Letters, Wednesday, September 24, 2014

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Change needed on how we see others

AS the fire service has said, the recent shocking scenes in EastEnders have been a reminder of the dangers of fire and why every home should have a smoke alarm. But it also raises a wider issue.

 This week’s episodes of EastEnders will see Kat Moon learning that she has sustained substantial scarring that will be with her for the rest of her life.

 Many readers will relate to Kat’s horror at the news; in today’s image-obsessed society, having an unusual appearance is something that causes huge fear, and yet it’s something that more than a million people live with every day.

 Contrary to what many assume, an unusual appearance need not be a barrier to a successful, fulfilling life.

 At Changing Faces, we help tens of thousands of people every year through our advice and support services, and our ‘What Success Looks Like’ campaign celebrates the enormous contribution that everyone can make to society.

 I’d like to ask readers not to feel sorry for Kat, but to hope that her character will get the help and support she needs to move on and rebuild a successful life. Perhaps people could take time, too, to think about how they react and respond to people with an unusual appearance.

 We all believe in equality of sexuality, race and gender, but ask yourself the question: have you ever thought about ‘face equality’?

James Partridge OBE,

Chief Executive,

Changing Faces

A bizarre opinion

ONE of the more bizarre opinions to be voiced after the recent independence referendum in Scotland, was that of Blyth Labour MP, Ronnie Campbell, who has advocated revisiting the idea of a North East Regional Assembly.

 Obviously, Mr Campbell has a short political memory. It is only 10 years ago when I, along with many others, were at the count at the much-missed Crowtree Leisure Centre, to witness a result that saw people throughout the North East, of all political persuasions, decide it was a total non-starter.

 Even allowing for the fact that it was the now Baron Prescott, (then just humble John), who ran the Yes campaign, the result of almost 80 per cent against a Regional Assembly was still a massive margin of defeat. In the months that follow leading up to the General Election, it must be hoped that Ed Miliband’s Labour Party will have something more original to offer than looking again at a completely discredited proposal, democratically rejected in great numbers by even its own supporters.

Coun Michael Dixon,

St Michael’s Ward

Time to think twice

CAN someone explain to me the mentality of these people who are prepared to place themselves in danger by visiting countries like Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq, be they aid workers or journalists?

 How do these people justify putting their families through all the worry and heartache they no doubt suffer?

 There is also the argument that they give these murdering scumbags the opportunity of securing hostages and using them for propaganda purposes.

 I urge anyone thinking of visiting these places to think twice.

M Mcardle