Check out today’s YEP letters
A weekend of sporting action in city
John Appleyard, by email
I’ve been in exile from Leeds for the past 21 years, but the weekend allowed me to catch up with three local sporting events affecting Leeds teams.
Congratulations to the Leeds Rhinos women on their achievement of winning their Challenge Cup final against Castleford.
Leeds United put on a good display against Stoke City with a crowd of over 34,000 watching. I’ve watched Leeds RL since 1961 and am so disappointed with their performances this season, particularly against Warrington at the weekend in the semi-final of the Challenge Cup. Kevin Sinfield faces a major task in bringing success back to Headingley, but if anyone can, Kevin can!
Third time lucky for city transport plan?
D Angood, by email
Third time lucky? We live in hope but not with any great expectations.
We have seen Super8 and trolley folly fail dramatically and no promise of major investment into a much needed major transit network. We see proposals to open new stations but there is a need whilst doing so to provide ample parking space for those park and ride commuters. New Pudsey parking area has been in need of extending for years but no mention of that or at other stations where parking space is at a premium.
It is a touch ironic that the new raft of projects include a plan to provide better bus travel on the A647 when the silly cycle highway has contributed such a negative effect on road traffic. Does this plan mean they are going to undo the cycle lanes and provide bus lanes instead? The mind boggles. Forty years ago there were four services using the A647, services 6, 14, 72 and 508. Of those only the 72 remains with the other services altered, staggered and rerouted to the detriment of passengers.
In the past if one service failed to turn up there was always an alternative now passengers have been known to wait nearly an hour for a 72 and then three or four turn up together. Not the fault of the operator, maybe an accident or similar causes the delay, but without an alternative passengers have to suffer long waits. A reintroduction of either service 6 or 65 via the A647 and Richardshaw Lane to Pudsey would give an alternative into Leeds and lessen the frustration of passengers. A 20-minute service on that and the 72 would provide the intended 10-minute service from Stanningley. Have the council, the WYCA and Mr Matthews of First the necessary to achieve a positive result to these raft of proposals? We live in hope!
Reverse Brexit andwin me back
James Bovington, Leeds 18
I thought that some of your readers might be interested in a letter that I sent to Mr Corbyn some time ago and to which – surprisingly! – I have never had a reply.
Perhaps Mr Corbyn should be concerned with real issues given that the vast majority of Labour voters did not support Brexit. Although Corbyn, with his penchant for Venezuelan-style economics, clearly did.
“Dear Mr Corbyn, reverse Brexit and you win me back! I am a former party member and was at one time chair of the Horsforth branch of Pudsey CLP. I had always voted Labour but owing to your support for Brexit I voted Liberal Democrat in 2017. I I will rejoin the Labour party if Labour moves formally to support remaining in the single market and the customs union and will campaign tirelessly if you offer a second referendum to reverse the monumental suicidal folly of Brexit. If you don’t I will never ever vote Labour again. Ever.So it’s your choice. I will follow events with interest. This is your chance to win me back. Do you want me?”
Do we need extra layer of government?
A J A Smith, by email
I REMAIN sceptical of the logic of creating an autonomous Yorkshire region.
No sooner are we to rid ourselves of an expensive and anti-democratic layer of government stuffed full of autocrats, technocrats and bureaucrats in Brussels than up pops a group wanting to create another layer of government.
They may be failing to take into account that Brexit will restore the people’s direct link to the seat of power in all areas of government responsibility that was lost through surrendering sovereignty to the EU. Our MPs, in other words, will be empowered to more effectively work for Yorkshire’s interests than they have been for decades.
MPs will no longer be presented in Westminster with directives, regulations and orders from Brussels of which they have neither proposed, been unable to challenge, amend or reject. And no longer will Britain be sending huge sums of monies to Brussels, receiving a proportion back and being told how it is to be spent.
Brexit will empower Yorkshire’s MPs to work for the interests of Yorkshire and its people and those MPs that fail will, no doubt, be rejected at the ballot box. Less government means better government.
Brexit voters were under no illusions
Brian Johnston, Burmantofts
BREXIT has been called the “revolt of the peasants against their masters” who, in turn, believed the lower orders were too thick or stupid to know what they were voting for.
It is this insufferable attitude that has spawned “populism” all over Europe and the US with Hillary Clinton calling them (us) “deplorables”. We, the peasants, knew exactly what we were voting for and the goings-on in Brussels. Staying in the EU would not be a vote to stay where we are now. The EU is not static – it is a dynamic, moving forward treaty by treaty to ever closer union.
It would be a vote to acquiesce to what’s coming down the track and no more opt-outs. With our bluff called, Brussels demanding more from member states, the UK would be supplicant, never again to say “no”. The game is now up. Just walk away into WTO rules and let Brussels stew a while until they return with a reasonable deal.
David Owen, by email
THE current disgraceful position of the Labour Party shows no signs of abating and, leaving aside the Israeli politics, I would hope that they take a little time to consider the great contribution that our Jewish friends and fellow citizens have made to this country.
Leeds, in particular, has benefited from their industry and charitable works over many years.
If all communities gave as much to society, we would all benefit.
The fight for sight is woefully underfunded
Rt Hon Baroness Betty Boothroyd, Former Speaker of House of Commons.
THIS week leading eye research charity Fight for Sight launched a campaign to raise awareness of eye health and the desperate need for more research funding.
This is an issue close to my heart. Very many people of my age are starting to have difficulty with their sight and right now there are over two million people in the UK affected by sight loss – a figure set to double by 2050.
The answer lies in research. Breakthroughs have already led to pioneering treatments that have transformed people’s lives – for example, cataract surgery which today takes just 20 minutes and benefits hundreds of thousands of people every year. However, eye research remains woefully underfunded. A Fight for Sight review shows that just one per cent of public grant funding went to this area last year. While investigations into stem cells and gene therapy offer hope for the future, there is much more work to be done.
I hope others will join me in supporting Fight for Sight to achieve the next breakthrough, so we can build a future where everyone can see.
New ploy on referendum
John Wainwright, by email
After two years of incessant whingeing, the former remoaner voters have come up with a new ploy, instead of saying second referendum they are now saying “people’s vote” as if that bestows additional justification.
Well, we had a “people’s vote” two years ago, and 17.4 million “people” voted to leave the EU, nearly per cent more than voted to remain, and those “people” expect their votes to be respected as they were promised.
Following the referendum and a parliamentary vote (carried by an overwheming majority), the UK, in accordance with its obligations under Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, declared its intention to leave the EU, which was accepted. Therefore, the remoaners’ ardent desire to remain in their beloved EU (the so-called status quo option) is now no longer available, at the end of March 2019 the UK will be leaving the EU, and all that now remains to be decided is the narure of our subsequent relationship.
If there were another referendum to decide whether to accept or reject the negotiated terms, what would that prove or achieve? Some voters might reject it because they think it goes too far, some because it does not go far enough, but either way if it were rejected we would be looking at the so called “no deal” option, and having to trade with the EU under WTO rules – the self same rules under which we already trade with the rest of the world, so what are we afraid of?
It is only the remoaners who are afeared of having their EU comfort blanket wrenched away, and of the UK having to make its own way in the big wide world – just like we did before we joined the disfunctional anti-democratic EU. If the remoaners in parliament somehow manage to block the Brexit the people voted for, they are badly misjudging the incandescent anger they will provoke amongst a large section of the electorate, and the result of the next general election becomes totally unpredictable.