Readers' letters - May 26

Lords should reflect the standing of political parties

As we all get ready to elect MPs to the House of Commons, it might be worth considering the fact that the House of Lords is totally unaffected by the democratic process.

Whatever we may say about MPs, at least they have to submit themselves to a democratic verdict at every election.

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Lords, however, are not democratically elected and cannot be removed (they are a bit like EU bureaucrats, really).

There are more than 800 Lords.

They are appointed by the Prime Minister and, once they are in the House of Lords, they are there for life.

There are currently 98 Lib Dem Lords.

When you consider there are only nine Lib Dem MPs out of 650, a fairer allocation of Lib Dem Lords would be about 12.

Their current allocation may have reflected their greater standing a few years ago.

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Clearly, we need to introduce a system that enables the de-appointment of Lords when their party’s standing in the Commons is substantially reduced.

The proportion of Lords for each party should broadly reflect each party’s standing in the Commons, for that Parliament.

This should be re-assessed after every parliamentary election.

Tim Hunter

Address supplied

Industry should be exposed

June 1 marks World Milk Day, which aims to celebrate the supposed benefits of the dairy industry, but little mention will be made of the negative impacts of milk production.

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For example, in order to produce milk, dairy cows are made pregnant by force and then have their calf taken away at just a few days old.

Many of those calves are killed soon after, so that milk meant for them can be bottled for us to drink.

Dairy farming is also responsible for more water pollution incidents in the UK than any other form of farming, according to the Environment Agency, and results in almost twice the amount of greenhouse gas emissions as soya milk, pint for pint.

Rather than being celebrated, the dairy industry should be exposed as cruel and environmentally damaging. I would urge all readers to contact Animal Aid for information about switching to plant-based alternatives to milk or visit

Ben Martin

Animal Aid

Join the buzz at the Bee Count

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Our bees aren’t just an iconic sign of a British summer, they are vital for pollinating much of the food we enjoy every day, and the wildflowers that decorate our countryside.

But Britain’s bees are under threat, with around 35 UK species considered to be at risk of extinction, from loss of habitats, pesticides and intensive farming.

This is why Friends of the Earth is running the Great British Bee Count, which runs until June 30.

By downloading a fun, free app you can find out more about the bees that visit your gardens, parks and neighbourhoods, and find out what you can do to help them – such as creating bee-friendly spaces. And you can also send in sightings and photos of the bees you spot too.

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Join the buzz at or search for ‘Great British Bee Count’ in your app store.

Craig Bennett

Friends of the Earth

Bomber was a pathetic coward

Re: The Manchester suicide bomber –a pathetic despicable coward.

Alexandra Paxton

via email