YEP Letters: June 13

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Greg worked tirelessly for the area

Peter Keighley, Headingley

Following the General Election, the shambles of its campaign and how it totally backfired on Theresa May and the whole idea why it was called in the first place, not only has Mrs May put the Brexit negotiations in complete jeopardy, the country is in a state of instability, uncertainty and it has cost very decent MPs their day jobs.

I would like to thank my now previous MP, Greg Mulholland, Leeds North West constituency. Greg worked tirelessly for the area, helping many people with problems. He was incredibly visible in the constituency, held many surgeries and was and is highly liked by the vast majority of residents. I am sure Greg offered his congratulations to the new MP Alex Sobel.

The new MP has massive shoes to fill and I wish him well and hope he will pick Greg Mulholland’s brains with regard to local issues and indeed experience and advice. Greg Mulholland deserves massive appreciation for all his hard work over 12 years of tenure and who knows in six months he may try and reclaim his job. Thank you Greg, you can hold your head very high.

Referendum will cast ripples for years

M Hickes, Farsley

If ever there was a case of being hoist by one’s own petard, Mrs May’s Pyrrhic victory in the election in just that.

Perhaps her desire to strengthen her own hand in the dealings with the master Machiavellians at the EU might have been legitimate. But to the man on the Clapham Omnibus, perhaps it smacked too much of arrogance.

From the European standpoint, Britain’s international turmoil can only look like an ex-member of a gentlemen’s club planning to hawk his wares on the pavement, hoping he will be much better off.

Perhaps the biggest question facing Britain now is where does any stability actually lie? In an isolated UK which might face price rises and struggle to sell its goods and services – or as part of a dubious continental club which , to the outside observer, holds all the fascination of a snake pit.

Against a background of terrorism, a spiralling national debt, weakening armed and police forces, an overstressed NHS, cash strapped town halls and a metamorphosing press, and with the effects of Brexit yet to kick in, whither ‘this sceptred isle’ now, loved much by Browning, Shakespeare and Churchill?

As wise as it seemed at the time, Mr Cameron’s Euro referendum – another none necessity – could be the stone in the political pond which will cast ripples for years.

Poor decisions by Mrs May

N Bywater, Morley

The Conservative deal with the Democratic Unionist Party will give the Conservative a nominal majority of 12, which makes things very difficult for Theresa May and her MPs.

The last minority Government was in 1974, which saw the election of Harold Wilson; that lasted less than 12 months and saw MPs called in to parliament to vote, even when they were seriously ill. Going into Parliament for every vote, will also be very difficult for MPs with young children.

The UK economy was the worst performer in the European Union in the opening months of 2017, as the Brexit vote took its toll, according to official statistics. Last week, the news of a hung parliament caused Sterling to fall even lower. Theresa May has now put the UK in a very precarious situation. That will make leaving the EU really difficult, more uncertainty, more poor decisions from Theresa May.

Consider future of House of Lords

Sylvia Parfitt, Leeds 28

In response to Robert Holman’s request for ideas of raising funding for the NHS (Letters June 9), I would like to make a robbing Peter to pay Paul suggestion . Lord Alan Sugar could put his businessman’s hat back on. He could lead up a team to measure cost effectiveness across the public sector. He could start with the House of Lords .

This chamber currently has 800 members, 600 of which are life peers. The results of this cost effective analysis should be made available to the general public across the media. It may lead on to a public yes no vote referendum to decide the future of the House of Lords.

We could also move into the 21st century with considering having a second elected chamber. I too would like to invite YEP readers for other suggestions.

May is ‘plodder’ and should go

Terry Watson, Adel

The Conservatives have only themselves to blame for a disastrous election.

They thought because they were so far ahead in the polls that they would have a landslide victory, and thought they didn’t need to make any effort to achieve it.

Unfortunately, Corbyn the Labour leader was fighting not only for the Labour Party ,but for his job and put everything into his campaign. Promising all kinds of nonsense which he knew could never be afforded, he fooled thousands into voting Labour. The younger voters jumped at the chance of having tuition fees scrapped and loans cancelled. I never rated May as a leader, she was useless as Home Secretary. To call herself another Thatcher was a joke. She is more like another Cameron. Thatcher would have never gone ahead with HS2 which was an EU idea. She would have scrapped Cameron’s crazy overseas aid target,so unpopular with most of the population,and would have cancelled the Hinckley point nuclear power station.

We need someone with more common sense who can think and act quicker. May is just a plodder who takes too long to make a decision and should resign.

Candidates need to have CVs

Colin R Lancaster, Guiseley

Do we really know what qualifies the prospective parliamentary candidates to represent us? What do we really know about them?

