YEP Letters: December 14

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In praise of city’s traditional jazz

David Walton, by email

I have just read the article (‘Leeds is a ‘buzzing jazz city’, YEP, December 13), and once again it is all about contemporary jazz.

For your information the Leeds Jazz Club which was running in the 1950s and 60s before a break of about 30 years, was reformed 20 years ago and is now based at the Armley Conservative Club.

It is a traditional jazz club with bands coming from all over the country but recently young Leeds bands such as Louis Louis Louis, Leeds City Stompers, Alligator Gumbo, After Hours Quintet – all playing music from the 1900s to the 1960s – have been performing.

Many of these musicians have been at Leeds College of Music, sometimes swing band dancers add to the atmosphere.

There seems to be an element of snobbery towards this type of music in favour of more modern elements but without the former there possibly would be no music as we know it today.

City still paying price of short-term thinking

M E Wright, Harrogate

Following visits to Manchester and elsewhere, Aisha Iqbal is, understandably, suffering from “a serious bout of connectivity envy” (YEP, December 6).

Mercifully, post-war Leeds did not have Dresden’s cruel advantage of starting a public transport network from scratch.

In the 1950s, the city’s myopic Transport Committee chose to ignore the fact that 1960s clearances would enable existing miles of segregated tram tracks to be extended to the very edge of the city centre.

They opted for the short-term cheapness of an all-bus system and the long-term price continues to be paid by the city and region. Thirty years back, Leeds City Council belatedly acknowledged the mess and sought to follow Manchester, Sheffield etc. The inept and shameful history which followed has been well documented.

I cheered Aisha until her closing “It’s time to find out...” Presumably the original three-line tram plans still exist.

Is it too much to ask that the City Council acknowledge and accept that this is beyond them and seek help – from Manchester perhaps? Let’s have the plans reconsidered, costed, funded, get stuck in and make a start.

Fear of being left out in cold

Sandra Morris, Moortown

THE other day, there was a knock at my door. When I opened it an employee from British Gas greeted me: “I will have to disconnect your gas and electric supply. I am doing some work on the meter of the flat above yours and I cannot do the work without disconnecting your gas and electric.”

As I am unaware of gas/electric working practices, I was unable to ask why this should be, if the work did not involve myself. I asked: “How long will that take?”

He did not know. “About an hour?” I asked. “Oh, no, it looks rather complicated and I am going to ring my supervisor about it.”He went off to the flat above. After some little thought regarding being without heat, light or the means of making a hot drink, I followed him.

He seemed relieved I had arrived and after a short discussion with both me and the occupant of the above flat he left, still trying to contact his supervisor and return another day. If and when he returns, will British Gas employ someone to take me to the nearest cafe (or similar) where I can sit in warmth and light and enjoy a hot drink? I am 79 years of age and think British Gas could afford to show me this consideration.

Christmas’s true faith

Mrs SM Abbott, Wakefield.

Just to say as we are now in Advent, and many of you are probably enjoying seeing little ones in Nativity plays, that Christmas is a Christian festival and should be celebrated as such.

Recently the BBC had people of different faiths sharing their views on Christmas.

I have no problem with that, but why wasn’t a Christian asked to speak about their faith and what Christmas meant to them?

For me and many others Jesus is the Light of the World whose birth is celebrated at this time of year, so no “Happy Holiday” or “Happy Winterval” but Happy Christmas!

Costly class warfare

Harry Brooke, Meanwood

Labour used to be an honourable party, which stood up for the rights of working-class people. Now it just seems to be all extreme leftists and Communists, full of class hatred. They want to clobber the City of London financiers, who admittedly pay themselves over-generous bonuses, but contribute about £70bn a year in taxes. When the last Labour government departed, they left a note to say: ‘sorry, there’s no money left!’ They’re like kids in a sweetshop saying: ‘What’ll we try next?’

The Government is now blind to common sense

Andrew Mercer, Guiseley

LIKE the Northern Ireland peace process which required John Major, and then Tony Blair, to sign off each and every decision, the same is true of Brexit – only Theresa May is in a position to take decisions on behalf of the Government and the country.

It’s why she needs a strong number two to take charge of domestic policy, just as Winston Churchill relied upon Clement Attlee during the war.

A Northern Powerhouse Minister in the Cabinet would give more focus to the social mobility agenda. If these things are obvious to onlookers, why is the Government so blind to common sense?

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YEP Letters: June 15