IoS letters, emails & online postings (28 April 2013)

Share

It's not difficult to understand the people of Boston entering a state of terror when surrounded by heavily armed police dressed for war telling them to stay in their homes ("Fugitive shot dead was on FBI radar two years ago", 21 April). But the message that sends to terrorists, and potential terrorists, is that similar tactics could close down 10 or 20 major cities in the US.

Intelligence services that rely too much on modern technology leave themselves wide open. In its reaction to the Boston bombings, the US has demonstrated to the world how weak and frightened it is, rather than how strong. It has shown how quickly its security services and government are liable to panic. Little wonder people panic in their turn when they see how ineffective these agencies are against the most amateur bombers.

Europe has suffered far more terrorist attacks without locking down cities. In many countries of the Middle East, they are a daily occurrence. They don't lock down. Nor do the places Americans send drones to every day. They can't, even though they know who the people terrorising their neighbourhoods are. The US has to stop looking inwards all the time, at the same time as trying to exert so much power beyond its own shores.

Bryan Hemming

posted online

It may have been reassuring to people put into such a state of fear by the bombing that they accepted the shutting down of an entire city so that one 19-year-old could be pursued. But that lockdown actually delayed the apprehension of the suspect, discovered by a householder when the curfew was lifted.

The sight of thousands of Americans chanting "USA" on the streets of Boston after one arrest was made is one of the most bizarre images of recent years and demonstrates how fearfulness has been used so effectively that Americans are mindlessly scorning their freedoms in the vain belief that they can be protected.

Bernard Thompson

posted online

It's all very well suggesting longer jail sentences for motorists who kill or maim cyclists, but some of the responsibility rests with cyclists ("Call to curb cycle deaths", 21 April). How about making it illegal to sell a bike without lights? Then, cyclists, put the lights on. Don't sneak up between my car's nearside and the kerb. Don't veer off the footpath (where you should not be riding anyway) into the path of my car with nary a glance or a signal. And those red traffic lights apply to you, too.

Pamela Hibbert

Crowthorne, Berkshire

The energy of hate is nothing new, but it's a word so frequently used every day that for most people it's not even a strong thing to say any more (Katy Guest, 21 April). Sometimes we're indifferent or unhappy, but I doubt that there are many who truly hate. Real hatred leads to action, not antagonistic name-calling. If anything, society today is full of indecision and inaction.

Emilie Lamplough

Trowbridge, Wiltshire

Why is going to "Ryde Pier (the oldest in the world)" one of 10 "more unusual ones" which didn't make the cut of tourism chiefs' 101 things to see and do in England ("Curry, the O2 and Banksy – the very best of England", 21 April)? Piers have played an important part in our seaside resorts, and almost 200 years since the first opened in 1814, in Ryde, they are still significant tourist attractions today.

Tim Mickleburgh

Hon vice-president, National Piers Society

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Although the human race daily subjects unimaginable numbers of animals to lives of suffering and fearful deaths, The IoS seems to treat animal welfare as if it were beneath the notice of serious people. In your leading article about the political advertising ban (21 April), you sneeringly refer to animal campaigners as "cuddly". Like John Stuart Mill, Jeremy Bentham, Einstein, Schweitzer, Lincoln and Gandhi?

Julie Harrison

Hertford

It is not only the BBC that portrays historical inaccuracies in its costume dramas (D J Taylor, 21 April ). In Endeavour, the unhappily named Superintendent Bright is five foot nothing and bespectacled. When I was a PC in the Sixties, the minimum height was 5ft 9in and no officer was allowed to wear glasses.

Mike Baker

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire

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/April/28

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Infrastructure Engineer

£28000 - £34000 per annum + excellent bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: In...

Web / Digital Analyst - SiteCatalyst or Google Analytics

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...

Campaign Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency is currently ...

Software Engineer - C++

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Software En...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A young Palestinian boy walks over debris from a house that was destroyed in an airstrike in Deir Al Balah  

The Middle East debate has more to do with the fashion for revolutionary tourism than real politics

James Bloodworth
 

The daily catch-up: what if Hillary sticks, drowning sorrows and open sesame

John Rentoul
Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor