Letters: Will they check teachers’ politics?

Share

So these are the new criteria that we have to live with. Rotherham Borough Council is selecting foster families on the basis of the political views of the applicants. It recently removed children from foster care because the carers had the wrong political viewpoint.

This presumes that they are investigating the political persuasion of all of the people who work with children and are supervising children in care at the moment. No doubt they will be concerned about the political views of the teachers in local schools, not to mention the carers of children in nurseries

And yet I believe that this council is allowing this couple to foster other children. Is this not a form of discrimination?

Perhaps these people (Labour Party supporters, one presumes) will be sacked for their bigoted views.

JH Moffatt

Bredbury, Stockport

Foster children were taken away from a family in Rotherham because the carers were members of Ukip.

This family have apparently successfully fostered children for many years and were considered extremely competent.

A social worker is reported to have said that this family does not embrace multiculturalism – because Ukip is against immigration – and the interests of these children must be considered.

Rotherham is controlled by Labour which, when in power, forced multiculturalism on Britain. What next? Does that mean that those of us who are against uncontrolled immigration will automatically be classed as racist and will have pensions and welfare benefits refused under a future Labour government?

Clark Cross

Linlithgow

Rotherham Council's decision to remove three young children from foster parents with whom they were quite happy, merely because the foster parents support Ukip, is beyond outrageous and needs to be urgently investigated by the Children's Minister.

The children involved (and all other children in the care of Rotherham Council) are obviously in far greater danger from petty-minded Labour ideologues responsible for making such an incomprehensible decision than they would face had they been allowed to remain with a loving couple with an excellent record as foster parents.

Rotherham Council is guilty of the worst kind of discrimination and deserves to be pilloried over this appalling error of judgment – and heads must roll.

Robert Readman

Bournemouth

All fostering and adoption services and agencies should be shut down forthwith. A training programme should then begin testing thoroughly all potential carers to ensure unqualified acceptance not just of multiculturalism – they must also provide irrefutable evidence of total belief in uncontrolled, unfettered immigration. Anything less must be considered out of the question.

Edward Thomas

Eastbourne

Self-regulation is like thieves being the police

The editor of The Independent (24 November) suggests self-regulation as the way to address the problem of press misconduct – which we know is resulting in criminal prosecutions.

No doubt most journalists operate to proper standards, but in any other sphere offenders are prosecuted. Should thieves regulate themselves?

And as for suggesting that readers are in some way complicit for reading the fruits of journalists' information-gathering, you might as well abolish the offence of handling stolen goods.

Andrew Riley

Newport, Telford and Wrekin

Chris Blackhurst, in his "Letter from the Editor" (24 November), links scandals in Parliament, the City, the press, the armed forces, the Catholic Church and the BBC to an underlying sickness in a society obsessed with material gain, risk-taking and disdain for our fellow man. Mr Blackhurst then asks who is to blame.

Well, Thatcher, obviously.

Anthony Fitzgerald

Enfield

It's a prosaic argument

I cannot agree with John Walsh (22 November) when he writes: "Illustrations in novels are for children, or those who have trouble keeping up." I can assure him that there is a legion of Dickens readers who enjoy the combination of pictures and prose; most are adults and do not "have trouble keeping up".

Phiz and Boz worked as a partnership for 20 years, and the illustrations are a part of the text of each novel – not an addition to it. For example, while Dickens is concerned to tell the reader about Arthur Clennam's preoccupations, he leaves it to Hablot Browne's beautiful picture of Little Dorrit looking out of the window, while thinking about fortune-telling, to convey her unrequited love for him.

CF Tunnicliffe's contributions to Henry Williamson's Tarka the Otter provide another outstanding example of a wonderful blending of the visual with the verbal.

A more contemporary combination is at work in Cyra McFadden's The Serial (1976). Set in California, it has been described as an adult soap opera and focuses on a couple who are trying desperately to stay hip. There are 52 episodes and 52 amusing illustrations by Tom Cervenak which richly enhance the satirical prose

Given the success of these, I'm surprised that more novels aren't cooperative ventures of this kind.

John Chambers

Batheaston, Bath

Don't close down our creativity

Chris Beanland (21 November) presented a plea for balance when local authorities are weighing complaints about noise with the cultural vitality promoted by live music.

He points to examples such as Hyde Park in London and The Point in Cardiff. However, these issues are also to be found at a level close to the grass roots. The Blue Cat Café has been providing a venue for live music, comedy and occasionally poetry in Stockport for over 15 years.

My personal experience is of the welcome and encouragement the venue gives to original songwriters. It has provided a step for creators and performers, a place where they can play in a professional, friendly and respectful environment. Original performers with promise are given an opportunity to reach a wider audience.

Sadly, the Blue Cat is having to close its doors at the end of December because the local authority seems unable to take account of the value of the contribution it makes in weighing the significance of the complaints of some local residents about noise.

The erosion of the soil of creativity this represents, by those bodies who should be preserving and promoting it, is disappointing to say the least. It comes in a week when the contribution of 22 number-one albums internationally is being lauded as a source of the UK's "soft power" in the world, and when other local authorities are cutting public funds for the arts. It is a perfect example of how not-joined-up thinking on the part of the authorities is stifling the cultural and, to a significant degree, the economic life of this country.

John Gash

Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire

Outdoor concerts – and car radios – are the only art forms where people are forced to listen, whether they want to or not. You can go to an art gallery and no one grabs you by the throat, stands you in front of a painting and forces you to look at it for 10 minutes. You can choose to go or not go to an indoor concert; no one snatches you from the pavement, bundles you inside the concert hall and says; "Listen to that! I don't care if you don't like it. I do."

It is the forced participation that is so demeaning and brutal. No wonder the Americans have been said to play music 24 hours a day at Guantanamo to degrade the prisoners.

And it is no wonder that noise is the greatest source of anxiety, after crime, for citizens of the European Union.

So when Chris Beanland (21 November) writes so glibly that our "eclectic live music and clubbing scene... can't be allowed to wither because of a few complaints", he displays arrogance and egotism.

Chris, please listen to whatever you want to – just don't make me listen too. And I will never force you to listen to my choices.

Fabian Acker

London SE22

Self-regulation is like thieves being the police

The editor of The Independent (24 November) suggests self-regulation as the way to address the problem of press misconduct – which we know is resulting in criminal prosecutions.

No doubt most journalists operate to proper standards, but in any other sphere offenders are prosecuted. Should thieves regulate themselves?

And as for suggesting that readers are in some way complicit for reading the fruits of journalists' information-gathering, you might as well abolish the offence of handling stolen goods.

Andrew Riley

Newport, Telford and Wrekin

Chris Blackhurst, in his "Letter from the Editor" (24 November), links scandals in Parliament, the City, the press, the armed forces, the Catholic Church and the BBC to an underlying sickness in a society obsessed with material gain, risk-taking and disdain for our fellow man. Mr Blackhurst then asks who is to blame.

Well, Thatcher, obviously.

Anthony Fitzgerald

Enfield

It's a prosaic argument

I cannot agree with John Walsh (22 November) when he writes: "Illustrations in novels are for children, or those who have trouble keeping up." I can assure him that there is a legion of Dickens readers who enjoy the combination of pictures and prose; most are adults and do not "have trouble keeping up".

Phiz and Boz worked as a partnership for 20 years, and the illustrations are a part of the text of each novel – not an addition to it. For example, while Dickens is concerned to tell the reader about Arthur Clennam's preoccupations, he leaves it to Hablot Browne's beautiful picture of Little Dorrit looking out of the window, while thinking about fortune-telling, to convey her unrequited love for him.

CF Tunnicliffe's contributions to Henry Williamson's Tarka the Otter provide another outstanding example of a wonderful blending of the visual with the verbal.

A more contemporary combination is at work in Cyra McFadden's The Serial (1976). Set in California, it has been described as an adult soap opera and focuses on a couple who are trying desperately to stay hip. There are 52 episodes and 52 amusing illustrations by Tom Cervenak which richly enhance the satirical prose

Given the success of these, I'm surprised that more novels aren't cooperative ventures of this kind.

John Chambers

Batheaston, Bath

Don't close down our creativity

Chris Beanland (21 November) presented a plea for balance when local authorities are weighing complaints about noise with the cultural vitality promoted by live music.

