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Letters, March 28: Tesco and the Somerset floods; animal welfare and zoos; and Gloucester's Roman heritage

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 28, 2014

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It pains me to say it, but well done, Tesco

I am often critical of supermarkets, and in particular Tesco. However, on this occasion I was delighted the hear this morning that Tesco had delivered lorry loads of goods, furniture, appliances etc, worth £35,000 to the depot operating as the recovery centre for recent victims affected by the floods.

It pains me to say this, but well done Tesco.

Linda Piggott-Vijeh

by email

We need to be able to plan our future

A few weeks ago a report by the group Business for Britain showed that around 95 per cent of our businesses did no export work with the EU and wondered why they were tied up by "Brussels red tape" which increased their costs and massively reduced their productivity.

Now the same group has produced another interesting report, this time proving that Brussels pays no attention to British interests and that the last time any of our MEPs actually influenced a measure from the EU was back in 1996, nearly 20 years ago! One such measure concerning car emission rules has cost us some £55.5 billion since it was introduced and, in all, there are over 50 of them which British MEPs opposed but were voted through regardless. Yet another clear indication that our "influence in Brussels" is effectively non-existent.

Despite all the evidence to the contrary some regular correspondents still persist with the argument that we have to be in the EU and that "outside it we would be without influence". This report proves that version of events to be a poor joke!

The sooner we are free to decide our own future again the better.

Greg Heathcliffe

Swindon, Wiltshire

This term is wrong and also offensive

In your article "Corsham hopes railway electrification chaos will re-open station after 40 years" you mention about re-opening the "train station"!

I would like to inform you that this is incorrect English and the correct term is "railway station". Not only is hearing "train station" offensive, but it doesn't encourage English citizens to better their English. While some of them may use the term "train station" they are only making themselves sound uneducated, so it would really help of the press to use correct English.

Henry Allum

by email

Does the Queen have shares in company?

Here are three questions for readers to consider:

As parents are fined for taking children out of school for holidays in term time, will striking teachers pay for child care for working parents when schools are closed in term time?

With all the money we pay to the European Union why is it so difficult to get funds back for flood defences?

As the post office is privatised why is it still called the Royal Mail? Does the Queen have shares in the company?

Geoff Malham

Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset

The sound of Bristle heard on my return

Following on from Brian Hillier's letter in Tuesday's Western Daily Press, I have two books about the Bristol accent, both edited by "Dirk Robson" and published in 1985/6 by Abson Books BS15 5TT. The first one is called Krek Waiter's Peak Bristle containing useful sayings from Wess Vinglun and the second, Eurekal Son of Bristle.

I was born in Bristol and brought up among the sounds of the Bristol accent on the Gloucestershire side of the city's eastern boundary ... and can honestly say that I never really "heard it" until I returned to visit, once I had moved away.

Wendy Mellish

Bradford Abbas, Dorset

Animals would be better off in the wild

Copenhagen Zoo, which pleads that there is nowhere to put these animals, didn't find them abandoned on the doorstep one morning. The zoo brought them into this world.

Like domesticated cats, big cats breed, unless you make sure that they are sterilised, and that is exactly what the zoo had an ethical obligation to do, rather than bringing cubs into the world simply to bump them off.

This callous action highlights the fact that zoo breeding programmes serve no conservation purpose, because animals born in zoos are rarely, if ever, returned to their natural homelands. Instead, zoos spend millions on keeping animals on display like living museum exhibits and dispose of them when they become inconvenient or there are "too many" of one kind.

The physical and mental stress of constant captivity and the loss of all freedom, including when and what to eat and what to do, leads the animals to display abnormal, neurotic and even self-destructive behaviour, such as self-mutilation.

For anyone who cares about lions, giraffes and all the other individuals serving life sentences in zoos, the latest killings should confirm that zoos are hideous institutions that do not deserve public support.

The way to protect "exotic" animals is to donate to campaigns that protect them in their native habitats.

Ben Williamson

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta)

We must make more of Roman heritage

Good riddance to the burger joint in King's Square, Gloucester. As for the discovery of Roman town house underneath, this is an excellent opportunity to not only increase our knowledge of the city's history but to preserve part of our heritage for the benefit of visitors and locals.

It is good news that the King's Walk Bastion is to be re-opened and we should preserve the town house in situ. We should make a lot more of our Roman heritage.

Ian Holt

Hucclecote, Gloucester

We skip from one vice to another

You gave Dr Gail Rees the opportunity of a major article in Wednesday's paper under the heading of "Sugar tax". Clearly Dr Rees is not a holistic doctor who considers the whole person.

We all have our vices. The extraordinary growth of sugar consumption is in part a consequence, I suggest, on the bearing down on tobacco consumption. Once any single pressure group identifies a problem area and hones in on it, those warned off merely move on to other vices. I'm sure drug use has grown so enormously because tobacco is now considered so antisocial and is so heavily taxed. So many smokers, especially the young, have been pushed underground.

Strident appeals for sugar taxes are surely also counter productive.

Many mums living in council flats used to smoke heavily as 'it's cheaper than food'. Now a doughnut (or three) fills the gap. We will all be much better served by education and some smart advertising campaigns – encouraging us to consume "everything in moderation" as our parents advised.

I suggest Dr Rees would be better to start campaigning for transcendental meditation to ease the nervous strains of daily life.

Ross Coad

Zeals, Wiltshire

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