YEP Letters: January 15

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ONLY THE blind, the blinkered and Labour could fail to see that the NHS is in deep crisis on all fronts, with a rapid decline in standards expected of it.

The ambulance service is in meltdown, A&E’s in collapse and GPs are at breaking point.

There are multiple reasons for this shambles, one being a culture of entitlement where every service is demanded for free.

The inescapable truth is that hard decisions need to be made about limiting free access to the NHS – but for reasons of cowardice, no politician dare tell us the truth.

Labour remain in total denial about the state of the NHS, elevating it to a mystical status as their very own, when it is not, and never was.

Come election time, Labour falls back into its tribalism over nasty Tory cuts to come.

But was it not the very first Labour government in 1951 who first introduced prescription charges, and not the “nasty” Tories?

Labour’s record on the NHS is abysmal. Brown’s PFI programme and “internal market” bankrupted our NHS.

The great NHS computer mess wasted vital billions and then there was the Mid Staffs horror.

All were caused by Labour neglect, and now we have the virtual collapse of NHS Wales under vast Labour mismanagement.

The NHS cannot cope with a growing population of nearly 70 million, all with access to free at the point of use care, including allowing foreigners to use our NHS and escaping paying anything.

Labour has no answer. Trapped in the distant past, it is a constant threat to our public health.

Brian Johnston, Burmantofts

Time to sort out the insurers

What is it with insurance companies? Over the Christmas period I had two policies to renew.

To have to cope with the cost of the festivities and pay both is stressful to say the least.

To then have to contend with the games insurers play leaves one fuming.

I am perfectly prepared to acknowledge premiums go up from year to year (although my circumstances haven’t changed), but they just seem to pick a figure out of the air and hope you’ll pay it!

So we telephone round every year (or compare online – those of us who are able to).

It’s so time-consuming and frustrating having to repeat your details again and again.

Then you ring your original insurer to be told “oh, we can match that quote by applying various allowances”.

What! How? And why not apply them in the first place?

This seems dishonest to me, they rely on people’s apathy. Don’t they wish to keep loyal customers?

The Government seems to be sorting out the energy companies and trying to regulate the banks.

Isn’t it about time they turned their attention to the insurers?

Lynne Pullein, Leeds

Victoria is my screen queen

I HAVE to agree with Jayne Dawson on her view of Victoria Wood (YEP, January 7). What a talent!

The excerpts from just a few of her shows, followed by the delightful That Day We Sang – what a treat. I do hope it gets repeated.

Incidentally, I still have the 78rpm record of Nymphs and Shepherds – as I suppose do many others.

This was followed by a profile of Julie Walters, who has appeared many times with Victoria.

It’s a long time since I’ve watched so much television in one evening.

And yes, Housewife 49 was excellent.

M Whitehead, Chapel Allerton

‘Wife’ lessons at Coldcotes, too

IN response to Oliver Cross’s column (YEP, January 9), Coldcotes School at Gipton also had a “flat”.

When I was in the junior girls’ school we were taken to see it. Girls were shown how to set a table, bath a baby (doll), dust and polish, make a bed and iron simple things such as pillowcases.

As Oliver comments, it does seem ludicrous now, but it happened.

Mavis Harrison, Leeds

Bread loaf was pride of the 50s

WITH REFERENCE to Oliver Cross’s recent column (YEP, January 9) I would like to advise you and your readers that Mother’s Pride bread was not born in the 1960s.

In 1953 my mum dressed me up in a dress she sewed made out of Mother’s Pride bread packaging, put a loaf on a board and I won first prize at Kippax Festival!

Carol Tennant, Garforth

Clamp down on cold callers

How much longer do we have to put up with the cold call phone pests?

For the third time this morning I have had to leave what I was doing to answer these persistent calls; which, like anyone else, I need to answer in case something important is the reason.

This is particularly troublesome for older, probably unwell and inactive people.

There has to be a way of blocking out these bothersome, extremely irritating calls. Fining the perpetrators could be the way.

It can’t happen soon enough for me. I know there will be more around teatime.

Ernest Lundy, Beeston

TV donation pleas so cynical

IN light of their secrecy over management salaries, I sympathise entirely with John Theobald’s well-considered reluctance in the matter of donations to large commercially-based charities (YEP, December 18).

Moreover, as a pensioner myself I object most strongly to those charities choosing to put their adverts on daytime TV – when the elderly, sick and unemployed are at their lowest ebb and more likely to be swayed by those grossly cynical requests for money.

Roger Bates, Shadwell

Politics better 800 years ago!

For the next 18 weeks we are going to be sweet-talked on the doorstep, bombarded with leaflets and exposed to TV political broadcasts until the election dust settles and politicians go cheerfully back to breaking their promises.

If the writers of Magna Carta in 1215 could see this country now, I wonder if they would despair at the sight of the clowns who parade on the political stage today.

Malcolm Nicholson, Barwick-in-Elmet

Failings of the past forgotten

Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council and the controlling Labour group, has two magnificent obsessions.

One, the so-called “bedroom tax” blamed for racking up social housing rent arrears.

The other Government cutbacks, allegedly responsible for every one of the council’s many obvious failings in service provision.

But what of the insidious ‘taxes’ imposed only on England by the Labour Party’s constitutional meddling?

For example, their tax on the sick called NHS prescription charges paid only in England – with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland getting them free.

Or the other tax on learning, whereby again only English students pay university tuition fees which are also free in the rest of the UK.

Perhaps Councillor Wakefield believes in the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes – in other words, if the real problems inflicted on our country by “New” Labour are ignored long enough, the people might forget them.

D Boyes, Rodley

YEP Letters: March 22