IoS letters, emails & online postings (9 June 2013)

 

Share

It is all very well for John Rentoul to state that "Miliband dare not duck an EU referendum" (2 June), but there are palpable reasons why all serious parties should oppose one. In the midst of the politicking, no one appears to focus on the evident truth that no referendum ever answers the question put.

More than anything the voters are influenced by their current view of the government in office. The narrow loss of the May 2005 referendum in France was shown to be down to the low standing of the Chirac government, rather than to a rejection of the European constitution.

Voters always say they want a referendum but they do not vote in them. Every British referendum has had a lower turnout than at the corresponding general election. The risk is the further undermining of parliamentary democracy. It is salutary that Hitler held no election after coming into office in 1933 but governed by plebiscite.

Michael Meadowcroft

Leeds

Why do we need lobbyists at all? ("Lobbying scandal grows as peers are snared", 2 June). Their very existence suggests that, for money, they can open doors to the corridors of power that are closed to the ordinary citizen.

But any individual or organisation has access to Parliament. They can write to their MP or attend their surgery, and they can also write to the appropriate minister or secretary of state to present their case.

Malcolm Morrison

Swindon, Wiltshire

A register of lobbyists is not nearly enough for the arms trade. Given the financing of relentless lobbying by obscenely wealthy arms makers, there must be a register of every meeting between cabinet ministers and arms lobbyists. And the Government must commit to the same number of meetings with representatives of the millions of citizens who object to their wealth being spent supporting the merchants of death. Vince Cable should be held to account for the appalling bias of his exports department.

Jim McCluskey

Twickenham, Middlesex

Several years ago I persuaded my husband not to cut the lawn until the end of July ("Let our verges run wild", 2 June). Now, beginning with snowdrops, our glorious garden progresses through exquisite, ghostly crocii, daffodils, fritillaries, primroses, cowslips, bluebells, speedwells, forget-me-nots, violets, viper's bugloss, common daisies and sun-gold dandelions to, last week, a riot of buttercups, ragged robin, fraises des bois and ox-eye daisies. The ragwort (with its cinnabar moth caterpillars) will surely follow. As will delicious, tiny strawberries. All of you who think nothing beats a tidy lawn, consider what you're missing!

Sara Neill

Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Alan Mitcham blames "farming practices" for the loss of habitat, but it is overpopulation that is at fault and the resulting increase in cars on the road (Letters, 2 June). To those who want the right to have more and more children, I say, what about my right to walk in the countryside, and what about the rights of tigers and polar bears to have a home?

Sue Crossley

Via email

The Vatican has collected so many artefacts and paintings over the centuries, and it is still willing to pay vast sums for contemporary art ("Vatican to pour millions into new churches", 2 June). This is exactly how the Catholic Church lost its way; it became a financial institution instead of a religious one. Spirituality has nothing to do with fancy cathedrals and financial wealth, and, if he did exist, Jesus was perfectly clear on that.

Emilie Lamplough

Trowbridge, Wiltshire

Earlier this year, Didcot power station, which covered 300 acres, and provided power for two million homes, was closed ("Clean power is good...", 2 June). What acreage would be required for a wind farm of similar output? Is there any way excess output can be stored, ready for when there is no wind, or demand is high? Or should we stop wasting money on green-lobby ideas and put it into nuclear power? Sixty years ago, we were leaders in this technology; now we are a long way behind and will have to buy it in.

Adam Abbott

Swindon, Wiltshire

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/June/9

React Now

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

Primary Teachers Required in King's Lynn

Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teachers needed in King's Ly...

Primary Teachers needed in Ely

Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teacher needed in the Ely ar...

Teaching Assistant to work with Autistic students

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education Leicester ...

KS2 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: KS2 Teacher needed in Peterborough a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The appearance of Miguel Arias Canete at a Brussels hearing last Wednesday caused 100,000 people to sign a petition to prevent his appointment  

TTIP is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the EU's suspect relationships with corporations

Lee Williams
 

Being catcalled, groped and masturbated at is a common part of the female experience

Bryony Beynon
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain