<i>IoS</i> letters, emails & texts, 22 June 2008

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The Independent Online

Three major events took place recently. Parliament voted for 42 days internment, David Davis resigned in protest against the creeping database state, and Ireland rejected the Lisbon treaty. The media managed to get all three events wrong.

Who supports 42 days' internment? Former Sun editors, perhaps, who think internment will never happen to them, but for the media to accept this Government's claim that a majority supports locking up innocent people for fear of the Big Bad Terrorist is patronising in the extreme.

David Davis resigned on a point of principle. The chattering columnists' inability to understand this is a reflection on them, not him. He opposes ID cards, DNA records of the innocent and the New Labour Orwellian nightmare state. So do we. You do not have to be a Tory to support him and his stand.

New Labour and the Liberal Democrats ratted on their promise to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Their hypocrisy in claiming to take note of the Irish rejection but in fact to ignore it has been noted and will rebound on them the next time we get a say in our MPs' future.

The media need to understand the people. We know that locking up innocent people is not being tough on terror; it is a shabby betrayal of our liberty in a vain, expensive attempt to bolster the ego of Gordon Brown.

Whatever our views on the European Union, we want our promised referendum and in the meantime demand that our government respect the Irish decision.

When will the media know-alls stop chattering amongst themselves and listen to us?

Barry Tighe

London E11

Alan Watkins quoted Talleyrand's maxim "Now what can he have meant by that? ("Poor Mr Davis – unloved and driven by pique", 15 June). Another from the sage is "Not too much zeal". Applied to David Davis, it means "Look before you leap".

WR Haines

Shrewsbury, shropshire

While waving no flags for the egregious Kelvin MacKenzie, I think that he may have been talking about locking up terrorist suspects; not terrorists ("The Davis Debacle", 15s June). Cliff Hanley

via email

Re your suggestion that "Today's economic climate... helps to make the case for green taxes" ("Save money, save the planet", 15 June), there may well be a place for some green taxes but to bring down emissions of CO2, Personal Carbon Allowances are better. For people on low incomes, green taxes can be a big thump in the pocket, whereas PCAs can produce a cash benefit. Also, PCAs administered by an independent body can free politicians from the temptation to do what is expedient (giving in to pressures to keep green taxes low) instead of doing what is right.

Dr Gerry Wolff

Menai bridge, Anglesey

James Fergusson says the Taliban are not necessarily as bad as they are painted ("Sooner or later, we have to talk to the Taliban", 15 June). He hints that their opposition to girls' education is based on a mistake of fact rather than an ideological conviction. Fergusson misses the point that the Taliban regard women's rights as pornographic – that's why they burned schools where girls were exercising their rights to education. These actions were just as bad as they were painted.

There can be no compromise on the principles of human rights for women. It is inconceivable that the Taliban would allow women to exercise those rights. What, therefore, is the point of talking to them?

Michael Dempsey

London E1

I read with great interest your article on the ladies of Ed Da'ein singing for peace in Darfur ("Can songs of peace bring harmony to strife-torn Darfur?", 15 June).

My wife, herself from the "Umm Ahmed" clan of the Rezigat tribe, is a "Wise Sister", well known to the very ladies you have photographed.

As a British guy who, during the 1980s, like many others posted to Sudan, proudly served the Sudanese ministry of education as a teacher of English, I have struggled to find the answer to bringing lasting peace.

In my eight years in Ed Da'ein, I shared in the lives of thousands of Darfurians, and came, through an Islamic marriage, to be one of the Rezigat. Now my family and I are caught in a war not of our making and are regularly asked to choose sides or be labelled enemy sympathisers; our reluctance often coming with its own, sometimes terrifying, consequences. Your beautiful picture of the Hakima of Ed Da'ein identifies the true ambassadors of peace for the people of Darfur; the Wise Sisters from across the tribes of this troubled region.

Hajj Annour

via email

I am the adopting father in England of two babies. Janet Street-Porter's article ("Miliband has adopted two boys – and a new master plan", 15 June) either shows that she has misunderstood or more likely David Miliband is conflating two ideas to seem to make a logical argument. Regrettably this is the trademark of politicians these days.

Prospective parents do have to go through a long process to be approved. I am sure this is wise and wonder that the US system is not so careful. This does not mean that the adoptees wait while this process takes place and "are at least a year-old before they are adopted". Our own children were four weeks and 11 weeks old when they came to us.

Were he right, surely the answer is for his Government to change the process. In fact we see a politician seeking by half-truth or worse to justify an unnecessary decision. He might have a better argument if he were to indicate that not enough babies are put up for adoption or too many abortions take place.

Ian Reynolds

Billericay, Essex

I refer to the map illustrating the report "Tempers fray as Shell strike begins to bite", 15 June.

It must have come as a shock to the citizens of Carnforth to be told that the expanse of water they can see from their bedrooms is the North Sea, not Morecambe Bay, and to me and my neighbours to find that our trips to Tesco involved a cross-country expedition.

Howard Bicknell

via email