IoS letters, emails and online postings (30 August 2015)


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The Independent Online

We are all different, both in our thinking and our appearances. Forensic science is based on the unique patterns of our physical and biochemical make-up, so why are there assumptions that we will behave in predictable and similar ways because of the way we look (“Police will get lessons to tackle unconscious bias”, 23 August)?

I would hope that police officers especially are selected because they can think about how humans differ, and how we manage those differences to maintain a workable and tolerant society. I would hope we all focus on our differences rather than lazily assuming we can be grouped into predictable herd behaviour.

Peter Cole

Kirkwhelpington, Northumberland

In his latest anti-Miliband rant (“They think it’s all over ... thanks a bunch, Ed”, 23 August), John Rentoul asserts that what he calls the Corbyn disaster is all Ed’s fault. Really?

Might I suggest that Jeremy Corbyn is on the Labour leadership ballot paper because a group of patronising MPs nominated him, albeit with no intention of voting for him.

Alan Jinkinson

London SE26

I’m not sure that John Rentoul is an expert on whether Trotskyists – however defined – would challenge the Labour leadership election result in court. I am sure that the vast number of them, along with most of the rest of the left, would regard reference to the law on such matters to be both wrong in principle and likely to lead to a costly but uncertain outcome. The labour movement needs to keep its own high standards of justice and democracy, which are not always the same thing as the law.

Keith Flett

London N17

How on earth has he got away with it? Jeremy Corbyn is a fascist appeaser posing as a socialist.

He believes that talking to Iran will bring Syria’s agony to an end, but what could he offer them when they already occupy the country? His allies in Stop the War are selective about the aspects of war that upset them. It isn’t the barrel bombs, napalm or chemical massacres they object to: it is the prospect of a  no-fly zone, which could save lives.

Ukraine has been invaded. Mr Corbyn just wants us to forget the security guarantees that were made when it gave up its nuclear arsenal. Good luck with non-proliferation!

Brian Devlin

Galashiels, Scottish Borders

As an unpaid “dignity champion” for a care home, I can assure Joan Smith (“What they don’t tell you about dementia”, 23 August) that we not only have a regular exercise session, but take people out on trips. Those unable to walk are pushed in chairs, while others use sticks or zimmers if necessary. Individuals are encouraged to walk under their own steam if they can.

Tim Mickleburgh

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is wrong to say Russia and Iran are the two most influential “players” in Syria. The US is by far the most powerful country involved. Mr Hammond is right, though, that Russia and Iran need to be fully involved in negotiations. The US/UK insistence that Bashar al-Assad step down makes serious talks with the Syrian government impossible. Many Syrians support him, and many more would accept his remaining in power if that was the price of peace. Almost certainly, if they had the will, the US and Russia could enforce a ceasefire between Assad and moderate rebels. Then destroying Islamic State in Syria could begin in earnest.

Brendan O’Brien

London N21

What a sad lot we see being sent to the Lords, in the main political awards to political nobodies. Interesting to note, however, that the social order is kept in place with the gardener and catering assistants of 10 Downing Street at the bottom of the list with British Empire Medals while the moat-owning Douglas Hogg gets his peerage.

Jeff Smith

Beeston, Bedfordshire