Letters - November 18, 2015

Launch of school breakfast scheme at Devonshire Road Primary School.
Launch of school breakfast scheme at Devonshire Road Primary School.
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EDUCATION

Children need good start to the day

AS Christmas approaches, I hope Conservative councillor Tony Williams is not going to play Scrooge with Blackpool’s free breakfast for children by demanding it be scrapped (Gazette, November 13).

A survey published in April 2014 revealed that 13,244 employees in Blackpool South earned less than £7.65 an hour, that is 39 per cent of the working population. The figures for North Shore are similarly dire.

Blackpool has some of the lowest paid workers in the country, with many families so reliant on seasonal work. Children living in poverty need every encouragement to learn, and that means making sure that they are getting the right kind of food at school, and plenty of it.

Coun Williams is lucky to be representing Anchorsholme, on the fringe of Blackpool, which does not have the same levels of deprivation that the inner wards of Blackpool suffer from.

If he believes in local democracy, he should consult parents living in central Blackpool on whether their children benefit from the scheme. To just close the scheme down on his own whim smacks of dictatorship.

They say that Margaret Thatcher’s political ideology did more to destroy British manufacturing in the 1980s than the destruction caused by Adolf Hitler’s bombing during the entire Second World War.

I do not want to see Thatcher’s ideology unleashed on our children (remember they called her the school milk snatcher).

Our children are everybody’s future, that include yours, Coun Williams, and mine. Look after them!

John Dover

Anchorsholme

Blackpool

TECHNOLOGY

We are a nation of ‘educated idiots’

I am in complete agreement with Dr Clayton (Your Say, November 14); we do place to much importance on electronics and qualifications that in the long-term, mean nothing at all.

You might say that this applies only to children. Not so, I am talking about a group from schoolchildren to 40 years of age, who cannot do simple arithmetic, have never read a book, cannot put a letter together, cannot spell, and have got no one-to-one conversation, but they have a degree or two.

It’s as though the world stops at their front door – even the pub quiz is being destroyed by people sneaking in iPhones. It is not enough to have the answers, one has to know how answers are achieved.

We have in us a computer with an unlimited capacity for knowledge, unfortunately the brain is becoming obsolete and we are racing towards being a nation of educated idiots.

Bruce Allen

Hawkshead Terrace

Blackpool

TERROR ATTACKS

We must stand united against hate

Quiet restaurants, popular bars, a rock concert and a football stadium. All places frequented by people like us in cities right across Europe on any typical weekend, and now a target for the death cult that is Islamic State.

Anyone who questions the need for the destruction of these killers must surely have had their doubts dispelled by the Paris murders. Yet bombing in anger will not be enough if we want a successful resolution. We need political settlements not just in Syria, Iraq and Palestine, but stability in countries such as Libya too.

ISIS and their Wahabi-funded hate preachers despise us because we are democratic, support equality and diversity and practice open systems of justice. They despise those Muslims who aspire to successful integration into Europe, making a contribution and enriching the communities in which they live. They also attack and kill other Muslims. They want to drag us down to their level of hatred, division and prejudice and away from the humanity that makes us better than them.

It’s very tempting to look for scapegoats when we are angry and scared. Labelling all Muslims or refugees as terrorists because of the jihadis is as futile and wrong as condemning all Catholics as paedophiles because of the actions of a minority of priests.

There will be further terrorist provocations against our cities and our citizens, which we all have a responsibility to counter. Europe has to stick together, since the democratic values that the fundamentalists hate in our societies are the very things that bind us together and are worth standing up for.

Name and address supplied

terror attacks

Building bridges to keep us together

I am deeply shocked, saddened and shaken by the horrific, atrocious and vicious attacks that have taken place in Paris.

Our prayers and thoughts are with the victims and their families. We stand united with the French people of all faiths and none.

I would like to reach out to the people of Lancashire. During these dark days it is common to retreat, and communities are polarised.

We need to focus on building bridges of understanding and unite against hate, prejudice, terrorism and those that wish to divide us. Our focus is to be beacons of hope, peace and light during these very difficult days.

Ali

Founder of Christian Muslim Encounters