Letters - Thursday, January 9, 2020

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Army is preying on  vulnerable teenagers

I refer to the report ‘Leaving the forces isn’t the end of the fun stuff’ in the Gazette last Friday (The Gazette, January 3).

Currently social media addicts, binge drinkers and gym fanatics are being spied on by the military through a recruitment campaign.

In a video, a soldier is seen running as a bodybuilder, and drunk young people on a night out appear beside him, tempting him to indulge in their life choices.

The army is preying on vulnerable teenagers who lack confidence - thus the latest set of misleading adverts from the army.

Confidence does not come from doing what you’re told or from being prepared to kill in the service of the rich and powerful. Self confidence involves making decisions on your own and relating to other people as equals.

Far from building confidence, military training is an abusive process designed to condition recruits to obey orders without question. With low levels of job satisfaction and more leaving the forces than joining there is significant gap between the dream sold by these advertising campaigns and the reality of military life.

Official figures have shown the decline in the number of soldiers for a ninth year in a row, leaving the armed forces struggling with staffing.

All I say is think about it all before joining up.

Royston Jones



I don’t know how NHS staff cope

My husband spent a few days over the New Year period in Victoria Hospital.

I would just like to convey our thanks to all the staff in the A&E Department for their hard work over this time. He was attended to quickly and given the relevant treatment, admittedly waiting nearly 12 hours for a bed on a ward once he was stabilised. This is by no means a criticism, it just adds to my admiration of the staff who have to cope with tremendous pressure, every day always with kindness and cheerfulness. Frankly I do not know how they cope.

We all know the NHS has its problems but thank God for it, we have to save this wonderful service for our future generations.

Ann Fortt



Help tackle threat of meningitis

I’d like to invite your readers to make a New Year’s resolution to help us fight back against the devastation of meningitis in 2020 by joining our New Year New You campaign.

I know only too well the misery meningitis can bring. I was just 16 when I contracted bacterial meningitis, which left me seriously ill in hospital. Thankfully, I made a good recovery but others are not so fortunate.

Now, we’re inviting everyone to join us and sign up for a Meningitis Now challenge or community event as part of our New Year New You campaign. We have lots to choose from, to suit all levels of fitness and interest, including treks, cycles and runs, in this country and abroad. All the details are on our website at https://www.meningitisnow.org/support-us/news-centre/news-stories/new-year-new-you/

The serious point is that by doing so not only will you be getting in shape and achieving your personal goals but you will be making a real difference to those at risk of meningitis and those whose lives have already been changed forever because of it.

Money raised will help to fund preventative research, raise awareness and support those affected by the disease through Meningitis Now’s unique range of services.

Please join us if you can in 2020 - together we can make a difference and fight back against meningitis.

Thank you

Seema Jaswal

Television presenter and Meningitis Now Ambassador


Make travel firm price hike illegal

If the Department for Education wants all children to attend school full-time, it should persuade fellow Ministers and Parliament to make it illegal for travel firms and airlines to double their prices in the scheduled school holidays.

Hilary Andrews

via email