SIR – It is astonishing that the commission appointed by Oriel College to decide on the fate of the Cecil Rhodes statue (report, February 8) contains not a single expert on art or architecture, nor any of the scholars working on Rhodes’s legacy.
Several members seem to have already expressed a desire for the statue to be removed, along with the bronze portrait-plaque.
The commission’s two public sessions displayed a shocking ignorance about planning issues. It was also implied, regardless of the facts, that the statue has put off ethnic-minority applicants.
Cumbrian coal mine
SIR – There is currently no viable alternative to coal in the large-scale production of steel. So wouldn’t it make sense to lessen the carbon footprint of our home-made steel by reducing the emissions associated with the transport of that coal and mining our own? No: because coal is bad (“Controversial Cumbria coal mine decision to be reconsidered”, telegraph.co.uk, February 10).
Where does this lead us? Should we stop manufacturing steel? Should we let another country pollute its climate, then buy its steel?
We should remember that there is only one climate.
SIR– How many new coal mines will be opened in China while Cumbria county council dithers?
SIR – Poor pay and the outsourcing of soldier recruitment to commercial organisations (report, February 6) may not be the only reasons for our diminishing military strength.
For decades we have heard of the pursuit of servicemen over their actions in various conflicts – most recently, the decision by the Police Service of Northern Ireland to prosecute elderly servicemen who served in “the Troubles”, which have also been described as “a war”.
There is little evidence of former members of the Ulster Volunteer Force or Irish Republican Army being pursued through the courts for their actions. This imbalance is not an ideal recruiting advertisement – I would hesitate to encourage my grandchildren to sign up.
Surely a more just and productive process could be modelled on the South African truth and reconciliation of the Nineties. It would save painful time, millions of pounds in legal fees and arrive more swiftly at a state of lasting peace and healing.
I pray that the Public Prosecution Service and our Government will seriously consider such a process, instead of the pursuit of individuals. It would give potential recruits a confidence in the authority into whose care they may place themselves for life.
Canon Alan Hughes
The British public still hankers after fresh fish
SIR – It is wrong to claim Britain has little appetite for fish (Letters, February 9). The fishmonger sells out by lunchtime three days a week at our market. Demand is there but supply is short. I find shellfish in supermarkets from all over the world. British fishermen must work on the UK market to make huge gains.
SIR – My brother celebrated Joe Root’s double century with a dozen oysters.
I asked him if he’d negotiated a good price, there being a glut of British shellfish.
I can’t tell you how I replied when he told me they were from Galway.
SIR – In June last year The Sunday Telegraph featured four fish merchants who, as a result of the closure of restaurants, had turned online.
I picked Downies of Whitehills, who have been in business for 150 years, and as a result I and a number of friends have enjoyed some superb and very fresh fish.
SIR – Mark Hix urges us to buy fish from our own shores and mentions his own fish box (Features, February 5).
I was delighted to discover that there are a number of other websites offering fresh British fish delivered to my door. I have ordered some already.
Brompton Ralph, Somerset
Snow excuse to cancel class at this critical time
— to www.telegraph.co.uk