle near Homs (“Syrian air strike damages 12th-century castle of the crusades”, 14 July). Some years ago I travelled from Crac on a bus with workmen who had been restoring the castle. They asked me how much I was paying for my small hotel in Homs, and on hearing the amount (to me very modest!), they were horrified that I was being overcharged and insisted on paying my fare back to Homs. It’s the people I really grieve for, not the stones.

Jane Jakeman

Sandhills, Oxford

The inadequacy of targets as a means of enhancing services is demonstrated by Mid Staffordshire. The hospital trust had resources to achieve waiting-list targets or to care properly for acutely admitted patients but not both. Its quality observers saw the targets being met and thought it was doing well.

The four-hour waiting target helped emergency departments to compete well for support within a hospital’s economy. Meeting targets is great for those who immediately benefit from them but the costs to others are often excessive. Goodhart’s law is valid; when a measure becomes a target it ceases to be a good measure.

Dr Michael crawford

Airedale General Hospital

Have your say

Letters to the Editor, The Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF. Email: sundayletters@independent.co.uk. Online: independent.co.uk/dayinapage/2013/July/14

React Now

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

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Separate lives: Boston’s streets illustrate the divide between the town’s communities  

Migrants have far more to offer than hard work and wealth creation, yet too many exist in isolation from the rest of society

Emily Dugan
Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird has sold 40 million copies  

Go Set a Watchman: Harper Lee’s new novel is more than just a literary event

Joseph Charlton
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'