Readers’ letters - October 19

A mother walks her children to school, but fewer children are getting this opportunity. See letter
A mother walks her children to school, but fewer children are getting this opportunity. See letter

Why Putin is ruthless

The US and British politicians condemned Putin for bombing rebel forces in Syria as well as IS, but none of the anti-Assad forces are good guys.

Toppling Assad may make Obama and Cameron feel good, but the carnage will continue in the ensuing power struggle.

For far too long the naive and flawed foreign policy of both the US and Britain has resulted in a disastrous mess both in the Middle East and North Africa.

In countries with no tradition or signs of democracy, there is now a series of bloodbaths with no end in sight.

The USA and Britain applauded the so-called Arab Spring, yet now armed gangs are in control in Libya, Tunisia and Algeria, with most of their weapons provided by the West. This flawed policy is the reason for the masses of migrants and refugees fleeing from chaos.

Russia has watched all of this in horror and is now prepared to do something about it while the US seems more intent on going back to their cold war tactics. Which side are we really on in this war against terror and evil?

Putin is ruthless and he is right to be so.

R Pearson

Address supplied

Prioritise walking

A recent poll has revealed that children hugely value walking to school for the social time with friends and family, just like their parents and grandparents did. But fewer than half of children now get this opportunity – during morning peak time, one in every five cars is on the school run. Walking is a free and healthy option for children, yet walking rates continue to decline. It’s not too late to turn things around if we act now. We need to invest in the walk to school now, before the inactive children of today become the unhealthy adults of the future. I have pledged my support to Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, and I’m urging the Prime Minister David Cameron to prioritise walking in the upcoming spending review. I would encourage others to do the same through the Living Streets website.

Joanna Elkington via email

A lack of service

Today I went shopping in a very well-known store. Among the items that I wanted was a tin of soup – the store’s own brand. When I looked on the shelf for one, the first eight tins I picked up were bent and dented really badly. I went to the information desk and asked to speak to a manager. The young lady behind the desk went to look for one, returned and told me he was on his way. Some time later, tired of waiting, I said I would get back to her. Eventually, the manager came to see me. I explained about the tins and he went with me to look at them. He said he would have them removed. As I left, he said: “Have a good day”, which clearly translated by both his face and his tone of voice as “go away, you silly old woman”. Ah well, consumers cannot have everything.

Sandra Morris via email

Is this double standards?

It has been reported that the Duke of Cambridge is to make a speech on Chinese state television about the need to protect endangered animals.

How ironic this is coming from a member of a family which is known to support and participate in blood sports, sorry field sports.

Do I detect double standards?

E W Beechey

Address supplied