x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Wall Street protests send a signal

Demonstrators in New York City and elsewhere hope to awaken Americans, a reader says. Other letters touch on health insurance, Dubai's 53 universities, customer service piracy, and schooling.

As anti-corporate protesters, like those pictured here, gather across the United States, one reader argues that voters in the US should heed these messages and push for greater corporate responsibility. AFP / Frederic J Brown
As anti-corporate protesters, like those pictured here, gather across the United States, one reader argues that voters in the US should heed these messages and push for greater corporate responsibility. AFP / Frederic J Brown

Mandatory health insurance, as proposed in Dubai, is in my opinion a worthwhile initiative.

Cases such as the one of the Filipina maid mentioned in your story (Mandatory health insurance delayed, October 5) demonstrate the need for full coverage. It was pathetic to read that she will just ignore a dangerous health problem because she has no coverage.

I hope that this latest delay has to do with the need to get the programme right from the start, and isn't just employers stalling to save themselves a few dirhams. The whole UAE has to get used to the idea that cheap labour is no bargain if it comes at the price of human misery.

James Layton, Dubai

Do we really need 53 universities?

With no disrespect toward Amity University - which is no doubt very good - or any other school in the UAE, I'm having trouble understanding why Dubai needs 53 universities (Import from India opens the market, by degrees, October 5).

How many are there in London or New York? How is a person supposed to choose?

JF Leddy, Dubai

Customer service isn't always bad

I refer to the column It'll take more than a week to improve customer service (October 5).

I agree that there is a sad lack of customer service in this country, but I have had some surprisingly positive experiences also.

I had an appliance quickly replaced that had only a few days of warranty left, and I have had my money cheerfully refunded at a certain clothing store when I returned a garment about which I changed my mind. Do these shops have my loyalty now? Absolutely.

Rebecca Lavallee, Abu Dhabi

Wall St protests make good point

The people who have taken to the streets in New York City and across the US to denounce bankers and overpaid CEOs in protests (Furyat Wall Street's deadweights, October 5) are an important symbol.

It would be nice to think that US voters will get the message and awaken, as they did during the Great Depression, against the "malefactors of great wealth."

Bryan Burch, US

But what subjects should be cut?

Your story Education chiefs consider cutting compulsory subjects (October 5) brought a chuckle, though not over the state of education, which is not very amusing.

Rather, I'm looking forward to the squabble as teachers and advocates of physical education, information technology, civic education and all the rest fight their corners, demanding that somebody else sacrifice mandatory status.

Bernie Allen, Abu Dhabi

Solution to piracy is found on land

Letter-writer Paulo Gomes thinks Armed guards are the best solution to sea piracy (October 5).

But what happens when the arms race steps up and the pirates acquire bigger weapons, too, and start disabling cargo vessels (admittedly this would not apply to tankers) from a greater distance?

The real solution to piracy is land-based law enforcement, which means stable and sound government, and that is a long way away in Somalia.

Mercenaries on ships may help a little in the short term, but as a solution to the problem they amount to treating the symptom, not the disease.

Catherine Montgomery, UK

Europeans will solve debt crisis

It is fascinating to watch European governments and institutions work to solve the debt crisis.

The latest news (Banks face bigger hit in effort to aid Greece, October 5) shows the progress being made, under the lash of necessity.

What's so interesting is that when there's a crisis, Europeans usually find a way to work together, share the pain and manage things.

I know that we optimists are scarce in this particular matter, but I firmly believe that the worst will be avoided in the European credit markets. Now if only the Americans could learn from us.

Pascal Martineau, Dubai

Even fast bowlers aren't that fast

Re: Bowlers with raw pace fast on decline (October 3).

I don't believe that any fast bowler ever got through an over in a couple of minutes.

Keith Miller was probably the only one who would even try, and even then he'd slip in a couple of medium-fast off-spinners. Five or six minutes is more like it.

Mike Killingworth, UK