YEP Letters: December 1

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Have your say

Congratulations to Jayne Dawson – her piece on Nigel Farage (YEP, November 26) shone a light on some truths UKIP don’t care to see universally acknowledged.

Despite their schtick, it seems to me that they are not ‘For’ the ordinary working people of the UK at all.

Mr Farage is most definitely a member of the political establishment, freeloading in Brussels for 15 years, and his credentials as ‘one of us’ extend about as far as his now-familiar pint of Greene King and cigarette routine.

The jumpy, knee-jerk response from one of his local footsoldiers (Your Views, November 27) is telling evidence that she hit a nerve and well done to the YEP for placing that letter and the memoir from one of his former schoolmates cheek by jowl on the letters’ page the next day.

I note that UKIP are very touchy about criticism, which is ironic given what an easy media ride Mr Farage’s persona has bought them thus far. Well if they want to play at ‘big’ politics, they’ll have to get used to it.

My own view is that Farage is a huckster in a frock coat, a confidence trickster, opportunistically using worries over immigration to usher in via the back door all manner of social and economic changes which would fundamentally change the nature of this country rather than protect it.

That’s my opinion. But as the article says, people can vote for whoever they like, because we are a democracy.

I suspect UKIP would like to try and change that a little bit too.

So, from now on, if anyone remarks that Mr Farage or his party is ‘a breath of fresh air’ or a bringer of positive change, I shall be directing them toward Jayne’s clear-eyed critique. Well done her, well done YEP.

Phil Cook, Leeds

What a terrible coincidence

It is a tragic coincidence that John Davey’s letter regarding the bottleneck on Austhorpe Road in Crossgates (Your Views, November 26) was printed on the day that an elderly woman sadly lost her life on that road. The vehicle involved was a large articulated truck.

Lorries and other vehicles park in an area less than a mile away and are constantly on the move on this stretch of road.

With vehicles joining Austhorpe Road from both sides, cars parked on either side, two pedestrian crossings in close proximity – one with vehicles allowed to park very close so vision is limited – it is a nerve-racking stretch for everyone. Residents were told that a link road would be built before the development of new housing along Manston Lane on the Barnbow and Optare sites. This has not happened.

There is now a preposterous proposal to mine for coal close to the new houses.

Bring on the coal lorries to add to the toxic mix!

Councillors and the highways department are aware of the problems because in objections to past planning applications residents have pointed out the worsening traffic conditions and the danger to life.

Residents must have clear and firm assurance that there will be no coal extraction and that the promised link road will be built. Until then, no more houses.

Frances McNeil, Crossgates

Drop off charge is a scandal

I would like to protest at the scandalous drop off charges at Leeds Bradford Airport.

I was travelling out recently to Tenerife and we were picked up in Farsley by taxi and taken to the airport.

On the way there the taxi driver made us aware of the £2 charge for dropping off.

I said to him “Stop short and we will walk in” but he told us that if he did, he would have to pay a £30 fine because all traffic is on camera on the approaches. I was livid.

It is not the £2 but the principle of it. We were in the taxi lane unloading and it took no more than two minutes. It is still a 100 yard walk from there to the front doors.

All they need is one lane next to the main road to use for the purpose of dropping off. To pay £2 for this privilege is nothing short of robbery.

I am surprised this practice has not been taken up by politicians and councillors because I am certainly going to bend the ear of my MP, Stuart Andrew, and also Councillor Rod Wood. I can only protest but people with clout should be able to do something about this disgusting practice.

Should they ever build a branch line for trains and a terminal at the airport, one wonders if passengers will be charged £1 to get off the train.

Mel Smart, Farsley

Sign of troubled times in the UK

Two articles , which at first sight appear unrelated, show what is wrong in today’s society – namely the total failure of the ‘market economy’.

The first is the privatisation of the East Coast train service from Leeds to London (YEP, November 27). This service has failed twice under private companies and was thriving under public control.

Virgin and Stagecoach have promised expanded services, extra broadband wi-fi facilities and other such ‘jam tomorrow’.

They also say fares will not increase, probably the biggest lie of all.

Their profits will be generated by higher fares full stop. The rail journey from Leeds to London will become unaffordable for most working people over the next five years.

Speaking of unaffordable brings me to the second point – the non-provision of cancer drug Avastin for Lisa Brydon.

Michael Rusting is correct to attack this in his letter (Your Views, November 27)). Where he is wrong is in blaming foreign aid for this failing.

The pharmaceutical companies make billions in profit. Why? Some things are far too important to be left in the hands of the greedy private sector.

Public investment in the provision of drugs like Avastin is the only way to ensure everyone has access to them. Just like the railways. Public ownership of the railways, pharmaceuticals and other important major industries is the only way forward. Public good, not private greed.

Kevin Wilson, Cottingley

A penny saved is a penny earned

My prayers have been answered. I have just received news of a windfall.

Firstly I have decided it will not change my life in the slightest I will carry on as usual being the same kind, decent and thoughtful person I have always been – if I do say so myself.

The windfall in question came by way of an e-mail this morning informing me I am to receive a refund on the price of a DVD I recently pre-ordered on Amazon.

The amount of this refund, you might ask? I will tell you. A penny.

I am going to make a copy of this e-mail and put it with a letter I received some years ago from Burtons Tailors threatening me with county court action if I did not pay the outstanding amount owing on an account I had with them.

The amount owed was 1p. I actually sent them a cheque for it.So I have just broken even.

David Gibbs, Leeds

Thanks for the timely warning

Further to your report warning of charity fraud (YEP, November 27), I think one “visited” me this week.

When I answered my bell, he said he was collecting money for the charity WWF.

I did not open my door but asked for identity and the full name of the charity.

The reply I got was a leaflet through my mail box about world wildlife.

Needless to say I told him (in no uncertain terms) “No!”

Your well timed report should put everyone on their guard as these crooks do exist.

Edna Levi, Leeds

YEP Letters: December 15