Letters - July 15, 2019

Degree of unfairness when job-hunting

Monday, 15th July 2019, 1:14 pm

I made a conscious choice to go to secretarial college rather than university, despite good A-level grades.

After working for 20-odd years in London, in 2005 I moved up to the North, got married soon after and spent the next few years as a housewife.

When I wished to return to work, the climate had totally changed.

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I was unable to get work despite having been privately educated, been to an established London Secretarial College and worked in high profile roles, including PA at a stockbroker in the City of London and a private school headmaster’s PA.

I did think about doing an Open University degree but realised that, in my mid-40s at that time, by the time of graduation, age would be against me, which has proved true.

I do find this graduate tick-box obsession frustrating and unfair.

Surely a prospective employer needs to interview from the widest possible range of experience and age?

The trouble is, I think, because degrees are the norm now, most employers under 45 cannot accept that anyone with intelligence and chutzpah would make the choice I made. I’ve even had prospective employers asking what O-levels are and refusing to acknowledge their validity.

For those who don’t know, O-levels were the precursor of GCSEs!

So to all those younger bosses and business owners out there, please understand that, back in the day, not everyone chose university.

There were other equally valid options. You may be surprised what an older, non-graduate can offer.


via email



in prisons

An interesting thought comes to mind regarding free TV licences for the over 75s.

As these are likely to be withdrawn in 11 months, surely the whole charging system needs reviewing.

One area could be HM Prisons, where I believe each cell has its own television. Why should the taxpayer fund this?

If an individual wants a TV in their cell, they should be expected to pay for a licence.

For general purposes, the prisons could have one or more TV rooms (no charge) and only available on the basis of a reward for good behaviour.

Any other ideas for TV licence charges or otherwise?

David H Rhodes

Address supplied


The electorate

should decide

So much for Great British democracy: the next Prime Minister has the power to bring the country to its knees for decades to come, to start the Troubles again, to threaten the security of the country, and to cause Scotland and Northern Ireland to break away from the UK.

Never since the Second World War have we faced such turbulent times, but the people in whom the country’s future depends number a quarter of a per cent of the electorate, and are predominantly middle-aged, middle-class white males, almost a half of whom live in the south of England.

Under such crucial circumstances would it not have been more apposite to allow the electorate of the country to select the next Tory PM, even if they would never vote Conservative?

Barry Pringle

Address supplied


Fracking news is

all very strange

The pro-Cuadrilla propaganda machine has been busy shouting about fracking restarting at Preston New Road.

However the Environment Agency head Sir James Bevan has recently declared his epiphany that the overriding concern for himself and his organisation is combatting climate change/destruction. Fossil fuel extraction and combustion is of course a major cause of climate change

Also, officials at Lancashire County Council, have confirmed to me that the correct permissions are not in place for fracking to restart at Preston New Road in Lancashire. They say that Cuadrilla are gambling large amounts of someone’s money on a possibility that all permissions will be granted and that the Traffic Light System of earthquake regulation will be amended upwards despite the Government declaring that this is not under consideration.

All very strange if you ask me.

Peter K Roberts



Will it be Trump

first and truth last?

It’s obvious that Johnson (I won’t just call by the informal ‘Boris’) will sell this country out to the Trump administration. Trump will effectively also have the final say over which ambassadors we appoint and probably minsters too. With Johnson will it be Trump first and truth last?

Richard Hubbard

South Shore