THIS year, many commentators have noted some sobering parallels between where we are today and where the world was 100 years ago.
At that time, breakthroughs in technology were flourishing. Globalisation was tying the world’s nations together more closely than ever before. The economies of nations were so integrated, many thought that a large scale war could never happen.
World war was unthinkable. The world was too sophisticated, too advanced, too civilised to ever resort to full-scale war as a means of settling disputes.
Many people in London and elsewhere believed that because Britain and Germany were each other’s biggest trading partners, after America, war would not happen.
Yet all it took was an instigator, coupled with a complacent attitude from Britain, the rapidly declining former policeman of the world, to lead to the largest war the world had ever seen.
Today, America is Britain, the superpower on the wane, unable to guarantee global security. Its main trading partner, China, is in the role of Germany, a new economic power, bristling with nationalist indignation, rapidly building up its armed forces and bullying its neighbours.
The parallels are there and complacency is the most troubling similarity.
AI Stubbs, Melbourne Court, Bridlington
Where was God from 1914-18?
IT IS clear from their letters that a number of correspondents are Christians.
I would like to know from them the following: Where was God from 1914 to 1918? Did s/he take a sabbatical or, given that both sides claimed to have God on their side, perhaps he/she was so busy jumping from one side of the front line to the other, s/he didn’t actually notice the slaughter going on down below in the trenches?
M McGlashan, Headingley
How we helped our enemies
AFTER WATCHING the TV programme on the First World War I was saddened to find out that millions of our boys were killed because we felt it our duty to help a friendly country that had two of its statesmen assassinated.
I appreciate that things escalated and Belgium was going to be invaded and that is when war had to be declared on Germany.
After the end of the war we embraced the country we had been fighting and built them up into a strong power.
In 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, we again felt it our duty to help, once again costing thousands of lives. After trying to kill not only military targets, we and the enemy bombed innocent men women and children, (yes we do it as well). We eventually won the war and then proceeded to help our enemies build their country into the powerful country it is today.
God forbid, had Germany won the war, I would not be writing this letter.
Malcolm Shedlow, Moortown
Cowardly lap dancing ruling
THE head of Leisure Services is reportedly opposing the granting of a licence to the lap dancing club because of its proximity to a family-created green area in Sovereign Street.
What deceit, double-thinking and hypocrisy lies behind his action.
Whenever has a green area been designed specifically for families? Does he mean children?
Why would families head for Sovereign Street to relax? It’s well off the shoppers’ trail and the eating houses.
And what of Millennium Square, the scene of family fun and festivals. On Sunday we have Gay Pride assembling there.
The lap dancing clubs are, at least, discretely designed, unobtrusive and don’t parade themselves in public.
Finally, how do these families negotiate their way to Sovereign Street? By way of Lower Briggate of course, with a fixed forward looking gaze I hope.
One doesn’t have to be a fanatic or a fundamentalist to be sickened by this kind of moral incoherence and cowardice.
Paul Milroy, Spennithorne Avenue, Leeds LS16
Step out for the ‘Walk Ten’
I AM a Marie Curie Nurse in Yorkshire and I am calling on Yorkshire Evening Post readers to sign up to ‘Walk Ten’ for Marie Curie at Harewood House on Saturday August 23.
Walk Ten at Harewood House is part of a series of 10k evening walks at 19 stunning locations throughout the UK this summer.
All the funds raised by Walk Ten will help Marie Curie Nurses like me to provide more free care to people with terminal illnesses in their own homes and in the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford.
At the end of the walk, in scenic surroundings, there will be a real festival-like atmosphere with live music and entertainment for everyone to enjoy with friends and family as the sun goes down. Why not bring a picnic and your four legged friends too!
It only costs £10 to register in advance, and we hope that everyone who takes part will try to raise as much money as they can to support Marie Curie nurses.
Walk Ten at Harewood House will be a truly wonderful occasion, and I hope the people of Yorkshire will come along and join us. To register for Walk Ten, or for more information, go to: www.mariecurie.org.uk/walkten or call 0845 052 4184.
Dianne Hughes, Marie Curie Nurse
Big problem for park and ride
IT’S A great shame that the Elland Road Park and Ride Scheme has been so under-used. (YEP, July 31).
For the most recent month for which figures are available, it was operating at just 12 per cent capacity, meaning many drivers are so far simply choosing to stay away. Why? If you look at the facts it’s actually no great mystery.
The site doesn’t open early enough. It doesn’t stay open late enough. Buses are getting stuck in traffic. It’s being run in a wholly unsatisfactory and unsuitable manner. None of the lessons from the 15-year-old King Lane park and ride scheme have been learnt, despite repeated assurances from those in control that they would be.
Park and ride schemes have the potential to be a real congestion-busting weapon in the city’s armoury. But they need to be run properly, taking into account the local circumstances.
Coun Lewis’ claim that the scheme is under-used because of the summer holidays does not explain away the scale of these woeful figures. A daily average usage of just 94 cars out of 800 potential spaces speaks for itself. There’s a big problem here and the scheme needs a rethink if it’s to really make the kind of impact it should.
Councillor Paul Wadsworth, Guiseley & Rawdon Ward, Leeds City Council
News, not sport
NOW that the Tour de France has cycled off into the sunset and the Commonwealth Games are now overseas to the Gold Coast, how will BBC Look North fill its 25 minutes local news spot on an evening?
Are we now to be subjected to hours and hours of interview with the Brownlee brothers, Nicola Adams and any other athlete who won a medal from this mighty kingdom of Yorkshire?
Shouldn’t BBC local news do what its supposed to do and report local news and not sports news for a select few?
Mr Stone, Clyde Gardens, Leeds LS12.