IoS letters, emails & online postings (22 July 2012)


I have sympathy for the veterans who end up in prison, but what happens to the wives and families of veterans when they can't cope ("One in 10 prisoners is a former soldier...", 15 July)? After their highly regimented lives servicemen experience a dramatic culture shock upon leaving, but we need to look too at the effect of the looming end-of-service date and discharge on the family.

I was an army wife for 23 years, supporting my husband's and family's needs before my own while he was on exercise and active service in places like Northern Ireland and Iraq. The very week his redundancy was announced, my husband announced that he was leaving the family home, although we had enjoyed an extremely happy and loving marriage.

I believe that this sudden change of heart was a direct response to his ever-increasing worry about redundancy and not being able to cope with the responsibility of a mortgage, etc, without the Army as a security blanket. I imagine mine is not an isolated case. Who supports the wife and family left behind? No one, and this needs to change.

Name and address withheld

Sayeeda Warsi says "Ed Miliband is handing his party back to Kinnock" ("Miliband brings Miners' Gala in from the cold", 15 July). But Neil Kinnock was the centre-right candidate for the Labour leadership – Eric Heffer was the candidate of the left. Kinnock went on to oppose Tony Benn, oust Militant, equivocate over the miners' strike, and prepare Labour for its abandonment of Clause IV. Baroness Warsi also says, "Red Ed is using the Durham Miners' Gala to cosy up to his militant, left-wing union paymasters." But Miliband has proposed both a cap on union donations, and opting into, rather than out of, the political levy. I am at a loss to fathom how a man taking his infant son to wave at a brass band amounts to involvement with hidden paymasters.... But what excuses can Lady Warsi have for treating politics as a child's game?

Harry Gilonis

London SW11

Baroness (Joan) Bakewell, despite her dubious title "ambassador for older people", is far from representative of those she is supposedly championing (DJ Taylor, 15 July). She comes from the upper middle class, and has no idea what it is like to have worked from 15 to 65 for a pittance of a state pension, and no other income. No way does she represent the majority of the elderly, nor does she understand. We, the elderly, do not need an ambassador sitting comfortably in the Lords. What we need is fairness, respect and recognised benefits that we deserve for working all our lives. Platitudes and opinions are ten a penny, but don't put food on our tables.

Harry Brown

Dereham, Norfolk

It may well be that Theresa May is one of the less competent government ministers, but Home Secretaries are faced with an increasingly shrill political agenda – one that May encourages ("May 'was warned of Olympics security fiasco...", 15 July). If someone wants to breach even the stiffest security regime, the chances of them doing so are quite high. It would be better to invest resource in addressing why anyone might be interested in doing so, and deal with that.

Keith Flett

London N17

There must be plenty of IoS readers like me, who had no idea that Sienna Miller was pregnant, let alone what she named her child ("Sienna picked my little girl's perfect name", 15 July). And no doubt some of your many readers, formerly ignorant of the delights of Ottoline, are now considering the name for their own baby. Lucy Cavendish has realised her own worst fear.

Tess St Clair-Ford

Long Sutton, Hampshire

The reason the wealthy come to live in London is because they can avoid paying their proper amount of tax and then get publicity for giving some to charity. It is time to have some progressive tax policies – like the French.

Jenny Bushell

London SW19

Who is this Dai Jones you list as a possible medal winner in the

Games ("20 Reasons why the Olympics are great for Britain", 15 July)? I assume that you are referring to Dai Greene, the Welsh hurdler from Llanelli. Just because he is a Welshman called Dai does not necessarily mean that his surname is Jones.

Eric Davies

Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire

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