YEP Letters: March 26

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Check out today’s YEP Letters.

Labour would let Scots call all the shots

Brian Johnston, Rigton Drive, Leeds

FINALLY, Ed Miliband has ruled out any formal coalition with the SNP on May 7 – but not an informal “issue by issue” agenda, propping up a weak Labour government, by which the SNP would pull all the strings for more concessions for Scotland at the expense of the rest of the UK.

If the hapless Miliband truly believes in a united Britain, why jump in bed with a bunch of wreckers?

The SNP relish being “kingmakers” as a useful prize as they pursue their long-term goal. This now entails locking out the Tories by supporting Labour.

Their MPs would vote on all-English matters, the game being to stir up even more 
anti-Scots feeling in England. Alex Salmond will be despatched south to wage a guerrilla campaign to formulate division.

To the SNP, the general election is just a staging post towards the final goal – an independent Socialist Scotland free of the Tories.

Influencing the UK government is of relative importance, because any deal with Labour will be conducted with the vital 2016 Hollyrood election in mind and an SNP majority would bring another referendum closer to call. Could a weak Miliband resist?

A Miliband government would be the real start of the Battle of Britain, a preliminary skirmish with the larger battles to come over Scottish demands.

A vote for Miliband would be an affront to democracy, with the Scots calling all the shots over the rest of the UK.

Remember the dancehall days

Paul Croft, Whitkirk

RECENT letters about the Capitol Ballroom prompt me to write. In the mid 1950s, Jack Mann, with whom I occasionally deputised on 
tenor sax, was the resident semi-pro band.

Several other quite large semi-pro bands played there at private dances such as the Press Ball, including Harry Donoghue, with whom I was playing at the time. Harry was resident at the Empress Ballroom, Batley, above Burton’s tailors.

The Ray Ellington Band was a full professional outfit who only played at the Mecca, where the manager was the now notorious Jimmy Savile.

I was told that Marion Ryan went to dances there before she was famous and she may have got up to sing with the band.The dancehalls employing fully professional musicians were the Mecca (County Arcade) and Majestic (below the cinema).

Semi-pro bands played at the Capitol (next to the cinema at Meanwood), Astoria (Roundhay Road), Scala (above the cinema), Jubilee Hall (the Jewish centre off Chapeltown Road) and of course the Victoria Hall in Leeds Town Hall. The Moortown Corner House on Street Lane hosted private dances.

Mark Altman’s was really a dance school but they put on regular public dances and I deputised there one Christmas. The Unity Hall above the Co-op in Wakefield was another nearby hall and the Donoghue band performed there as support to some of the big name bands such as Eric Delaney and Ken Mackintosh. We once played a private gig at the Starlight Roof behind the Shaftesbury Cinema on York Road.

By then it was being used for roller skating and everything was covered with a thick layer of French chalk.

They must think we’re all stupid

Jack Banner, Leeds

What a week we have had on the political scene.

A Ukip member of the European Parliament has been fired because an underling negotiated an inflated restaurant bill on her behalf.

A Tory candidate has been found to have very disturbing connections to the EDL in order to further his political ambitions and has resigned.

Do these people presume that we, the public, are stupid or do they just not care?

To cap it all, Cameron has said that should he be granted a second term in office, it would be his last! A little presumptuous, I think.

As for his recommendations regarding possible successors, the thought of Boris Johnson or Theresa May attaining a position of power fills me with dread. One is a clown who only lacks the red nose and the other is the most inept and incompetent Home Secretary we have ever had.

If I believed in God I would ask him to help us all!

Real victims of budget cuts

Lee Ingham, Headingley

I AM responding to the Chancellor’s announcement that there be will be even more severe public sector cuts should the Tories be elected.

People need to be aware that the voluntary sector often relies on funding from the public sector bodies like Leeds City Council. The austerity measures introduced by central government are having to be reluctantly implemented by local government.

Already Leeds City Council has had to request that voluntary sector organisations take cuts in funding; including requests to small local organisations that do good work on very tight budgets.

According to independent researchers, the poor were the people worst affected by the Chancellor’s recent budget. People need to respond to their own “independent research” as to who will be worst affected by the planned further cuts to the “public sector”.

Overwhelming acts of kindness

Dorothy and Stan Cox, Leeds

WE WOULD like to thank all the kind people who stopped and helped us when our car broke down near the Seacroft roundabout.

They protected us with their cars and pushed our car on to the central reservation while we waited for the AA.

We were overwhelmed by their kindness. Thank you once again.

Illegal trade’s willing backers

Margaret Thompson, Leeds

Whilst applauding the apprehension of those who spread such misery in their wake, I also pause to consider what is the fate of the 64,646 “recreational” drug users who bought from them. Are they not, also, engaging in illegal activity? Just wondering!

YEP Letters: July 21