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These placenames are simply beyond our Kent | Brief letters4h These placenames are simply beyond our Kent | Brief letters
Pankhurst statue | County confusion | M4 tolls | Gravy surcharge | Osborne’s new jobA joyous march in a major city, attended by thousands, to see the
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Questions over energy firms’ £58m debt to renewables obligation scheme | Letters6h Questions over energy firms’ £58m debt to renewables obligation scheme | Letters
To protect customers, renewables obligations need to be managed as commercially as networks and wholesale markets, writes
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The ghost of Franco still haunts Spain | Letters16h The ghost of Franco still haunts Spain | Letters
The success of the far right in Andalucía is a chilling echo from the country’s pastSam Jones’s article on the recent elections in Seville made disturbing reading and, while the article referred specifically to regional elections, the national situation is hardly more reassuring (“
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The Observer view on the baleful distraction of Brexit | Observer editorial25h The Observer view on the baleful distraction of Brexit | Observer editorial
Every shred of political energy is being tied up in Brexit, with detrimental effects on a nation facing other urgent challenges Brexit has paralysed British politics: it has left the government utterly incapacitated, ministers warring and both main parties riven by splits. It is absorbing every shred of political energy; in the words of one official, it has wiped the policy grid clean. Yet in every nook and cranny of the state – from understaffed hospitals to the schools sending parents begging letters for financial support – there are problems that demand urgent focus and resource. We also face huge social challenges that require action now, from how to care for an ageing society to how to prepare for the impact of technology on the world of work. All this is going ignored, with detrimental effects on people’s lives. There is a grim paradox at the heart of Brexit. The vote for Britain to leave the EU was partly fuelled by the sense among many voters that there are increasingly two Britains: a thriving capital barely touched by recession and boarded-up high streets outside the south-east. This has been
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UK must not fail the people of South Sudan | Letters 14 Dec 11:28am UK must not fail the people of South Sudan | Letters
On the fifth anniversary of the start of the conflict, 27 parliamentarians call on the UK government to redouble its efforts to bring about peaceOn the fifth anniversary of the start of the conflict in South Sudan, we are writing to urge Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, to redouble his efforts to bring about peace. In the grim competition for the world’s most devastating crisis, South Sudan is up there with the worst. It’s estimated that almost 400,000 people have died over the last five years, that over 4 million South Sudanese have fled their homes and that half of the country’s population are facing severe hunger. An adolescent girl in South Sudan today is three times more likely to die in childbirth than to complete primary school. Five years on, all parties to the conflict have signed a peace agreement. However, South Sudan’s short history tells us that peace is a process, not a moment, and that elite-level power-sharing deals easily fail. The South Sudanese people themselves are the only guarantors of peace in their country. The UK government’s focus must therefore be on promoting the local-level peacebuilding initiatives that address the root causes of the conflict. That means working closely with the churches, traditional leaders, women’s and youth groups, and refugee communities, to empower them to influence the implementation of this agreement. It also means pressing the transitional government to guarantee unhindered humanitarian access so NGOs can reach the 7.6 million South Sudanese who urgently need support to rebuild their lives.
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Don’t write off academic slow-starters | Letters 14 Dec 11:27am Don’t write off academic slow-starters | Letters
As an 18-year-old with hormones raging,
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Harry to Cliff but not Neville to Noddy | Brief letters 14 Dec 11:27am Harry to Cliff but not Neville to Noddy | Brief letters
Cliff Richard name change | Noddy Holder | Cambridge interview | Talking to children | York art gallery | Waitrose In answer to Ray Chenery (
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Cross-party cooperation is the only way forward on Brexit | Letters 13 Dec 11:48am Cross-party cooperation is the only way forward on Brexit | Letters
Readers respond to Theresa May’s survival of the coup attempt against her by members of her own partyThree obstacles to resolving the Brexit crisis are the editors of the Sun, the Telegraph, and – alas – the Guardian. Your editorial (
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Grief and pride of the Stansted 15’s parents | Letters 13 Dec 11:43am Grief and pride of the Stansted 15’s parents | Letters
Parents of the protesters convicted this week say that the group has upheld the values of social justice and human rights on behalf of us allAs parents of the defendants, we are heartbroken at the guilty verdict on Monday at Chelmsford crown court for the Stansted 15 (
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International community must act on Yemen | Letters 13 Dec 11:42am International community must act on Yemen | Letters
The international community stands by as families, women and children have their lives destroyed, writes
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Talk to your child, not your mobile | Brief letters 13 Dec 11:42am Talk to your child, not your mobile | Brief letters
Advice for modern parents | Dotterels | Christmas recipes | Austerity | CrescendosIn the early 2000s I produced a booklet, Talk to Your Child, which was funded by Sure Start. The text to one of the photos in the book was “Talk to your child, not your mobile” (
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The collapse of democracy in England’s schools | Letters 12 Dec 12:48pm The collapse of democracy in England’s schools | Letters
Readers respond to Aditya Chakrabortty’s article on Waltham Holy Cross primary school and the 7,000 other state schools in England that have been converted to academies since 2010Aditya Chakrabortty’s description of the process by which the private sector forces state schools into its net is very accurate (
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Act now to reduce health inequalities | Letters 12 Dec 12:48pm Act now to reduce health inequalities | Letters
Thirty senior public health experts from the north of England say cuts to public health grants should be reversedThere are substantial and growing health inequalities within England. These show that premature death rates are 20% higher for people living in the north than in the south and that a baby girl born in Wokingham can expect nearly 17 more years of healthy life than a baby girl born in Manchester. Health inequality is not only morally wrong but economically irresponsible. The Northern Health Science Alliance’s recent Health for Wealth report demonstrates that these north/south health inequalities cost the UK £13.2bn a year in lost productivity.
