Readers letters: August 8

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Aim law at parents who help buy knives for children

Re: Youths and knives. I recall when I had a summer job as a group leader with a young adventure company in 1987 I checked on the dorm only to notice the occupants in a seemingly conspiratorial huddle. Upon investigation, I discovered that it was due to a young lad (15 or so) showing off his enormous, lethal looking hunting knife, obviously to the envy and acclaim of his young male audience.

In a bid to shame him, I asked him what he thought his father would say if he found him in possession of such a lethal weapon.

He replied it was his father who had bought it for him as a birthday present, after being requested to do so by his son, who wanted it to take to school with him as a means of gaining street cred among his peers.

This left me gobsmacked.

I thought it was only a matter of time before someone would say to him: “Why are you are carrying such a knife when you won’t have the guts to use it?” This may possibly stimulate the possessor of the knife into demonstrating he was willing and able to use it by stabbing/slashing his detractor, possibly with lethal results. So I confiscated it and told its owner that the knife would be put in the office safe for the duration of his stay, from where he could pick it up on his way home.

Nowadays,I suggest it’s the same regarding illegal use of trail bikes, knives and gun-toting “gangsters”. If such vehicles or weapons are acquired by legal means and cost a lot of money to do so, then I can only assume that, in a lot of cases, such objects must be acquired with the blessing of parents. Perhaps the law should be aimed at the root cause rather than seeking to curb the symptoms to no good effect?

Michael Parker

via email

Unite to fight pension plans

Just 24 hours after Sir Michael Marmot’s report showed that increases in life expectancy had come to a grinding halt for the first time in a century, the Government made a breath-taking announcement that the state pension age (SPA) would be going up to 68, seven years earlier than previously planned.

Under existing legislation, all those born after April 6, 1978 already face a SPA of 68, but now around six million men and women born between April 6, 1970 and April 5, 1978 will see their SPA of 67 rise incrementally to 68.

This group is currently aged between 39 and 47.

However, officials have confirmed that the final decision on this proposed change is likely to come before Parliament in 2023.

All the evidence shows that the UK suffers from massive health inequalities and millions of people will find that they are too old for work and yet too young to retire.

We must unite the generations to fight this proposal and continue to make the case for a more flexible approach to retirement that recognises not everyone is able to keep working.

Prof Marmot’s report said that one of the main causes of a slowdown in life expectancy was dramatic cuts to health and social care.

And now we hear that women between the ages of 60 and 62 will lose £30 per week pension when they retire. What next?

Derek Barton

Address supplied

Use your local facility – or lose it

Re: Lifeline for vacant pub?

Hypocrisy at its finest.

Local pub shuts down because local residents don’t use it enough.

Local residents up in arms now because they really need a pub (allegedly) .

Pubs are shutting all over and most of them will be turned into housing of some kind. If the locals had frequented the pub they are so fond of from time to time it wouldn’t be an issue.

Stuart Riley

via WP Facebook