Award-winning performance

Critics have questioned aspects of The Iron Lady and it's depiction of Margaret Thatcher's career. But a reader says for a politician with such a storied past, Hollywood had to make tough choices. Other letter topics today: unhappy humans, Facebook in China, paper or plastic and earning the grade at school.

A reader says that by using flashbacks, the film The Iron Lady managed to compress Margaret Thatcher's career into a film that did justice to her and did not run on too long. Courtesy of Pathe Productions Ltd / The Weinstein Company
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The M magazine article Why are women so miserable? (February 11) was very well done but missed a key point: there's no evidence that women are less happy than men.

"Ordinary human unhappiness," WH Auden reminds us, "is life in its natural colour."

For decades now, women have been told that it is possible to "have it all" but this is not really possible for very many people of either gender in any era: most men struggle to balance career and family, or default on the family part.

The real faulty expectation is not that women can "have it all" but that happiness is the norm.

Pat Inglis, Abu Dhabi

Facebook, China are scary together

Facebook faces great wall of China (February 9) explained why Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of Facebook, is contemplating re-entering China, and how he can succeed.

The Communist Party in China insists on its monopoly of political power and controls social media to maintain that monopoly.

Most Chinese think of the Chinese sites Renren and Sina as better that the censored Facebook and Twitter.

Mr Zuckerberg would be well-advised to sell a huge chunk of his social networking site to Chinese sovereign wealth funds or to have a local partner.

On the other hand, the world's biggest seller of personal information combined with the world's greatest miner of personal information would be a scary match.

Ali Sedat Budak, Abu Dhabi

Thatcher movie was very good

Your film review The Iron Lady (February 9) is critical of the movie, but I have to disagree.

The film has certainly been acclaimed: four Bafta nominations, two Oscar nominations, a Golden Globe and a screening as an official selection at the Berlin Film Festival this month. These are the sort of accolades not bestowed upon poor material.

The film-makers knew that Margaret Thatcher's career is too large to be contained in a single movie so they used the flashback technique.

It's a fine movie and works much better than ponderous overlong 1980s historical pictures such as Reds and Gandhi.

Des Brown, Abu Dhabi

Use jute or cloth instead of plastic

Instead of plastic bags, everybody should use jute bags, cloth bags or any other environment-friendly bags.

Many European countries, and also Bangladesh and India, have stopped or are cutting back on the use of plastic bags.

The UAE government has taken some praiseworthy steps on this issue but people need to be aware.

MA Mannan, Abu Dhabi

A good mechanic is hard to find

Thank you for What sounds too good to be true (February 11), Neil Vorano's account of dealing with mechanics working on his beloved Alfa.

I have observed that in the UAE oil changes can be done quickly and cheaply; so can tyre checks and balancing and wheel alignment, at many places.

But you get what you pay for. Non-qualified shops and low cost mechanics are no good for our cars.

Support your favourite mechanic and stick with him.

Ayse Arzu Caglayan, Turkey

Admit to schools on merit only

Top schools told to give priority to Emirati pupils (February 9) includes this quote from an unnamed government-employed Emirati education expert: "Trying to favour one group over another is a form of discrimination. It can have an adverse effect where it results in a lack of effort by Emiratis to succeed. This would be disastrous."

I have to agree. If Dubai wants a truly competitive system of education, students should be accepted into top schools based only on merit and ability.

Standardised testing is likely the only way to achieve this. If children aren't taught that it takes discipline and diligence to be the best both in school and out, they will never be able to compete in a global environment.

Name withheld by request

Austerity can hurt but so can deficits

Hive not so active as austere policies sting (February 10) warned that government austerity policies can have negative consequences.

Robert Shiller is a wise economist, but he ignored the fact that deficit spending by governments is often unwise because it is politically motivated, and debts, too, can have negative consequences.

Peter Burrell, Dubai