YEP Letters: May 29

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Step in right direction on gambling

DS Boyes, Leeds 13

The PROPOSED reduction of stakes for fixed odds betting terminals in licensed betting shops to just £2 is a step in the right direction against gambling.

Older people remember when in Leeds pre-1960 there were no betting shops, casinos or amusement arcades as gambling was not only frowned on then, but illegal. Although many placed bets on horse racing via individuals known as ‘runners’. Most pubs displayed a sign in the tap room, “writing or passing of betting slips prohibited.”

Although no-one wants to go back to that situation, things have gone too far the other way, with online gambling of many kinds using credit cards etc, this serious problem exacerbated by widespread advertising portraying gambling as a harmless pastime which it never has been. Like adverts for tobacco this should be banned.

Too much hot air but never enough power

Ron Firth, Campsall.

MARY Creagh MP, ahead of the Environmental Audit Committee, seems intent on pursuing lost causes like onshore wind turbines to achieve poorly thought-out green targets.

Like every other aspect of public life, politicians look to score political points rather than spend time on providing adequate energy to support the proposed Northern Powerhouse and other worthy projects. The fact that investment in clean energy has reduced in recent years is more down to excessive investment of taxpayers’ monies in previous years in subsidising onshore wind turbines and/ or compensating owners if the energy produced is surplus to requirements. It is not surprising that, over the sun-drenched May Day, solar power produced record generation levels. Demand for domestic heating and lighting would have been negligible, and at lower levels in industry because of the Bank Holiday.

Going back a few weeks when we had a couple of inches of snow, the National Grid was looking to industry to ease back on energy use as solar and wind contributions were minimal and they feared power cuts.

Since these targets were set, Drax has reduced carbon emissions significantly by burning biomass from a secure supply; Ferrybridge has switched from coal to burning pelleted black bag waste; Eggborough, though facing closure, covers shortages from biomass. More and more homes are installing solar panels and various hydro-powered schemes are contributing to energy requirements.

The Environment Committee should be asked why are carbon levies in the UK at least four times higher than on the continent, why have we volunteered for such high targets and why was carbon capture abandoned in 2015?

Reasons for oil sanctions

Dr David Hill, CEO, World Innovation Foundation.

YOU don’t need to be a Nobel economist to understand the reason why petrol and diesel prices have soared over the last few weeks.

You only have to look at the Washington hawks for the answer, and America’s sanctions on Iran with regard to oil exports that have caused the price of oil to surge across the globe.

For Iran is a global oil powerhouse, and once you take it out of the equation, you take out the fifth-largest oil producer in the world. So why is this really happening?

Well, when you look at what is going on with the imposition of US sanctions and a situation where the US will become the largest producer in 2018 according to some oil analysts, the US needs people to sell its US oil to.

Therefore the best way to do this is to put sanctions on a major global competitor, and that is the untold story of what is actually going on behind these sanctions if truth be told.

Foxed by hunt comments

N Tyler, Leeds

WHILe waiting recently at a hospital appointment, a gentleman struck up conversation.

We were having a chat about the lovely views from Pen-y-Ghent and the wellbeing benefits of walking with friends.

However the conversation turned uncomfortable when he likened the camaraderie of a group walk in the countryside with the experience he used to have when he went out with a group fox hunting.

How can the enjoyment of sharing pleasant conversation on a scenic walk be compared with that of a group of people coming together with the intention of hounding a defenceless animal to its death?

We grew up in real austerity

L Macdonald, Holmfirth

I AM in complete agreement with C J Ball ( YEP May 21).

As one of the ageing population, I am fed up of hearing moans and being blamed for everything from Brexit to the lack of housing, hospital beds, schools and austerity.

No one has said that the real reason we are an ageing population is because we had real austerity all of our young lives, and I don’t remember anyone moaning.

My parents were in their 40s when I came along in 1931, and I remember Dad speaking about the hardships of the 20s.

As far as I recall, it was real austerity right through the 1930s and 40s but no one complained – we were all in the same boat in the mining village where I was born.

Our house was warm and cosy, sparkling clean and full of love. Mum was a fabulous cook and meals were made from scratch with fresh ingredients, no artificial colours, flavourings or sweeteners.

Housework was labour intensive, with no mod-cons. In spite of all this, I had a fabulous childhood.

If it was wet or too cold, we had books, board games, jigsaws and card games, so we were never bored and we were very healthy.

That is why we are an ageing population.

The fight to eradicate polio

David Mitchell, National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship

Polio eradication has been a huge success across the world.

Thanks to mass vaccinations and big medical campaigns, we have only the final one per cent to destroy. Since 1988 there has been a greater than 99.9 per cent drop in cases but conquering the final percentage point remains elusive. Thanks to Rotary and the work of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, millions have been saved from paralysis and death and the prospect of Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) in later life. That British Polio marks its 80th anniversary next year is a testament to the persistence of polio and PPS, a neurological condition which still affects 120,000 people in the UK.

To join the Fellowship or for further information visit