YEP Letters: March 8

Check out today's YEP letters

Tuesday, 8th March 2016, 6:00 am
Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan

A love that transcended death

Jack Banner, Meanwood

Your regular readers will know that I have very little tolerance of anyone involved in domestic or international politics.

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However, I was greatly saddened by the news of the death of Nancy Reagan. Regardless of her husband’s political persuasions or ambitions, she demonstrated an unswerving love for the man.

A love that we should all be blessed with. God bless you Nancy for demonstrating that love cannot be transcended by death. R.I.P. Nancy Reagan.

Great demand for modular housing

Brian Wallwork, Leeds 16

ON Friday 26 February I came in from my garden shed workshop and my wife said: “You won’t believe this in the Evening Post, you might have written it! She referred to your article on modular housing.

For a long time I’ve banged on about how old fashioned and slow house building is. This is indisputable, at least to the tune of 70 years.

Following the Second World War returning service people needed houses. the “prefabs” resulted and left over from aircraft production was aluminium (probably was Duralmin an age-hardening alloy used on aircraft skins) and the facilities and expertise.

Prefabs were superior to ordinary houses, kitchens had fridges for example, almost unknown. Some prefabs still exist as housing.

Everyone liked them. Engineered designed and made them so dimensions would have tolerances, i.e. plus or minuses the dimension or the inspector wouldn’t pass it.

The factory would have good working conditions so no snow, frost, rain, gales, excessive sun etc. and clean. Better for the workers and the product.

Factories, and I’ve worked in them, are always concerned with speed of production, costs and having a saleable product.

A factory-built house would have the benefit of supplies specially designed and purchased in bulk for best result. We could export such development but should protect by patents etc.

Contrast the benefit of making homes and trading with other countries against, for example, building shopping centres. The latter either use up personal wealth or encourage debt.

Water, food, health care and shelter are the basic needs.

Today we have a great shortage of people who can and do “do things”. Large scale modular housing helps

us get back to skilled doing. Good on you Legal & General Homes. I’ll wager there’ll be a great demand.

Build airport at Church Fenton

R G Isle, Adel

I refer to your article on Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) and your question “What changes are needed to help the airport keep pace with its rivals?”

The answer is simple: close it down and build a PROPER civil airport at ex-RAF Church Fenton! Access to Church Fenton is already served by motorway and railway; there is huge open land for parking and a very small population to be upset by noise; it already has a long runway properly aligned to prevailing winds and it is readily accessible.

Compare this to LBA: it is set on top of a hill (it is the highest airport in the country by a very long way) and it is not aligned to prevailing winds (there is ALWAYS a cross wind, and sometimes very dangerous ones), it is closed more often by weather conditions than any other airport in the country (gales, fog, low cloud, snow, etc), it is surrounded by large urban populations which are disturbed by noise, road access is diabolical and the idea of a rail line up a steep hillside is ridiculous, unless it is of the funicular type clunking its way up from Horsforth Station.

War left world destabilised

Terry Watson, Adel

I wonder if David Cameron regrets giving himself the title of “Heir to Blair” following the recent disclosures revealed in an explosive new book by Tom Bower, investigative journalist.

The book, based on exclusive interviews with military chiefs, civil servants and cabinet ministers, reveals how Blair, after lying to Parliament twice about weapons of mass destruction, sent our forces to war in Iraq totally ill equipped.

The former Prime Minister deceived the country by pretending to seek a peaceful solution while knowing full well we were going to war, so our top brass were refused permission to order vital kit, as that would have given the game away.

Our soldiers were sent to war short of weapons, ammunition ,radios and armoured Land Rovers, although plenty were available in Northern Ireland which were being sold off.

As a result of the actions of Blair and his poodle master Bush, thousands lost their lives, many civilians and 179 of our own servicemen and women and many more crippled mentally and physically for life.

No preparations were made for Iraq when the war ended, and disbanding the Iraqi army was a big mistake. Many joined Isis, providing them with some of the best commanders and fighters. The illegal war has left the world more destabilised and divided than any other conflict in history. Blair might have delayed the Chilcott enquiry for six years, but we don’t need it now.

Important figure

Terry Maunder, Kirkstall

I enjoyed the letter about George Orwell (YEP March 5).

1984 must be one of the most misunderstood novels of all time.

It is not about the dangers, per se, of ideologies like communism and/or socialism but about how such an ideology (or, indeed, any ideology - including capitalism) can be manipulated by cruel, power-hungry people to oppress others.

There have never been any truly communist, socialist or Marxist countries but American politicians and British Tories like to make us think there have been and then point out how they “failed”.

As a matter of fact, Orwell wrote some interesting essays about socialism, one of which states that socialism is about “common, human decency”, something very apparent in many ways in Corbyn. No wonder Cameron has to resort to personal insults about his clothes when faced with such an ethical stance in the otherwise disgusting House Of Commons.

You can get Orwell’s Collected Essays in four volumes. I have an excellent book about him by B T Oxley which is still in print and there is a book about him in the Fontana Modern Masters Series by Raymond Williams.

I actually like Keep The Aspidistra Flying but, like D S Boyes, find Homage To Catalonia hard going in places: it does, however, have some resonance when you think about some of the Labour Party shenanigans in recent years and their dropping of certain principles, just as political factions dropped them in the war Orwell writes about.

An important figure, often misquoted and not afraid to experiment (A Clergyman’s Daughter).

New Briggate, not Boar Lane

John Hartley, Roundhay

may I point out an error in last Saturday’s edition of the YEP.

The picture on page 15 allegedly of Boar Lane is in fact taken at the top of New Briggate approaching its junction with North Street prior to demolition for the inner ring road construction.

Some 100 yards to the right of your photo was the Leeds Dispensary building which still stands today and was taken over by the RNIB (blind institute). Just up to the left of your picture is Cross Belgrave Street with the Wrens pub on the corner.

The kerb on the left is in front of the old Leeds Chest Hospital (still standing) and continuing round the corner to the left is the top of Vicar Lane opposite the old Ritz Cinema.

Too many evicted

A E Hague, Leeds 9

A writer in Views from Social Media (YEP February 16) states 42,728 people in rented property were forcibly evicted last year at a record 155 a day.

Simple maths tell me it was 117 a day (assuming there are 365 days in a year).

Of course it’s still too many evicted while these cuts go on and big business keep on paying a pittance in taxes.