Donald Trump's comments misrepresent all sportsmen

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In suggesting his misogynistic bile is “locker-room talk”, Trump misrepresents the vast majority of decent sportsmen.

Mark Grey

Covent Garden, London

Donald Trump is a bully

The current Presidential campaign may represent the first time it is acceptable for other countries to try and influence the decision of the people of the United States.

Donald Trump is a gross, vulgar, swaggering, two dimensional bully. He deliberately and bullishly appeals to the meanest streak he can locate in his followers. Should he be elected as President, he will represent a danger to the entire world. His lack of gravitas and thoughtfulness is terrifying in the context of the power he could wield, especially his potential ability to launch a nuclear weapon.

We have all come across individuals somewhat like Trump, to one degree or another. They are mostly avoidable, but this man is so inflated by his wealth and the status this brings him that he clearly believes he is inviolate, and any behaviour he chooses to indulge in is ok. In his hubris he regards the position of President as his next logical step.

Penny Little
Great Haseley

Why don't we expand northern airports?

Why are we constantly having to hear about the haggling over where London’s airports will expand.

We, (living anywhere north of Watford) cannot get to any of them with any degree of certainty by road, and very often by rail.

With HS2 and the "Northern Powerhouse" on the agenda, would it not be more sensible to look at expanding airports further north?

Clive Applewhite
Newark

Brexit negotiations are going to drag on and fuel hatred

After listening to the shocking nonsense emanating from the government over the last few days I fear this is only the beginning!

Are we to witness more Donald Trump style offensive ideas followed by a U-turn and then a spokesperson saying it was taken out of context or all policies need clarification.

The biggest problem is that it cannot be unsaid, it is now out there and pedlars of racial hatred feel they have a little bit more legitimacy and act more wantonly.

It is going to be a long 2 years.

Robert Boston
Kingshill

There was no prior planning for Brexit 

When I worked for a large multi-national one of my jobs was to review plans and projects. All too often what we would see was a wish list of business deliverables with no indication of how these were to be achieved. My director at the times used to refer to this as “Wet Dream Planning”.

I am getting a feeling of deja vu with Brexit. A political wish list with absolutely no substance or evidence to underpin them.

Jack Liebeskind
Cheltenham

The theatre is a place of experimentation 

I read with disappointment that a Bristol University student, Millie Evans, thinks that the ethnicity of characters (in a stage production of Aida) should be matched by that of the actors. I'm with Janet Street Porter when she says that "The people running Music Theatre Bristol ought to toughen up and just stage their show".

But I also want to ask Millie Evans whether she objects as strongly to, for example, Adrian Lester having played Hamlet or Rosalind in As You Like It, or to Fiona Shaw having played Richard II, or to Maxine Peake having played Hamlet? It's obviously good to challenge stereotypes but theatre is one place where these can – and should – be broken and rendered meaningless. It seems Millie Evans has not understood this.

Beryl Wall
London, W4

We need to respect our teachers

I am writing in response to your article “Teachers in England work longer hours than almost anywhere else in the world”, 10 October 2016. The Education Policy Institute’s observations on teacher workload brings to the fore an important discussion about productive teaching time, professional development and teacher wellbeing.

Parents will move house or city, embark on exhaustive appeals procedures or even adopt a new religious fervour, to ensure their children can go to a school that does well in league tables. But how often do they consider factors such as staff turnover, teacher morale or the quality of continuing professional development on offer? Just so long as the exam results are high.

We know how narrow school success indicators skew what is valued in our education. Government, some head teachers and parents too often see teacher time away from the classroom as ‘not productive’ - a personal luxury rather than an essential element of professional learning or enhancing the school’s expertise.

As part of its Insight into Industry Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme to offer immersive experiences in modern industry for teachers, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has calculated that at any one time, some £1 trillion of “teaching professional capital” exists in UK schools. If this were industrial plant, significant sums would be factored in for maintenance costs. But school CPD is not well funded and the culture that surrounds it generates guilt and resentment (unless that is, its utility is evident in immediate improvements in attainment).

It’s time to reposition teacher professional learning as a higher priority, not a luxury, since professionally reflective teachers offer greater resilience to the challenges, have a broader view and stick around for longer. It will cost a little more but will certainly lead to greater productivity. Our teachers’ wellbeing is inextricably linked to our future economic and social stability…so let’s look after them.

Peter Finegold, 

Head of Education and Skills, Institution of Mechanical Engineers


London, SW1

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