Readers’ letters - November 17

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Stop getting involved in other countries’ affairs

With the departure of Sir Michael Fallon, the Secretary for Defence, the opportunity could be taken to focus on this country’s defence policies.

Can anyone claim that our limited capability has 
been used to advantage?

On the contrary.

First of all, we are blundering out of Europe, so prejudicing co-ordination with the forces of our near neighbours.

We long ago lost our Empire and our economic situation precludes our abilities to respond effectively to global crises.

This does not seem to stop the posturing and gratuitous involvement in troubles across the world.

My advice to Gavin Williamson would be to pursue a policy for non-interference in 
overseas affairs unless vital interests are involved.

All the advice from the military should be treated with the utmost scepticism and caution and we should now adopt a policy commensurate with our reduced capability and status.

The power of the top brass is biassed in favour of increasing their vast empire in Whitehall.

The civilian complement is numbered in hundreds of thousands.

Any further adventures in the Middle East should be looked at askance.

Don Burslam

Address supplied

Smoking hurts pets as well

New research suggesting pets are potentially more at risk from passive smoking is shocking, if hardly surprising – and should encourage animal lovers to quit the demon nicotine.

Stopping smoking will not only safeguard public and pet health, it will also help preserve a healthy bank balance.

Second-hand smoke is already known to be a killer, but technology is about to start hurting people’s pockets, too. Sophisticated algorithms at the heart of modern pet insurance software can already reward responsible pet parents with lower premiums, and could be deployed to charge others more, for higher risk activities like exposing pets to smoking, for example.

YouGov research commissioned by Aquarium Software shows 69 per cent of us see our pets as important to the family as humans, and insurance keeps our pets healthier longer but it must be affordable.

As 72 per cent of pet parents have no insurance, bringing prices down will help make pet insurance more accessible to all owners.

It is essential for the long-term health of our pets to see a greater uptake in pet insurance. Smokers, vapers, and those who overfeed their pets beware – you could soon find yourselves under an increasingly costly cloud.

Mark Colonnese

Director, Aquarium Software

Lottery players have helped RVS

We would like to say a huge thank you to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for raising a staggering £5m for Royal Voluntary Service since 2015.

Funds raised by players support Royal Voluntary Service to provide companionship, practical help and social activities that enable thousands of older people across England to stay connected to their communities, and improve their health and wellbeing.

Thanks to funds raised by players, we are able to reach thousands more people right across England by developing more volunteer led clubs and activities.

This could be anything from dancing, to craft groups to a regular meal in company or giving a lift to an older person who would otherwise struggle to get


Catherine Johnstone CBE CEO

Royal Voluntary Service