Theresa May doesn’t have the authority to tackle the Westminster sex pests

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Tuesday 31 October 2017 16:11 GMT
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Theresa May has pledged to crack down on ministers who have allegedly committed sex crimes
Theresa May has pledged to crack down on ministers who have allegedly committed sex crimes (Getty)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Once again Theresa May talks the talk but will not be able to walk the walk. Her majority isn’t big enough or her authority strong enough to take on, sack or remove the whip from people like Nicolas “woof woof” Soames, David “I’m not blind” Davis, Stephen “I’m a Christian and it was only once” Crabb, Micheal “it was a long time ago” Fallon or Mark “sugar tits” Garnier.

Remember that these are the very people who stopped David Cameron from introducing new measures. Mind you, he wasn’t beyond blame – remember his “calm down dear!” put down to a female MP?

Nigel Groom
Witham

Puigdemont should use his time in Brussels wisely

We hear a lot, and rightly so, on the unfairness of judging prominent women on their fashion sense and appearance rather than their performance. These extraneous comments afflict all areas from politics to sport and show a conspicuous absence when the spotlight is on a man.

In an attempt to redress the balance, I would suggest that, during his sojourn in Brussels, Carles Puigdemont attends un salon de coiffure urgently.

It is possibly the worst hair styling I have seen for a man in the limelight since Nick Buckles of G4S infamy a few years ago. Really, don’t these leaders in their field own or use mirrors?

I shall strive to seek out other victims of fashion on the male side for due opprobrium.

Robert Boston
Kingshill

We need to tackle Brexit regret on a local level

Howard Henry Smith rightly asks: “If, according to recent polls, most Britons now believe that Brexit is a huge mistake, then why is this country still pursuing it?

One of the reasons is that many of us are wasting time and energy writing to The Independent. Surely a more valuable approach would be to write to local papers urging those people who have changed their minds to let their MP know. If this were to be successful then MPs could not continue with the line that they are serving the will of their constituency.

Rachel Greenwood
Bewdley​

We need to stop whitewashing the curriculum

Hasnet Lais’s excellent article on the way the national curriculum prevents history teachers from teaching “the brutal legacy of empire” provides yet another piece of evidence to illustrate the way British history is still being manipulated (As a history teacher, I’m horrified by the whitewashing of my curriculum).

It was bad enough when Michael Gove was insisting on factual history taking precedence over analysis and evaluation, but when the facts to be taught are prescriptive, and when essential events are omitted, the history learned is bound to be inaccurate and misleading.

This is not a new phenomenon, and the Brexit vote was, in part, the result of a distorted view of our history, seemingly desirous of our so-called “glorious past”, when wars were won by “Britain alone”, when empires were gained to “civilise”, when atrocities were only committed by enemies or “barbarians”, and when the economy boomed without the need for European co-operation or labour.

Of course history involves, as Lais reminded us, a “dispassionate and authentic inquiry into the past”, but unlike other countries like Germany – which insists on facing up to its past and refusing to mislead students with “colonial amnesia”, however uncomfortable – Britain does the opposite. Court cases, such as those on behalf of 44,000 Kenyans claiming compensation for the brutal tactics employed by the British crushing the Mau Mau rebellion in the 1950s, get scant coverage in the press; had any other country used beatings, torture, rape, forced labour, castration and roasting alive as methods to suppress popular uprisings, it would be headline news.

In fact, the 30-year rule has been ignored so often by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, that there now exists an archive containing 1.2 million files, going back to the end of the Crimean War, hidden from the prying eyes of historians, and, of course, from barristers aiming to get justice for their clients.

Two things are essential: first, the release of the “secret” files; and second, an admission that our history has been manipulated for years, and that a rewrite is required.

Bernie Evans
Liverpool

Zoos are no place for wild animals

No one should be surprised when a captive wild animal takes an opportunity to flee. Lynxes, like all animals – humans included – long to be free. Even the best zoos cannot begin to replicate their natural habitats or give them the autonomy to make choices about relationships – or anything else for that matter. They are invariably stressed when deprived of all control over their lives and will do whatever they can to escape. It’s time we stopped treating animals as living exhibits, and we can start by making the choice today never again to visit a zoo or any other institution that incarcerates animals for human amusement.

Jennifer White, Peta UK

Giving NHS staff a break from managerial box ticking would improve productivity

Productivity in the NHS could be improved dramatically and almost instantaneously if the nurses and doctors and other front line staff were allowed to perform their proper duties, free from managerial intrusions and political must-dos – like passport checking, box ticking, attending endless fruitless meetings, rigidly formulaic CPD processes...

The desperate bureaucratic drag on the system can be switched off in an instant. It is not the behaviour of the front-line staff that needs to change; it is management and politicians whose behaviour must change.

Steve Ford (retired GP)
Haydon Bridge

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