IT IS hugely telling that it was Charlie Gilmour, biological son of dilettante aristocrat, hippy 'poet' and writer Heathcote Williams who most disgraced himself at the London protests, showing his chest to a cordon of riot police and, of course, hanging from the Union flag on the Cenotaph.
He apologised, but only after thoroughly embarrassing his high profile adopted dad, rock star David Gilmour.
Up until that point, he maintained the characteristic swagger and confidence we expect of these types. He claims he did not know it was the Cenotaph, despite being a history graduate at Cambridge.
Talk about the 'values' of the hippy generation coming home to roost via their children and grandchildren.
It was interesting to observe, looking back, how certain members of the English aristocracy found it was the hippies with whom they most naturally chimed, with their hedonism and casual 'for kicks' rebellion.
These types often dallied with the trendy pop groups of the late 1960s like the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd.
A few weeks ago, we saw benches being burned on Parliament Square. In some respects it resonated with the Paris riots of 1968. What can we protest about?
Climate change and green issues are one of the pet protest issues for many students, yet how many can't be bothered to do the fundamentals and recycle their rubbish? Take a look around Hyde Park and Burley in Leeds if you don't believe me.
I spotted an anonymous quote on the internet today: "Although they are a different generation compared with their 1960s antecedents, they have a point in relation to tax-dodging managing directors, politicians and the banks. However, let's not forget that at the end of the day this is the most affluent and indulged generation we've had in this country. No shortages, designer clothes, easily available travel, ready cash often provided by hard-working parents, not to mention all the technology. The last 20 years have seen us live in an age of plenty, freely available everything that our great-grandparents could only dream about".
To sum up, if one good thing comes out of this current economic crisis, we can only hope that it is an end to the obscene waste we've seen, not only in organisations (including, alas, charities) but society at large, particularly in terms of food waste and items thrown away at the drop of a hat.
JOHN ROBERTS, Wakefield
I FAIL to see how the people of Bramley and the students in Leeds can be dissatisfied with their bus services – they should come to Cookridge!
We have one bus which runs twice a day to Horsforth (our neighbouring suburb) and twice a day back.
From the city centre we have one bus service only which can be used also by those going only a short hop to Headingley, say.
Although it's of 10-minute frequency during the day (if you're lucky) it decreases to every half-hour during the evening and on Sundays.
The buses which run through student land are Nos. 1, 6, 28, 56 (very frequent), 95, 97, and the campus-only services.
So how can that be "unacceptable". as stated by MP Rachel Reeves?
Cynthia Foster, Cookridge
QUITE often letters are written to you regarding the economical state and running of the buses in Leeds. I have had to make a number of journeys from Leeds city centre and from St James' Hospital to Seacroft bus station travelling on the number 4 'bendy bus'.
On these occasions I was never asked for my pass (pensioner) and several people were sat there waiting with money in hand to pay, but nobody came for the fare. One female passenger even said that she had cancelled her weekly bus pass as it was cheaper to pay as and when asked!
Is this a new free bus run by 'First'?
No money = No profits!
Mike Holliday, Scholes
Unite against coalition cuts
WHAT is the Police Federation going to do against the threat of over 40,000 police posts to be made redundant, due to the vicious Con Dem cuts, making this country more prone to terrorism and crime?
Let's hope they shout out openly against it and join the unions in their fight against reduncancy, causing misery for many familites, instead of fighting against them.
Let's all be as one against these cuts and get rid of this vicious Coalition government.
P Bagnoll, Barfield Crescent, Leeds
Roads must be maintained
THE news that the Labour/Green administration at Leeds City Council is to slash the highways maintenance budget is very unwelcome, although not surprising. It is particularly unfortunate as it comes during another harsh winter that will cause havoc to road surfaces of the city.
The previous administration, of which I was joint leader, was forced to spend a huge amount of money on highway maintenance – 141 million over five years – partly in an attempt to undo years of neglect under the previous Labour administration. In 2004 we inherited a backlog of 61 million of maintenance.
I suppose it is unsurprising therefore that the Labour/Green administration has made these cuts to highways maintenance.
I regret to say that we shall see all sorts of work continuing to be undertaken by our highways department which most of us would regard as not being a priority, whilst the importance of maintenance is downgraded yet again!
The council should do its utmost to ensure that our road surfaces are not neglected.
Along with bin collections, another issue that the Labour/Green administration has handled particularly badly, roads and footpath surfaces are important to all residents of Leeds. It is imperative that the millions we spent on road maintenance is not wiped out.
Councillor Andrew Carter, Conservative Group leader