Today one reader writes in to discuss the Hunting Act. F B Latham claims: "The Act is unique in that it has failed to deliver anything for anyone."
Shoppers, think outside the box
Hot on the heels of Jamie Oliver's free-range chicken crusade, the decision by Marks and Spencer to charge for disposable food shopping bags could be viewed as just another publicity-seeking gimmick.
What Jamie Oliver proved was that whilst most of us would like to be ethical, green and eat organic, if it does not fit our budget or lifestyle then we are unlikely to comply.
For example, I do not wish to have a tatty "bag for life". I have, however, realised that free or otherwise, the traditional disposable bag is of little use for the weekly grocery shop. I fill the bags up neatly at the till, put them in the boot of my car and by the time I get home the shopping is all over the place.
I have written to the Chief Executive of Morrison's, to suggest a return of the Safeway Green Box which proves much more practical in transporting shopping, and really is a "box for life".
Indeed, I have already bought two rigid plastic boxes for my trolley when shopping and use them every week.
I might look a twit, but I give it three months before people are following my lead.
Edward Oldfield, Bentley Drive, Kirkham
Scrap ineffective Hunting Act
The third anniversary of the Hunting Act has just passed and, in that time just three hunts have been convicted of any offence. That is the sum total of offences committed by more than 300 hunts hunting every day.
If this were the complete story it would simply be an indictment of the Government that it allowed so much time to be wasted on a law that has had so little impact.
The tiny number of convictions hides the malicious number of allegations received by the police, the time spent investigating them, the hours of police time spent observing hunts, the confusion in the courts and the difficulties for all those trying to hunt within such a bad law.
The Act is unique in that it has failed to deliver anything for anyone.
It has not improved the welfare of the quarry species, nor the lives of those in the countryside who rely economically and socially on hunting.
Neither has it delivered for those who promoted it. They really wanted to see the end of the traditional hunts, which have as much support as ever.
Scrapping the Hunting Act would would be compatible with the sort of tolerant, inclusive government that all political parties claim to champion, and for which the country is increasingly crying out.
F B Latham, via email
MEPs should press for transparency
Naturally I think I am worth every penny of the 61,000 salary I am paid, together with my Brussels living allowance, transport expenses and pension package. But it's public money and I believe in being open about it.
It's enough for me, but apparently not for some other European MPs. Some can't scrape by without diverting additional funds from their office allowance, staff allowance and travel allowance.
The European Parliament makes only token checks and applies no sanctions, I am ashamed to say.
My blood boils at the thought of so many colleagues allowing greed to tarnish the reputation of a Parliament that is playing an ever bigger role in law-making.
Sadly, in the European Parliament attempts are being made to dilute even the limited reforms due to come into force next year.
British, Dutch and Scandinavian MEPs tend to be among the leaders in pressing for change but unless someone can persuade other parliamentarians of the need for auditing and transparency, it will be a long time before it happens.
Chris Davies, Liberal Democrat MEP for the North West
Punish those who sell booze to teens
It seems the police think the best way to convince the public of their efforts in tackling teenage alchohol abuse, is to have regular photographs published posing with large amounts of confiscated drink (LEP, February 16).
I would find the prosecution of licensees who supply underage drinkers and confiscation of their licences, more convincing.
Paul Smith, Lostock Hall, via email
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