Readers' letters - May 26

Old people are being cast aside in this selfish country says a correspondent
Old people are being cast aside in this selfish country says a correspondent

Our country has become a selfish, materialistic society

The Carillion directors have come under the spotlight for, what appears to be, a culture of greed and avarice that has seen thousands lose their jobs.
In other areas, we can see how the Government has been using every conceivable device to further continue the process of privatising the public sector – most noticeably the NHS and education.
If the British people cannot see all this, they are sleep-walking back to the grim days of the 1930s and earlier and, yes, it is the young who will pick up the tabs for this appalling ‘age of possessive individualism’ and rampant greed that is now out of control.
It is this that has liquidised the ‘vision’ of William Beveridge.
I will not venture to analyse the outcome of Brexit.
However, it has sown the seeds of resentment and bitterness between the old and the young who will pay a hefty price for all of this in the future.
I was born and lived in the good times.
I lament the way Britain is going and despair for the future of the young. Are the ‘dreams’ of Beveridge able to be salvaged? Not without a drastic change in our attitudes, politics and our ‘collective’ rethink of the future.
At the moment it is an “I’m alright Jack” Britain with little concern for others. We have become a selfish, materialistic society.
Other EU countries care for their elderly relatives.
Old people are cast aside like unwanted dolls.
Brave new world!
Peter Asquith-Cowen
Address supplied

So few swifts in our skies

After a delay due to the weather, our summer visitors, the swifts, are gracing our skies again...but so few of them!
They’ve flown thousands of miles north to return to their nest sites in our buildings.
Swifts are the all-brown ones with the biggest wingspan and short tail – not to be confused with swallows (with the long v-shaped tail and red throat), or the more squat martins.
The main difference is that swifts don’t build nests.
They just zip into a small hole high up in a building – often in the eaves.
The trouble is that our buildings are getting so hole-free these days that swifts are losing their homes, and hence their numbers are dropping steeply.
I should be delighted to hear news of anyone who knows where they are nesting in our area because it’s possible to put up special nestboxes (best near to existing sites) to help these marvellous birds.
For more details and to report sightings, please see
Shan Oakes
Address supplied

Foxed by hunt comments

While waiting recently at a hospital appointment, a gentleman struck up conversation.
We were having a chat about the wellbeing benefits of walking with friends.
However, the conversation turned uncomfortable when he likened the camaraderie of a group walk in the countryside with the experience he used to have when he went out with a group fox hunting.
How can the enjoyment of sharing pleasant conversation on a scenic walk be compared with that of a group of people coming together with the intention of hounding a defenceless animal to its death?
N Tyler
Address supplied

Driving the poor off roads

Once again this Government is doing its best to make things as difficult as possible for the less well-off in this country to stay on the road. This week the MOT test has become much harder, which will not bother the rich because they can just say “fix it”.
The rich will also have the majority of new cars on the roads, the less well-off will be the ones that have to pay.
You can expect the MOT test to go up in price.
This is just another move to force the poor off the road.
Dave Croucher
via email

Keep train services public

Why do we put train services out to private companies?
We know full well from practical experience that the private companies put profit before service and, in any case, as soon as they cannot make money, they hand the whole mess back to public ownership for the taxpayer to pick up the tab. Why not just keep them as public utilities to save money?
Peter Hyde
Address supplied