Readers letters: November 29

A narrow view of Brexit ignores all the problems

Friday, 1st December 2017, 4:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 9:52 am
Brexit is causing many problems says a correspondent. Do you agree?

Nick Martinek, your recent correspondent, seems to take a narrow and introspective view of Brexit (WP Letters, November 27).

May I ask him how he thinks Brexit will affect Pettigo, a village on what could soon become a hard border between the UK and Ireland/EU? It’s just one of many Irish communities which could suffer greatly.

Is he concerned about the prospects for the relationship between the UK and the Irish Republic? Is he complacent about the peace process which resulted in the Good Friday agreement?

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Does he think our close Irish neighbours can just ‘go and hang’?

Can he see the slightest cloud in the silver lining of Brexit? Does he imagine he will thrive and prosper as never before post-Brexit?

He made it clear that he wants the UK out of the EU.

It is a pity that he didn’t indicate why!

To regenerate his own phrase, has he considered the possibility that Brexit is by far the most likely factor to “harm the UK for decades”?

His closing words were “the implosion of the Conservative Party”. Well, that’s the minimum this disgraceful rabble deserve! So, thank you Mr Martinek for introducing that idea.

Brexit is probably the thorniest political problem for decades and, although I respect the right of Mr Martinek to express his views...I am left with the following thought after reading his letter.

With respect...The letter was devoid of political analysis and it therefore failed to give the impression that Mr Martinek has come close to mastering the issues.

Coun Michael McLoughlin


Wigan Central Ward

Ducks need life around water

It was great to see Jamie Oliver talking about the importance of farmed ducks having full body access to water on Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast (November 24, Channel 4).

A recent poll by RSPCA Assured revealed 88 per cent of people think ducks farmed for meat should be given water they can fully get into.

But most readers will probably be shocked to know that the vast majority of farmed ducks are only given enough water to be able to dip their heads in.

In fact, the law states they do not have to be given anything other than drinking water which could be from a metal ball-bearing drinker, similar to those used by pet hamsters.

This is really worrying because, as waterfowl, ducks need a life in and around water. And just as the wild ducks we see on ponds and rivers need to splash, preen and immerse themselves in water to keep clean and healthy, so do farmed ducks.

Sadly, there are currently no duck producers farming to the RSPCA’s welfare standards for ducks, under the RSPCA Assured label, which insist they must be given full body access to water.

To help put pressure on your supermarket to stock duck that has had full body access to water, visit

Sophie Elwes

RSPCA Senior Scientific Officer

Signing up to taxing morals

I have been on holiday and was obliged to watch BBC World Service for any news of the UK. What seemed to be important news from the UK was what was revealed by the ‘Paradise Papers’.

There was of course the usual disclaimer that, while the beneficiaries of these offshore schemes were doing nothing illegal, the implication was that they were doing something immoral in avoiding paying tax. However elevated in society the people concerned are, I do not believe that the beneficiaries of these schemes have the necessary understanding of the tax laws and accounting procedures to appreciate the implications.

Perhaps the solution is to get the beneficiaries who wish to take part in tax avoidance measures to sign a document saying they understand the implications of what they are doing.

Geoff Wilson

via email