The situation in Qatar will soon become like Yemen unless the siege is ended

I applaud The Independent for drawing much needed attention to the worsening humanitarian crisis in war-ravaged Yemen.

This poor country is in the grip of man-made cholera; is sitting on the cusp of famine, malnutrition, severe shortages of food, medicine, clean water and livestock. This war has weakened the Yemeni people, rendered them more impoverished and susceptible to diseases, acted as a breeding ground for radical extremism and terrorism and resulted in an economic collapse and crumbling health systems, with no end in sight to peoples’ miseries. Warring factions and their backers are responsible for stoking the embers of war and hatred for mere financial gains ‘the merchants of war’.

It is also imperative to remember the besieged people in Qatar. Unlike Yemen, Qatar is a wealthy country with massive oil and gas reservoirs. However, its unwarranted siege would have severe repercussions for families, students, the elderly, the infirm and the sick. Qatar has always believed in dialogue and diplomacy as a way out of this conflict. The global community cannot remain impervious to the anguish and suffering of people. It is time to demonstrate the wisdom of diversity, constructive engagement and diplomacy during times of adversity. 

Munjed Farid Al Qutob
London NW2

Seat swapping

I read with interest Simon Calder’s piece on seat allocation on Ryanair. I wonder, as Ryanair and many other airlines no longer provide catering and therefore the need to know who is sitting where decreases, whether there is an opportunity for passengers cooperating to allow families and friends to sit together? Common kindness would triumph over moneymaking.

I’m sure that there will be some security reason for not doing this but if the airlines insist on being like buses, then we should equally act like bus passengers and willingly give up our seats.

Laura Dawson
Harpenden

Unpaid work trials and interns

An MP has launched a bid to outlaw unpaid work trails. We all know that the only people who can afford to work for free are those with rich parents. All in this together? I don’t think so.

Philip Pound
Sydenham
 

The 37 per cent

John McDonnell claims Tony Blair is out of touch with the general public. The results of the recent election show that neither the Tories or Labour are in tune with the public. What most people want is a Britain, rather than a Brexit, that will protect their jobs and protect the economy.

It looks increasingly doubtful that Brexit will provide this. Politicians should not lose sight of the fact that only 37 per cent of the electorate voted to leave. As is shown regularly by politicians, John McDonnell amongst them, policies change as new facts emerge. The election results showed very plainly that public opinion changes.

If Labour really believe that the will of the people should prevail then they should back a further referendum on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations with an option to remain in the EU.

Andrew Erskine
Address supplied

Robin Walker persists in saying, “The majority of British people voted to leave the European Union.”

This is false. How often does one need to keep repeating that only 37 per cent of the electorate voted to leave the EU? The electorate itself manifestly does not constitute the totality of ‘British people’.

The majority of British people did not vote to leave the EU.

D Maughan Brown
York

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