Local elections
Dear Sir,
I  note your editorial today (29/01) re upcoming local elections. Those expats who failed to heed Angie Guerrero’s exhortations to register to vote have now I understand missed the boat. The expatriate community represent a significant economic force within the Balearics and their voice deserves to be heard. Perhaps your newshound Humphrey Carter should be inviting questions from readers to be put to political leaders, particularly those standing in expat areas. I am sure that many MDB readers would like to see their responses in your pages and not merely the usual political superficial generalisations.
My best wishes,
Geoff Williamson

British Consulate
Dear Sir,
I have read in the MDB over recent months various  adverse comments regarding UK Passport renewals. I feel compelled to report my recent experiences with The British Consulate in Palma and Madrid. I recently returned to Majorca with a short dated UK passport (with two weeks to run) and the prospect of needing to travel in the near future. A situation largely due to my own negligence. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to ring the British Consulate in Palma and a couple of circuits of the highly automated telephone system at the British Consulate in Madrid I reached an extremely helpful lady - Jade - who rapidly and courteously made an early appointment for me at the British Consulate in Palma to obtain a 12 month passport extension. I presented myself early at the Consulate in Palma, was seen early and within a short time my passport was extended for 12 months and without charge. So now I merely have the problem of identifying an eight week period during which I can send off my passport for a permanent renewal.
Anon Santa Ponsa
aka Geoff Williamson

Hugh Ash & the Jews
Dear Sir,
In his  Sunday Comment  Hugh Ash reminded me of the words of my late father, a Baptist minister, who said societies should be judged on how well or badly they treated their Jewish citizens and that prejudice starts in the home.
 My sisters and I were taught to respect all religions, but that the Jews deserved special praise for their wisdom in founding the Abrahamic faith, the font of Christianity and Islam.
 Personally, I marvel at how the Jewish people have survived 2,000 years of mainly persecution and yet produced so many incredible individuals.
 After reading Mr Ash’s latest column I did a quick check on the number of Jewish Nobel Prize winners and the total is 153 out of 855 (22%) and that does not include 11 Peace Prize laureates. Not bad for a people who constitute only 0.2% of the world’s population. Contrast that with the 1.6 billion-strong Muslim world, which has only mustered 11 Nobel winners and seven of those were nominated for the Peace Prize, including Yasser Arafat.
 That is not meant to malign Islam, but only to place some perspective on how much good work the Jews have done to the benefit of mankind.  If anything we owe them a great debt, not a repayment in a rising in anti-Semitism.
Yours sincerely,
Martin Read
Oxford and Santa Ponsa

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