He points to examples such as Hyde Park in London and The Point in Cardiff. However, these issues are also to be found at a level close to the grass roots. The Blue Cat Café has been providing a venue for live music, comedy and occasionally poetry in Stockport for over 15 years.

My personal experience is of the welcome and encouragement the venue gives to original songwriters. It has provided a step for creators and performers, a place where they can play in a professional, friendly and respectful environment. Original performers with promise are given an opportunity to reach a wider audience.

Sadly, the Blue Cat is having to close its doors at the end of December because the local authority seems unable to take account of the value of the contribution it makes in weighing the significance of the complaints of some local residents about noise.

The erosion of the soil of creativity this represents, by those bodies who should be preserving and promoting it, is disappointing to say the least. It comes in a week when the contribution of 22 number-one albums internationally is being lauded as a source of the UK's "soft power" in the world, and when other local authorities are cutting public funds for the arts. It is a perfect example of how not-joined-up thinking on the part of the authorities is stifling the cultural and, to a significant degree, the economic life of this country.

John Gash

Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire

Outdoor concerts – and car radios – are the only art forms where people are forced to listen, whether they want to or not. You can go to an art gallery and no one grabs you by the throat, stands you in front of a painting and forces you to look at it for 10 minutes. You can choose to go or not go to an indoor concert; no one snatches you from the pavement, bundles you inside the concert hall and says; "Listen to that! I don't care if you don't like it. I do."

It is the forced participation that is so demeaning and brutal. No wonder the Americans have been said to play music 24 hours a day at Guantanamo to degrade the prisoners.

And it is no wonder that noise is the greatest source of anxiety, after crime, for citizens of the European Union.

So when Chris Beanland (21 November) writes so glibly that our "eclectic live music and clubbing scene... can't be allowed to wither because of a few complaints", he displays arrogance and egotism.

Chris, please listen to whatever you want to – just don't make me listen too. And I will never force you to listen to my choices.

Fabian Acker

London SE22

Young Gove must do better

So David Cameron has appointed an Education Secretary who can't do maths ("Schools face cuts to pay for £1bn academies overspend", 22 November). And one whose understanding of equal opportunities is to take money from the state schools that did not become academies. I don't think he would get an "outstanding" from Ofsted.

Vanessa Raison

London NW3

Cheers, girls!

If the top three of the 50 best "Christmas gifts for her" (Independent Radar, 24 November) are a cooking pot, a flowery serving plate and an oven glove decorated with little pink dachshunds, should we males raise a manly pint of ale to the demise of feminism while our womenfolk enjoy our generosity and prepare us a proper dinner?

Tom Ladds

Kerridge, Cheshire

Signs of success

You report that the relaxation of door-to-door selling regulations are seen as a way of encouraging "young entrepreneurs" to trade (24 November). Could I suggest that the first young business person to manufacture and sell "No hawkers or pedlars!" signs for front doors will make a fortune.

Colin Burke

Manchester

Sir Alex morphs

The Sir Alex Ferguson statue is a rum affair. It starts out as Gillette Man and morphs into Taggart. But to some of us of a certain age, if we screw up our eyes a bit, we see a very young Harold Wilson in his Gannex raincoat.

Dai Woosnam

Scartho, Grimsby

Pigeon German?

Would it not be super if the message found on the pigeon's foot in the chimney (24 November) turned out to be in German code: "It will be 6 June, Normandy"?

David Toresen

Bletchley

God or mammon

CA Bentley (Letters, 24 November) is mistaken to believe that God is calling fewer men into the ministry of the Anglican Church. Being omnidirectional, he calls an equal number of men and women, but the remuneration package entices more women than men.

Kartar Uppal

West Bromwich

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Focused Business Analyst - Finance and Procurement System Implementation

£350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reading are...

Commercial Property Solicitor - Bristol

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM - A high q...

Head of ad sales international - Broadcast

competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Are you the king or Queen o...

Note Taker - Scribe

£10 per hour: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an experienced note taker...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Tory whips have warned the Prime Minister that he could face a Tory revolt over the European arrest warrant  

A bizarre front for the Tories’ campaign against Europe

Nigel Morris
 

Daily catch-up: EU news, and other reasons to be cheerful

John Rentoul
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker