How bad does the migrant crisis on the US border have to get for Trump to see sense?

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Friday 07 December 2018 16:39 GMT
Does there have to be an Alan Kurdi-type situation for anyone to take notice?
Does there have to be an Alan Kurdi-type situation for anyone to take notice? (Reuters)

In regards to your article “Migrant caravan: Footage shows children being thrown over 18-foot Arizona border force”.

Is a video of children being thrown over the 18-foot Arizona border fence not enough to stop Donald Trump’s authorisation of lethal force at the border? As a result of the aggressive stance of the US’s border force, people are being left with no choice but to risk their children’s lives as well as their own.

Asylum seekers have the right under international and US law to request an asylum hearing upon presenting themselves at the US border. However, they are being denied this right and instead greeted with violence. Will the situation have to escalate to one similar to Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed ashore during the Syrian refugee crisis for Trump to acknowledge the gravity of this migrant crisis?

Isobel Simpson

Let’s come back to Brexit another time

I have heard people are getting fed up with talk about Brexit; some say “just get on with it”. So I realise my comments may be viewed with exasperation.

Leavers are confident the UK will be fine outside the EU... in time. They seem to accept there will be a few difficult years before we bounce back with good trade deals.

Currently there is no agreement on the best way forward, and it’s said a people’s vote may increase popular tensions.

After eight years of austerity the public are tired, councils are cash-strapped and public services including the NHS are extremely stretched.

Is this really the best time to deliberately cause the country to have those few difficult years that even Leavers expect. Whether Leaver or Remainer... wouldn’t it be better to think about this when we are stronger?

May I suggest we revoke Article 50 and hold a referendum in the future when the country and the population feel the time is appropriate to make this decision.

Derek Thornhill

Who’s in?

I’ve just read Mary Dejevsky’s article about the resilience of a written constitution to extreme change. Brilliant! I would vote for her. She’s talking a lot of sense.

I wonder whether a new political party should emerge from this: the Constitutional Party. I think they would get a lot of support.

Chris Bonfield
Address supplied

Provenance of meat matters

If campaigners genuinely care about animal welfare – “Animal welfare activists ‘appalled’ as slaughterhouses fail to install CCTV despite deadline” – they should recognise that the only abattoirs yet to install CCTV are very small ones serving local producer-retailers who care passionately to avoid the distress to their animals from long journeys.

There are now only 56 of the smallest local abattoirs left in the UK, with seven more having closed this year. The animals they slaughter are brought short distances in small batches by the farmers who have reared them.

But these abattoirs are suffering severe financial hardship due to unfair competition from the large grant-aided slaughterhouses which supply the supermarkets, reducing prices for hides and skins and increasing costs for waste collection. In addition, the cost of installing CCTV in small abattoirs is many times higher per animal slaughtered than it is in larger ones.

We need both public understanding and government financial support if we are not to lose the whole concept of local meat and to move to a world where those producers who have tried to make a less intensive and more humane approach work, through organic, pasture-fed and genuinely free-range systems, are not got rid of, leaving nothing but factory farming and factory-scale slaughter.

Richard Young, policy director for the Sustainable Food Trust

All pain, no gain

Each year we are solemnly assured by the rail panjandrums and politicians that the increase in fares is all about investing for the future, and that pain today will mean gain tomorrow for the long-suffering train traveller.

And yet we learn on Thursday that the punctuality of trains is at its lowest level since 2005, when doubtlessly the same excuse was trotted out to justify the increases that year. Would the panjandrums and politicians care to explain just how long we will have to wait before we see a return on this investment. By any yardstick, 13 years and counting beggars belief. Or is investment run on the same principle as running the trains – delays all round!

Robin Bulow

We’re in this mess because of the Tories

I am amazed at the arrogance of those Tories who suggest that Europe needs to help them out by renegotiating Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement. Why should they? Tory paranoia over Europe has dogged successive Conservative administrations and is now on the verge of seriously damaging the country.

The referendum, the division in the nation, and the current chaos is entirely of the Conservatives’ own making. They need to fix it, or pay for it at the ballot box!

Arthur Streatfield

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