IoS letters, emails & online postings (4 August 2013)


Applying openly for a job regardless of background is not a criminal offence ("Dangerous criminals caught trying to get school jobs", 21 July). Not all "serious ex-offenders" are or have been a threat to children. Some of these people are well educated and are now caring parents themselves.

Supposing a person convicted of bank robberies in the 1970s, educated himself while in prison and went on to become the chief executive of a national charity. This is how the charity Unlock was founded. Should the CEO of Unlock be barred from working in schools? The current thinking would suggest yes.

Should the youth who committed robbery offences and was sentenced to several years in youth custody, who then went on to graduate with first-class honours and achieve a higher degree as an adult while working with vulnerable people for 15 years, now be categorised a "dangerous criminal"? The current thinking is yes.

If society recognises reformed people, perhaps media reporting will stop constructing negative identities that in turn reinforce limited life opportunities.

Gary Bowness


Congratulations on highlighting the way progress in the promotion and development of women's sport is "dissipating" ("Women's sport has far to go", 28 July). You rightly identify that elite women competitors need, and deserve, more media attention, which would help to attract sponsorship and encourage participation. The final of Euro 2013 was a great showcase. But, with girls now less active from the age of eight, we need to see far more activity at grassroots level.

Schools have a major role to play in this, but the bodies administering sports also need to do more. Far too many continue to be havens of misogyny, with few women in senior positions. Sport and physical activity need to be clearly for, and clearly available to, everyone. A modest investment can have a major return in terms of lifelong health and wellbeing.

Natalie Bennett

Leader, Green Party London NW1

Since you devoted hundreds of words to the lack of respect for women's sport, I turned to your sports pages for a player-by-player preview of the European Championship football final later that day and a full report on the Hansa Ladies' Masters golf tournament, the final European Tour event before the Women's Open. The wheels certainly turn slowly when you don't report female sport on your own pages.

Katharine Sinderson

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

FGM is so deeply ingrained in some Muslim countries that it could be many decades before the nasty procedure dies out (Letters, 28 July). Girls in the UK have legal protection now, but boys, who also suffer genital cutting, do not. My late husband lost his foreskin for no good reason. When genital cutting is openly discussed, and exposed as the crime it really is, all children will grow up whole.

Hazel Thomas

Newtown, Powys

In vitro technology will spell the end of lorries full of cows and chickens, abattoirs and factory farming ("Meat: the future", 28 July). It will reduce carbon emissions, conserve water and make the food supply safer. Mock meat made from nuts, soya, beans and grain exist already and offer the taste of meat without cholesterol or cruelty. But lab-grown meat will provide people who were addicted from childhood to the saturated fat in flesh with the "methadone" for their habit.

Ben Williamson

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

London, N1

I think "our new obsession with the Seventies" is not because the key social changes of the Sixties began to take affect outside central London (D J Taylor, 28 July). Rather, it's that those in the media are now too young to remember the 1960s, having come of age in the 1970s, as I did.

Tim Mickleburgh

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Your leading article is right ("Online bullying is still abuse", 28 July). Online bullying should be more robustly patrolled. On the other hand, would I trust ex-Bullingdon Club member David Cameron to do this? No.

Keith Flett

London N17

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