YEP Letters: September 10

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

Let’s rally to support migrants

John Appleyard, Liversedge

Desperate refugees have died in their thousands over the summer trying to escape war and poverty, and while this Tory Government has displayed a callous attitude, many ordinary people have got together across Europe by opening their houses to refugees who have nowhere else to go, they have collected food and other supplies.

Cafes have let migrants use their bathroom and electricity to charge phones and people have protested to demand that refugees be made to feel welcome.

Football fans are waving ‘welcome refugees’ banners at their grounds.

Let’s all rally together like we did when thousands of Jewish refugees found shelter on British shores during the Second World War and during the deadly Kosovo conflict in the 1990s when Britain provided urgent relief for persecuted families and in the 1970s Vietnamese boat people fleeing war were even rehoused in empty hospitals.

This is British people at their best and the last thing we need form David Cameron and his government is to drop bombs on Syria thus exacerbating what is already a human tragedy.

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Is crime on the rise?

David Speight, Tingley

When the Government says crime is down do you trust them?

Well, they have messed with the way crime is reported and with the statistics to get the figures they want and hope the public is stupid enough to believe them. The insurance companies are not on our side.

We pay an excess and lose our no claims if we make a claim for, say, a burglary – this means a lot of burglaries are not being reported and it is same with a number of other offences. Two other factors are a lack of confidence that the police will do anything and if you only get a crime number there is little if any point in reporting the crime, as you have no intention of making a claim on your insurance. No matter how small the crime we all should report crime, if we do not we make it easy for the government to make cuts to policing and to tell us crime is down. Do they think we are so stupid as to believe the population of this country has increased due to birth and migrants coming to this country, yet crime is down? 
We have little, if any, police on our roads dealing with traffic offences and they introduce new laws such as tailgating and hogging the centre lane. What is the point when there are few police on our motorways to enforce the old traffic laws let alone new ones? And due to police cuts we are more exposed to crime and abuse on our roads. How often do you drive and see people speeding and running a red light putting you and your family at risk and the government’s answer is cuts to policing when in fact they should be increasing funding and the number of officers on the beat. When did you last see a police officer walking the beat in your town or area?

Swings and roundabouts

Denise Marsden, Cookridge

I see that the David Young Community Academy in Seacroft has rearranged some of the school holiday dates, and I wonder if something like this idea should be adopted by all schools.

I was told many years ago (and correct me if I’m wrong) that the reason the holiday lasts for six weeks is because it freed up those children who lived on farms to go and help their parents bring in the harvest – obviously due in August each year!

If this is true, then perhaps the length of this holiday is now outdated, as I would think that farmers have more than enough machinery that they don’t need the help of teenagers to do this job.

Some people might be pleased, though, not having to find someone to watch over the children while their parents are at work. The children could spend longer in school, to learn more – although of course they would probably protest, as more school would take them away from their holiday time with phones and iPods.

But then the shorter time away from school would mean seeking out cheaper holidays would become harder.

Appropriately “swings and roundabouts” comes into mind!

Can dance be anti-fascist?

E M Harwood, Kirkstall

Like your previous correspondent, I too have just been to see the ballet, 1984, at Leeds Playhouse.

As really excellent as it was, and I think it was, I find it hard to understand how an audience can clap and cheer at the end of 1984 which is, any intelligent person must see, 2015; especially as the ballet makes the story of 1984 the book so very explicit.

Which leads me to ask whether a so-called anti-war poem can really be anti-war; and, pertinent here, whether any dance can ever be anti-fascist; at least if not founded in an active protest movement. In short, when will we see the proles once again, outside the theatre, dancing the dance on the streets of Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham...?

Give the people their say

Richard Carter, Yorkshire First

I write with utter bewilderment and no little contempt at the complete lack of democracy in the decision taken by West Yorkshire councils ‘to go it alone’ as far as devolution to Yorkshire is concerned.

We at Yorkshire First have long argued the best way forward would be to have devolution on a Yorkshire wide scale. Yorkshire is its cities, towns and countryside together. It is more than the sum of its parts and has a worldwide reputation too.

This has all been ignored in the cosy back room deal between local council leaders and George Osborne. However what is most difficult to understand is the way people’s views have been totally ignored. Just three years ago the idea of mayors was overwhelmingly rejected by the people of Wakefield, Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford but lo and behold the results of those referendums are to be totally ignored.

Are we likely to get a new referendum? No. In short the people have been completely bypassed in this decision making. We are calling on people from across Yorkshire to sign our petition demanding that council leaders give the public a say over their plans to chop up Yorkshire and impose a ‘Mayor of Greater Leeds.’ To sign our petition, please visit www.yorkshirefirst.org.uk/give_people_a_say

YEP Letters: February 21