Readers' letters - July 18

What do you think of school proms?
What do you think of school proms?

Parents, keep school prom nights within reason

Well, it’s that time of year again when school proms abound.
Just what are they all about?
In my day (here I go again) you just left school and that was it.
End of.
There may have been a school leavers’ disco and uniforms being ceremoniously ripped up outside the school gates, but there were certainly no ball gowns, dapper suits or limousines in the equation.
I heard about one girl’s parents shelling out a small fortune on their daughter’s prom night, then the girl got so smashed that she couldn’t even remember what had happened during her once-in-a- lifetime experience.
What a waste.
However, casting my mind back 40 years ago when I was of that age, would I have wanted to celebrate the end of my school days?
You bet.
Maybe not in that manner, though, and I still don’t see how such ‘over-the-top’ expense can be justified.
The competitive element is bad news, too.
Poorer kids must feel inferior when their parents are unable to afford such extravagances.
Still, I’m not going to judge the kids or parents, if it’s all within reason.
It is a rite of passage after all and if they want to celebrate it then so be it, I suppose.
Horses for courses, so they say.
CM Langan
via email

Lack of accessibility is plane crazy

We have been campaigning for greater accessibility in the UK for years.
Yet when it comes to airports, Manchester is branded ‘poor’ by the Civil Aviation Authority for the second year running, and Birmingham, Stansted, and Gatwick need improvement. Little appears to have changed, with four of our biggest airports failing on basic accessibility.
The BBC’s Frank Gardner’s terrible experience at Gatwick was well reported and our members recount tales ranging from lost wheelchairs to waiting hours on the apron in the freezing rain – not ideal when cold intolerance is a key symptom of Post Polio Syndrome (PPS). Taxis, buses and trains are little better. Rarely is accessibility a matter of facilities and expensive equipment.
Care and common sense goes a long way, so why is this so hard? There are now more than three million requests for disability assistance. That’s up 80 percent since 2010 and, as we all get older, this number is simply going to rise.
We have an Equality Act, now the authorities need to get their act together – 13.4 million people with a disability in the UK deserve better and The British Polio Fellowship continues to support the 120,000 in the UK who now live with PPS. If you want to know what we think about accessibility or if you need our support, call 0800 043 1935 or visit www.britishpolio.org.uk
David Mitchell
National Chairman
The British Polio Fellowship

Children steal the show

The photographs released from Prince Louis’ christening were the news highlight of my day.
In particular, the natural, spontaneous poses of Princess Charlotte and Prince George.
Princess Charlotte is pictured holding her younger brother’s hand while gazing lovingly towards him.
In another picture, she is holding her right leg as she balances herself next to her mother.
Prince George is smiling broadly on his father’s lap, and standing beside him, one hand in pocket, in another picture.
As always, young children steal the show.
What else is there to say?
John C Fowler
Address supplied

Photo’s worth a thousand words

They say a photo is worth a 1,000 words and again we see the truth in this saying.
The latest NATO leaders’ photo – a quick google with NATO leaders photo 2018 – shows the assembled leaders all looking to their left at, probably, a flyover whereas President Trump is looking to the right, maybe looking for the Trump Blimp, even if it is waiting for him in a different country.
The worrying part is the symbolism that most of the world is looking one way – to progress and peace – whereas he is looking at new borders and tariffs to protect his country.
Sadly this will be his legacy.
Dennis Fitzgerald
via email