Readers’ letters - April 11

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What about inset and ‘Baker’ days?

I can’t understand what all the fuss is about regarding taking kids on holidays during term time.

It’s time either the Government did something about these money-grabbing tour operators and hotels that bump up the prices to fleece the holiday makers, or parents could boycott the foreign holidays for a couple of years to show how much these resorts need the Brit holiday makers.

Past generations have always gone on holidays when they wanted and I don’t think it’s ever caused any world-shattering events.

While on the subject of holidays, schools are saying that children’s absence from school affects their learning.

Well, can they explain to me why the kids are on holiday for a fortnight for Easter but instead of going back on the Monday, the schools have added another day off on the end for a Baker day, teacher training day, inset day or whatever they are called now?

Surely it would be better for the teachers to have these days in school, during the holiday period, so the children don’t miss out on vital learning? It’s not as though the teachers don’t have enough holidays in my opinion. I just wonder how many of these days are added each school year and under what new name next?

Dave M

via email

brexit

Having their rock cake and eating it

I wish to reply to your correspondent John Fisher (LP Letters April 7).

Firstly, where does he get the idea that Gibraltar is an island, for I quote: “It (Gibraltar) could attract business by becoming an OFFSHORE haven”?

Then later he talks about “There is ANOTHER small island (Malta) in the Mediterranean”.

He even suggests that Gibraltar could remove all land contact with Spain.

Just how does he propose this should be done?

Maybe send in the RAF or the Spanish Air Force to blow up that bit of land between Spain and Gibraltar?

Woe betide any pilot who is just one inch out with the accuracy of his/her bombing so that more of either Spain or Gibraltar is sent to smithereens!

Also where does he get the idea that a “hard customs border with Spain” means no one can cross from Gibraltar to Spain, for he states that access will be restricted to air and sea?

Oh, of course that will be after the air force has blown up part of Spain and part of Gibraltar and let the sea into the hole that has been created, thus making it an island.

Such wild fanciful ideas these are!

And how soon will it be that the civil engineers will get to work and build a bridge across this newly created divide?

Now let us look at the reality for, Mr Fisher, it appears that Spain is at the moment having both its, er, Rock cake and is eating it.

Its citizens in the south enjoy the employment opportunity that Gibraltar brings to that part of Spain.

Should he care to take a trip to this border, each working day he will see many Spaniards crossing the border into Gib, going to work and then returning to their Spanish homes in the evening.

He will also see many Spaniards flocking across the border to stock up on alcohol and tobacco products, thus benefitting from this low tax place.

Why, some Spaniards have set up businesses (though that term is questionable) in smuggling vast amounts of such products to flog to their fellow Spaniards.

So do you seriously think, John, that southern Spaniards are going to give this all up by Spain taking a hard border approach or even having Britain cede to Spain’s demands to hand Gib back to them?

By the way, John, Malta was not simply an ally of Britain during the Second World War. It only became an independent state/island(!) in 1964, long before the EU came about and thus did not have to ask Britain’s permission if it could join ‘the club’. Oh, and it still remains part of the Commonwealth club.

It is the will of the Gibraltarians within a decimal point of a percentile that they remain part of Britain.

Who gives Spain, the EU or even Mr Fisher the right to take that away from them?

Neil Swindlehurst

Walmer Bridge

education

Families will gain

I support Labour’s policy that all meals should be free in primary schools for these reasons:

This will really help ‘just about managing’ families, who, at present, lose the right to free school meals if their income is increased.

As cost of living is now rising faster than wages and child benefits are frozen, millions of families really need this help.

All children benefit if their class has healthier children. They learn better and behave better. Sweets and sugary drinks in lunch boxes are not healthy.

We hear opposition from private schools, where VAT on fees should be used to pay for this policy. These schools tell us 20 per cent of parents earn less than £50k. This means that a total of 80 per cent of parents earn above £50k.

The reason VAT is not charged now is that these schools are regarded as charities. So they escape the tax charged on all other services.

Why should these schools be subsidised?

n This policy would reduce the cost of living.

Bob Holland

via email

politics

Weak, indecisive and unelectable

Jeremy Corbyn’s bleached face and mock frown are just about what one would expect from a man of little originality and even less guts when it comes to taking decisive action.

“Corbyn condemns US strikes against Assad”.

Par for the course, I’d say, and yet another nail in the coffin of this weak, indecisive, unelectable shadow from the past.

Can’t be long now before that poorly disguised stalking horse Tom Watson rears his head in another attempt to lead the Labour party through the beckoning door of absolute obscurity.

Joe Dawson

Withnell

memorial

A perfect place for memorial to PC

Re: Paul Nuttall’s letter, Memorial for PC Keith Palmer (LP Letters, March 30).

A fitting place for a memorial to PC Palmer would be the Police section of the wonderful National Memorial Arboretum, in Burton on Trent, Staffordshire.

It is a place well worth a visit.

CB

via email