IoS letters, emails & online postings (5 October 2014)

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The Independent Online

Carrie Bale doesn't need a "financial makeover" ("Creative thinking needed for an intern to be free of her debts", Money, 28 September). Your panel missed the only cure she needs: an internship that pays at least a London living wage.

I have undertaken two unpaid internships over the past year, which I was only able to do knowing I have savings and a level of financial support from my mum. I am the privileged graduate who can just about "afford" to lose money for three months.

This culture of unpaid and underpaid internships needs to end: it is locking graduates out of career opportunities they cannot afford. Until Carrie and other young people have a job that pays more than food, rent and travel, she can't save or start a pension. I doubt she needed your panel's advice to work that out.

Joey Knock

Southend, Essex

The various conflicts which have erupted in recent times represent such a morass of territorial, political, ethnic and religious struggles that it is hard to see where we could or should intervene, with what objectives, and hope of success.

One consistent thread that might guide us is the expression of human compassion, which could offer a path to useful engagement as an alternative morality to the horrors unfolding before our eyes. What most exercises the public is the sense of helplessness as we watch the massacres and displacement of people who want nothing more than a peaceful way of life.

Now, rather than trying to pick sides and worrying about where arms might end up, while whole communities are under attack, we should be able to offer a robust source of humanitarian protection followed by sustained financial aid as suggested by David Miliband.

This would help countries flooded by refugees to be willing to accept more, and leaving them free to repel attacks on their own borders. This makes more economic sense than using expensive British air power to dispatch a few trucks.

AMS Hutton-Wilson

Evercreech, Somerset

Aside from those who just like wars – the papers of Rupert Murdoch for example – most agree that UK participation in a third Iraq war is an uncertain matter. Air strikes may impede Islamic State but a political solution is required. The strong impression is that, as in 2003, this is very much secondary to military action. The real danger is that Britain returns to the kind of imperial military state it was in the late 19th century, always at war.

Keith Flett

London N17

It is great news that the next Conservative government will save £3bn by hitting poor workers. They can use the cash to pay for the missiles they are firing at poor Iraqis.

Barry Tighe

Woodford Green, London

I suspect rights of inheritance for duchesses are not high on people's priorities right now (Jane Merrick, 28 September). With the surge of interest in politics from Scotland's grassroots we could capitalise on that – a written constiution, an elected second chamber and an elected head of state – real reform and change.

Jenny Bushell

London SW19

Despite being more of a Speysider, Karen Attwood's article on Irish whiskey ("Sláinte!", 28 September) neglected to mention the oldest licensed whiskey in Ireland and the UK. Licensed in 1608, Bushmills has been happily distilling away on the North Antrim coast for some time. I suggest a corrective trip.

Neil Hall

via email

Looking at "Back to the future, Paris style" (28 September) my eyes went straight to the model in "space age" clothes. Something different? I'd say, but I can't think of anyone I know who would be seen dead in it! Why designers produce clothes that no one will wear is beyond me.

Emilie Lamplough

Trowbridge, Wiltshire

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