Life Is Cheap

Dear Editor,

So, Jakub Tomczak has been given two life sentences after being convicted of rape and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to his 48-year-old victim in an Exeter street. The Echo reported that Judge Graham Cottle imposed a life sentence for each count and ordered that Tomczak, 24, should serve a minimum term of nine years.

Yet another typical case of British justice, or injustice, when a life sentence comes down to a paltry four and a half years. I'd be willing to bet that if a Brit were convicted on these charges in Tomczak's native Poland he'd not be as fortunate. Come to that, if the defendent in this case were British he'd probably be looking at a minimum of 20 years, but I guess I'm not allowed to voice that opinion in polite circles or British newspapers.

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Lib Dem denying BNP basic rights

Sir,

In a so called "free" society, we are constantly censored and oppressed by those who claim to be liberal, and free thinking.

In the words of Voltaire, "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

It's a pity the politically correct brigade don't wake up and smell the coffee. What we need in this country today is less of the politically correct, and a good dose of common sense.

Or is calling sense common likely to offend anyone with Sense as a surname? This would not suprise me.

From my own point of view, I can only echo the views of so many of your readers, in that I may not agree with the politics of the far right, but they are the only political party prepared to stand up and say what I believe a large percentage of the population are thinking.

Beware Brown and Cameron. If a protest vote turns into an election result for the BNP, you've only got yourselves to blame.

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Bigot my arse!

Sir,

I feel bound to reply to the scathing attack on my character by Suzi Rollason, (Do not be so quick to judge students", Points of view, January 16th 2008).

She says that she was "appalled to read my bigotted and sweeping comments".

Firstly, if Ms Rollason wants to see "appalling" in all its glory, she might want to consider leaving the safety of her desk and take a holiday in Kenya or Zimbabwe. So let's get things in perspective before we start shall we Suzi?

Secondly, I would take issue with anyone who calls me a "bigot". The common translation of this much abused adjective is that of a "prejudiced person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles, or identities differing from his or her own". In point of fact, a more accurate description would be that of "someone who refuses to accept the possibility that their particular opinions are the outcomes of flawed logic", but I digress.

As far as I am aware, the only thing which I have been intolerant of recently is bad and innacurate letter writing, but to Ms Rollason's mind that probably now makes me a mysoginist to boot!

I know all about tolerance and Exeter University students, having lived until recently in the St David's area for around 20 years. I tolerated their all night parties. I tolerated their urinating outside my house. I tolerated them vandalising my garden (especially as daddy apologised and gave me a fat cheque), and I tolerated them defacating in a pint glass (what a jolly wheeze!) in plain view of my bedroom window. So Suzi, don't tell me about lack of tolerance, and as you can see, yes I have met these "extremely talented and hard-working young people", although just how talented you need to be to wait tables and wash pots must be open to question.

I will admit to generalisation or "sweeping comments", but I can only speak as I find, so what else am I expected to do?

Much of the points made in her letter refer to how hard working Exeter University students are, and (if you read between the lines), how downright lazy local residents (known as "townies" to the Uni elite) are. I would suggest that Ms Rollason is skating on thin ice here, and perhaps an apology to hardworking Exonians (and our Polish cousins) may be in order. If you look through my letter, you'll see that at no time did I accuse Exeter University students of being lazy or workshy, so I'm a bit bemused as to exactly what point she is trying to make.

Finally, are Select Hospitality aware that Ms Rollason is issuing statements to the press on their behalf? I have a mind to contact Sandy Jarrett, Head of Marketing and Communications at Select Hospitality to find out. Perhaps there might be a position for our budding writer in this department – or, in the words of Fagin, "I think I'd better think it out again"!

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Objection to plan will have no effect

Sir,

Sorry John Mulberry, but I have to concur that your objection to the plan for a block of student flats in Well Street, St James, will get you nowhere, (A district ruined in the name of money, Echo, January 7, 2008).

The university rules this city and has done for a long while. Why do you suppose that local people cannot afford housing? Simple: the la-di-da, well-to-do uni crowd bump the rents up each year, as they can afford to pay through the nose.

The same goes for their parents who bump up the property prices by buying student homes for Tarquin and his luvvy mates. Good luck with your campaign against this anyway.

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