Letters and emails April 19, 2011

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The Lancashire Evening Post’s letters’ pages online

I wish to write about the dearth of decoration to celebrate Easter in Preston’s two major shopping centres. I have just come back from a city in Europe where I visited a shopping mall, not dissimilar in size to those in Preston, but tastefully and imaginatively decorated and adorned to celebrate Easter. The shopping centre was by no means the largest in the city - it was quite modest and was almost stumbled upon - but still some considerable effort was made for this occasion. What is stopping our city responding accordingly? The cult of ‘PC-ness’? The offence it might arouse? Easter is the festival of Old English Goddess of Spring - Oestre - hijacked by Christians who have taken the Egg, the symbol of fertility from this festival to represent the stone, its removal from Jesus of Nazareth’s tomb. The point is that Easter can be celebrated without ruffling ethno-religious feathers and Preston should accordingly do so with colourful representative displays and without the need to be apologetic in any way. Over to you, City Fathers and the respective managers of Fishergate and St George’s shopping centres. James F Jardine, Ingol, via email

Alternatively, it’s not worth it

Like many, I suspect, I find it difficult to get my head around the alternative system of voting which will very soon be the subject of a referendum among the people of Britain. However, a friend assures me that it will not make one iota of difference to the sort of people we elect. They will still be professional politciains under orders to toe the party line at all costs and being party to decisions which horrify most people, such as the one to get involved in Libya when we haven’t got two brass farthings to rub together. Now if there was some system which guaranteed that our representatives acted in the best interests of the country, not themselves, I would be first in the queue. As it is, I shall not be bothering to vote. Name and address supplied

Humbugs aplenty on big day

With the Royal Wedding less than two weeks away, your readers may be interested in the results of our new research which reveal that millions of Britons are expected to “jilt” the royal wedding celebrations with 45% admitting they won’t be tuning in to watch on TV. Almost a quarter of working adults (23%) have booked annual leave over the two bank holiday weekends to take full advantage of a potential 11-day break. Some 10% are using the royal wedding weekend to take a proper holiday in the UK or overseas to get away from it all. Scotland is the most “humbug” place when it comes to the ceremony, with 60% admitting they won’t be tuning in. In the North that figure drops to 46% while Londoners are the most likely to be watching the ceremony. Some 37% won’t be bothering. The research also exposed a noticeable gender gap with just over two-fifths of British women (41%) admitting they’ll be watching the country’s most eligible bachelor take his last steps as a single man on their TV screens, compared to 22% of men. Our customers have shown huge amounts of excitement surrounding the extra bank holiday, which led us to introduce a Royal Wedding section to the website in order to give people inspiration on what to do with the day off. Mark Maddock, lastminute. com

It started with a kiss...

It has been reported in the national press that two homosexuals were thrown out of a bar for kissing each other. Apparently a fellow customer had asked them to stop but was ignored and the licensee had to intervene. Now these two are up in arms and several hundred gay people have staged what they called a “mass kiss” outside the locked pub. What these two should have done was to stop when they were asked to. But no, they’ve got to make a big issue of what THEY want to do and THEIR rights. Maybe Christians, who don’t appear to have any rights, should go into a gay bar and start praying, then when they get thrown out, round up their fellow believers stage a huge protest... What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Name and address supplied

The late show started too late

North End did well to emerge with all three points against Sheffield United at Deepdale on Saturday after an indifferent first half performance and I congratulate manager Phil Brown for getting us into a position from which it is theoretically possible to escape relegation. Narrowing the gap between PNE and the Championship safety zone to just four points, is a considerable achievement. I just wish I believed in miracles. The top and bottom of it is that the North End board held on to Darren Ferguson for far too long after it became clear he was not up to the job. With Brown in charge four or five weeks earlier, things would have been a whole lot rosier now. I hope I am wrong and I’ll still be cheering them on to the bitter end, but the fixture list tells me to prepare for the worst. D Bowen, via email

Stats are running in wrong direction

Breast Cancer Campaign is urging men and women of all ages across the UK to join this year’s Bupa Great North Run. If you watched the Virgin London Marathon in awe and fancy taking part in one of the biggest fundraising events in the UK, then why not apply for one of Campaign’s charity places and run for research? The charity has 200 places available for the 13.1 mile race on Sunday September 18, so now is the perfect time to sign up and start training in the light summer evenings. Last year our 400-strong team of runners raised a whopping £170,000 to help fund innovative breast cancer research. New figures show that the number of people diagnosed each year has increased from 46,000 to 48,000, so the need to continue supporting research is more important than ever. I hope you will join our team and help make a difference to the lives of all those affected by this disease. If you would like to run for research, or if you have your own place through the ballot and would like to run for us, please call the events team on 020 7749 4114 or email greatnorthrun@breastcancercampaign.org. The deadline is July 8. All runners who sign up will receive a professional running vest, a fundraising pack plus lots of support from staff in the lead-up to the race and on race day. Karen Lambert, via email

Born and bred to jump fences

It was distressing to hear that two horses lost their lives in the Grand National but the animal rights campaigners never highlight what a small percentage of animals actually perish doing what comes naturally when they have been specially bred for the purpose. Name and address supplied