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YEP Letters: August 3

Gilbert O'Sullivan
Gilbert O'Sullivan
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Singer Gilbert was ahead of his time

John Appleyard, by email

During my days at primary school it was the fashion for us young boys to all wear short legged trousers, so it was a bit of a shock to me when I left to go to secondary school as I was one of the few boys to be still wearing them!

These days, particularly in the summer, adults wear them all the time and yet I remember not so long ago a postie being suspended from work for wearing them on their rounds, now they all seem to wear them. It seems that the singer Gilbert O’Sullivan was ahead of his time as he wore short trousers in the early 1970s while sitting at the piano playing lovely songs such as Alone Again (Naturally), Nothing Rhymed and Clair.

A couple of years ago Gilbert appeared on local radio where he remembered his first air flight when he was offered glasses of champagne, but turned them down as he didn’t like to admit he was skint. It wasn’t until he alighted from the plane he was told the drinks were free. I know the feeling Gilbert, cheers!

We have talent pool for Channel 4’s home

Amjad Bashir, Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber.

SO now the challenge to become home to Channel 4’s new headquarters is down to three contenders – Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham.

The Yorkshire bid has made it from the long list to the shortlist. Now for the final push. I have said before that Yorkshire should prevail in this competition – not because it needs the broadcaster most but because it can provide them most.

We have the talent pool, the connections, the skills, the housing stock and the lifestyle to offer the company and its employees. A move to Leeds would be good for the whole of West Yorkshire and good for Channel 4 too. Now we must hope good sense prevails when the final decision is made.

Put country before party

Frederick A Begbie, Harewood.

DESPITE fundamental differences in other areas, the one thing that serious commentators from all shades of the political spectrum agree upon is that the Brexit referendum had nothing whatsoever to do with the well-being of Great Britain but was, rather, a cynical attempt to heal the rifts that have bedevilled the Conservative Party since the 1960s.

Now that it has patently and painfully failed in achieving that objective, is it not the time for Conservatives to put country before party and disband? Those of a remaining disposition can migrate to the Lib Dems while the other faction can seek their spiritual home in the fascist parties of the far-right.Then, and only then, will our people be able to make a truly democratic decision about their future relationship with Europe.

Lessons on transport

ME Wright, Harrogate.

WITH some surprise, I read that Edinburgh and Nottingham’s bus and tram networks are “publicly owned” and top of the league for ease of travel. Perhaps Holyrood’s more realistic interpretation of “public service” accounts for Edinburgh; but how have Nottingham managed to avoid the Westminster obsession with mindless, bus-bound competition?

Nottingham has a 32km tram network. Could the city’s councillors have a quiet word with far bigger Leeds and try to ease her into the 21st century?

Batter pancakes were eaten everywhere

Ian L Stevenson,Yorkshire Dialect Society

Whether or not a person likes to eat batter pudding, it is no specialty of Yorkshire. Batter pancakes were eaten everywhere.

I have yet to trace who first suggested that Yorkshire families had to make do with batter as pudding, instead of fruit cakes or other tasteful sweets.

Those who go on about “a Yorkshireman’s delight” in plain batter pudding are clearly unaware of this insult.

Thankful for many things

M Whitehead, Chapel Allerton

Ah Mr Adams (YEP Letters July 28), my letter regarding the assumption that everyone has access to the internet was really intended to convey that not everyone has.

Therefore when suggesting that someone may care to make a donation to some cause or other, there is no address given, only online details, so the cause may be missing out. No, I am thankful for many of the things that we now take for granted, having just worked my way through a pile of ironing, glad that I was not dependent on two flat irons being heated up on the grid in frotn of the fire as my mother was!

Make life better for homeless

Patricia Worrillow-Ager, via email

i am appalled to read that Wakefield Council is proposing to introduce a new PSPO to combat so-called “aggressive begging”.

Wouldn’t it be better that the council spent time trying to help and make life better for the homeless and the hungry?Yes, they are people not objects to be swept under the carpet, out of sight out of mind. That may ease the conscience of some but not to a lot of us. I recently spoke at length to a gentleman who had served in the British Army and seen action in Afghanistan, he actually told me he often wishes he was back there.

There is already a PSPO in place to prevent drinking and other antisocial behaviour.And as for imposing £100 fines - how on earth can they be expected to pay that when they are begging for food and shelter? It’s not rocket science.We all have a duty of care to society so I would expect a more caring attitude from a Labour council which was born from people who saw the needs of the poor and downtrodden. I believe that all those who have been entrusted with our votes should remember this.

Registration for cyclists?

Derrick Bond, Shadwell

With more cyclists on our overcrowded roads than 
ever before, should we insure against injury by cyclists?

They enjoy a freedom of movement and absolution from restriction that most motorists would envy. Sophisticated bikes are capable of speeds well in excess of town limits. Motorcyclists are faced with registration, tests, taxation and insurance.

They wear specified protected helmets and keep their machines at required levels of safety, lighting and maintenance.

Surely it’s time that cyclists were placed in the same category.

We should oppose racism and aggression

Mike Harwood, Leeds 5

I do not support the Labour Party, but not because I see it as anti-semitic. I do campaign against and hope to be seen as against racism, wherever it shows its ugly head.

I am against the present UK Government’s policy (in so far as any coherent policy can be discerned) on most issues. This does not make me anti-England or anti-English.

To say that what Saudi-Arabia is doing to civilians, including children, in the Yemen (helped by the use of British-made bombs), is abhorrent does not make me anti-muslim or anti- Saudi-Arabia. To say (along with Ken Livingstone, I think) that the policy of the Israeli Government in the West Bank and the Gaza strip, a policy in serious, devastating and continuing breach of International Law, is to be condemned does not make me anti-semitic. There is perhaps a danger here I suggest of hiding bad policies and racism behind the holocaust as there is of hiding them behind Brexit.

We should be opposing racism and aggression whatever skirt it happens to be wearing.

Disability access

David Mitchell, National Chairman, the British Polio Fellowship

Last week, London played host to the first Global Disability Summit, with ministers, businesses and charities coming together to find solutions to the barriers disabled people in developing countries face.

We welcome such initiatives, but they can feel like trying to take a speck from your brother’s eye, oblivious to the plank in your own.

The experience of those with disabilities every day shows we have a long way to go in our own country before barriers disappear.Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) affects 120,000 people in the UK, who struggle with accessibility. As the recent experience of Tanyalee Davis on her train journeys illustrate, we are light years from a place where the 13,000,000 people in the UK living with a disability can claim equality, with 20 percent of us fearing to travel.

This is not to argue against supporting those with disabilities overseas. The British Polio Fellowship continues to support Rotary and those leading the global Polio eradication drive.

The survivors will face PPS and our campaigns have one eye on the future – that disabled people of whatever stamp can navigate a more accessible Britain. We must tackle disability issues worldwide, but our own back yard remains a good place to start. If you need our support, call 0800 043 1935 or visit www.britishpolio.org.uk

Use a diary

A Hague, Leeds

A scheme to remind people to cancel unwanted GP appointments is proposed as over 100,000 were missed in Leeds in six months last year. I use a diary for this and birthdays as it’s the best way. I still believe a deposit for an appointment is the best way of reducing missed appointments, time wasting and money.