x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

The mysterious allure of fakes

It's a little strange, a reader writes, that people are willing to buy cheap knock-offs of brand-name goods. Other letters topics: protecting children, regional unity, British unions, and Egypt.

Fake luxury brands, like this Louis Vutton bag confiscated from a shop in Dubai, might fetch top dollar but they are sorry stand-ins for lesser-known brands of quality, writes one reader. (Paulo Vecina / The National)
Fake luxury brands, like this Louis Vutton bag confiscated from a shop in Dubai, might fetch top dollar but they are sorry stand-ins for lesser-known brands of quality, writes one reader. (Paulo Vecina / The National)

I refer to the article Call for child-safety mesh in towers (November 28).

Requiring permission from building owners and the municipality to install mesh window guards and balcony netting to prevent falls means it is unlikely to get done. Requiring owners to do it for all flats assures nothing will change.

If the authorities want these tragedies to stop then codes must be put in place and building owners must be punished severely for not complying with the rules immediately and completely.

Building contractors and architects hold some responsibility for assuring buildings are designed and built with the safety of the occupant in mind.

Someone please stop these senseless and tragic deaths.

Donald Glass, Abu Dhabi

Regional divisions harm economies

The article US presses Emirates over Iran (November 29) made me think about how it is in the interest of each country in this region to work with one another, rather than increasingly working against each other.

Arab countries should work to advance their economies; what one country has in surplus the other country can consume. And then these countries can work with other nations nearby.

Economic sanctions have been imposed on Iran and the US is pressing on companies to stop doing business with their neighbour. That is of course partly because of Iran's desire to stoke fears in the region instead of building good relations and trust.

If Iran thinks it could advance its interests by opposing the West, then it can succeed in that simply by improving its relations with the countries in the region.

Sanctions have been imposed on Syria too. Regional countries, for various reasons, are going apart and that is harming everyone.

Regional disintegration harms economic development.

The GCC is taking steps to formulate uniform foreign policy that serves the shared interests of each one of the six states. That is the model everyone in the region should follow.

Abduljabbar Saleh, Jordan

Circumstances in Egypt are unique

I disagree with Faisal Al Yafai (A revolution rolls on, leaving Egypt's old guard irrelevant, November 29). We have to look at the particular conditions of each country and the conditions in Egypt today are not like other Arab countries.

The army has a role to play in keeping liberal Egyptians from being overwhelmed by more radical parties. If the army leaves and a civilian government takes over, that government will be made up mainly of the Muslim Brotherhood. This would be counterproductive for Egypt. It is only the army that can guarantee that will not happen.

Mustafa Ezzat, Dubai

Fake brands rather than good quality?

Your article The Persistence of Fake (November 29) was thought-provoking.

Isn't it odd that people would rather have an article which may be poorly-made but bears a (fake) famous logo, than pay less for a decently-made bag or sunglasses of non-descript brand?

The tyranny of fashion is one thing, and somewhat understandable. But the tyranny of "fashionable" brands just reveals how marketers have sucked us in.

Flaunting expensive logos, real or copied, does not make me. In fact I think that anyone who wants me to wear or display his brand should pay for their walking billboard.

Gary Keeler, Abu Dhabi

The over-priced brand-name companies that complain about knock-off copies being illegal make me laugh. Their brands are only in demand because of big advertising and promotion budgets; they should see all these fakes as just more advertising.

Ellen Marion, Dubai

No sympathy for workers' demands

British public-sector workers deserve no sympathy as they go on strike against government plans to rein in spending. (Strike may bring UK to a standstill, November 29).

Public-sector workers are on average paid much more than their private sector counterparts, and also have far more generous pension schemes in place. Never mind being public servants, these people are the public's masters, and their powerful unions want to extend the members' special privileges, which the country cannot understand.

Joe Davidson, UK

Consistency in nuclear scrutiny

I refer to the article Suspected Iranian nuclear site under surveillance (November 23). I wonder if Israel's nuclear facility receives the same level of scrutiny.

Name withheld by request