Letters - 18 September 2020

From a great blessing to our charitable status

A great blessing

In Carlisle we have been holding regular Meetings every Tuesday using Zoom. These have varied between opportunities for chat, talks and prayer. Usually there are about eight people present, but a variable eight. 
One of our members who has recently had his ninety-ninth birthday says these Meetings are the high point of his week.

He has been unable to attend meetings at the Meeting house for some years now, so for him Zoom has been a great blessing; and also for the rest of us to have him back among us; and for some who have met him for the first time.

Ian K Watson

Speak truth to power

While respecting Roger Hill’s concerns about the affordability of Quaker proposals to support the poorest (14 August), I worry that his juxtaposition of ‘tax-paying, creative citizens’ with the ‘marginalised… migrants… refugees’ owes too much to successive governments’ disparagement of incomers. It is shameful that many qualified doctors, science teachers, engineers, nurses and other professionals are debarred from working and thereby sharing the tax burden.

If we are speaking of economic sense, a pragmatic and sympathetic approach to immigration in all its forms would provide benefits for society and lives of people fleeing from British weapons of war and failures of policy (Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Palestine and more).

There are others in Britain who are the victims of decades of privatisation, placing huge numbers at the mercy of ‘the market’, depriving them of adequate incomes, pension rights and job security.

For all the rhetoric of ‘levelling up’, many will soon face economic stress as they lose jobs and homes. Supporting them may or may not make economic sense, but neither do Trident missiles, prestigious railways and shabby contracts with incompetent companies.

Let us continue to speak truth to power.
Roger Iredale

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