What with the behaviour of MPs, the police, the military and the immigration officers, one wonders what the UK authorities get right. Now they push disgrace to a new level, and without shame.
You report on the sad failure of UK authorities to permit the Jamaican sister of UK citizen Oliver Cameron to enter the UK to give him an urgently needed kidney
To fail to record the correct details of donor and donation (liver instead of kidney) is bad enough but to refuse to allow this brave act of life-saving love is an act of cruelty and a complete disgrace to us all. I pray the Home Secretary will ensure she apologises and enables the donation to take place straight away.
Lest any believe this will be at net cost to the NHS, the expense to the NHS of keeping a patient on dialysis is around £30,000 a year, but only £5,000 a year after successful transplant.
Dr Chris Burns-Cox, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire
In a moment of honesty, Theresa May once admitted the Tories were the nasty party. In refusing Oliver Cameron’s sister, Keisha Rushton, entrance to the United Kingdom she has displayed not only her party’s cruel nastiness but also its crass stupidity.
If Ms Rushton is allowed to come and donate her kidney, it will cost the taxpayer for the operation probably about £25,000. The average lifetime cost of dialysis within the NHS is of the order of £240,000. In other words, while taking not a shred of thought about Mr Cameron’s actual well-being, the Government could still have made a saving of well over £200,000 simply by being intelligent.
It is also, incidentally, a compelling reason for those in sound health to think seriously about making this safe but life-changing gift, exchanging a month or two of inconvenience for a threatened life transformed.
David McDowall, Richmond, Surrey
Evans case smashes confidence in MPs
Nigel Evans’s sexual proclivities and with whom he practices them are of no interest to anybody, except the parties involved. What is however, of exceptional interest to the majority of “us” – the population of a democracy – is that a senior member of our political establishment, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, can fee-range at “the high water mark of over-friendly, inappropriate behaviour by a drunken man” – I quote from your newspaper (for which I have high regard).
So he’s not actually broken any laws. What he has broken, perhaps smashed, is any confidence we might have in our system of self-regulating the behaviour of our so-called governors.
All the dubious publicity that’s hit him over the past few days he could and should have seen light years in advance; intelligent foresight is clearly not his strong point. His “weeks of hell” are self-inflicted.
Dr Richard Wood, Staithes, North Yorkshire
As soon as the Crown Prosecution Service’s fanatical hounding of suspect celebrity sex offenders encroaches on the hallowed turf of Westminster there are piercing cries of “Foul!”, “Shame!” and “Something must be done!” from the green benches.
If Nigel Evans MP, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, had just been plain Nigel Evans, bank clerk, of Clapham, whose happiness, career and reputation had been annihilated by the CPS zealots, not one Honourable Member would have blinked an eyelid.
Adrian Marlowe, The Hague
Sometimes a news story seems to sum up the times we live in. For me, one such was the report that Conservatives held a sex party during a party conference in Manchester. Apparently the scandalous element was that the room where it took place may have been paid for in an irregular manner.
Gordon Elliot, Burford, Oxfordshire
Blair in frame for battle of Bootle
It was once said of solid working-class Labour communities that if you put a red rosette on a donkey they would vote for it. Yet the poor suffering people of Bootle may soon not even have such a luxury if the incumbent MP Joe Benton steps down. For you report that dark satanic forces are conspiring to foist on the constituency the son of Lucifer, Euan Blair.
Tony Blair dragged our country into five wars in six years and believes even now that we should bomb Syria and Iran. Euan Blair has never condemned his father’s wars, so we have no idea what he maybe capable of.
Joe Benton MP did at least vote against the Iraq war, so please, Joe, don’t step down.
Mark Holt, Liverpool
You report that unnamed sources wish to parachute in Euan Blair to the safe Labour seat of Bootle. Some activists apparently hope thus to put Bootle “on the map”. Have the good people of Bootle checked the body count for the last place that a Blair “put on the map”?
Amanda Baker, Morpeth, Northumberland
Pit town faces a future of despair
It was really good to see a decent report on the threatened closure of two of the three remaining deep-mine pits in the UK (“The Future of Coal”, 5 April).
I live a few minutes drive from Kellingley Colliery and know the neighbouring town, Knottingley, well. If the pit does close it will be a harsh blow to the local economy. Other mining communities provide the evidence. Frickley Colliery sustained the local economy of South Elmsall, but when it closed in the brutal round of pit closures in 1992-93, dereliction, drugs and despair followed.
The decent, hard-working miners employed at Kellingley are victims of a crazy globalised economy where electricity generating companies put profits and the bottom line first, people second.
The UK government could get emergency state aid from Europe, but ideology means they will be uncomfortable doing so. Poland and Spain have drawn on state aid to help as their mining industries contract – the UK government should too.
Forty per cent of electricity in the UK is generated from coal, yet only 4 per cent is from UK mines. It surely makes sense to ensure that this UK source of a secure supply is not only protected but developed alongside clean coal technology and carbon-capture schemes.
Granville Williams, Pontefract, West Yorkshire
The kindness of Richard Hoggart
Many thanks for the excellent obituary of Richard Hoggart (12 April). It must have been hard for this fine old man to be pre-deceased by his son. As a sometime librarian at Goldsmiths’ College may I add an anecdote about the man’s humanity?
As one of working-class origins myself, I arrived at Goldsmiths’ without a degree and always felt the lack. After 10 years’ service I applied for a year’s leave to do an MA but was refused it. Only a personal appeal to Dr Hoggart on the grounds of my original lack of opportunities finally achieved my object and I was granted the leave on half-pay.
Robert Senecal, London WC1
When Richard Hoggart was 90 years old I sent him a piece I had written on life on a council estate in the 1950s called “The Prefab Files”. There was no chance of anyone publishing it, but because of the encouragement Richard gave me I put it on a website.
In his hand-written reply, Richard said he “had found an hour or so” to read it, wished me luck, and gave the addresses of two magazines I could send it to. The card he sent from his home at Mortonsfield in Surrey is a memento to the enduring dedication and helpfulness he showed throughout his life.
Ivor Morgan, Lincoln
Farage's secret: He's not a media robot
Penny Little is right that Nigel Farage is refreshing because he talks English (letter, 11 April). His secret is doubtless that he has not had, or has ignored, media training.It is virtually impossible for any mainstream politician to speak without mentioning “hard-working families”. Resigning ministers always talk about “distraction from the business of government”. These stock phrases are frequently repeated several times, no matter what the question may be.
Don’t media trainers realise that the public become infuriated by these robotic responses?
Rod Auton, Sheffield
Poor creatures snubbed by the BBC
After complaints of sexism, Lord Hall, BBC Director General, acted to increase the number of images of women in the foyer of New Broadcasting House from three to seven. According to your report there are now “seven women alongside 11 men and a Dalek”. One can only conclude that the BBC is now alienist. I expect complaints to follow from Cybermen, Sontarans, Ice Warriors, Silurians etc, given their staggering lack of representation.
Martyn P Jackson, Cramlington, Northumberland