Readers' letters - Thursday, November 17
Toxic society, toxic politics
Well, the shock has passed in a week that also saw the deaths of Leonard Cohen and, now, Leon Russell.
I have always considered America a toxic society, apart from the ‘spirit of 1967’ and its attendant music, along with jazz and blues (itself born of slavery, another magnificent moment in their history).
This is a country born of genocide in which the indigenous population has been called Red Indians and, more recently, Native Americans, allegedly a more sensitive term. They are not Native Americans, they were there before the word America existed. They are, as stated, the indigenous population, one of differing social groups, occupying different geographical locations but with some shared philosophical beliefs and a shared respect for their environment. Then white man arrives and, boom, all ruined. Genocide. Slavery. A completely corrupt capitalist, political and democratic system replaces the previous ‘green’, if you will, culture of the original civilisation.
Since then we’ve had Hiroshima, Vietnam, Iraq, Bush and now Trump as examples of their ‘greatness’.
So, thanks you politically ignorant and easily manipulated white Americans for foisting a white racist, sexist, politically inept man, whose beliefs about people are based entirely on stereotypes, and not knowledge, on the rest of the world.
No, really, thank you so much.
Support for our troops
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has been providing vital support for our troops, veterans and their families for 131 years. While attention can often be focused on the problems faced by older, retired veterans, SSAFA has identified a group of working-age veterans between 16 and 64 years of age who are living in desperate circumstances. Although most troops transition well, these men and women are not fulfilling their potential in civilian life and their plight is too easily ignored. SSAFA’s current Got Your Back campaign is encouraging vulnerable veterans to come forward for help. If any readers are in need of support and they are veterans or currently serving members of the Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force, please call 0800 731 4880 or email via www.ssafa.org.uk/gotyourback. SSAFA feels members of our Armed Forces and their families have ‘had our backs’ and now we must, whenever necessary, protect theirs.
Lieutenant General Sir Andrew Gregory
Chief executive, SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity
This week Anti-Bullying Week encourages children, teachers and parents to take action against bullying. Whether face to face or online, bullying can leave deep emotional scars with victims. It also has a hugely detrimental impact on a young person’s ability to succeed at school.
At The Prince’s Trust, we found that one in ten of the school age young people we work with said bullying was one of the main reasons they underperformed at school. That’s why our Achieve programme is working with schools to re-engage young people with education and help them cope with everyday challenges, giving them a forum to talk about issues, including bullying. By tackling the destructive impact of bullying now, we can safeguard the future of our young people.
Prince’s Trust North Director