Readers' letters - July 26

Health security should be extended to incomes
A correspondent says we should learn from the NHS and extend its health security to other areas. See letterA correspondent says we should learn from the NHS and extend its health security to other areas. See letter
A correspondent says we should learn from the NHS and extend its health security to other areas. See letter

As we celebrate the 70th birthday of Britain’s most popular institution, the NHS, it is important that we focus on its achievements, and learn from them.What our health service has given us over those many decades is security – freedom from fear that we might not be able to afford the treatment we need. That deep and pressing anxiety is at the heart of the American system, a system that far too many MPs from all the larger parties have wanted to copy.We should learn from and copy the security the NHS has given us, and extend it to housing and income.Houses should be regarded not primarily as financial assets but stable, affordable places for people to make their homes.And we need to bring in a universal basic income, to take away that fear that zero-hours contracts, insecure employment, low wages and swingeing benefit sanctions have inflicted on many households in this country.Natalie BennettFormer Green Party leader

This mythical golden age never existed

I agree with most of the letter from Steve and Janet Hogger concerning Britain’s departure from the EU (WP Letters, July 24). The part I must disagree with is when they lay the blame on the older voters. I am almost 72 and I’m firmly in the Remain camp and friends and acquaintances from hobbies and interests, who are of similar ages, all agree that it is a huge mistake. Please don’t cast us all in the same mould.This mythical golden age the leavers want to return to never existed. When Britain was at its peak in the industrial revolution, we had a domestic supply of coal and iron (no need for trade deals), a pool of labour willing to leave the land and a compliant Empire where trade deals were conducted with gun-boats. All this has gone, the world has turned.Also let’s not forget the peace dividend. It is my view that, despite all its many faults, the Europe of 2016 (when we held the referendum) was a much better place than the Europe of 1916. Further, many decisions that affect industrial Britain are taken in Japan, America, China or India – “Take back control!” Really? Regardless of the result of the referendum or whatever debacle is the outcome, I will continue to think of myself as European, as Britain is geographically in Europe and there’s no escaping that.Peter FosterOrmskirkVoices of sense and reasonI would very much like to thank Steve and Janet Hogger for their letter, Too easy to blame EU for our problems, (WP Letters, July 24). At last, a voice of reason, expressing irrefutable facts without rancour and bile, just plain common sense. Especially the last paragraph, which says it all: “Can anybody actually point to a single way in which they, or someone they know, have been directly adversely affected by being a member of the EU?”JOH Vogesvia email

Go for a school walk - not a run

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Shocking obesity figures confirm the need for government and schools to encourage more active lifestyles.The number of children leaving primary school severely obese has hit record levels, with one in 25 pupils aged 10 and 11 in the most obese category. Childhood obesity is one of the biggest health threats facing the UK and it’s getting worse. It’s not just about eating better but about keeping active – and swapping the school run for a school walk is an excellent way to start.All schools should be using their recently doubled PE and Sport Premium budget – funded by the ‘sugar tax’ – on active travel initiatives which help enable and encourage more families to walk to school, reducing inactivity, congestion and air pollution.Joe IrvinCEO at Living Streets