Readers' letters - May 31
Rights of women ... and the unborn
Abortion is to be made legal in southern Ireland, thanks to people voting yes.
In the world today, I find it bizarre that women are having to travel abroad for this procedure, something we women in England can have access to. It’s never an easy decision to make and, even 30 years later, the thoughts of ‘was it the right decision?’ still weigh heavy and I speak from experience.
Abortion should never be used as contraception, but it should be an option for the many reasons that women have as to why they want to end a pregnancy.
Following the ‘yes’ vote in the Republic of Ireland in favour of abortion and the voices raised in celebration, hailing it a victory for fundamental human rights, I would like to raise my voice on behalf of those who have no voice, so cannot speak up for themselves – the unborn.
Spare a thought for them, surely these little embryos have fundamental human rights too, and deserve our protection, not our destruction.
Parents, stop complaining
It is the time of year when we are treated to the annual whining of parents who complain about not being allowed to take holidays in term-time without the threat of a fine hanging over them. What tosh!
Apart from a few parents whose employers may put constraints on them from taking holidays during term-time, many of these will be catered for by understanding schools.
So most are just complaining about the cost of holidays.
There are some who say holidays are educational, but they are equally educational when taken during the official holidays. This is just clear hypocrisy – they just don’t want to pay the full price of holidays.
When you are a parent, you have responsibilities and they include sticking to various rules and regulations, including those regarding the timing of the child’s education.
For those who complain about travel firms putting the prices up during school holiday times, they are clearly wrong.
Like all good businesses, they are there to make money, not act as a charity, and so they make most of their income when prices are at their normal level due to the high demand.
What the companies do is lower the prices, outside peak time, to attract people to fill potentially empty seats and hotel rooms.
Also think of the teachers.
They have a hard enough time looking after so many children that are class disruptive and anti-social.
Don’t make their life even harder by trying to help children catch up when they have been taken out of school.
Come on parents, stop complaining and take your parental responsibilities seriously.
If you cannot afford a trip abroad, don’t have one!
You have no divine right to one.
In 1998, the Labour Government, under the guidance of Tessa Jowell, set up Sure Start Centres, which offered support to parents and children in disadvantaged areas.
Two hundred and fifty of these schemes were given £580m to spend on work with midwives and health visitors to identify mothers who were struggling and in need of support. Mother and toddler groups were set up and targets were set to cut infant mortality.
There has been an annual cut since 2010/11 and yet a £50m fund has been made available by the Tory government for grammar schools. Labour is calling for axed Sure Start schemes to be revived as a mark of respect for the late Tessa Jowell and the sooner the better.
Did you play for Stonebridge FC?
Back in 1959, my father-in-law, Robert William Howard, (known as Bill Howard) played for Stonebridge FC, playing home games in Longridge.
He is now 85 and would like to track down any of his old team mates.
He lives in the Fulwood area of Preston.
If anyone has any information on the team and their achievements, Bill would be grateful if they could contact him at berylandbill