Kissing players

I FIND it quite sad that there is no Rugby Union below Premiership level because of our sport having scrums, which are a no no due to Covid-19, but last week I watched a football match on telly and the players were kissing after a goal was scored.

I have heard that the Rugby Premiership can go ahead because all their players are tested at huge expense to the clubs.

We do not kiss after a try has been scored at Durham City RFC.

Malcolm Rolling, Carrville.

Care homes

WITH almost 50,000 Covid-19 deaths in the UK, the worst per capita record on the planet, I ask myself why we’re not all screaming for the government to resign. But, deliberately or accidentally, the Tories' abysmal record on this deadly subject has been swept under the carpet by media and public alike.

Worse, at the height of the pandemic, officialdom did their utmost to prevent care home victims of the virus being admitted to hospital, where the best treatments were available.

There was a TV case of a lady being told that, although she was seriously ill with Covid-19, she would not be admitted to hospital and should prepare herself for death in her care home. She passed away three days later. Her family was devastated.

There may have been some excuse for this wicked, and dubiously legal policy if our hospitals had been bursting at the seams; but the Nightingale Hospitals remained empty.

Do we really care anymore?

Steve Kay, Redcar and Cleveland councillor.

Covid regulations

I READ with dismay the letter from Councillor Joan McTigue about the Last Night of the Proms (HAS, Aug 26). Her letter indicated her wish that if she can obtain tickets for the concert in the Royal Albert Hall, she will attend and help to raise the roof with her singing.

She stated that: "We do not have to bow down to authority at times". The councillor clearly needs to be reminded that the people of this country, together with other nations, are enduring a pandemic.

In the past few months we have all had to follow rules put in place by persons in authority in order to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. Whilst everyone has been affected by the restrictions, many have followed those rules in order to keep themselves and their families safe.

Indeed the mayor of Middlesbrough took to the media this week, indicating he will take a hard line to those not adhering to the use of face coverings, stating that those not wearing them display a lack of respect towards others.

I feel sure that the staff who have been working so hard in difficult conditions on coronavirus wards are thrilled to learn that one of our community leaders is prepared to break rules and thus risk spreading the virus even further.

What chance do we have in getting harder to reach groups to understand the risks associated with this virus, if our council representatives publicly condone breaking the rules? I only hope people remember the councillor's opinion when it comes to election time.

Name and address supplied.

Care workers

THIS week (September 1 to 4) marks Professional Care Workers Week. It feels very timely to have a week dedicated to recognising the efforts of care workers and acknowledging the extraordinary work they do.

Care and support workers have a challenging and rewarding job that is different every day and over the past months, in the face of Covid-19, they have shown how exceptional they are.

Together we clapped for our NHS, and our carers were included in that outpouring of public gratitude.

Our research shows that three quarters (74 per cent) of adults in England believe care home staff do a brilliant job, they also overwhelmingly agree they are undervalued (81 per cent) and should be paid better (80 per cent).

It’s great to see society recognise them for their invaluable contribution – it’s time that Government does too, and that they are rewarded adequately.

Vic Rayner, executive director, National Care Forum.

Christian beliefs

BEING a Christian and having Christian beliefs is gradually being eroded by a subtle movement in the media so that in the future it will be regarded as laughable, and people with Christian beliefs could have phobic tagged on the end and possibly be guilty of an offence.

Those reading this, will read the first part of this letter with disbelief. Well, I will ask them to consider these points. Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world. There are many thousands of Christians in Africa and Asia being slaughtered for their beliefs.

You hardly hear of this in the news.

Christians are getting more afraid to voice their beliefs because of political correctness. To say that you don’t agree with same sex marriage is to be accused of being homophobic. To disagree with abortion is to be accused of being a misogynist.

Then there all the "in" movements’ at the moment – trans, climate change, BLM. Disagree with these movements, then you are likely to be labelled in some way.

Thomas Ball, Barnard Castle.

Fox News

IN my opinion, any media which purports to report the news, should stick to the facts (as far as is humanly possible). Where comments are included in a news item, it should be completely clear that individuals and organisations are giving their own views, and there should be equal opportunities for differing opinions.

I would say that UK TV and radio are generally good at this, although some newspapers (not The Northern Echo) are guilty of slanting the news with their choice of headlines.

However, I understand that it is proposed to set up a new UK TV news channel similar to the American Fox News. In my opinion Fox News is not a news channel, since any facts contrary to its right-wing bias are either not reported, or distorted.

Thus anyone watching Fox News might think that there is no scientific basis for climate change, since the fact that the overwhelming majority of scientists believe in it is conveniently not reported.

I have no problem with the proposed new TV channel, if that is what some (in my opinion foolish) people want. However, I do strongly object to it being called a news channel, since by my definition it most certainly is not.

Alan Jordan, Middridge.

Eisteddfod memories

THE Teesside Industrial Eisteddfod 1966 was a new, exciting and very large event. More than 1,000 people came from overseas and stayed in the North-East and performed at the festival. They danced, sang or played music and celebrated folk culture from many parts of Europe and the USA.

Did you go to any events? What did you see and what are your memories?

Or, did you help host the event by offering a bedroom and breakfast to overseas visitors. What was it like, in terms of understanding language, culture and eating habits?

I’d love to hear from you if you have any stories to tell and memories to share about what must at the time have seemed very strange with a World Cup Football competition also going on.

Chris Sandrawich, 30 Heathend Road, Alsager, Stoke on Trent, ST7 2SQ.