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

 

Share

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

Edinburgh

 

***

 

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

Chester

 

***

 

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

Manchester

 

***

 

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: sundayletters@independent.co.uk (with address; no attachments, please); fax: 020-7005 2627; online: independent .co.uk /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: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Yarl's Wood in Bedfordshire, Britain’s largest Immigration Removal Centre  

Thanks to Channel 4 we now see just how appallingly Yarl’s Wood detention centre shames Britain

Yasmin Alibhai Brown
 

If I were Prime Minister: I’d ensure ministers took mental health in the armed forces as seriously as they take physical wounds

James Jones
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003