Letters: MPs and tax avoiders in it together

These letters appear in the Thursday 24th October edition of the Independent

Independent Voices
Wednesday 23 October 2013 19:03

The true colours of this “all in it together” Government are finally being exposed.

They impose a pay freeze on public-sector workers, insist on less-than-inflation pay rises for our valued health service staff, and threaten to take even those away.

They drive workers into part-time and zero-hours contracts and claim this as a success in reducing unemployment. At the same time, they fail to address the issues of tax loopholes costing the Exchequer billions, and vote to keep their generous and unjustified expenses and above-inflation pay rises.

How can we respect our politicians when they behave with such hypocrisy? No wonder people are less satisfied with politicians than they are with loan sharks and estate agents.

We need a new political era, based on something other than self-interest.

Pete Rowberry, Saxmundham, Suffolk

Yet again, you report companies dodging tax via a British tax haven. Why don’t we sell these territories, and make some money for the British public, instead of these territories increasing the tax burden on the British public?

The Channel Islands could join France, Gibraltar Spain, and the Caribbean islands the USA. The Isle of Man would join the UK. Subject to transitional arrangements for residents of these places, why do we not close these tax havens as soon as possible?

Richard Maples, Salisbury

My blood boils at the naked class interest of this government. With tax cuts for the rich – in a recession where they have got yet richer – and corporation tax being practically voluntary for many who trade here, mortality figures expose the truth about life in modern Britain.

In Glasgow’s poorest part, male life expectancy is 53 years, whereas it is 82 in the wealthiest area.

Now, after clobbering social housing tenants with bedroom taxes, Jeremy Hunt slams foreign NHS-users over what are trivial sums in the context of how much the City made from the Royal Mail privatisation.

Howard Pilott, Lewes, East Sussex

Control the press by law reform

To suggest, as Nigel Farage does (“No to Leveson!”, 21 October), that ordinary people can use the courts and defamation law to make the press behave is ridiculous. Even in these days of no-win-no-fee litigation there is still a substantial risk of the plaintiff being left with an unacceptably large bill to pay.

The courts would be a good way of controlling the press, but a few changes are needed. First, we need a proper privacy law. Second, we need a system of legal aid for this type of case. Third, we need a system of preliminary hearings to ensure that frivolous and vexatious cases do not get to court. And fourth, we need to follow the Americans, to some extent, in extending the use of exemplary damages.

If these changes were made, the effect would be exactly what most people are looking for, and the system would be free from political interference.

Some readers will recall an incident 30 or more years ago when an “expert” employee of one of the major newspapers said in public that his job was not to tell the truth but to sell newspapers.

As demonstrated by the Leveson Inquiry, that is still the attitude of many newspaper people today. They don’t care if they wreck lives, businesses or marriages, as long as they sell their papers.

Dudley Dean

Maresfield, East Sussex

Pictures of West Bank violence

Ben Lynfield (“West Bank simmers as Palestinian anger builds in face of occupation”, 19 October) detailed the escalation of violence in the West Bank recently, during which three Israelis were killed by Palestinian terrorists, and a nine-year-old girl was injured.

The latest incident involved a Palestinian driving a tractor into an army base and attempting to run over a soldier. However, the accompanying photos, on a double spread, misrepresent both the content of the piece itself and the reality on the ground. Six of the seven photographs portray a simplistic, one-sided Palestinian narrative.

In one photo, we see a man holding the picture of his relative, who committed the terror attack. Missing are any photos of the Israeli victims or their grieving families. Thus, a balanced portrayal of the events is also, unfortunately, missing.

Yiftah Curiel, Spokesperson, Embassy of Israel, London W8

Forget a freeze, go for carbon tax

Will we ever have politicians who think things through? If you announce a price freeze for energy suppliers some time in the future, you can expect everyone to establish as high a price as possible before it comes into effect.

If you then implement a price freeze, you will either lock in a high level of profitability or concede defeat if market prices for energy make it unsustainable.

If you tell everyone to change supplier, you are simply moving customers to the last company to increase its prices. Let’s bite the bullet and have a carbon tax.

Jon Hawksley, London EC1

Further to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s intervention regarding astronomical fuel pricing, there is far too much hand-wringing at British Gas that reducing executive pay would make no difference in the grand scheme of things.

