YEP Letters: April 8

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., center left, waves to the crowd with his wife Jane after speaking during a primary night watch party at Concord High School, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., center left, waves to the crowd with his wife Jane after speaking during a primary night watch party at Concord High School, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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Check out today’s YEP letters

We could be in for a surprise

John Appleyard, Liversedge

While the media concentrate on Donald Trump, as if he is the only one that matters in American politics, the socialist Bernie Sanders has won the primary state of Wisconsin to decide the Democratic candidate for the US Presidency.

Sanders has now won seven of the past eight nomination contests against Hillary Clinton, the favoured candidate of the establishment.

There is a feeling for change in America, as there is in other countries around the world,

Sanders is doing well amongst young voters and we could well be in for a surprise as more and more people become fed up of the same old wealthy politicians winning everything.

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The only loser will be the church

Christopher H Tyne, Leeds 15

I refer to the recent letters from Rev Robin Paterson and others with regard to the use of church buildings in Leeds (and elsewhere).

There is a problem here however, which the various letters do not address. However much parishioners use their churches, there seems to be a determination, in the Church of England at any rate, to utilise a ‘price of everything value of nothing’ policy or culture which denies the whole concept of Christian theology; and stands in utter contravention of the criticism that the CofE has very often made, quite rightly, over the past 30 years of the treatment by politians of the inner cities and the poorest members of the community.

If it is wrong for politicians to withdraw facilities from the inner cities, how can it be right for the Church of England to do so? Leeds in particular has a very proud history of ministry to the inner cities. Generally speaking, the church establishment has always done its best to support that ministry.

Now however there seem to be a change in philosophy. An over-large diocese containing over 650 parishes cannot hope to operate except upon a basis of bureaucracy, and I have already heard it said that ‘the parishes will do as they are told.’ Knowing Yorkshire people, I doubt that they will - and the only loser will be the Church of England.

It would be good if we could go back to a pattern which allows ministry to be given to areas in special need, whether they pay the diocesan financial assessment or not - which after all is nothing more than an ex-gratia payment anyway, and not legally enforceable as a debt.

Last to leave sinking ship?

Carol A Gannon, Leeds 15

I quite agree with B Smith’s letter regarding the sacking of Martin Kelner from Radio Leeds.

Over recent years it seems the more professional journalists/presenters have been shown the door and Martin is the latest. What we now seem to have are more shows padded out with repeated frivolous topics, which even with some listeners’ particiption are devoid of any true content, apart from the news and weather reports.

Do we really want to hear what listeners and presenters’ nicknames are and why is a radio programme asking for listeners to send selfies in? Those are just two of the topics this morning. Some presenters also seem to believe that the more childish their behaviour, the louder they shout or laugh and say the word “amazing” in every other sentence is going to endear them to us? I am at a loss as to whom they are aiming to appeal. Like many others, I believe Radio Leeds have now lost direction and I often find myself cringing and hitting the “off” button. I just hope Martin is reading the many comments and letters of support for him. Perhaps he was the last man to leave the sinking ship?

Referendum voting system

John Cole, Shipley

Is there time for parliament to enact a quick change to the voting system for the June 23rd referendum?

I think there are very strong arguments for a scaled system of voting whereby those aged 59 or more get one vote, those between the ages of 39 and 58 get two votes and the youngest voters (18 – 38) get three votes.

My reasoning is that the younger generations are going to have to live longer with the consequences of the referendum vote. Hence the voting system ought to be weighted in their favour. As it stands at the moment, there is a real danger that the grey electorate (a higher proportion of whom tend to vote) will give rise to a referendum outcome that means we leave the EU. This, I predict, will be a disaster. The younger age groups are basically inclined towards the “Remain” camp, but are less likely to vote.

If my suggested weighting of the voting system cannot be enacted, then younger voters need to wake up to the dangers of Brexit and make sure they more than counterbalance the grey vote. That would be in everybody’s long term interest.

EU pamphlet

Ernest Lundy, by email

Before, but also in the light of recent revelations on the rich and famous, including our MPs, I have always wondered if most have hidden agendas, mainly to benefit themselves.

Now we all know we are to have a referendum to decide whether or not we stay in the EU. But I wonder how many suspect duplicity among those in power by the announcement that government is to circulate a pamphlet on the benefits of staying in what could be called ‘the European farce’.

Will they produce another on the advantages of leaving? We should wait with baited breath!

£9m for leaflets beggars belief

R Kimble, Hawksworth

Numerous Tory MPs who claimed in excess of £100,000 in expenses last year voted to cut a disability benefit by £30 a week - never mind the U-turn, they voted for it.

We have austerity imposed on “ordinary” people (MPs are extraordinary you know, so much better than us plebs). We are told the lie that we are all in it together. Now £9m spent on anti-Brexit leaflets?

That’s £9m of taxpayers’ money. Politicians have always been, and will always be, hypocrites but this almost beggars belief.

End personal injury cold calls

Jonathan Wheeler, President, Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

I doubt there are many among us who have not received an unsolicited call or text about making a personal injury claim.

Recent figures show a 45 per cent increase in complaints to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) about such spam.

But cold calls are more than just a bugbear of modern life. Some claims management companies who make these calls go as far as to encourage people to be dishonest and make claims for injuries they do not have. I am a personal injury lawyer and would be glad to see an end to the practice of personal injury cold calls and texts by claims management companies. The methods used by some companies reinforce misleading and negative perceptions about personal injuries. The bottom line is that only genuinely injured people who have been harmed through proven negligence have a right to compensation.

Benefits freeze

Alison Taylor, Director of Operations, Turn2us

The four-year freeze to working-age benefits and tax credits, which starts this week, will no doubt add to the pressures that millions of families already face in meeting everyday costs.

Whilst not a direct cut, the freeze essentially erodes the value of benefits and is set to affect a large number of claimants. As a charity supporting people in financial hardship, we know that other significant benefit changes taking place this month and beyond are also likely to cause confusion and concern. This includes a change in the tax credit ‘income rise disregard’ – the amount a claimant’s income can increase in-year without seeing a reduction in tax credit entitlement. The disregard is being reduced from £5,000 to £2,500 with an estimated 800,000 people seeing their tax credit entitlement reduced as a result. April also brings changes to support for housing costs, a reduction in Universal Credit Work Allowances and the introduction of a new single tier state pension. We urge anyone who is worried to visit Turn2us.org.uk where they can find further information.

Katya Jones with her celebrity partner Joe McFadden

YEP Letters: December 9