IoS letters, emails & online postings (19 October 2014)

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I'm not sure in what sense Jamie Merrill finds it "refreshing" that Natalie Bennett is open about describing herself as a "watermelon" (Interview, 12 October). Is it refreshing that the party is becoming red rather than green, or refreshing that what looks like duplicity is being revealed?

This is one side of a trend in environmental politics which should alarm us all. That is the false association of environmentalist concerns with one or other of the left-right wings of traditional politics. While the Green Party continues to raise the issue of climate change, there is an increasing push to blame capitalism and see the solution as socialism. This plays into the hands of the climate-change deniers who want people to believe that climate change is a myth dreamed up as part of a socialist plot.

At the same time, the Green Party has abandoned any pretence of tackling population growth – a primary green concern – and its connection with ecological sustainability, apparently because to do so would require a more nuanced approach to migration than shouting "racism", thus a central green concern is treated as if it was a preserve of the right. The world's environmental problems belong at the centre of politics. Their answers lie in realism and practicalities, not in the outdated dogma of left/right politics.

Christopher Padley


Patrick Cockburn misses the context of President Obama's "plan" ("US strategy in tatters as Isis marches on," 12 October). Obama has no intention of destroying Islamic State (Isis). Rather, he is engaging in deception to prevent a pincer's pinch on election day (4 November) that will cause his Democratic Party to lose its Senate majority. One arm of the pincer is the Americans who know that General David Petraeus masterminded victory in Iraq, and President Obama threw it away by not leaving soldiers there to guarantee the peace. He thinks bombing Isis will placate these voters.

The other arm is a large segment of the Democratic Party that rejects US intervention anywhere. President Obama does not want to turn off these voters by engaging in serious military action in Iraq and Syria.

Scott Varland

Purley, Greater London

How can you compare food prices based on the cost per calorie (Ellen E Jones, 12 October)? Healthy food by its nature is generally lower in calories then junk food, so 1,000 calories' worth of broccoli is going to cost more than 1,000 calories of junk food. I don't understand how this draws the conclusion healthy food is rising in price faster than junk food.

Alison Wood


Years ago, along with other proud parents, I was invited to hear our children play their musical offerings for their GCSEs. Sitting through Mozart, Beethoven and so on applauded to the roof, my daughter's rendering of the Twin Peaks theme was met with the same reaction the show had, bewilderment. Twin Peaks and my daughter were obviously ahead of their time. A remake (Simmy Richman, 12 October) will never recapture the magic!

Mary Hodgson


I am surprised that Bill Granger's autumn-fruit recipes feature fruits already out of season. Blueberries and plums are long finished, even autumn raspberries have come to the end of their season. Blackberries in October are known as the "fruit of the Devil" and elderberries by now are only fit for the birds.

Jo Burrill

Hexham, Northumberland

It was not Oscar Wilde's testimony "against the Marquess of Queensberry" that consisted of "absurd and silly perjuries", as you incorrectly quoted me as saying (Letters, 12 October). The "absurd and silly perjuries" Wilde subsequently referred to were the lies he told when he denied under cross-examination that he had had sexual relations with various youths who had given statements to Queensberry's solicitors.

Antony Edmonds

Waterlooville, Hampshire