Letters, August 17: Flying the English flag, Qatar World Cup and immigrants want to work
It is the English flag that should be flying
With reference to the report in the Western Daily Press about Congresbury parish councillor Paul Doolan's call for the Union flag only to be flown from the flag pole outside the council offices on special occasions. In any other country you will see a national flag flying outside official buildings. So, why does England have to be any different?
Except on a small number of occasions throughout the year there is no requirement for those buildings to fly the Union flag. There is even less justification for municipal buildings to fly it. Since they represent English communities, they should fly the English flag instead.
Go to Wales or Scotland and you will see their national flags flying from municipal and national government buildings. A recent study has shown that most people living in England think of themselves as English and not British, and that the number identifying themselves as English nationalists is rising.
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Like North Somerset District Council many people make the mistake of thinking that Britain is a nation, rather than a union of four nations. Councillor Doolan is obviously not one of them.
All The South Party
Classic example of journalese in action
Jeff Wells' report in the Daily Press (August 7) read "Heatwave killed 50,000 fish, it may have been worse", i.e. 50,000 fish died, but possibly, or probably, more than 50,000 fish died. Of course the grammatically correct word is might, not may. This is a classic example of journalese in action.
Newspapers have a very bad effect on the language. An example of this is the use of the Ancwe word 'global' when the perfectly good English word 'worldwide' can be used.
Another example, although neither word is English, is alternate for alternative.
One reason newspapers no longer use the true English word worldwide, preferring instead to adopt a Spanish usage of global, is to avoid using W's which are considered to take up too much space. Strangely, the British press runs a mile from using some shorter spellings used in America such as color and labor, which were current in England for almost a thousand years until they became tainted by being included in Webster's dictionary.
The English press should consider itself lucky that it uses Ancwe. Saxish takes up a great deal more space. There is hardly a Saxish word that is as short as its English equivalent. As for grammar, while English relies heavily on word order to convey meaning Saxish is comparatively highly inflected with four noun cases, nominative, accusative, genitive and dative, to which the adjective adds a fifth, the instrumental case.
T R Spratt
We be Saxons – We beoth Zeahse
So did nobody think of the temperature?
It is astonishing that having selected Qatar to host the World Cup in 2022, only now are FIFA officials expressing concerns over the extreme heat that players and spectators will have to cope with.
Duh? The World Cup is always held in our off-season – which happens to be high summer in Qatar when temperatures can reach 50 Celsius. Did no one at FIFA think of that when they made their incomprehensible decision to award the tournament to Qatar?
This closure decision was made in private
The Great Western Hospitals Trust has closed the Trowbridge Birthing Centre on the grounds that staff shortages would mean that there would be "clear clinical risks" for women and babies.
However the decision to close the birthing centre was made in secret. Moreover the proposal did not appear on any trust agenda or in its chairman's report.
If such a decision to close a health facility can be made in secret, then basically any health facility in the county could be under threat. The community it served would be totally ignorant of that fact until after the decision to close it had been made.
This makes a total nonsense of public accountability. Every effort must be made by our elected representatives to ensure that such decisions are never made in secret again.
A P Milroy
The taxpayer foots bill for these trips
How could the Government justify and what reasons were given to send John Bercow on a trip paid for by the taxpayers to New Zealand (Daily Press, August 13) and how many other "hangers on" went with him at our expense? How much did this "jolly" cost or are we not allowed to know?
It really annoys me that the taxpayer is paying for these government trips abroad, which seem just an excuse to get a free "busman's" holiday.
Winscombe, North Somerset
Immigrants work and contribute to society
With the success of Ukip in local elections it is no wonder everyone is keen to get on the immigration bandwagon, except those that the current Government are trying to send home of course, by way of the van they have trawling through the streets of London telling them to go home. It might have been cheaper to offer to pay their air fares.
I have no particular view as long as those I live and work alongside pay their taxes like the rest of us, and make some effort to integrate. However, it seems that the issue of immigrants, along with the threat posed by an ever expanding EU, is a real and very live issue, even in deepest, darkest Somerset.
Using inflammatory language like "Bongo Bongo" land can only serve to alert us to the lack of understanding of those that wish to represent us.
What concerns me most are programmes like the recent one aired by Channel 4, and titled Why don't you speak English?
I believe it is right to expect those that choose to live here to learn our language and appreciate our culture.
I am reminded of all the middle-aged, middle-class people I know who have been fortunate enough to own and live in properties abroad and who after 20 years still don't speak the language, insist on eating fish and chips, and move back here once their health starts to fail, so that they can receive treatment on the NHS.
British to the core, but having lived abroad for part of my early adult life, I have witnessed the steady wave of immigrants who come with the hope of finding a better life, who want to work and contribute to the societies they flock to. Would we really be better off without their contribution?
Combe St Nicholas, Somerset