Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Letters: The Independent's new look

These letters were published  in The Independent on Friday 8th November

I have to congratulate you on the new design of The Independent. The paper is showing its class with the vertical masthead and the new fonts. Fantastic.

Jack Cockin, Gauldry, Fife

Just beautiful – well done!  The new masthead, the typography, the airy layout, just gorgeous, and reminiscent of the impact of the original launch. On a detail, less sure about the byline illustrations, but if the owners of the faces are happy . . .

Ian Bartlett, East Molesey, Surrey


This morning I went to read The Independent, as I have done almost every day since it was launched. I picked up this strange new neutral, colourless paper and found that the print was so pale I could not read it at all.

My eyes have not deteriorated overnight. It seems you have not taken into account that contrast is as important as print size for reading. Please give us back the old clear print.

Janice Bardwell, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire


Yes, I like it, mostly. The font is a little strange, but I will get used to that. I was so excited to see “Section 2” was going to be there again. At last we can share the paper properly, I thought. But no, it isn’t a bit that can be taken out and still make sense. Is this too difficult to do?

Sue Stennett, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire


Nice new design – but why only give one paragraph on page 36 to the latest news on carbon-dioxide levels, the most important factor affecting the future of our planet? 

Victor Anderson, London SE23


See, you can do it! At last, a proper grown-up Independent, instead of a mad, hyperactive kid. I’m feeling calmer already. Please keep it up.

Don Thomson, London W13



William Haines, Shrewsbury

Immigrants don't place unjustified demands

We need immigration to help reduce our cost base, both for manufacturing and services. Anything that reduces costs, whether by efficiency or low rates of pay, will improve our competitiveness.

The alternative is to export these manufacturing processes and services to other countries. By retaining or winning business through lower cost competitiveness other UK businesses benefit.

The claim that immigrants place unjustified demands on our infrastructure is unfair. They are supporting that infrastructure, especially in the NHS. Their demands are less and contribution greater because they are younger than the indigenous population. Aside from the economic benefits they are also bringing extra dimensions to our culture, just as previous migrants did. 

It is also unfair to say that they are destroying British customs, values and language. When Brits retire or work abroad we either make no attempt or half-hearted ones to learn the language and customs. Immigrants quickly learn English. All right, perhaps immigrants need to learn one of our values – good old British hypocrisy.

Terry Pugh

Shipley, West Yorkshire



Where is the plan for shipbuilding?

Last year the Royal Navy placed a £452m order with a South Korean firm for four fuel tankers. UK firms bid but were unsuccessful in winning the order. It is inconceivable that the governments of many other countries would have permitted such a thing.

Each time it happens we are told that the winning bid was the most competitive. Never taken into account are the costs to the taxpayer of the unemployment that follows a large-scale shut-down or redundancy programme and the damage to a range of manufacturing industries.

We will always need ships. The depressing news of the end of shipbuilding in Portsmouth will not be the last unless successive governments decide to invest in a long-term plan to keep and improve a shipbuilding capability in the UK.

Instead of bickering about who got our country into this mess, we need a cross-party initiative to plan our way back. Chances with today’s politicians?  Close to zero.

Patrick Mill, Ryde, Isle of Wight


Cameron says unemployment in the Portsmouth shipyard is in the national interest. IDS says the unemployed are shirking scroungers. Does anyone in this government really know what they are doing, or why?

Martin London, Henllan, Denbighshire


Mercenary and selfish schools

The failure of so many academies to support other schools (report, 6 November) lends credence to those of us who have opposed academisation and its impoverishing, destabilising effects on education.

Very many schools converted to academy status for selfish and mercenary reasons, to protect or even enhance their budgets at a time of financial stringency. They took the Government’s 30 pieces of silver without regard to how their actions would affect their “weaker brethren”. As the Select Committee implies, they need to atone.

Professor Colin Richards, Spark Bridge, Cumbria


Parents are being encouraged by Ofsted to send children to “school” at two years of age. Presumably this is to enrol them as “performance data points”  at the earliest opportunity?

I do not see any evidence that the current government’s education policy is based on nourishing the development of the child as an independent, critical thinking individual – rather, the policy is one of labelling as “success” or “failure” a child and his/her school. Should we not be focusing our professional educators on honing their analytical and supportive skills so that “they make the tiny adjustments which can release the genius in any child” (Albert Einstein)?

Professor Bill Boyle, University of Manchester


Not talking about men

My two daughters set off to school this morning determined to identify the one scene in all the Harry Potter films where two women talk to each other about something other than a man (“X-rated means not enough women”, 7 November).

Thanks for the challenge – don’t publish the result before giving the nation’s children a chance to rise to the challenge.

Duncan Fisher, Crickhowell, Powys