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

Share

Can anyone explain the logic behind the thinking to allow Batley College, previously a fee-paying independent school, to become a "free" school ("'Not good': Ofsted gives a mixed verdict on reforms", 17 March).

I am sure the parents are delighted, with no more fees to pay. The taxpayer now pays the teachers and picks up the tab for the maintenance of the school, which is wonderful for the managers of the school who don't have to worry about funding issues any longer.

I am at a loss, though, to see the benefit to the nation of this school becoming "free". Michael Gove's rush to promote his vanity project by encouraging independent schools to become free, purely to swell the numbers, seems a complete waste of taxpayers' money.

Simon G Gosden

Rayleigh, Essex

...

Nick Clegg gives the game away ("If Iraq taught us anything, it's this...", 17 March) when he writes: "In Libya, we used air strikes and special forces on the ground to remove a brutal dictator ... At the UN Security Council we secured a strong mandate for military action ..." UN Security Council resolution 1973 authorised a no-fly zone over Libya and "all necessary measures" to protect civilians – not military action aimed at regime change.

John Heawood

Fulford, York

...

When Eurostar was transferred to the revitalised St Pancras, a fully functioning high-speed train station was left at Waterloo, unconsidered for the basis of a rail route north out of London ("Revealed: HS2 budget already derailed", 10 March). The proposed HS2 route beyond the M25 is questionable as planners intend to make the trains dive through many tunnels to pass the Chiltern Hills. Latter-day Brunels might do well to learn from their Victorian and Edwardian forebears and follow the existing alignment of the (now) Chiltern Railway out to and beyond High Wycombe. The Government should consider the new Southern England international airport in conjunction with the railway: flight paths would be largely over less populated rural farmland.

Raymond WL Powell

Thame, Oxfordshire

...

What Janet Street-Porter thinks is an increase in the cost of rail travel is, in fact, a figure published by the Office of Rail Regulation and refers to revenue, not fares (Editor at large, 17 March).

The railway is far from becoming a mode of transport only the "rich and the famous" can afford; more journeys were made by passengers last year than at any time since the 1920s. Booming demand and good-value fares are generating more revenue, helping to ensure that the railway continues to grow.

Tom Smith

Chairman, Association of Train Operating Companies, London WC1

...

Tim Walker ("Mohamed gets the biopic treatment", 17 March) fails to mention that Moustapha Akkad, the Syrian-American director and producer of The Message, which looks at the life of Mohamed, was killed in November 2005 by an al-Qa'ida suicide bomber in Amman, Jordan. If directors, today, want to portray the life of Mohamed, then no matter how careful you are, as Moustapha Akkad was in ensuring Mohamed was not depicted, then it could mean you put your life at risk.

Kartar Uppal

West Bromwich, West Midlands

...

As you note, Billy Bragg has both a new album and a new beard. The beard has already won the Beard Liberation Front's Beard of Winter Award and the added gravitas it gives Bragg's music will surely see Tooth & Nail entering the charts.

Keith Flett

London N17

...

JaneMerricksproposalthatwebanishapostrophesandshortlypunctuationbesidesischeering LetsgofurtherandremovethespacesbetweenwordsliketheAncientRomansdidAfterallwealreadydoitinemailaddresses

BillSalaman

Cambridge

...

I like The IoS as a whole, but if my £2 a week got me only a single sheet with Patrick Cockburn's thoughts on the Middle East, I would still think I was getting amazing value.

Mark Chataway

Wyllie, Y Coed Duon, Caerphilly

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/March/24

React Now

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

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
One 200ml bottle of codeine linctus contains three times the equivalent level of morphine you'd get in casualty if you broke your wrist  

The ‘war on drugs’ consistently ignores its greatest enemy: over-the-counter painkillers

Janet Street-Porter
The author contemplating what could have been  

I was a timid, kind, gentle-natured child, later to be spurned and humiliated – in short, the perfect terrorist-in-waiting

Howard Jacobson
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable