Dear Sir,

GORDON Brown's comment regarding “the playing fields of Eton“ was obviously too subtle for Mr Phillips to grasp. It is not about a class war. It is about two men who went to Eton, had a wealthy, privileged, protected background, neither have ever done a proper days work in their lives, expecting millions of hard working men and women in Britain to vote for them. How can they possibly understand the aspirations and problems of people who work 40 hours plus a week, struggling to make ends meet (especially to pay exceptional gas and electricity bills, thanks to Mrs Thatcher)?

Ron Bronstein

Dear Sir,

UNLIKE the majority of people in the UK I am against capital punishment because of its finality. Proven criminals include sex offenders (e.g. Bakewell Tart rapist and murderer Stephen Downing jailed wrongly for 27 years) or terrorists (IRA Birmingham Six jailed wrongly for 17 years each). I understand that the majority of Chinese are in favour of their mandatory death penalty for a large variety of offences including drug smuggling and that they have no sympathy for British Akmail Shaikh executed on Tuesday.

Like Ray Fleming (Daily B Viewpoint Wednesday) I believe the UK Governments approach was misdirected. Initially they were pleading for clemency. Why? Do they plead for clemency for the thousands of Chinese who are put to death each year? Then criticism was directed to the short length of the trial reputedly 30 minutes. This is quite reasonable for an open and shut case when the accused readily agrees to his guilt. It appears it was only later that the possibility of mental health was brought up. Perhaps the Chinese do not recognise some “modern western” diseases which they may see as facile excuses for criminal behaviour. Could Akmal Shaikh have suffered from Bipolar Disorder and could this justify his smuggling of 4 kilos of heroin? The USA is also sceptical of these recently discovered illnesses such as Asperger Syndrome which is being used as an excuse/defence for hacking into Pentagon security (another Brit Gary McKinnon).

These new afflictions which apparently give rise to involuntary criminal activities are only the tip of the iceberg. Below the water line are much more prevalent medical conditions.

The poor performance or bad behaviour of school children may not be their fault but due to (variously) Dyslexia, Autism or Hyperactivity. Even our Royal Family is not immune although I'm not sure if Princess Di suffered from Anorexia or Bulimia (or both?). And how about adultery not being caused by loose morals or selfishness but by Sex Addiction. I'm not sure if I suffer from it as I'm still looking for an attractive female addict to confirm my self-diagnosis. With the blame culture individuals are not responsible for their misadventures. Either a company or government department is culpable or if not then the person must have a “condition” and there appears to be a syndrome for every human failing.

As the next decade approaches I will finish on a positive note for although I feel the UK Government's approach has been cack-handed it has been exceptionally well received by my daughter's clients. In HM Prison Bronzefield many of the inmates are obviously wrongly convicted drug mules and will be gratefull for the official recognition of Bipolarity as the real cause of their incarceration and which will be the basis of their newly initiated appeals!

Mike Lillico, Playa de Palma


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