IoS letters, emails & online postings (1 March 2015)


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The Independent Online

In the overwhelming majority of alleged abductions and kidnappings of children by strangers there is no evidence that the event ever happened outside the child’s own imagination (“Child kidnap and abduction increase...”, 22 February). But the police fear that if they exercise common sense and are wrong they’ll be crucified, so these cases are often left in the statistics.

If the incidents were real, spikes in children claiming to be abducted wouldn’t closely follow campaigns telling children that they have to fear strangers. A responsible and accurate way of reporting these sort of incidents would not simply state a single number for both actual and alleged, but would split them into the two categories so that parents could see how few actually occur.

Gordon Drennan

Burton, Australia

My mind fails to comprehend the audacity that MPs have when it comes to defending their right to a second job. As MPs, they work for us. As an employed person myself, I am not allowed to work for any other company than the one I am contracted to – the same should go for Members of Parliament. All MPs should be banned from any other paid employment. The only second job they should do is voluntary work, during their long breaks, within their constituency. Much like the show Undercover Boss, they should be working within the lowest paid jobs, seeing first hand the people and struggles that go on. Maybe then they would listen to and understand us.

Damien Biggs

East of England Regional Secretary  Socialist Labour Party

I was born in Pembrokeshire and worked in both London and New York, returning to Wales in 1967, where I have lived since “Life as we know it” (The New Review, 22 February). I have never heard anyone say “Look you here”. I would be grateful if you would refrain from publishing any more of this stereotypical nonsense; and for those who have never added leeks to their cooking, you are missing out on something truly wonderful!

Jennifer Richards

Tenby, Pembrokeshire

The boarded-up shops in the photo used in “Has the tide turned in Grimsby?” (22 February) shut because a previous council closed the right turn into this street (Freeman Street) several years ago, cutting off footfall.

If the photographer had looked down the street, he would have seen a fabulous indoor market and busy shops. If he had walked 15 minutes into the town centre, he would see our regionally awarded Freshney Place shopping centre, our beautiful Minster, and the site of one of five hotels being built or renovated in the area. This is because our docks thrive with the maintenance industry and boats that sail to the North Sea wind farms. We are also the biggest fish processing centre in Britain, with all the major companies employing thousands.

Grimsby looks forward, not backwards. Your reporter is responsible for lazy journalism where we are made to fit into a story that’s incorrect and old hat!

Steve Elliott

via email

“What’s the use of peddling perfection?” asks Ellen E Jones  (22 February). Well, question not just perfection but ersatz youth. By the looks of all the ancient photos of your columnists, which have been displayed for years, there’s a reluctance, male and female, to face the truth of the years. Maybe a bit of honesty or change before the same photos are used in the obituaries?

Jackie Hughes

Brixham, Devon

It was more in sorrow than in anger that I wrote in the answer to the 13-down clue of the Concise Crossword (Eimi, no 1305). The clue was “Peak of noise”; the answer was “crescendo”. A crescendo is not a “peak of noise” but a gradual increase of a sound or noise. A peak of noise or of a musical sound is more properly described as a climax.

Diane Collinson

Ringmore, Devon