News of the latest fiasco presided over by Leeds City Council, the deficit at the Grand Theatre (YEP, June 30), is shocking.
Yet it comes as no surprise with the Labour group in overall control, as they above all others seem to be most lacking in business acumen or common sense.
The best thing anyone could say is that thank goodness it’s only the sum of £653,000 this time, not the £2m-plus due to mismanagement of the Leeds City Credit Union.
Even more was lost when the council sold the Elland Road stadium back to Leeds United by a ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ transaction in exchange for ‘shares’ (not cash) which later became worthless when that company folded.
Such a cavalier attitude to public money makes nonsense of recent claims over the shortage of funds to provide free school meals for young children, when instead of blaming themselves, Labour as usual pointed the finger at the coalition.
But who is the Executive Board member responsible for this area?
Unless retired at the last election, they should either resign or be removed, as they are obviously not keeping their eye on the job.
Or maybe the council leader should consider his position?
Such events are happening on too regular a basis.
DS Boyes, Rodley
Appeasement of extremists
BRIAN JOHNSTON is right in saying that the appeasement of Islamic radicalism has been going on for years (YEP, June 27).
Blinded by political correctness, we have been unable to see the stark threat that faces everyone.
Indeed, what strikes me about the reaction of public authorities and the media is their lethargy about studying what it is we are up against.
We are dealing with an extreme interpretation of one of the world’s great religions.
Therefore we need to know its history, its quarrels, its laws and demands and how it works in order to recognise and root out fanaticism.
Perhaps it is not surprising that most people are ignorant of Islam when the average person is almost as ignorant about Christianity.
After two devastating world wars, people abandoned Christianity in droves and rapidly accepted a new standard – that of political correctness. According to this standard all religions, cultures, creeds and ideas are morally equal and are not to be criticised or judged.
After decades of swimming in this tosh, most people today genuinely believe there is little or no difference between various religions.
We have become spiritual appeasers, no longer able to discern right from wrong, truth from error and safety from danger.
Now, at long last, we have been given some hope, Jihadists returning from wars have caused some of our leaders to awaken to the serious threat that confronts western nations.
AI Stubbs, Bridlington
D-Day veteran’s Normandy trip
I recently returned from the Normandy commemorations with my father.
This was my second visit to the area with dad, who is a D-Day veteran and landed on June 6, 1944 with the East Riding Yeomanry.
I wondered if there are any members of this battalion left apart from my father.
Dad has visited the area probably six times.
Each time he has visited the grave of his dear friend Corporal Louis Wilkes.
Corporal Wilkes died after being shot in the head just north of Caen.
Dad nursed him in his arms until he died.
Dad would love to be in contact with any family members of Corporal Wilkes.
He would love to talk to them about his dear friend – perhaps there are grandchildren out there.
I can be contacted on 01379 384424 or 07775 665 733 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joyce Cooper, Suffolk
Failure to tackle jobs agencies
The announcement from the coalition on the banning of exclusivity clauses in zero hour contracts represents a very modest step in the right direction.
Nevertheless, it underlines this and previous adminstrations’ moral cowardice in their failure to confront their friends in the lucrative, closed world of personnel recruitment agencies.
The devastating blight which private employment agencies and their version of medieval serfdom have wreaked upon our national economic life over the decades is as great as existed prior to the abolition of slavery.
The abolition of slavery, the most iniquitous form of labour-capital relations, was hastened by the intervention of moral individuals who campaigned for such an abolition.
Alas, for our present generation of political representatives and their supine cronies in the media, they embody Edmund Burke’s dictum – that in order for evil to triumph it is only necessary that good men do nothing.
And it is clear that politicians in this present age are indeed doing nothing about zero hours contracts.
Louis Kasatkin, Wakefield
The dangers of cannabis
WHILE some might accept the occasional therapeutic effects of cannabis, one questions the soundness of Jon Miller’s argument for its legalisation (YEP, May 29).
He describes cannabis as ‘well understood’, ‘having existed for thousands of years’ and having ‘no consequences’.
Why then has it never been made generally available? And how then do we know its consequences?
He claims it was made illegal in the 1920s after decades of propaganda based on lies.
The devil doesn’t need propaganda, just willing dopes and moral cowards. In fact it was freely allowed in the 1960s.
And know we know the consequences; passivity, introversion, promiscuity, addiction, gravitation to hard drugs, suicide, delusional behaviour and, I don’t doubt, brain disorders, leading to mood swings, depression and horrific medical conditions.
Mr Miller tells us it that it is quite different in California, a fact of which the world has been made amply aware over the years.
They seem to spend a good deal of time, energy and resources on stopping the drugs trafficking from South America.
Or is this just lies and propaganda?
He then makes the usual bogus comparison with alcohol with references to people ‘rampaging through Leeds’, ‘starting fights’ etc.
Alcohol really has been around for thousands of years and we do know its consequences.
These are jollification, humour, good fellowship, group solidarity, relaxation, conversational release and an aid to digestion.
That some misuse it is irrelevant.
Some misuse cars, money, sex, religion, love freedom, rights.
But that doesn’t mean they haven’t value or aren’t necessary.
Paul Kilroy, Lawnswood
Respect elders in twilight years
I was astonished by the recent letter from Vera Rowe, who said she was told that children were not allowed to stand for older people on the bus in case they had an accident (YEP, June 13).
We could say that a child can’t cross the road in case they were knocked down and killed, but we don’t.
By offering our seat on a bus to the elderly we show respect for those who are in the twilight years of life.
And those who do so can hold their head high, knowing they will be in the same situation one day.
AE Hague, Harehills