Letters: Safe storage of nuclear waste

These letters are published in the print edition of The Independent, 26th September, 2013

Share

Niqab: some things should not be tolerated

Those who defend, or even promote, the veiling of women often say that Britain is supposed to be a tolerant country. That, we hope, is generally true but it is also true that we should not tolerate the intolerable. 

That includes some traditional customs practised by some immigrants from Asia and Africa, which are anathema in our society, namely female genital mutilation, forced marriage, “honour” killings and the oppression of women, of which the wearing of the veil is an example and is apparently on the increase. Is this really a free choice? Are the very young girls that we see – even in primary schools, with their heads bound up in smothering cloth –genuinely making a choice?

In Egypt a few years ago I mentioned to our lecturer, an Egyptologist of distinction, and herself in western dress, how surprised I was to see virtually all the women in Cairo wearing at least the headscarf.

“Yes,” she replied, with some bitterness, “and if you had been here 20 years ago you would have seen very few.” She explained that this was the consequence of steady, unrelenting pressure on young women by imams and relatives to be “good” Muslims and cover themselves accordingly.

Patricia A Baxter, Royston,  Hertfordshire

The argument that a woman wears a niqab out of modesty does not wash. In this country, the full veil is as provocative as a mini-skirt. A truly modest woman does not wear either. Unremarkable, loose-fitting clothes, as worn by many British women, would allow her to pass unnoticed on our streets.

Daphne Tomlinson, Nailsworth,  Gloucestershire

 

Safe storage of nuclear waste

I regret that Tom Bawden (“Lakes threatened by nuclear waste”, 14 September) may have given readers a wrong impression. A large proportion of the waste requiring disposal was accumulated over the early decades of weapons manufacture and has become steadily more difficult to contain safely above ground by the failure of  governments, of either persuasion, to face up to the long-term problem  of safe containment.

The safest proven method of disposal is to convert the most dangerous and active materials to glassy solids (thus reducing their volume) and store in underground caverns, as practised in Sweden and Finland. Having decided on this solution to the problem, it then becomes logical to use such facilities for present and future fissile waste from power plants. The modern versions of these plants produce relatively small volumes of waste.

Roger Knight, Swansea

 

Shambolic rule of the UKBA

The shambles which reportedly characterises the UK Border Agency is not restricted to the department dealing with  immigration and asylum.

A Polish friend of mine, an EU citizen now resident and working in the UK for seven years, had occasion, in September 2011 to make a straightforward application to the Agency for documentary confirmation of her residence status. This involved them in the examination of a simple form and the scrutiny of supporting documents.

The Agency sent a response, including my friend’s and her children’s passports, her and their birth certificates and her marriage certificate. All of these documents were sent not to the address she had entered on the application, but to  one she had left three years  previously. All were lost and had to be replaced at huge cost and inconvenience to my friend.

The Agency did not even acknowledge let alone deal with her detailed claim for reimbursement and she was eventually paid in June this year during proceedings in the County Court. An apology was not forthcoming.

UKBA is part of the Home Office and has, over many years, become totally unfit for purpose. Any administration which presides over a civil service usually ensures that, as far as reasonably possible, departments perform their functions efficiently. Could it be that the same rule has not been rigorously applied to this one because its “customers” are pretty much all foreign and unlikely to have either the resilience or resources to counter such crass ineptitude as we have witnessed?

Barry Butler, Birmingham

 

High street  sweet-pusher

Brenda Beamond (Letters, 21 September) comments on W H Smith’s assistants being obliged to offer sweets with any purchase. My own response is to ask if they are trying to make me ill – I am diabetic. Maybe if enough  assistants are sufficiently  embarrassed, the message will get through to management and the pressurised selling might stop.

Keith Bailey, Basingstoke, Hampshire

 

Jobseekers’ shortfall

My son has finally managed to find a job. He immediately comes off  jobseekers’ allowance, paid two weeks in arrears. For the job, he will get paid monthly in arrears. How is he supposed to live for the two weeks when he receives no support?

Nerina Diaz, Heversham, Cumbria

 

Attack of  the drones

I wonder if the Reaper drones and their faceless pilots will ever inspire stories like The Dam Busters or Reach for the Sky? It is good that pilots are no longer in danger, but it seems repugnant that death is delivered from a great distance and in a way that makes it unsuitable for public consumption.

Ian McKenzie, Lincoln

 

Wanton sexism  at the Emmys

Next to your short piece on the Emmy awards were pictures of no fewer than 10 women with comments solely about their attire. No mention was made of their talents, nor were there any photographs of men at the same event, let alone any remarks about their clothing. Is it any wonder that women still struggle to be taken seriously in  the world when a progressive newspaper such as The Independent indulges in such wanton sexism and double standards?

Ian Richards, Birmingham

 

Lord of the fly swatters

Rolled-up newspapers, plastic swatters or cobwebs (Letters, 25 September)? No. As any schoolboy will tell you, nothing is more effective and satisfying than hunting down flies with three or four elastic bands joined together.

Dr Edwin Stephens

Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria

React Now

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

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron's 'compassionate conservatism' is now lying on its back  

Tory modernisation has failed under David Cameron

Michael Dugher
Russian President Vladimir Putin 'hits his foes where it hurts'  

Dominic Raab: If Western politicians’ vested interests protect Putin, take punishment out of their hands

Dominic Raab
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform