THE conclusion I must draw from H Barrowclough’s letter ‘Rights and Wrongs’ (Mailbag, June 28) is that he must have gone to a ‘soft’ school. Three of the best for stepping out of line?

When I was a lad it was six of the best. Three on each hand, presumably on the basis that you may be ambidextrous.

Beating your buttocks had been abandoned shortly before my arrival at a Roman Catholic secondary school.

Prior to this, at junior school, I had to dodge and retrieve numerous board dusters thrown at my head, not to mention the whacking on the knuckles with a heavy ruler in order to assist me to spell correctly and write more neatly.

Your correspondent insists this didn’t harm us! Well it certainly did me. It instilled a complete contempt and disregard for any paid adult who was unable to engage with young, questioning, challenging and mischievous individuals without resorting to physical violence to appease their own shortcomings and frustration.

Net result? No qualifications whatsoever after 10 years of education.

Fortunately I discovered the Tech which achieved in two years’ part time education what five years of full time education was unable to do (and no cane).

It’s interesting to note that most, if not all, schools now have an anti-bullying policy.

To my certain knowledge the worst bullies when I was at school were the teachers.

brian horton

Berry Brow

Weeds in the street

THANK you Kirklees Council for valuable information regarding weeds in Dalton and every other village in Huddersfield.

You forgot to mention just one small detail, that the weeds should not be there in the first place.

The Street Scene contract is to clean and sweep every street, ginnel, footpath and steps every week or at least fortnightly.

With mobile team sweeping introduced, the streets are now cleaned every full moon, or when someone decides to get out of their van.

This state of affairs has been in existence for the last 18 months.

If you spot any clean street in Huddersfield, call Kirklees direct.


Berry Brow

Honours debased

A SNIPPET of news on the radio one morning last week was that in 1933 King George V said he was concerned that the quality of the people recommended for a knighthood was deteriorating rapidly.

By heck, I thought, whatever would he have thought about the motley crowd who nowadays accept the accolade?

I do think that over the last 40 or so years the term ‘knighthood’ has been debased greatly – and don’t get me started on the type of people elevated to the Upper House.


Crosland Moor

Crime – and punishment

IT was a sad story to read in the Examiner, June 25 that another drug farm was uncovered and this time in the centre of the town.

What has happened to the pride of this town which in the past the wealth was created by hard-working people?

The illegal money earned by the drug industry enriches individuals to the detriment of the community. It ruins some young people who become dependent on it, lowers the standard of behaviour and leads to more criminal acts to be committed, taking the valuable time of the police.

It is for the law to cure it by proper sentences.

tony sosna


EU referendum call

IT is reported that David Cameron spoke at the end of the two day European Union summit in Brussels, insisting it would be a dreadful idea to join the Euro.

Tony Blair, of course, stuck his oar in, saying that it is an excellent idea. Another said the EU was on its way out, but not yet.

Whatever clap-trap these politicians spout, the disasters in Europe continue. What an abysmal carry-on this is turning out to be.

From the start people were conned into voting for the so-called ‘Common Market’. I, for one, did not vote, which in reality has turned out to be the massively bloated corrupt EU gravy train which is costing this country millions of pounds.

However, I agree with the remark that the EU should be on its way out now.

How long will it take David Cameron to get it through his head that the electorate wants a referendum now? That, of course, would solve the problem, once and for all.

brenda holroyd


Truth about pensions

MAY I correct the assumptions made by M B Fletcher about public sector workers and their pensions (Mailbag, June 24)?

The range of payments made by teachers he claims to be 0% to 5%. Not correct, Mr Fletcher. Very few in the public sector have, in recent times, had a non-contributory scheme. Teachers lost that as far back as the mid 1920s. Indeed, as retired teacher, I will confine my comments to that profession which is the one with which I am familiar.

The current rate of contribution is 6.4% of salary for which the return is one eighteenth of the final salary for each year of service.

This means that a maximum pension of half salary is only achieved after 40 years of service. The retirement age is the same as that for the state pension.

Now the proposal is to raise that contribution to 9.8%, which is an increase slightly in excess of 50% and at the same time increase the pensionable age in line with the state scheme to 66.

Not only that, but the return would no longer be based on final salary but on a career average scheme – in other words, pay 50% more and work longer for less.

Not only that but we have all lost out by the linking of pension increases to the Consumer Price Index rather than Retail Price Index.

The combined total loss will, for those lucky enough to survive for a long retirement, amount to thousands of pounds.

The Government and the media would like you to believe that the taxpayer in the private sector is working to provide these benefits. Don’t believe it. The only reason it appears that way is that like all other Government pensions, it has never been held as a fund.

It has just gone into the general coffers and been used for whatever purpose they wished. So now it has to be replaced.

Nor must you run way with the idea that the pension contribution paid by our employer was a gift. Do you really think that all such benefits were not taken into account when salaries were negotiated? Of course they would be. Furthermore, a review of teachers’ pensions in 2006 ensured that the scheme was affordable, sustainable and financially viable.

Finally, if Mr Fletcher thinks that a young teacher would have to work harder in the private sector, he’s very wrong. I speak from experience of working in both.

There is no ‘gravy train’ in teaching nor has there ever been. If your pension arrangements are not as good as ours, then do something to improve that position, but don’t jump on the bandwagon of the politics of envy and seek to reduce everyone else to the lowest common denominator.


Berry Brow

‘Tailored’ lessons

DR Andy Williams (Examiner, June 22) aims to create an outstanding school in Fartown with stimulating curriculum where lessons are tailored to individual students.

I have read elsewhere that teachers don’t have much choice. Increasingly they are told both what to teach and how to teach it.

But, if they are granted much scope by their managers, another problem arises. Planning a single lesson with 30 different teenagers which all rank as stimulating won’t be easy and many teachers (to some extent) plan four or five lessons every day.

Perhaps it is more reasonable to expect an outstanding lesson once every couple of weeks.



Extortion and treason

THE sell-off by Thatcher and the Conservative government of the public owned utilities was an act of treason.

They are now owned by foreign institutions, who are now extorting cash from the British public.