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TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2016 LEICESTER MERCURY

OPINION

MERCURY

OPINION

All the best to


runners for
great cause
THIS Sunday, 30 runners will take part in a
series of events held in Castle Donington to
raise money for a local charity created by a
very special person.
Tracy Cooper, of Castle Donington, has
raised 50,000 to provide financial help
and special treats for young cancer
patients and their families.
She set up the Joseph Cooper Trust in
memory of her son, who passed away after
a brave six-year battle with lymphoma and
leukaemia. Joseph was just 14 when he
died.
The setting up of the trust was the fulfillment of a vow she had made to her son
along with her husband Mark.
Eighteen months later, Tracy also had to
cope with the loss of Mark, also to cancer.
This weekends events at the race track
fall on the eve of the third anniversary of
Josephs death.
Tracys is an example of extraordinary
courage and tenacity. She is determined to
carry on the work she began with her husband.
And it is for such a good cause.
The medical experts caring for children in
this country do a phenomenal job.
But caring for a sick child is bound to
have a huge impact on any family. This can
be financial, with parents needing to step
away from work to look after a child. And it
can be a huge test for the emotions of
everyone involved.
Having a treat to look forward to is a huge
fillip for children who are often in and out of
hospital and undergoing treatments that
are tough on mind and body.
Quality time with parents, brothers and
sisters is so important at these times and
the Joseph Cooper Trust is doing wonderful work helping to make this happen.
The trust is hoping to raise money for a
wheelchair friendly vehicle to help take children for respite breaks and to hospital if no
transport is available.
The work goes on, thanks to Tracy and
her supporters.
We wish them all the best in their efforts
to support families going through such difficult times.

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Stadium not place for gigs


ON THE two nights of the Kasabian concerts, for a total of about
eight hours, I was very much affected by the noise from the King
Power Stadium.
It really stressed me out. I could
not use the front of my house, it
was much too loud there. It was
also too noisy in the back.
I had to stay as long as possible
in the middle room. I used headphones so I could hear the TV.
I suppose our road caught the
sound from speaker direction
and wind direction.
I can put up with the occasional
roar from the football crowd but
that is not the same as a pounding beat of music.
I suspect the decibel count may
have been too high, especially for
the audience.
The stadium is not purposebuilt for concerts. Why dont the
people involved with this sort of
thing build a dome near Fosse
Park?
It would be near many roads. It
would not disturb people so
much there.

THE Leicester University College


Union (UCU), Unison and Unite
write to express their opposition
to the proposed closure of the
Vaughan Centre.
The proposed closure will
cause 29 staff and 70 associate tutors to potentially be made redundant.
Students who had been offered
places on courses have now been
told their courses may not run.
Universities have long held the
aim of providing an education for
all. The Vaughan Centre has
provided opportunities many
would not have otherwise had.
We believe the proposed closure of the Vaughan Centre will
cause irreversible damage to the
University of Leicesters reputation and we call on the university
to suspend this action, and enter
into meaningful discussions with
staff, students, unions and the
wider community, in addition to
the existing consultation with
staff and unions.
The committees of Leicester
UCU, Unison and Unite

Rights rest
on remain
THE EU referendum vote on
Thursday is one of the biggest decisions this country will take in a
generation.
For working families in all communities the outcome will be
crucial to the economy, jobs and
workers rights.
A vote to leave will be to leap
into the dark. Those advocating
leave would begin by re-negotiating the UKs entry back into the
single market.
Trading tariffs would hit the
economy and hugely reduce
manufacturing output, more expensive products would see a decline in demand and impact on
jobs and, whatever deal was
done, none of the social responsibilities would come with it.

PICTURE: PLUMB / ALEX HANNAM

DECIBEL LEVELS: Kasabian perform at the King Power Stadium


Paid holidays, extra maternity
rights, equality in the workplace,
better conditions for agency and
part-time workers none of these
were a legal entitlement until the
EU passed directives giving them.
We cannot build a sustainable
successful economy in Leicestershire by walking out of the
biggest trading bloc in the world,
ripping up workers rights and
creating an economy based on
insecurity and uncertainty.
The TUC vision is for an EU
that encourages businesses to
compete by raising standards at
work to boost wages and demand, on which fairer growth
can be built.
Leaving means gambling away
economic stability and the rights
which workers depend on.
Dont risk it Vote to Remain.
Lee Barron, regional secretary,
Trades Union Congress in the
Midlands.

Vote is about
sovereignty
THE forthcoming EU referendum
is all about who has the power to
run this country. It is fundamentally all about sovereignty and
democracy.
We vote in a political party who
then form their Government and
thereafter put forward bills to
Parliament based on their election manifestos.
Parliament debates these bills
and, if approved, they eventually
become law.
If the Government fails the
people or is incompetent, then
the people have the right and
power to kick out the Government by voting for a different
party at the next election.
The point is the British people
alone have the power to vote for

Editorial

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The fight will go on


alphabetical order, there is no
room on the memorial, his name
would endanger the integrity of
the memorial, and proof was
needed about his links to
Countesthorpe.
All these points have been
answered and their latest ploy is
to state that only those who died
in action or from wounds received should be added. A strange
decision taken in retrospect, as at
least four other names rightly
commemorated on the memorial
died in service from illness or accidents.
I and others have campaigned
for two years on behalf of one of
Sgt Elliotts surviving relatives, his
nephew who lives in Leicester, to
achieve this long overdue recognition but to no avail.
I offer no apologies for continu-

NINETY-NINE years ago on June


23, 1917, Sergeant Stephen Elliott,
who was born and raised in
Countesthorpe and saw active
service in the Middle East, died in
India and was buried with a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone in St Sepulchres
Cemetery.
Amongst 888,245 others who
died in the First World War, his
sacrifice was commemorated
with the planting of a ceramic
poppy in the Blood Swept Lands
and Seas of Red display at the
Tower of London.
Despite this recognition,
Countesthorpe Parish Council
continues to resist having his
name placed on the village war
memorial.
They have given many reasons
for this: his name would not be in

GRAVE: Sgt Elliotts headstone in


St Sepulchres Cemetery, India
ing this campaign. As a former
Army Officer who has sadly seen
sacrifice first-hand, I strongly believe that if we are to send out
young men and women in harms
way to war, we as a nation should
remember their sacrifice.
I have mixed emotions about
the stance of Countesthorpe Parish Council. Frustration and in-

the Government or vote them


out.
The EU is incapable of real reform. The commission is unelected and therefore unaccountable.
The EUs accounts have not
been signed off for 20 years or
more. Do you know your MEP?
The EU parliament has no real
power whatsoever.
The EU has grown massively
over the past 40 years and it is
certainly not the Common Market we joined back then.
The EU will want to continue to
grow and grow, until its stated
goal of becoming the United
States of Europe.
I say dont let this happen. Vote
leave on June 23. Vote for freedom and independence and
globalisation and lets get our
country back and out of the
clutches of Brussels and Berlin.
Anthony J Mathers,
Kirby Muxloe.

credulity that they consistently


and stubbornly refuse to take any
notice of the information and
facts put before them, but above
all sadness that they fail to embrace in this period of Great War
remembrance that one of their
own went to war and did not return and now discriminate
against him by not placing his
name on their war memorial.
On behalf of the many hundreds who have joined me in trying to right this wrong I pledge
that I will not give up this campaign, however long it takes, until
Sgt Elliotts sacrifice is finally recognised and his name is placed
alongside others who died in the
First World War on the
Countesthorpe War Memorial.
Jeremy Prescott, Oadby.

Fund-raisers
are thanked

Mr R Markey, Leicester.

Parking that leaves a lot to be desired


ITS no wonder that Sainsburys car park fills up so quickly! I think this driver should have used a disabled
space as obviously his eyesight isnt very good. Then again, perhaps he didnt see any.

ID like to thank everyone in


Leicestershire and Rutland who
supported our first ever National
Cupcake Day on June 16 to raise
funds to help defeat dementia.
Whether you rolled up your
sleeves and held a cupcake sale or
simply indulged in a tasty treat,
everything you did will help
Alzheimers Society find a cure for
dementia, fund vital services and
campaign for the rights of people
with dementia.
There are 12,500 people with
dementia in Leicestershire and
Rutland and we rely on donations
to continue our vital work. Its not
too late to get involved to find
out how you can join our cupcake
crusade, visit:
cupcakeday.org.uk
Dave Bassett, Alzheimers Society, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Richard J Pickering, Leicester.

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TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2016 LEICESTER MERCURY

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FIRSTPERSON
Religion is
implicated
in the
homophobia
that led to the
killings in
Orlando, says
SIMON
BENNETT

Its time to
confront this
intolerance
SEXUALITY is not a matter of choice.
Ones sexual orientation is decided by
nature. Punishing someone for something
they have no control over is perverse. So
why do so many hold homophobic views,
and why do some, like the Orlando
nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, act on
those views?
In my opinion, religion is heavily implicated in homophobia and homophobic attacks. Many religions are intolerant of
sexual diversity. Daeshs perverted take
on Islam calls for homosexuals to be
killed. Some evangelical churches are no
better. Following the nightclub murders,
Pastor Roger Jimenez, of Sacramentos
Verity Baptist Church, said this: People
say, like, Well, arent you sad that 50 sodomites died? Heres the problem with
that. Its like the equivalent of asking me,
Hey, are you sad that 50 paedophiles
were killed today? Um no, I think thats
great! I think that helps society.
I think Orlando, Florida, is a little safer
tonight. I wish the government would
round them all up, put them up against a
firing wall, put a firing squad in front of
them, and blow their brains out.
I have some advice for Pastor Jimenez.
First, engage your brain before opening
your mouth. Secondly, all religious texts
are works of fiction. They are inventions.
Consequently, not a single word should
be given credence. This applies especially
to homophobic and misogynistic tracts.
Thirdly, there is no evidence for the existence of a Deity.
Those, like Pastor Jimenez, who believe
in deities should be marginalised as
oddballs. Irrationality is the enemy of social progress. Religion is just another superstition. Science is truth.
How should civilised people react to the
Daesh-inspired murders in Orlando?
Simple: by carrying on with our happy, interesting and fulfilling lives. That would
really annoy the resentful, intolerant, misogynistic, homophobic bigots who support
Daesh. Make no mistake: supporters of
Daesh and other fundamentalist sects, including some Evangelical Christian sects,
despise those of us who celebrate the
natural diversity and joy of the human
race.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benns
widely-praised analysis of Daesh merits
reproduction: We are here faced by fascists. Not just their calculated brutality, but
their belief that they are superior to every
single one of us... They hold us in contempt. They hold our values in contempt.
They hold our belief in tolerance and decency in contempt. They hold our democracy... in contempt. And what we know
about fascists is that they need to be defeated... My view, Mr Speaker, is that we
must now confront this evil.
I could not have put it better myself.
Dr Simon Bennett is director of the Civil
Safety and Security Unit, at the University
of Leicester.