Readers have their say.

 

Opinion: School meals, no such thing as a free lunch?

Opinion: School meals, no such thing as a free lunch?

by Martin Brisland. Marcus Rashford turns 23 later this week. A talented England and Manchester United footballer now earning very well but who grew up relying on free school meals. In the last few months he has caught the public mood and even received an MBE. Ensuring disadvantaged children don’t go hungry during school holidays
Opinion: the greening of Southampton

Opinion: the greening of Southampton

by Martin Brisland. Southampton is quite literally a green park city. Thanks to Victorian foresight, it has the second highest acreage of green city spaces in England with its well maintained central parks, Greenways and 365 acre Common. We are also going green through initiatives such as Zedify, an emissions free delivery service started by
Opinion: from shielding to shop floor – going back to work

Opinion: from shielding to shop floor – going back to work

by a Southampton worker. A Southampton worker shares their experiences of returning to work following shielding due to the coronavirus pandemic. They have chosen to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions from their employer. They have been shielding and don’t feel safe at work but fear speaking out could cost them the job that they
Opinion: my experience of a Calais refugee camp

Opinion: my experience of a Calais refugee camp

by Lewis MacLean. Immigration is a contentious issue for some and wishy-washy for others. In reality, things never change for the refugees themselves. After years of the press reporting on desperate immigrants losing their lives when attempting to cross the Mediterranean, the English Channel is now the focus. The result is a steep rise in 
Opinion: Trans rights and women’s rights: have we been asking the wrong questions?

Opinion: Trans rights and women’s rights: have we been asking the wrong questions?

by Dr Ash Brockwell.  As a transmasculine academic, I’ve found it painful and frustrating to read the discussions – both in the mainstream media and on social media – that represent ‘trans rights’ as incompatible with ‘women’s rights’. Nowhere has this been more clearly illustrated than in a recent essay by the bestselling author J.
Opinion: Black lives matter in Wales (with thanks to some white women)

Opinion: Black lives matter in Wales (with thanks to some white women)

by Jim Baker. For many Black people, Southampton is a place of arrival but for Wales it is a place of forced repatriation after both World Wars; Black merchant seaman who served Britain and were then forced to leave by government and trade unions. As was Hull (World War 2) for 4,000 Caribbean RAF Airman
Opinion: Industrial Workers of the World uniting in Southampton

Opinion: Industrial Workers of the World uniting in Southampton

by Nathan Brown and Pete Hayward. Activists from the Industrial Workers of the World union (IWW) are seeking to launch a Southampton branch.  Currently they come under the auspices of the Reading branch, but as local members have started meeting and organising, they are going to go through the process of being recognised as an
Opinion: cycle lane debates need compromise, not politicisation

Opinion: cycle lane debates need compromise, not politicisation

By Martin Brisland. The current local debate in Southampton on cycle lanes and the imminent local council decision on them has prompted me the following observations. Sadly, today’s politics seem to have become increasingly polarised with no middle ground or compromise. Many will just keep stating the same point without being prepared to listen, maybe
Opinion: Black Lives Matter?

Opinion: Black Lives Matter?

by Don John. In the wake of the killing of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matters “movement” many individuals and institutions have grappled with how they can respond to this phenomena in a positive way. However, one thing that many fail to appreciate that is that Black Lives Matter is not
Opinion: Don’t underestimate the power and value of theatre

Opinion: Don’t underestimate the power and value of theatre

Freelance costume supervisor and maker Aly Fielden, from Southampton, shares the letter she sent to Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, chancellor Rishi Sunak and Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead. She wrote the letter ahead of last night’s announcement of a £1.57bn emergency support package to help protect the future of theatres, galleries and museums. She
Opinion: Southampton’s creative community will leave lockdown loud and proud

Opinion: Southampton’s creative community will leave lockdown loud and proud

On Thursday, Nuffield Southampton Theatres closed, having gone into administration in May, with a suitable buyer unable to be found. But Liam Gifford, the theatre group’s youth director, believes there is still a great deal of hope for culture in the city as he celebrates recent artistic collaborations and projects, and looks forward to more
Opinion: helping others in challenging time is so gratifying

Opinion: helping others in challenging time is so gratifying

by Georgina Morgan. In years to come, people will have their own unique stories to tell about this period in their lives.  For me, I’d just started my dream job as a Recruitment Resourcer for an amazing company whose high standards and values reflect my own and then COVID-19 happened.  As a perpetual worrier who
Our life through a lens

