Letters to the Editor – 9.12.21

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Being mean and miserable helps no one

If Mr Cross (Oban Times, November 25) had any idea of the history and economics of the UK he would probably be aware that the majority of imports that we enjoy and rely on are grown and produced in much poorer countries almost exclusively by non white, poorly paid people.

Tea, coffee, chocolate, bananas, sugar to start with, historically produced by slave labour.

Then the must-have gadgets like mobile phones, laptops, TVs etc – there is only room on the letters page for a few of them.
Just look at any item bought from abroad, how much did you pay for it, where did the components came from, who mined them (lithium), manufactured them, packaged them?

People, of course, often earning pence per hour and often not able clothe, feed or educate their children – who are likely to be working long hours for even less.
So what is he talking about? £36 million?

That’s a few grains of sand out of a bucket in comparison to the tax money that is in many offshore accounts, squirreled away by British multinationals and wealthy individuals.

Those developing nations are the ones that suffer the most by the effects of climate change and poverty due to our consumption and unfair trading practices, so the UK’s £100 billion is a shamefully small sum.

If the developed nations of the world had helped to vaccinate everyone worldwide, it is highly likely the latest coronavirus variant from South Africa, Omicron, might not have spread, just one example of money not being squandered.

Win, win for everyone. Being mean and miserable helps no one.
Arthur, from the Isle of Lismore.

Executive headship proposals are concerning constituents

I am continuing to receive many messages from my constituents who are concerned about the proposed executive headships.

There are huge worries about how schools will operate effectively in the delivery, quality and equity of education in Argyll and Bute if these changes are enacted.
Argyll and Bute Council is currently employing an outside marketing agency to consult teachers, school staff and the communities they serve on this proposal.

Many who I have spoken to feel that this is something that’s already done and this exercise is about selling this proposal to the communities rather than genuinely seeking views.

Messages to my email inbox and calls to my mobile phone continue to pour in from many concerned teachers and parents.

It has been said by many people that at the root of this is a cost-cutting exercise which will create a difficult and unequal education service across the varied geography of Argyll and Bute.

My constituents, including parents and teachers, have my full support. I am not a supporter of these proposed executive headships and I will do all that I can to stop these negative changes.
Councillor Alastair Redman.

Stamps can help raise cash for bone cancer charity

I am writing to you on behalf of Unofficial Friends of Bone Cancer Research Trust to ask for your help at any time, but especially as it is Christmas time.
We are a group of people throughout the UK who are raising funds independently for this wonderful charity.

More postage stamps are used in December than any other time of the year. We are appealing for your support this Christmas by asking your readers to save their postage stamps from the UK and overseas, horizon labels (the gold or white labels that the post office stick on everything instead of stamps), first day covers and collections. Every stamp sent to us will help to fund life-saving research into primary bone cancer.

It’s really easy for your readers to get involved, all they need to do is send stamps to Unofficial Friends Of BCRT – Postage Stamps & More!, c/o 20 Bowers Road, Benfleet, Essex, SS7 5PZ.

Primary bone cancer can occur at any age, but affects mostly children, teenagers, young adults and the elderly. Every 10 minutes somewhere in the world someone is diagnosed with primary bone cancer. Collecting used stamps is a simple way to make a huge difference.
Terri Bush, Friends Of BCRT.

A word from Mary’s Meals founder this Christmas

The charm of the presents under our Christmas tree lies partly in their very different shapes and sizes. Perhaps the same could be said of our own families. None of them look the same.

Take 12-year-old Hawa – she lives with her granny, an aunt and four cousins in Liberia. Often there is not enough food for her family to eat.

Mary’s Meals serves nutritious food at school to children living in some of the world’s poorest countries, attracting them into the classroom where they receive an education that can, in the future, be their ladder out of poverty. More than two million children receive our life-changing meals every school day – including Hawa.

I am pleased to tell you that, until January 31, donations made to our Double The Love campaign will be matched, up to £1.6 million, by a generous group of supporters.

Those children receiving Mary’s Meals might not have a pile of presents to unwrap on Christmas morning, but their dreams are alive and well, thanks to those who share our belief that every child should have enough to eat and go to school.
You can learn more about our work by visiting marysmeals.org.uk. Have a wonderful Christmas.
Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow.