YEP Letters: September 24

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Carers are ‘unsurpassed in health field’

D Angood, by email

Having read your article about young carer Scarlett (YEP September 18) and being a carer myself I can understand her feelings of solitude and frustration.

Who would be a carer? The answer is nobody if they had the choice. It is the situation they find themselves in that makes carers. Accident, illness, whatever the cause it means that two or more lives are never going to be the same again. One, or more, is going to be a carer and one is going to be the cared for. It is the extent of the care needs of the cared for that decide their future lives.

The criteria for receiving carers allowance is that the cared for needs 35 hours a week and for that the carer receives less than £2 per hour. The truth is that the majority of carers, who look after family members, are on call for 24/7 365 days a year. Yes, they are not tending to the needs all that time but they are there standing by without a break. How does that breakdown for Scarlett? The authorities turn a blind eye that’s how.

The fact is she is spending over 35 hours per week caring but regulations say that persons under the age of 16 should not work more than 16 hours per week and that is paid work, is Scarlett or her mother in receipt of carers allowance? The vagaries of the help system and the agencies who provide, are to the new carer a minefield of regulations, benefit limits, costs and other factors which have to be negotiated. These are only accessible when the carer asks for them and tragically help is too late sometimes.

Not all carers receive the help they need and so they carry on regardless. Some do not want the involvement of outside agencies, for whatever reason. The agency may not be able or will not provide what is necessary. There are many people who are carers, but the ones who are the true carers are those who turn their lives inside out to care for that loved one and accept what life has given them. Their problems do not ease when they are no longer able to give the care needed as they are riddled with the guilt of having their loved one moved out of their home and the loss of responsibility. Carers are unsurpassed in the health field and are the least rewarded for their time and effort.

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Real story is about class

John Appleyard, Liversedge

The real story of Lord Ashcroft’s allegations about David Cameron and the pig are about class.It is about anger and hypocrisy that surrounds the ruling class in this country.

At their private drinks club the Tories sang songs about despising poor people while they trashed restaurants and rampaged through the streets.

They threw money at waiters and wrote off any damage with a large cheque. Whilst working class people are portrayed as feckless, lazy and greedy, the Tories try to make out they represent every thing that’s good in this country, when the reverse is true. Cameron is a product of the rich for the rich and no amount of spin from his wealthy backers will alter that fact.

Politicians have got it wrong

D S Boyes, Leeds 13

WHAT a distorted view on life Philip Crowther of Bingley has to so denigrate Her Majesty The Queen (YEP Letters September 12)

Although his comments on economic or social issues over the years are well founded, he seems to forget that we live not under an autocratic monarchy but in a parliamentary democracy ie we, the people, elect the government who make all the decisions that affect our lives.

Judging the state of things today, on for example housing, unemployment etc, politicians of every persuasion have got it badly wrong many times over.

But it is them, not the sovereign whether king or queen who run the country’s affairs and are responsible.

Although certain properties e.g. Balmoral and Sandringham were bought by royalty in the past, the majority of crown lands excluding the duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall were surrendered to Parliament many years ago in exchange for the civil list payments to fund the monarchy as head of state, and uphold the dignity of the Crown.

The numbers of the royal family are small compared to the thousands of politicians, e.g. 650 MPs, 850-odd lords and 645 councillors in Greater Manchester alone now plus a mayor with thousands more round the country - police commissioners, also the Scottish Parliament whose building alone cost over £400million, and assemblies in Wales and Northern Ireland similarly costing plenty. Lots of grace and favour residences attached to those jobs as well, with lashings of free food and drinks.

But at the end of the day, no one asks to be born into royalty, whereas people fight like rats in a sack to get into politics, as history shows mainly to line their pockets with our money.

‘No stars’ for chef O’Hare

Jennifer Bookbinder, Leeds 11

I was disappointed by the YEP’s article on September 17 about city chef Michael O’Hare’s Michelin Star award.

He sees fit to put the immensely cruel foie gras on his menu. I am sorry, but he gets no stars in my book.

Our Facebook readers have had their say about Jennifer’s letter. Here are some of their comments:

Michael Canny: “Perhaps that one YEP reader should order something else or dine elsewhere. I’d also hope they are vegan, walk everywhere and have a 100 per cent clear conscience on any social and environmental issues they could be having an impact on. Let’s celebrate the fact that Leeds finally has a Michelin Star and that O’Hare is getting good press for the area on things like the Great British Menu. If you don’t like what he does or how he does it take your business back to the Harvester.”

Liam O’Reilly: “Great if you want a heart attack feast away, as for cruel shovelling food though a pipe into its throat seems very weird and quite perverse I love meat but the animals should be treated in a fair and humane way”

Nick Cawthorne: “why has this chef got to cook French food? What’s wrong with good old English quality food.”

Simon Banks: “Congratulations Michael O’Hare. Ignore the haters.”

Dominic Hill: “Let’s hope they never visit France. We’d hear the horrified screams from here.”

Alan Ashbee: “Looking forward to some fine dining”

YEP Letters: April 25