Letters - November 6, 2017

Wite Poppy
Wite Poppy
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Pupils will be taught about white poppy

I am writing in response to the letter on red poppies by Raymond Hirst (Your Say, October 30).

It is not true that the National Union of Teachers (now National Education Union) has launched a campaign to endorse white poppies alongside the Peace Pledge Union (PPU).

The PPU had a stall at this year’s NUT Annual Conference, as did many other organisations.

Individual teachers signed up in support of an education package on the white poppy – there is no formal support from the union as a whole.

Every school I know will sell red poppies and will mark the two-minute silence. Good teachers will explain the significance of this to the children so they understand what is happening. Some teachers will also talk about the white poppy. Surely it is right for children to learn something of the history of the white poppy movement?

This is not indoctrination but the opposite – providing a balance so that our young people are aware there are differing viewpoints on issues such as war and peace.

Following the First World War, there was an international desire for peace from the top of society right down to the bottom. No-one wanted to see a return to the slaughter suffered by millions during 1914-18.

By the 1930s, however, Fascism was on the rise in parts of Europe and militarism was on the increase.

The Women’s Cooperative Guild launched the white poppy in 1933, still determined that peace, not war, was worth campaigning for. The PPU took over production of the white poppy in 1936. For many years, people saw no contradiction in wearing both the red and the white poppy. More recently though, those that choose to wear a white poppy, or not to wear a red poppy, find themselves vilified. I will wear a white poppy to remember the many millions who have died in war since 1918, the hundreds of millions more who have been injured, traumatised, and bereaved, and to remember that nowadays over 90 per cent of people killed in war are civilians.

Hilary Chuter

Vice President
Lancashire NEU
(NUT Section)


Solar power still has a key role

In response to the letter from Bernard Whittle (Gazette, November 1), I am dismayed at his ignorant pro fracking stance on Shale Gas extraction at Preston New Road.

This is after all outdated technology and one that contributes to CO2 emissions around the world. The UK has to deal with this as we have failed to meet the targets set by the Paris Agreement. County councillors should look to 21st century technology not outdated dirty energy.

What is more encouraging is the fact that shale gas extraction is being abandoned around the world in favour of less harmful energy production that will provide all our needs for the foreseeable future. China leads the world in solar, although a new research paper in the journal ‘Nature Energy’ describes how transparent solar panels could be placed over windows and transparent surfaces to generate energy and eliminate fossil fuels. US universities have been pioneering ways of meeting the world’s energy needs, without harm to the environment. In a press release for the journal Professor Richard Lunt’s statement is encouraging.

“Highly transparent solar cells represent the future for new solar applications,” said Richard Lunt, leader author of the report at Michigan State University,

“We analysed their potential and show that by harvesting only invisible light, these devices can provide a similar electricity-generation potential as rooftop solar, while providing additional functionality to enhance the efficiency of buildings, automobiles and mobile phone electronics.”

With billions of windows on cars and buildings, these glass surfaces perform basic functions. Now they could serve another, altogether revolutionary purpose—generating electricity. Think about it, solar, together with wind power that serves the community cleanly. According to the ‘Global Wind Energy Council,’ Denmark gets more than 40 per cent of its energy from wind power. Could county councillors develop a policy to support only renewable energy for the sake of the planet and our health please?

Marjorie Nye

Environmental researcher 
Knowle Avenue


Celebrating army of great trustees

November 13–17 is Trustees’ Week and what better time to celebrate the vital contribution of these fantastic volunteers.

Across the UK, there are over one million Trustees and in Lancashire there are more than 100 trustees working on behalf of Scouting. Each one has a special responsibility to provide the stability and good governance every charity needs in order to flourish.

As Chair of The Scout Association’s Board of Trustees, I ask myself, what difference do I make as a Trustee? For me, it comes down to five things: stewardship, scrutiny, strategy, support, and skills.

It’s about ensuring the right procedures and policies and are in place to create a safe and secure environment. It’s our role to ensure there is a clear plan for the future and that there is the right level of challenge and accountability.

So this Trustees’ Week, I would like to say a huge thank you to all those who have already stepped up to the plate and are putting something back into their communities.

I would also like to encourage more young people to come forward and serve as Trustees – your energy and ideas are invaluable if we want to continue to help the next generation develop the skills to succeed in life. Charity boards benefit most when there is a range of ages and backgrounds and they are at their strongest when there is a healthy mix of experiences and perspectives. I urge you to join us.

Ann Limb

The Scout Association