IoS letters, emails & online postings (24 February 2013)


The invasion of Iraq was not, as Sir Menzies Campbell writes, "the biggest mistake since Suez" ("Have the lessons of Iraq really been learnt?", 17 February). Iraq was not a mistake – it was a crime, and one of aggression, considered by many as the most appalling it is possible to commit. It got the support of Parliament on the basis of lies told to Parliament by the then Prime Minister Blair.

There are many around the world who want the criminals involved brought before the International Court of Justice to answer for the million dead. Nor is it the worst such crime since Suez. It is immeasurably worse than Suez by virtue of the numbers dead, the ruination of a great and historic land, the alienation of a vast region and proud peoples.

Jim McCluskey

Twickenham, Middlesex

Menzies Campbell makes a fair point about those who marched to stop the Iraq war in February 2003. The war was not stopped, but politicians' assumptions of automatic public support for wars were challenged and remain so. Even so, as Campbell must know, the politician's trade involves finding ways to do things that may appear to be unpopular. So while he says no government could go to war without securing a parliamentary vote in favour, in fact this is exactly what David Cameron has done in Mali by the simple device of not calling it a war.

Keith Flett

London N17

The Queen's Government is to introduce a "bedroom tax" on unoccupied bedrooms of those people supported by public money. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh receive some £12m of public money in property grants. It would be an interesting fact to know how many spare bedrooms the Queen and the Duke have in their five palaces, and how this Government will recover the amount due on these unoccupied bedrooms.

Derek Hanlin

Gilfach Goch, Porth, Glamorgan

You report that Lady Judge has been drafted in to help "assure the residents of Fukushima that its reactors are safe" by Tepco, owner of the nuclear plant that exploded on 11 March 2011 after the earthquake and tsunami hit the nation's north-eastern coastline ("Japan's smart nuclear weapon", Business, 17 February). Despite being a former chairwoman of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, Lady Judge is a business lawyer, not a nuclear expert. She is an unreconstructed atomic advocate, not an analyst, and as such cannot provide any credible reassurance. If I were a Japanese citizen I would not be very sanguine about Lady Judge giving advice on nuclear safety in my country.

Dr David Lowry

Stoneleigh, Surrey

It is good that the BBC is planning a programme about the late Delia Derbyshire ("BBC celebrates Doctor Who's musical genius", 17 February), who arranged the show's theme tune with such good effect. As the practice of cutting into this and other music, and credit lists, with someone rattling on about the next programme causes viewers and probably the composers and people on credit lists some annoyance, this should be one programme where the music is heard in full, or what is the point?

Mary Hodgson


The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea doesn't belong on your list of councils that failed to do any food sampling last year ("Public confidence drops as food goes untested", 17 February). In fact, 29 samples were taken for food standards, placing us in the top half of the London league table. The tests were in addition to 53 other food hygiene tests. The misunderstanding arose because we reported all tests as one total to the Food Standards Agency instead of in two categories.

Councillor Fiona Buxton

Cabinet member for Environmental Health

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

London W8

Why shouldn't people have to pay to get into the Tate galleries? ("Arts cuts so deep even the Tate is worried", 17 February). Many of us in the North object to subsidising so many London-based arts venues, especially when we don't have a single decent-sized art gallery or museum on our doorstep. What's more, many visitors to the Tate are foreign tourists, who at the very least should be made to pay admission charges.

Tim Mickleburgh

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Have your say

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

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Read Next

i Editor's Letter: The final instalment of our WW1 series

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff

Simon Usborne: The more you watch pro cycling, the more you understand its social complexity

Simon Usborne
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice