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LETTERS: your views.

Scandal of hidden cost in children's Christmas gifts

CHRISTMAS shopping is well under way once again and the great battery scam is costing us thousands of pounds.

I can't believe toy manufacturers are allowed to sell toys which do not operate unless batteries are purchased separately.

I have just spent over pounds 20 on batteries for gifts I have bought for Christmas that are useless without this added commodity.

I remember when electrical appliances were sold without plugs. There was a nationwide campaign to force manufacturers to supply plugs and now they are sold ready to use.

The same should apply to battery-operated toys and appliances. Obviously the prices will rise to reflect this improvement, but at least we will know the full cost of the item, before we commit ourselves.

So, let's have some suggestions about how to persuade toy manufacturers to include the appropriate batteries with the goods.

It would also prevent a lot of disappointment to children on Christmas Day whose toys will not operate because grandma forgot to buy batteries.

Veronica M Field, Lambourne Close,

Mount Nod.

Oh no, we aren't!

KEN SLATER - familiar to correspondence columns throughout the Midlands for his anti-BBC views - is wrong to allege in his letter of November 15 that the BBC has taken over the Belgrade's publicity machine.

Malcolm Boyden is a freelance broadcaster for BBC Coventry and Warwickshire and BBC Radio WM and as such has other interests which include appearing in Mother Goose in Coventry.

For three weeks this two-hour programme is coming from a dressing room at the theatre, allowing us to keep him on the air while he fulfils other commitments.

It allows us to do 30 hours of live programming from Coventry, reinforcing our commitment to the city and to Warwickshire; his presence gives him the opportunity to promote the local talent in the arts and entertainment scene in the area; and contrary to Ken Slater's claims, Malcolm's show is not swamped with advance publicity for the pantomime.

In fact, to ensure balance, Malcolm is interviewing people from other main pantomime productions in the West Midlands and Warwickshire.

Keith Beech, editor, BBC Radio WM and BBC Coventry and Warwickshire.

Fireworks fury

I am relieved to read that other people in the Coventry area are sick and tired of fireworks going off night after night.

In the Wyken area we have had to put up with it since the beginning of October.

I blame greedy shopkeepers who are only interested in making as much money as they can, with no consideration for local residents.

Would it be possible to start a petition up to try to get the law changed so that fireworks are only to be sold in the week going up to November 5?

Name and address supplied.

Officials' treatment of this family is shameful

I CONGRATULATE the Evening Telegraph for highlighting the plight of Amanda Khan and her husband Mir over his blocked visit to Meriden to see their daughter (November 15).

One would have hoped in the 21st century that our representatives in various parts of the world would begin to see their role as bridges - rather than barriers - between cultures.

I have always taken the view that public money spent on maintaining embassies and high commissions, along with such institutions as the British Council, is well spent.

But it is clear from the actions of High Commission staff in Islamabad we need far better public oversight of their activities.

A huge step might be to begin recruiting foreign representatives from the ranks of Voluntary Service Overseas personnel.

Though Meriden MP Caroline Spelman is on the case, would it not expedite matters to approach Clare Short, herself a West Midlands MP familiar with the multi-cultural make-up of our region as well as being a Cabinet colleague of Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.

She might ask him why a citizen of a friendly Commonwealth country is being treated in such a shameful way when millions of people travel to this country annually to enjoy its tourist and cultural attractions - many without need of visas.

The very least Mr Cook should ensure is instant issue of a visa unless officials can produce compelling evidence that Mir Khan's presence for three weeks in our country presents some threat to our wellbeing. A fulsome apology might not be a bad idea either.

Gwynne Powell,

Grangemouth Road,


Dog thieves take note: Huskies are not rare!

I READ with interest your report of the malamute dog stolen from a car in Coventry (November 9), but I feel this kind of reporting is making it harder for people who own huskies and malamutes to keep them safe!

I own three Siberian huskies, race them throughout the winter and have appeared in the Evening Telegraph twice for the races I run in.

I have also been approached by youths trying to steal the dogs from me.

While I understand the reason for the report, I would also ask you research the story further before putting it to print. Your claim regarding there being only 10 in the country is wrong as there are well over 500 I know of. As for huskies, 5,000 is nearer the mark.

By reporting that these dogs are so rare only goes to promote the idea of them being stolen to order . . . a practice I know is on the increase.

Mark Hollingsworth, JOCOMA Siberian Husky Racing Team.

to the point

I REFER to your story of November 14 headlined "No idea when Coventry-Nuneaton service will resume."

This is extremely misleading as it implies all services are cancelled. In fact, only two trains each way are withdrawn - the early morning and evening Coventry-Stafford trains.

This is typical of the media treatment of rail services, latching on to the downside without proper research.

R E Barby, Granoe Close, Binley.

IN VIEW of all the concern about the greenhouse effect caused in part by exhaust gases from cars and commercial vehicles, I am surprised that the immense amount of fuel used by aircraft is not mentioned.

A jumbo jet must use several hundred times the amount of fuel consumed by a private car and yet travel companies are continually encouraging us to fly abroad more often.

Surely we should be reducing this activity in the interest of our environment.

D Hindley, Avondale Road, Earlsdon.

RE: RECIPE of the day, November 15.

I noticed with disgust the inclusion of the word champignon in the above recipe.

As a lifelong opponent of our integration with Europe, I feel this subtle takeover of our language sets a worrying precedent.

Whatever happened to the good old British mushroom?

Mrs Angela Turner, Melbourne Road,



PLIGHT: Amanda Khan with daughter Aiyana
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 18, 2000
Previous Article:Rifle Fields gang back together; EVENING TELEGRAPH PHOTOGRAPH LEADS TO REUNION AFTER 60 YEARS.
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