Letters - Saturday December 12 2020
I would nominate Marcus and Kevin
In a few days’ time, the annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony will take place.
Whilst the nominees have each performed brilliantly in their respective sport, none of them have transcended their own sport and impacted on wider society.
However, there are two exceptional sportsmen who have done so, namely Marcus Rashford and Kevin Sinfield.
In my judgement, they deserve the mantle of outstanding sportsperson of the year for the way they translated their humane values into action for the wider good and, in doing so, are exemplary role models for young people.
They are both humble, decent and selfless individuals, who are prepared to go the extra mile on behalf of others.
In Kevin’s case, hundreds of miles.
In my view, the terms ‘heroes and legends’ are far too easily banded around and often given to so-called ‘celebrities’, many whom are superficial self-promoters.
I consider that many national opportunist politicians, who believe they are leaders and who purport to serve others, yet are often self-serving, have been outshone by Marcus Rashford and could learn from the leadership qualities and integrity of Kevin Sinfield. I salute both of them for their efforts on behalf of others.
Make it easier to buy British
I sympathise with Richard Bird buying only UK-printed Christmas cards (Your Say, December 1).
Where possible I’ll buy UK-made and especially Lancashire-made goods in preference to others but it is usually difficult.
In general I find larger chains more likely to have stock made abroad than local firms. The only website I’ve seen advising where to buy British products is a decidedly home-grown effort.
In November I buy a local scenes calendar to send abroad. Yet most are printed in China, a repressive country I won’t do business with except through necessity.
Many goods don’t have country of manufacture marked and the EU is notably slack on identifying countries of origin correctly.
Surely a chance for the UK Government to insist on correct identification of country of origin post Brexit.
Yet such a simple measure seems far from their minds. The promises of Boris Johnson et al in the Leave campaign now look like the empty bombast they always were.
It’s time consuming finding British-made goods but worth it! And yes, more expensive but usually much better quality.
Make school holidays longer
The Government has told us that we can meet family or friends over a five-day period this Christmas.
Then they make us feel guilty by claiming that if we meet up with our families or friends at home – let alone in a pub – it will mean ongoing misery in the New Year.
So why don’t they close schools one week earlier for the Christmas holidays?
And have a four-week school holiday this Christmas as a one-off?
If schools close, on December 12 at the latest, the reduction in the spread of Covid will more than compensate for people having a bit of fun at Christmas, or at the Winter Solstice, or on New Year’s Eve.
The problem is that schools are leaking Covid in and out.
Why? Not because schools are open; indeed they most certainly should be. It is because test, trace and isolate is not being practised around schools.
Pupils are expected to be sent into school from households with Covid, provided the child does not have symptoms.
Children sent home because a classmate or teacher has Covid are not tested, and members of their household are still expected to go into work (and siblings to school), possibly unknowingly spreading Covid.
A four-week school Christmas holiday might seem unusual, but those two weeks could be made up by taking time from future holidays, and/or postponing the start of the 2021 summer holidays.
The Government has failed disastrously in its implementation of test, trace and isolate and it is time it got a grip. It really is time that the Government to now take test, trace and isolate seriously, and to implement it properly, including at the school gate.