Sun

Sun 26th May 2013

I trot round the park today and listen to the Navy lark. I Oh dear, oh dear
Troutbridge is sent off to test out a new piece of equipment, a navigation device. I works perfectly despite Leslie’s efforts to correct it. Though it does make some very rude noises at him Priceless.
A quiet day off out to the garden mow the lawn, water the plants and have a go at the Russian vine.
We watch ‘The Perfect Woman’ a wonderful old film
Mary wins at Scrabble today, just and gets just under 400, I might get revenge tomorrow, I hope.

Obituary:

Paul Shurey
Paul Shurey, who has died after a fall aged 54, was one of the key movers and shakers in the rave scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when hordes of pharmaceutically fuelled revellers gathered to dance the night away to pulsating electronic music – often to the dismay of the Establishment.

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Paul Shurey 
6:22PM BST 24 May 2013
Raves evolved from the so-called warehouse parties first held in disused factories in northern industrial cities, notably Manchester, from the mid-1980s. The warehouse gatherings initially featured a mix of music styles, but as the decade progressed, and the parties hit London, electronic beats came to dominate and the events were rebranded Acid House Parties, often featuring the Smiley face logo as their emblem.
The electronic music behind the Acid House phenomenon, characterised by basslines modulated on synthesizers to produce a distorted effect, had emerged in mid-80s Chicago. It was imported to Britain in 1987, notably by the DJ Danny Rampling at the nightclub Shoom. When it and other such clubs shut their doors for the night, many danced on at after-parties, which were frequently raided by police. To escape such unwanted attentions, promoters began to organise secret parties in locations ranging from former East End jails to rural barns. The rave was born.
Many of those attending were young male football fans and, perhaps inevitably at a time when terraces were plagued by hooligans, the huge unregulated raves were viewed with suspicion by the authorities, who often found themselves outmanoeuvred or overwhelmed by the size and speed with which the underground scene was flowering.
Yet instead of violence, raves aimed to embody the sunny Mediterranean attitude of Ibiza, where the electronic dance music scene quickly took root. Above all, there was the all-pervading presence of the drug ecstasy, whose users were mostly minded to gurn and grin inanely rather than glass each other. As events mushroomed across the country, there was talk of a “Second Summer of Love”; advocates even credited raves with a tailing-off in football hooliganism, as working-class fans found an altogether trippier way of working through their frustrations.
Paul Shurey began running unofficial parties from 1989, when the scene was dominated by promoters known as Perception, Sunrise and Raindance. Under these names, parties soon took on vast proportions, attracting up to 10,000 people, and featuring huge speaker systems, light shows, and even fairground rides. Many were staged in the open air, in the home counties around the M25 – hence the name of one emerging dance act, Orbital. Shurey’s own parties were initially promoted under the name Brainstorm, then – with Rob Vega and Jamie Smith – Universe. Setting up after a location was found could take as little as an hour . “Dancing under the stars, with the sun coming up in the morning, is to my mind the true, original acid house, rave experience,” Paul Shurey would say later. “Forget about reality. Step into our virtual world.”
Shurey’s most significant contribution to the rave scene came when, with Ian Jenkinson, he decided to launch Tribal Gathering, a vast outdoor festival devoted entirely to dance music, with several different stages and DJs. It was first held in April 1993, at Lower Pertwood Farm, Wiltshire, with more than 25,000 people attending. As well as Danny Rampling, the roster of DJs included several names who would go on to become highly-paid superstars of the club scene, notably Pete Tong, David Morales and Carl Cox.
Tribal Gathering was considered a huge success, but plans for a second event in 1994 were disrupted by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of that year, which legislated, among many other things, against “persons attending or preparing for a rave” and music which “includes sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats”. As a result Tribal Gathering moved to Munich in 1994. But by teaming up with experienced events organisers from the Mean Fiddler group, the festival was able to return legally to Britain in 1995, with Orbital among the headline acts at Otmoor Park, Oxfordshire.
By 1997 Tribal Gathering was so successful that it was able to attract the notoriously perfectionist German group Kraftwerk, long wooed by British promoters, to play at Luton Hoo. But with success came battles over naming rights and money, and Shurey fell out with the Mean Fiddler group. As a result Tribal Gathering 1998 was cancelled. Shurey attempted to put on an independent festival , but ticket sales were poor. The premier dance event of that year, Creamfields, was run by Mean Fiddler.
Having helped bring an underground music scene into the mainstream, Shurey found himself frozen out. “Our big legal battle with Mean Fiddler totally disillusioned me with the whole dance scene,” he said. “I just wanted to get away.”
Paul John Shurey was born on Christmas Eve 1958 at Longfield, Kent, the son of a Customs and Excise officer and a schoolteacher. The family moved to Birmingham when he was a young boy, and Paul was educated at Hall Green junior school . He won a scholarship to King Edward’s Grammar School and from there to Warwick University, where he studied American History.
His career as a party organiser began at Warwick, where he became the social secretary of the student union, a role whose duties involved, among other things, booking bands for concerts. A talented illustrator, he also launched a punk magazine called Blades ’n’ Shades, which featured many of his own graphics and cartoons.
His studies were brought to an abrupt end when, on the last night of his third year of studies, he was a passenger in a car involved in a serious crash, which put him in intensive care for several weeks. When he eventually came out of hospital he decided to drop out of university and dedicate himself full-time to a band which he had formed just before the accident. A drummer, Shurey had been taught to play by Clem Burke of the band Blondie .
Shurey’s band was called the VIPs, and played a form of soft punk. Their first record was described by John Peel as his “favourite record of the moment” and they were signed to the Gem label. After releasing several singles which achieved moderate chart success, Shurey left to form, in 1981, Mood Six, a five-piece band for which he played keyboards.
To capitalise on the “New Psychedelia” fad then under way, Shurey acquired a bright orange Vox Continental organ from Steve Harley of the band Cockney Rebel. He was also involved in running The Groovy Cellar club in London, which was the heart of the New Psychedelia movement. Mood Six were signed by EMI, and the band’s first single was called Hanging Around. An album followed, but the group’s members fell out , and Shurey decided to quit.
After a couple of years in Paris, where on one occasion he played in the backing band for Serge Gainsbourg, Shurey returned to London , starting a clothing label called Wild with outlets in Portobello Road, and Hyper Hyper in Kensington High Street. Initially highly successful, Wild supplied clothes to many pop groups, notably Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
His next venture was in record distribution and promotion with London Records FFRR. It was through London Records that Shurey was first introduced to the dance music trends emerging from Chicago. He then started promoting illegal parties, having teamed up with a friend who owned a high-quality sound system, and a group of travellers who owned a circus tent. Putting the two together, Shurey threw his first parties in fields in the countryside outside Bristol, where he then lived. To avoid police attention, he would select three potential locations for any event. If he felt that the police were on to one, he switched to another at the last moment.
Rumours of such parties would begin to swirl in the week before they were held. Partygoers would then congregate at pubs before being given a rendezvous, often a motorway service station, from where a convoy of vehicles would head out to the party destination. They would aim to arrive at 10-11pm on a Saturday night; sometimes revels would last for two or three days.
The success of Shurey’s parties grew until they were so large that one was held in a disused aircraft hangar in Wiltshire. Police, who had taken a fairly lenient attitude until then, arrived at midnight with a riot squad and a helicopter hovering overhead. Thousands of revellers barricaded themselves inside and continued dancing until 7am, when the police finally forced their way in.
Such was the parties’ popularity that Shurey decided to organise them on a legal basis. He began a weekly club night at Club UK in London and set up Brainstorm, which then became Universe.
After the dispute with Mean Fiddler, Shurey moved into digital marketing and went back to university to study television production. His first job after graduation was with a shopping channel. After moving to the production company Tiger Aspect, where he worked on shows such as Secret Diary of a Call Girl, he went to Cupid, a dating website company, before, in 2012, founding his own dating site for married people who wanted to have affairs. His father was scandalised.
Shurey was still running the site when, in March this year, he travelled to India. He was there when he suffered a fall, hitting his head and suffering injuries from which he never recovered.
Paul Shurey married (dissolved), in 1989, Caroline Mannion, with whom he had a daughter, who survives him.
Paul Shurey, born December 24 1958, died April 24 2013

Guardian:

The article on the bullying tactics of barristers in the “grooming” case missed the matter of principle from which that crass bullying arises (“‘Why are you lying?’ demands the barrister”, News). A lawyer in court enjoys privilege and can make unsubstantiated derogatory statements and allegations to or about accused persons or witnesses, and even libel people not party to the proceedings in question, with no fear of redress.
There may be situations outside courts where privilege from redress must be extended to people, for example, who seek to uncover corruption and dishonesty, or where doubts need to be raised over actions in corporate or public office, but, in a court of law, where privilege is accepted, a judge in a case should surely be able to draw a firm line where the privilege is being abused and where it is harmful to the cause of justice.
Professor AJ Pointon
University of Portsmouth
Time to kick out the touts
I sympathise with Fred Gilroy’s disappointment at being unable to secure Dr Who Prom tickets for his children but I feel that contacting the Albert Hall and his MP to complain, and your reporting of it, displayed a misunderstanding of a complex ticketing process. (“Outraged fans call for crackdown on ticket touts as £12 seats for Proms go for £500”, News)
The completion of a Proms Plan is merely the first step in an unpredictable process. It could hardly be otherwise, with thousands of concert-goers going online simultaneously at 9am on the 11 May. In fact, Mr Gilroy did quite well to have only a 10-minute wait before getting into the queue for tickets. I was online at 9am prompt and waited 30 minutes to get in the queue.
To call this process “unethical” misses the point and underestimates the reality of such an enormous ticketing undertaking. What is surprising is that the Observer chose to undermine the validity of its argument – that touts are a real problem and that the selling-on of tickets is manifestly unfair – by reporting Mr Gilroy’s complaint as evidence, rather than a misunderstanding of a process.
John Johnson
Luton
Legacy of childhood trauma
It is true, as Professor O’Donovan asserts in his letter (“Claim that abuse is behind psychosis is irresponsible”, Big Issue) that “correlation does not equal causation”. It is a pity he does not apply the same dictum to his own genetic research, which is entirely correlational and has yielded very weak associations between specific genes and psychosis.
We recently published a review of the most rigorously designed studies of childhood trauma (not just abuse but also separation from parents and bullying by peers) and found that children who had been traumatised had a three times increased risk of psychosis in adulthood (Varese F, et al. Childhood adversities increase the risk of psychosis, Schizophrenia Bulletin 2012; 38:661-71, free to download), a far stronger association than between psychosis and any specific gene. The risk increased dramatically for children who experienced multiple traumas.
The most plausible explanation is that childhood trauma does play a causal role in adult mental illness, although this does not mean that every patient has experienced trauma as a child. Many other factors are involved, including the strongest predictor of mental health problems – poverty.
Richard Bentall and John Read
Professors of clinical psychology, University of Liverpool
Cut the demand for drugs
As we know, supply and demand control commercial dealings (“Europe and the US should heed Latin America on drugs”, editorial). The failed US and European anti-drugs policies have concentrated mainly on attempting to restrict supply. Perhaps now more emphasis needs to be placed on trying to restrict demand. This is not easy, but some guidance can be found in parallel situations, especially with alcohol. The various authorities could make it difficult to combine drugs with doing the things that we want to do.
Publicity campaigns and the development of simple testing have reduced the combination of alcohol with driving; similarly, the combination of performance-enhancing drugs with competitive sport; of alcohol with various kinds of responsible work. Such an approach could at least restrict recreational drug use; much of the remainder is more a medical or public-health problem anyway and requires other solutions.
David Hunt
West Wickham, Kent
Why insist on celibacy?
The Catholic theologian Professor Werner Jeanrond is quoted in your article (“Cardinal still a danger, say abuse accusers”, News) as saying: “As a church, we have failed to come to terms with homosexuality.” I would say that it has failed to come to terms with any sort of sexuality. The church’s insistence on the chastity of its clergy has led to a suppression of natural feelings that, in many cases, has caused individual clergy to be unable to practise what they preach. It additionally has led to the totally unreasonable doctrine that condemns contraception, leading to much individual suffering, at the same time as contributing to the rapid growth of population.
Roger Plenty
Stroud

‘Tis much ado about nothing or, as Freud would have said, “the narcissism of small differences” (“How our tax inspectors fell in love with tycoons”, Nick Cohen).
Britain’s mainstream parties pretend to differ on the taxation of multi-nationals yet were happy with Revenue & Customs cutting sweetheart deals. They also pretend to differ on the EU, yet are committed, as are many Eurosceptic Tory MPs, to the free movement of labour within an ever expanding, albeit looser, EU.
This is to be expected of ideologically driven globalists and Mammon worshippers. Not for these laissez-faire spear-carriers to worry about uncontrolled immigration because, they say, it will be self-regulating.
It also happens to be morally wrong to import cheap labour with the aim of driving down unskilled wages. Achieving a living wage for our unskilled citizenry will require curtailing immigration from within the EU as well as without.
There will be a transfer of purchasing power from the “haves” to the “have-nots” as menial jobs that cannot be outsourced abroad become more costly. This is a small price to pay for anyone concerned about national cohesiveness.
Yugo Kovach
Winterborne Houghton
Dorset
Eric Schimdt (“At Google we aspire to do the right thing. So we welcome a debate on international tax reform,”, ) writes a convincing article for reform of international corporate tax in his capacity as an executive chairman of a capitalist multinational company. But it is just that.
He tells us: “It’s probably only a significant increase in international tax globally that would make every country a ‘winner’ – and the consequences of that would likely be less innovation, less growth and less job creation.”
However, more revenue to national exchequers can lead to a multiplier effect for society as a whole. Greater investment in infrastructure, increased income for publicly financed job creation and redistribution of income to boost consumption are just some of the potential multiplier effects.
As for his point about innovation, there is now reputable research (eg William Lazonick and Mariana Mazzucato) which shows that innovation, especially in high risk and high capital intensity areas, rather than being initially financed by private companies, is significantly funded by governments.
Michael Somerton
Hull
Eric Schmidt is disingenuous in the extreme when he says that companies should be taxed where their economic activity takes place and their profits are generated, which he claims is where his engineers are based – in the US.
Common sense would say the tax should be paid to the society from which the revenues are drawn as it is this society’s expensive welfare systems that create a society with money to spend. As for wanting a pat on the head for investing £1bn in London property, he surely must realise that the London property market needs foreign capital as much as it needs a tsunami and if he really cares two hoots about the UK he should open his new office in Tyneside.
Silas Sutcliffe
London NW3
I totally agree with Nick Cohen when he wrote: “Tycoons enchanted politicians. They convinced them that their interest and the national interest were as one.” It was not only the politicians who were enchanted by tycoons. Journalists and newspaper editors became “enchanted”, too, and many still are.
So I was not that surprised to find Google chair Eric Schmidt had been given half a page in the same edition to whitewash his company’s tax avoidance schemes. Pull the other one, Eric; the British people have no interest in a debate with you, we just want you to pay your taxes.
Mick Hall
Grays

Independent:

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Planned mega-farms for salmon, pigs and cows would cause massive environmental damage, both in terms of their immediate environs and also the costs of shipping large amounts of food supplies into them, and waste away (“Health fears as huge livestock ‘factories’ arrive in Britain”, 12 May). It is disturbing that the Defra spokesperson talked positively about this development in terms of the “efficiency of food production”. This is a myth.
It isn’t “efficient” to drive out of business small farmers, who care for their landscape, work with the ecology of their land and provide employment and local food supplies, replacing them with giant factories that can only be disastrous for human and animal health, abusive of animal welfare and greatly damaging to the environment. We should remember swine flu in 2009, linked to intensive pig farming in Mexico, and the serious concern about antibiotic resistance expressed by England’s chief medical officer in March.
Natalie Bennett
Leader, Green Party
London W1
This is a moment of solidarity with Lee Rigby’s family. Muslim youth needs to know that our armed forces fulfil the tasks entrusted to them, and that foreign policy is an expression of our national interests, which can be changed through national consensus, civic efforts and legitimate lobbying. The democratic values of Britain are here to stay, come hell or high water.
Dr Lu’ayy Minwer Al-Rimawi
Visiting Fellow, Harvard Law School
Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
Hampshire Police, who in 1989 reinvestigated the murder of Daniel Morgan in 1987, found that the original investigation was “pathetic” but not corrupt (“A shameful case…”, 12 May). The remit of the new inquiry should be to examine the investigations into the murder of Daniel Morgan. Anything else betrays an agenda.
Richard Christie QC
Johnathan Lennon
London EC4
Parents looking at student contact time and fees are coming up with a hefty hourly rate for some university courses (Margareta Pagano, Business, 19 May). Some courses such as medicine seem to have a lot of contact time and are good value for money, but for arts-based courses, less than 10 hours’ contact time per week is common. When we asked our daughter’s university to replace a cancelled seminar, the response was very dismissive, giving the impression that contact time with students was an optional extra, and got in the way of academic life for the lecturers.
Bryan Cadman
Bristol
You ask what the EU has ever done for us, “apart from delivering nearly 70 years of peace” (“New poll puts Ukip in third place…”, 19 May). But it was Nato who stood up to the supposed Soviet threat in the immediate post-Second World War world, while EU membership hasn’t stopped Britain being involved in military activity overseas, such as in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nor will it stop future terrorist attacks, the main threat to world peace today.
Tim Mickleburgh
Grimsby, Lincolnshire
You refer to Wolves fans singing “Que sera sera, whatever will be will be, we’re going to Shrews-bu-ry…” at their last game of the season as they faced up to life in League One next season (Sport, 19 May). But they were far from being the first fans to sing this version this season. It was actually first heard at Ashton Gate, home of the mighty Bristol City, on the night of Tuesday 16 April, when City needed to beat Birmingham City in order to have any chance whatsoever of staying up. Half time saw Bristol 1-0 down, and clearly heading towards the trap door. It was as the second half started that the fans on the East End – closely followed by most of the rest of the ground – started singing this song. This match was some four games before the end of the season, and played when Wolves still had chances of saving themselves!
Kevin Rawlings
Clevedon, North Somerset
Looking at the shift of audiences from Radio 1 to 4 with age, Katy Guest argues that listening to The Archers from the start is not essential (“Wear low-slung jeans? Radio 1 is your station, 19 May). But it is. Forget Today. If you want to discover the zeitgeist, it’s in Ambridge.
Keith Flett
London N17
Have your say

Times:
The easy way to close Britain’s tax loopholes
IT IS not surprising that  profit-maximising multinationals try to pay little or even no corporation tax despite being highly profitable (“Google insider exposes ‘immoral’ tax scam”, News, “Don’t be evil, dudes —  unless it turns a buck”,  Profile, and “Any way you Google it, it is wrong”, Editorial, last week).
What is surprising is that the law allows them to get away with it. Until — and unless — an international agreement is reached to ensure that large businesses pay their fair share of tax, Britain needs to introduce a straightforward anti-avoidance law.
This would charge corporation tax on a reasonable estimate of the profits generated by all UK sales, to individuals in Britain and other UK businesses, whether in shops or online. The location of the head office or where the profits are declared would then be irrelevant, so the tax could not be dodged by moving the business to a tax haven. 
Richard Mountford, Tonbridge, Kent

No excuse 
One can only congratulate Margaret Hodge on her tenacity in turning the spotlight on the dubious statements and accounts provided by Google et al to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The light should now be shone on HMRC, which appears to have had little stomach for questioning the practices and credibility of the large multinationals.
The excuse that it is all very complicated and we don’t understand is wearing a bit thin. Does a reasonable person believe Switzerland plays a key role in making and selling a Starbucks cup of coffee in the UK? I doubt it. I would also suggest the Commons public accounts committee stop using the word “fairness” — it sounds like begging.
No company or individual aims for fairness in settling their tax liability: the sole aim is to get it as low as possible.
David Ladlow Douglas, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany

Street view 
While the immorality of the tax avoidance by such firms as Google and Amazon is now apparent, the damage already done to our jobs and high streets cannot be overestimated. The government should bring them to heel as soon as possible but in the meantime perhaps people can be persuaded to shop on their high streets rather than online to deprive such internet giants of their immoral earnings.
Peter and Eleanor Davies, Linghams Booksellers, Wirral

Legal battle 
There is nothing moral or immoral about paying or not paying taxes, and no person or business will voluntarily pay more tax than they are legally obliged to. If the government is unhappy about the way multinational corporations operate here, it needs to change the rules.
Name withheld

Stranger than fiction
Concerns over Google’s practices were expressed as long ago as 2007. The sci-fi author Cory Doctorow wrote a disturbing story called Scroogled that depicted a world owned by Google. The writer’s grim prediction that total information equals total  power was spot-on. How can you read it? Just Google it.
Dr Nigel Robinson, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire

Inclusive plan for civil partnerships
WHY don’t we take this opportunity to think outside the box on extended civil partnerships (“Ministers defy PM on gay marriage”, News, and “Say it loud: we’re proud of gay marriage”, Nick Herbert, Comment, last week)? Millions of cohabiting couples and their families at present are unprotected by any rules, so how about broadening the concept to all who want it? 
Anne Kruse, London N3

Pensions omission 
Herbert has argued strongly for gay marriage to address the “final anomaly” in equality between gay and straight couples. However, he omits the most glaring inequality of all — pension rights. The civil partnership legislation of 2005 determined that a surviving civil partner could benefit only from pension rights accrued since 2005, but the proposed gay marriage laws will replicate the anomaly.
Trevor Skipp, Chertsey, Surrey

Union dispute
What supporters of gay marriage fail to understand is that marriage is specifically and intrinsically a relationship between a man and a woman. To try to extend it to include gay couples is like trying to extend vegetarianism to include people who eat meat. 
Richard Harris, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex 
 
Right-to-die requests should be respected
IT ISN’T just dementia that thwarts our plans (“Dementia thwarts best-laid plans”, Letters, last week). I also  dread the disease that robbed me of my mother, and the thought of my daughter changing my nappies and enduring tyrannical rages  and repeated conversations fills me with dismay.
So strong are my feelings that five years ago I wrote a detailed advance directive,  had it witnessed, shared it with my family and lodged a copy with my GP. I take little comfort from this as it  appears that some people — who do not know me but  have some religious or ethical opinion — are insisting they have more rights over my  body than me.
Why should the limited resources of this tiny planet be used on my dribbling, deranged shell when I’ve requested otherwise?
Sue Parkes, Halesowen, West Midlands
Police failure on abuse
IT IS the lack of action by the police that particularly troubles me in the shocking abuse of girls (“Officialdom’s golden rule of child protection: save your own neck first”, Comment, last week). I can understand them considering that their ability to prosecute is limited, owing to the vulnerability of the witnesses, whose testimony is unlikely to stand up to scrutiny in court. However, they should not be closing the file at that point, but thoroughly monitoring  the suspects. 
Richard Adams, Exeter, Devon

Child protection
The behaviour of groupies and the abuse of children cannot be compared (“Rushing to judge”, Letters, last week). While some groupies may have behaved badly, they would have chosen freely to behave in that way towards another adult — a wholly different matter from a powerful, famous adult imposing his will on a child.
The youngest of Stuart Hall’s victims was nine at the time of the abuse, and Jimmy Savile was said to have preyed on children barely old enough to go to school. With those as young as five there cannot possibly be two sides to the story. Indeed, the attitude of the police at the time was the reason why victims did not complain.
That in itself is sufficient to show why there should never be a statute of limitation for child abuse.
Dr Nick Winstone-Cooper, Laleston, south Wales

Total eclipse of the art
I recently visited Tate St Ives in Cornwall, where, to my great surprise, no artwork was to be seen (“It’s a miracle! After years of thematic muddle, Tate Britain’s clear and chronological rehang has given London a proper national museum, while turning up lost treasures”, Waldemar Januszczak, Culture, last week). I had expected there would be works of art by the many artists who have worked in St Ives and who have helped to make the place famous. It seems absurd to pretend that this place is an art gallery when, in fact, for large periods in between exhibitions it is only a shop and a restaurant. Obviously no rehang is needed at Tate St Ives but a rethink might be a good idea.
Aart van Kruiselbergen, London N1

Points
Shame on Scotland
Scotland’s reputation of fairness in the eyes of the world has been sullied by the thuggish protests during Nigel Farage’s visit to Edinburgh and Alex Salmond’s refusal to condemn them. The Scottish adage of “Wha’s like us” has taken on a different hue. Salmond often claims Scotland is different from England. He can say that again.
Stan Hogarth, Strathaven, Lanarkshire

Emission statement
We should be grateful to Dominic Lawson for confirming how important it is for the Prince of Wales to continue speaking up about issues such as climate change (“With the deepest respect, Charles, please do shut up”, Comment, May 12). Lawson’s claim that the planet “was doing just fine when CO2 concentrations were vastly higher” shows the success of the fossil fuel lobby’s brainwashing. 
Jakob von Uexkull, London SW1

Woman about the house
Your report “By George, he’s got it” (Focus, May 5) lists women’s qualities in the workplace as, among others, being reasonable, patient, co- operative, supportive and good listeners. Is there a recorded instance of them also showing these qualities at home? 
Simon Sinclair, Stockport, Cheshire

