YEP Letters: October 21

Burnley Council's community bonfire and firework display is at Towneley Park on November 5th

Burnley Council's community bonfire and firework display is at Towneley Park on November 5th

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Today you’ve written about fears for another cold war, how vital banks are for our towns, animals in war, Scottish independence and a charitable act of kindness, which will bring comfort to traumatised children.

So, Boris Johnson has said “We must do something” (about Aleppo), hinting that ‘something’ might be attacking the Russians.

Perhaps he is not old enough to remember the worst of the Cold War. We cannot, dare not, do anything which would bring us back to the brink of nuclear war.

I can remember, at the time of the Cuban missile crisis, walking my daughters, aged five and seven, to school and wondering whether we would be alive at the end of the day. Living in Newbury with the cruise missiles up the hill at Greenham Common we felt particularly vulnerable, although we all knew that were a war to start there would have been no escape for anyone.

We will never be completely free of nuclear weapons because we cannot un-invent them. Either they or climate change could so easily destroy all life on earth.

At 83 I probably have not many more years to enjoy, but the thought of not only my own family, but the whole of human and animal life being obliterated by stupidity is almost too awful to contemplate. But we must contemplate to prevent it.

After millions of years of evolution we are the most intelligent beings. How could we not find a way to avoid catastrophe? The only hope for the people and structures of Aleppo is for everyone to back off. In a very complicated situation adding more bombs or military interference is the worst thing to do.

Haven’t we learned yet that the urge to ‘do something’ can lead to disasters like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya in which millions have been killed and countries destroyed?

If Boris Johnson wants to help people suffering indiscriminate bombing of hospitals, civilians, food factories and schools, then he should persuade this government to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia.

We have sold over £3.3bn of arms to Saudi Arabia. As citizens of this country that makes us responsible, if we do nothing.

Give others a chance

A Shipman, Harley Gardens, Leeds

With unemployment currently standing at 1.5 million, why is it we hardly ever see any jobless people appearing as contestants on the big money TV quiz shows?

One of the worst offenders, in this respect, was the now defunct Who Wants to be a Millionaire?.

I have watched Pointless ​for several years and have yet to see anyone taking part who is unemployed. Decimate recently featured a high school headteacher, a software company director and an IT administrator, none of which offer starvation rates of pay.

The disadvantaged need to be given a chance to shine.

A recurring nightmare

Chris Sharp, by email

If you had gone to sleep on the day after the 2015 general election and you woke up today and found that Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg were still being given air space, the temptation would be to go back to sleep.

When will these two monumental failures realise they have and never had any relevant contribution to offer?

They both ruined their parties. Their ideas were rejected by the electorate. Please Clegg and Miliband shut up, go away and leave us alone.

Scotch-exit anyone?

Alan Thompson, Bramhope, Leeds

If Scotland were an independent country it would be the poorest in Europe.

Scotland is solvent only because of the subsidies it receives from English taxpayers. But here’s a solution, let the English vote on independence for Scotland and I guarantee there would be a big majority in favour.

I should think the people of England are fed up of handing over £1,600 per head extra a year so they can enjoy free prescriptions we are denied and free university education.Most of all we are sick of them griping as they take our money.

Thanks for the bear bags!

Denise Marsden, Cookridge

On behalf of 71 children I would like to say a huge thankyou to the lady I met in the Kidz in Kampz charity shop at Holt Park last week.

I belong to a “Knitting and Nattering” group who knit blankets, baby clothes and woolly hats for those in war-torn countries. We also knit simple teddy bears (for the pattern, see the website Teddies for Tragedies) but they all have to go in their own drawstring fabric bag, and there are always bears waiting for bags.

By chance I was in Kidz in Kampz charity shop asking if they had had any fabrics, just as this lady came in behind me. She offered her store of offcuts, saying that she wanted them to go to a good cause.

There are many children in the third world who have lost everything, and the terror they have suffered in the process has made them shut down, and they won’t talk to anyone. But they will talk to a teddy bear, and gradually this “connection” helps them to come back, an influence that will affect the rest of their lives.

So the bags I made from her generous offer will mean 71 children will get their teddy bears a lot earlier than expected, so they can begin to heal sooner.

I regret that I didn’t get her name or contact details and I’m hoping that she, or someone she knows, will read this and know what a brilliant influence she will have had on all those young lives.

Animals too are war victims

Tod Bradbury, Campaigns Team, Animal Aid

AS Remembrance Day approaches, it is important to remember that war is not just a human catastrophe. Millions of animals have also been killed and maimed in human conflicts. On the frontline, animals such as dolphins have been used to detect mines, and dogs have been parachuted into enemy territory where many of them died.

Animals also suffer in laboratories across the globe – animals such as monkeys, rats and guinea pigs are used to test weaponry and made to suffer the devastating effects of chemical warfare agents.

Animals do not start wars and the very least we do can do for them is to remember those animals for what they truly are: victims not heroes.

Banks are vital part of towns

John Appleyard, Liversedge

I listened to BBC Radio 4’s Money Box recently, which asked the question: Do we need high street banks?

More than half have closed over the past 25 years in the UK, with over 600 closing in 2015.

Speakers from small businesses said dealing over the counter in the local bank is essential to them.

Bank closures mean having to drive to the nearest one, finding a car park and carrying heavy money which could be a five to ten-minute walk.

Banks in town centres are vital and their closure affects the footfall of other businesses in the area.

Post offices are closing down and the ones that are open only offer a limited range of services.

Critics say there is an increase in telephone and internet banking but a number of people, particularly the elderly, feel vulnerable to scammers and would prefer to speak to a human being where they can feel safe and secure.

The Money Box programme invited representatives from all the main banks to take part and answer questions: They all declined.

Leeds, Briggate, 5th December 1971

pedestrian crossing.

YEP Letters: June 24