On the contrary, were the chief executive of Centrica, Sam Laidlaw, to distribute his windfall of £2m (from bonuses, not salary!) between 20,000 shivering, penniless pensioners, each of the latter would receive £100.

Godfrey H Holmes, Chesterfield, Derbyshire

Not waste but food fit for pigs

A few years ago, I peered into the waste bins behind the Co-op in my local village. I saw plastic bags full of bread, fruit and vegetables.

I wrote to the Co-op and obtained an agreement that I could collect this waste food, which was destined for landfill. I have a few rare-breed Tamworth pigs whose food bills had recently risen hugely. So since then, my sows and their offspring have feasted on all sorts of plain and fancy breads, vegetables and fruit, perfectly legally. So long as they don’t have any meat or cooked food, all is well.

Mind you, those salads in plastic bags are a bit of a pain – more plastic than food – but the plastic gets recycled through my council collection, so I reckon I and my pigs are doing the best we can for the environment in our small way.

Penny Reid

Sparsholt Down, Wantage, Oxfordshire

Millions spent on Madeleine

I hope someone can explain why the police are spending £5m of UK taxpayers’ money on the search for Madeleine McCann.

Six years have passed since this tragedy happened, and however sad her disappearance/abduction was, it seems an inordinate amount to spend on this one inquiry, not to mention Crimewatch on BBC last week.

Does this indicate that all children who disappear in strange circumstances will have this amount of money spent on efforts to trace them?

Or is it just that the parents of Madeleine McCann have friends in high places, eg the Prime Minister?

Penny Proudlock, Fleet, Hampshire

Belief in culling born of ignorance

Janet Devoy (“This English thing about badgers”, 18 October) insists that “top predators”, such as badgers, must be culled. This public belief that wildlife numbers are regulated only by direct killing is baffling to scientists – as if within-species competition over territory and food resources, competition with other carnivores, weather, quality of habitat and, yes, disease have no impact.

And it is the same with prey species such as hedgehogs. Top-down effects from predators might be much less significant than bottom-up effects from habitat loss and pesticides. It is concerning to say the least that the British public so readily underestimates the complexity of ecosystems.

Adele Brand, Caterham, Surrey

The real scandal of Plebgate

Andrew Mitchell admits to swearing at police officers. It seems that the officers involved lied about the incident. Both parties behaved badly.

Such misdemeanours should be publicly aired. But at a time of austerity is it really necessary for the airing to waste quite so much public money?

Susan Alexander, Frampton Cotterell, South Gloucestershire

Quiet success

Is it coincidence that the supermarkets that are growing – Aldi, Lidl, Sainsbury’s (report, 23 October) – are the ones that don’t inflict piped music on their customers?

Bob Carlisle, London SE18

Our job is to be educators, not border guards

We write as academics concerned with the way in which the rhetoric over security is undermining the university as a place of learning and open discussion (“Is this really necessary? Universities introduce fingerprinting for international students”, 21 October).

The latest move by the universities of Sunderland and Ulster, singling out international students to give fingerprints to prove their attendance at lectures, is reprehensible and to be condemned in the strongest terms.

As academics, we have a duty of care towards all our students, and such policies undermine that relationship. We call on the universities of Sunderland and Ulster to withdraw the use of this system, and for all other universities to take seriously their commitment to equitable treatment of all their students.

We also call on the Government to stop putting pressure on universities to enact such immigration policies. This damages the international reputation of UK higher education at all institutions. We are educators, not border guards.

