IoS letters, emails and online postings (28 June 2015)


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The Independent Online

In last week’s editorial, “Wanted: intelligent opposition”, the contrast between the lifelessness of the Labour contest and the liveliness of the demonstration against austerity was remarked upon.

The article pondered whether the demonstrators had clear alternatives to the Government’s policies. Well there was one section of the demonstration that had: the Green Party. These were put forward in the general election manifesto. This pointed to a combination of more than 20 tax changes and savings which amount to releasing £180bn a year at the end of this Parliament.

This money would not only deal with the deficit but provide for investment in energy saving and renewables and, instead of decimating public services, major increases in social necessities such as affordable housing and care of the elderly could be accomplished. As Charlotte Church and others have observed, austerity is not even necessary.

Mike Shone

Stafford, Staffordshire

Skydancer is the name used by the RSPB to raise awareness of the plight of the hen-harrier in the Forest of Bowland (Letters, 21 June). It refers to the unique aerobatic pas de deux performed by a breeding pair as the male passes food talon to talon to the female as they wheel above their nest.

To subject them to “brood management” would deny the skydancers their skydance, and deprive the rest of us of any glimpse of one of the more spectacular natural displays still to be seen in these isles.

Austen Lynch

Garstang, Lancashire

The Tory position on climate change is contradictory. In the face of a papal encyclical and a G7 declaration calling on global leaders to decarbonise, the government is withdrawing subsidies for on-shore wind farms a year early, and has devolved consenting powers to the local authorities, increasing the length and complexity of the process (“Lincoln locals blow hot and cold over a test-case wind turbine”, 21 June). So nimbyism is encouraged for renewables while the local community is being bypassed when it comes to fracking.

This is particularly hypocritical when one considers that the majority of the UK population supports on-shore wind yet only a small minority support fracking. The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd, argues that decisions on renewable energy will be “more democratic”, but seems to have different principles when it comes to the extraction of fossil fuels.

Dr Robin Russell-Jones

Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire

It’s a shame that the ancient sport of tug of war didn’t make the shortlist for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics (“Tokyo 2020? Give ’em enough rope!” 21 June). It may sound simple but you need to be really fit to succeed. It is not surprising that in the 1908 London Olympics the City of London Police team won gold. In those days, there was a height qualification of 6ft for this force. Wearing their tall helmets they made a suitably imposing impression.

David Ashton

Shipbourne, Kent

Pontification about “correct” English usage (“The Lord Chancellor wants it like that”, 21 June) is always dangerous given how language can change, and given that many issues are a matter of taste. Like Michael Gove, I dislike “impact” used as a manufactured verb but, unlike him, cannot understand what is wrong with “ensure” as opposed to “make sure”, or why “however” may not begin a sentence.

Andy Mort

Chesterfield, Derbyshire

I agree with Joan Smith that it’s difficult to imagine any of the Labour leadership contenders being our next prime minister (21 June). With the exception of Jeremy Corbyn, they have all done a volte-face, changing from left of centre before the election to right of centre after. Whoever wins will need to convince the electorate that they really do have a strongly held core belief.

Stan Labovitch

Windsor, Berkshire