Gazette letters: Child refugees, ‘stop and search’ and Brexit chaos
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I’d like to show Meg Hillier and Diane Abbott that constituents care about protecting children in conflict, write Frances Reynolds, E9, and (many) other Save the Children supporters.
The below open letter was written by a fearless 14-year-old child called Nabila, who has lived in the Za'atari refugee camp for five years after fleeing Syria in 2013. She wants the world to know that it's time to make children off limits in war.
"My name is Nabila, I'm 14 years old and I'm from Syria. I've been living in Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan for 5 years. I am courageous, and I want to make my dreams come true.
"Life in Syria was scary. Before the crisis, we didn't live in fear.
"We used to go out and stay out late. When the war started, we had to hide and stay at home.
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"Children who have lived in war zones struggle a lot. Children who are exposed to violence usually give up on their dreams.
"I have to be self-confident and to keep trying even If I might face some problems. I shouldn't give up. Whenever I start something, I must finish it. If I ever knock on someone's door I have to keep trying even if they shut the door the first time.
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"I wish for all children - whether Syrian or not - to have a place to stay and to have access to education because it is indispensable. I hope all children will reach their goals.
"I'd like to become a doctor to help wounded people. I also wanted to become a lawyer to defend justice.
"If leaders saw what my friends and I were doing to raise awareness, they would be positively influenced.
"Not only do children learn from adults. Adults also learn from children."
Given that carrying a knife carries precious little sanction lately I do think a different approach is required and that NOT carrying a weapon could be incentivised, writes Charles Webber, Haggerston, full address supplied.
For more effective stop and search, the authorities could consider:
- Self-certification of "good reason" (for carrying a knife, chefs/farmers/boat owners etc) either by app or printed form with contactable witness/verifier;
- Anyone caught with any other dangerous knife to be voluntarily "socially inconvenienced" with six or eight night classes in knife/wound education or the like. Magistrates Court for refusal/failing to attend, leading to tagging and/or imprisonment/probation for further breaches;
- Rewarding innocent parties stopped and searched with two free cinema tickets, prepaid Oyster cards or the like.
Given the slush of funds available for this crisis, it's time use beyond hashtag slogans and posters was made. Ask any innocent youth stopped and searched if two free cinema tickets would have helped and they smile widely before they agree.
By repackaging stop and search it could be made palatable and by making not carrying a knife more rewarding than actually carrying one, some progress could be made.
The Sunday Times has hinted that the Queen is displeased with the behaviour of certain politicians over Brexit, writes Christopher Sills, Dunsmure Road, Stamford Hill.
I have no idea whether this is true and nor would I expect to know.
Assuming that it is true I would make it quite clear that it does not apply to any of the current cabinet or any of the previous cabinet, apart from those who claim to oppose a "no deal" Brexit.
These children have made no deal more likely by constantly undermining the government's negotiating position and making the European Commission believe that they need to make no concessions at all.
MPs have the right to be silly asses if they want to be, but in other countries like Russia they would be put in prison for treason.
I believe that the current MP for Hackney North needs to be removed at the next election for many reasons but on Brexit she has attempted to do the right thing in spite of some silly idiots in her own party.
It is well known in political circles that Hackney has a serious problem which has been made worse because the council wasted time last January on a silly Brexit motion which is none of their business and indeed was not entirely accurate.
They should of course have being doing their job of looking after the interests of the people of Hackney.
It is well known that two of the worst idiots are a former parliamentary candidate for Hackney Central and a former home secretary. Both deserve to be kicked out at the next general election and neither will be missed.
It is reported that some MPs are contemplating putting two self confessed Marxists into government.
I would remind these naïve idiots that Hitler did not win the election outright in 1933 and was only made chancellor because some idiots decided that because he had more votes than the other two candidates he ought to be made chancellor.
The result was that less than 12 years later Germany was in ruins.