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

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Read Next
'Our media are suffering a new experience: not fear of being called anti-Semitic'  

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk
David Cameron (pictured) can't steal back my party's vote that easily, says Nigel Farage  

Cameron’s benefits pledge is designed to lure back Ukip voters. He’ll have to try harder

Nigel Farage
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices