Letters: Greece will show the way out of the euro


Related Topics

You have to hand it to George Papandreou. He has absolutely played a blinder. Completely outflanked Merkel and Sarkozy!

The Greek people will now vote No. The Greeks will be thrown out of both the euro and the EU. They will launch a new currency called the New Drachma, and at a stroke they will absolve themselves of 99 per cent of their debt.

So imports will then be priced beyond them? It will all help Greek-based home production to prosper. And then watch other countries imitating them.

Dai Woosnam


David Cameron seems finally to have understood just how weak the UK would be if it lost its seat at the table where the big decisions are made.

Our primary concern should be how to deal with China, India and other economies that gain in strength by the day. The European Union is a major world player but Britain outside the inner circle would face the prospect of sliding into irrelevance. The rules would be decided by others.

Ten years ago I was a strong advocate of Britain joining the euro and recently I've been on the defensive. No longer. The euro has more difficulties yet to face but it is here to stay. I suspect that a reluctant Britain will end up joining the euro as the only way of sustaining our shrinking political influence.

Chris Davies MEP

Lib Dem, North West England


Dominic Lawson asks us why anyone should think it necessary to embark on federalism when our principal allegiance is national (Opinion, 1 November). The answer is obvious: so that Europe, which before the European project waged continuous war with itself throughout recorded history, should finally cease to tear itself apart.

My father's life was twice disrupted while he fought for this country – despite his and my funny Italian name – in appalling world wars, both started in our continent. My generation has been the first to know unbroken peace in western Europe.

Narrow nationalism leads quite inevitably to wars; listening to Tory backbenchers sounding off about the iniquities of Johnny European, who could doubt it? It's tragic that neither they nor Mr Lawson understand this truth.

Max Gauna



Since the one referendum, on trading with Europe, which we were allowed over 30 years ago, the political parties have promised but never allowed another referendum on our membership of what is becoming a political body. These same parties have, for 15 years, paid unimaginable sums of our money to the Union, which cannot account for the use to which that money is put.

The Prime Minister tells us, now is not a good time to consider these matters. It will never be a good time as far as our politicians are concerned.

Unfortunately, most of us are not in a position to protest by withholding tax from central government. However, those of us who feel that the voices of the people should be heard, should consider the next-best option and stop paying council tax. Chaotic and messy, but in the circumstances this is the way a Big Society could assert itself.

Peter Inson

East Mersea, Essex


Cost-benefit analysis is a powerful tool. To justify the trillions being allocated to shoring up the euro, it would be necessary to show that such costs were less than the claimed increase in real income which the euro is supposed to have facilitated.

Is any serious attempt being made to apply such analysis, or is it irrelevant, given the euro-advocates' "achievement" in convincing the politicians that there is no going back to national currencies?

David Slinger


Murder of women, the hate crime no one acknowledges


On 28 October, the International Day against Hate Crime, Vincent Tabak was convicted of the murder of Jo Yeates. It has emerged that, like Graham Coutts, who killed Brighton music teacher Jane Longhurst in 2003, Tabak was a consumer of sadistic pornography depicting strangulation of women. A day earlier, serial killer Robert Black was convicted of the sadistic sexual assault and murder of Jennifer Cardy.

How extraordinary it is that under British law, despite the fact that these killers deliberately targeted females, none is considered to have been guilty of hate crime, nor could that possibility have formally been considered by investigating officers. Between three and four women and girls die each week as a result of male violence, of which two are killed by partners and ex-partners.

Racist and homophobic attacks and crimes against religious communities, disabled or transgendered people are deemed hate crimes and attract increased sentences. However, the law does not accept that hate crime against women exists – even when offenders repeatedly target the same or different women or use grossly sexist language during assaults.

The law acknowledges that prejudice can give rise to violence, but fails to accept that attitudes of loathing and contempt for women make them a target too.

If Jo Yeates's death had been tried as a hate crime it is unlikely that Vincent Tabak's interest in images of violence against women could have been kept from the jury. It might also have been likely that the tariff set would have been higher than 20 years.

Jean Calder

Director, For Our Daughters, Brighton


Like Nick Chadwick (letter, 31 October), I was appalled by the Yeates family statement. It makes me despair of this supposedly Christian country and its moral compass. I am surprised that the family's solicitor did not deter them from issuing such a statement.

Growing up in the Midlands in the 1960s I well remember the trial of a child-murderer and the mayhem outside the court, where a lynch mob would have torn him limb from limb had the police not been present in force.

Mr and Mrs Yeates need have no worries: as a former prison visitor, I can assure them that sex offenders and murderers are at the very bottom of the pecking order, and often need to be segregated for their own safety. Vincent Tabak's life will hardly be worth living.

Heaven forbid that we should return to the Dark Ages and capital punishment. What is far more important is that the Yeates family receive the bereavement counselling they clearly urgently need, so that they can eventually see beyond this terrible tragedy.

Janet Berridge


Chance for a new Middle East policy


Unesco's decision to admit Palestine as a full member may have the unintended but welcome consequence of exposing the fault-lines in the US's Middle East policy.

The US objects to Palestine seeking full membership of any UN body, and insists that the only possible route to statehood for the Palestinians is through direct negotiations with Israel. Yet because of the pro-Israel lobby, the US administration dare not put meaningful pressure on Israel to stop building the settlements that are the biggest obstacle to negotiations.

In 1990 that same pro-Israel lobby helped push through Congress a law that compels the US to halt its funding for Unesco because of Palestine's admission. That will almost certainly result in cutbacks to important UN educational programmes in Afghanistan, making it more difficult for the US to extract its forces in an orderly way.

Is it not time for the US to put its own interests, and the stability of the region, ahead of Israel's expansionist ambitions, and to ensure that its policy is henceforth written in Washington, not Tel Aviv?

Johnny Rizq

London W3

The latest crop of Shakespeares


After all this talk of Shakespeare's knowledge of Italy (letters, 1 November), the truth must finally be admitted. The Bard wasn't English at all, he was Italian – or Danish, or Scottish, or a witch. Either that or he'd read a lot of books. But how could he without a Kindle?

Mike Belbin

London SW3


I am a well-read graduate with a broad but obscure range of writings. This increases my chances of having written one of Shakespeare's plays. My other play's a Ben Jonson.

Cole Davis

London NW2


What about John Clare, who wrote such wonderful poetry with minimal education? Or did he? Maybe it was somebody else? Or maybe genius is something we still don't understand.

Susan Monson

Mildenhall, Wiltshire


As PG Wodehouse remarked, does it matter if the plays were written by Shakespeare or someone with the same name?

Robert Davies

London SE3

Machismo in the boardroom


Mary Ann Sieghart (31 October) was too generous when she said that the only explanation for a lack of women in senior positions is that most men underrate their abilities.

As a gay and therefore dispassionate observer of the heterosexual male executive in action, I can tell her that the often grim, single-sex boardroom and its boorish machismo do not survive by accident.

Many highly paid men have been educated in all-boys schools and have attitudes to women little changed since they were seven years old. They are often unnerved by senior female colleagues, who usually, and rightly, have little truck with corporate chest-beating. Keeping women at bay enables these men to maintain an environment in which they are comfortable.

Sieghart is right to say that it would be to everyone's benefit were the situation to change; though it is difficult to see how it will until more women genuinely believe in themselves and more men understand that being male does not of itself confer superiority.

Ian Richards



Instead of moving clocks backwards and forwards, why can't we just alter the time at which we do things? Businesses working internationally, and even between adjacent time zones, manage to deal with firms working different hours from themselves. Reading some articles one could be excused for thinking that changing the clocks somehow creates more daylight.

Ian Turnbull


'Sexy' shoes

Am I the only reader to feel slightly queasy over the profile of Christian Louboutin (29 October), who seems to me to be a misogynist maker of fetish footwear? And is anybody else puzzled at the number of men who say that stiletto shoes are incredibly sexy – but never wear them?

Sarah Thursfield

Llanymynech, Powys

Poppy poser

Should I buy a poppy? I want to recognise the sacrifice made by our servicemen and women in defeating the Nazis, but don't want to be seen to be condoning the recent campaigns in the Falklands, Iraq or Afghanistan, which I see as unjust.

Richard Walker

London W7

React Now

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

Systems Tester - Functional/Non-Functional/Full Life Cycle

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Systems Tester - Functional/Non-Func...

SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfordshire - £350 - £360

£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...

Business Intelligence Consultant - Central London - £80,000

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Consultant - C...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£70 - £85 per day: Randstad Education Group: SEN Teaching Assistants needed in...

Day In a Page

Read Next
These young British men featured in an Isis video urging Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria. About 30 British jihadists are believed to have died fighting alongside IS  

Isis in the UK: How the 'War on Terror' radicalised a generation

Alyas Karmani
Dance yourself happy: strutting their stuff is, apparently, better for people than visiting the gym  

How should we measure the 'worth' of our nation?

Dan Holden
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?