IoS letters, emails & online postings (16 September 2012)


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The Independent Online

There are many types of "success" and the infinite mobility provided by airports is not always the desirable kind ("Second Heathrow wins support of UK business", 9 September).

Yes, there are companies that rely on airports to shuttle their executives in and out or to freight in exotic produce. Yes, airports generate large volumes of revenue and, yes, the public loves the possibilities offered by air travel. But are global corporations really the best model? Do we want companies that juggle their production locations, play off countries, governments and employees against each other and cherry-pick the best tax and employment conditions in order to maximise profit?

Why shouldn't a little less "interconnectivity" (fewer planes, trucks and ships) be seen as desirable? A progressive "squeezing" of transportation (including airports) through such measures as regulation (eg reduction in truck size and speed) and taxation (eg a high tax on aviation fuel) could be used to allow local business, including agriculture and manufacturing, to flourish. That might not produce the same type of "wealth" envisaged by the business moguls meeting to push for Heathrow expansion, but in many ways a more wholesome form of local commerce is infinitely more desirable than "turbo capitalism".

Alan Mitcham

Cologne, Germany

Most road journeys are made with only the driver, and for road transport one has to add the carbon footprint of, in this instance, the motorways, that is, construction, maintenance, lighting and policing (Letters, 9 September). Aircraft don't need roads. In terms of CO2 emissions, air is at least equal to road transport and in many cases better, especially over longer distances. Then there are the more than 2,500 fatalities alone per year in the UK as a result of road accidents; the number of UK aviation fatalities is in single figures. So why do people continue to misrepresent the effect of aviation on greenhouse gas emissions when it's clearly cleaner Ω and much safer Ω than road transport?

Terence Hollingworth

Blagnac, France

How few disabled people we see when we visit the local pool or walk in the park. Is this because our disabled colleagues don't have the confidence of joining in with the rest of us for fear of unkind looks, unkind words or even downright rejection? The best legacy of the Paralympics would be to engender an acceptance that we are all equal. The rest – wider participation in sport, budding athletic champions, etc – would naturally follow on. Otherwise, all this talk of "legacy" will just be pie in the sky.

Jimmy Bates

Ledbury, Herefordshire

Fifty years ago I gave birth to a daughter with a rare genetic disease. Other parents, friends and the medical profession were loath to give me any emotional support. Because her feet were dseformed, a dancing school would not accept her; she learnt to swim, but others did not like her appearance. The riding stables were happy to have her, but doctors were against this. How things have changed, 50 years on; the Paralympics has definitely helped.

Joan Johnson

Hove, East Sussex

Since the Games Makers were the surprise stars of the Paralympics and Olympics, can they not be a permanent feature of British tourism? Discreetly sponsored by companies, they could continue to direct puzzled visitors and give them a warmer welcome than the shrug of many transport staff.

Charlotte Hodge

London N11

The confusion over the Bank of England setting interest rates in an independent Scotland must be cleared up. The UK Government sets the inflation target for the Bank of England to meet. Is the SNP seriously saying it will have to accept the inflation target, interest rates and quantitative easing set by a foreign government's central bank?

Dave Cochrane


So Irishwoman Orla Kiely is now a British designer (The New Review, 9 September). Has anyone told her?

Peter Coghlan

Broadstone, Dorset

With wider acceptance that we are all equal, wider participation in sport by disabled people will follow. Otherwise, talk of 'legacy' is pie in the sky

Jimmy Bates

Ledbury, Herefordshire

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