IoS letters, emails & online postings (22 September 2013)


Three cheers for Janet Street-Porter's strong support of our young children needing time far more than they do tests ("Kids need time more than tests", 15 September). The vast majority of early-years educators would argue that it is precisely children from deprived backgrounds who need a later start to quasi-formal learning, because they have not yet had the opportunity to develop the kinds of physical, social and emotional competencies that are an essential prerequisite for formal learning to be effective.

Without these crucial foundations for learning (which take time and cannot be rushed), it is these very children who will experience failure at an early age, and who will often grow up with that deeply ingrained self-image. It is the "Too Much Too Soon" campaign's approach which is the true friend of the deprived children that ministers are rightly so concerned about, and not the misguided "earlier is better" ideology that informs current Department for Education thinking.

Dr Richard House

Senior lecturer in early childhood studies University of Winchester, Hampshire

It is disingenuous for Joan Smith to claim that Prince William has undertaken only 88 official engagements and is therefore unworthy of our respect ("Who but a prince gets a year's paternity leave", 15 September). These have had to be fitted into the operational life of an air force pilot. In this case, one who has been responsible, as flight commander, for some 149 rescues. Hovering a Wessex helicopter over dangerous sites has nothing to do with privilege. Privileged he may be, but some respect and recognition is due, not to the man who has left his job, but to a man who has not shirked what that job entails at any stage. I dare say those he and his crews rescued will always be grateful for his real skills and dedication to their welfare.

Richard A John

Brixham, Devon

I greatly admire John Lichfield's writings on all things French, but when it comes to art history, I think he may need to re-sit the examination ("Move over Impressionism … ", 15 September). Yes, the Impressionists did paint modern life and the effects of sunlight, but the English Pre-Raphaelites had beaten them to it by 20 years. Witness Madox Brown's haunting image of emigration The Last of England, his monumental Work or Holman Hunt's The Awakening Conscience. And 1914 did not represent the beginning of the Aesthetic movement, but its end. It began in 1860 with a painting like Whistler's Symphony in White: Number One. 1860 marked the end of the first phase of Pre-Raphaelitism, and the beginning of its medievalising and Symbolist phase, which is what this exhibition seems to be about.

Paul Street

Leeds, Yorkshire

We apologise for the error, which was not John Lichfield's but was introduced during editing

A spokesperson at the London arms fair claimed the trade is worth between £11bn and £22bn to the British economy. Maybe, but not to the global economy. Most people think of the economy as commerce between nations and not as a global whole. When they do, they will realise we are not going to improve the lot of everyone on this planet until we stop making things that harm our collective endeavours for a better life.

Geoff Naylor

Colden Common, Hampshire

D J Taylor declares: "... 'northern' popular music... makes a virtue of its dolefulness and sexual fatalism. You doubt whether Joy Division could have come from Crawley" (15 September). Yet Crawley is the origin of dolefulness doyens The Cure, and is not far from Haywards Heath, crucible of melancholic Morrissey pasticheurs Suede. DJ Taylor's home town Norwich is also the base of the Cure tribute band Liqueur (get it?).

F Harvey


You report that a survey of Lib Dem members indicates they would prefer to work with Labour after the next election (15 September). These are the people Lib Dem president Tim Farron referred to in his address as living on "Planet Beard". Perhaps there's hope for British politics.

Keith Flett

London N17

Have your say

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

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

Read Next

Errors & Omissions: how to spell BBQ and other linguistic irregularities

Guy Keleny

South Africa's race problem is less between black and white than between poor blacks and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa

John Carlin
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own