IoS letters, emails and online postings (5 July 2015)


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The Independent Online

In response to Paul Vallely’s well observed article I would say Britain’s altruism doesn’t just seem to be missing; it is missing (28 June). Shamefully so. This country, mostly guided by the Conservatives, seems hell-bent on destroying all the “values” I was brought up to believe we are supposed to have. In our own political world today you don’t actually have to do, you just have to “be seen” to do; and anything – nay everything, has become a matter of spin, not substance.

I wish I had a time machine, I’d go back and tell my grandad, and my great grandad, to run for the hills before they fought for this country, because the people we are fast becoming means they fought for nothing and died for nothing.

Congratulations Blair, well done Cameron. You and your ilk have ensured that we can’t even go on holiday any more without getting shot on a beach. Never mind being blown up on a bus going to work in central London.

Alistair Ordeman

Northolt, Middlesex

Hamish McRae on Grexit calls for investment not austerity (“Greece needs another economic miracle”, 28 June). He lists Greece’s assets but leaves out “sun”. Having lived in Corfu for 50 years and seen this Greek tragedy unfold, starting with the Colonels, I tell my German friends, after driving to Greece past German wind-turbines and solar-farms: “The money the Greeks owe you would be paid back over 50 years in cheap energy, if Seimens built a solar-farm the length of Egnatia Way from Igoumenitsa on the Ionian Sea to Alexandroupoli on the Turkish border, the same distance as between London and Edinburgh.” A cable would have to be laid up the Adriatic Sea.

John Waller

Twickenham, London

We read the interview with Joseph Fiennes regarding his forthcoming film about Eric Liddell with interest (“Man on a mission amid the horrors of war”, 28 June). The interview mentioned that Eric was educated in Scotland – in fact, he left Eltham College at the age of 18 to go there for his university education.

Eltham College is an independent school in south-east London, and was originally the School for the Sons of Missionaries. It was here that Eric Liddell was sent by his missionary parents at the tender age of six, while they remained in China.

Our links with the Liddell family remain strong – his daughter Patricia, now residing in Canada, last visited the school in 2012 – and we continue to respond to requests from Chinese visitors about Eric and his 12 years at this school.

Guy R Sanderson

Headmaster, Eltham College, London SE9

What makes a bestseller is something that has puzzled authors and songwriters throughout the ages  (“ ‘Grey’ is just the colour of money”, 28 June). Sometimes we are lucky in that popularity and quality do clash, as happened with the Beatles in the 1960s and Oasis in the 1990s.

Yet success can lead to bandwagons as happened with the latter group’s Be Here Now in 1997, still holder of the record for the biggest first-week sale of an album. For some it was the only Oasis disc they bought. Posterity however lauds their previous two albums, as it does the original version of Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” rather than the revised Princess Diana tribute. Incidentally, I think D J Taylor underestimates the cultural impact of The Sound of Music. It remains tremendously popular today, unlike other Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, perhaps because of its anti-Nazi message.

Tim Mickleburgh

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Austen Lynch is mistaken about skydancers (Letters, June 28). The proposed management of hen harrier broods would not interfere with the male and female courtship display known as skydancing.

By their very nature, courtship displays would be fundamental to producing broods to manage! We would, in fact, have the best of all worlds, spectacular displays, more successful broods – and additional hen harrier nests.

Amanda Anderson


The Moorland Association

Lancaster, Lancashire