Letters - Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Isolationist stance versus co-operation

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 3:45 pm
From left to right are: Colin Oldfield, Tom Walls and Brian Hadgraft.
From left to right are: Colin Oldfield, Tom Walls and Brian Hadgraft.

Many readers will, like me, have watched the official opening of the memorial to the more than 22,000 British soldiers who lost their lives in the 1944 Normandy campaign, a region of France with historic ties to England.

The memorial (pictured) is a fitting tribute both to them and to veterans who worked tirelessly to raise the required funds for construction, and I am proud to have taken several hundred young students on visits to the battlefields of both world wars.

Britain and France continue to enjoy deep military co-operation so that recently aircraft carriers from our two countries have taken part in joint exercises far from our shores. The European Football Championships are about to start – hardly anyone would question the European credentials of the participating British teams.

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Yet football is essentially confrontational. When it comes to providing genuine social and cultural opportunities for British people to meet other Europeans, the Tories do their best to prevent it. Hence they’ve pulled out of the Erasmus student exchange scheme and new regulations from October 1 will increase the administrative burden on French teachers bringing their pupils for short visits here.

How have we got into a situation whereby Priti Patel acts as if young French teenagers roaming round Canterbury constitute a threat to national sovereignty or an A-level languages student from Lancashire working in Lille, Lyons, Leipzig or Ljubljana is somehow disloyal to this country? Yet this is the thrust of the regulations and which would have made The Beatles playing in Hamburg impossible.

I await a justification for this isolationist nonsense from an educated Brexiteer.

However, given that the jingoistic mind-set of many prevents them from seeing beyond the distorted vision of Shakespeare’s Henry V or the triumph of England’s 1966 World Cup victory, I don’t think that there is much chance of rational debate. No wonder so many young Scots yearn for the freedoms callously and casually taken away by English Tories.

James Bovington

via email

APPEAL

I’m looking for my old school mates

I live in London where I have been for 45 years, but actually come from Heathfield Road, Fleetwood. I will be visiting Fleetwood some time in the approaching summer, and I wondered if any of my old school mates are likely to be around.

The attached picture was taken in Dublin in 1953/54, when we were there on a school trip, from Bailey Boys School. From left to right are: Colin Oldfield, Tom Walls and Brian Hadgraft. I was in Form One to Form Four, and other names I remember were: Ian Clayton, Ron Osborne, Peter Wright, Ian Council, Don Gair, Jack Innes, Chris Bond, Jame Strachen, Jimmy Cavanagh, Norman Jinks, ? Wilson, ? Wylie, Tom Brown, Fred Baker, and Graham Wood.

I hope that someone will email me at [email protected]

Colin Oldfield

via email

POLITICS

International aid

is UK’s duty

Despite being a Brexiteer, I do feel that the Government has a duty, especially in hard times, to restore the international aid budget to one per cent.

The fact of the matter is that Britain is one of the richest countries in the world.

Even the Bible suggests that Christian households should tithe 10 per cent of their earnings, so one per cent should be the very least Britain can afford for poorer countries.

The new international aid GDP figure comes across as mean and has the potential of humiliating what was once a Christian nation in a United Kingdom.

Geoffrey Brooking

via email

POLITICS

Was G7 summit worth the bother?

The G7 summit cost thousands of pounds in security and hosting the delegates. The big question is just what will we, as a country, gain from being the host of such a prestigious meeting.

As far as I can see, we shall gain little or nothing from the affair and I would wager that we shall be the losers overall.

We are derided by France but diplomacy states we should welcome Emmanuel Macron with open arms. The whole shebang wasn’t worth the bother.

Peter Hyde

via email

SOCIETY

Time to ditch rubbish

As if our streets were not littered enough already we now have a new number one – the germ ridden face mask.

Really? Time to make Britain great again and bin our rubbish.

Peter Moreland

via email

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