<i>IoS</i> letters, emails & online postings (27 December 2009)

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Nina Lakhani's shocking report ("UK fails to halt female mutilation", 20 December) was one of several articles recently about attitudes and behaviour towards women in our society and the lack of any prosecutions or adequate education to address this.

Violent acts and hatred of women are being tolerated on a grand scale. If laws exist to protect women, why are these not being implemented? In the case of both sharia killings and genital mutilation, it should be made clear to all immigrants that such behaviour will not be tolerated and will result in the whole family being returned to their country of origin, regardless of generation. Those choosing to live in this country must decide if they are willing to forgo these practices as a condition of residence.

Mora McIntyre

Hove, East Sussex

I recently saw 2012, a typically effect-laden Hollywood film about the "always good American". However, now that the betrayal that is the Copenhagen Accord is official, the exaggerations of 2012 don't seem so far flung ("Copenhagen: A historic failure that will live in infamy", 20 December). Please tell me how I can look my nieces and nephews in their innocent faces, and not dread the death sentence bequeathed upon their generation by self-serving politicians, lobbyists and fundamentalists alike? I'm ashamed to my very core. This is truly heartbreaking.

Wasim Yunus

via email

Gareth Thomas is to be praised for the public declaration of his homosexuality, but Thomas and the referee Nigel Owens are far from being the first high-profile members of the rugby community to take this brave step ("Gay rugby star praised for bravery in coming out", 20 December). In 1995, Ian Roberts, the outstanding Australian international forward came out. Roberts, regarded as one of the toughest players ever to participate in the toughest of all rugby encounters, the State of Origin series, was awarded the prestigious Australian Sports Medal in 2000 for his contribution to Rugby League.

Howard Davenport

Harrold, Bedfordshire

Cheques are not only used by "grannies" sending gifts to "grandkids" ("After 350 years, bankers... get something right", 20 December). The loss of the cheque would make impossible the sending of unsolicited gifts of money, whether to family members or others, notably charities. Other forms of payment Julian Knight mentions all demand pre-arrangement between giver and receiver. Postal orders depend on sender and receiver both living close to one of the few post offices still in business. If other methods exist or are planned, why aren't the banks busy assuring us that this is the case, giving us a few examples, asking for our ideas?

Chris Sladen

Woodstock , Oxfordshire

It would be heartening to believe our politicians might read and then act on the new book Globalisation and Varieties of Capitalism on the disastrous state of the British economy so warmly welcomed by Margareta Pagano ("Thatcher got it wrong. Blair and Brown did too. Can Cameron get it right?", 20 December). But there's little evidence that our MPs are economically literate, even less do much fresh thinking once they become ministers. And with Lord Mandelson's pre-Christmas greeting about university cuts, we can't be too cheery about our youngsters learning much about turning round this sceptred isle either. Just how bad do things have to become before the free-market idiocies of Thatcher and her New Labour followers are junked?

Harry Walton

via email

Lord Mandelson's proposal to condense into two years the three years of a degree course may benefit those who cannot afford to go to university now. Many undergraduates have only a very few contact hours as it is, and, even allowing for private study, fill out their three years with paid work that funds their lengthy course. I propose, first, a year out after school spent growing up, possibly doing community work or simply earning. This could be followed by a two-year intensive degree course that prepares undergraduates for the long hours of full-time employment.

Phoebe Woods


In Italy it is compulsory to carry snow chains in the car from November to April. Why cannot such a simple measure be enforced here?

Silvia Massi

via email

You asked for nominations for the People of the Year. Alistair Brownlee is one of the most talented sportsmen Britain has had. He won the triathlon world championship, a sport that has the highest growth in Britain. He is only 21 years old and, after winning the world championship race in London, went on to win the overall world championship in Australia.

Stephen Thomas


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Letters to the Editor, Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF; email: sundayletters@independent.co.uk (with address, no attachments, please); fax: 020 7005 2627; online: independent.co.uk/dayinapage/2009/December/27