Gurminder K Bhambra, University of Warwick

John Holmwood, University of Nottingham

Chris Rossdale, City University, London

Anupama Ranawana, University of Aberdeen

Robbie Shilliam, Queen Mary, University of London

Hannah Jones, University of Warwick

Cecily Jones, University of Warwick/Independent researcher

Adam Barker, Independent academic

Kirsten Forkert, Birmingham City University

10.           Sonia McKay, London Metropolitan University

11.            Mark Cresswell, Durham University

12.            Steve French, Keele University

13.            Malcolm J. W. Povey, University of Leeds

14.           Alan Warde, University of Manchester

15.            Aaron Winter, University of Abertay

16.            Alexandra Kokoli, Middlesex University

17.            Andrew Sayer, Lancaster University

18.            Bev Skeggs, Goldsmiths, University of London

19.            Dennis Leech, University of Warwick

20.           Alison Phipps, University of Glasgow

21.            Myriam Salama-Carr, University of Salford

22.           Cath Lambert, University of Warwick

23.           Steve Jefferys, London Metropolitan University

24.           Gavin Brown, University of Leicester

25.           Cristian Serdean, De Montfort University

26.           David McCallam, University of Sheffield

27.            Claudia Marquesmartin, University of Aberdeen

28.           Sarah Annes Brown, Anglia Ruskin University

29.           James Elliott, University of Oxford

30.           Mark Toogood, University of Central Lancashire

31.            Marci Green, University of Wolverhampton

32.           Christian Fuchs, University of Westminster

33.           Lucy Suchman, Lancaster University

34.           Catherine Baker, University of Hull

35.           Michael Lewis, University of the West of England

36.           Mark Campbell, London Metropolitan University

37.            Dr Jacob Copeman, University of Edinburgh

38.           Luke Martell, University of Sussex

39.           Rosa Vasilaki, University of Bristol

40.          Daniel Chernilo, Loughborough University

41.           Jo Grady, university of Leicester

42.           Kate Tunstall, University of Oxford

43.           Kathleen O’Donnell, Oxford Brookes University

44.          William McEvoy, University of Sussex

45.           Emma Mason, University of Warwick

46.           Michael Bailey, University of Essex

47.           Anne Barron, London School of Economics and Political Science

48.           Colin Wright, University of Nottingham

49.           Meera Sabaratnam, SOAS, University of London

50.           Kevin Sanders, University of Huddersfield

51.            Deana Rankin, Royal Holloway, University of London.

52.           Julia O’Connell Davidson, University of Nottingham

53.           Christine Achinger, University of Warwick

54.           Catriona Kelly, University of Oxford

55.           Adam Kaasa, London School of Economics and Political Science

56.           Katherine Ibbett, UCL

57.            John  Parkinson, University of Warwick

58.           Charlie Louth, University of Oxford

59.           Alexander Smith, University of Warwick

60.           Clive Gabay, Queen Mary,  University of London

61.            Ana Cecilia Dinerstein, University of Bath

62.           Naomi Eilan, University of Warwick

63.           Natalie Fenton, Goldsmiths, University of London

64.           Malcolm MacLean, University of Gloucestershire

65.           Anna Strhan, University of Kent at Canterbury

66.           Angela Last, University of Glasgow

67.            Jonathan S. Davies, De Montfort University

68.           Hazel Conley, Queen Mary College, University of London

69.           Des Freedman, Goldsmiths College, University of London

70.           Jeffery R. Webber, Queen Mary  College, University of London

71.            Jan Culik, University of Glasgow

72.            Jenny Pickerill, University of Leicester

73.            Daniel Orrells, University of Warwick

74.           Ayça Çubukçu, London School of Economics and Political Science

75.            Matthew Donoghue, Oxford Brookes University

76.            Patrick Ainley, University of Greenwich

77.            Suzanne Hall, London School of Economics and Political Science

78.            Lee Jones, Queen Mary College, University of London

79.            Michael Loughlin, Manchester Metropolitan University

80.           Barry Smart, University of Portsmouth

81.            Gargi Bhattacharyya, University of East London

82.           Alain Viala, University of Oxford

83.           Rick Jones, University of Leeds

84.           Hilde C. Stephansen, The Open University

85.           Helen Swift, University of Oxford

86.           Hugo Gorringe, University of Edinburgh

87.            Marika Sherwood, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London

88.           Geoff Williams, UCL

89.           John MacInnes, University of Edinburgh

90.           Goldie Osuri, University of Warwick

