July 17: The distorted values of this material world

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From: Martyn Scargill, Chantry Meadows, Kilham.

THE Bishop of Leeds is perfectly correct in his ideas about capturing the vision of young people. At last, some clear and constructive thinking (The Yorkshire Post, July 4). This obsession with “celebrity” and “entertainment” that has taken over the country since the war is totally flawed and corrupt beyond belief. It is like the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Packed with debated values and misguided thinking.

It is indeed a sick society that constantly supports and promotes these twisted and dangerous values. If it is so true that there is not enough spirituality, but there is far too much materialism and greed. Young people however, are not to be blamed in the slightest. The fault lies firmly rooted in the adult world. We are truly locked in a frightening “me-me-me” and “up-for-grabs” culture that is rotten to the core.

Financial success is regarded as the ne plus ultra in life rather than helping and respecting others, and taking care of the environment. Children are no longer taught enough about the appreciation of nature and all the beautiful things in creation. Victorian hymns are full of inspiration in this direction.

Television programmes and magazines are crammed full of mindless trash about so-called “celebrities” whose lifestyles of debauchery are looked upon as success – some example for our children to wish to copy. The manic adoration of the world of pop music has much to answer for. Even then very word “music” or “concert” now implies “pop” to many people. Why are the schools no longer teaching about the vast beauty and wealth of wonderful sounds created by real composers and musicians?

The wonder is, in the light of all this, that the great majority of young people are such sound of mind and well-balanced individuals. It would also be of help to them and people in general if fewer double standards were prevalent. I mean, how can children be expected to listen meaningfully to the wisdom of educated and intelligent people in the ministry when the idea of Darwinism and the quasi-scientific “theory of evolution” is pushed down their necks from primary school onwards?

If the churches in general devoted more time to teaching the Biblical truths, and less to popular “singalongs”, then we may begin to see positive results.

Sugar tax for better health

From: Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA representative for Yorkshire, BMA House, Tavistock Square, London.

WITH warnings that a third of the population will be obese by 2030 (The Yorkshire Post, July 13), the British Medical Association is right to recommend a 20 per cent tax on sugar-sweetened drinks to subsidise the sale of fruit and vegetables, and help tackle the increasing level of obesity and diet-related health problems.

I see a growing number of overweight patients with diet-related illnesses. Poor diet is responsible for up to 70,000 UK deaths and £6bn of costs to the NHS every year. While sugar-sweetened drinks are very high in calories they are of limited nutritional value and there is increasing concern about how they contribute towards conditions like diabetes.

Taxation on unhealthy food and drinks can improve health outcomes, and the strongest evidence of effectiveness is for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. If a tax of at least 20 per cent is introduced, it could reduce the prevalence of obesity in the UK by around 180,000 people.

Straitjacket of the euro

From: Dennis Whitaker, Baildon, Shipley.

FOR the Greek people, the most bitter pill to swallow (The Yorkshire Post, July 14) would have been an exit from the euro but that, together with competent fiscal control, 
might also have been their salvation.

It will take time and I wish them a successful outcome but they remain in a straitjacket by keeping the euro and solving their debt crisis has (I believe) just got harder!

It does not surprise me that Germany and others have relented but what this does for the integrity of the EU remains to be seen.

Long hours, hard work

From: Anne Myers, Northallerton.

IN her column on Sunday trading (The Yorkshire Post, July 9), 
Jayne Dowle names teachers, cinema staff, carers and call centre staff as people who work long hours.

She does not mention fishermen, beef farmers, dairy farmers, pig farmers, sheep farmers who all work long hours.

These are the ones the supermarkets pay knock down prices for their produce.

The price of milk the supermarkets pays to the farmer gets less and less and no one does anything about it.

The supermarkets are bullies.

World class

From: Harry Santiuste, Edenthorpe, Doncaster.

Never mind about France’s Champagne district, why hasn’t West Yorkshire’s Rhubarb Triangle been declared a United Nations World Heritage site?