YEP Letters: February 12

Check out today's YEP letters

Clandestine move to NHS privatisation

Dave MacFadyen, Crossgates

On Sunday, I heard Jeremy Hunt, our Health Secretary, say that the BMA (doctors’ union) are lying to junior doctors.

He said that the BMA are telling them that they are being offered longer working hours when the government are offering reduced working hours. He said that the BMA are telling junior doctors that they are being offered a pay cut when the government are offering a “substantial pay rise.”

Let’s think about that?

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Jeremy Hunt is saying that NHS doctors cannot calculate FOR THEMSELVES, whether or not the offers amount to longer hours. And whether or not they are being offered a pay cut.

Once again, we are being told to view a union as being a sinister organisation separate from its members.

The BMA, like all unions consists of its members and their elected representatives, who are elected from their own membership.Who do we believe? The Tory government have used this tactic again and again when imposing cuts on public sector employees. It has been their intention, all along, to ultimately impose new contracts on doctors, followed by other NHS employees.

However, they did not anticipate that the general public would consistently support NHS staff.

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Of course, there will always be a few who lack the capacity to think for themselves. The few who make such ridiculous statements as “NHS staff are all in it for themselves.” That sort of view is usually spouted by individuals who imagine that others are motivated, like themselves, by blind greed and selfishness. Anyone who thinks for themself will see that this is yet another clandestine move to prepare the NHS for further privatisation.

Green vote is growing

Dr Martin Hemingway, Green Party candidate, Weetwood

I have just received a leaflet from the local Labour candidate with the expected, and required criticism of the Conservatives and Lib Dems, but spending more time talking up his green credentials. In Weetwood, with such a strong and growing Green vote this must seem attractive as a strategy. The candidate talks about cycling, energy efficient housing – an initiative the Green councillors insisted on when they held the balance of power – and er..cycling. Cycling is important and improved energy efficiency in housing is essential, but there is more to green activity than this. What he needs to defend is Leeds Labour agreement to the incineration of waste – when I was a Labour councillor I persuaded the group to oppose incineration; Leeds Labour support for airport expansion, with a link road rather than railway, and an industrial estate; Leeds Labour support for the trolleybus, opposed by many in NW Leeds on environmental grounds. He plays up being a sitting councillor, so these are his decisions, but what do they offer green politics and the electors?

Crown green bowling decline

Ernest Lundy, by email

Today’s youth seems to be obsessed with the use mobile phones, tablets, laptop computers and other electronic devices, to the detriment of other activities, particularly those outdoors.

While members of the medical profession complain about obesity, particularly among the young, councils of many towns and cities are reducing the number of sports facilities due (ostensibly) to lack of funds.

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One sport is suffering the most: crown green bowling. Many factors are involved, but they are mainly due to social and economic changes and alternative ways of entertainment. Most result from the closure of countless licensed premises and political clubs, due to the ban on smoking. When this happens, bowling greens attached are bound to follow.

This is happening throughout the north and midlands. Leeds and district alone has suffered the loss of 45 greens or more since the last war, and the game really is beginning to suffer from reduced memberships, the lack of facilities and an influx of new players. The situation can only become worse unless some positive action is taken. As a player for most of my life, I find it hard to imagine a life without bowls, or that our game is suffering from such a decline.

Hence my extreme disappointment that various parks authorities seem unable or are unwilling to provide the funds to keep open and maintain these amenities, especially when bowls is one of our oldest and traditional sports. Education authorities could possibly be persuaded to introduce bowls, theory and practise, into school curriculums as a means of stopping the rot.

The sport is outdoors and healthy, without overburdening the less active, and has many redeeming factors. If this sport continues to decline, it will be an indictment upon those who allow it, without making a concerted effort to secure its survival. The city of Leeds and the number of top quality teams and players it has produced over the years deserve nothing less.

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Surely when so much money is being spent on overseas aid some could be used to benefit our own causes!

Trolleybus cost

in a letter from Christopher Todd in yesterday’s YEP about trolleybus costs, the figures included should have been £10m, £30m and £250m, not £10,000, £30, 000 and £250,000.

We apologise for the error.

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