YEP letters: November 17

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Should BBC broadcasters be stopped from endorsing products? Should our health professionals refuse to impose Government cuts? Just a couple of the questions posed on our letters page today. Join the debate and send us your views. email us at yep.newsdesk@ypn.co.uk

Could Gary show some of Sir Jimmy’s integrity over endorsements?

George Marsden, Colton, Leeds

The sad demise of Sir Jimmy Young brought back memories of when the BBC used to follow its anti-advertising rules.

In his broadcasting prime, Jimmy used his high profile to advertise a particular brand of soap powder.

The BBC protested that this type of marketing associated his broadcasting persona with the product and it gave him an ultimatum,either pack up the advertising campaign or leave the BBC.

Jimmy decided to drop the advertising and stay with the BBC.

Now,on the rare occasions when I bother to watch football pundit Gary Lineker, I’m reminded of a particular brand of potato crisps.

Is there any chance of Lineker getting an ultimatum?

It’s time to kick out ‘splash and trash’ plans

Gilda Peterson, of Leeds Keep our NHS public, Regina Drive, Leeds

Maybe we should be pleased to hear that the authors of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Plan to reshape health services acknowledge that finances are a challenge (YEP November 11) but it is a pity that they then go on to sketch out a plan to cut their own throats.

They aim to take almost a billion pounds out of the health care budget in West Yorkshire over the next five years and get £0.2 bn back for good behaviour, much of which they acknowledge will get sucked up plugging current deficits, not transforming services.

How much more inspiring it would be to see our clinical commissioning groups and local councils stand up for health services and refuse to collude with the Government’s plans to cut, dismantle, fragment and privatise the NHS.

Huddersfield, Halifax and Dewsbury are already on course to lose fullscale A&Es and now we hear that hyperstroke units will be centralised, services closed and rationing of treatment and medicines imposed across the region.

Small GP practices will go to the wall. Taking care of ourselves, our friends and relatives is now flagged up as “the standard offer”.

The planners hope that demand on hospital care will miraculously decline and beds and staff can be shifted out of our hospitals. But the UK is already one of the lowest spenders on health care in Europe and has less than half the hospital beds per 1,000 population than Germany and France.

We need to press our councillors and MPs to toss these Slash and Trash plans into touch. Politicians must join forces with the Royal College of Physicians, who have warned that the NHS is “underfunded, under doctored and over-stretched” and urge the Government to give the NHS the resources it needs to provide excellent, safe care for us all.

Unshackle us from restraints

Louis Kasatkin, Pinderfields Road, Wakefield

Imagine,that we’re in that period of history commonly referred to as the English Civil War. Or maybe we could rewind to a century or so earlier to Henry VIII’s Reformation.

Imagine the rhetoric used, the very language of political debate and argument hurled back and forth amongst the contending parties. You get the feeling that they used to be a great deal less squeamish about calling a spade a spade.

What passes for contemporary popular political discourse is so trite as to be anodyne. Even when it momentarily aspires to hyperbole as with the Daily Mail.

Brexit has gone the way it was always going to go, into the Courts.

The UK electorate’s verdict of June 23 and Her Majesty’s Government’s duty to carry out that decision remain unchanged.

For my money, the sooner we fully reinvigorate popular political discourse and wholly unshackle it from the restraints of political correctness the better it will be.

No clue of popular opinion

Alan Thompson, Bramhope, Leeds

With anti-Trump demonstrations taking place in so many US cities one wonders why the Democratic Party is named as it is when it is patently obvious many of its supporters only accept democracy if they’re on the winning side.

What surprises me is the Liberal media and politicians still can’t understand why the public vote went for Brexit and now Trump.

They just don’t get it. They need to take a long hard look at themselves and ask why they are so out of touch with popular opinion.

What’s wrong with being PC?

Terry Maunder, Leeds

Comments made by some readers about Trump’s election do not seem to mention that he is a white supremacist racist who uses offensive cultural and ethnic stereotypes and typifications to demean other groups of people: Mexicans are this, Latinos are that.

This is utterly unacceptable and some of the comments he’s made would get you arrested in this country, rightly so.

He is also sexist and the same thing applies to his comments in what he thought was a private conversation as apply to his racist statements. People, say only the “PC brigade” are offended by him: what kind of defence is that and what is wrong with being “politically correct” when it comes to someone’s right to be free from insult and negative conjecture anyway?

As for saying “it was a vote, he won, it’s over”, or words to that effect, do you really grasp the international connotations of his being made President of a country which things it can do what it likes in the world.

Defining what celebrity means

R Kimble, Hawksworth

There’s a show called I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. In my younger days Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, Marlon Brando, Mary Quant, Janis Joplin and (still) Hitchcock, amongst many, were celebrities in the sense that they were both famous and talented (and their talent was “celebrated”, hence the term).

I’ve just looked at the line - up for the latest edition of this show and I’ve not heard of most of them. One I’ve heard of appeared in a show that was basically Scrabble on television and another appeared in a “soap” (sorry, serial drama) set in Yorkshire, that I did myself a favour by stopping watching a good time ago. So, very borderline.

The rest are not celebrities in my definition of the word so, clearly, the definition has changed considerably. And not for the better. I don’t, to use a contemporary phrase “get it”, any more than I “get” this “famous for being famous” phrase.

The songs will stay forever

Patricia Bentley, Bennett Road, Headingley

Like Terry Maunder (YEP, Letters, Saturday, November 12) I too very much appreciate the songs of the late Leonard Cohen. ‘Hallelujah’ was never the same for me after others recorded it. It was like it was stolen.

The songs Suzanne, Bird On A Wire, One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong, Everybody Knows, If It Be Your Will, are so deeply meaningful. Also Dance Me To The End of Love and Who By Fire? Beautiful lyrics!

Whilst on the subject of lyrics, the late John Peel praised David Gedge of The Wedding Present for his songs. I never got tired of hearing them in the eighties when my son was growing up. The lyrics were so unique.

I went to see The Wedding Present at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds earlier this year. I was very disappointed. Prior to this I bought their new album at the time out of curiosity. It did not grow on me! At the Brudenell he only sang two of the old songs – Brassneck and A Million Miles, which got me shaking a leg, as it were.

Rest In Peace Leonard Cohen, your songs are here forever.

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YEP Letters: November 16