We need more Jack Tilburns

Peter Matters writes: Re. “Meet Jack Tilburn, the octogenarian firebrand holding fat cats to account” (Friday). We need many more Jack Tilburns. Companies are too short-sighted in looking for shareholders’ profits now rather than planning for the future. In fact, managements need reminding, that in the long run it is more profitable to display social responsibility and put the community first.

Restaurant tyranny or patron bullying?

Patricia O’Donnell writes: Re. “No, chef! Rise up against restaurant tyranny” (Friday). Well done, Margot Saville!  Well done the brave Negroni drinker who drew the line in the sand.

Well, not really. Not unless bullying is an activity that you enjoy or admire. Because that is what it was. If there were any victory to be accorded in this quite squalid power battle, it was the waiter’s. Well done to her for her good manners and well done to those who trained her.

Restaurant owners, whether celebrity chefs or not, run businesses. Their businesses sell time, space, service and product. Booking policies are part of what determines what you pay for each component: part of the price package.

Bookings are regarded as contracts: the business reserves the space, the time, the staff and the product; the customer turns up somewhere near time, pays the bill as published and leaves approximately as arranged. Contract fulfilled.

Service staff are selected and trained to cope with bullies, covert or overt. This is not to say that they do not hold the bullies in contempt, even if and as they smile.

Restaurant staff are great gossipers and very mobile. None of you will ever know exactly what your arrival greeting at future restaurants signifies. Is it “remembrance of times past” or are they pleased to see you?

And FYI Margot and friends: if you left a large tip, it would have been happily received, but would have increased the level of contempt — perverse but true.

Putin not the only player

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “With Europe on the brink, MH17 is Putin’s watershed moment” (Friday). In discussing the Ukrainian crisis, Thomas Ambrosio largely ignores the Russian separatists and the Kiev government.  He ignores the removal of the Yanukovich government, and the involvement of America and the EU in Ukraine’s politics.  It’s very easy to blame the conflict on Vladimir Putin if you ignore everyone else.