YEP Letters: April 29

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Have your say

A VERY worrying problem of biting dogs in Cross Flatts Park, Beeston, has resulted in two young children being injured recently.

As a regular user of the park I see the majority of dogs OFF leads, with their owners having a nice chat in huddles.

Their dogs seem happy enough to run where they like and do what they like, but are usually quite close to the owners, so pose little threat. With warmer weather approaching, there could be many more dog-related incidents as young mothers bring their toddlers out for picnics.

To minimise the danger of dog attacks in public parks, could I suggest that owners keep their dogs on a lead, if there are small children around. If not, maybe a muzzle would do the trick?

Cross Flatts Park used to have large notices advising ‘Dogs must be on a lead’, which was usually the case when a park-keeper lived on site, but those days have gone unfortunately.

When I had a dog, I felt that he liked to have ‘a good run out’, but public parks are not the place for that. Middleton Wood is a good local woodland within 15 minutes walk. Dogs can have a good root around in the undergrowth and run around to their heart’s content and no need for a lead!

Dog wardens may be able to advise owners of their responsibilities in owning a dog, but how many people care?

Beeston resident

Thatcher was privileged

RESPONDING TO B Duffy’s letter “Thatcher was not privileged” (YEP, April 24), well of course, he’s entitled to his opinion but I beg to differ.

I think Margaret Thatcher was privileged for the following reasons: Her father owned two shops. In 1925 this would make him upper working class at least and thus wealthy enough to fund piano lessons for his daughter and to support her at grammar school, which in 1936 incurred costs, even for a scholarship girl.

Completely free secondary education only came in with the 1944 Education Act. Even then many families could not afford the uniform nor transport cost to school and so couldn’t take up their scholarships.

When Margaret Roberts went to Kesteven and Grantham Grammar school most children (who would now be deemed to be secondary pupils) were in elementary schools; secondary schools were the preserve of the minority. They had on average less than 400 pupils and a pupil/teacher ratio of 20:3. Furthermore in 1938, 93.2 per cent of state pupils left school at the age of 13 to get a job to contribute to their family’s income. My father and mother both intelligent, hard working and highly motivated pupils were amongst them.

Margaret’s parents were not strapped for cash and recognised the benefits of higher education. Margaret was allowed more than two years in the sixth form to help her secure a place at university, where she spent four years before being awarded her degree in 1947.

To put this into some kind of perspective, in 1950 (only three years after Margaret graduated) the number of women graduates in England and Wales was 3,939. Places were scarce. To be able to study for one degree in those days was a privilege. To be able to pursue a second degree at no cost to yourself suggests one is doubly privileged. Denis paid for his new wife’s Law degree.

Once Margaret Roberts became Margaret Thatcher her husband’s wealth freed her up to pursue her political career. One has only to read the many biographies to appreciate the contribution Denis and his wealth made to her success. I suggest that compared to many of her female contemporaries growing up in the 1930s and 40s she had a relatively easy, comfortably and privileged life. Had it been otherwise she might have acquired a greater understanding of people who have to earn their own living and fend for themselves without “a leg up”.

It seems Margaret Robert’s did “suffer” at least one temporary setback in her early life. Apparently, she failed to secure one particular job because she was judged to be “headstrong, obstinate and dangerously self opinionated”. That was my view of her. I’d also add that I felt she lacked the ability to empathise or show compassion for those less fortunate than herself”. She didn’t recognise her privileged start in life. She believed she’d earned all she had. Strangely that seems to be true also of many who share Margaret Thatcher’s political views. They wear similar blinkers to the ones she wore.

Val Smith, Addingham

Constant flow of swear words

YORKSHIRE FOLK are “down to earth” and “forthright” says Ernest Lundy (Your Views, April 23). I have lived in some rough areas including Kings Cross, London (before gentrification) and Dalston, Hackney, East London (ditto). For example. Kingsland High Street, in Dalston, was closed off one morning when I set off for work because of a rival drug gang gunfight. Never, however, in any of those areas have I heard people swear like I’ve heard in Leeds.

Some use a constant stream of four letter words in front of, or, worse, AT, their children. These children then use the same language themselves, on public transport, in shops and no doubt at school. Their parents are the same. Every second or third word begins with the letter “f”. I’m no prude but it is just appalling.

R Kimble, by email

South Stand outsing the Kop

I was at the recent Leeds United v Blackpool game. I was sat in the East Stand in line with the halfway line. I noticed nearly all the singing was coming from the South Stand and not from the Kop. The fans in the South Stand were really vociferous throughout the whole game. I fear some lads and lasses have vacated their seats in the Kop to enjoy a more noisier group in The Scratching Shed!

I mean South Stand? Happy days!

Pete Ladle, by email

No tirade against Labour

I HAVE just read the latest contribution from Malcolm Nicholson (Your Views, April 25). First it was a complete surprise to see it was not a tirade against the Labour Party and I was pleased to read that M Nicholson was not ready to shuffle off this mortal coil.

Could this be because of our great NHS which may I remind people was created by the Labour Party?!

Brian Varley, Leeds

Secular politics needed in 2014

THE presumptions made by Tony Stott (YEP, April 23) show why religious belief and politics should be separate. He begins by assuming that those who dare to suggest that David Cameron’s recent claims may be unwise are “faithless.” Nonsense.

Many of the caring institutions he refers to have been created and run by people of faiths other than Christianity, and by people of no religious tradition. He alludes to the fact that only the CofE are officially allowed to take part in making our laws. This is a shocking fact in 2014. That cannot be described as democracy. Britain is a multi-cultural, multi-faith society. It must have secular politics.

The superiority assumed by Mr Stott gets my goat.

Dave MacFadyen, Leeds

So much food on TV shows

IT IS reported that Britain is becoming an obese society.

I blame TV licence payers as most of my money goes on programmes about food. Every other programme on TV is about food!

It is any wonder the nation is getting fatter?

Terry Watkinson, Allerton Bywater

Bernard Kenny, the man who tried to save Jo Cox from her attacker.

YEP Letters: August 16