Readers’ letters - August 15

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Mobile phones are a menace in society

As an octogenarian, I’m sure my views on the following will be put down to some sort of mental aberration but am I worried?

Mobile phones are one of the 20th century’s biggest disasters and the smart phones an even bigger one.

If it wasn’t so serious it would be funny to see.

People of all ages walking the streets completely absorbed in the wallet-sized machine in their hand.

I’ve witnessed them walk into lamp posts, collide with other pedestrians and, generally, act like morons.

On buses and trains everybody can hear their (surely) private conversations which can occasionally be embarrassing to other passengers, but the mobile phone holder doesn’t seem to care.

I’ve heard the same ‘signals’ in church and doctors waiting rooms.

But I am most concerned at the growing number of children in possession of these infernal contraptions. Because one child has one, all the other kids want them and parents seem to give in.

But are they not aware of the risks and dangers in Internet involvement? I seem to recall something of an outcry in the past that any unsavoury character could make contact with youngsters via their phones yet parents seem to be oblivious.

As a recent article in the Daily Mail warned: ‘Youngsters should not be allowed to gorge on social media. Many are using them like sweets or junk food, especially now in the school holidays with no adult around.

‘Children age five to 15 are spending 15 hours a week on the Internet.’

At least the old-fashioned landline phone never posed such problems. It was merely a private means of communication.

Neil Kendall

Address supplied

animal welfare

The case for going vegan

Why is the thought of eating dogs and horses abhorrent in the UK but not elsewhere?

If you love your pet, why are you eating other animals?

If you don’t want blood on your hands, why are you asking other people to do your killing for you?

Have you visited a factory farm and witnessed the overcrowded misery that will end up on your plate?

Why are you allowing cows to be turned into baby-making machines to produce milk for you to enjoy your butter or your cheese?

These are the questions that caused me to investigate and then adopt a vegan diet. And I, and millions of others, are thriving on it.

Alternatives to meat and dairy are now common in health food shops and supermarkets. Have you tried rice milk, soya milk, coconut milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, flax milk, hemp milk, quinoa milk?

They won’t contain the added hormones and antibiotics of cow’s milk.

Mega dairies and all factory farming is inhumane – it deprives animals of their freedom and natural habitat.

It’s our choices that lead market demand and can alter our food production to be kinder and healthier.

Sue Lister

Address supplied

food

Oxo is no longer a cube

The reduction in the size of the chocolate bar Toblerone created a lot of adverse publicity, but recently I discovered yet another sneaky method used by manufacturers to reduce the product volume and thus increase profits for themselves.

This relates to the humble Oxo cube, which is no longer a cube, as it now sports a groove down four sides.

The groove, having a triangular cross section will, at a rough estimate, reduce the overall volume of the cube by around 10 per cent.

Considering the actual size of the cube and the new saving of product volume, this will make the manufacturer a tidy amount of extra profit and, of course, the product price to the customer will not have been reduced.

I rejected the notion of taking accurate measurements on the grounds that maybe I should get out more often!

Keith Wigglesworth

Address supplied

brexit

Keep same number of MEPs

With government ministers sending out mixed messages over ‘Brexit’, and particularly over the suggested transitional period whereby we actually leave the EU, it is certainly causing confusion to business, as well as everyone who voted either way in last year’s referendum.

If we remain as members after March 2019, although temporary, we will no doubt still be bound by their rules, regulations and laws.

But will we be without British representation in the European Parliament?

If that is the situation, I feel it is important we fully maintain our current numbers of MEPs by extending their term, in order to monitor events until we finally do leave.

After all, it was thanks to many of them that we learned the truth about its future.

Philip Griffiths

North West President

UKIP (UK Independence Party)

brexit

We need to exit Brexit

The delays at EU borders drew the usual critical remarks and the farcical request of our instant departure from the EU.

It would be wise to take some time to consider the following questions:

Where is the Prime Minister who introduced the referendum which created Brexit? Where is the former leader of UKIP who supported Brexit?

Where is UKIP, the party who thrived on Brexit? If Brexit was such a popular idea, it appears to have suffered a serious lack of support and this has

now raised the prospect of a new political party to exit Brexit.

John Fisher

via email

energy

Competition can be good

M Thompson wrote that, apparently, competition is a bad thing in the energy market (LP Letters, August 11).

Well, that’s not my experience of the situation.

Checking my energy bills in 2013, I decided I needed to find a way of reducing my bills.

I changed my energy supplier and changed tariffs over the coming years.

Now I pay 42 per cent less for my gas and 23 per cent for my electricity.

I call that a result – all due to the competitive nature of the energy market.

Try it, you will be surprised how much you can save.

Bernard Darbyshire

via email