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Endless work leaves no time to volunteer | Letters 12 Dec 12:46pm Endless work leaves no time to volunteer | Letters
Many of today’s volunteers are pensioners, but where will tomorrow’s come from when people are expected to work into their late 60s, asks
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Naming mystery is a bit of a Cliff-hanger | Brief letters 12 Dec 12:46pm Naming mystery is a bit of a Cliff-hanger | Brief letters
Andrea Sutcliffe | Sense of proportion | Theresa May | Choirs | Cliff Richard | Novels in CornwallI am a lifelong reader of the Guardian. I have huge respect for David Brindle as a journalist who has consistently raised the profile and challenged the adult social care sector. Both the paper and David need to be better served by careless headline writers. I did not say that nursing needs to rediscover its humanity (
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Labour must seize this moment to bring down May’s government | Zoe Williams 12 Dec 9:21am Labour must seize this moment to bring down May’s government | Zoe Williams
Corbyn can no longer stand back and watch. This is the time to champion a vote of no confidence in the governmentYou know we’re in a crisis because the Today Programme was extended by 15 minutes this morning – it’s not long enough to get any clarity, because there is no clarity to be had. It was merely enough to signal the extremity of the situation by mucking up the schedule. Forty-eight letters have gone in to Graham Brady, which means
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May’s cynical Brexit vote delay all about her keeping power | Letters 11 Dec 12:51pm May’s cynical Brexit vote delay all about her keeping power | Letters
Guardian readers share their views on the trials and tribulations of the Conservatives’ Brexit plansDespite disagreeing with her, I previously thought Theresa May a prime minister doing her best in what she considered the national interest. The cynical delay in Tuesday’s vote (
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Sterling plight shows racism still rife in UK | Letters 11 Dec 12:51pm Sterling plight shows racism still rife in UK | Letters
The only surprising aspect of this debate is that some people appear to be surprised by it, writes
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An anti-capitalist hack for TV ads | Brief letters 11 Dec 12:50pm An anti-capitalist hack for TV ads | Brief letters
Hope | Anti-capitalist tips | Richard Cooke | Seat offering | Meat allergyIn a desert of lunacy and lies, Monday’s Guardian was an oasis of honesty, humour and hope. Thank you.
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How to fix Oxbridge’s biased admissions system | Letters 10 Dec 12:14pm How to fix Oxbridge’s biased admissions system | Letters
Readers discuss ways to make entry to Oxford and Cambridge fairer to students from state schoolsThe Sutton Trust, when rightly calling for Oxford and Cambridge universities to “make greater use of contextual data in their admissions process” does not go far enough (
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Bandit capitalism is still flourishing | Letters 10 Dec 12:13pm Bandit capitalism is still flourishing | Letters
KPMG has still not been called to account over Carillion, says
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Striking the right note on all-boy choirs | Letters 10 Dec 12:13pm Striking the right note on all-boy choirs | Letters
Readers respond to Lesley Garrett’s suggestion that there is no reason to exclude girls from all-male choirsLesley Garrett rightly observes that it is nonsense to say “there is an ‘exclusive’ purity to a boy’s voice” (
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NHS spent money on ads instead of jabs | Brief letters 10 Dec 12:12pm NHS spent money on ads instead of jabs | Brief letters
Flu jab | Shire elections | Navy photo | Brexit | Theresa MaySarah Matthews (
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Tackling fuel poverty would cut winter deaths and costs to the NHS | Letters 9 Dec 12:47pm Tackling fuel poverty would cut winter deaths and costs to the NHS | Letters
Readers discuss ways to ease the pressures on the NHS, including the role played by volunteersThe appalling statistics on excess winter deaths in England and Wales (
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Brexit: the road to Norway is a dead end | Letters 9 Dec 12:46pm Brexit: the road to Norway is a dead end | Letters
Joining the EEA and Efta is no solution, says
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Don’t give up – lefties are not such a rarity | Brief letters 9 Dec 12:45pm Don’t give up – lefties are not such a rarity | Brief letters
Technical education | Hope for lefties | First woman to host Question Time | David Szalay | Monarchy referendumThere is a direct correlation between immigration and the loss of places in technical education (
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Letters: Monica Sims obituary 9 Dec 11:31am Letters: Monica Sims obituary
was wonderfully receptive to programme ideas outside the usual formats. I was keen to bring John Gielgud’s great fund of theatrical stories to a national audience, and proposed taking him into the radio studio every day for a fortnight to get them all down on the record. When my producer colleague John Powell took the proposal to her, Monica accepted it immediately, and the 11-part series was so popular that we had publishers queueing up to turn the broadcasts into a book. That led to my new career as a theatrical biographer. So I will always be enormously grateful to Monica for her faith in that unusual idea.
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Stressed teachers need more support | Letters 9 Dec 12:59am Stressed teachers need more support | Letters
Teachers aren’t averse to carrying out parental duties in principle – but only if they are given training and resourcesAmanda Spielman states that teachers “shouldn’t have to carry out parental duties” (“
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Further education sector has been failed across the board | Letters 7 Dec 11:44am Further education sector has been failed across the board | Letters
Readers respond to Polly Toynbee’s article about skills training in BritainPolly Toynbee (
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Profound and prosaic uses for the iPhone | Brief letters 7 Dec 11:29am Profound and prosaic uses for the iPhone | Brief letters
Turner prize | Bad sex | Cornish literature | Housing crisis | Dr Wendy Atkin | Corbyn’s cunning Brexit planI was interested to read that the chair of the Turner prize judges has declared winner Charlotte Prodger’s work the “most profound use of a device as prosaic as the iPhone camera that we’ve seen in art to date” (
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Compared to the threat of climate change, Brexit is a distraction | Letters 6 Dec 1:07pm Compared to the threat of climate change, Brexit is a distraction | Letters
Readers respond to David Attenborough’s warning of the collapse of civilisation at the UN’s climate change conferenceFor an organisation that ran the inspiring “
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Police tactics and community relations under scrutiny | Letters 6 Dec 1:04pm Police tactics and community relations under scrutiny | Letters
Readers air their views on the Metropolitan policeThe Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) says “Ultimately, no police tactic can ever be used with impunity in a country where we police by consent…” (
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Macron no champion of Europe’s liberals | Letters 6 Dec 1:03pm Macron no champion of Europe’s liberals | Letters
Guardian readers on the divisions in Europe and the gilet jaunes movement“Macron is a danger to all of Europe” might have been a better headline to
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A dog’s (and cat’s) place is on the bed | Brief letters 6 Dec 12:57pm A dog’s (and cat’s) place is on the bed | Brief letters
Wendy Atkin | MPs loutish behaviour | Declining a seat | Dog in the kitchen | Cat on the bedI had never heard of Wendy Atkin until I read
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We need to be eternally vigilant in the fight against racism | Letters 5 Dec 12:24pm We need to be eternally vigilant in the fight against racism | Letters
Readers respond to the Guardian series Bias in Britain and the evidence of ongoing racism that it has exposedThe evidence of the Guardian survey on continuing discrimination (
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You don’t have to be a Brexit bigot to want to take back control | Letters 5 Dec 12:23pm You don’t have to be a Brexit bigot to want to take back control | Letters
Responses to Matthew d’Ancona’s article about bigotry and Brexit from
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The Wizard of Oz’s humanitarian spirit | Brief letters 5 Dec 12:16pm The Wizard of Oz’s humanitarian spirit | Brief letters
The Wizard of Oz | Bingo in Liverpool | Getting old | Nick Darke | Cagney & LaceyThere is in fact a very different interpretation to be made of The Wizard of Oz (
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UK housing crisis hurts the young and the poor | Letters 4 Dec 11:59am UK housing crisis hurts the young and the poor | Letters
Guardian readers air their views on high property prices, a lack of affordable housing, and rogue landlordsGaby Hinsliff’s forebodings (
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George Bush’s legacy isn’t so peaceful | Letters 4 Dec 11:59am George Bush’s legacy isn’t so peaceful | Letters
We mustn’t forget Bush Sr’s horrific conduct as director of the CIA, write
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Televising the Commons led to unruly kids | Brief letters 4 Dec 11:57am Televising the Commons led to unruly kids | Brief letters
Care home praise | House of Commons | Brexit | Women’s page | Boris’s water cannonWhile it is important to investigate the poor care in some care homes, please do not forget all the excellent care homes run by charities and trusts. Regarding malnourishment (
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Is this the best way to curb boardroom pay? | Letters 3 Dec 12:39pm Is this the best way to curb boardroom pay? | Letters
Readers discuss proposals now being considered by Labour to give customers a say in business leaders’ remunerationLarry Elliott’s article (
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Fortnum’s can lead tea workers’ struggle | Letters 3 Dec 12:38pm Fortnum’s can lead tea workers’ struggle | Letters
The West End store must tell the estates from which it buys its tea that their workers need a pay rise, writes
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Our leaders set a very bad example | Letters 3 Dec 12:38pm Our leaders set a very bad example | Letters
We shouldn’t be surprised at racist bullying in schools when politicians behave as they do, writes
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The crown prince and the murderers | Letters 3 Dec 12:38pm The crown prince and the murderers | Letters
Readers ponder the appearance of Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 summit in Buenos AiresEveryone knows that there are serious allegations about Mohammed bin Salman’s knowledge regarding the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, but it didn’t seem to bother him or his alpha-male buddy Vladimir Putin at the Buenos Aires G20 summit (
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Let sleeping dogs lie (in the kitchen) | Brief letters 3 Dec 12:37pm Let sleeping dogs lie (in the kitchen) | Brief letters
Brilliant Guardian journalism | Chief whip | Sleeping dogs | TV shows and female friendship | Monster ChetwyndWell done, Guardian. Last Thursday’s Journal was a cracker, a combination of spot-on articles to raise awareness in us all for the need for constant vigilance.
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History lessons about comprehensive schools | Letters 2 Dec 11:42am History lessons about comprehensive schools | Letters
Readers respond to Afua Hirsch’s article about the state of our education systemAfua Hirsch (
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Zip wire for the Lake District hits a snag | Letters 2 Dec 11:41am Zip wire for the Lake District hits a snag | Letters
Readers respond to Simon Jenkins’ article, in which he suggests such a development is nothing short of vandalismAs a born-and-bred Cumbrian, I agree totally with Simon Jenkins (
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Calling time on university initiation ceremonies | Letters 2 Dec 11:40am Calling time on university initiation ceremonies | Letters
A Guardian reader saw the impact that a dangerous tradition had on her daughter and says action must be takenI have been driven to write in support of the banning of initiation ceremonies by universities (
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A new vocabulary for Brexit fatigue | Brief letters 2 Dec 11:40am A new vocabulary for Brexit fatigue | Brief letters
Political fatigue | Women wearing trousers | Margaret Thatcher | Accepting seats on public transportFurther to your video (Owen Jones meets Keir Starmer: ‘Brexit fatigue is real – but we can’t let this deal pass’, 30 November), could I suggest “Brexhaustion” as a useful term that captures our fatigue with respect to the Brexit debates? I for one am surely feeling Brexhausted.
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Manchester City fans are not alone in this Faustian pact | Letters 2 Dec 1:00am Manchester City fans are not alone in this Faustian pact | Letters
While some football clubs are indeed linked with odious regimes such as the UAE, it is unfair to single them outAs a lifelong Manchester City supporter and season ticket holder (even in the days when we were penniless in the third tier), I read with interest David Olusoga’s article on the use of our club as a vehicle for UAE soft power and the moral issues it throws up for supporters in the light of the Matthew Hedges case (“
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Letters: 17 MPs call for a second Brexit referendum 1 Dec 6:22pm Letters: 17 MPs call for a second Brexit referendum
Members from both sides of Commons chamber say ‘people must be given their rightful seat at the table’ On 11 December, one of the biggest votes since the second world war will take place in the House of Commons. There will be no hiding place for any of us – each MP will have to make a decision. The impact of the Brexit vote has already seen the UK go from being the fastest growing G7 economy to one of the slowest.
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Our broken housing market urgently needs fixing | Letters 30 Nov 11:08am Our broken housing market urgently needs fixing | Letters
Readers respond to various Guardian articles about the state of the UK housing marketYour report (
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Healthy scepticism is more useful than old-fashioned trust | Letters 30 Nov 11:08am Healthy scepticism is more useful than old-fashioned trust | Letters
Readers respond to the long read about why we stopped trusting elitesI enjoyed reading
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Ensuring a good standard of therapy | Letters 30 Nov 11:08am Ensuring a good standard of therapy | Letters
The three leading regulatory bodies for the counselling and psychotherapy profession have created a new competence framework as a response to the mental health crisisSuzanne Moore is right (
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Situating Bertolucci in the Italian cinema canon | Letters 30 Nov 11:08am Situating Bertolucci in the Italian cinema canon | Letters
Bertolucci was not a contemporary of Fellini or Visconti, though he did work with Pasolini, writes
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Fully trousered in the typing pool | Brief letters 30 Nov 11:07am Fully trousered in the typing pool | Brief letters
Office wear | Margaret Thatcher | Theresa May | Alcohol | SantaIn the cold winter of 1978/9, I was working in a large organisation as their first woman solicitor. The (male) boss in charge of the typing pool (all female) forbade the wearing of trousers (
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Brexit is all at sea, but what course is worth taking? | Letters 29 Nov 11:42am Brexit is all at sea, but what course is worth taking? | Letters
Guardian readers respond to the latest Brexit developmentsJohn McDonnell “expects” parliament to reject the EU withdrawal agreement (
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Progressives becoming irrelevant by ceding ground to far-right populists | Letters 29 Nov 11:41am Progressives becoming irrelevant by ceding ground to far-right populists | Letters
It would be wrong for the EU to say no to migrants, say
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Housebuilders have got their priorities wrong | Letters 29 Nov 11:41am Housebuilders have got their priorities wrong | Letters
The focus is on making a profit out of land, rather than giving people the housing they want, says
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Let’s end fault-based divorce system now | Letters 29 Nov 11:40am Let’s end fault-based divorce system now | Letters
Legal practitioners and charities help parents find solutions, but are hampered by the current system, write a range of professionals in the fieldThe government’s consultation process on how to reform the divorce system ends on 10 December. It is imperative that the best interests of children are kept at the heart of any decision. A new YouGov poll commissioned by Resolution shows 79% of the population believe conflict from divorce or separation can negatively affect children’s mental health, with this number rising to 87% among those who experienced their own parents’ or step-parents’ divorce during childhood. At an emotionally traumatic time such as divorce or separation, parents want and need support in order to put the best interests of their children first. Legal practitioners and charities help parents find solutions, but are hampered by the current fault-based divorce system. Apportioning blame can cause unnecessary acrimony – it is this conflict which can often have a significant negative impact on children. Seventy-one per cent of the population side with professionals and politicians, agreeing that no fault divorce is urgently needed to protect the long-term interests of children. We now know the government supports it, so we urge it to bring forward legislation as soon as possible. Every day that goes by without change risks hundreds of children caught up in unnecessary conflict. For their sake, ministers need to take urgent action to end the blame game.
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A way to combat noisy phone users | Brief letters 29 Nov 11:40am A way to combat noisy phone users | Brief letters
Democracies | Swallowing objects | Phone monsters | Pollution | Steve BellAung San Suu Kyi’s fall from grace tells us something about ourselves. We fetishise democracy. This is folly. All too often, democracies have resorted to rendition, torture, cyberwarfare, assassination, terrorism and war. We’ve got to start practising what we preach.
