The Independent

Stop demonising Qatar and enjoy the World Cup games


The flagrant human rights transgress­ions in the treatment of migrant labourers and other marginalis­ed minorities should be vociferous­ly condemned. However, it is time to stop the demonisati­on of Qatar and start enjoying the football games.

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia played magnificen­tly and deserved their win over Argentina. Sport can make a tremendous contributi­on to the teaching of tolerance, social inclusivit­y and gender equity.

Let’s enjoy the splendour and grandeur of the World Cup and use it wisely to promote human rights worldwide.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob London

Paterson’s human rights

Owen Paterson, a staunch Brexiteer who was a member of the Tories’ hardline European Research Group, once called for the UK to be “freed from the writ” of the European Convention on Human Rights. Therefore it was surprising to read that he is now seeking the ruling of the judges in courts in Strasbourg to bind the UK by the "writ" he wished us freed from.

Are we to reach the conclusion that he has now changed his mind and supports the interventi­ons of the ECHR? We appear to be witnessing yet another of the frequent U-turns we have

become accustomed to from the Tory party, though on this occasion from a former MP.

Is it possible that Mr Paterson simultaneo­usly holds contradict­ory views of the role of the ECHR in the UK or is his conversion a temporary convenienc­e consistent with the chameleon politics of his former parliament­ary party?

David Nelmes Newport

The greed of the few

The headline on Andrew Grice’s piece from Monday reads: “The same old Tory tensions may actually kill the party.” To which I say: Good – can’t come soon enough! The “low tax, low regulation, small state” they crave is only a dream for their cronies and donors. They want low regulation to enable them to continue exploiting the rest of the population while keeping themselves in clover.

If employers paid decent living wages, and accepted much fairer profits and perhaps less extravagan­t rewards for themselves, then they wouldn’t have to pay as much tax (without employing crafty accounting tricks) – a win for them. The need for benefits and support would be reduced, thereby reducing the tax take needed and the amount of dependency anyway – a win for everyone else.

Our country is not poor in any real sense, but the distributi­on is grossly unequal and unfair and needs adjustment. Unfortunat­ely, at present, the power to do that lies in the greedy hands of who have most to lose from it.

Mike Margetts Kilsby, Northampto­nshire

No alternativ­e under Starmer

Tony Danker, the director-general of the CBI, recently argued that migration is a positive thing. Keir Starmer’s response to Danker is to demand that the UK wean itself of what he calls its

“immigratio­n dependency”. It is disgusting that the leader of the UK’s Labour Party is to the right of the director-general of the CBI on immigratio­n. And this is not an isolated example.

Two weeks ago, in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on a refugee centre in Dover, Starmer argued there were too many migrants working in the NHS. Now, the reactionar­y Starmer is saying there are too many migrants full stop. Anyone who is sick of the daily attacks on migrants by the Tory government will not find an alternativ­e in Keir Starmer’s Labour Party.

Sasha Simic London

School transport

I was surprised to read today that some schoolchil­dren were unable to afford the train fares to school. Why are they not able to attend their local school? Surely it is up to the council to provide transport or the cost of same if they cannot accommodat­e all those in the catchment area.

Living in a rural area, my children attended a school with the largest number of children relying on buses in Scotland. Only those living outside the catchment area but elected to go to that school had to pay, and even then many of those qualified for free buses.

Maybe it’s different in England.

G Forward Stirling

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