YP Letters: Celebrate our proud history rather than Guy Fawkes and Halloween

Should Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night be a national celebration?
Should Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night be a national celebration?
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From: Geoffrey North, Guiseley, Leeds.

ON November 14, 2014, The Yorkshire Post published a letter of mine with the heading “Celebrate the values of our nation”.

Three years later, I feel that the need to rethink our celebrations is even more critical. At this time of year we celebrate two sinister festivities, Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night. Why do we continue to celebrate the deaths of terrorists who tried to blow up parliament and the monarchy? And why do we encourage Halloween’s “trick or treat” or should it be “threat or treat”?

Andrew Vine’s excellent article (The Yorkshire Post, October 31) concerning the dangers associated with Halloween hits the nail on the head, and also this week Nick Holland provided an article which explodes the myth of the Gunpowder Plot.

I strongly feel that we should discourage both events and replace them with a national Remembrance Day which would combine our thanks to all those who fought, many of whom died, in two World Wars.

We could include the Spanish Armada, the Battle of Trafalgar and the Battle of Waterloo. Perhaps others. Let’s have a national holiday which celebrates the positive aspects of life which we all enjoy and perhaps take for granted.

From: Paul Brown, Bents Green Road, Sheffield.

REGARDING comments about Halloween, I would find it a more pleasant option to celebrate the life of Horatio Nelson and all things naval on Trafalgar Day, which is October 21, or have we all forgotten that Britain is an island nation with a great tradition of adventure on the high seas?

Partnership is on track

From: David Brown, Managing Director of Northern (Arriva Rail North); Amanda Hines, General Manager for Virgin Trains on the West Coast route; Andy Cooper, Managing Director of CrossCountry; Leo Goodwin, Managing Director of TransPennine Express; Martin Frobisher, Managing Director of Network Rail’s London North Western Route; Rob McIntosh, Managing Director of Network Rail’s London North Eastern Route; Jake Kelly, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains.

RAIL is fundamental to Yorkshire’s prosperity. That’s why we – the rail companies in the North – joined others from across the country this week to launch our plan for a changing and improving railway that will secure almost £85bn of extra economic benefits to the country, improve journeys for our customers and better connect our communities, from Bradford to Bridlington and Sheffield to Settle.

Only this plan, delivered by a changing partnership railway, will secure the economic benefits from current investment by the public and private sectors, and enable further improvement and investment.

To get there we are making four commitments for change – for our economy, our customers, our communities and our people. We will use these commitments to frame and guide our decision making from now on, and we will deliver – publishing a progress report every year – because the railway is so important to the North’s future prosperity.

Academy trust asset-strippers

From: Mick Hayes, Governor, Thornbury Academy, Bradford.

AS a governor of one of the 21 schools left undermined by the failure of the Wakefield City Academy Trust, I want to register my alarm at the outrageous threat to asset-strip our school budgets to pay-off the trust’s debts.

Through careful management, Thornbury Academy has been able to maintain a positive budget and save money to improve our premises and provide good quality resources for the education of children.

However, it now seems there is a real possibility that when we move to a new academy chain we may have to give up all, or part of this money to help resolve WCAT’s financial problems. The same threat hangs over all 21 academies and the total funds diverted from schools could run into millions of pounds. Such asset-stripping would be entirely unjustified and entirely unacceptable.

Our schools bear no responsibility for the collapse of WCAT. The Department for Education, on the other hand, must accept significant responsibility for setting up the academy system.

Deeply wonderful

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

ALONG with 11 million other people, I watched, and thoroughly enjoyed, the Sunday evening BBC TV programme Blue Planet II.

Sir David Attenborough is in a class of his own. His narrative during the entire programme was just right, interesting, stimulating, thought-provoking and did full justice to his magnificent camera crew, frogmen and sailors. Their skill and patience is outstanding.

Hopefully the world will take note and positively act upon Sir David’s dire warnings about the amount of polluting plastics dumped by man in our seas. This series, like all Sir David’s, is worth the TV licence alone.

Chance to change views

From: Pamela Frankland, Hull Road, Dunnington, York.

WHILE not condoning Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O’Mara’s remarks 15 years ago, Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott did worse by supporting the IRA, in my opinion.

When questioned regarding this support, Diane Abbott retorted it was over 30 years ago and that views change.

This young man O’Mara may have “changed” too.