Letters: Football, a metaphor for the whole world

These letters appear in the July 5 issue of the Independent

Share

May I expand on Angela Elliott’s comment (letter, 3 July)? Football is a wonderful game but a horrible business.

And may I congratulate The Independent  for its excellent daily World Cup supplement, the best of any British newspaper? However, I do hope your letters page doesn’t reflect widespread indifference, lack of appreciation and outright negativity among your readership. Your football writers would deserve better.

As someone who does “get” the World Cup (I have been to five) I can assure those who only see negatives in this most entertaining and exciting of tournaments, particularly after the Luis Suarez biting incident (letters, 26, 27 June), that there are role models for our children. Tim Howard and his team-mates would be a good place to start looking. And what about the charming, commanding and articulate Vincent Kompany, who has done more to reconcile Flemings and Walloons than any politician could?

Football is a great metaphor for our world: a great example of man’s artistry and ingenuity but also an arena where a few miscreants often get ahead of the many who play fair. Given the game’s infiltration of all cultures and communities around the world I think it’s unrealistic to expect it to reflect only the best of British sporting values, whatever they may be!

Peter Clarke

London NW6

 

A message from British Muslims

That over a hundred imams have written an open letter urging British Muslims not to travel to Iraq or Syria is a step in the right direction, but surely it is time for tens of thousands of Muslims to march through the streets of London under the banner “Not In Our Name”. The supporters of Isis must receive this message loud and clear.

Anthony Hentschel

Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

 

BBC acquires a Northern accent

So yet another London-based journalist has a problem with BBC5 Live moving to Salford – “a risk that their programmes might lose their national edge and acquire a non-metropolitan, possibly northern accent” (Mary Dejevsky, 4 July). How awful – as opposed to losing their Home Counties accent?

I applaud the BBC for moving 5 Live north, creating jobs outside the capital, where the so-called recovery barely registers. I am sure those who are asked to appear on TV or radio and have to travel from north of Birmingham will be glad of a more nationally central location.

How awful for those London media types to have to travel to the grim northern outposts of greater Manchester!

John Mitchell

Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire

 

On 2 July you published an excellent article on the fight for racial justice. You also showed a “grim up North” cartoon with all the usual cliches – clogs, black pudding and so on. Can someone explain why regional stereotypes are all right while racial stereotypes are all wrong? And please stop using the word “Northern” if what you actually mean is “working class”.

Pippa Lewer

Morpeth, Northumberland

 

Just enforce the law on the West Bank

In his anxiety to argue the toss with Robert Fisk, whether Palestine-Israel is Jewish or Arab, Avi Lehrer (letter, 3 July) seems unacquainted with the law.

We need not argue over which ethnic group has rights in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. International law is clear on this point: it is occupied territory, and the rights and interests of the indigenous population (regardless of ethnic identity), as of the moment it became militarily occupied (1967), are strictly to be protected by rules laid down in 1949 following the experience of those under German and Japanese occupation, 1939-45.

The current killings committed by Palestinian youths or by Israelis are the direct consequence of Jewish civilians settling on occupied land in defiance of the law. Every Western state supports the applicability of international humanitarian law regarding these occupied territories. They all promised to uphold it. Yet not one of them has so far had the courage to tell Israel it must obey the law unconditionally.

Instead they are silent accomplices to the killings and the progressive diminishing of the lives of those under occupation, allowing the import of goods illegally produced in occupied territory, and allowing Israeli visitors living illegally on occupied land into the EU.

If Britain and its allies really want peace, they must go through the unpleasantness necessary to enforce the law. Currently, they are simply complicit in the anguish of Jews and Arabs who have been bereaved by the killings.

David McDowall

Richmond, Surrey

 

Lost opportunity to rescue A-level science

I made a late career change into secondary physics teaching. I was shocked at the drop in A-level standards in the many years since I had taken the examination. Approximately 25 per cent of subject content has been dropped in 40 years, and there is much less scientific and mathematical rigour.

I was pleased when I read that A-level sciences were to be reviewed, with greater focus on content and rigour. I have spent the past week studying the new physics A-level changes as proposed by several boards, and am very disappointed at the missed opportunity. Boards appear to have chosen to make no significant change to content, and to introduce more mathematical questions, rather than questions that are more mathematical.

Most schools will continue to enter all students for AS and, as at present, some students will continue to A-level. The significant changes are that AS will not contribute to the final grade, and practical work will no longer be a significant, examinable part of the course. This is a worsening of A-level, not an improvement.

Did Michael Gove intend to make the electorate believe that A-levels would be improved, without intending actual improvement, or have the examination boards outmanoeuvred him in order to maintain their competitive edge?

A A Chabot

Birmingham

 

Is this art or just trash?

A report on Wednesday was enough to convince me that I am sharing this planet with a seriously disturbed population. Tracey Emin’s Turner Prize-listed, soiled, rumpled bed, littered with personal toiletries, was sold for £2.2m at Christie’s.

If this is the way the seriously rich spend their hard-earned cash, no wonder the world is in such a mess. That money could buy about 20 affordable homes for the less well-off or provide overnight accommodation for 200,000 homeless people.

I only hope that the new owner’s cleaner doesn’t find it when she turns up to work and make the assumption that it was just the result of a night’s drunken revelry, strip and launder the sheets and dispose of the trash.

Mike Joslin

Dorchester

 

Cameron won’t reform the EU Like this

The Prime Minister has made a dog’s dinner of trying to gain influence with our nearest trading partners.

This is ridiculous, given that we are the third largest state, by head count, within the EU. We would be in a very strong place to negotiate and reform the European Union, if it were done properly and with respect for others. David Cameron’s problem is his own party. He is now trapped into having a referendum, or stepping down as leader of the Conservatives.

I say to all centre-ground Conservatives and Labour Party supporters who believe that our membership of the Eeropean Union is vital: join the Liberal Democrats.

Richard Grant

Ringwood, Hampshire

 

Tennis without the noises, please

I was interested to read the letter about “strange noises at Wimbledon” (3 July). Rather than spend time analysing the noises, the powers that be should totally ban the whole silly practice.

In conversation with many tennis-loving friends, I have discovered that they, like me, rarely bother to watch the matches any more and certainly turn the sound off when the nonsense begins.

The authorities should realise that their faithful watching public could well be deserting them – so please ban the silly, aggressive noises at Wimbledon in 2015.

The Rev Margaret Roylance

Tenterden,  Kent

The criterion  of accuracy

A little more attention to detail needed I think from Guy Keleny (Errors & Omissions, 28 June) when giving Greek lessons. In the context it should surely be “either ‘criteria ... have’ or ‘criterion ... has’ ”.

Charles Ashmore

Farthingstone, Northamptonshire

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, Graduate, SQL, VBA)

£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...

Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Perl, Bash, SQL)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...

C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB6, WinForms)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...

C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Jihadist militants leading away captured Iraqi soldiers in Tikrit, Iraq, in June  

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Robert Fisk
India's philosopher, environmental activist, author and eco feminist Vandana Shiva arrives to give a press conference focused on genetically modified seeds on October 10, 2012  

Meet Vandana Shiva: The deserving heir to Mahatma Ghandi's legacy

Peter Popham
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law