Readers’ letters: Rural life under siege | David Brannan

As the farmer who hosts Farm Urban Farms on his Readington, N.J., farmland, I was delighted to read this newspaper’s article ‘A remarkable sight: for the first time in memory, the cows, the chickens, the pigs, and the goats roam outdoors’ (NNJ, 16 May). As we become more urbanised, it is heartening to see our rural countryside maintained and even enhanced in this way. I look forward to seeing this positive change become more commonplace.

Francis Rast

Farm Urban Farms manager, Readington, N.J.

Jane Scott’s historic articles in the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s groundbreaking Outdoors/Inclusiveness document her exploration of farming in New Jersey’s rural outskirts. Her photos give an indication of rural society of the mid-19th century that is familiar to us today.

Antoinette Alfano, South Orange, N.J.

Words on the wall

Sorry, I must have meant to write ‘Wikipedia’ when I meant ‘People’. It would make less of a mess, admittedly, as the terminology is in a Google search to me.

Owen Maguire, Dublin

Bright young star

It was with great excitement that I read the features on Spring Break in America. Certainly, as a concerned parent of a Scottish expat, I do have the licence to make a contribution to the series in writing about my hometowns. The average price of student accommodation in Glasgow is less than £20 per square foot for a two-bedroom flat; it is likely, however, that this figure will rise in the coming years. Yet the educational opportunities offered to Scotland’s pupils are still the envy of other countries. It should be a pleasure to see these young people exercising their rights to work and socialise in the USA, and to see the changes in Scotland that are taking place as result of the education policy of the Nationalists. Scotland and Northern Ireland need to show that we have a creative and vibrant approach to education. A new generation of bright Scots living in London are a perfect model for what more education can achieve. I applaud the students here and their parents, who seem to be willing to embrace the opportunities available to them.

Shona McLean, Glasgow

Online education

This is an excellent summary of a very special issue. I am so very glad that I could have reached you so quickly after reading your newspaper! Thank you for communicating with me by email and phone in these complex times!

April Little, Ottawa, Canada

Sharp words

In response to your article About HT students: ‘A revolt against genocidal traditions’ (17 May), many quotes come to mind. I would like to take issue with Julia Buttimore, who says: “British students are the most segregated in Europe, [and] British universities are the most unequal in Europe. Educational apartheid is part of the legacy of British empire.” There is not a more obvious example of an “apartheid” occurring in Britain today than university admissions.

Just a few years ago, it was somewhat socially acceptable to think that football players, or members of the police force, could be social outcasts; if they were black, they were a street-wise and hardworking underclass whose anger could be redirected against a perceived “system” that had deprived them of any hope of a future. And that was if they were white.

Today, most of these same celebrities and social outcasts are viewed by the rest of society as ignorant, entitled and lazy. Just think of how racial segregation has transformed over the last 50 years. Now the Indians are treated with relative respect. I suppose you can see what is going on.

Peter Johnstone, Cambridge

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