Corrections
An article about solar panel schemes (“Has the sun set on solar power?”, Money, last week) incorrectly stated that a 2.7-kilowatt peak solar panel system would cost £7,000 to install and that customers would therefore have to wait 16½ years to recover the cost of the original investment, based on a total income and energy bill savings of £550 a year minus maintenance costs of £1,000 every eight years. In fact, a system of this size would cost about £5,400 to install and therefore customers would have to wait 12½ years to recover their original costs, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Complaints about inaccuracies in all sections of The Sunday Times, including online, should be addressed to editor@sunday-times.co.uk or The Editor, The Sunday Times, 3 Thomas More Square, London E98 1ST. In addition, the Press Complaints Commission (complaints@pcc.org.uk or 020 7831 0022) examines formal complaints about the editorial content of UK newspapers and magazines (and their websites)

Birthdays
Simon Armitage, poet, 50; Helena Bonham Carter, actress, 47; Paul Collingwood, cricketer, 37; Howard Goodall, composer, 55; Hazel Irvine, broadcaster, 48; Stevie Nicks, singer, 65; Michael Portillo, broadcaster, 60; Matt Stone, co-creator of South Park, 41; Philip Treacy, milliner, 46

Anniversaries
1865 Confederate general Edmund Kirby Smith surrenders in Texas, in effect ending the American Civil War; 1897 publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula; 1907 birth of John Wayne, actor; 1977 George Willig climbs Tower 2 of the World Trade Center

Telegraph:
SIR – Throughout Thursday’s BBC Two drama-documentary The Last Days of Anne Boleyn, it was repeated time and time again that the story has divided historians for more than 600 years.
I know that time passes faster with increasing age, but Anne Boleyn’s death in 1536 still appears to be only 477 years ago. Mental arithmetic is evidently a thing of the past.
Robert Grindal
Reading, Berkshire

SIR – I recall being told while Tony Blair was prime minister that troops were being sent to Afghanistan to keep terrorism off our streets and to help prevent drugs being openly traded throughout the world.
Terrorists walk freely through our streets. As for the supply of drugs, there seems to be an abundance of them available publicly and, indeed, in prisons.
I take it, then, that all our brave young men and women who have lost life and limb in Afghanistan have done so in vain.
Ian Beck
Crosby, Cumbria
SIR – Ingrid Loyau-Kennett’s courage in trying to reason with one of the suspects armed with a meat cleaver will, I hope, be recognised in the Birthday Honours.
Related Articles
Anne Boleyn was not as old as we were told
25 May 2013
John Lidstone
Fleet, Hampshire
SIR – It would appear that the Metropolitan Police now have a policy, where weapons are being used, to wait for armed back-up. Hence the gap between the first officers on the scene at Woolwich and the matter being dealt with by armed officers.
I hope that my belief is wrong because otherwise a lot of unnecessary carnage will happen.
In 1962 as a young PC of 20 years of age, I disarmed a lunatic eastern European kitchen worker who, with a huge machete, was threatening residents of a Chelsea hotel. I was unarmed, with a truncheon only, which I did not draw.
David Cooper
Herne Bay, Kent
SIR – I was an English Roman Catholic living here in the Seventies and Eighties, while madmen claiming to be of my faith were butchering innocent people, including children. I felt anguish then, as I’m sure so many Muslims do today at the suggestion that Islam is the cause of the act of barbarism in Woolwich.
I urge all British people to extend a friendly hand to decent people of that faith to show we do not hold them responsible for the actions of a couple of madmen.
Linda Kendall
Rayleigh, Essex
SIR – Mehdi Hasan (Comment, May 24) says it is not Islam that turns young men to terror. He quotes from the Koran (5: 32): ‘Whosoever killeth a human being it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.”
Immediately after that passage it reads: “The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off.”
A minority of Muslims see the decadent West as at war with Islam. Those bent on violence do not have to look very far for blood-curdling language to justify them in their attacks.
Michael Staples
Seaford, East Sussex
Children viewing porn
SIR – So far, our society’s response to the widespread corruption of children by easily accessible internet pornography does indeed appear to be to “throw up our hands and insist that nothing can be done” (Leading article, May 24).
Ever since the sex gurus of the Sixties accused us of being narrow-minded, urging us to be more “open” about sex so that our children would be able to lead more happy and fulfilled lives, we have been too terrified of being accused of prudery to address the disastrous failure of this malign social experiment.
At the same time we have developed an over-protective attitude to child welfare on eating, drinking and just about everything else.
If we can develop a system sophisticated enough to prevent children from seeing a cigarette advertisement, surely it is not beyond our capabilities to shield them from something that is equally damaging to their well-being, both physically and psychologically, since many are now enacting the evil that they see and we refuse to see.
Ann Farmer
Woodford Green, Essex
Jumping or pushing
SIR – Simon Major (Letters, May 23) is of the opinion that all voters in the United Kingdom should have a say in the Scottish referendum.
Does he also advocate that all voters in the European Union should have a say in the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU?
Neil Bennett
Winchcombe, Gloucestershire
SIR – Simon Major was mistaken in stating that the whole of Sudan got a say in the referendum regarding separation.
The right to participation in the referendum was limited exclusively to those from South Sudan, and all such Southerners were eligible to vote, irrespective of where they lived. Thus voting centres were opened in South and North Sudan and in foreign cities such as Washington, London and Nairobi.
My Sudanese friends tell me that if the whole Sudanese population had been eligible to vote, the result would have been reversed – something to do with the location of the oil which, as we all know, is predominately in the South, and is not anticipated to run out for a while.
Charles Mathews
East Meon, Hampshire
Dangerous cheese
SIR – Your leading article (“Free cheese rolls”, May 24) mentions the 86-year-old cheese-maker who felt “threatened” by the police, who warned her that if she provided a cheese for the Cooper’s Hill cheese-rolling event she could be held responsible for any injuries.
I wonder whether the police should warn the manufacturers of rugby balls, boxing gloves and cricket bats that they, too, could be held responsible for any injuries sustained using their products?
Alexander Segall
Ilford, Essex
Scents and sensibility
SIR – Yesterday I visited four large stores in Exeter. At each I was greeted with an overwhelmingly sickening scent of warm perfume before I could get anywhere near the department I actually wanted.
Why do so many stores think customers should have to run the gauntlet of such smells?
Linda Brightwell
Okehampton, Devon
Slots for the Scots
SIR – The announcement that Flybe plans to sell Gatwick slots to easyJet (report, May 24) puts a significant failure of British government policy in sharp focus, particularly in Scotland. We are now seeing alarming signs that Scotland’s connections with London are being undermined.
The reason any airline can sell landing and take-off slots in the first place is that a market has been created by their scarcity. Successive governments have consistently procrastinated on the subject of London airport capacity.
Connections to London, and via London to the world, are critical for the success of the whole of the United Kingdom. A lack of leadership puts future prosperity at risk.
The Airports Commission, examining the need for additional airport capacity and recommending to the Government how this can be met, is a step in the right direction, but only if politicians of all parties have the courage actually to deliver new runways. We’ve had plenty of words, even a White Paper, but Britain cannot trade its way out of an economic storm on the back of a policy paper.
We have to decide what airport capacity we need in this country, and build it.
Bill Drummond
Chairman, Scottish Council for Development & Industry (SCDI)
Malcolm Robertson
Chairman, SCDI London Committee
Michael Urquhart
Chairman, SCDI Highlands & Islands Committee
Litter trail
SIR – If Michael Gove would really like to do something useful, I would recommend he introduce a course on litter awareness at all primary and secondary schools, such as is seen in Sri Lanka.
The 2013 Duke of Edinburgh Awards are in process, and it is easy to follow the route taken by the candidates on their map-reading course, since it is clearly marked by crisp packets, soft-drink cans and chocolate-bar wrappers.
Andrew H Molle
Chesham, Buckinghamshire
Pardon my French
SIR – Steve Howe (Letters, May 22) asks what equivalents the French should use for phrases such as bête noire, raison d’être and cul-de-sac. He should remember George W Bush’s famous statement that “the French don’t have a word for entrepreneur”.
Steve Masters
Reading, Berkshire
Re-using farm buildings need not spoil the view
SIR – Changes to planning rules will not lead to a “rush” of uncontrolled building on agricultural land (report, May 10), because safeguards will be in place.
The National Farmers’ Union has long argued that farmers need more freedom to re-use buildings without the need for planning permission. The concession agreed by the Government will now apply to offices, retail, light industry, warehousing and financial services.
Only buildings in existence when the consultation paper was published last summer will be eligible for conversion. All but the smallest buildings will need to undergo checks to ensure that there will be no unacceptable effects such as noise or transport problems.
These changes will boost the rural economy without harming the countryside.
David Collier
Chief Rural Affairs Adviser
National Farmers’ Union
Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire
SIR – In this village we have two sites designated for new housing in the draft South Worcestershire Development Plan, both within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
This is despite the “great weight” that Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, has said will be given to the protection of AONBs by the National Planning Policy Framework, and despite our local authority’s own strategic housing land availability assessment clearly showing “plenty of potential housing land capacity beyond the AONB”.
When the draft of the National Planning Policy Framework was being discussed, the then planning minister said: “It is not the intention to provide more housing than a locality needs.”
The then environment secretary said: “Sustainable development does not mean a new housing estate on the edge of a pretty village.” It is now proposed that we have both.
The real danger for the future of the countryside is that the effect of these policies can never be undone.
Graham Love
Broadway, Worcestershire

Irish Independent:

