IoS letters, emails & online postings (29 December 2013)

Share

As the person in whose apartment Stephen Ward was staying at the time that he took the overdose of barbiturates, I have been following the controversy between the writers Tom Mangold and Anthony Summers (Letters, 22 December).

Contrary to what Mr Summers has said, I can state with absolute certainty that I have never refused to comment to anybody about this tragic and disgraceful affair.

I can state with equal certainty that nobody fed Stephen Ward his Nembutal. He took his overdose in the next room to the one in which I was trying to sleep, and I could even hear him striking the matches to light his cigarettes; no voices, door bell or knock, no MI5 agents, no Polish assassins, in short, nobody.

For Mr Summers' version to carry any credibility, he would have to assume that somebody else wrote over a dozen suicide letters to everybody from me to the judge, counsel, journalists etc. Indeed, killing a man who had just expressed his intent to kill himself would appear to have been redundant, even in those days when "overkill" was a term in frequent use.

Noel Howard-Jones

Waterloo, Belgium.

Given the Royal Family's delight in bloodsports, why did you make such a thing of Prince William signing up for your elephant poaching campaign (Page one, 22 December)?

Tim Mickleburgh.

Grimsby, DN31

The front page should have had a photograph of these magnificent creatures – the elephants. I thought that was what the campaign was about? Print Prince Williams' contributions inside.

Jenny Bushell

Wimbledon SW19

DJ Taylor underlines the Victorian invention of Christmas traditions ("Bah to the humbuggers", 22 December) and suggests that even if few know the true meaning of the festival it is worth having a celebration at this time of year anyway. I agree, but it is surely time to reclaim the more radical festival of Twelfth Night on 6 January, which the Victorian Christmas aimed to replace. Epiphany was traditionally focused on a Lord of Misrule and the turning upside down of authority, sometimes leading to riots. This more robust winter tradition speaks to the times we live in.

Keith Flett

London N17

Hamish McRae indicates (22 December) that the thing we have to fear is too much optimism. That may be so, but a greater fear might be too much prosperity.

Some time ago, in a letter to The Independent, I indicated that increasing prosperity, or apparent prosperity, (they are not the same thing) could undo our fragile economy. I suggested that there is no longer the capacity in the British manufacturing sector to meet demand created at a time when, whether justified or not, the "feel-good factor" is in operation. I also argued that this would lead to an increase in manufactured imports which might otherwise have been supplied by British producers.

Mr McRae, in an email sent to me, suggested that the London based service sector would fill the gap created by manufactured imports. I was sceptical at the time and it seems that my fears were justified.

Your sister paper published an article, by Russell Lynch, (21 December) entitled "Britain's deficit soars to highest for 24 years". In it, Mr Lynch points out that the deficit rose to £20.7bn for the third quarter of the present year compared with £6bn for the second quarter.

Perhaps Mr McRae still believes that, like the US Cavalry, London will ride to the rescue! Is it not about time that this myth is felled once and for all?

Roger Barstow Frost

Burnley, Lancashire

I disagree with your editorial that the "best protection for witnesses is that afforded by public opinion" (Leading article, 22 December). A video link would protect witnesses who feel vulnerable in court, because by simply having a delay to allow the judge to decide if the barrister's question is fair and not intimidatory allows witnesses to be protected. Why subject witnesses to aggressive barristers and rely on juries to sympathise with the witness?

Kartar Uppal

West Bromwich, West Midlands

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/December/29

React Now

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

Operations Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am currently recruiting for an Operati...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, Security Cleared

£100 - £110 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Ham...

Senior Digital Marketing Executive

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Junior Developer- CSS, HMTL, Bootstrap

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading company within the healthcare ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Prime Minister David Cameron walks on stage to speak at The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) annual conference on November 4, 2013  

Does Cameron really believe in 'British Values'?

Temi Ogunye
The Lada became a symbol of Russia’s failure to keep up with Western economies  

Our sanctions will not cripple Russia. It is doing a lot of the dirty work itself

Hamish McRae
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz