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Richard Britton



Joined: 21 Sep 2004
Posts: 11

Post Post subject: Letters to the media Reply with quote

I propose this thread can be used for printing letters (and replies) sent to the press.

In the case of newspapers, a certain proportion of letters are never published for one reason or another, so it would be good to see them on this site. Also, if you are writing to the BBC/Anglia News etc, this will be the only place where letter can be seen.
Tue Nov 16, 2004 10:50 am
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Letter to EDP concerning Pakistani President Reply with quote

Dear Sir/Madam,

Although the UK Government has decided to overlook President Musharraf's terrible human rights record to gain an ally in the 'war on terror', I was surprised to find the EDP taking the Government's line in a recent editorial ('New twists in war on terror', December 7).

However, the EDP didn't just omit reference to certain facts, it positively praised the Pakistani President, saying his state visit is "most welcome" because he is a "stalwart ally", who has "fought the good fight against corruption... His goal is a genuinely democratic and decent government."

Contrast this rhetoric with the historical record. In 1999, Musharraf took power in a coup, and since then has refused to step down as Army Chief. In short, Musharraf heads a military dictatorship. Human Rights Watch note "the military prioritizes the acquisition of nuclear weapons over accessible schooling, clean drinking water, basic medical care or any meaningful reduction in the poverty of its citizens. It is a systematic human rights abuser". Human Rights Watch elaborates: "Pakistan continues to run a pseudodemocracy put in place through elections described as deeply flawed by independent international observers. Musharraf ratified his own position as president through a referendum in which he was the only candidate."

Presented with this information, wouldn't it be logical to conclude the EDP's leader column generally acts as a mouthpiece for Government propaganda?

Yours faithfully,
Tue Dec 14, 2004 3:06 pm
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Letter to the EDP concerning OBEs and a free press Reply with quote

I don't think this one will be published...

Dear Sir/Madam,

I wonder if other readers also feel there is a connection between the EDP Editor recently receiving an OBE and the EDP strongly supporting the Government’s position on Iraq?

In his book ‘Who runs this place’, the late journalist Anthony Sampson notes “the honouring of media people is especially controversial, for Prime Ministers are naturally tempted to use an honour… to gain political support.”

Mrs. Thatcher rewarded loyal editors including Sir Larry Lamb on the Sun and Sir Nicholas Lloyd of the Express. Tony Blair has also been generous honouring editors of Tory papers, including Max Hastings of the Telegraph and Sir Peter Stothard of the Times.

Does the Honours system really have a place in a democratic system that requires a critical, questioning and independent press?

Yours faithfully,

Ian Sinclair
Wed Sep 07, 2005 8:29 pm
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Missing News? Reply with quote

Not published.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I note the EDP has failed to report the recent opinion poll conducted concerning the London bombings.

The July 19 Guardian/ICM poll found two-thirds of Britons believe there is a link between Tony Blair's decision to invade Iraq and the London bombings despite government claims to the contrary.
According to the poll, 33% of Britons think the Prime Minister bears "a lot" of responsibility for the London bombings and a further 31% "a little". Only 28% of voters agree with the Government that Iraq and the London bombings are not connected.

Is it any wonder the EDP, which strongly supports the Government's 'war on terror' and the occupation of Iraq, chooses not to cover this important poll which shows the majority of people do not believe the Government's propaganda or follow this paper's editorial stance?

Perhaps it is time the EDP better represented the views of its readers, rather than the individual opinions of the senior editorial team?

Yours faithfully,

Ian Sinclair
Fri Sep 09, 2005 7:03 pm
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Sir/Madam,

I found it interesting that your recent editorial feigned concern for Iraqi public opinion by referring to “the relative peace desired by the majority of local people” (‘Rapid withdrawal is not an option’, September 21).

As your editorial concerned the question of withdrawing British troops from Iraq, would it not have been wiser to explore what Iraqis think of the continued occupation of their country by the foreign fighters of the US and UK armies?

The Guardian’s Comment Editor Seamus Milne notes that “polls show most Iraqis want foreign troops out now.” For example a January 2005 Zogby International poll found that 82% of Iraq’s Sunni Arabs and 69% of its Shiites favour US withdrawal “either immediately or after an elected government is in place.” On April 9th, two years after the toppling of Saddam Hussein, 300,000 Iraqis took part in a mass rally in Baghdad calling for an end to the occupation.

Furthermore, a NOP poll conducted in April found that 60% of Britons want to see British troops withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the year. A New York Times/ CBS News poll conducted this month found 52% of Americans interviewed calling for an immediate withdrawal.

If the EDP is genuinely concerned about what the Iraqi people want it should begin calling for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq.

Yours faithfully,

Ian Sinclair
Sat Sep 24, 2005 2:14 pm
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Letter to Evening News about charles Clarke Reply with quote

Dear Sir/Madam,

The world really has gone mad.

In March 2003 the US and UK illegally invaded Iraq, on the false pretext of removing the threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction. This has resulted in the deaths of maybe 100,000 Iraqis according to the Lancet medical journal, has turned Arab opinion even further against the US/UK and has greatly increased the chance of terrorist attacks on this country, such as the 7/7 London suicide bombings.

Charles Clarke, as a member of the cabinet, is fully responsible for this action (Robin Cook, acknowledging the cabinet has 'collective responsibility', resigned before the war). Indeed, Mr Clarke's actions would have got him sentenced at the Nuremberg Trials in 1946, when the international community judged the Nazi leadership. "To initiate a war of aggression", said the judges at the trial, "is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

How does our local press respond to these devastating facts? By treating Mr Clarke with respect and deference he certainly does not deserve in an interview that does not even mention his involvement in the Iraqi crisis, but does deem it important to enquire after his weight and who his favourite football player is (‘Tough talking on yobs and city council cock-ups’ and ‘Terror, asylum and football’, September 16 and 17).

Although Mr Clarke would undoubtedly like the issue of Iraq swept under the carpet, I was surprised to see the Evening News comply by not asking one question about this very serious issue.

Yours faithfully,

Ian Sinclair
Sat Sep 24, 2005 2:19 pm
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Sir/Madam,

In his latest column concerning Iraq, Chris Fisher, true to form, focuses on the red herring of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi when referring to the Iraqi resistance (‘Why we should fight for a democratic Iraq’ , September 21).

Sami Ramadani, a political refugee from Saddam Hussein’s regime and a Senior Lecturer at London Metropolitan University argues “Just as Iraq’s 25 million people were reduced, in the public’s mind, to the threat from weapons of mass destruction… the resistance is now being reduced to a single hoodlum.”

As early as November 2003 the Guardian published details of a leaked CIA report that noted “the resistance is broad, strong and getting stronger.” In May this year the Washington Post reported the US military is holding over 11,000 detainees in Iraqi prisons – noting that 96% of those being detained were Iraqi.

Furthermore, the day after Mr. Fisher’s column, the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies published a study that said the US and Iraqi Governments have overstated the number of foreign fighters in Iraq, “feeding the myth” that they are the backbone of the resistance. According to the study, foreign militants account for less than 10% of the estimated 30,000 insurgents.

Rather than simply repeating the Government’s pronouncements on Iraq, perhaps Mr. Fisher could do some independent research for his next article on this important topic?

Yours faithfully,

Ian Sinclair
Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:04 pm
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Sir/Madam

When is Martin Mears going to realise the invasion and continuing occupation of Iraq is not about him and his convoluted intellectual posturing?

Mears’ recent column (‘Saddam – how we miss him now’, 3 November 2006) offers a mea culpa of sorts, but on closer inspection it is clear Mears is still trapped in the same ideological box as he always has been.

For Mears, along with many other mainstream commentators, the invasion and occupation has been a “disaster” rather than a calculated, aggressive, illegal attack on a nation that has led to the death of 655,000 Iraqis according to the Lancet medical journal.

Clearly ignorant of the history of US/UK intervention in the Middle East and Eduardo Galeano’s dictum that, “in general, the words uttered by power are not meant to express its actions, but to disguise them” Mears uncritically repeats Bush and Blair’s assertions that the US/UK invaded to create a “functioning liberal democracy.”

Furthermore Mears also labels North Korea, Syria and Iran “outlaw states” and “nasties” Didn’t that great intellect, the current President of the United States, say something similar about an “axis of evil”?

If Mears is truly concerned for the Iraqi people, perhaps in his next column he could analyse the many opinion polls carried out in Iraq that consistently show the majority of Iraqis want US/UK troops out of Iraq? For example a September 2006 University of Maryland survey found 70 per cent of Iraqis wanted all US troops to leave in less than a year, and 61 per cent approved of attacks on US/UK forces.

Yours sincerely

Ian Sinclair
Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:23 pm
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: George Orwell and inconvenient facts Reply with quote

Dear Sir/Madam

In the censored preface to his famous novel Animal Farm George Orwell noted, ““the sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary. Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban… because of a general tacit agreement that ‘it wouldn’t do’ to mention that particular fact.”

A good example of Orwell’s incisive observation was the EDP’s recent, extensive coverage of Saddam Hussain’s death sentence. The EDP correctly reported he “used chemical weapons against the Kurdish town of Halabja, killing an estimated 5,000 civilians” but failed to mention the ‘inconvenient fact’ of the US-UK support that made the massacre at Halabja possible (’Dictator Saddam‘s decades of brutality‘, November 6).

The New York Times reported in 2002 how the Reagan Administration secretly provided “critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons”. Walter Lang, a former senior US defence intelligence officer added: “The use of gas on the battlefield by the Iraqis was not a matter of deep strategic concern.”

Yours faithfully

Ian Sinclair
Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:32 pm
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Martin Mears and Climate Change Reply with quote

Dear Sir/Madam

What planet is Martin Mears living on?

By flippantly ridiculing credible warnings about the adverse consequences of human-caused climate change Mr. Mears betrays a breathtaking ignorance of the subject (‘It seems the end is nigh… again’, November 17).

Rather than visiting Waterstones to conduct research for his column, can I suggest next time Mr. Mears, as a professional journalist, takes a trip to Norfolk‘s own Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research instead?

Does Mr. Mears know that in June 2005 the science academies of the G8 nations and of China, India and Brazil, stressed that the scientific understanding of climate change was now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action?

Does Mr. Mears know that The Royal Society states on its website “Climate change is one of the most serious issues facing the world”?

Does Mr. Mears know that in 2004 the science journal Nature published the results of a four-year research project that found over one million species - a quarter of the planet’s land mammals and plants - are doomed to die out by 2050 due to climate change?

Before he makes further facile criticisms of those working to highlight these dangers, Mr. Mears would do well to ponder the words of the novelist Robert Tressall: “`Every man who is not helping to bring about a better state of affairs for the future is helping to perpetuate the present misery, and is therefore the enemy of his own children.“

Yours sincerely

Ian Sinclair
Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:16 pm
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: 27/12/07 letter to EDP about Basra public opinion Reply with quote

Published, but edited slightly...

Dear Sir/Madam

Your recent editorial noting “The Iraqi people in Basra… have been grateful for the impact British forces have had in bringing security and stability to the region” (‘Handover a critical step to recovery’, December 17) betrays a profound ignorance of the information currently available on public opinion in Basra.

Contrary to the EDP’s self-serving assertions, a survey of Basra residents conducted by the UK-based polling agency Opinion Research Business (ORB) earlier this month found only 2 per cent of respondents believed that British troops have had a positive effect since the 2003 invasion. In contrast, 86 per cent of respondents felt British troops have had a negative effect.

Furthermore, 83 per cent of respondents said they wanted British troops to leave Iraq, while 72 per cent of respondents believed security would improve in the long term following a British withdrawal.

Given that the 2003 US-UK invasion of Iraq has led to over one million Iraqi deaths (according to an earlier survey by ORB) and over four million Iraqi refugees (according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees) the need for accurate and balanced reporting is more important than ever.

Unfortunately, the extreme contradiction between the EDP’s editorial and Basra public opinion suggests journalistic standards on a par with a Soviet-era Pravda editorial.

Yours sincerely

Ian Sinclair
Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:48 am
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Letter to EDP 29/12/07 Reply with quote

Published - edited slightly...

Dear Sir/Madam

In his misguided attempt to defend the dropping of the two atomic bombs on Japan (letters, December 17 and December 26) Hadrian Jeffs omits a number of important facts.

For example, the historical record clearly shows the Japanese Government was pushing for peace before the first bomb was dropped – and the American Government knew it.

Allen Dulles, chief of the American secret service in Switzerland during the war (and later Director of the CIA) recalled: “On July 20, 1945, under instructions from Washington, I went to the Potsdam Conference and reported there to Secretary [of War] Stimson on what I had learned from Tokyo – they desired to surrender if they could retain the Emperor…” However, the American Government insisted on unconditional surrender, although they backtracked after the war and did in fact allow Japan to retain their Emperor.

President Truman’s friend and Chief of Staff Admiral William Leary – who Mr Jeffs mentions – said the “use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan… In being the first to use it, we… adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages.”

With his disingenuous use of historical facts, what then are we to make of Mr Jeffs own ethical standards?

Thanking you

Ian Sinclair
Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:53 pm
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Chris Fisher and the death penalty - letter to EDP Reply with quote

Published - edited slightly...


Dear Sir/Madam

Unless Chris Fisher has been living on Mars for all of his adult life, his argument that he has always been opposed to the death penalty until the recent murder of Gary Newlove is one of the most disingenuous attempts to garner support for the reintroduction of capital punishment I have ever witnessed (’Where law-abiding people fear to tread‘, March 12).

Why, logical and rational readers might ask, if Mr Fisher is basing his opinion on this important issue on how “horrific and heinous” a crime is, has it taken him so long to come round in support of the death penalty? Were Harold Shipman’s 215 victims not enough for Mr Fisher? Were not Fred and Rosemary West’s crimes as brutal as Mr Newlove’s murder? How about Myra Hindley and Ian Brady?

Furthermore, as any GCSE Sociology student knows, it is certainly not logical, as Mr Fisher ignorantly asserts, that “deterrent sentences for violent offences” would “result in the number of people in prison falling”. A quick glance at the enormous prison population and murder rate of the United States - the nation with the harshest penal system in the industrialised world and several states that still employ the ultimate deterrent - easily refutes Mr Fisher’s lazy reasoning.

Thanking you

Ian Sinclair
Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:12 pm
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Chris Fisher and Iran - letter to EDP Reply with quote

Published - edited slightly...


Dear Sir/Madam

Not content with supporting the illegal invasion and continuing occupation of Iraq which, as Peter Offord notes (Letters, March 22), has led to maybe one million Iraqi deaths and over four million Iraqis refugees, Mr Fisher now tells us that "with its nuclear programme" Iran "is as much of a threat now as Iraq was five years ago" ('War may be won, but who is celebrating?', March 20).

Firstly, as has now been conclusively proved, Iraq wasn't a threat - even to its neighbours! - in 2003. Secondly, in December 2007 - as Mr Fisher is well aware - 16 US intelligence agencies reported "with high confidence that in fall 2003 Tehran halted its nuclear weapons programme."

Just like his commentary on Iraq, Mr Fisher is once again holding to the maxim that you shouldn't let facts get in the way of a good story.

Thanking you

Ian Sinclair
Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:14 pm
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Letter to EDP - 42 days vote Reply with quote

Published...

Dear Sir/Madam

In a recent editorial about the current debate about detention without charge the EDP argued “the existing power to detain terror suspects for up to 28 days without change… seems short” (‘Terror debate goes on without limit’, June 3).

In fact, as the human rights organisation Liberty points out, the current 28 day limit means “the UK already has the longest period of pre-charge detention in the western world”. According to Liberty the limit is just two days in the United States and six in France.

Extending the length someone can be detained without charge to 42 days – as the Government proposes – would be unnecessarily draconian, ineffective and ultimately counterproductive.

With the Parliamentary vote on this issue taking place next week, it is important concerned citizens contact their MP to defend our hard won rights and freedoms.

Thanking you

Ian Sinclair
Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:53 am
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Letter to EDP - wipe Israel off the map Reply with quote

Not published....


Dear Sir/Madam

While there are many criticisms to make of the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he did not, as Chris Fisher asserts, speak "of wiping Israel off the map" ('Launch bring testing times for the Middle East', July 11).

The facts got lost in transalation. Juan Cole, Professor of modern Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan, notes "Ahmadinejad did not say he was going to wipe Israel off the map because no such idiom exists in Persian. He did say he hoped its regime, i.e., a Jewish-Zionist state occupying Jerusalem, would collapse."

Let's not forget that the creation of Israel in 1948 has successfully wiped a nation off the map - try and find Palestine in an atlas today.

Kind regards

Ian Sinclair
Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:09 pm
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
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Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Letter to EDP - omissions on Afghanistan Reply with quote

Published.


Dear Sir/Madam

According to British historian Mark Curtis one way the "mainstream media provide critical support for the elite's promotion of foreign policy" is by "marginalising unwanted views or facts".

True to form, while your recent editorial ('Afghanistan has an impact on us all', July 12) noted a link between the Afghan opium trade and drugs on our streets, it omitted to mention that the poppy crop in Helmand province in Afghanistan (where the majority of British troops are stationed) actually increased by 45 per cent in 2007, according to a United Nations survey.

Also, while your editorial mentioned in passing that a recent US air strike killed 47 civilians, it omitted to mention the fact coalition air strikes have increased sharply in recent years, with 3,572 air strikes occurring in 2007, double the total for 2006 and 20 times the total for 2005. Based on its own fieldwork, the Senlis Council, a pro-war policy thinktank, estimated that air strikes had killed between 2,000 and 3,000 civilians in southern Afghanistan in 2006 alone.

This reliance on air power has led to entirely predictable results, with Antonio Giustozzi, an academic who has visited Afghanistan 15 times since 2001 and written a book on the insurgency, noting "the side effects of U.S. reliance on air power" now form an "important source of recruits for the Taliban".

Kind regards

Ian Sinclair
Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:34 am
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Letter to EDP re: US Presidential elections Reply with quote

Published...

Dear Sir/Madam

Chris Fisher's recent 960-word summary of the forthcoming US presidential elections reads more like a soap opera than a serious piece of political journalism ('Obama looks to regain momentum', August 22). Although Mr Fisher highlights the 'choreographed' nature of the coverage, he nevertheless falls in to line with the mainstream American media, focussing almost entirely on the flaws and ticks of the individual candidates.

Contrary to the mainstream media's dire output, a March 2008 Pew Research Center for the People & Press opinion poll found 'more than three-quarters of the [US] public (78%) would like to see more coverage of the candidates' positions on domestic issues and 74% would like to see more coverage of foreign policy positions.'

Of course the public relations-savvy campaign managers are keen to keep the focus on the candidates' characters and personalities. However, it is surely the job of journalists to take a questioning stance and to provide the general public with accurate information and incisive analysis so they feel equipped to make well-informed decisions in the political arena.

Perhaps in his next column Mr Fisher could write about the candidates' positions on health care, criminal justice, the 'war on terrorism', the military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and climate change?

Kind regards

Ian Sinclair
Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:21 am
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mathewhadley



Joined: 18 Sep 2008
Posts: 1

Post Post subject: Echoes of East Anglia Reply with quote

The myths of Horsham soon started to circulate. Not ghosts exactly, but strange chills and silences. And the food. No-one understood why, but bacon and eggs at breakfast were always green.
-----------------------------
mathew
new way to advertise
Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:47 am
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Letter to EDP - Ian Collins on Charles Clarke Reply with quote

Published...

Dear Sir/Madam

Although there is always fervant debate about a variety of issues in the mainstream media, it is important to remember this always takes place within a very narrow spectrum of opinion.

This rule was perfectly illustrated by Ian Collin's - a man who has been a moderate voice compared to Chris Fisher and Martin Mears - description of Charles Clarke as "our distingiushed dissident" ('No partisan, Clarke is a party man', September 5).

In reality Clarke has been a key player in the increasingly unpopular New Labour project, towing the party line as well as any Soviet-era apparatchnik.

Has Mr Collins forgetten that in March 2003 Clarke, then a member of the Government cabinet, had a central role in the illegal invasion of Iraq? Has Mr Collins forgetten Clarke, as Secretary of State for Education, introduced the highly divisive student tution fees?

For these reasons - and many more - Clarke is, rightly, in serious danger of losing his seat in the next General Election to the anti-war Green candidate Adrian Ramsey.

Kind regards

Ian Sinclair
Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:10 am
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
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Post Post subject: Letter to the Evening News - Afghanistan Reply with quote

Published...

Dear Sir/Madam

In arguing for better-protected vehicles to save the lives of British soldiers in Afghanistan, David Jervis offers a technical fix to a problem that requires a political solution (Letters, September 5).

The best way to stop more British soldiers coming home in body bags is to end their involvement in the brutal military occupation of Afghanistan - a course of action supported by the majority of the population if a December 2007 YouGov/Sunday Times poll is to be believed, with 62 cent of respondents favouring the withdrawing British troops within a year.

Kind regards

Ian Sinclair
Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:12 am
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 111
Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Letter to the EDP - coverage of Gypsy and Traveller issues Reply with quote

Published - edited slightly, with the following footnote added by the EDP:

"We are always happy to listen to criticism, but our style is not 'outdated'. The EDP last researched this question only a year ago, when two experts in the field had different views on what was correct for 'gipsy/gypsy', and whether either of these variants (or the word 'traveller') should be capitalised."


Dear Sir/Madam

Isn’t it about time the EDP moved in to the 21st Century in it’s coverage of Gypsy and Traveller issues?

For example, I notice you have a story on the website headed ‘Norfolk gipsy site petition’ (November 5).

Contrary to the EDP’s outdated language, in its ‘Guidance for Journalists on Reporting Race Issues’, the now-defunct Commission for Racial Equality recommends “the terms Traveller(s), Gypsy or Irish Traveller should be used with initial capital letters.”

This use of language is backed up by the Guardian newspaper’s own Style Guide, which also points out that Gypsies are “recognised as an ethnic group under the Race Relations Act, as are Irish Travellers, hence capped up.”

The EDP would never dream of writing about other ethnic groups using initial lower case letters, so please show the Gypsy community the same respect.

Kind regards

Ian Sinclair
Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:56 am
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
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Post Post subject: Letter to EDP - Ross and Brand vs US military Reply with quote

Published. Edited slightly...

Dear Sir/Madam

Like the rest of the mainstream media, the EDP has decided to focus its attention on the Ross-Brand storm in a teacup, providing extensive commentary on the minutiae of the prank phone call (see for example, ‘Time to sack Ross and Brand', 29 October)

However, I wonder how many readers are aware of the far more important news story that took place at the same time – the US special forces raid on Syria?

Since 9/11 the US, often with British backing, has launched military strikes against Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and now Syria. All have been in blatant contravention of international legal norms and in total have led to hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of deaths.

Surely these actions put the Ross-Brand story in to perspective?

Thanking you

Ian Sinclair
Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:21 pm
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
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Location: Norwich, England

Post Post subject: Letter to EDP - Israeli attack on Gaza Reply with quote

Sent on 30 December 2008. Published...

Dear Sir/Madam

Regarding the continuing Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, I have just listened to the BBC 12 o’clock news, which noted over 360 Palestinians have been killed, with perhaps 1,400 wounded. In contrast since Saturday there have been four Israelis killed by rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip. These numbers do not suggest a war, as the Israeli Government would have us define the situation, but a massacre.

It is worth remembering this isn’t a conflict of equals, but one in which the high-tech Israeli military is bankrolled and equipped by the United States, while the Palestinian resistance has no airforce, navy or tanks, and has to make do with firing homemade rockets.

Furthermore, although the date of the start of the present hostilities is debatable, I notice the Guardian newspaper recently reported the following about the now-broken ceasefire between Hamas and Israel: “In the final weeks both sides were breaking the ceasefire, beginning with an Israeli strike that killed several Hamas men in November on the night of the presidential election.”

Thanking you

Ian Sinclair
Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:33 am
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Ian



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
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Post Post subject: Letter to the EDP-historical context of Israeli Gaza attack Reply with quote

Published. Edited slightly...

Dear Sir/Madam

Chris Fisher's recent column on the continuing Israeli assault on Gaza ('Why Obama isn’t calling for a ceasefire in Gaza', January 6) only makes sense if you have no understanding of the context of the continuing conflict.

Who would know from reading Mr Fisher that in 1948 it was Israel that effectively wiped Palestine off the map, expelling over 750,000 Palestinians from their homes, according to the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe. Or that according to Avi Shlaim, professor of international relations at Oxford University, "in the late 1980s, Israel had supported the nascent Hamas in order to weaken Fatah". Or that since June 2007 Israeli has been enforcing a punishing blockade of Gaza, leading the Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Work Agency to comment "every item necessary for a normal healthy life is absent or in short supply in Gaza."

Hamas may well be smuggling arms in to Gaza from Egypt, as Mr Fisher points out. However, let’s not forget Israel is "the largest annual recipient of direct US economic and military assistance since 1976" according to John Mearsheimer, professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. It should also be remembered British arms companies supply the Israeli military with essential parts for F-16 planes, Merkava tanks, and Apache attack helicopters.

Thanking you

Ian Sinclair
Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:43 pm
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