Relationship is not special

I WISH our politicians and the media would stop talking such rubbish about Syria and our special relationship with the USA.

It really is time that they read the history books covering the last 60 years. The vote not to go into Syria at this time was correct and for once the vote represented the wishes of the majority of this democratic country.

One fact that as not been mentioned is that, the only Country benefiting from this conflict is Israel and as far as I am concerned they are the USA’s problem, not ours.

With regards to the special relationship. During the Suez Crises, in the 1960s and when Britain was protecting its own interest in keeping the Suez Canal safe from all warring fractions. The USA sided with the Israelis and against us and our interests, they even threatened us. So what special relationship, or is it when it suits others and not us? Don’t think that I am anti-USA, I have American relatives and ordinary Americans are very generous people. It’s just a pity that they only know Hollywood History!

I am not going to mention the French involvement, anyone who knows anything, know where they are coming from.

Honest, Realistic, English man

Business challenge

I want to draw attention to the almost seven million disabled people in the UK of working age – fewer than half of whom are in employment, a shocking statistic that urgently requires our attention.

In over 20 years of starting up businesses, I have met many very talented disabled people who really want to work and who, for reasons including discrimination and prejudice, have not been given the opportunity to do so. In some instances, they have turned to self-employment and set up their own businesses, which have grown and flourished.

Seven years ago, I set up the annual Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs with the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability. The Award highlights the inspiring achievements of disabled entrepreneurs and the winner receives £50,000 – the largest cash sum of its kind – to invest in their business in any way they want. They also receive significant media coverage which helps them raise the profile of their business and bring in more customers. Each year, I am bowled over by the talent and sheer enthusiasm of the applicants.

But I want to see more disabled business owners applying this year. Currently, there are around 100,000 self-employed disabled people in the UK and this Award is open to anyone with a disability – as defined by the Equality Act – which includes all disabilities and long-term health conditions. This year, we have also launched a nomination scheme, so friends and family can nominate a disabled business owner.

My advice would be, don’t be shy or modest – what have you got to lose? People often tell me that they haven’t applied because they never thought they would win but someone has to win and it could be you! To see how it has helped previous winners, take a look at our video at

Apply now or nominate someone, before the deadline on 25 October by visiting

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou

c/o Leonard Cheshire Disability

Benefit cuts

How low can this country get? This government is now going to attack the most ill people.

The chronically ill, even the terminally ill will not escape this wicked government’s ideas. They constantly get things wrong, they are willing to believe the medical practitioners when it comes to whiplash but will not take their word when it comes to the very ill. They insist on harassing these people by trying to get their benefits cut.

Can they tell me for a start, what firms would employ these people when they know they will obviously have to take many sickness breaks? The Government should spend this time chasing the many long-term layabouts.

Dave Croucher

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