No sympathy with scruffy teachers

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From: Malcolm Nicholson, Barwick-in-Elmet.

IMAGINE children being taught by some of the ”scruffy” individuals seen striking the other week. Most of these striking teachers appeared to be no more than militants hoping to get at the Government.

Only three things were achieved by the striking teachers: those on strike lost a day’s pay, thousands of children lost a day’s schooling and parents either had to pay for extra childcare or take a day off work.

People on very low incomes will have no sympathy with these teachers. They receive a good salary with plenty of holidays and an excellent pension at the end of it, which is more than most.

If a parent takes a child out of school during term time, they are likely to get fined. Maybe all the children and parents affected should fine their teachers for forcing them to take a day off.

Drug giants
play with lives

From: Don Burslam, Elm Road, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury.

THE revelation about Tamiflu being completely ineffective is deeply disturbing, but not entirely surprising. It has been well known for some time that sales reps marketing pharmaceuticals bring pressure to bear on GPs and offer various and tempting expensive inducements to persuade them to prescribe their products.

Flu, particularly with the elderly, can be fatal or at least life threatening and in fact we are dealing in certain cases with a life or death situation. Why is it that there are no laws or at least commonly accepted standards to stop reps playing Russian roulette with people’s lives?

The doctors too cannot altogether escape responsibility. This is an area which has been left untouched by our lawmakers for far too long. It should be added that the media play their party by regularly spreading scare stories.

Drivers need to think safe

From: Ruth Walton, School Lane, Staveley, Cumbria.

I’VE welcomed the numerous stories recently about Le Tour, cycling and its increasing popularity and benefits to the region as well as personal health.

However, you published a story entitled “Safety warning to Dales cyclist after horror crash” (The Yorkshire Post, April 12) which includes a police warning to cyclists to take extra care.

The piece does not give enough information to determine the cause of this tragedy and perhaps in this case the cyclist made a tragic misjudgment. But, as an experienced cyclist, I am very aware of how frequently motorists struggle to judge their own ability on country lanes and frequently make misjudgments, for example, when overtaking.

I am also very aware of apparently light penalties often given when cyclists are injured due to motorists. The police should also be urging motorists to drive within their limits and not beyond their capabilities.

Price of stores
is lost jobs

From: Edmund Bell, Monk Bretton, Barnsley.

THE Prime Minister must surely have been saying what was expected of him during his visit to Asda Clapham Junction (The Yorkshire Post, April 8) as he conveniently ignored the long-term truth as Asda claimed to create 12,000 new jobs with new development proposals.

When the short-term jobs provided to the construction industry are completed, the staffing at Asda stores (and Tesco and Morrisons et al in similar situations) will be as efficient and as minimal as their respective management teams can make them.

They have the cost-cutting advantages of scale, and the buying power to squeeze their suppliers. So the commensurate effect in a given locality will be the closure of smaller town centre retail businesses and loss of retail jobs.

We can’t all move to Malton, or Skipton, for instance, but we can applaud their efforts in the shopping balance they strive to achieve. You don’t have to look far among South Yorkshire towns and cities to see the downside.

If it’s all about price, admit it Mr Cameron, but for pity sake don’t let Asda dress it up as being job creating when it is not.

A universe of imagination

From: Jack Brown, Lamb Lane, Monk Bretton, Barnsley.

ONE has to admire the scientific discoveries that have opened our eyes to our immediate space. However, science will never open our eyes to the universe. As great seers knew and know, the infinite and eternal universe is seen only in visionary imagination and can be expressed only through metaphor. Why then do we continue to apply the word “universe” to our infinitesimal local patch (The Yorkshire Post, April 8)?

Science already demands contradictory theories of “parallel and multi-universes”. There is rightly no plural for the universe whose awesomeness gives birth to “God” as metaphor.

Each intelligent species presumably creates God in its own image, but it is simply a metaphor for the universe that contains all phenomena, including Earth and Man. We need another name for the patches created by a “big bang” or other cosmological incident.