Your Letters

Teenage manners depend on adult role models 

Letter of the Week: Robert Cowan, via email

Dear Sir,

The letter you published in last week’s paper by Tim Arrowsmith concerning the lack of good manners in many teenagers has prompted me to respond to some of the points he raised.

In expressing the opinion that a young person does not need a string of academic qualifications to get a job, provided that he or she has other personal attributes such as punctuality, a helpful attitude, and good manners, your correspondent coincidentally echoes the view of American judge Clarence Thomas, who said that “Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.”

But while this perhaps ought to be the case, I am far from convinced that it is these days.

After all, prospective employers of young people invariably process job applications in the first instance by looking at their academic performance in order to draw up a shortlist for interview.

Only at that stage will they then be able to assess more personal, desirable qualities.

Mr Arrowsmith also states that there are too few teenagers with good manners.

I must admit that during my long career as a secondary school teacher I encountered some teenagers who fell well short in this respect, but the majority I would say were fine, upstanding young people with good manners. I therefore would not want to single out teenagers as being especially lacking in the manners department as opposed to any other sector of society.

I fully concur with Mr Arrowsmith’s suggestion, however, that there are regrettably too few adults to act as role models in good manners to young people.

Many of the aggravations in adult life, including all the modern ‘rages’ like ‘road rage’, ‘bike rage’, ‘trolley rage’ and ‘office rage’ etc, are basically a result of selfishness and bad manners on someone’s part and, as we all know too well, can have very serious consequences.

If young people are regularly witnessing such blatant examples of bad adult behaviour, it cannot surprise us that they too may have lapses in their conduct and demeanour.

As the iconic entertainer Fred Astaire famously said: “The hardest jobs kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.”

It was true when he said it, and it’s perhaps even truer today.

Strikers don't know they're born...

From: Jane Farrah, Hopton, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

I’m writing this before the strikes that take place on Thursday.

As a worker in the private sector who hasn’t had a pay rise in six years, and with no pension to speak of, I still find it amazing that public sector workers still think it’s necessary and effective to walk out and massively inconvenience the rest of us because their demands aren’t met.

We all have the right to strike but private sector disputes pale into insignificance nowadays, compared to public sector workers striking to improve their conditions, which are usually far better than ours anyway.

Where do they think the money is going to come from to pay for all of their demands?

The country is still on its knees financially and the Government can’t (and hopefully won’t) find the money to keep them all happy.

Some workers in the public sector don’t know they’re born.

Shopping bill doesn’t add up

From: ‘Mirfield resident’, via email

Dear Sir,

Reading the front page of The Press last week, I had to scratch my head at one of the statistics mentioned concerning shopping in Mirfield.

When you add up all the cash spent by Mirfield folk in Asda Dewsbury, Tesco Batley and Morrison’s Heckmond-wike, there’s still £13.8 million left that people are spending on weekly shopping “outside of Kirklees”.

Who on earth is travelling outside the district from Mirfield to do their shopping? I can’t get my head around that figure.

It seems wildly inflated to suggest that thousands of us drive dozens of miles a week to shop at Waitrose in Leeds, at M&S, or at farm shops on the tops of hills in Calderdale or Bradford.

The numbers just don’t add up, surely?

A credit to town and College

From: Coun Paul Kane (Lab, Dewsbury East)

Dear Sir,

Just a few words to say how proud I was at the vision of Kirklees College’s graduation day last Wednesday.

The weather was stunning, the graduates and their families were extremely well turned out and a credit to themselves, the Town Hall looked magnificent and the staff were fantastic.

It is a credit to the college and our staff in showing faith with Kirklees to deliver this event in our town.

I am sure everyone who was there enjoyed it, even the onlookers like myself.

The event and others like them are joint ventures between the college and regeneration and put the town in a good light

I think the vision of over 400 people in their finery and regalia will stay with me for some time.

Well done Kirklees College and the council.

Don’t miss this spectacular

From: Ian Hollas, Batley

Dear Sir,

If any readers are holidaying in Bridlington – or indeed, fancy a trip there – on Tuesday July 29, can I recommend you go to see the LEAPS (Local Entertainers And Performers Society) summer spectacular in aid of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute at the Spa Theatre (7.15pm).

You will be treated to more than three hours of the finest singing, dancing and variety from the best performers in the East Riding and surrounding area.

Simply, it’s an unforgettable night’s entertainment – and great value at £11 (£9 concessions).

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