February 5 Letters: Enlightening listening and TV viewing

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From: Shirley Garnett, Sunnybank Road, Greetland, Halifax.

WITH reference to the letter from BJ Cussons about Songs of Praise (The Yorkshire Post, January 31), I think that the programme has evolved into a very enjoyable insight into so many lives in such a variety of situations.

People who are either well-established in their beliefs or on the journey of discovering where they belong are given a window to tell us of their experience, which is often very moving and enlightening.

There is lots of music, giving us an insight into the various ways people sing their praises. Many do not want to stick to the old hymns all the time. We enjoy seeing the joy of the Gospel Singers, and the celebrities who share their experience with the Lord alongside them, also joining in the services of a variety of church congregations.

It is a programme appealing to a comprehensive audience, of all denominations. If calm is so important, then surely it can be sought in your local church. One can always switch to another programme on the TV.

I thoroughly enjoy Good Morning Sunday with Clare Balding, on Radio 2, as well as Songs of Praise and am so pleased that the BBC is managing to retain these reflective programmes.

From: Mrs M Holmes, Almondbury, Huddersfield.

In answer to the letter from Philip Smith of Beverley (The Yorkshire Post, January 31) if the writer believes that God “takes sides” in anything he has totally missed the meaning of the Christian faith. Read Galatians 3:28.

Shocking lack of awareness

From: Brian H Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

LET’S be clear about this: Benedict Cumberbatch meant no offence when using the word “coloured” to describe non-whites. He was arguing a non-racist cause, for heaven’s sake. However, I am astonished at his lack of awareness for a man of his generation. I am in my 80th year but I wouldn’t dream of using the expression; in fact I wince every time I hear it. In my childhood it was a patronising euphemism, as it is today, though, so I thought, only used by the elderly.

It is not a case of “Liberal Fascists taking offence on behalf of those whom they believe to have been wronged”, as Jim Beck asserts (The Yorkshire Post, February 2). Black people don’t like it, so that is good enough for me.

It is absurd to argue that Hollywood actress Halle Berry should be described as being “a delicious shade of cafe au lait” when, I am sure, she would be happy to called “black”. Surely, too, Mr Beck, who, for all I know, could be of any hue from pale to ruddy or swarthy – I guess he isn’t black – is happy to be described as white. Imagine police looking for a woman of “a gorgeous fresh pink shade” instead of a white female.

It is up to us old fogeys to try to stay clued up about what may be uncomfortable to others. It is only good manners.

Column will be much missed

From: Lydia Rosemary Scatcherd-Hill, North Cave, East Yorkshire.

We shall greatly miss the lively and entertaining columns of Sarah Todd. They contained such common sense and always concerned relevant items of great interest and humour.

If we had more people from the “same stable”, as it were, probably modern society would be much less dozy than it is.

It is a shame that some writers, like Sue Woodcock’s Wolds Diary, do not dwell more on the glories of our beautiful countryside, and less on “lovely people”, dogs, organisations and church activities.

Bowls deserves better coverage

From: MW Simpson, Deighton, Northallerton, North Yorkshire.

THE BBC put on an excellent programme of bowls recently, encouraging people to take up the sport.

The Yorkshire Post, along with local radio appears not to regard bowls as a sport, so no match reports are forthcoming.

This sport is what the NHS is crying out for; if people take part in the sport it creates simple exercise for almost everyone, irrespective of disability. So perhaps more coverage and publicity could benefit the health of the country.

Question of bias in broadcasting

From: Max Nottingham, St Faith’s Street, Lincoln.

BBC bias – Left or Tory leaning – has been debated all my life.

A serious factor is that the Government of the day allocates BBC funds and BBC bosses would be daft not to be influenced by that. Outside I have found active BBC broadcasters to be largely Tories.

The women seem especially Tory leaning (nine out of the 11 I have known at local/regional level lean to the Right). Jeremy Paxman outed himself as a “one nation Tory” (if there is such a beast).

Broadcasters try to appear neutral. But I have found that their attitude to the poor and unemployed gives the game away.

It is wise not to send them to the moral gallows, but do remember they all have bosses breathing down their necks in highly paid part-time jobs.

In my experience, listeners have little or no influence.