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

Share

I believe the reason we, as a nation, are being so polite regarding the niqab, in answer to Joan Smith (22 September), is obvious. The British are famously polite. Is not polite debate preferable to absolute chaos?

I must say to call something "ridiculous", though Joan's perfect right, is rather harsh, and not at all in the tradition of politeness! I agree that the niqab should not be banned, except in specific situations that would incur difficulties for practical reasons.

However, I would like to point out that the "modesty" argument does not have to wash with Joan, or anyone else for that matter; it is meant, as I understand it, purely for God, and I cannot see how it is up to any of us to dispute somebody else's personal relationship with their God. If they believe it creates a closer relationship with more piety, and thus modesty, then it is subjectively so.

Whether it is, in reality, more modest or not is irrelevant to a dispute that should surely be centred on more practical reasonings? We cannot alter belief or opinion just proffer our own. It certainly wouldn't be very polite to try in any case.

Helen Brown

Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Joan Smith says it is OK for a woman to wear the niqab on the 94 bus. Does that bus have CCTV? Allowing people to hide their face makes it ineffective. The only equitable answer is a ban on all headcovering in public which is designed to hide the appearance and which would also include young men wearing hoodies.

Rob Edwards

Harrogate, North Yorkshire

I wonder if the Which? survey into food prices took account of how much food is discarded, partly because of strict adherence to "best before" and "use by" dates, and also because of a reluctance to use left-overs ("One in three struggling to feed themselves", 22 September).

You have reported in the past that as much as one third of food is jettisoned in some households, and it's not rocket science to think that the two may be related. Janet Street-Porter in the same edition espouses cookery lessons in school, which would make the young more aware of what can be achieved by judicious use of "raw materials". Providing free school meals will not help with this, though there are more practical reasons for supporting such a proposal.

Dave & Carol Fossard

via email

Those of us who are opponents of independent education should nevertheless welcome as a temporary ally the new chair of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference ("School boss tells Michael Gove: The system isn't broken", 22 September). As Tim Hands implies, state schools under Michael Gove have no incentive to innovate, only a perverse incentive to conform to an increasingly dirigiste, test/examination-dominated regime. I would urge all state primary and secondary schools to follow Tim's example and devote at least an eighth of their curriculum to non-examination learning – "Independent Studies" .

Professor Colin Richards

Spark Bridge, Cumbria

I disagree with the Department for Work and Pensions spokesman that "sanctions are only used as a last resort" ("Homeless jobseekers hit hard by benefit cuts", 22 September). I know of someone who lost money simply by being late for an interview, while others have been penalised for not applying for enough vacancies.

In a place like Grimsby there isn't much work and the unemployed are forced to go for jobs they know they won't get simply to meet job-centre targets.

Tim Mickleburgh

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

I read the article "Move over organic – the new big business in food is halal" with dismay (22 September). This is a cruel method of killing animals. This country brought in laws to stun animals before slaughtering and then allows certain groups to ignore them.

Another worry is that we could be buying and eating halal meat which is not labelled as such. We have the backing of scientists that animals should be stunned before slaughter.

Jenny Bushell

London SW19

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/September/29

React Now

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

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Maths Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for an ...

Maths Teacher

£22000 - £37000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: A West Yorkshire School i...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: The campaigning is over. So now we wait...

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
In this handout provided by NASA from the the Earth-orbiting International Space Station, weather system Arthur travels up the east coast of the United States in the Atlantic Ocean near Florida in space. The robotic arm of the Space Station Remote Manipulator System or Canadarm2 is seen at upper right. According to reports, Arthur has begun moving steadily northward at around 5 kt. and the tropical storm is expected to strike the North Carolina Outer Banks  

Thanks to government investment, commercial space travel is becoming a reality

Richard Branson
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week