Readers’ letters - January 18

Rock star David Bowie was the UK's greatest ever artist says a reader. See letter
Rock star David Bowie was the UK's greatest ever artist says a reader. See letter

Bowie was the best

Since the news broke of David Bowie’s passing early last Monday morning, I have tried to make sense of this absolutely devastating news.

So many different words can describe Bowie, too often words like genius, legend and icon are used far too easily about those who have passed on.

However, in this case, all those words are absolutely warranted in bucket-loads, plus another word – unique. David Bowie’s passing for me is not only along the same lines as Elvis, John Lennon and Freddie Mercury, but I would argue it actually eclipses them.

Bowie was so ahead of his time, from Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke, the innovation/reinventions were just amazing. Bowie embraced the internet and who else could have announced an album completely out of the blue as Bowie did with The Next Day in 2013 on his birthday, and of course Blackstar which came out last week on his birthday.

What a parting gift he has left us, an astonishing album which is right up there with his greatest work, now knowing he was suffering from incurable liver cancer is even more remarkable.

David Bowie was, without any question, the UK’s greatest ever artist, both in music and fashion.

He was always one step ahead of everyone else. He choreographed his life, and with Blackstar, he choreographed his death. He was cool in life and is cool in death.

Peter Keighley via email


Training is much better

There are two main reasons for the deficiency in staff in the NHS. The first is the amount of unnecessary paperwork. At a hospital stay, I saw a charge nurse spend seven hours doing nothing but write notes, most of which I suspect will never be read. The second is a high level of education, such as a university degree, being required of nurses.

My cousin went from secondary school to nursing school and ended her career as a sister/matron.

I left school at 14 to become a farmers’ boy, later an apprentice coach builder. National Service led to the police where study enabled me to become an inspector. Education is good, but the right training far better.

Peter Hyde

Address supplied


Mystery of NI numbers

It has recently been disclosed that the true numbers of EU migrants to the UK have failed to be reported by government Ministers claiming that it would be “unhelpful”, ahead of Mr Cameron’s supposed re-negotiation of terms of our EU membership.

More than one million migrants to the UK over the last few years remain unaccounted for, leading to claims that if the official data were to be released, it could lead voters to vote to leave the EU.

This has led to the mystery of the two million NI number issued to Europeans, yet official figures show that only 760 EU migrants have settled here. This has subsequently been dubbed a “migration cover-up”.

As migration will be an important issue and a deciding factor in the forthcoming in-out EU referendum we should be told the truth on the matter.

Otherwise, if ministers can keep these figures from 
us, what else can they hide and how can we then trust them ?

Philip Griffiths

North West President, UKIP (UK Independence Party)