YP Letters: Merkel must learn lessons of Cologne and migrants crisis

From: John Riseley, Harcourt Drive, Harrogate.

The migrant crisis is undermining the reputation of Angela Merkel.

WE should avoid being judgemental with regard to the alleged New Year’s Eve attacks on women in Cologne.

Instead we should show sensitivity with regard to cultural difference and be aware of how others may find our social norms provocative and feel marginalised or alienated by our negative response.

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Other societies have adapted to the fundamental human tensions involved here by such measures as requiring women in public places to be chaperoned by a male relative.

This could be implemented in Germany, where it might be known as “Angela’s Law” in recognition of Ms Merkel’s contribution.

From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

NOW that the roof has fallen in on Angela Merkel, I can’t help feeling sorry for the German Chancellor. She is a victim of national guilt.

Only fascist Hungary has been unequivocal in its hostility to immigrants. Was Merkel ever going to go down that road?

I’m sure she was aware of the long-term risks of welcoming so many people from a different culture, but no one could have predicted the trauma of Cologne so soon.

She has shown humanity first in accepting refugees and has proved remarkably tractable in having second thoughts: a refreshing change from the obduracy of other leaders. It is not a case of a respected leader becoming a dithering do-gooder overnight.

To add to Merkel’s dilemma, it is reported that more than half of the Cologne offenders questioned were from Algeria and Morocco, putting innocent Syrian refugees at risk from a backlash.

From: Dave Croucher, Pinfold Gardens, Doncaster.

GREAT news from Germany. Now follow suit Mr Cameron. Any asylum seeker that is found guilty of a criminal offence will be deported.

The people of Britain have been saying this for years, but our spineless Government always bow down to the politically correct idiots and let foreign criminals out onto our streets knowing full well that they will go out and repeat offend.

From: Nat Wendel, Land of Green Ginger, Hull.

TED R Bromund under-estimates the nature of Yorkshire people in his column “Project Fear: The ultimate weapon in battle over EU” (The Yorkshire Post, November 9).

Whether in favour or against the EU, we don’t take too kindly to being told how to vote by America.

Empty plots reveal folly

From: Danny Myers, Lees Lane, Northallerton.

I REFER to your lead article “Builders leaving land for housing empty” (The Yorkshire Post, January 8). It is stated that in Yorkshire, there are more than 37,000 planning authority approved homes that have not being built.

Could it be perhaps, just perhaps, that there is no, or very little actual demand for new housing and that the alleged huge requirement for new homes in Yorkshire is a figment of the imaginations of our out-of-touch leaders in Westminster and their jobsworth cronies in Whitehall? I doubt very much that any developer is going to build large quantities of houses without there being evidence of a steady market for the houses.

The Home Builders Federation cites that the delay in building is purely down to “outstanding planning issues”. “Not so”, says the Local Government Association. Who is correct? Judging by the appalling designs for new housing submitted recently to my local planning authority, it is not surprising that there are planning issues.

The reason for the delay in building suggested by the Local Government Association spokesman is the shortage of skills in the house building industry.

This begs the question “why is there a skills shortage?” Could it be that for several years house builders/building contractors have taken a holiday from offering apprenticeships? Yet another example of government and big business smoke and mirrors.

Games that can help learning

From: Michael Wilkinson, Deputy Managing Director, Frog Education, Halifax.

LEARNING through play is nothing new (Plato was a fan) and games on a digital screen is simply its latest guise (Video games ‘help pupils to focus’, The Yorkshire Post, January 8).

We, as educators, need to harness the learning opportunities of computer games and the natural allure 
they present to young learners.

Our survey of 200,000 pupils shows that on average school results improve the more time spent using our games-based system.

The beauty lies in the increased level of focus and time invested in fun learning that children actually want to do.

In addition, recent trends also challenge the stereotype that only boys are interested in online games, showing that girls also significantly benefit from gamification of curriculum content.

Making work attractive and motivating to children is a trying task.

If used well, computer game-based learning can transform learning for students while making teachers lives easier.