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One rule for one...

Muir­field, the Hon­ourable Com­pany of ed­in­burgh Golfers, has over­turned its men- only pol­icy be­cause the royal & An­cient re­fused to stage the Open there while it didn’t ad­mit women as mem­bers.

But while Muir­field al­ways al­lowed women to play — in­clud­ing in mixed matches — the sanc­ti­mo­nious r&A main­tains its men- only pol­icy for play­ers in the Open. MARTIN BURGESS,

Beck­en­ham, Kent.

A Mrs — and proud

feM­i­nisM has been a dis­as­ter for women. We have some im­por­tant equal rights, such as the right to vote, but in the quest to be equal to males we’ve for­got­ten what’s spe­cial about be­ing fe­male.

When i was lit­tle, my par­ents rightly told me that if i worked hard i could do any­thing i wanted. i went to univer­sity and have a string of letters af­ter my name. But my proud­est mo­ment was mar­ry­ing my hus­band and get­ting those three letters (Mrs) in front of my name.

Why? Be­cause it shows i can give an­other per­son’s needs equal im­por­tance to my own, that i can share my life, my hap­pi­ness, sad­ness, joy and anger with an­other per­son, that i’ve made a com­mit­ment to that per­son, that i will be hon­est and faith­ful.

i’m proud of be­ing a Mrs and feel an­gry that on of­fi­cial forms i’m slowly hav­ing this right taken away from me in favour of Ms.

The de­sire to be equal to men has led to women be­ing forced to act like males in many ways. We’re urged not to let our hor­mones get the bet­ter of us at work, to be more com­pet­i­tive in na­ture and have pres­sure put on us about when we’re go­ing to have a fam­ily and the cost to the or­gan­i­sa­tion we work for.

We have a spe­cial gift that men do not: the abil­ity to carry a baby and the bi­ol­ogy to be able to feed that baby. in­stead of work­ing against our nat­u­ral bi­ol­ogy and try­ing to ig­nore it, we should work with it.

i’m proud to be a Mrs, proud to be fe­male and want to stop so­ci­ety from judg­ing me for this. i know it isn’t po­lit­i­cally cor­rect or fash­ion­able, but for those of us who do feel this way, please leave us be. Mrs SA­MAN­THA HOUS­TON,


Thirst for wa­ter clar­ity

THere’s a ten­dency among the pub­lic to take for granted what lies un­der their feet. When you turn on the tap, you as­sume drink­able wa­ter will emerge. When you pull the chain, you ex­pect your ef­flu­ent to dis­ap­pear out of sight and mind.

But for the past ten years, all has not been as well as Thames Wa­ter is claim­ing. Mac­quarie funds, domi­ciled in tax-haven lux­em­bourg, bought Thames Wa­ter in 2006. At the time, Thames’s eq­uity cap­i­tal was £1.5 bil­lion and out­stand­ing debt £3 bil­lion. To­day, the eq­uity cap­i­tal stands at £3 bil­lion but the debt is £ 10 bil­lion, leav­ing the com­pany much less fi­nan­cially sus­tain­able.

dur­ing Mac­quarie’s stew­ard­ship of Thames, much of the new debt (£6 bil­lion) was raised via a Cay­man is­land sub­sidiary.

The Mac­quarie takeover was largely funded by third-party debt and in sub­se­quent years this debt was re­paid by new Cay­man is­land debt raised against Thames Wa­ter’s (for which read cus­tomers’) credit.

All this has been le­gal and the reg­u­la­tor, Ofwat, seems to have ap­proved, but is this what the pub­lic, and Thames Wa­ter’s 12 mil­lion cus­tomers ex­pect of their pri­vately owned, pub­lic ser­vice mo­nop­oly sup­plier?

TONY Lord BERKLEY, House of Lords, London WC1.

Ser­vic­ing Brexit fall­out

THe Gov­ern­ment’s re­jec­tion of the lords’ Brexit Bill amend­ment to

guar­an­tee res­i­dency to eu na­tion­als al­ready in the uK, while un­sur­pris­ing, has done noth­ing to al­le­vi­ate con­cerns re­gard­ing the fu­ture of the coun­try’s fourth-largest em­ployer: the hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor.

There’s no ques­tion that the health of this coun­try’s ho­tel, restau­rant, cater­ing and leisure busi­nesses will be se­verely im­pacted by any re­stric­tions placed on the rights of eu work­ers in the sec­tor — one which con­trib­utes 10 per cent of our to­tal GdP.

The un­cer­tainty over the fu­ture of eu work­ers’ rights is al­ready caus­ing pain for hos­pi­tal­ity or­gan­i­sa­tions, with fall­ing job-ap­pli­cant num­bers and many of those eu na­tion­als al­ready think­ing about leav­ing.

The uK’s Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions are putting the needs of a vi­brant em­ploy­ment sec­tor in jeop­ardy. We call on the Gov­ern­ment to ur­gently ex­press its in­tent around the fu­ture for eu work­ers in the uK. CHRIS MUMFORD and

THOMAS MIELKE, Aethos Con­sult­ing Group, London.

Time to re­form at­ti­tudes

TrevOr PHilliPs makes some good points on re­form of the House of lords, but as the lord who fea­tured in the BBC film in my elec­tric wheel­chair, i thought he spoiled it with his snide at­tack on wheel­chair-users (Mail).

Mr Phillips has changed his tune about mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism since he left the equal­i­ties Com­mis­sion. His time there was char­ac­terised by a heavy em­pha­sis on tack­ling dis­crim­i­na­tion against all mi­nori­ties ex­cept dis­abled peo­ple.

They were very low on his list of pri­or­i­ties and lit­tle seems to have changed. The other day, the Gov­ern­ment equal­i­ties Of­fice an­swered a par­lia­men­tary ques­tion i asked, con­firm­ing that since 2015 it has is­sued 75 press re­leases on trans­gen­der and tran­sex­ual is­sues but only 12 on dis­abil­ity is­sues.

i don’t know how many trans­gen­der and tran­sex­ual peo­ple ex­ist, but there are 800,000 wheel­chair users, in­clud­ing only six of us in the House of lords. i imag­ine Mr Phillips is keen to see more women, more black and eth­nic mi­nor­ity and ho­mo­sex­ual and trans­gen­der peo­ple in the lords, so why the snide com­ment about wheel­chair-users?

is he try­ing to im­ply that peers in wheel­chairs are idle, gaga or not pulling their weight? does he think it’s a life­style choice and we pre­fer sit­ting in chairs to us­ing our legs?

if you look at the work done by Baronesses Brix­ton, Thomas, Masham and Tani Grey Thomp­son, a for­mer Olympic cham­pion, all in wheel­chairs, you’ll see they have contributed far more to pub­lic life than Mr Phillips and his for­mer equal­i­ties Com­mis­sion.

We may have lost the use of our legs, but that just means we have to work harder. DAVID Lord BLENCATHRA, House of Lords, London WC1.

Foul play

THe ugly per­for­mance by Manch­ester united against Chelsea, and eden Hazard in par­tic­u­lar, only serves to bring to a head the ab­hor­rent sys­tem of team foul­ing by dif­fer­ent play­ers in or­der to pre­vent any one player from be­ing sent off for con­stant law-break­ing.

That Man united, a club right­fully com­mended for play­ing the game at­trac­tively over many years, should stoop to such ap­palling be­hav­iour only shows the ex­tent to which this prac­tice has be­come ac­cept­able.

The sit­u­a­tion is not helped by the of­ten re­peated com­ments by ex­play­ers at Tv games who of­fer ex­cuses for out­right cheat­ing that can, at times, re­sult in serious in­jury.

We’re of­ten ad­vised that foot­ball is ‘the beau­ti­ful game’, but this doesn’t hold wa­ter when some great thug can take out a su­pe­rior player il­le­gally, of­ten, we sus­pect, at the

be­hest of the thug’s man­ager. It will, of course, be said that stamp­ing out this prac­tice will ren­der tack­ling ir­rel­e­vant.

not so. Tack­ling is an ad­mirable art, and for too long now, far too many de­fend­ers have no idea how to tackle. It’s high time they learned. CLIVE WHITFIELD, South Re­ston, Lincs.

Iden­tity cri­sis

HAv­InG re­searched Jack the Rip­per’s iden­tity (Mail) for 21 years, I can re­veal the truth.

Us­ing only the in­ter­net and the bri­tish Li­brary, I’ve worked through thou­sands of pages from books and web­sites to get to the man be­hind the mur­ders.

He is the fa­mous Robert Louis Steven­son. He was in London at the times of the mur­ders, he re­searched ‘ladies of the night’ for his books and po­ems, he refers to him­self in Dr Jekyll, he hated loose

women and he had med­i­cal skills, which he had prac­tised on ca­dav­ers in Scot­land.

In his book Un­der­woods he refers to his ha­tred of women. He had a car­riage in which he loved trawl­ing the streets of London at night. He car­ried a satchel that con­tained med­i­cal in­stru­ments.

He was ques­tioned by po­lice about the mur­ders but all the records were de­stroyed in a fire at the po­lice sta­tion he at­tended, where a high­rank­ing of­fi­cer pulled him out

of the in­ter­view. This was re­ferred to in a let­ter, which has since been lost.

Steven­son had an ill­ness that used to en­rage him into a fury. He also drank heav­ily to try to com­bat the devil in­side him. The mur­ders stopped when he left bri­tain and he died a few years later, but I be­lieve he mur­dered many more women in Scot­land be­fore the London killings. I’m now re­search­ing those.

CARL CLARK, Thet­ford, Nor­folk.

Granny heartache

I CAn un­der­stand the heartache of be­ing a long-dis­tance granny (Mail), but you can also be a long-dis­tance granny when you live close by.

I live about 25 miles from my four grand­sons, but so far in 2017 we’ve seen two of them for about three hours.

Just a phone call would be wel­come. ROSE­MARY SEWELL,

Brack­nell, Berks.

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