We should all take notice of Sentamu

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From: Ken Hartford, Durham Mews, Butt Lane, Beverley.

IF only we could all take more notice of people like our wonderful Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, whose South African upbringing and social background gave him a comparison which probably is unmatched anywhere else in the world (Yorkshire Post, December 12).

I am one of the one-and-a-half million people in this country who is over 85 years of age and most of my “work” is directed towards younger, but less physically fit people (and financially poorer) than myself.

I cannot claim to be of much value even to my local community now, but I still try to be interested and co-operative so far as not only national, but international world affairs are concerned.

In this country, many of our age group were brought up in poverty and war conditions and it is very upsetting to find that even now, the philosophy for most people seem to be “compete to the death to win”.

Even the various religions throughout the globe have indulged in this from the beginning of time and even people like David Attenborough, whose philosophy is based on life, have not been able to reach out sufficiently to the “man on the street” that competing to the death is primitive idiocy.

I wouldn’t mind so much if it were necessary to eat each other, but we still kill for the pleasure and excitement of doing it.

For “old soldiers” like myself, this is incredible. It is all very well wearing a “veteran’s” badge, but is there any good reason for feeling so proud about it? Surely not.

Whatever was the Quaker Peace Movement founded for, and was it absolutely necessary to stop Dr Donald Soper preaching Christianity on Hyde Park Corner in 1940?

Conscientious objectors were sneered at and often attacked physically in their homes for daring to suggest that peaceful negotiations are always possible – even about money. I’ve given my last half-a-crown away more than once. That doesn’t make me a saint. It merely demonstrates I understand the word compassion.

From: G Sandhu, Derby.

IN response to Tom Richmond (Yorkshire Post, December 10):

Question: Why doesn’t the Archbishop of Canterbury ask vicars to set up mentoring schemes to help the young unemployed impress employers?

Answer: Because he is Archbishop of Aethereality, not the god of modern economics.

Price of being too merry

From: Nigel Bywater, Airedale Terrace, Morley, Leeds.

BEFORE the last election, David Cameron said he would “crackdown on supermarkets and other stores selling alcohol at below-cost”. But we are still waiting, despite the Treasury being in great need of more funds.

Last week, a group of 19 top doctors and academics urged the Government to take “bold action” and follow the lead of Scotland by bringing in minimum prices for drinks. And again the Prime Minister promised to “take action”.

We have people drinking to such excess at Christmas that the police and the, struggling ambulance service, finds it difficult to cope.

David Cameron needs to decide if he prefers more taxation on alcohol, or a minimum price. Perhaps an increase in tax on retail, affecting supermarkets and off-licences and a minimum price in bars and pubs. The former meaning more tax for the Exchequer and the latter helping pubs and by allowing them to set higher prices while keeping the profits.

Alcohol-related deaths have risen by 40 per cent in 10 years, let’s not get too merry this Christmas.

Remember the carers

From: Mike Padgham, chair, Independent Care Group (York and North Yorkshire), Eastfield, Scarborough.

AS many of us prepare for a well-earned Christmas and New Year break, can we spare a thought for those who will not get the same rest over the festive period – social care workers.

Every year people quite rightly remember doctors, nurses and the emergency services, but often overlook those who will be ensuring that older and vulnerable people get the care they need.

Care doesn’t stop at Christmas, in fact it is even more vital during what can be a cold and lonely period for some people. That daily knock on the door from a carer might be the only contact some people get at a time when everyone else is busy with family and friends.

People working in care homes will be sacrificing their time with family to ensure their residents are well looked after and happy. We must also remember unpaid carers who do a sterling job all year round, in all weathers.

During 2011 people have been quick to criticise shortcomings in social care, during a difficult period for the sector.

But let us instead raise a toast to those carers – paid and unpaid – who will be spreading some festive cheer to those who need it most this Christmas.

Wrong policy by Miliband

From: Brian McQueen, Alderson Drive, Doncaster.

IS Ed Miliband a serious contender for the Prime Ministerial role?

The oblivion to the part the last government played in bringing the nation to the precarious circumstances we now endure, is not a convincing sign.

His insistence that the solution to our economic plight is a reversion to the spend-and-owe culture of his party, despite overwhelming advice to the contrary from the word’s leading economists, is a further cause of concern

Can he really believe what he is saying? Or is the contempt he has for the intellect of the electorate such that he thinks he can get away with telling us anything?