Is the picture editor on holiday?

Whine at The Independent for consistently clumsy picture choices

Sirs,

Last week you used a picture of Z├╝rich to illustrate a piece about Basel, today you use a picture of Waterloo Station captioned “St. Pancras”.

If news matters it needs to be taken more seriously, including accompanying illustrations. We’re not quite as ignorant out here as some would have you believe.

Paul Harper

Birchill & Street Porter – Shootings in School are not Freedom of Expression

After Janet Street Porter defended fellow harridan Julie Birchill in the Sunday Independent, the following was sent to both Independent titles:

Sirs,

Not for the first time, the Sunday Independent’s Janet Street Porter doesn’t see the wood because the trees get in the way.

Julie Birchill’s hate-filed rant in the Observer two weekends ago is to freedom of expression in exactly the same way that automatic assault rifles are to the second amendment.

Birchill used a national newspaper column and international web site to attack those defending themselves on Twitter. In no way were these equal means of expression. She, in essence, nuked them. Which was her intention.

In an equal argument, worries over freedom of speech become valid.

This was not an equal argument, and I am disappointed that neither Independent title seems to recognise that.

Paul Harper

Benefits: Time for a reality check

Missive sent to The Independent after posting it on Facebook:

Sirs,

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Labour supporter and voter and have been for decades, I am a socialist, and very happy about that.

But I really don’t see why benefit increases shouldn’t be pegged to average wage increases if those are less than inflation. The last salary increase I got was in 2005 and there are millions of other workers in similar positions. People in receipt of benefits should be grateful they’re going up at all – and they ARE going up, nobody’s getting a cut, at least until the overall ceiling comes in.

Yes, it is absolutely morally reprehensible that the smug posh rich boys are looking after their friends. But that is about corruption and is a *different issue*.

So yes, it’s okay to cap benefit increases to 1%, it’s okay to limit overall benefits to average worker income and yes, it’s okay to require those getting disability benefit to be re-assessed every two years (are they *really* busy or something?).

This is a welfare state and I love it because of that. But there should be limits, and people have frankly been taking the piss for too fucking long.

Paul Harper

Ronseal David Cameron

After David Cameron in his mid-term statement about the state of the Coalition Of The Clueless used the phrase “It’s a Ronseal coalition, it does exactly what it says on the tin”, I thought I’d drop a line to the Evening Standard…

David Cameron got one thing right yesterday. His government is definitely a stain. “Does what it says on the tin” he quipped amusingly, forgetting that the tin says “Use only in well-ventilated areas, wash brushes in white spirit”. It’s going to take an ocean-going tanker of white spirit to wash away these failures.

They published it:

Ronseal