Armed police, helicopters, satellite tracking of Olympic tickets, stop and search powers in full flow and the Army providing back-up at checkpoints ("The £1.5bn security bill", 28 September). Welcome to London 2012, the "friendly games", and all at taxpayers' expense. The existing budget for security at the games is enough to fund all the safer neighbourhood teams in London for six years. I really hope that your report is wrong and the costs do not rise further. The Olympics cannot become a bottomless pit for public funds and police officer resources. Londoners need to be reassured that there won't be fewer police on their streets in the next few years, as a result of security overload during the 17 days of the Games.
Green Party Group, London Assembly
While US corporate greed and war expenditure helped precipitate the current financial crisis, the New Labour government and the City of London cannot escape their responsibility for it.
Because the real value of wages, benefits and pensions has been held down, millions of people have resorted to credit based on inflated house prices to try to improve their standards of living. Now that the bubble has burst, there is no reason why millions of workers and their families should pay for the greed and incompetence of the millionaires and their political champions.
Instead, the Communist Party calls for public ownership of failing building societies and the banks, to be followed by renationalisation of the oil, gas, electricity and railway industries, a windfall tax on monopoly profits and a wealth tax on the super rich. The Government should also intervene to halt the rundown and sell-off of our remaining utilities and other productive industries to transnational corporations, thereby protecting manufacturing jobs as well as those in financial services.
General Secretary, Communist Party
Dominic Lawson should have asked George Osborne why the Tories want a further handout to the rich by raising the inheritance tax threshold to £2m per couple rather than £1m ("Under Brown's skin", 28 September). And, why last year their economic competitiveness group set up by Osborne proposed the complete deregulation of mortgage lending, despite the irresponsible lending by the Tories' City friends which has contributed to the credit crunch.
How odd that Rachel Shields thinks of breastmilk as "stomach-churning" and likely to provoke "shudders of revulsion" ("New threat to dairy farmers – ice cream with mothers milk", 28 September.
Mother's milk is a truly amazing substance, but far too precious to be used for ice cream. The collection and banking of human milk should be recognised as just as vital as the banking of human blood, and a comprehensive milk banking service set up. Only when that is achieved and every baby is receiving the human milk they need will we be able to turn our attention to using it for ice cream.
Binley Woods, Warwickshire
Leonard Doyle says "Alaska's one-term governor is hugely popular with voters..." ("Palin sends the cringe meter off the dial", 28 September). It's not true. You are lumping all us Americans into an idiot, sheep-type mentality pool. I don't know anyone who feels this way. Ultra-conservative voters like her, and that's it.
via the message board
D J Taylor writes suitably acerbically ("All roads lead to the A11", 28 September) of the campaign by big business, most politicians and the press here in Norfolk to dual the A11, so that Tesco et al can truck their goods to us more efficiently and throw our small businesspeople out of work.
I am happy to report that on Tuesday, 12 Green Party councillors on Norwich City Council voted against the combined forces of the old three grey parties who back this road scheme.
prospective Green Party MEP for Eastern Region, Norwich
Matthew Bell's piece is a timely reminder of the importance of Tribune ("The love that New Labour lost...", 28 September). I've written for Tribune for 40 years. I was education correspondent when Margaret Thatcher was snatching school milk, and Wales correspondent for many years. Contributing was/is a labour of love and a commitment to democratic socialism. Tribune remains a rock solid testimony to the Left's crucial role in a society where greed threatens to obliterate need. I wonder how many Labour MPs subscribe to the bible of Bevan and Foot?
Well done to Joan Smith for a timely and informative article ("Don't let the Royals eat any more of our cake", 28 September. We should privatise the Royal Family, fund them by subscription only, and let their supporters pay for them. Their tremendous privileges are irrelevant in this credit crunch time.
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