Our life through a lens

musings by Chris Richards. These are strange days, we’re living in today Like Robbie Williams wrote in his first solo single (except for his George Michael cover of “Freedom” – also pertinent!) these are strange days and I really do want to be “Old Before I Die”. This pandemic, lockdown, unprecedented time, however it’s being
Coronavirus crisis opinion: my thoughts as a teacher and mother

Coronavirus crisis opinion: my thoughts as a teacher and mother

by  anonymous I am writing this on Friday, 20 March, 2020. As things are changing so fast I thought I should put the date for some context. Well what a week it’s been. As they say it’s certainly been emotional! As a teacher and mother of two children, I found the uncertainty very unnerving, let
Opinion: could coronavirus give society the shock it needs?

Opinion: could coronavirus give society the shock it needs?

by Charlotte Ndupuechi. At the last general election I felt hopeful we were about to see a change for the better. Knocking on peoples doors whilst canvassing, I got the feeling that people were starting to care about schools, social care, and the NHS particularly, and wanted to see those areas invested in. I was
Opinion: Austerity, Widening Health Inequalities and Falling Life Expectancy

Opinion: Austerity, Widening Health Inequalities and Falling Life Expectancy

by Councillor Dave Shields. Last week, Professor Sir Michael Marmot – commissioned by the independent think tank the Health Foundation – published a progress report into health inequalities following his seminal work Fairer Lives originally undertaken by the last Labour Government in 2010. Since that time he notes how life expectancy in England has stalled;
Opinion: The Preston Model – an answer to local government cuts?

Opinion: The Preston Model – an answer to local government cuts?

by Gary Hollands. The scale of Conservative cuts to local government has been devastating for council services. Central government has cut funding for councils by half since 2010. Southampton alone has lost £136.4 million over the last seven years. These cuts translate to the closure of nearly 800 libraries around the country. Youth services have
Opinion: why I believe anarchy is the way forward

Opinion: why I believe anarchy is the way forward

by The Secret Anarchist Anarchy is all too often a term associated with smashing things up and having “no rules”.  But if you scratch the surface you will find that it is not an absence of rules, but an absence of government that we seek.  In fact, being organised is the foundation of anarchism. It’s
Opinion: Seasonal cheer on Southampton Common

Opinion: Seasonal cheer on Southampton Common

by Lewis MacLean. The old cemetery site on Southampton’s Common is quite an extraordinary place. It serves as both a historical monument and functions for people in the city to exercise, quietly reflect and sometimes even just cut through on the walk to work. It has been a vital part of Southampton history and still
Trans Day of Remembrance – remembering those who lost the battle

Trans Day of Remembrance – remembering those who lost the battle

by Andi Maratos, Chrysalis CEO. The 20th November marks the day when trans people, and their allies, the world over take a moment to remember those whose lives have been lost through hate and transphobia over the last year. Being trans is not a lifestyle, it’s not a choice but an aspect of human diversity.
Why I’m taking part in the International Rebellion

Why I’m taking part in the International Rebellion

by Christelle Blunden. Today is be the start of the biggest international campaign of peaceful civil disobedience ever. Ordinary people – scientists, doctors, mothers, grandparents, youths, Muslims, Christians, farmers..will take to the streets and put themselves at risk of arrest to try to create an environment in which there is political will to do an
Opinion: adult social care services should be free

Opinion: adult social care services should be free

by Lorna Fielker. Councils up and down the country are struggling to meet the demand for social care. Years of central government underfunding and increases in demand due to an ageing population have forced social care to the brink of collapse. A year ago, Southampton City Council passed a motion urging the government to commit
Opinion: properly funded education is essential

Opinion: properly funded education is essential

by Charlotte Ndupuechi. As the new school year gets underway, with parents and carers setting their children into new classes and teachers eagerly planning for the year ahead, it’s an interesting time to reflect on the education system. The new prime minister Boris Johnson, has promised more money for education by 2022. But with ten
Opinion: why I joined Extinction Rebellion

Opinion: why I joined Extinction Rebellion

By Elaine Hunter. I was inspired to get involved in Extinction Rebellion (XR) after the rebellion in London. For me, the rebellion heralded a sense of hope and a feeling that things could change for the better. I, along with other members of the public, really empathised with XR. I have grown up knowing about