IoS letters, emails & online postings (17 August 2014)


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Your portrayal of Middlesbrough ("'Worst town citizens' defy bulldozers", 10 August), is misleading and unfair. This is not the "next Detroit" or "Britain's worst town", the latter label given by a Channel 4 "entertainment" show which Ofcom found to contain a series of "unfortunate and avoidable" errors, and which the broadcaster undertook never to air again. Despite the recession and savage public sector cuts, Middlesbrough is benefiting from more than £500m of inward investment and looking to the future with confidence.

Acklam Hall is an important part of the town's history and heritage, and we have worked with the developer, the local community and English Heritage over a considerable period to secure its future. The peddling of inaccurate stereotypes does readers and the people of Middlesbrough a grave disservice.

Charlie Rooney

Executive member for regeneration

Middlesbrough Council

It is hard to second guess what role gender/class/religion/ambition/indignation played in Baroness Warsi's resignation.

However, what has been overlooked is the possibility that her departure has made the Conservative part of the coalition likely to be more inclusive, not less. The government is no longer encumbered by her appeasement to fundamentalists and religious conservatives in her role as faith minister.

By her no longer having a platform within government to defend all the exemptions to equality, marriage, employment and anti-discrimination legislation given to faith groups to indulge their homophobia we may see progressive and inclusive faith groups, committed to equality for all, no longer side-lined from policy-making.

Rev Richard Kirker

London E1

Thank heaven for rational, politically aware 18-year-olds! ("Nigel Farage as my MP? Let's hope not", 10 August). For 45 years I have lived in rural Cumbria, which is idyllic. There are few immigrants, and nearly all the faces in the street, shops, work places, and so on are white. Most Cumbrians have little knowledge of life beyond their county. Yet support for Ukip is strong, mainly because of its stance on immigration.

When Farage visited Carlisle last year, he was greeted with almost hysterical enthusiasm. An officious woman told the reporter with a sort of smug relish that "foreigners should be got rid of".

Alison Thompson

Thursby, Cumbria

Vivek Chaudhary ("Kabaddi mad", Sport, 10 August) forgot to mention that when players play Kabaddi the raider must first inhale air and then repeatedly chant "Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi..." with his exhaling breath while trying to tag one or more players of the opposition and return to his own half without inhaling again. The chanting is supposed to ensure that the referee can tell that the raider is not inhaling. It is the chanting that allowed the Indian mystics to combine yoga with exercise to create this sport.

Kartar Uppal

West Bromwich, West Midlands

I am pleased to see Christopher Fowler champion Mrs Henry Wood (Invisible Ink, 10 August), but would be happier if he had summarised the plot of her best known novel more accurately. The disgraced Lady Isobel Vane returns in disguise to East Lynne, to become governess to her own children in the household of her impeccably moral former husband Archibald Carlyle and his second wife. The child she bore to the "bounder" is already dead, and Lady Isobel herself has been reported as dead in a rail accident. As for "not much real illumination", surely the novel does provide a clear picture of the emotional, social and financial cost to a Victorian woman who chose to leave home and family for another relationship? Rose Minett-Sandham

Hull, East Yorkshire

Ellen E Jones described spiders as "insect invaders" ("This story's got legs", 10 August). Arachnids are in fact arthropods.

Simon Warmingham

Pencoed, Glamorgan