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Don't ignore 'real' issues; Debate continues around burka issue.

THE news that life expectancy for some areas of Teesside is one of the lowest in the country and on a par with Ethiopia is an absolute tragedy and disgrace.

So often I hear people talk about being positive about Teesside, about loving Teesside, about talking up Teesside, and so on.

But if all this achieves is a blind eye turned to REAL issues, then what kind of love is this? How is it positive to pretend that we are something we are not - something and somewhere to be proud of - when so many suffer... when age expectancy for some of us is the same as in Ethiopia? If my friend drinks two bottles of vodka a day, is the loving, positive thing to talk about how great he is? Or is it to challenge him and encourage him to be honest and to seek help? There are many people doing great work trying to make Teesside a better place for all... truly. But something is amiss, and pointing to our unique bridge isn't going to change the fact that some of us can expect to live no longer than our sixties... not even retirement age.

We ALL need to do much, much better.

RICHARD HORROCKS, Hartlepool LABOUR'S Jess Phillips is incorrect to brand Boris Johnson "a racist" in a tweet for his recent comments on the burka (The Gazette 09.08.18).

Boris's issues about religion and Boris's remarks raise issues about culture, religion and national security, already well debated by our European neighbours.

But race is a matter of birth and descent, on which the former foreign secretary's words do not touch.

Whatever happened to freedom of speech in this politically correct society? STEVE KAY, Redcar & Cleveland Councillor | | | I TOTALLY agree with Denmark charging a woman with wearing a full-face veil in public following a ban that came into effect in the country just recently.

The wearing of these burkas and niqabs may well be acceptable in their natural homeland, but if they are banned in a Western country then one should adhere to that ruling.

On a personal level, I would ban the wearing of this garment of clothing throughout Europe.

remarks raise culture, national Why should these women be allowed to wear and "hide" behind a veil in a Western country/ society? These women should at least be asked to remove their burkas particularly when entering a building such as a bank.

Well, I'm assuming they'd be women behind the veil!

For instance, I can just imagine a westerner like myself walking into a bank here in England wearing a veil similar to a burka. I think I'd soon be approached by suspicious security staff. Perhaps more countries should take Denmark's lead.

KENNY SURTEES, Ormesby | | | HAVING been bald for the last 30-plus years, I've had to endure taunts and teasing that I've put up with typical British stoicism!

The country has millions of us who have follicle issues! We can be prejudiced against and ridiculed, but we just crack on.

So why on earth is there such a furore where Boris Johnson's remarks about the burka are concerned? I bet there are a minuscule number of burka wearers compared to us baldies, so lighten up, take a chill pill and, like us baldies, don't take yourselves too seriously - 90% of the population don't care!

NEIL HARRISON, Stokesley

Boris Johnson in a his adhere to On level, Boris's remarks raise issues about culture, religion and national security

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Steve Hanley, of Redcar, sent in this photo taken at Kirkleatham Owl Centre
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Aug 13, 2018
Words:595
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