Letters: mobile phones do pose a danger

‘Wireless radiation has many potential consequences for health.’ Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Thank you for the piece on wireless radiation and health (“Mobiles, cancer and inconvenient truths”, the New Review).

This has been of great concern to me for some years. I seek to operate my laptop as much as possible with a wired internet connection and keep my mobile in aeroplane mode for much of the time to minimise exposure, but of course I am surrounded by many sources of radiation in daily life.

It seems that most of the population are unaware or oblivious to the problem because the radiation is not seen, heard or readily evident. Thus, if I raise the issue with others, my concerns are generally dismissed. Wireless radiation has many potential consequences for health – brain tumours, for instance, are increasingly prevalent in a population saturated with waves from mobile and cordless phones, wifi, bluetooth, “smart” meters etc.

I very much fear for the future, with the coming of the more damaging radiation of 5G mobile, which will entail having “micro mast” transmitters mounted on many street lamps in cities, possibly including that outside my bedroom window. As with smoking, those with a vested interest in the industry will seek to keep the public in ignorance for as long as possible.
D Gardiner
Winchester

Congratulations on publishing the insightful reflections on what may soon come to be more widely known as “big wireless”. The piece surely represents, among other things, further vindication of headteachers’ reportedly growing confidence in banning mobiles from schools outright.
Steve Williams
Peacehaven, East Sussex

Labour and antisemitism

It was disappointing to read Nick Cohen repeating the totally untrue nonsense that I had said Hitler was a Zionist (“Why has Labour run the risk of alienating progressive Jews?”, Comment). He should look at the facts. In my eights years as mayor, antisemitic incidents recorded by the Metropolitan police were cut by 50%. In Boris Johnson’s eight years, they more than doubled.

Although the Board of Deputies and I do not agree about Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians, we worked together and established the London Jewish Forum and over my eight years we promoted Jewish events, just as we did Muslim, Hindu and all other faiths. Unfortunately, all Boris did was to promote himself.

I would like to have a bet with Cohen that with Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street, antisemitic incidents, along with all other forms of racism and homophobia, will be dramatically reduced, just as they were under my administration, because, like me, he has spent his entire political career promoting tolerance between all faiths and communities.
Ken Livingstone
London NW2

UN owes a duty to Syrians

Your leader urging the west to help the 2 million Syrians who have fled to Idlib is timely (“The west has a duty to step in and help the victims of Assad”).

They now face the wrath of Bashar al-Assad and his forces, supported by Russian bombs. President Trump ignored the opportunity provided by his meeting with President Putin to remove the main obstacle to ending this tragic conflict: Russian insistence that Assad remain in power. The UK and the countries that host large numbers of Syrian refugees should promote a UN resolution calling for the imposition of financial sanctions against Russian oligarchs.

The objective should be to stop a Russian veto of a UN-supervised ceasefire agreement in Syria without such preconditions. This should be followed by UN and international criminal court investigations to decide responsibility for all war crimes in Syria: the use of chemical weapons as well as the bombing of hospitals, civilians and UN relief convoys. The resolution should also call for UN-supervised elections. Assad could participate in the elections, if he is not already indicted for war crimes.
Emeritus Professor Keith Barnham
Frome, Somerset

Reasons for exclusions

The children’s commissioner, Anne Longfield, has found that officially or unofficially excluding troublesome children from school renders them vulnerable to violent criminal exploitation (“School exclusions ‘put children at risk of gang grooming’”, News,).

Regardless of why exclusion is now happening, some possible links require examination.

First, prohibition of popular drugs fuels a lucrative type of gang activity that may appeal to disaffected young people; second, there appears to be an escalation in crimes of violence in major UK cities and, third, ignorance of the coded content of some attractive “minority music” may be allowing naive BBC controllers to broadcast material portraying even murder as an appropriate activity.

Solutions are not obvious, but failing to search for them must not remain an option.
Rae Smith
Leicester

So much for summer fun

Hearts go out to Eva Wiseman about to embark, for the first time, on the school holiday childcare challenge (“Those endless school summers look very different as a mother”, Magazine).

I well remember the “mums’ relay”: finishing an afternoon meeting in the nick of time, running half a mile to the midpoint between two workplaces and collecting two slightly bedraggled kiddies from Grandma nanoseconds before she started work herself. “Having it all” it was not. Good luck, Eva. It will all be over by September!
Ruth Bright
Eastleigh, Hampshire

Saving our canals for all

Boat dwellers being priced off London’s canals (News) is a direct consequence of the Canal & River Trust privatisation by David Cameron’s government.

The trust is supposedly a charity, but was created when Cameron scrapped the nationalised British Waterways in 2012. The towpath of the Regent’s Canal through Islington and Hackney is busy every day with cyclists, joggers and pedestrians escaping the poisonous and dangerous roads in London. The Highways Agency and Transport for London should be subsidising the Canal & River Trust because they are unable and unwilling to make roads in the capital safe for pedestrians and cyclists.

At the moment, volunteers are lurking on the towpath, begging passersby for cash donations to keep the canals maintained because the trust does not have sufficient income.
Ray King
London E9

A menace in Venice

While “behemoth cruise ships” are indeed a problem for Venice (“Don’t look now… it’s the sandwich police, saving Venice from its tourists”, Dispatch), they don’t “chug through the Grand Canal” – they’d have too much difficulty with its meandering shape, to say nothing of the bridges. The canal in question is the Giudecca, between the neighbourhoods of La Giudecca and Dorsoduro.
Fiona Mathers
Wakefield