Libraries need money more than Olympics

From: Chris Heywood, Burlington Row, Londesborough, East Riding,

I AM never sure whether Sir Bernard Ingham (Yorkshire Post, July 25) writes simply to create an effect or whether he really believes what he writes. In the second part of his article he seems to be appealing to some “spirit of 1940”, that we should pull together and make the Olympics a success.

He criticises the public services union and Aslef for threatening strike action at such a time. It seemed to me that calls for national unity are wasted in a country that is so divided. As a result of the recession many people have suffered, while others appear to have got off lightly.

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There has been little sharing of the grief. The justice of what was demanded of the people in 1940 was quite clear. It is not at all clear in 2012; in fact the situation appears to many to be quite unjust.

I am not at all convinced that making the Olympics a success is a matter for national concern and that we should put it before personal interests. Referring to the article on the same page by Biddy Fisher on the state of public libraries, I should have far preferred a fraction of the money spent on the Olympics going towards rescuing the public library services – once a national pride and now a wreck and a shadow of its former self.

From: Stephen Nixon, Skelmanthorpe, Huddersfield.

DANNY Boyle, you did Britain, and Yorkshire particularly, proud. Was there any aspect of British national life and history not represented?

The Queen parachuting in with James Bond, Rowan Atkinson playing Chariots of Fire and the Olympic athletes oath taken in a Yorkshire accent to name but three was brilliant.

What really was a master stroke on behalf of our energy providers was Sir Paul McCartney throttling Hey Jude. How many houses in the kingdom echoed with the words “don’t bother with a cup for me mother, I’ave seen enough I’m off to bed”.

Good on you Danny, the knighthood is as good as in the post.

From: Janet Berry, Hambleton, Selby.

I AM going to be controversial now and not endorse all the raving reviews of the Olympic opening ceremony. True some of it was brilliant, I loved the great chimneys erupting depicting the industrial period but because it was trying to be so politically correct, it was not.

Some of the performances were disjointed and hard to follow. I know my grand-daughters in South Africa could not follow it. I quite expected Alice in Wonderland and the rabbit to appear. I liked the spoof of the Queen and Rowan Atkinson but could not understand the obsession with our rock industry, there is much more to England than this. I could not see the point of the cyclists with wings?

I turned off when Sir Paul McCartney came on. His voice has gone and he should retire gracefully and perhaps concentrate on writing songs. He sounded dreadful, as he did at the Queen’s Jubilee.

From: David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Holgate, York.

MANY of my numerous German friends have either emailed or phoned me to say how much they enjoyed watching the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics.

They marvelled at the way it was all put together, particularly 
liking the Industrial Revolution slot with its growing tall 
chimneys and the typically English sense of humour as the Queen parachuted into the arena with James Bond.

They said if Germany gets between 30 and 50 medals they will be very happy and satisfied, and expect Britain to come about fifth in the medals table.

From: Jeffrey Stirke, Newton-le-Willows, Bedale.

WHAT an utter disgrace those morons that call themselves footballers are that are unable to acknowledge the national anthem. They should be told in no uncertain terms that 
they cannot represent their country again in any form for 
any sport.

It sums up the attitude of the people who play and run football, and I suspect that the majority of the officials would also behave in the same disgraceful manner.

So much for Call Me Dave’s call for the Big Society and that we should all behave like British citizens.

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

NOW that the eyes of the world are on London and the UK, it is timely to start beating the drum about this country’s achievements in our long history as one of the world’s oldest nations.

On the debit side, much is made of our lowly positions in the education league tables and it must be admitted that our schools have fallen short in teaching the basic skills which potential employers are looking for.

Here we have a paradox. Judging by the number of geniuses we have produced perhaps our education system is more successful than it is given credit for.

We all know about Shakespeare and Churchill but we have produced a long list of inventors, scientists, poets, actors, composers, explorers and businessmen. The list is far too long to enumerate.

Yes we must improve the education system so far as the basics are concerned but I believe a strong element of elitism is essential to nourish exceptional talent.