x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Banks have failed to live within their own means

I read with interest Gavin du Venage's column entitled The importance of living within your means.

Irish singers Bono and Bob Geldof perform during a concert in Germany. A reader suggests that they turn their attention to the Irish debt crisis.
Irish singers Bono and Bob Geldof perform during a concert in Germany. A reader suggests that they turn their attention to the Irish debt crisis.

I read with interest Gavin du Venage's column entitled The importance of living within your means (October 2), referring to the fact that the recession has bought home to all of us the necessity of not living beyond our means. 

He omits to make clear, however, that for most people in financial difficulty, the reason for this is usually because they have lost their jobs as a result of company cutbacks rather than too many visits to the shopping malls.

His statements are therefore better directed towards those governments and banking institutions who indeed pursued a policy of "credit now, pay later" worldwide as being the way to new prosperity. They are the ones who landed us all in the mess we are all having to pay for, continuing at least in the western world to draw fat bonuses out of our misfortune. Would he therefore please address his comments to the right audience and the real reasons why we are all struggling to make ends meet?

Guy Liddell, Dubai 

Sing 'Drop the Irish Debt' blues 

I refer to the article Latest Irish bank rescue pushes cost towards €50bn (October 1). Fears are mounting that Ireland could default on its soaring national debt, amid continuing worries about its troubled banking sector. 

The Irish banking system is at rock bottom. Ireland expects to spend a total of more than €50 billion in resurrecting five banks - equivalent to €10,000 for every man, woman and child in Ireland .

This horrible bailout package will swell the deficit for one year to a staggering 32 per cent of economic output, the biggest since the Second World War. I would like to draw the attention of two famous Irish rockers, Bob Geldof and Bono, towards Ireland's debt woes. 

We all admire them for their efforts on charity fundraising, debt cancellation and addressing the deeper structural causes of poverty in Africa. Their largely successful "Drop the Debt" campaign, along with many ardent development activists, grew into the "Make Poverty History" campaign and Live 8 concerts in 2005.

Both of them are now part of ONE, an Africa advocacy group with two million campaigners around the world. Hey, c'mon, Geldof and Bono, it's time now to sing the "Drop the Debt" blues for Ireland. 

Malik Tariq, Abu Dhabi 

Small solutions to great traffic woes 

In reference to Peter Hellyer's opinion article Grand schemes are not needed to solve great traffic woes (September 21), wholesale widening of roads is not the answer. Indeed legend has it that the great Sheikh Zayed was opposed to the cutting of any tree in the city. The junctions might need expansion. This is where the bottleneck is, not in the sections between.

The traffic signal system in the city is simply not fit for the purpose, neither are the signalised junction configurations. We cannot wait for large schemes. We need action now. Small-scale, fast delivery targeted schemes can make a real difference. As far as buses are concerned, why are there dozens of new buses sitting at Park Rotana, while city services are overcrowded and much of the city is not even covered as yet?

Ford Desmoineaux, Abu Dhabi 

More notice for cancellation 

With reference to the article Tiesto's sold-out concert is cancelled at last minute (October 2), concert goers should have been informed well in advance of the concert being cancelled, not after arriving at the venue. 

Also, the organisers should perhaps have arranged to have news placed on the radio that the concert was cancelled. A friend and I travelled all the way from Dubai and had hotel booking which could not be cancelled only to be told at the entrance at Adnec that the concert was not going to happen.

To make matters worse, the people at the entrance were most unhelpful, giving out no information on how to refund tickets which were yet to be picked up from the box office. 

Alia Ali, Dubai 

Proposal for a world golf event 

In reference to the sports article The Ryder Cup: call it a soap opera for men (September 30), how about a biennial event that pits the United States, Britain and international teams together, like a Ryder Cup and President's Cup all rolled into one? 

Surely that would be much more of a spectacle than just the US and the UK or the US and the international team. Perhaps it could be held every four years, like the Fifa World Cup or the Olympics, really motivating the players to be part of a wonderful event when the entire world gets to play. 

Anyway, you could call it the Pangaea Cup, the Unity Cup or something similar.

Charles A, Dubai