IoS letters, emails & online postings (3 February 2013)


I am so glad to see your timely report on gambling ("Addiction soars as gambling online hits £2bn mark", 27 January). It comes as no surprise that more and more people are becoming addicted, having seen the rise of lurid adverts from the online gambling providers while watching sport on television. The "free" money that they offer to people to start is like a dealer offering free addictive drugs. The hit gamblers experience is equivalent, but the image the adverts project of entering a sexy world of winners could hardly be further from the truth.

There has to be some legislation to create a balance, limit the advertising of gambling and/or to warn of its dangers. Given the state of personal and government finances, we need to do all we can to promote stability and security in our communities such that prosperity can follow.

Andrew Jones

Sheffield, South Yorkshire

I receive several offers daily to gamble "free" online. Thanks to your timely investigation, as a middle-aged, middle-class woman I now realise that I am being targeted. The emails are filtered out as junk, but the offers must look tempting to the lonely, bored or hard-up – "Get £750 free spins", "Bingo – spend £5 get £20", "£20 for bingo on us". Luckily, years of watching Hustle taught me that if an offer sounds too good to be true, it is.

Caroline Marcus


Thank you for Eleanor Margolis's commentary on why she lights a candle every year for the Jewish Holocaust victim Josefa Gottlieber (27 January). She is utterly right to do so.

The Holocaust Memorial Service each year is very important in order to keep the hallowed memory of the 11 million innocents murdered by the Nazis, and the countless million other innocents murdered in Rwanda, Armenia, Bosnia, Palestine, Syria, and many other countries. We must forgive but never must we forget.

Faysal Mikdadi

Dorchester, Dorset

I am a disabled Second World War veteran. I remember the 1920s and 1930s, and for 40 years I paid all my dues. This government seems determined to cut to bits or privatise all organisations that were set up by Labour – the NHS, the education and benefits system. The Conservatives do not appreciate the working classes and never have, but are happy to delve into history to criticise previous Labour governments. David Cameron blames Labour for "the biggest deficit of any country". But my savings were safe, and so were his and those of the other front-bench millionaires.

I thank Gordon Brown, not him, for that.

Frank Smith

Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

In the feature "Yes, Prime Ministers!" (27 January), you mention that Harold Wilson created life peers and ended the creation of hereditary peers. The Life Peerages Act was passed in 1958 during Harold Macmillan's first administration and the sociologist Barbara Wootton and the politician Robert Boothby were among the first creations. New hereditary peerages did not become obsolete because of this. William Whitelaw and George Thomas were both created viscounts in the 1980s on the recommendation of Margaret Thatcher.

Second, Britain joined the Common Market on 1 January 1973, not 1971 ("Cameron is right on Europe...", 27 January). Since then, New Year's Day has been a bank holiday in the UK.

Rosemary Morlin


Do we really listen to more reflective pop songs in supposed bad times ("Top of the pops or down in the dumps?", 27 January)? After all, 1977 saw the Sex Pistols at No 2 with "God Save the Queen". But then, who defines what are good and bad times? I certainly wouldn't put 1979 and the election of Thatcher in the former category!

Tim Mickleburgh

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Janet Street-Porter calls the Essex accent "the most loathed" (Editor at large, 27 January). But there is no single Essex accent. London's expansion into the county has been a major factor in the birth of "estuarine English", a curse for both sides of the Thames. A project has been set up to record the sounds of as many Essex accents as possible before they are lost for ever.

Martine Norman

Witham, Essex

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