91.            Paul Bagguley, University of Leeds

92.           Victoria Blake, University of Leeds

93.           Uri Gordon, Loughborough University

94.           Brenda Johnston, University of Southampton

95.           Srila Roy, University of Nottingham

96.           Lynne Pettinger, University of Essex

97.            Ruth Kinna, Loughborough University

98.           Rachael Dobson, Kingston University

99.           David Owen, University of Southampton

100.        Bahar Baser, University of Warwick

101.         Bob Brecher, University of Brighton

102.        Jo Littler, City University, London

103.        Andreas Bieler, University of Nottingham

104.        Nick Clark, London Metropolitan University

105.        Anna Kemp, Queen Mary, London University

106.        Michael S. Northcott, University of Edinburgh

107.         William Outhwaite, Newcastle University

108.        Deborah Lynn Steinberg, University of Warwick

109.        Alpesh Maisuria, University of East London

110.         Philip Moriarty, University of Nottingham

111.          Derek Sayer, Lancaster University

112.         Raphael Salkie, University of Brighton

113.         Marion Hersh, University of Glasgow

114.         Mick Carpenter, University of Warwick

115.         Katherine Angel, Queen Mary, University of London

116.         Philip Grant, University of Edinburgh

117.          Ronald Mendel,  University of Northampton

118.         Bronislaw Szerszynski, Lancaster University

119.         Karma Nabulsi, Oxford University

120.        Pablo Schyfter, The University of Edinburgh

121.         Cassie Earl, Manchester Metropolitan University

122.         Emma Carmel, University of Bath

123.         Roger Jeffery, University of Edinburgh

124.        Patricia Jeffery, University of Edinburgh

125.         Michael Rosie, Sociology, university of Edinburgh

126.         Jeff Hearn, University of Huddersfield

127.         Anamik Saha, University of Leeds

128.         Karim MurjI, The Open University

129.         Doreen Crawford De Montfort University

130.        Joe Deville, Goldsmiths, University of London

131.         Sara Ahmed, Goldsmiths, University of London

132.         Kay Peggs, University of Portsmouth

133.         Caroline Warman, Jesus College, Oxford

134.        Stuart Hodkinson, University of Leeds

135.         Mikko Kuisma, Oxford Brookes University

136.         Les Back, Goldsmiths, University of London

137.         John Baker, University of Westminster

138.         Marian Mayer, Bournemouth University

139.         Steve Garner, Open University

140.        Chris Jones, Liverpool John Moores University

141.         Max Farrar, Leeds Met University

142.        Khursheed Wadia, University of Warwick

143.        Bahadur Najak, Durham University

144.        Richard Hall, De Montfort University

145.        Isobel Urquhart, University of Cambridge

146.        Susan A J Stuart, University of Glasgow

147.         Gavin Williams, St Peter’s College, Oxford University

148.        Kate Hardy, University of Leeds

149.        Will Davies, University of Warwick

150.        Colette Fagan, University of Manchester

151.         Hannah Lewis, University of Leeds

152.         Saer Maty Ba, Independent Academic

153.         Bernard Sufrin, Oxford University

154.        Aylwyn Walsh: University of Lincoln

155.         Lauren Tooker, University of Warwick

156.         Andy Danford, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England

157.         Jason Hart, University of Bath

158.         Siobhan McGrath, Lancaster University

159.         Charles Brown, University of Westminster

160.        Madeleine Davis, Queen Mary, University of London

161.         Tony Side, Middlesex University

162.         David Evans, St Mary’s University College

163.         Jason Tucker, University of Bath

164.        Anne-Marie Kramer, University of Nottingham

165.         Nickie Charles, University of Warwick‏

166.         John T. Gilmore, University of Warwick

167.         Stephen Williams, Worcester College, University of Oxford

168.         Ben Rogaly, University of Sussex

169.         Viviana Ramirez, University of Bath

170.         Peter Cressey, University of Bath

171.          Emma Jackson, University of Glasgow

172.         Dženeta Karabegović, University of Warwick

173.         Mette Louise Berg, University of Oxford

174.         Shahnaz Akhter, University of Warwick

175.         Diana Paton, Newcastle University

176.         Maja Savevska, University of Warwick

177.          Dibyesh Anand, University of Westminster

178.         Gary Hazeldine, Birmingham City University

179.         Judith Bara, Queen Mary University of London

180.        Roberta Mulas, University of Warwick

181.         Ima Jackson, Glasgow Caledonian University

182.         Graham Smith, University of Northampton

183.         Christine Gledhill, University of Sunderland

184.        Joyce Canaan, Birmingham City University

185.         Mark Addis, Birmingham City University

186.         Claudia Baldoli, Newcastle University

187.         Xavier Guégan, Newcastle University.

188.         Naaz Rashid, University of Manchester

189.         Carlos Frade, University of Salford

190.        Jill Steans, University of Birmingham

191.         Ross Abbinnett, University of Birmingham

192.         Simona Pino, University of Warwick

193.         Lisa Tilley, University of Warwick

194.        Neelam Srivastava, Newcastle University

195.         Christalla Yakinthou, University of Birmingham

196.         Franck Düvell, University of Oxford

197.         Laura Jenkins, University of Birmingham

198.         Felix Robin Schulz, Newcastle University

199.         Tessa Wright, Queen Mary, University of London

200.       Oscar Garza, University of Bath

201.        Robin Cohen, University of Oxford

202.        Beatrice Godwin, University of Bath

203.        Laura Povoledo, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England

204.       Christian Karner, University of Nottingham

205.        Nick Mai, London Metropolitan University

206.        John Clarke, Open University

207.        Sarah Campbell, Newcastle University

208.        Rachel Lara Cohen, City University London

209.        Andrew Wells, Independent Academic

210.        Deema Kaneff, University of Birmingham

211.         Nando Sigona, University of Birmingham

212.         Kevin McSorley, University of Portsmouth

213.         Julie Ryan, Manchester Metropolitan University

214.        Maddie Breeze, University of Edinburgh

215.         Nicola Clarke, Newcastle University

216.         Luke Yates, University of Manchester

217.         Georgie Wemyss, University of East London

218.         Anneliese Dodds, Aston University

219.         Tom Vickers, Northumbria University

220.        Bryce Evans, Liverpool Hope University

221.         Ben Jackson, Oxford University

222.        Ipek Demir, University of Leicester

223.        Clare Madge, University of Leicester

224.        Parvati Raghuram, Open University

225.        Veit Schwab, University of Warwick

226.        Stephen Jones, University of Bristol

227.         Duncan Harcus, Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University

228.        Elizabeth B Silva, Open University

229.        Robert Fine, University of Warwick

230.        Peter Fletcher, Keele University

231.         Lena Karamanidou, City University London

232.        Vicky Margree, University of Brighton

233.        Martin Farr, Newcastle University

234.        Alice Mah, University of Warwick

235.        Bahadir Çeliktemur, University of Warwick

236.        Esther Bott, University of Nottingham

237.         Stephen Kemp, University of Edinburgh

238.        Marijn Nieuwenhuis, University of Warwick

239.        Marisol Sandoval, City University London

240.       Laura Harvey, Brunel University

241.        Matt Kranke, University of Warwick

242.        Seref Kavak,  Keele University

243.        Sarah Burton, Goldsmiths College, University of London

244. Darya Malyutina, UCL

245.        Dave Featherstone, University of Glasgow

246.        Benjamin Houston, Newcastle University

247.        Elisa Lopez Lucia, University of Warwick

248.        Maja Cederberg, Oxford Brookes University

249.        Laura Prazeres, Royal Holloway, University of London

250.        Daniel Fitzpatrick, UCL

251.         Tracey Warren, University of Nottingham

252.        Melissa Fernandez Arrigoitia, LSE

253.        Robert Cowley, University of Westminster

254.        Ibrahim Sirkeci, Regent’s University London

255.        Guillermo M., Goldsmiths College

256.        Simon Bradford, Brunel University

257.         Rowland Atkinson, University of York

258.        Jennifer Fraser, Birkbeck College

259.        Elizabeth Dowler, University of Warwick

260.        Stephen Ashe, University of Stirling

261.         Jo Halliday, Goldsmiths College London

262.        Marika Mura, University of Warwick

263.        Liz Bondi, University of Edinburgh

264.        Simon Cross, Nottingham Trent University

265.        Tim Lang, City University London

266.        Sian Lucas, University of Salford

267.         Kim Allen, Manchester Metropolitan University

268.        Gail Davidge, Manchester Metropolitan University

269.        Sarah Goler, University of Warwick

270.        Sanoj Tulachan, University of Warwick

271.         Aggie Hirst, City University London

272.         Rachna Leveque, University College London

273.         Jim Lusted, University of Northampton

274.        Samiksha Sehrawat, Newcastle University

275.         Leah Bassel, University of Leicester

276.         Derek Averre, University of Birmingham

277.         Sarah Lamble, Birkbeck College, University of London

278.         Liza Schuster, City University London

279.         Misato Matsuoka, University of Warwick

280.        Benoit Dutilleul, University of the West of England

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