* Driving through Connemara, I could not help but observe again the landscape, that is scarred, even seemingly in the most inhospitable and inaccessible places, by the long-abandoned markings of potato allotments that were the only giver of life and harbinger of death should they yield or fail in their cultivation.
Also in this section
Banality republic
Proof that austerity is necessary and working
Casting the first stone?
This was in a country and time of both plenty and want. Yet, they were the only legal comfort left to a seemingly doomed indigenous people. Still too, they could smile just before and after the tears.
Hermann Von Puclker-Muskau, a travel writer from Germany visiting Ireland in 1828, and between famines, wrote the following observations:
“Our driver blew his horn, as in Germany, a signal from the mail-coach to get out of its way. However, the sound was so distorted and pathetic that everyone burst into laughter.
“A pretty 12-year-old lad, who looked like joy personified, though almost naked, let out a mischievous cheer, and called after the driver in his impotent rage: ‘Hey you! Your trumpet must have a dose of the sniffles, it’s as hoarse as me auld grandmother. Give it a drop of the craythur or it’ll die of consumption before ye reach Galway!’
“A crowd of men were working on the road. They had heard the feeble sound from the horn, and all laughed and cheered as the coach went by.
“‘There you are, that’s our people for you,’ said my companion. ‘Starvation and laughter – that is their lot. Do you suppose that even with the amount of workers and the lack of jobs that any of these earn, have enough to eat his fill? And yet each of them will put aside something to give to his priest, and when anyone enters his cabin, he will share his last potato with them and crack a joke besides.'”
Barry Clifford
Oughterard, Co Galway
GARLIC RATE FOR APPLE
* This thing with Apple only paying 2pc on its income: could we try taxing them at the rate for garlic?
Donal O’Keeffe
Fermoy, Co Cork
MALE PREGNANCIES
* With the many advances in medical science, surely it should now be possible for males to become pregnant. Abortion debate, what debate?
Eithne Mac Fadden
Carrigart, Co Donegal
SUNNY SIDE OF POLITICS
* Jerry Buttimer TD reckons the abortion legislation might not make the Government’s deadline of being ready before the summer.
Free GP care for the long-term ill has been pushed back; the children’s hospital is on a longer finger; reform of the Dail, Seanad and local government is moving at a snail’s pace; and jobs strategies are barely moving. Now TDs head off on a summer break, still claiming expenses, while families struggle with less and less and the retail sector keeps going despite less money in families’ pockets and rising rates.
It proves the point that politics is the conspiracy of the unproductive but organised, against the productive but unorganised.
Conan Doyle
Pococke Lower, Co Kilkenny
IMPACT OF NEUTRALITY
* Mary Kenny comments on Ireland’s wartime neutrality in the wake of the pardon for Irish army deserters. Yet she shuns the term deserters (Irish Independent, May 20).
Rather she refers to the “Irish soldiers who joined the Allies”. Your columnist states how “neutrality was widely democratically supported”. Only one Dail deputy, James Dillon, courageously opposed the policy. Ireland had no enemies: “a small nation stood alone”,
She mentions some social consequences of Irish neutrality, eg: Irish women only took to wearing trousers in the 1960s. Oddly enough, she ignores the most important and immediate impact – innumerable Irish lives were saved. Eamon de Valera’s finest feat was his successful pursuit of a neutral policy. Alas, eaten bread is soon forgotten.
Anthony Barnwell
Dublin 9
FINGER ON THE PULSE
* Whatever one says about Alan Shatter, as a minister he can’t be accused of not having his finger on the pulse.
Mark MacSweeney
Upper John Street, Cork
SHATTER AND THE TRUTH
* I would ask Justice Minister Alan Shatter to consider the real reason for the disharmony from the public regarding the current penalty points fiasco.
I do not believe that the public’s anger relates to how individual gardai use discretion whilst performing their duty. The anger relates to when a member of An Garda Siochana punishes an offender for a road traffic offence that they believe should be penalised, and another member of the force removes these penalties from the Pulse system. Once an offence has been recorded on Pulse, it should stay there. If the offender feels the penalty is unjustified, it should be up to the courts to decide.
This is where the anger lies as it is seen to benefit a minority of motorists. Mr Shatter clearly believes it is moral to inform the public of a named individual’s brush with garda discretion, but not moral to name those who had penalty points removed from the Pulse system by members of the force.
Tony Finn
Finglas, Dublin 11
CALLED TO ACCOUNT
* Can somebody explain to me why Deputy Mick Wallace’s law breaking (because using a mobile phone while driving is law breaking) should be kept confidential?
Just because the gardai did not prosecute or issue a penalty notice does not change the facts. I suggest that had Justice Minister Alan Shatter, or any other minister, been found using their mobile phone the incident would not have remained private for long and the media or opposition deputy would consider it a national duty to reveal the facts.
This is akin to the fallacy that because a deputy is going to or from the Dail he cannot be given a fixed penalty or prosecuted for driving offences. I accept that they should be immune to arrest while travelling to the Dail on a day when the Dail is in session, as otherwise an arrest could be made to frustrate democracy.
As it is, it appears that a TD can claim to be travelling to the Dail at any time and so is practically immune from prosecution.
Andrew Duffy
Address with editor
ANTI-MAN LAWS
* The tragic issue of male suicide has received widespread media coverage. While the causes are many and varied, one theory which has gained widespread acceptance is that men don’t talk about their problems or seek help.
Those who subscribe to this theory tell us that there is always help available. I can think of eight male acquaintances who died by suicide in the past decade. All of them talked openly about their problems and sought help. There was one common factor in all of these cases. Each had been through the family law system and had his life and fatherhood severely diminished or even destroyed in a variety of ways.
Can those who tell us that there is always help now tell us how we can save innocent, law-abiding men from what in my opinion are anti-man, anti-father practices in law, which are undoubtedly a contributory factor in the high rate of male suicides?
Name and address with editor
Irish Independent

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