Reader’s letters - Tuesday February 17, 2015

Pope Francis celebrates a Mass at the weekend but is he putting out mixed messages (see letter)
Pope Francis celebrates a Mass at the weekend but is he putting out mixed messages (see letter)
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Stop knocking role model

Why all the faux prudery and manufactured indignation at the recent antics of former Ofsted Chief Ms Zenna Atkins?

I understand all and sundry are heaping ordure upon her for a Social Media post, in which she offered to indulge ‘a rather handsome man’ who, inexplicably, saw fit to decline on account of watching Jools Holland. The hypocrisy of some is never-ending.

There is a genuine discussion to be had over tact and privacy settings - and to what extent a public individual retains a right to privacy.

For school governors, teachers and headmistresses, Church of England Reverends and bishops also have the right to a sex life and, as part of our society, engage in discourse about it.

Private things should broadly remain so. We rightly expect a degree of discretion for those in public roles and those involving children. Fundamentally, however, what Ms Atkins has done is no different to what pupils and indeed their parents do in terms of relating and boasting of their exploits on Facebook - the former category somewhat more astute about privacy categories and evading the prying eyes of parents.

She is a fit, attractive and vivacious woman in early middle-age who has pulled herself up through life by her bootstraps - gaining few qualifications from school, but winning multiple awards for her energy and entrepreneurial spirit.

A beacon to women and those in an age where an education at a polytechnic university, still less a red-brick, is increasingly out of reach. At 49, a walking statement against ageism in the workplace.

In the most unlikely event that Ms Atkins sees fit to make a similar request of me, she will find she is most welcome to do so. In the event I am watching television, I will make time to appreciate Mr Holland’s prodigious musical talents later on.

Although no oil painting, in a short period as a gardener after leaving the Army I was very surprised at what respectable suburban parents would ask of me whilst their offspring learned their ABCs. They are nobody to go throwing stones out of envy.

NS Preisner QCVS, formerly of Preston, Dubai

Roadworks do not make sense

I observe another wonderful chapter in traffic management by Lancashire County Council.

Just who decided to put traffic lights at the bottom of Railway Road in Adlington now the top road into Adlington has been closed at Skew Bridge?

What foresight these people have – we’ll fix it before it’s broken!

Have they not got the brains to see that a roundabout gives a natural flow of traffic, so it doesn’t need traffic lights at the bottom of Railway Road?

Of course, when you shut one road down due to bridgeworks, it’s a good idea to close two roads out of three with traffic lights on the only other alternative route and cause total grid lock in every direction in the village.

No wonder these people work for the council, as they can’t get jobs anywhere else. What happens in the real world is that you monitor the situation first. And then if there are any problems, then you address them ie only if it breaks do you fix it. But actually, this situation doesn’t even need monitoring at all.

There would just be a slightly larger amount of traffic travelling along the A6, simple as that.

Barry Hough, Adlington

Pope puts out a mixed message

So Pope Francis stated, “...the choice not to have children is selfish” (LEP February 14).

Previously he said “those people with many children shouldn’t breed like rabbits”.

Methinks this is a sign of contradiction. The old saying is... if in doubt, say nowt.

Name and address supplied

Media lifts lid on tax scandal

I wanted to write when the story first broke about HSBC private clients on Monday but I had a hunch more would follow.

HMRC say “we are taking steps”(be careful you may trip) then Tuesday brought more disclosures, a member of the House of Lords was one of the accused. No! By Friday HMRC knew of a multimillionaire who had paid no tax for 20 years!

I have worked for a well known supermarket for 10 years and every year, like all PAYE, a new tax year number appears,my employer stops my tax and yet two years on I was told I had not paid enough tax and they had no trouble taking that off me, how come?

I want to place on record my thanks on behalf of all us ordinary people like me, that if there were no papers and other media types we would learn very little.

Mrs B C Hughes, Clayton-le-Woods

Scrap the Lords and reduce MPs

I noted an interesting topic being aired on the TV, it was a programme about the Eurozone printing billions of euros and unloading them via financial institutions. This apparently was in the hope of stimulating borrowing to kickstart the European economy.

No doubt the financial institutions would be charging interest on these loans. Surely this is one of the reasons why we are in the financial mess we are in now, borrowings and debt. We in Britain are told Government spending still has to be cut further and more austerity measures introduced. As the politicians seem to have continued to enjoy to live a life of publicly funded Riley, how about the following as a way of drastically reducing the Government’s spending of our tax money.

Do we really need a House of Lords? What do they produce for the country apart from a long and financially costly tradition? Why not disband the House of Lords, let them get a proper job and save the country millions of pounds a year of public money?

Do we really need all the politicians in the old boys’ club at the House of Commons?

Why not make half of them redundant and again save millions of pounds of public money?

If there were fewer of them, they might start to make decisions about running the country more efficiently.

Jim Speed, Morecambe