YEP Letters: July 15

Queen Elizabeth II leaves Hamilton and Inches jewellers in Edinburgh, where she viewed a display of artefacts and meet craftsmen, including some who are part of the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust founded to allow promising young people develop their skills by working with masters of their craft. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 8, 2016. See PA story ROYAL Queen. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II leaves Hamilton and Inches jewellers in Edinburgh, where she viewed a display of artefacts and meet craftsmen, including some who are part of the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust founded to allow promising young people develop their skills by working with masters of their craft. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 8, 2016. See PA story ROYAL Queen. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
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Check out today’s YEP letters

A poor return for faithful service

Mark Jenkinson, by email

Though not myself a passionate royalist, I do feel a tinge of sadness for the hard-working central members of the royal family, particularly the Queen herself.

After a lifetime of faithful and often uncomfortable service she is faced with the disintegration of her once United Kingdom. She has graced countless thousands of ceremonies here at home. On our behalf she has been dutifully to many countries. She has behaved courteously on our behalf at meetings with many heads of state known by all to be extremely nasty characters. On our behalf she has stood for hours in oppressive climates.

So to celebrate her ninetieth birthday the gift her country thrusts upon her is Brexit. Scotland and her Balmoral join the EU, Northern Ireland considers some sort of association with the south for the same purpose, and England and possibly Wales “Leave” for an unknown destination. It seems a poor return for so many years of such unhesitating fidelity to her coronation oath, doesn’t it? And after all, where or what, ultimately, will she be queen of?

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We expect complete honesty

Dr Michael Lowry, Cookridge

Re: ‘Councillors ordered to pay tax bills’ (YEP, July 12), people have a fundamental right to expect no less than complete honesty from local councillors.

As our elected representatives they should demonstrate appropriate behaviour at all times, not the activity that some have displayed.

Labour Headingley ward councillor Jonathan Pryor and Labour party colleague Ghulam Hussain, who represents Roundhay, should have their tenure discontinued, as they have brought into question their level of individual accountability.

These are the same people who make decisions affecting the lives of so many of us who pay our council taxes without delay.

What really galls me is how Leeds City Council closes ranks when threatened. This should not be allowed, as we the people who pay them are fully entitled to transparency.

As the council has failed to disclose the other two miscreants who have failed to pay their council taxes, I suggest that under Freedom of Information rules a request is made for information as to which councillors HAVE paid their due taxes, which will reveal the other two guilty members, then they too can be subject to public scrutiny just as they should be.

Shame on you Leeds City Council.

Dismay at decision to leave

John M Collins, Alwoodley

I read Sue Coatman’s thoughtful letter (YEP, July 8) with pleasure. Here at last was a down to earth account of how Brexit is already beginning to affect our universities and our students. It deserved to be read.

The response was typical - three letters on July 12 trying to shout her down. “Project Fear” cries Mr Wainwright, the regular response by the Brexiteers to the measured and accurate warnings of what was likely to happen if we voted to leave.

Sadly, it is happening - our pound is now the weakest of the major currencies, worse even than the Argentinian peso.

Even worse, our decision has been greeted with dismay throughout Europe, apart from the fascists and Mr Putin.

When we went into Europe, virtually every part of the UK voted strongly to go in, even though we knew that we would have to give up some of our national sovereignty.

How could we not know - it had been discussed to my knowledge for over 25 years and anti-Europe politicians like Enoch Powell and Tony Benn made it absolutely clear.

This time a very narrow majority, less than 52 per cent, voted to leave. And that was after the ex-pats, who understood what was involved and the 16-18 year-olds, whose futures we were deciding, were not allowed to vote. Yet in the high schools, there was a clear majority to remain.

Look at the results: Scotland voted solidly to remain; so did Northern Ireland. Cardiff and Bristol strongly rejected the leave campaign. So did Liverpool and Manchester. And it needs to be pointed out that the areas where the strongest votes to leave were, according to independent surveys, the areas where the standard of education was lowest.

There is not a compelling vote to come out. And, despite the lack of publicity, in just over a week a massive number, over four million, signed a petition for a second referendum.

In Leeds North East alone, over 10,000 people have signed. Their views also should be respected.

UKIP has never been stronger

Colin Walshaw, Cleckheaton

Isn’t it strange how quite suddenly the Conservatives have changed from loving the EU to hating it?

We have Mr Osborne who, only a month ago, was warning us that we’d be £4,300 a year worse off if we are out of the EU, our pensions would collapse, no one would want to trade and so on now telling us that we have one of the strongest economies in the world and that we are renewing ties and friendships all over the globe, new trade deals are coming, the stock market is higher than it has been in months and much more good news.

We have Mrs May, our new Prime Minister who, only a few weeks ago, was telling us there was no way we could manage outside the EU now telling us we are bound for greatness as a free, independent nation.

And then Bath MP Jacob Rees-Mogg putting the credit for all this at the door of David Cameron, the man who only weeks ago was telling us more stories of doom and disaster than Jackanory if we left the EU.

Not one of the three of them has given a word of thanks or praise to UKIP, the real architect of this success. It is, apparently, all due to these leading Conservative people who “never really liked the EU” and never doubted we would be successful outside (they are saying now).

Strange then that only weeks ago these same Tory leaders were saying we could not survive without the EU and that Brexit, was leading us to disaster.

Now that has changed and, they claim, we have the Tories to thank for their enlightened leadership and getting us out of the EU; “UKIP, mate, Nigel who? Never heard of them”.

Well, any person or party which can turn its coat that quickly never really believes in its message and can turn their coat back again just as quickly.

By turning their back so fast, first on our true friends in the Commonwealth in 1973 by taking us into the EU, and now our ‘friends in Europe’ by leading us out, the Tories have shown their turncoat credentials twice, and that they can’t be trusted to keep their word.

Above all they have proved beyond doubt that the need for UKIP has never been stronger than it will be over the next few months and years in order to ensure the Conservatives actually keep their word. For once!

Off the rails in Leeds?

Alex Gillies, Leeds 14

Why do steam train brochures advertise steam train excursions from Leeds City Station, when a steam train hasn’t been seen on the York or Kirkstall line for years?

I’ve booked to go on the Flying Scotsman with my two grandsons and been informed that we will be transfered to York by diesel train.

Depriving people of West Yorkshire the opportunity to see this nostalgic piece of Yorkshire engineering goes against all the hype that Leeds City Council claim to be a European City of Culture.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been taken from Leeds City Station by diesel train to be coupled up in North Yorkshire to a steam train. Every time there is an explanation, this time doing repairs from Boxing Day flooding?

Seven months down the line (excuse the pun) but when Japan was awash through a tsunami most road and rail networks were up and running in next to no time, so the country didn’t grind to a halt.

Government for the few?

R Kimble, Hawksworth

Theresa May, the new, unelected Prime Minister, has stated that “her” government will be for the “many” and not “just the few”.

Isn’t this tantamount to admitting that all these years under Cameron have - despite his protestations to the contrary - been exactly that: for the “few”, with their often inherited wealth and hugely dubious ethical attitudes?

As for The Labour Party - please focus on your job, that of being the Opposition, instead of fighting amongst yourselves.

YEP Letters: July 26