IoS letters, emails & online postings (31 August 2014)

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The Independent Online

More than 100 years ago one of Scotland's proudest and most principled sons, Keir Hardie, became the Member of Parliament for Merthyr Tydfil, a constituency at the heart of the South Wales valleys' mining community. He was not Welsh and did not even speak Welsh but he did share a socialist dream that did not stop or begin at national borders.

He went on to change the face of British politics but he also taught us that there is more that unites us than what can ever divide us... that unity is strength and that we are stronger together and weaker apart.

As a proud Brit and Welshman I urge Scotland to keep sending more Scottish working class heroes, like Hardie, to our British Parliament.

Rob Curtis

Barry, South Wales

A question which seems neither to have been asked of nor answered by Alistair Darling and which may influence voting intentions: If Scotland votes for independence, would you stand for the new Scottish parliament or would you find an English, Welsh or Northern Irish seat?

John Hein


In every war in which Britain has participated since 1707, Scotland has made a military contribution greatly above her due and fair share. (DJ Taylor, 24 August). This fact is never mentioned by war historians.

In the First World War at the Battle of Arras 38 Scottish battalions went over the parapets, a larger number then engaged than in the whole British Army at Waterloo. At the Third Battle of Ypres three Scottish Divisions were put in several times and never failed to perform the tasks required of them. In 1917, a South African artilleryman remarked, "We always knew there was something big on when we found the Jocks near us."

Donald J MacLeod


I have never understood why politicians succumb to requests, such as having cold water poured over them, that make them look ridiculous or, as in sleeping in a box on the South Bank for one night, is patronising to those in need ("Congratulation, Mr President", 24 August).

In a bygone age, when I worked at Liberal Party HQ, I was occasionally asked to get the then party leader, Jo Grimond, to undertake some such "photo opportunity" and he would always refuse, saying, "Politics is too important for gimmicks." It still is!

Michael Meadowcroft


May I suggest an answer to Stan Labovitch's excellent question (Letters, 3 August)? I believe people only protest when they believe they may have some chance of success. Israel is a democracy founded by people from Europe with European values; we expect more from them than from Isis, who are antidemocratic; we believe Israel fundamentally shares our values; that being so, we hope that Israel will listen; that hope seems vain with Isis.

John Dakin

Dunstable, Bedfordshire

Michael Calvin asks, "Will it happen?" in relation to stopping the abuse of people from minorities by authority figures in football (Sport, 24 August). He answers his question with: "Not while intolerable attitudes are tolerated, and silence screams a warning to anyone who yearns for common decency." Michael, why not have the courage, together with the powers that be at your paper, to name the offenders you refer to? You are as guilty as all the rest.

Steve Brewer

Leeds, West Yorkshire

We are really deep into the silly season when a headline reports that a Lib Dem living in Eastbourne helped Lib Dem candidates standing in, err, Eastbourne ("Lord Rennard campaigned while under investigation", 24 August). If Chris Rennard had visited my patch in May I would have had pleasure in giving him a bundle of leaflets and I would have left him "alone" on the streets with a volunteer to show him where the letterboxes are in this old town.

Keith Watts

Whitchurch, Hampshire