From: K Schofield, Barugh Lane, Barugh Green, near Barnsley.
IF you are 65-plus in the future, it looks as if you will have to work till you die regarding the state pensions. If you are ready to start work, the future looks like unemployment for lots of young people.
What a success our politicians have made of our country. Don’t blame Europe. They, the politicians, created the rules which we, the public, have had to accept in the past and it looks like in the future. If the politicians had been paid on results, they would have been given their P45 a long time ago. Or maybe it is the policy of the future, to be a failure and be paid a huge bonus like the bankers.
I don’t think the MPs will be worrying about their salaries and pensions in the coming years. But they keep telling us, the public, if we don’t accept this or don’t accept that, we will end up putting our country in grave financial trouble. How can it be right to ask old people to work nearly to death when our young are unemployed? There are lots of young people in this country who want a job and would make a success of it given the opportunity. They cannot get experience if they are not given training or a job.
I don’t think Lord Hutton, who has proposed these changes, will be worried if his pension will be enough in the future; the former Labour Minister will most likely be finishing work before he is 68-years-old.
From: P Day, Doncaster.
AMONG my favourite books and movies are All Creatures Great and Small and Home Run. They both deal with different topics, but have running through them a common thread: both are stories of acceptance of one’s lot but not giving in to them, armed with fortitude, resilience and bravery.
The first book is of Yorkshire farmers’ families battling the terrain and the elements in Yorkshire and also austerity brought on by a recession and war.
The second is of RAF personnel attempting to get home to England from France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Holland after bailing out of their aircraft and the brave people of the “escape lines” some only young girls, who risked their lives to help them.
I read them and wonder if the spirit they possessed is to be found in Europe any more, or have we been pampered and cossetted so much that we find scapegoats in politicians and bankers for the conditions created with our connivance.
I and my sister have never paid for anything we could not afford and I saved for over a year to buy a camera for £6, 13 shillings and 3 pence. My brother had to catch a train and two buses to get to school, every day, and the same back. Five of us lived in a house with one room and two bedrooms, the other room was a shop. Now if a child has no TV in his room they are in poverty and if they have no mobile phone – well, it just doesn’t bear thinking about.
Now I see supposedly educated people, in receipt of very comfortable incomes, who have been prepared to strike in a time of crisis. I almost weep at the lack of integrity, honest and decency we once held. That’s why I read and view stories of the past with delight. For a reassurance that one we did have these traits and praying we can recover them.
From; Jennifer Hunter, Farfield Avenue, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire.
MARTYN L Scargill (Yorkshire Post, December 21) asks where all the balance has gone with regard to wealth and luxuries. I believe that I can answer his question with two words – human nature.
I have written about human nature and have asserted that it remains fundamentally the same regardless of the period of time and a variety of circumstances.
Throughout history, characteristics of human nature have manifested themselves in a similar manner. Some characteristics have successfully brought about positive social change, such as the provision of better working and housing conditions by benefactors in years gone by.
Other characteristics, including greed, over-indulgence and eagerness to exploit less fortunate individuals have led to very great material and social inequalities.
Societies and individuals may, indeed, often strive to provide equality and equal opportunities for citizens, but human nature will always prevail and there will always be inequalities and injustice.
Human nature cannot be eradicated because the nature of a person is an integral part of that person, an intangible part of a living being. At a collective level, the desire for material goods, wealth and social prestige is, equally, intangible because it is simply a part of today’s society.
The media and other influential forces have promoted consumerism and materialism, therefore the desire to possess luxury goods has become normal and, again, intangible. In an ideal society, people are able obtain employment, work hard, derive the financial and other social benefits from working hard and, in turn, endeavour to provide the same opportunities and benefits for their contemporaries, regardless of social background.
Unfortunately, there is no ideal world or society which can be found because human nature, with its intricacies and complexities, prevents the attainment of financial and social equality.