Dear Ms Birbalsingh

It has been 5 years since the London riots happened and yet as a nation we are still having problems trying to move on. As a writer yourself, you understand that some things that are said aren’t always going to sit well with the reader. Personally, I believe your piece is more of a racial discrimination towards people of black culture and not addressing the real reasons as to why the riots may have occurred. This is the reason your piece does not sit well with me and I would like to take this opportunity to explain why.

I agree with you that this issue is making all of us hide away from the real truth, but you and I share different ideas of what the truth is. Your idea of the truth is that the street crime London faces is caused because of black people, especially black youth. However, not only black people were involved in the riots. People of all different colour and race were involved because of an issue that is far bigger than what you made it out to be. You made it out to seem that because of an innocent accident from the police, “black youths once again have set London alight”.

That is not the case. The real problem here is the police. The police claim to protect the city but all they do is stop and search everybody and anybody who is of colour. Even statistics show this. For every 1 white person stopped and searched, 17 black people are stopped. Now, by your logic, all the people the police stop and search, get arrested for a crime when in fact most of them are found with no reason to be arrested. Not all the police are this way but unfortunately they are not 100% honest either. Since 1998, 333 people have died in police custody and somehow not a single conviction for any officer was made. Strange. Even the IPCC have allowed these convictions to be swept under the carpet. And you wonder why the people are angry. The riots were not just for the death of Mark Duggan. That was just the icing on the cake. The riots were because of the way the police are treating people all around the country and especially in places of poverty.

Ms Birbalsingh, I think you will find it helpful to look at the findings of Richard Wilkinson in his book The Spirit Level where he says that the crime in cities occur because of an unequal society. We have a very unequal society. In fact, did you know that the country’s top 10% of richest people are 100% better off than the poorer people in the country. By poorer people, I mean people around the country that are not labelled as “upper class”. This is a reason for anyone to be angry and especially the people who rioted. Tottenham, the place where Mark Duggan lived is considered a poor place. In fact it is one of the poorest places in London with one of the highest rated amount of people claiming from the welfare state. It is arguable that they are in that position due to specific reasons as to lack of qualifications etc but if the society were to become more equal, and the police treated these people the same as they treat the “upper class” people, I think you will find the amount of street crime will decrease.

Unfortunately, it seems that we as a nation have all been burying our heads under the sand to the real problem. As a women of your power, it’s a shame that you can not bring awareness to the masses of people who follow you because unfortunately you are blinded from the real truth as well.

Yours sincerely



I didn’t know what was going on, I could just hear my parents panicking in the front room. There was smoke every where. I jumped out of my bed. Searched for my sandals. I got out of bed and ran to Ahmed, the ground started shaking. It was so loud.  I fell to the floor with a loud thud, bashing my ankle against the bed. My father burst in to the room. Across my carpet covered floor, he rushed and helped me up. He put on Ahmeds only pair of sandals and took us out to our little shed in the garden where my mother was. Ahmed was crying; he was completely bewildered.

My mother was pleading, “We NEED to save the kids!”

I was asking what was happening but no one replied. We were staring out the shed window. All of a sudden, a troop of soldiers burst through our door and raided our house. One of the soldiers stood at the door blocking out the light which illuminated his body making him look almost angelic. But these soldiers were not. I couldn’t recognize them. Their faces were completely covered with cloth and they were carrying heavy artillery. They were shouting with such anger in their voices, I couldn’t make out what they were saying. My mother started yelling to my father, “Quickly! I don’t care about us.”

My father was frantic. “Ali, you have to take your brother and go.”

“Where to?” I hesitated.

“As far as possible.” He stuffed some money in my hand and ordered me to go. My mother grabbed me. It was like she was staring into my soul. She snatched off and gave me the locket that my grandmother gave her. “No matter what, I will always be there with you both,” she said in a low voice.

Soldiers stormed through the back door and into the garden. “GO!” my father yelled, “GO NOW!” I didn’t know what to do. I was in shock. I just picked up Ahmed and ran out the back gate. I was running and running, carrying my little brother on my shoulders. I stumbled on a rock but I kept on going. I couldn’t disobey my father. From a distance, I heard my mother’s voice screaming and begging the soldiers not to hurt them. There was a piercing silence. I heard the echo of two-gun shots. I stopped and waited for a sign. Nothing. I felt a breaking feeling in my heart. I dropped to my knees. Tears streamed down my face. They were dead.

