The acid test of student indebtedness

Have your say

From: David Cook, Parkside Close, Cottingham.

SO, Michael Meadowcroft (Yorkshire Post, November 26) seems to think that landing a graduate with a £28,000 debt is a good deal.

He makes great play of the fact that students need pay nothing until after they graduate and then can earn £420 a week before starting to repay the debt. He makes no mention of the fact that the amount owing is increasing all the time in line with inflation or that when their income reaches £40,000 annually then an extra three per cent is added to the rate of inflation, whatever that may be over 30 years. Should a graduate marry another graduate then the union could easily be blessed with a £70,000 debt.

The acid test: would he like his own children, or grandchildren, to be in such a position before they earn a penny?

Charity begins in the Latin

From: Philip Johnson, Greencliffe Drive, York.

PETER Downs (Yorkshire Post, December 5) perpetuates the idea that there is some divine authority behind the words “charity begins at home” when, in my view, the words are just a cloak for meanness and selfishness.

Perhaps I am wrong but the Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins has the following entry: Charity [OE] Charity begins at carus, the Latin word for “dear”. This was the base of Latin caritas, “dearness, love”, which eventually gave us the English word. The early sense of charity, in the 12th century, was “Christian love of your fellow men”. The modern sense developed from the fact that supporting the needy is one of the qualities of this. The saying charity begins at home, “a person’s first responsibility is for the needs of their own family and friends”, dates back to the 14th century. A version in Beaumont and Fletcher’s play Wit without Money (1625) goes “Charity and beating begins at home”.

We are still a Christian country although individuals may have turned away.

Forget tags that cloud compassion. We are a rich country and can help the needy.

Arresting questions

From: John Riseley, Harcourt Drive, Harrogate.

FRANCES Crook of the Howard League for Penal Reform (Yorkshire Post, December 3)
is perceptive enough to 
recognise that young people apprehended by the North Yorkshire Police were just being naughty. She is concerned that their careers will be blighted by the record of a formal arrest. But why doesn’t she trust prospective employers to take an equally enlightened view of what these children did?

In seeking to sweep information under the carpet she is usurping a decision which rightfully belongs to those employers.

Supporters of the League no doubt expect it to oppose keeping law breakers under appalling conditions of incarceration, not to support keeping the community in the dark about what they have done.

The greater the age to which we defer holding people accountable for their actions the less chance there is of them reforming.

Second opinion

From: Jacqueline Wadsworth, Huddersfield Road, Skelmanthorpe.

I NOTE Nick Ahad’s enthusiasm for the play soon to run at Leeds Grand Theatre, One Man Two Guvnors, and feel sorry that such praise has been lavished on such a second rate production.

I went to see the production last week in London’s West End, and was very disappointed with the lack of comedic wit, and commitment to the original Goldoni play which could have been applied.

The reason for my reaction being that I had seen Barry Rutter and the Northern Broadsides version of this play about five years ago. Rutter swapped Venice for the Leeds-Liverpool canal, and needed no stooge to shore up his performance as the non-French speaking Yorkshire foodie with an appetite for money and vitals, greater than his capacity.

I don’t remember such accolades as Nick Ahad thinks befit the current production being thrown at our home grown masters of theatre.