Reader’s letters - Wednesday July 30, 2014

Palaestinian Flag raised at Preston Town Hall.'Protest outside the Town Hall.  The flag was raised after protests.'25th July 2014
Palaestinian Flag raised at Preston Town Hall.'Protest outside the Town Hall. The flag was raised after protests.'25th July 2014
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Gesture was misplaced

By flying the Palestinian flag which is clearly a nod to Hamas are you aware you are in effect endorsing the policies of an organisation which represents the antithesis of everything your town once stood for -women’s rights , tolerance to all, including gays and others, freedom of all religions , universal sufferage, economic development , societal progression, education and so on.

I am sure the predominantly Anglo Saxon Christian population of your town, nor the free living Muslim citizens for that matter, in no way fancy life under such a regime .Nor under the countless other Islamic regimes worldwide who all to often repress their populations , including Muslim citizens, woman, Christians , ban churches and have no similarity to the Judeo-Christian values and freedoms your citizens enjoy whatsoever.

Where is the Syrian flag in homage to the 170,000 Syrians killed there in their civil war? Where is the Iraqi flag flying in homage to the problems they are facing against Isis? The North Korean flag in solidarity for a country’s folk living under a desperately repressive and brutal totalitarian regime? The Nigerian flag supporting them in their battle against Boko Haram Islamic insurgents and more? Where was your solidarity when the last Christian was forced out of Mosul only last week?

Sir ,Whilst the current conflict is tragic on both sides and the hope is for two countries living side by side in peace, your gesture is desperately misplaced

Murray Silverman, via e-mail

U-turn paints a poor picture

Last weekend the Preston Council decided to fly the Palestinian flag, irrespective of the protests and the distress it would cause, but more interestingly the council have shown themselves to be unreliable, untrustworthy and inflammatory.

At 4.07 pm on Friday, July 25, I received an email from Coun Robert Boswell who said: “Having listened to the views of people like yourself and others, and also disturbed by threats of violence to Town Hall staff - who didn’t make the decision - we have rescinded our decision. We are flying the Union Jack at half-mast this weekend and the flag of peace next week. I hope this satisfies people like yourself and others.”

Furthermore a press release was issued from Preston Council which said: “The Union Flag is to fly at half-mast over the weekend at Preston Town Hall in recognition of the suffering and death of all innocent civilians in the conflict in Gaza. This will be followed on Monday July 28 when the flag of peace is flown from Preston Town Hall for the next week.”

Coun Peter Rankinleader of Preston Council said: “We have listened and reflected to the views expressed to us about flying the Palestinian flag in Preston... So to recognise all those who have lost their lives in this conflict we will now fly the Union Flag at half-mast over the weekend. Then from Monday, we will fly the flag of peace as a symbol of hope for a cease fire and future peace talks.” So that was clear - Preston City Council had decided and announced they would not fly the Palestinian Flag, instead of the Union Jack and yet within the hour the Palestinian flag was raised in front of 2000 demonstrating Pro Palestinian people.

Now it’s not for me to say if someone says one thing and then does the opposite if that can be construed as a lie, but it clear Preston Council have shown themselves to be untrustworthy, unreliable and inflammatory and certainly not acting in the best interest of the good people of Preston. Preston City Council decided to take sides in a very difficult and ongoing situation and flew the flag of Pro Palestinians and supporters of Hamas, a terrorist organisation.

Clearly Preston City Council is not fit for purpose.

Anthony Davis, Manchester

Grandfather’s splendid coat

In reference to your theme on the First World War’in ‘Looking Back’, I attach a family photograph which came into my possession after my parents had died which depicts my grandfather.

This photo includes my maternal grandfather James Leverington, he is seated at the front of the group, on the left holding a pipe. I do not know when or where the photo was taken but the original print is in a postcard form and the language is French, there is no reference to the photo’s content and neither of his comrade’s names.

I would be interested to know what regiment the men were in and if their fur over jackets were standard issue, (which I doubt). My grandfather who survived the war, lived in Baring Street, in Preston, but I understand that his family were from Norfolk.

Barry Lewis, via e-mail

Things dreams are made of

Glancing at the work of Lewis Carroll I touched on his celebrated work Alice in Wonderland and it struck me how close the bond between real life and madcap imaginings.

Alice’s story is chock full with weird characters, threatening behaviour, puzzles and tricks set to make the reader uncomfortable, question reality and wonder in what dimension it might have been staged - a bit like the back of a Lancashire police van on a Saturday night.

Great stories are often the work of nightmares wherein reality counts for little. But look where we live. Is it really any surprise that we might breathe life into ghost, ghouls and little green men?

An open canopy to the stars, comets, meteors and a tangerine moon what more could one ask for in terms of a raw material? So much background so much potential for creativity - I’m surprised we don’t have double the ghost stories we do.

Sat in a blue sky garden reach up to touch the threshold of forever and had one the power and the means an endless journey might begin simply by zooming upwards from a chair. Hardly surprising then that from this timeless oasis comes an endless stream of dreams. Dreams inspired by the stars and wistfully transformed with the sprinkling of a little magic manufacturing dust into machines to orbit the planet. If that’s not the stuff of dreams - I don’t know what is.

Joseph G Dawson, Withnell