IoS letters, emails & online postings (28 October 2012)


The proximity of two Holocaust articles in last week's paper was striking. Nick Clegg in "Those who know of war argue most forcefully for peace" rightly reminds us of the horrors of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and writes that "survivors have bravely told their stories and historians have unearthed the truth". This description applies too to Armenian survivors of Turkish and, as you report in "Photograph links Germans to 1915 Armenia genocide", German atrocities perpetrated against Armenians in the First World War.

Turkey remains an ally of the United States and the UK, with interests in countries that include Syria. Yet there has never been an admission of guilt or apology for the destruction of a million Armenians slaughtered by the Ottoman Turks during the First World War. In 2005, the International Society of Genocide Scholars wrote an open letter noting that the "Armenian genocide is corroborated by the international scholarly, legal and human rights community". This injustice demands admission and apology by the Turkish government.

James Derounian

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Art is a medium for the discussion of ideas, including ugly ideas if the artist chooses, and your piece on public art certainly shows how it can bring out different emotions from everyone who sees it ("Just like Marmite", 21 October). I don't consider Damien Hirst's Verity ugly, but I presumed what made it art was because one side shows a pregnant woman with life inside and the other shows how her body is internally constructed around this. Now I've read it is "a modern allegory of truth and justice". But why does a pregnant woman holding a sword stand for justice? Can't say that I quite get it, to be honest.

Emilie Lamplough

Trowbridge, Wiltshire

You report that Tory MP George Freeman has claimed for "almost 200 nights in the category 'Hotel London Area' at a total cost of £8,680.50 ("Anger at MPs who prefer hotels to home", 21 October). This works out at less than £45 a night. Why therefore do IPSA rules allow MPs to "claim hotel accommodation of up to £150 a night in the London area" if it is clearly possible to get a bed for under a third of that amount?

Tim Mickleburgh

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

A lovely two-page spread on Frankel's 14th win in the Champion Stakes was nice to see, until you referred to the race being run at Newmarket ("The £150m stud", 21 October). The race was transferred from its original home to Ascot as part of the Champion Day festival. Apart from your correspondent, Ascot was where everyone watched it, including the Queen.

David Morgan

Beddington, Surrey

Off with David Randall's head (The Emperor's New Clothes, 21 October)! I understand his aversion to forelock-tugging; I prefer to curtsy. But so what if Prince Charles writes to ministers? We have a king-in-waiting who cares – what's so wrong about that? If we did downgrade him to jam-maker, what would happen to his charitable concerns, such as the Prince's Trust? Last year it raised about £50m, and it will help 55,000 young people this year. A bended knee is a small price to pay for someone who does so much good.

Rachel Henry

London E17

Janet Street-Porter's rant about the English National Opera's Julius Caesar was predictable (Editor at large, 21 October). But, in ill-advisedly returning to the subject of last season's Castor and Pollux, she conveniently neglects to mention that this won an Olivier award for best new opera.

Michael Dempsey

London E1

Congratulations to your award-winning Janet Street-Porter and Emily Dugan, but let's hear it for consistently good rock critic Simon Price. Reviewing Johnny Hallyday at the Royal Albert Hall (21 October), he wrote that "the last time this many French people were gathered on British soil, a bunch of nuns made a tapestry about it afterwards". This alone was worth the cover price.

Chris Moorhouse

Southampton, Hampshire

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