YEP Letters: May 7

Check out today's YEP letters

We were made of sterner stuff

Paul C Thompson, Scarcroft

Remembering the heady strike days of 70s and 80s, they would seem to be back in fashion. Primary children on the picket lines!

I am not an education expert regarding exams, but remember starting at primary school at five years old in 1943. Every term end from then on until leaving school in 1953 at 15 years, exams took place in all the subjects taught that term. When all the marks were added up, one would get a ‘position in class’ maybe top or bottom and a school report for the parents. This gave most the impetus to do better next time. Also to deal with was the 11 plus. Along side all this was the war and its aftermath.

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Speaking for myself, taking exams was part of school life and certainly did not cause me and most others any problems. All those prepared to make the effort left school with a very good basic education, from first class, no nonsense teachers during difficult times. We were probably made of sterner stuff than today.

Remain camp’s arguments are muddled

John Roberts, Wakefield

TONY Benn and Enoch Powell were very different creatures on the political spectrum and might appear strange bedfellows, but what they had in common was high intelligence, and neither was in favour of what was then called the Common Market, now the EU.

They could both see through this organisation and what it could ultimately become.

Tony Benn’s son Hilary (who I normally have a lot of time for) is in the remain camp but I am sure that when we look at the way Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland were treated during their austerity struggles with the Eurozone, Tony Benn would probably have said something like, “Could have told you so, it’s a rich man’s game.”

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For some reason Jeremy Corbyn, who was always anti-EU, is now in the remain camp, albeit a somewhat lacklustre and unenthusiastic advocate.

People like Frank Field, Michael Gove, Iain Duncan-Smith and, yes, Boris, have marshalled their arguments in a far more effective way than many in the remain cohort. The remain camp’s arguments are invariably muddled and usually serve best as reasons to leave.

As was said, President Obama would never countenance in a million years a quango of unelected individuals from, say, Canada, Mexico or South America, or Cuba, messing with the sovereign affairs of the USA and neither would US citizens. It is somewhat ironic that one of President Obama’s last political sorties would be meddling in the sovereign affairs of Britain.

Special relationship? Speaking to friends? You don’t tell friends to join the back of the queue do you.

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President Obama often epitomises style over substance; he evaded the big question on sovereignty. Instead, he adopts the aw shucks jacket off style with banal answers and the Obama smile to make them putty in his hands. He gives frivolous red herring answers about not wanting the White House to be cluttered (modern buzzword) with busts of Churchill. He doesn’t know what he’s on about, but he know exactly what to say. His audience in London was a carefully-selected group of young people and mesmerised luvvies.

He answered a few politically-correct questions but ignored any incisive probing. Just give the answer they want to hear.

Also expensively-produced leaflets from the government (paid for by us, the taxpayer) will cut little mustard in the face of the Brexit reasoning.

Unprecedented militancy

Brian Johnston, Leeds 9

WHATEVER happened to the Hippocratic Oath that all medics dedicated themselves to in the past. Don’t our junior doctors believe in that total vocation any more?

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The unprecedented militancy of these doctors seems now to be ideologically driven, as the politicians they so despise, becoming Bolshie as Scargill’s miners, led by a similar union, the BMA.

It is now a political stand off against a duly elected government. So far, they public have been on-side, but how long before they tire of those who claim to follow their chosen vocation, but abandon the sick.

Do they actually care that it is the taxpayer who funds their long expensive training, and in time their earning power will be something most of us can only dream of. And to the petulant, who want to desert to another country for a better life - think well before they jump ship.

The sight of many opening their heart to the media, bleating it hurts them to abandon their patients, and then seen demonstrating as a fun day out, laughing and chanting childish student nonsense, is nauseating.

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Whatever their justification to their cause, if any, they are led astray by their militant BMA, using the tactics of a Scargill, and we all know how that ended.

Let’s get rid of party politics

June Newton, Rothwell

THE only way to get our country back and to stop the politicians destroying it completely is to get rid of the party political system that now serves us badly and to replace our system of government with a free, truly independent parliamentary democracy.

Politicians need to control our lives.

They need to do this to ensure that their party stays in power for as long as possible,

Today’s MPs are an irrelevance, ignored by the party leadership.

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For many years now a large percentage of English legislation is made not by elected representatives but by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. Modern MPs nowadays have to do as they are told. They have as much influence as my granddaughter’s rabbit!

With the present high cost of living and utilities it is the sad truth that some of our elderly ‘voters’ have to eat and be cold or go hungry to keep warm.

The aim of all elected governments should be to secure and defend the fullest life possible for every citizen.

One could say all rebellions in history are a result of governments failing to act accordingly (our junior doctors’ strike and the proposed government cuts to NHS prescription services are current bones of contention).

We need effective managers not leaders.

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The purpose of elections is to remove hazards and burdens and to make it possible for everyone to live safely and securely without inconvenience.

Can we believe in miracles?

City was not included

Michael Owen, Knaresborough

SETTLING down to read my newly purchased Monthly Steam Rail Enthusiasts Magazine the other evening, I was delighted to see inside a special supplement titled “Tram and Light Rail Special” and as someone old enough to recall the splendid Tramway system we once had in Leeds, I read this article with particular interest.

I would like to give you a sample of what this special supplement included by highlighting the contents titles at the start of the various systems illustrated: (1) Expanding Edinburgh tram system set to play a key role in the city’s future. (2) Nottingham - at the vanguard of UK tramway development. (3) New technology and a swathe of route expansions will help Midland Metro Tramway system (Birmingham) grow. (4) Tremendous impact that the rapidly growing Manchester Light Rail system has had on the city. (5) Sheffield - exciting Tram - Train trials go ahead in South Yorkshire region.

It seems to me and perhaps many of your readers, that one major developing city is surprisingly not included in this review. When are we going to start catching up with the five centres highlighted and indeed several other cities already running or planning light rail in Britain?

Ambulance collection boxes?

Olga Twist, Leeds 14

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IT might be two or three years ago when I was using the ambulance service quite often to go to St James’s and I said to the driver who brought the wheelchair to my door, why can’t the ambulance have a collection box inside so that anyone using the vehicle could put in a coin or two?

At least it would help put fuel in the vehicle, but he was aghast at such an idea. But considering how short the NHS is of funds, would it have been so mad an idea? Also visitors attending clinic and wards could drop a coin or two into those tins - after all most firms seem to rely on those boxes being filled to keep things operating, so why not the NHS that is used by everyone at some time of their lives, even if only at the beginning and end.