LETTER: Saddened by a godless lottery

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From The Rev Roger W. Reed

Sir: I am deeply ashamed to be a citizen of a country that has introduced a National Lottery. I am deeply saddened that the cynicism of the Government and Camelot has been justified by the response of the population in the first few months.

This means of exploiting the gullible and the weak, the naive and the desperate, would be unpleasant enough if it were the activity of a private club. But this is Government-inspired deceit, a fraudulent form of taxation, mostly of the poor. And because we elected and live under this Government and its policies, we all share guilt for the death of Timothy O'Brien, who is described by those who knew him as "charitable, easy-going, kind, a good man" (Section II; "the loser").

You report a shopkeeper in a deprived area of London as perceiving that his customers "are spending money they can't afford". That gentleman, and thousands like him, could do their country a great service by ceasing to trade in the Lottery.

Though that will not restore a husband to Mrs O'Brien, or a father to their children.

On Good Friday some of us will remember that the Son of Man was sold for 30 pieces of silver. How many more lives must this betrayal ruin?

Yours faithfully,

ROGER W. REED

Rector of Blendworth and

Chalton with Idsworth

Blendworth, Hampshire

12 April

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