Life is so much easier today — just ask my dad
There seems to be a belief that bygone days were happier and easier, but those of us who lived through them saw matters in a different light.
My father is 90, one of ten east end kids. his father was a cigar maker and, when he wasn’t sweating for a pittance, had a market barrow in Petticoat Lane and another in Borough Market.
After World War I came the Depression, slum housing and the iniquitous ‘call-on’ system at the London docks. Life was hard. During World War II, my father spent two years in Burma, while back in London my mother was twice bombed out.
As for us baby boomers, we saw our electrician father, at the mercy of rapacious employers, struggle to provide for us. Nevertheless, we all survived, unlike two of dad’s siblings, who died in infancy.
For ordinary people like us there were no phones or cars and no foreign travel, unless you were sent abroad to fight.
In the late Fifties and early Sixties, we played on bombsites, hand- me- down clothes were normal, foreign food unheard of, and on Wednesday afternoons and on Sundays, every shop was shut.
Today we have a generous welfare system, the Clean Air Act, food banks, CCTV cameras everywhere, mobile phones and computers. And if I want to jet off to Spain or Dubai, I can.
Life for Joe Average is infinitely easier. Just ask my father.
TONy lEvy, Wednesfield, W. Mids.
My dose of idiocy
SPorTS columnist Mike Dickson (Mail) was right to call english tennis player Dan evans ‘a complete idiot’ for using cocaine. The phrase would have been apt for me many years ago, when I was in the england squash team.
one evening in 1966, before playing a match on a heated court, I took an amphetamine similar to the one that killed leading cyclist Tom Simpson the following year.
After an hour on court, I began to feel dizzy and then collapsed. A doctor diagnosed a minor heart attack. I never played serious squash again.
Fifty years later, these pills are still killing young people. Yes, they temporarily give you energy and confidence, but remove inhibition, empathy and responsibility.
During the war, an amphetamine called Pervitin was widely prescribed to Nazi troops. Nearly all members of the killing squads, responsible for terrible crimes against humanity, took it.
It is time young people knew about the dangers of these drugs.
JON SMITH, Surbiton, Surrey.
WhILe I appreciate your ‘Straight to the Point’ letter ‘My colleague said Andy Murray was not so good at playing on grass — not surprised, shouldn’t be smoking that stuff right before a game’ may have been intended as a joke, I was disgusted by it.
Further, I would point out to anyone who might have taken it literally that Andy Murray’s great success is in no way connected to drug-taking. JANE SAxON, Moresby, Whitehaven. miscreants gets you: injustice and more innocent people in danger.
M. BENSON, london SE25.
Leaning Left is not right
The abuse of authority by a few schools and headteachers who tried to influence the outcome of the election should be punished.
Any teacher trying to indoctrinate the young is unfit for the job. It is a foretaste of Labour in power. No effort will be spared to brainwash the young. The Conservatives have misread the young and missed a trick.
JEFF BlUNDEll, St Helens, Merseyside.
I kNoW it’s the age of austerity, but can we splash out and give each member of the Cabinet a manila folder to keep their briefing notes hidden from the cameras?
COlIN BOWER, Barton on Sea, Hants.
Corbyn’s staged act
I AM glad someone has written in giving another view of Jeremy Corbyn at Glastonbury.
My daughter was there and watched the act before him. When Corbyn came on, the band tried to leave, but their exit was closed to allow emergency vehicles to attend to a woman who had been hit by a delivery vehicle and broken a leg. They were forced to stay, but saw many people booing. Not quite the happy reception reported by many.
Mrs SANDy DEAN, Wymondham, Norfolk.
LIke rolf kitching (Letters), I was stopped from giving blood but for different reasons — I had reached 70!
I had given blood for more than 50 years and was intent on giving 100 donations. knowing my 70th was imminent, I made sure I did make my ‘century’ and was proud to have done it.
To be fit to give blood one day, but not the next, is ludicrous.
JOHN HyDE, Chellaston, Derby.
Dog’s Brexit breakfast
IT SeeMS democracy has taken a back-bench seat in Parliament when it comes to Brexit (Letters). Most of the millions who voted to leave the eU, I suspect, felt betrayed the moment David Cameron did his disappearing act and left his old ‘remain’ cronies to pick up the pieces.
Theresa May supports Cameron’s ridiculous edict that gives billions in foreign aid. Give us a Prime Minister who was on our side from the beginning and we might just see how ‘Brexit means Brexit’!
MAURICE BlIgH, Sittingbourne, Kent.
Reality check: Tony Levy and, inset, as he was as a boy