Carol Sarler has misunderstood "dressing up" ("The dressing-up box is a pretty safe place for little girls to play", 21 February). Little girls play dressing up in their mother's clothes. The shoes are too big, the dresses too long, the lipstick misapplied. It's a game that is played at home. Great fun. The problem now is that the clothes and shoes little girls are wearing are made for them – small size heeled shoes, tiny bras, satin panties and sexy logos on little T-shirts. They're little replicas of their mothers' things, and worn when they go out. A big difference.
Children copy adult behaviour, activity and culture from public domains, such as their local community or family. Since when was raunchy underwear displayed in public domains frequented by children? The dressing-up box of sexy underwear is for the eyes of adults, not children.
The brutalisation of boys is just as serious an issue, though, and should also be tackled by retailers who stock toy guns, etc.
Tearfund's Carbon Fast for Lent is not just some headline-grabbing stunt dreamed up by a trendy vicar (Janet Street-Porter, 21 February). Climate change will hit the poorest communities hardest. Areas such as the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa are already experiencing increased bouts of extreme weather conditions which threaten to devastate crops and ruin harvests and livelihoods, bringing more famine. According to the World Health Organisation, an extra five million serious illnesses and 150,000 deaths globally are already caused by climate change. It is the wealthy West, with our heavy reliance on motor transport and throwaway consumer lifestyles, that is most to blame for this, yet it is the poorest of the poor who suffer. The Bible's message is clear – there is a high price to be paid for greed, injustice and moral bankruptcy.
Alan Watkins is right that Harriet Harman will become leader, not acting leader, of her party if Labour is in opposition when Gordon Brown goes (21 February). But when Labour is in government its new leader is chosen by the Shadow Cabinet, in consultation with the party's National Executive Committee. That person serves only until there is a ballot of the whole party. It is unlikely that Ms Harman would be chosen as leader at either stage, given that for more than 100 years there has never been a prime minister who did not previously serve as chancellor, foreign secretary, home secretary or leader of the opposition.
So people are not bothered about class? Janet Street-Porter should tell that to the pensioners who cannot afford to heat their homes and to the many children living in poverty. Our inequality due to class is the basis for our troubled society.
Matthew Bell claims that our and Guardian Media Group's sale of the Manchester Evening News is "against the wishes of the Scott Trust's founding fathers" (Diary, 21 February), on the basis that the original trust deeds make reference to the MEN as well as The Guardian.
The Scott Trust was created by John Scott in 1936 to secure the legacy of his father, the great Manchester Guardian editor, C P Scott. That legacy was the independent, liberal journalism of his newspaper. The Scott family bought the MEN so that its profits would support The Guardian. If the early trust provided any protection to the MEN, it was so that it could continue to be that financial safety net. Sadly, the MEN can no longer perform that function under our ownership, and will have a greater chance of success within a bigger regional group.
Chair, Scott Trust
A Future Fair for All? Which one would that be, then – Bartholomew, Vanity or Goose?
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