Readers’ letters - April 20

The Natural Environment Research Council's new state-of-the-art polar research ship, which may not be called Boaty McBoatface after all
The Natural Environment Research Council's new state-of-the-art polar research ship, which may not be called Boaty McBoatface after all
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Boaty could be inspiration

So Boaty McBoatface has been voted the most popular name for a new polar research ship.

What a demonstration of a very British sense of humour and, for those old enough to remember, it has shades of shambolic radio comedy series The Navy Lark.

Probably unamused, the National Environment Research Council, who asked members of the public for names for the vessel, have sternly made it clear that they are not bound by the public choice.

They had envisaged ‘worthy’ names in the tradition of earlier ships and no doubt still do.

But hang on, they should take on board the fact that Boaty McBoatface has captured the public’s imagination and would inspire generations of curious children to learn about the work of the organisation and the vessel.

Other names may set the formal tone sought but, if they are brave enough, they could create a tidal wave of interest among children, including potential polar explorers of the future, who otherwise would not give two hoots.

Paul Nuttall

North West UKIP MEP and deputy party leader


There’s help available

For over 16 years, ever since my brother-in-law Gordon Scarfe was diagnosed, I have seen at first-hand what it’s like to live with Parkinson’s.

In many ways, Gordon is lucky, as he has a loving and supportive family around him. Some people struggle on their own, and, heartbreakingly, this is often because they are frightened to share their diagnosis. According to new findings from Parkinson’s UK, released to highlight this month’s Parkinson’s Awareness Week, nearly two fifths of people with Parkinson’s feel the need to hide their symptoms or lie about their condition to those closest to them. No one should feel alone in dealing with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s.

Visit or call 0800 800 0303.

Jane Asher, President,

Parkinson’s UK


I sent my leaflet back

I received my pro-EU leaflet yesterday and wrote upon it “absolute garbage” and posted it to David Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

He is hoping that his “dodgy dossier” will scare the public into voting to stay in the new “Soviet Union” with complete control of all aspects of our lives from unelected, unaccountable, unsackable people in Brussels.

He is underestimating the intelligence of the British people who are more likely to vote to leave because nobody believes a word he says any more. If we vote to leave, I hope Cameron is replaced. If he does the negotiating, we will end up paying more than we do now.

Terry Watson,

Address supplied


What will be UKIP’s fate?

What would UKIP do if Boris Johnson is elected the new Conservative party leader? After the big hitters and financial backers rejoin the Tories, what will the political future hold for them? Will they be able to rely on the 3.8 million voters that backed them in the 2015 General Election? These are the questions they will have to address when these cards are dealt to them.

Michael Cashman

Via email