Letters: That elusive Olympic legacy


"Can Britain convert gold into legacy?" (Front page, 7 August.) Of course it can, and has, because the only sporting legacy we were promised was to inspire a generation of young people to take up sport.

No one said anything about how, when that happened, the nationwide facilities and support needed to help them do that were going to be provided. Which does seem a bit of an oversight.

Kate Francis


A colleague took her teenage children to an Olympic rowing event last week. Enthused by the success of our first gold medal winners, her son evinced an interest in taking up rowing.

On returning home, it transpired that the nearest rowing club (in Leeds) has a two-year waiting list. I fear that the inspiration to our young people that we are told will be a legacy of the Games may sadly have waned by that point.

Gill Littlehales

Pudsey, West Yorkshire

At last! Your Saturday sports section (4 August) had a picture of a sportswoman on the front cover and the whole issue paid tribute to female athleticism across many disciplines. Congratulations on finally waking up to the fact that there are women excelling in sport. Until this, I had counted on the fingers of one hand photographs of women in sport in the last calendar year.

It is time that you gave readers the same even-handed coverage of sport that you do of news or politics.

Monica Bisig

Slinfold, West Sussex

Our women have done brilliantly in the Olympics, leading the way and carrying the team. But I can't help but think that they are simply taking advantage of the lack of social mobility of women in "developing countries". Give it 20 years and we will be moaning about our women not winning anything any more.

Metin Altun

London N1

Back Steel plan for the Lords

If the Liberal Democrats still want House of Lords reform they should support their former leader, Lord Steel, in his Bill which would see the Lords' size cut by introducing a retirement age or term-limit, as well as ridding the chamber of the remaining 92 hereditary peers. The 26 bishops should also go – something that Nick Clegg did not call for in his ill-fated Bill.

It seems the Liberal Democrats don't really want reform. They have woken up to the realities of the proposed boundary changes, and the Lords is their excuse not to proceed with the boundary changes they originally agreed on.

John Boylan

Hatfield, Hertfordshire

Well done Nick Clegg for being that most unusual of politicians – an honest one.

Democracy having thrown out his ill-thought-out attempt to turn the House of Lords into a home for party hacks instead of an independent-minded revision chamber, Nick has openly and honestly demonstrated what a petulant apology for a Liberal he is and has said he is taking his ball home.

The quicker he does the decent thing and resigns from the leadership the quicker I can get back to voting for them.

Clive Tiney

Haxby, York

Welsh national flag left out

Your leading article "The welcome return of the Union Jack" (8 August) states that the Union Flag superimposes all four national flags as a representation of unity.

Only the flags of St George (England), St Andrew (Scotland) and St Patrick (Ireland) are represented. The flag of St David (Wales) – a yellow cross on a black field or the more familiar red dragon – is not included. Perhaps the red dragon on a green and white field (the Welsh national flag since 1959) should be flown alongside the Union Flag.

David Harris

Crowborough, East Sussex


I'd always considered myself a bit of an uneducated oaf who liked art but didn't really understand it. Things began to change in the late Nineties when I read Robert Hughes' brilliantly accessible "On Lucian Freud". Now I spend a lot of my spare time viewing, enjoying and reading about art. Thanks go to the late Mr Hughes (Obituary, 8 August) for opening my mind to what my eyes could see.

Stuart Bolton

Stockport, Cheshire

All in order

In response to Catherine Robinson (letter, 8 August) I suggest that the charity's sentence could have been edited as follows: "The street kids stand at the traffic lights, selling chewing gum, cigarettes and shoelaces." I see no need for the Oxford comma.

Roger Smith