Ios letters, emails and online postings (29 January 2012)



In the week in which we were treated to the sight of the global elite enjoying each other's company on the Davos slopes, it was good to have the thoughts of the Rev Giles Fraser lifting our minds to higher matters ("I've spent my life on the naughty step", 22 January). The former canon chancellor of St Paul's took a principled stand by supporting the Occupy protest – something none of the Davos "leaders" seemed willing to do – and is paying the price by having to find new work for himself and a home for his family.

No one sensibly believes that dealing with the consequences of the bankers' spree is a simple matter: we live in a complex world where many things remain hard to understand, never mind control. But we are not likely to honestly and squarely tackle the fundamental issues behind the present crisis except by following the lead of Dr Fraser when he says: "I struggle to live out what I believe in a way that has authenticity and is real."

Every time I saw a Davos "leader" tell us why the rich need to be even better rewarded and the rest of us to be further impoverished by loss of work or social support, I found myself asking by what "authenticity" they decide their priorities and make their policies.

Bill Gaynor

London SE1




I was at the sharia [Islamic law] debate at Queen Mary, University of London that was abandoned when, as Joan Smith reported, an Islamic extremist filmed attendees by mobile phone and threatened to track down any that said anything negative about the Prophet Mohamed ("Strong religious belief is no excuse for intimidation", 22 January). To protect free speech in future, one approach, used at some universities, would be to require the handing in of mobile phones to security prior to meetings. But there is a wider issue. Are people to be deterred from legally demonstrating by the threat of being filmed by opponents and later pursued?

David Crawford

Bromley, Kent




To Westminster, Scotland is a sideshow, a small boy to be given his pocket money and told to be a good boy ("We're proudly Scottish – but still British", 22 January). As Alex Salmond put it, the days when Scotland went down on one knee when a British prime minister spoke have gone. Scotland wishes to control her own destiny, control her own finances, and stop being used as a sideshow and a dumping ground by Westminster. Why not moor Trident submarines in the Pool of London? Scotland wishes rid of London's mess; the idea that if it is not in London, then it does not happen has gone.

Ian Young





Scottish people have more spent on them per capita than the English, and that gap will increase with devo-max. Their MPs vote on English-only matters at Westminster. It is only fair that the English be given an opportunity for a referendum on the Scottish issue. It could be that they don't want the Scots.

Roy Burns





I have managed to catch a few of the Springwatch and Autumnwatch programmes on BBC2 over the years, and it was always fascinating to see the presenters' interaction with badgers. Now we may see the badgers featured on Springwatch being shot on Autumnwatch, as the first of the two trial badger culls commences. Most of the newly elected MPs into this Parliament – in the main, career Conservatives or Tory-supporting Liberal Democrats – will support a badger cull when presented with selective evidence. It will be a sad day for our wildlife when culling, hunting and shooting are expanded and the countryside treated like a fairground attraction – stack them up and butcher them down!

Graham Forsyth

Chard, Somerset




It is shocking to read that in the 21st century many mothers fear for their daughters in childbirth ("Thousands of women could be at risk from 'silent Thalidomide'", 22 January). The most important job in the world – producing the next generation – is still a dangerous undertaking for too many women globally, whether imperilled by impoverished healthcare or deliberate negligence. There is a critical shortage of midwives in some parts of Britain too. Honouring Gandhi's wisdom that a society is measured by how it treats its weakest members, among those we should include its babies.

Katie Ensor





Sacrebleu et gorblimey. Have General de Gaulle's remains moved from Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises in the Haute-Marne? I know De Gaulle is revered by anyone in France, but he has, apparently, moved himself posthumously to Versailles in Ile-de-France. Am I wrong? Or was it Jonathan Meades in Meades on France, as reviewed by Matthew Bell (22 January)? I only ask for information ...

Jack Hughes

Brixham, Devon



Have your say

Letters to the Editor, Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF; email: (with address; no attachments, please); fax: 020-7005 2627; online: independent /dayinapage/2012/January/29

React Now

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

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Newspaper stands have been criticised by the Child Eyes campaign  

There were more reader complaints this year – but, then again, there were more readers

Will Gore

People drink to shut out pain and stress. Arresting them won’t help

Deborah Coughlin
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?