Readers’ letters - January 11

West Indies' Chris Gayle has been fined for inviting a reporter out for a drink. See letter
West Indies' Chris Gayle has been fined for inviting a reporter out for a drink. See letter
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Penalty for others too?

The West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle has been hit for six – excuse the pun – for what is reported as “inappropriate behaviour” towards a female sports reporter. He paid her a compliment and invited her out for a drink, albeit live on air.

For which scurrilous action he has been fined (Aus)$10,000 (not far off £5,000 in real money), an “over-reaction,” Chris Gayle has declared.

But then, perhaps the “crime” of objectifying a person has yet to filter through to the Southern Hemisphere, where the Windies are currently locking horns with the Aussies in a Test Series down under.

I am inclined to say, come on Chris, get with the programme.

Don’t you know the capacity to make a complimentary remark is gradually becoming the Eighth Deadly Sin?

From the male perspective, at least?

At which point, I would like to suggest, in all sincerity, that a similar financial penalty should therefore 
be levied at one Ms Zoe Ball 
of Strictly Come Dancing 

Particularly the next time she feels inclined to get all fulsome and untoward about Anton du Bec’s legs – live on air at that.

Martin Sutcliffe via email


Time for lower taxes

In 2011/12, motorists in the UK contributed £38bn in tax, from VAT on fuel and vehicle excise duty, to the Government and this was repeated in successive years, raising approximately the same level of revenue.

Higher fuel costs do not protect the environment but they do bankrupt families and businesses through increasing costs. The politicians in this country need to be sent a wake-up call at the ballot box.

I believe that we should reduce fuel duty by 50p a litre, this would increase job creation and reduce inflation permanently.

Time for lower taxes.

Oliver Healey,

Address supplied


Some will miss pacers

There has been much rejoicing in the press about the phasing out of pacer trains.

True, their interiors have become ‘old hat’ and unattractive but one set of passengers will be

sorry to see them go.

People with mobility problems find them the easiest of all the trains to get on and (more particularly) to get off.

The most difficult trains for people are the Pendolinos.

It just goes to show that modern things don’t necessarily get everything right – nor are old things undesirable in every regard. It would be good if an enterprising designer could specify attractive new trains which are also ‘easy­access.’ Most of the bus manufacturers seem to have mastered it now.

Neil Inkley

Address supplied


Don’t build on flood plains

Tragedies unfold each day for those whose lives are affected by flooding.

In time payment for the damage will come from increasing insurance premiums of all householders, and from those who pay local authority rates.

There is a continued willingness of council planners to consent to new housing on known flood prone areas, which would end up as further disaster for future householders and rate payers.

It’s time to call a halt to allowing building on known flood-prone land.

Mike Lowry

Address supplied