I turned round. Soldiers were shouting, “This way!” They were running towards us from all directions. I didn’t know what to do. I heard a voice in my head. It was my father. “RUN!” The word kept repeating itself in my head. I picked up Ahmed and ran. I could hear the crackling of burning wood. There was smoke all around me; my eyes were blistering. I could feel the heat attacking me from behind, enveloping every part of my body. Something had captured me. I didn’t know who or what it was. All I knew was, I couldn’t get away. I staggered forward. Where was Ahmed?

Anas cheramat English coursework Letter

Dear Mrs Hopkins,

This is 2016, a year where the words you utter can not be taken back or easily forgotten. My people are migrants. My father arrived at the age of 27 and my mother the age of 25. They are just two out of a mass amount of people, who, through your words, have been abused. As the son of migrants, I am deeply affected by your words and want to use this opportunity to address your argument.

There is a border between voicing your opinion and being inhuman; you have crossed that border. Ironic that you yourself have crossed a border, but are not letting others through our own. My understanding is that you want to use gunships to kill innocent people who are fleeing from war torn countries. You honestly have no heart. What human could possibly think – let alone write – like that?

So, let’s look at the facts. Whilst there are arguments that migrants take jobs from the British people, in fact they actually pay more in taxes than they take from the welfare state. Since the year 2000 migrants have contributed £25bn to the UK and have used less benefits and social housing than UK residents. So by them as you put it “taking” the jobs, they are in fact helping the country get more money to provide for the people you say they are taking the jobs from. This highlights how you have only considered one side of the argument. As a journalist, you should know that before you publish any information, one should have all the correct facts.

Now lets visit the idea of yours that migrants are terrorists. Even though migrants can be labelled as potential terrorists by an ignorant minority, they are actually fleeing from countries that have been oppressed and terrorised. It can be hard to accept, but our country has contributed to some of this. In the context of empire and up to this very day, we have been involved both politically and economically with what seems to be good intentions to us but which has lead to devastating consequences. As a country, Britain has colonized most of the world, so it is only fair that we extend an invitation for them to stay in our country, seeing as we took over theirs. You would do well to remember the Windrush generation. After all, it was Britain who asked for help and invited migrants to come. Without their contribution, Britain would be not the country it is today.

You say migrants bring nothing but trouble to this country. In fact, migrants have played such a big role in Britain’s history that they have shaped our cultural identity. For example, Fish and Chips. Everyone thinks that Fish and Chips is a British dish, but in fact the history of Fish and Chips is a lot more complicated than you think. In 1665, a group of Jewish refugees arrived in Britain, bringing with them the idea of frying fish. These migrants originated from Spain but fled due to discrimination. This is similar to the migrant crisis now. Both groups were fleeing from violence and persecution. What would have happened if they never came? No fish and chips. Remember that last fish and chips you had? Well, perhaps you should remember where it came from, too.

To put this at rest: you must see migrants bring more than trouble to Britain. If we trace back our ancestry, none of us are pure blood British. Even you, without knowing, could have links with the places people are coming from. To move forward as a human race, we need to put ourselves in their shoes. Miss Hopkins, before you say any more of your nonsense, stop. Put yourself in their position.


Dear Samantha Taylor


I have decided to reply to your article about teenagers. Here are some of my ideas.


I completely agree with the fact about teenagers over using social media and the internet in general. This can be a problem it can distract the teenagers from the important things like their homework they need to do which will benefit them more in their lives than being on social media 24/7. Too much social media can affect a teenagers social skills as simple as talking to a new person in person. Teenagers are at the age where they are developing new skills to adapt to this world and if they are constantly on social media, it will stop them, from developing these skills and can hold them back in life.

When a girl was asked how much she texted in a day, she replied “about 250 times a day”. Wow 250 times a day that’s huge. If the teenagers in this day and age spent the same amount of time studying as they do using their social media profiles, we would have one smart teenage generation.

Flag explores how national symbols blind nations together – and in doing so also force people apart. Flag is written in a tight, regular form. It has 5 stanzas, each with three lines. The middle line of each stanza is shorter than the other two. The form therefor mimics the shape of an old medieval flag. The three lines are like the three stripes of many national flags today. The poem is built around a conversation between two voices- one that asks the child – like questions of each opening stanza ; the other perhaps agard himself, who responds in the next two lines. In the first four stanzas the response is the same, with the line “its just a peice of cloth” echoing throughout the poem. The first sound is the rise and fall of the question and answer : The voice naturally rises at the beggining of each stanza with the question, only to be bought down with poets clear simple answer. Another important contrast is in the soft sounds of the flag (“fluttering”, “unfurling”, “rising” “flying “). These are drowned out by the short sharp, hard sounds that are emphasised by the use of alliteration : ” nation/knees”. The poem yellow flag is written in the form of a ballad. This is a traditional form of popular song that would have been sung or recited by wandering storytellers of the past. Ballads use a strong rhythm and rhyme-scheme to tell stories about everyday people. Minhinnick tells us about the everyday lives of the people in this street. What he has to say, however, is not something to celebrate. The lively rhymes contrast with the content. The poem uses contrast to show the tensions that exist in the country. The contrasts also express the mixed feelings the poet has about the city. The first contrast is with the title and the repeated opening line. The Yellow Palm suggests something exotic, colourful and delicious (dates, the fruit of the palm, are deliciously sweet). The street itself, however, is a scene of decay and destruction. The images that open the verses at first seem colourful slices of life (the colourful local funeral with “women waving lilac stems”). At closer inspection, however, these images suddenly come into sharper focus: the dead man was gassed (by Saddam). The triple rhyme scheme gives the poem energy. It therefore reflects the energy of the street. The positive and negative rhymes (e.g. pass-gas) express the way this once beautiful society has been torn apart. In the last stanza, though, the feeling of hope and harmony is expressed through the repetition of positive rhymes: “palms”, “salaams” and “arms”. Minhinnick hopes that when the child grows up, it can return to being the busy normal market street it once was.

Hawk roosting is a very intriguing poem. The poem is mainly describing how mankind are through a hawk. The poet is describing the hawk And from the descriptions the poet uses, it shows that it can relate to how mankind is at this present time. The poet describes how the hawk hunts for its prey. The way it used natures power to its advantage is similar to man kind strategies we use in modern day conflicts. The poem is mainly concentrated on the features of the bird for example the way it can see further than any human can ever do unless its with a piece of technology enhancing our vision to reach further distances.

One thing i realised about this hawk is that it is very arrogant, like most of man kind, the manner this hawk thinks of himself is uniquely presented with him seen as a very vain creature.

The poems Belfast Confetti and At The Border are very similar and different at the same time. Belfast Confetti is based in Ireland (Belfast) during the time of the civil war. This was the era of Irish nationalist terrorism that marked UK social and political life from the 1970s to the 1990s.  The conflict was mainly a religious and political one. This poem is in first person and explains the persons feelings using punctuation language.  The man in the poem is facing his own conflict in his head due to the conflict going on around him. He is trying to go home to be safe what we call a safe haeven, the place he feels most safe in, but the surrounding conflict had him going insane in  his head.

Whereas in the poem At The Border, the conflict is about a country fighting each other over reasons to do with religion and politics. In this poem, it tells us about a life of a young girl who had to migrate to a country next to her original country iraq. She migrated to a country called kurdistan  to get away for all the violence there was in her country iraq, but what this poem is trying to show is the journey she makes with the remaining of her family back to iraq from kurdistan after the civil war ended. She wasnt alone with her family, the poem mentions ” dozens of families waited in the rain”. This helps us understand that it wasnt only this girl and her family who were migrating back to their

The first stanza sets the scene of vaudevue’s death by giving us a feeling that she is somewhere no one wants to be and she has no hope of living. the first stanza keeps on mentioning that she is alone and it shows that she is vulnerable and that she is sitting on a round flat stone. The fact she is alone is horrible and in the first stanza it mentions there was a battle on the field of austerlitz and that she is a female soldier, when you put two and two together it could mean that she was injured in the battle and everyone has left her by herself all alone and cold on this round flat stone.

The poem is subtitled “incident in a future war” because it is set in the future and the poem tells us this. In the second stanza, it states that there is a gas (M.L.5) which makes you loose your memory, we do not have this gas in this day an age so this helps us know that this is set in the future because the gas will be invented in the future as a weapon.

To create a feeling of sadness in the poem, ciara carson used different techniques to imply that the character vaudevue is upset and alone, for example she used rhyme to show that she is upset. “her fingers tap the ground, she is ALONE, at midnight in the moonlight she is sitting alone on a round flat STONE. This is a very good use of the technique rhyme because it gives the reader the feeling that vaudevue is upset and alone because of the words the words she used to rhyme with.

The poem we were analyzing in class was based on the happenings after 9/11 and to me it perceived how Muslims were looked at after the doings of the sad event. The poem was titled “the right word” and it was by a woman called Imtiaz Dharkar.

This poem is very odd, because it seems that Dharker was questioning herself and what she was saying. For example she goes on about a shadow outside her door which then apparently it then becomes a terrorist, then a martyr, and then a child…

I believe that the message trying to be shown is that not all muslims are terrorists and that the way you percieve a muslim all depends on what you have heard from others. A child who is muslim can be percieved as a terrorist but are they really??? how do you know ? there just a child but what makes them a terrorist is thast they are muslim.

Her confusion is showing that there really is no way to describe a terrorist because it can be anyone even YOU!

Recently there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the use of IVF . In the media for example, huge fashion master Dolce Gabana criticised using IVF to make he’s kids. Dolce Gabana believe that it is wrong to have IVF for a gay couple because a child is meant to have a mother and father and is meant to be conceived naturally through intercourse.

IVF has been an option for both gay and straight couples who can not conceive children through natural means. Normally they resort to using IVF where they make what is usually called a “test tube baby” which is made in a laboratory using an egg from a female from a straight couple or for a male gay couple they would use a surrogate mothers egg and she will carry the embryo when it has started to fertilise with a sperm sample.

A question that has recently started causing commotion is that whether couples who are unable to conceive naturally receive state funding to have IVF treatment. Out of the thousands of people asked on-line via a questionnaire, 57% of people agree that the state should fund for couples to have IVF. Comments that were left by the public who voted were some what emotional in some cases for example some one put in bold capital letters “YES EVERYBODY IS ENTITLED TO HAVE KIDS”. Such a small sentence but carries a huge meaning with it. Why can’t everybody have kids? Why won’t the state who are meant to look out for us be there for us, not provide us with the funding to create people’s dreams of having a family come true?

People disagree on it on the cases that it’s not natural and its a waste of money because it doesn’t always work for the people and that could cause them more devastation in their life. IVF is also not liked because it can be seen as supportive towards gay couples having families of their own and of course people object to the matter of gay marriage and gay relationships because they also think it’s not natural.

One thing about IVF is sadly it doesn’t always work, in fact according to the percentage rate of IVF use in 2010, for women less than the age of 35, only 32.2% of all treatments were successful and for women who were over the age of 44, 1.9% of treatments were a success. IVF is recommended to be used when a woman is at a younger age because her eggs are believed to be more healthier and will have more chance of working. This doesn’t stop some women going to receive the treatment because they really want to have a family.

Me personally i agree with IVF because behind all the bad things people say about it, to me it will always be something that helps people by giving them a stronger chance of having kids. some people have dreams/goals to have a family of there own but they cant have it. This will always be a second bit of hope for them. i also think that there are other options like adoption, surrogacy, fostering etc but i still believe that IVF is one of the better option because it means that the baby is from the same parents if your in a straight couple where as adoption the child will not be yours and surrogacy, the baby wont be from the same parents.

IVF will always be talked about in a split argument between wrong or right, and it will always cause controversy no matter what is said about it, but it will always be seen as a chance of hope for people who really need it and really want children and a family of there own.

This is a problem I felt that needed to be addressed.



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