IoS letters, emails & online postings (7 October 2012)


Today, a record 19 million Venezuelans will be eligible to vote in their presidential election. Alongside this expansion of democracy, social programmes have delivered free healthcare for millions, eradicated illiteracy and lifted millions out of poverty. This year also marks 10 years since the temporarily successful US-backed coup against the Chavez-led government. Since then, we have seen attempts to undermine elected governments in Ecuador, Bolivia, Honduras and Paraguay.

In Venezuela, US government interventions have continued, mainly through tens of millions of dollars of funding to right-wing opposition movements. There are concerns that some opposition movements may not recognise the outcome at the forthcoming election, which polls indicate Hugo Chavez is set to win, in an attempt to discredit the outcome and to isolate Venezuela internationally.

We believe the Venezuelan people alone should choose their government, and that governments worldwide should respect the results and engage constructively with the country.

Baroness Anne Gibson

Vice-Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group on Latin America

Frances O'Grady

General secretary designate, TUC

Gerald Kaufman MP

Jeremy Corbyn MP

Caroline Lucas MP

Mark Steel

Michael Rosen

Imran Khan

Tony Benn

and 20 others

Hamish McRae says that it took the experience of the 1978/9 "winter of discontent" to "convince a majority of the population that we could not go on like this" (Economic View, 30 September). However, Margaret Thatcher won her first election in 1979 with only just over 43 per cent of the vote. This was followed by a term of office which began with inflation more than doubling to almost 22 per cent, at the same time that unemployment rose to three million plus. So were it not for the creation of the SDP and the Falklands War, it is doubtful whether the Conservatives would have won the next election. As it was, in both 1983 and 1987 they got a lower percentage of the vote than in May 1979, indicating that the support for change – radical to some, reactionary to others – certainly didn't amount to any majority.

Tim Mickleburgh

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

I suspect that Katy Guest, Doug Johnstone and D J Taylor had their quills barbed before opening J K Rowling's The Casual Vacancy. I have read all 503 pages and admire it greatly. What Doug Johnstone calls a "gentle little potboiler" deals with the dark side of rural living – drug addiction, intolerance of difference, dysfunctional families, rape, self-harm, mental illness, truancy, domestic violence, paedophilia, bullying, poverty and racism. It is a Machiavellian thriller of English manners and deceit, summed up (on page 288) as "things denied, things untold, things hidden and disguised". JKR's novel is a cracking read and focuses on the third of the population that rarely gets a look in – those who live in the countryside.

James Derounian

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Mark Rowe's description of the Walk of the Month in Glen Coe hints at some degree of seriousness (30 September). But it does not suggest that this is a walk for competent map-readers and hill walkers only in an area where even high-valley walks can be very demanding at this time of year. Since your map is misleading, I recommend the accessible Harvey's 1:25000 Glencoe map.

Jim Harding

Blackburn, Lancashire

Midland clubs may be able to get 20,000-25,000 people at home games, but they cannot charge as much as the top clubs for each ticket, as supporters work in an economy which does not pay as well as it did in the 1970s ("The mighty Midlands are brought low", Sport, 30 September). The shrinking Midland economy in the past 30 years affected football club revenues, causing many to fall out of the top flight. Clubs here will struggle to compete with the big boys unless they can find a rich backer.

Kartar Uppal

West Bromwich, West Midlands

Janet Street-Porter complains about being compared to a horse by The Sun, then refers to Danny Alexander as "the treasury geek who looks like a ginger chipmunk" (30 September). Does she really need to sink to The Sun's level?

Joanne Luscombe

via email

Have your say

Letters to the Editor, The Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF. Email: Online:

React Now

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

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to get in...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Tactical voting is a necessary evil of the current first-past-the-post system, where voters vote against what they do not want rather than in favour of what they do  

Election 2015: Voting tactically has become more fraught in new political order

Michael Ashcroft
Ed Miliband said the Tories are a danger to family finances  

Election 2015: Me, my 18-year-old son, and why I’m voting Labour

Matthew Norman
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before