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The arts have the power to change communities | Letters 28 Nov 12:35pm The arts have the power to change communities | Letters
Readers share their experiences of how the lack of funding has affected creative industriesI worked at the British Film Institute when Jennie Lee was the arts minister (
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Immigration detention centres must be closed | Letters 28 Nov 12:34pm Immigration detention centres must be closed | Letters
The suicide of Slovenian waiter Branko Zdravkovic shows detainees are being failed repeatedlyThe Guardian reported (
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Coastal flooding and peat bogs | Letters 28 Nov 12:34pm Coastal flooding and peat bogs | Letters
More than 15,000 buildings were built in coastal areas at significant risk of coastal flooding in the UK between 2005 and 2014, write
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Smooth passage for swallowed Lego | Brief letters 28 Nov 12:33pm Smooth passage for swallowed Lego | Brief letters
Brexit TV debate | Licence fee | Teaching children poetry | Swallowing legoSo, Theresa May is to argue with Jeremy Corbyn on TV (
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Ways to make Bath breathe easier | Letters 27 Nov 12:09pm Ways to make Bath breathe easier | Letters
Readers offer their views on the city’s proposed clean air zone
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Quite happy to go back to square one | Brief letters 27 Nov 11:48am Quite happy to go back to square one | Brief letters
Gilets jaunes | Brexit | Mars probe landing | Killer sudoku | Seven Wonders of YorkshireThousands of French protesters – the “gilets jaunes” – have been donning yellow vests to protest against poverty and low pay (
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Terrifying truth about how care homes are run | Letters 26 Nov 11:36am Terrifying truth about how care homes are run | Letters
Readers share their views on how for-profit social care is failing the most vulnerable in societyYour report of the serious neglect of residents in several private care homes (
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BBC squanders cash on excessive salaries | Letters 26 Nov 11:36am BBC squanders cash on excessive salaries | Letters
Which presenter could claim that earning £200,000 a year was insufficient, asks
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Women sing in political protest too | Brief letters 26 Nov 11:36am Women sing in political protest too | Brief letters
Folk singers | The town named Truth or Consequences | Other lives | The third wayThere was an absence of women in the litany of modern-day political protesters through song (
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Young people are being prescribed dangerous antidepressants | Letters 25 Nov 11:44am Young people are being prescribed dangerous antidepressants | Letters
Readers give their views on the strong medications being given to children and young peopleWe share the concern of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) at using these drugs for children under 18 years of age in this country, which is occurring more apparently (
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No political folk singers? The tradition is alive and kicking | Letters 25 Nov 11:44am No political folk singers? The tradition is alive and kicking | Letters
Readers pay tribute to Roy Bailey but say there are still plenty of good political folk singers
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The scams, sorrows and sing-songs of school trips | Letters 25 Nov 11:43am The scams, sorrows and sing-songs of school trips | Letters
Readers share their thoughts on the rise of expensive school tripsSally Weale’s analysis (
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Taking pride in the magic of the shed | Brief letters 25 Nov 11:43am Taking pride in the magic of the shed | Brief letters
Sheds | Crickhowell High Street | Question Time | Cuban doctors “What is it with men and their sheds?”
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Debunking gender pseudo-science | Letters 25 Nov 12:59am Debunking gender pseudo-science | Letters
Why do we focus on the differences between men and women when they have so much in common? Because it makes better headlinesMay I as an ardent male feminist thank and congratulate Catherine Bennett for her exposure of pseudo-science and cloddish reasoning (“
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Out of the EU and into the great unknown | Letters 23 Nov 11:27am Out of the EU and into the great unknown | Letters
Readers respond to Larry Elliott’s article on how Britain can flourish outside the European UnionLarry Elliott’s otherwise justified appeal for a leftwing vision to modernise Britain’s low-pay, low-investment economy (
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British arms trade feeds war in Yemen | Letters 23 Nov 11:25am British arms trade feeds war in Yemen | Letters
Britain sells arms to Saudi Arabia, a state that is playing such a disastrously central role in Yemen’s civil war, writes
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Suspicious about conspiracy theories | Brief letters 23 Nov 11:24am Suspicious about conspiracy theories | Brief letters
Denise Coates and Bet365 | Homelessness | Persistent plastic | Female MPs | Conspiracy theoriesObscene as it is that anyone receives £726,000 a day (
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The resistible rise of the far right and populism | Letters 22 Nov 12:43pm The resistible rise of the far right and populism | Letters
Readers respond to the start of the Guardian’s six-month investigation into the rise of populism around the worldYour article (
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Shrinking aeroplane loos will make many feel blue | Brief letters 22 Nov 12:42pm Shrinking aeroplane loos will make many feel blue | Brief letters
Denise Coates and Bet365 | Roy Bailey | Aeroplane toilets | Ian McKellen | Alan BennettWhat are the odds that nothing will be done about either the £726,000 a day salary of Bet365’s founder (
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Brexit: the Irish question and the English puzzle | Letters 21 Nov 12:41pm Brexit: the Irish question and the English puzzle | Letters
Readers respond to a Guardian article by Fintan O’TooleYour
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‘Queue-jumping’ comment reveals the Tories’ moral vacuum | Letters 21 Nov 12:41pm ‘Queue-jumping’ comment reveals the Tories’ moral vacuum | Letters
The PM is deriding EU citizens’ rights, says
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Andrew Marr’s bad-tempered exchange with Shami Chakrabarti | Letters 21 Nov 12:41pm Andrew Marr’s bad-tempered exchange with Shami Chakrabarti | Letters
Marr’s irritation was understandable, says
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Glad that Ian McKellen is a Lancashire lad | Brief letters 21 Nov 12:40pm Glad that Ian McKellen is a Lancashire lad | Brief letters
Wild boar | Organised religion | Camden walk of fame | Early applause | Yogurt pot uses | Ian McKellenThe National Trust’s intention to kill the wild boar on one of its Wiltshire properties (
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Labour’s continued inaction on Brexit | Letters 20 Nov 1:09pm Labour’s continued inaction on Brexit | Letters
Guardian readers respond to John Harris’s piece on Labour’s collusion in leaving the EUSadly, I find myself agreeing with every word of John Harris’s article (
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A lame response to NHS ward closures | Letters 20 Nov 1:08pm A lame response to NHS ward closures | Letters
Do they ever step outside their offices in Whitehall? asks
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Proud to be called a champagne socialist | Brief letters 20 Nov 1:08pm Proud to be called a champagne socialist | Brief letters
Journal of Controversial Ideas | Cojones and nipples | Global warming | Co-op champagne | The TulipThe people who tell us “
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We have a duty to help the children of Palestine | Letters 20 Nov 2:00am We have a duty to help the children of Palestine | Letters
On the UN’s Universal Children’s Day – 20 November – teachers and lecturers urge the UK government to lobby for the release of child prisoners and an end to the mistreatment of children detained under military lawAs teachers and lecturers, we feel strongly that today, on the UN’s Universal Children’s Day, we must call on our government to work with increased determination to achieve improved welfare for the children living in Palestine under occupation and in Gaza. On this day, we are reminded that we have a duty to advocate for children’s rights as set out in the declaration of the rights of the child, which was adopted in 1959, and the convention on the rights of the child, adopted in 1989. We believe it is shameful that children live in fear, in particular the fear of being detained and imprisoned under military law.
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Angered by the damage that austerity does to the poor | Letters 19 Nov 12:46pm Angered by the damage that austerity does to the poor | Letters
Readers respond after the UN poverty envoy said austerity has inflicted ‘great misery’ on UK citizensThe UN envoy’s visit and report concluding that “Austerity has inflicted misery on people” (
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Essential reading on climate change | Letters 19 Nov 12:44pm Essential reading on climate change | Letters
George Monbiot and Keith Kahn-Harris are thought-provoking, says
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Bad writing can still keep readers gripped | Brief letters 19 Nov 12:43pm Bad writing can still keep readers gripped | Brief letters
Andrew Neil | Hadrian’s Wall | Dan Brown | Lady Bracknell | Fall in house pricesI don’t know which is the sadder comment about the BBC – the Trumpian misogynistic 3am tweet about prize-winning reporter
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Justice for Colombia peace negotiator | Letters 18 Nov 12:35pm Justice for Colombia peace negotiator | Letters
MPs and trades union officials call for Jesús Santrich’s rights to be restored and ask the UK government to support Colombia in implementing the peace deal with Farc rebelsWe are concerned at the recent admission by Colombia’s attorney general that his office does not have evidence against the Farc peace negotiator and congressman-elect Jesús Santrich, who has been imprisoned since 9 April. A recent delegation of British MPs, trade union leaders and lawyers visited Mr Santrich in his cell and was shocked at the conditions. Due to poor conditions and a 41-day hunger strike, his health has deteriorated sharply.
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Spending a penny during Welsh winter | Brief letters 18 Nov 12:33pm Spending a penny during Welsh winter | Brief letters
Public toilets | Laughter while reading | Theatre intervals | Co-op champagne | DrivingIt isn’t just disabled shoppers who need access to public conveniences (
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Letters: nuclear energy is key to our future 18 Nov 1:00am Letters: nuclear energy is key to our future
With demand for electricity set to rocket, the UK cannot rely on renewables alone Your business leader misses the bigger picture, as indeed do other supporters of renewable energy, such as Greenpeace (“
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Facing the problems with children’s homes | Letters 16 Nov 11:35am Facing the problems with children’s homes | Letters
Readers respond to our report on vulnerable children in the care home systemThe Guardian’s investigation on children’s homes (
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Whiplash bill is ruse to harm workers’ rights | Letters 16 Nov 11:34am Whiplash bill is ruse to harm workers’ rights | Letters
Increasing the small claims limit to £2,000 would mean that workers suffering injuries that include a collapsed lung, a fractured wrist or elbow and loss of front teeth, are denied access to justice, write five trade union general secretariesOn Tuesday of next week, the civil liability bill is expected to complete its passage through parliament. The government say that the bill will tackle a whiplash “epidemic”, but it hides a £1.3bn annual gift to the insurers, a loss to government coffers of £146m a year, and an assault on access to justice that will impact hundreds of thousands of people whose claims have nothing to do with whiplash. By statutory instrument, the government plans to sneak through a doubling of the small claims limit, below which injured people don’t get their legal fees paid. Up to 40% of those injured at work will lose their rights. Thousands of workers will be left fighting insurers on their own and in their own time. Injured people whose claim has a value of up to £2,000 – thousands of people a year – will be expected to take on well-funded insurers on their own.
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Perils and ethics of new driverless cars | Letters 16 Nov 11:33am Perils and ethics of new driverless cars | Letters
Guardian readers respond to David Edmond’s article about the moral arguments surrounding driverless carsI was disappointed that David Edmonds (
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Doctor Who’s race-time continuum | Letters 16 Nov 11:33am Doctor Who’s race-time continuum | Letters
The show has always valued every human (and intelligent alien) life, writes author
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A problem with no nipples in the office | Brief letters 16 Nov 11:33am A problem with no nipples in the office | Brief letters
Khrushchev’s wine | Bras at work | Organ donation | HoneybeesKhrushchev may have sent wine to the Irish chair of the UN assembly (
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Hold the front page for the comedy goat | Brief letters 15 Nov 12:51pm Hold the front page for the comedy goat | Brief letters
Acting connections | Billy Preston | Chinese war graves | Comedy goat | Brexit secretary | Going BonkersImagine if you’re in hospital and the person examining you turns out not to be a doctor – but his mum is a doctor, or his cousin, or he went to the same school as a doctor. Four years’ training, £50,000 of student debt, over three years of working in pubs: how does a young actor, who went to the local comprehensive and who has no connections to the acting world, find their way in?
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Theresa May’s Brexit deal solves nothing: open warfare is about to begin | Polly Toynbee 14 Nov 2:46pm Theresa May’s Brexit deal solves nothing: open warfare is about to begin | Polly Toynbee
Number 10 will arm-twist, bribe and cajole MPs. But the prime minister has united her enemies against herAs rumours flew that her Brexiter enemies were calling for her head in no-confidence letters, out she stepped alone. After five gruelling hours convincing her cabinet, a beleaguered prime minister stuck to her friendless deal: sticking is what she does best. Now the arm-twisting, the bribery and the for-the-good-of-the-country cajoling of every last MP begins in earnest. Pinned to the wall, each must finally reveal their true colours; some will be principled, some not: Tories must reckon if the future is with Theresa May and her deal, or with Brextremists in their constituencies. Any Labour would-be defector must reckon whether their local party could ever forgive them for voting to keep this government in power.
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Do we need a humanist Thought for the Day? | Letters 14 Nov 12:56pm Do we need a humanist Thought for the Day? | Letters
Readers share their views on calls to open up the BBC Radio 4 slot to humanistsThere is no need for humanist voices on Radio 4’s Thought for the Day (
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David Attenborough’s OK – blame BBC editors for environment failure | Letters 14 Nov 12:53pm David Attenborough’s OK – blame BBC editors for environment failure | Letters
Editors who refused to treat climatology as a serious branch of science should be the ones attracting criticism, says
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Britain’s deep ties to Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen | Letters 13 Nov 12:48pm Britain’s deep ties to Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen | Letters
The Ministry of Defence must be asked urgent questions about its knowledge of Saudi Arabia’s attacks in Yemen, says
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The Quaker told he was too young to have a conscience | Letters 13 Nov 12:48pm The Quaker told he was too young to have a conscience | Letters
It is not correct to say that before 1916 many conscientious objectors went to prison, writes
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Are oldies’ organs still worth donating? | Brief letters 13 Nov 12:47pm Are oldies’ organs still worth donating? | Brief letters
First-name reminder | Supporting the Guardian | Organ donation | Self-identifying as older | For the FallenPaul Chadwick’s interesting article on honorifics (
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The students I taught were reactionary, not revolutionary | Letters 12 Nov 1:00pm The students I taught were reactionary, not revolutionary | Letters
In over a decade of teaching ethics,
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Mari Wilson: Neasden’s very own queen of soul | Brief letters 12 Nov 1:00pm Mari Wilson: Neasden’s very own queen of soul | Brief letters
Laurence Binyon | Margaret Bondfield | Neasden | Damon Albarn’s attire | Same old Brexit newsStephen Grove (
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David Attenborough, television and environmental destruction | Letters 11 Nov 12:50pm David Attenborough, television and environmental destruction | Letters
Readers take Attenborough to task for ignoring the human impact on the natural worldI strongly agree with George’s Monbiot’s comments regarding David Attenborough’s latest BBC series, Dynasties (
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What future for Britain’s high streets? | Letters 11 Nov 12:50pm What future for Britain’s high streets? | Letters
Readers respond to news that the number of UK shops, pubs and restaurants lying empty has soared by more than 4,400 in the first six months of this yearThe plight of retailers dominates debate about the high street (
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US democracy: crisis, what crisis? | Letters 11 Nov 12:49pm US democracy: crisis, what crisis? | Letters
Donald Trump’s election is not a symptom of failing US democracy, says
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Let Woakes join Stokes and Foakes | Brief letters 11 Nov 12:46pm Let Woakes join Stokes and Foakes | Brief letters
Losing two Johnsons | US-obsessed Brits | Laurence Binyon | Striker with sledgehammer | Damon Albarn’s donkey jacket | Chris WoakesTo slightly misquote Oscar Wilde, to lose one Johnson may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose both looks like carelessness (
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Shameful neglect of child refugees | Letters 11 Nov 12:59am Shameful neglect of child refugees | Letters
For decades, Britain has given a safe haven to persecuted people. Now it refuses to take in the world’s most vulnerableMark Townsend draws attention to the shockingly low numbers of unaccompanied child refugees accepted into the UK by the Home Office (“
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Reflections on the first world war and Armistice Day | Letters 9 Nov 11:46am Reflections on the first world war and Armistice Day | Letters
On the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war, readers share their thoughts on how the conflict shaped historyThe poppy is now a matter of controversy. Some claim it is a symbol of militarism and a glorification of war. In the parlance of today’s zero-sum dialogue, the poppy is tied to war, war is bad and should be ended, ergo sum the poppy is bad and should be eradicated. In a time when facts matter far less than feeling, this sounds like a convincing argument. So let’s look at some facts. The poppy as a symbol of remembrance was promoted by an American educator named
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In search of a fairer system of taxation | Letters 8 Nov 12:49pm In search of a fairer system of taxation | Letters
Readers respond to Polly Toynbee’s suggestion that the inability to raise tax has become Britain’s political diseasePolly Toynbee’s suggestion that higher taxes for all are inevitable (
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Too late for Norris the Rubberman, alas | Brief letters 8 Nov 12:47pm Too late for Norris the Rubberman, alas | Brief letters
Lewes bonfire and dogs | Grimsby’s heritage | Nettle soup | Roald Dahl, Churchill and racism | BookTrust | Theresa May’s churchgoingThe reference to “the vanity of the bonfires” (
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Knife crime epidemic should surprise no one | Letters 7 Nov 1:24pm Knife crime epidemic should surprise no one | Letters
Readers respond to articles covering the rise in knife crime that’s claiming the lives of more and more young men and boysThree weeks ago my 16-year-old son and his friend were mugged in Norwood by a gang of seven youths who stole their phones, punched my son and threatened to stab him (
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Credit where it’s due to Guardian writers | Letters 7 Nov 1:23pm Credit where it’s due to Guardian writers | Letters
Readers congratulate the Guardian on its multiple nominations for outstanding journalism in 2018Multiple thanks and best wishes to the Guardian nominees for excellence in journalism this past year (British Journalism Awards 2018: Twelve nominations for the Guardian and the Observer, 3 November). They have educated, informed, entertained and on occasions horrified us at events both at home and abroad, provided evidence that evil has occurred in the world, and given ammunition to those who will tackle it. In the world of “fake news” they are a beacon. But can we not find an award for Marina Hyde, whose penetrating and wicked wit has entertained us all year? The humour and corrosive spearing of people and organisations with considerable power has echoes of Hogarth and Gillray, but in prose, and with so much more humour.
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Two women worthy of gracing the new £50 note | Letters 7 Nov 1:23pm Two women worthy of gracing the new £50 note | Letters
Mary Somerville and Caroline Herschel would both be fitting choices, writes
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Questions that can and can’t be asked | Brief letters 7 Nov 1:22pm Questions that can and can’t be asked | Brief letters
State-run schools | Brexit as grassroots rebellion | Utility shirt for hire | Can’t be arsed | Over-use of ‘us’I was sorry to see repeated the canard that councils formerly had a “monopolistic control of state-run schools” (
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The democratic deficits that lie at the heart of Brexit | Letters 6 Nov 1:24pm The democratic deficits that lie at the heart of Brexit | Letters
The young are excluded from the Brexit debate, says
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Social prescribing’s new chapter | Letters 6 Nov 1:23pm Social prescribing’s new chapter | Letters
Giving away books on the NHS can help patients with mental illnesses, says
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Families can have say on organ donation | Letters 6 Nov 1:23pm Families can have say on organ donation | Letters
Ensuring that relatives’ wishes are central to the process is a crucial part of maintaining trust in the transplant system, says
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The worrying rise of the far right across Europe and America | Letters 6 Nov 1:23pm The worrying rise of the far right across Europe and America | Letters
Europe must restructure if it is to defeat nationalism, says
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Music isn’t wallpaper – it’s a civilising force | Letters 6 Nov 1:22pm Music isn’t wallpaper – it’s a civilising force | Letters
I’m horrified by the rise of commercialised background music, writes
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Everyone hates ‘we’ headlines. Here’s why | Brief letters 6 Nov 1:22pm Everyone hates ‘we’ headlines. Here’s why | Brief letters
‘We’ in headlines | Boredom | Christmas cake rules | Trophy hunters | Sleep and LED screensIs it possible for you to stop using “we” and “us” in a lazy manner? On 5 November there were articles headlined “
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Let’s have perspective in tuition fees debate | Letters 5 Nov 1:20pm Let’s have perspective in tuition fees debate | Letters
Guardian readers respond to Danny Dorling’s tuition fees plan for LabourDanny Dorling is entitled to criticise the current university funding system, and I am by no means a fan of the marketisation agenda. But he gets carried away (
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Tax breaks would focus minds on real diversity in film and TV | Letters 5 Nov 1:20pm Tax breaks would focus minds on real diversity in film and TV | Letters
A group including leading British film and television actors, writers and directors is calling for tax relief to encourage diversity throughout their industryWe call for the immediate introduction of a film and television “representation tax relief” to increase the employment of women, disabled people and people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds behind the camera in the British film and television industries. True representation of the diversity of the UK isn’t just about what we see on our screens but also the people writing, directing, filming and working behind the camera.
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Melatonin and root causes of poor sleep | Letters 5 Nov 1:20pm Melatonin and root causes of poor sleep | Letters
LED screens and lighting are behind the increasing use of melatonin to combat sleeplessness, according to
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Traidcraft has an outstanding legacy | Letters 5 Nov 1:19pm Traidcraft has an outstanding legacy | Letters
Whatever happens to the pioneering retailer, the global fair trade movement it helped to establish will continue to grow, writes its founding managing director
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Did Paul Dacre miss the point of Ibsen’s play An Enemy of the People? | Brief letters 5 Nov 1:19pm Did Paul Dacre miss the point of Ibsen’s play An Enemy of the People? | Brief letters
Daily Mail ex-editor | The Aventra train | Self-government | Utility clothing | Brexit | Flu headlines | The new £50 notePaul Dacre thinks his critics missed the point that his phrase “enemies of the people” referred to Ibsen’s play (
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Let the people judge whether a Brexit deal is fit for purpose | Letters 4 Nov 7:01pm Let the people judge whether a Brexit deal is fit for purpose | Letters
Senior lawyers and campaigners put the case for a People’s Vote on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, in a letter with more than 1,500 signatories As members of the legal profession we act for people, businesses and institutions across the length and breadth of the UK. Our clients and the law are profoundly affected by the terms of the UK’s relationship with Europe. We support a People’s Vote on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations for two main reasons. First, democratic government is not frozen in time. Parliamentary sovereignty means that today’s parliament cannot bind tomorrow’s parliament. Nor can yesterday’s referendum bind us today.
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Keys to prosperity in the north’s great cities | Letters 4 Nov 1:36pm Keys to prosperity in the north’s great cities | Letters
Readers respond to Preston’s success, Channel 4’s move to Leeds and Simon Jenkins’ proposal to move parliament to the north with ideas for a new political landscapeChannel 4’s move to Leeds must be just the beginning (
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A flu jab may save your life – if you can get one | Letters 4 Nov 1:33pm A flu jab may save your life – if you can get one | Letters
Readers on the benefits of the flu vaccine and the difficulties in tracking it downI’d encourage everyone to have a flu jab (
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No-deal fears over drug supplies | Letters 4 Nov 1:33pm No-deal fears over drug supplies | Letters
Concerns about the availability of vital medicines after Brexit are raised by
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Freedom of speech in Bolsonaro’s Brazil | Letters 4 Nov 1:32pm Freedom of speech in Bolsonaro’s Brazil | Letters
Brazil’s ambassador to the UK,
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Don’t fear the reaper, it’s a waste of time | Brief letters 4 Nov 1:32pm Don’t fear the reaper, it’s a waste of time | Brief letters
OS merchandise | Death advice | Sitwell siblings | Lewes bonfire | Banknote designYour entertaining article (
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Trouble at mill? Don’t you believe it | Letters 4 Nov 1:59am Trouble at mill? Don’t you believe it | Letters
Life may not always be a bed of roses in Wigan, but the region has plenty to celebrateRichard Partington highlights the struggle many northern towns face in respect of the austerity cuts to council budgets (“
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Peterloo, bloody riots and raising red flags | Letters 2 Nov 12:52pm Peterloo, bloody riots and raising red flags | Letters
Readers reflect on the Peterloo massacre and the Merthyr rising, and point out that fake news is not a modern phenomenonMay I, through your letters pages, make an appeal in connection with the commemorations of the Peterloo massacre? The late Ken Sprague (
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