Friday, 12 December 2008 19:00 Jonathan Dean Letters

ImageIt’s not who got elected where, it’s not the outcome of various ‘grudge’ matches around the country, or the final seat totals, it’s not even the resulting minority government for Mr. Harper. The most important result is buried in the data from Elections Canada, a footnote really. It is the historically low turnout of 59.1%, the first time ever that less than six out of ten people have voted.

And that is based on registered voters, estimates claim an additional/ 5% to 15% of potential voters are not registered and therefore do not vote. Including this fact places the actual turnout at around 50%, perhaps less!


Thursday, 11 September 2008 19:00 Chris Hattingh MPL Letters

In a time where South Africa is beleagured with unprecented xenophobic attacks and the long lasting effects of it, from which the North West Province also did not escape, it is required from responsible leadership to convey a strong message against xenophobia. The same goes for racism.

In the North West Province recently the Premier as well as the MEC for Transport, Roads and Community Safety, MEC Penye Vilakazi, displayed this leadership in addressing the outrageous racist public incitement after the Skielik incident.

On the other end of the scale, generic statements accusing certain unidentified individuals and groups of racism and xenophobia causes polarisation and should be identified for what it is: - this is nothing more than a racist or xenophobic expression of what is either harboured within or a deliberate expression of written or unwritten policy soaked with xenophobia or racism. Statements such as these tend to become the seeds that will grow and the harvest will be more xenophobia and racism.

Wednesday, 09 July 2008 20:00 John M. Miller - ETAN Letters

 The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) is deeply disturbed by heavy-handed police actions -- including the use of tear gas and large numbers of arrests -- against nonviolent student demonstrators in Dili this week. We urge Timor-Leste authorities to fully respect the right of peaceful protest and to immediately release everyone arrested for peacefully expressing their views. Police procedures and training should be reviewed so that similar over-reactions do not take place in the future.

The right to assemble and peacefully-protest government policy is enshrined in Timor-Leste's constitution and in the human rights treaties that Timor-Leste ratified upon becoming independent. The struggle to achieve these rights, and their exercise by people around the world, were fundamental to Timor's independence struggle.


Monday, 16 June 2008 20:00 John Eoin Douglas Letters

As any professional will tell you, alcohol is mainly a problem for the young and poor who are ill-equipped to handle its affects and will greatly benefit from any enforced reduction in consumption caused by a rise in its price as well as the age at which it can be purchased for off-sales.

Middle aged higher earners, who can largely handle their drink and are unlikely to be found engaging in the nightly fracas in our city streets at closing time, may well quietly destroy their livers but will continue to do so unhindered in the privacy of their own homes.

The Scottish Government's consultation document on alcohol misuse is a proportionate response to a very real problem and I note that the British Medical Association (who would be the first to admit that they include a large number of alcoholics in their membership) has been quick to lend its support to the proposals.


John Eoin Douglas 

Thursday, 12 June 2008 20:00 Councillor Steve Radford Letters

Voters in Ireland have rejected the European Union's Lisbon reform treaty in a referendum by 53.4% to 46.6%.

What is deeply disturbing is why only the Irish Republic allowed its people to vote

The cowards and hypocrites in Labour and Lib Dems promised us a vote on the new constitution at the last General Election, then in the House of Lords voted to prevent us having our vote

Never mind the UK invading Iraq to restore Democracy. May be we should ask the Irish Republic liberate the UK to restore Democracy here?

Councillor Steve Radford
President of The Liberal Party
41 Sutton Street
L13 7EG
0151 259 5935

Tuesday, 10 June 2008 20:00 Reporters Without Borders Letters

HE Hamid Karzai President of the Republic
Kabul - Afghanistan
Paris, 11 June 2008

Dear Mr. President,

Reporters Without Borders urges you, on the eve of tomorrow's conference in Paris on Afghanistan's development and reconstruction, to give a clear undertaking that your government will protect press freedom, which is currently under so much threat in your country.

Press freedom has, it is true, been one of the achievements of reconstruction in the almost seven years since the fall of the Taliban regime. Afghanistan has around 300 newspapers, 14 of them dailies, more than 10 privately-owned TV and radio stations and seven news agencies. Afghanistan has never had so many news media and journalists. But violence against the press is growing steadily. In the past 12 months, Reporters Without Borders has registered no fewer that 18 physical attacks on journalists, 23 death threats, 14 arrests and four abductions. Dozens of other journalists have been forced to resign because of outside pressure.



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