Anyone who has applied for a job knows that first contact with a prospective employer is via a CV which provides comprehensive details of one’s employment history, position, projects, responsibilities and achievements etc. Yet, to the best of my knowledge, no candidate has ever provided this information and their dubious ‘qualifications’ only become apparent as they progress through their political life. Many would never have been considered for election had this information been provided beforehand. Surely, in view of the latest fiasco, isn’t it time for the public to insist that each and every candidate submits his CV to his prospective constituents or are we to continue taking their capabilities on trust to the detriment of our political system and democracy?

Election losers are us citizens

John Sutcliffe, by email

Now that the dust has begun to settle following the General Election, it is apparent that the main losers are the citizens of the United Kingdom.

We have been left in limbo, a government hanging on by a thread, no credible opposition to speak of and with what are probably the most important decisions we are likely to make in a lifetime coming up. The old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” was ignored by the Prime Minister in her decision to go to the country. The Conservative party produced a manifesto that was not appealing. Sadly, Theresa May failed to garner the enthusiasm of the general public on her campaign.

Mr Corbyn gained many extra seats, but still fell short. How did he turn things around? Simple, the Labour Party’s manifesto was designed to appeal to the “something for nothing” brigade, it promised a land filled with milk and honey, a fairytale Utopia were everybody would be well off, nobody would have to work harder for their rewards.

For example Labour told the younger voters, no more tuition fees for university and cancel any debts already built up. Therefore no pressure on students to have any stake in their education, if they fail their courses or drop out, “no harm, no foul”. The younger voters rely almost completely on their smart phones and tablets to find out information, what they read is invariably from these social media sites. Hardly anyone of the younger voters reads newspapers, so the information they read is at best superficial, no depth to it. What next? Things for us will be uncertain, but the last thing we need is another election.

Cemetery in ‘disgusting’ condition

Elizabeth Gray, by email

My husband died 22 years ago.

We lived in Leeds and he requested a burial at Killingbeck Catholic cemetery. I bought a plot as he asked. I visit three or four times a year. Other members of the family are there including my son.

When the plot was bought we were asked not to “surround” the site because of grass cutting. We did that, many do not and, with hindsight wish that we had.

I was there before Christmas and weeds were appearing everywhere. I used weed iller. My friend whose husband is also there complained about the huge thistles. I was there this past week. It is disgusting, all overgrown. I cannot dig now at the age of 78. The place is a disgrace , an insult to those whose remains are there and upsetting to those who visit. I sat in the car and cried.

I have written to the cemetery office and to the Catholic Bishop of Leeds. If it is to do with cuts the church has a responsibility to its attendants and has the money .

Many priests are buried there too.

Young people’s voices must be heard

Steve Oversby, Director, Barnardo’s East Region

Reports suggest that a huge 72 per cent of 18-24 year olds turned out to vote in this election. By going out and using their vote, young people have shown politicians that they must not be underestimated – they must have their voices heard.

Throughout this election, with all its twists and turns, we have heard very little about the needs of our children and young people.

The inescapable commercialisation of childhood, the insidious influence of social media, the ever-present risk of exploitation and the pressures on our children’s mental health all demand urgent attention.

Our new government, whatever form that will take, needs to do more to confront the new and emerging challenges our children and young people face.

A significant step forward would be a cabinet-level Minister for Children and Families. Having such a role at the heart of government raises the volume of children’s voices in decision-making and sends a clear message about where the priorities of our society lie.

As the results show, our young people will be watching – and voting.

Time to give up on Brexit

John Cole, Shipley

Following the election outcome the UK is in a highly unstable political situation .

Mrs May has no clear mandate, the country is divided and the generations are divided. The sensible thing to do would be to give up on Brexit. Telling Brussels that we wish to “untrigger” Article 50 would relieve immensely the pressure on the government.

It would free up capacity to deal with the myriad serious problems (appalling economic performance, the funding of social care and education, regional disparities, tackling terrorism etc.) that confront any government.

The referendum result in June last year was seriously flawed. The suffrage was restricted and the safeguards of the Representation of the People Act 1983 were not in place, allowing lies, especially by the “Out” crew, to gain traction. The result was a very close call, 52:48. All of this makes the result a very fragile peg on which to hang a change of the magnitude of leaving the EU. The outcome of the referendum has been accorded a status it does not deserve.

Mrs May and the Brexiteers have presented it as sacrosanct. It is not. At some point a sense of proportion needs to break in.

Urgent pothole repairs needed

Rita Mirfin, Castleford

Please anyone who has influence and cares about their vehicle driving on the strip of road leading to M62 junction 31 towards Leeds.

Passing the new Haribo factory en route to M62 is a real pain due to three large potholes.

Help is urgently required to get these holes repaired without any further delays.

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

YEP Letters: August 16