What has readers talking today? (Picture: Getty / Metro)
In what is sure to ring a bell (or register a ping) with a lot of you, one reader has called on commuters to remove their phone blinkers and notice who is around them.
He’s talking specifically about the elderly being left to stand because younger folk on the bus or train seat are nose-deep in the screens and blind to everybody else.
Are they right? Is mobile use to blame or have there just always been selfish so-and-so’s around?
Elsewhere, someone links the Green Belt with global food security — saying we need land to farm not build houses on, otherwise we drive up food prices to the detriment of the world’s poorest.
There’s all that, along with a cheeky suggestion for the the prime minister’s country pile, why GP receptionists aren’t magicians, the question we should have asked Gary Lineker and why even home secretaries should rub shoulders with ‘random speeders’.
■ I would like to apologise on behalf of my fellow commuters to all senior citizens who have travelled into or out of London and have had to wait for someone like myself to be very vocal in requesting that someone surrender their seat.
Do you give up your seat for people less able to stand? (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Is it mostly the younger generation who never give up their seats for the elderly? (Picture: Getty)
I have recently had to tap two people on the shoulder asking if they could give up their seat for an elderly lady.
They both heard my request as I was standing above them in the aisle, but they kept their heads down and buried their faces in their mobile phones.
One lady eventually stood up and surrendered her seat, which was a relief as I really didn’t want to make a scene, but unfortunately some commuters seem to lose their manners when getting on a train.
May I remind everyone that one day you too will be elderly and may feel unsteady on your feet or have side effects from taking medication, and a seat on a train will help enormously with your journey.
I don’t want to sound like a dinosaur but this modern world with its mobile phones and laptops has made us all oblivious to our surroundings and we are losing our empathy for anyone who requires help.
Oh, and one more gripe, please refrain from texting or looking at your mobile with 100 people behind you when leaving the train and going along the platform to exit the station, as it’s very annoying.
Have you noticed people may more attention to their phones than their surroundings? (Picture: Getty Images)
Receptionists are not magicians
■ I read the comments made by Jacq from Essex (MetroTalk, Wed) about (some, not all) GP receptionists ‘thinking they are far too important’.
I have worked in general practice for ten years. Reception staff do an amazing job – they don’t feel that they are important and they have to take abuse from patients day-in, day-out regarding appointment availability.
For GPs to work safely, they can only see a certain number of patients to avoid mistakes being made – all the reception staff can do is reiterate this. We don’t have an extra GP we can just pull out of a filing cabinet.
Support reception staff, who do a difficult job. They are there to help but they aren’t magicians!
Why we shouldn’t dispose of our Green Belt for garden cities
■ I am appalled Al from Charlton (MetroTalk, Wed) is so ready to go along with Labour’s proposal to dispose of the Green Belt for housing.
It is our precious natural asset, it gives us all clean air to breathe and also absorbs many of our carbon emissions. Much of it is also farmland.
From what I have seen of so-called garden cities, of which Al is such a fan, they are very wasteful of land, of which we have a reducing amount due to east coast erosion.
There are still considerable brownfield sites that could provide the sort of houses and flats needed by those on modest incomes who work in towns and cities.
By complete contrast, developers will only build ruinously expensive mansion-type houses on their greenfield land, often for foreign buyers, to maximize their profits.
We now only grow half our food, and that is falling, as farmers give up due to tougher economic times and lack of government support.
Contrast the money given to the big banks and the motor industry to prop them up – the cash given to farming is peanuts.
The more food we import, the more we depend on land which may not so long from now be destroyed by climate change, so we are heading to a very unsafe ‘food future’.
In addition, if we import more food, the world price goes up, so that desperately poor countries find it harder and harder to feed their starving populations.
Vast numbers of people around the world go to bed hungry, in addition to those who are dying.
It is the height of unbelievably selfish irresponsibility for the UK to destroy excellent farmland just to build houses.
We should be growing far more food and trying to export some in an effort to help with world famine.
Peter Thompson, Altrincham
There’s some ‘holiday homes’ we can build on instead…
■ People are talking about building on Green Belt land but wouldn’t it be better to have a look at some of these ‘holiday homes’ and build on the excess ground that often comes with them?
There is a nice place in Buckinghamshire set in 600 hectares, which is around seven million sq yards or two sq miles.
Oh, I forgot, building would never take place there as its name is Chequers and we all know whose holiday home that is, don’t we?
J Gardiner, Acton
How about Chequers? (Picture: Getty)
Asking Gary the important questions, and Brits are friendly but English is a global language
■ I can’t believe Metro gave two pages to Leicester legend Gary Lineker (Metro, Thu) and didn’t ask him the most important question – who is the best act to have come out of Leicester, Showaddywaddy or Kasabian?
Paul Milburn, Newcastle
I guess we’ll never know who Gary would choose… (Picture: Andrew Benge/Redferns via Getty Image)
■ Some wonder why people choose to claim asylum in Britain. It’s neither because we are ‘friendly’ nor because of our benefits system. It’s because English is a global language and most people learn it at school. If you were having to start a new life, would you rather go where you have enough of the language to work or learn another one?
Linda, Leighton Buzzard
■ We recently moved hundreds of miles and were nervous about new neighbours. What a wonderful surprise to be welcomed so warmly and find people who are helping each other with gardening tasks, putting the bins out, taking in deliveries etc. The kindness and thoughtfulness is amazing.
Amanda, Newby In Yorkshire
■ Without excusing water companies for their failings, we should recognise that a lot of problems are caused by nappies and wipes being flushed down toilets and pressure on the system – for example, there are estimated to be a million ‘undocumented’ people living in the UK.
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