Readers’ letters - January 20

Is the controversy over Donald Trump's visit to Britain a distraction from austerity issues? See letter
Is the controversy over Donald Trump's visit to Britain a distraction from austerity issues? See letter

Apathy about austerity

Maybe it’s my imagination but there seems to be a certain amount of apathy with regard to the so-called austerity measures.

All over the country, people are losing their jobs, services are being lost, libraries and museums are in danger of closing, and the poor, sick 
and vulnerable are 
suffering.

I have heard of some people being told that, even though they are genuinely ill, they are still fit enough to work. This is targeting the needy, not the greedy. While MPs can still afford to pay themselves big pay rises and expenses.

This should be a time when whoever is in opposition should be attacking the Tories with all their might.

But instead of feeling supported by Labour or any of the other parties, I feel increasingly disillusioned with politics and politicians as a whole.

No, instead of austerity, let’s distract the public with 
talk of immigration and the EU. Both important topics, I agree, but are they also a distraction to what is happening to the ordinary people in this country?

There seems to be many distractions.

Is it the Tory national press or the politicians themselves being distracted?

Jeremy Corbyn was even talking about Argentina for goodness sake!

Many more people are concerned about an American idiot called Donald Trump coming to Britain (if there was a petition banning him from becoming president I may well have signed it, but what good will it do to ban him coming here on a visit?) than museums and libraries closing or the steel industry losing more than 1,000 
jobs. Sometimes I look at the 
world and wonder if it’s 
my priorities which are wrong.

CJK via email

Cutting down on fly-tipping

One of the main problems of dealing with the scourge of fly-tipping is the high degree of proof required to successfully prosecute offenders.

Gated back alleys, which should have improved the level of dumping, have hardly reduced levels because neighbours, who know who is committing this type of offence, are either too scared or indifferent to the problem.

Community leaders could help to educate people who, either through ignorance or apathy, have little understanding of the costs involved in attempting to resolve these blights on the communities we live in.

As unpalatable as it may be for non-offending tax payers, a small increase in the rate, with free removal of unwanted domestic items, could perhaps prove more economical than the current system.

Denis Lee via email

Missing out breakfast

I was saddened to read that four in 10 teachers say they see children arriving at school hungry every day. Not surprisingly these innocent youngsters struggle to learn as a result. Young brains need to be carefully nurtured, both physically and educationally, and breakfast is a key start to children’s days, particularly at this time of year when more energy is needed just to keep warm. The YouGov and Kellogg’s survey of almost 900 teachers showed it is believed the main reason is financial, and shockingly 35 per cent of teachers blame parents seeing breakfast as unimportant. So it is plain that breakfast clubs are increasingly essential in schools in deprived areas and are to be welcomed. But what a sad indictment of parenting in one of the world’s richest nations.

Louise Bours,

North West UKIP MEP