YEP Letters: December 15

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Check out today’s YEP letters

I was blinded by the headlights

A Hague, Harehills.

ARE car headlights set up by experts? I ask this as I have noticed that many are tilted above the correct level and dazzle people walking, let alone cyclists, on the road at night.

Even at a 40 per cent angle, that would hit the road after a kilometre (over half a mile) so there is no sense in going above this.

I often wave my hand, pointing downwards, at some drivers but wonder how many realise why.

Economists cannot predict the future

Dr David Hill, chief executive, World Innovation Foundation.

At times I just cannot understand the intelligence of some people. I see the opposition politicians and some of the Tories’ own people being amazed that there has been no assessment of the economic situation post-Brexit.

It amazes me in this respect as apparently no one looks or even considers the predictions that economists have undertaken even in recent times and where over 99 per cent got it totally wrong about the financial crash in 2008.

I say totally wrong, as they did not even predict that a global financial collapse was imminent or in fact give any warnings in the years preceding the actual meltdown. Indeed it has to be said even after 2004 when Alan Greenspan warned Bush, Blair, Brown and western leaders that the financial markets had to be reeled in or a global meltdown would likely happen, the economists and politicians took no notice.

For at the base level and through time immemorial, economists are good at analysing the past, but they certainly have not a clue, if truth be told, in predicting the future.

Indeed, history has recorded this over the centuries with these so-called ‘bubbles’, not mere years.

Therefore people asking for predictions of how things will be economically after Brexit are just asking for pie in the sky – in reality such predictions would have no merit at all.

But I understand why people ask for this unknown vision of the future though, as they require certainty and to know how they will fare financially.

Unfortunately if they used their intelligence and common sense, they would realise that economists have not the means to predict the future and while they certainly do not have a crystal ball many seem to think that they have.

Indeed even if different scenarios were provided, this would not mean a thing also, as all of them would be still unknowns and that’s the basic truth. I would call it a fool’s errand.

UK can argue case within EU

Michael Meadowcroft, by email

D Angood quite legitimately criticises my support for the UK as part of a united Europe, (YEP Letters, December 12), but his suggestion that I am “continually decrying everything British” is completely the opposite of my views. I believe that the UK is well able to argue its case within the European Union and to influence its future development. My experience in working in over 30 developing and emerging democracies around the world is that we have an excellent and able diplomatic service that is only frustrated by our reluctance to engage with the EU.

Rather than decrying anything British I am continually amazed at the Brexiteers’ inferiority complex in their failure to believe that the UK is capable of being a highly effective and influential member of the EU. Similarly it is very curious that Jeremy Corbyn and his colleagues who rightly criticise multinational capitalism do not perceive that only multinational politics can possibly deal with it.

The UK is talking business, not referendums

Mrs J Green, Leeds

I have to take issue with James Bovington’s letter (YEP, December 12) on his assumption that the UK will miss out on the EU – Japan trade deal.

Mrs May visited Tokyo for the UK-Japan trade summit in August where a joint statement was issued on the agreement that the UK will have an equivalent economic partnership with Japan once the UK leaves the EU. Anyone can read this online, the Guardian and The Times reported the trade talks at the time.

But of course James Bovington seems quite happy to obfusticate all matters Brexit, spreading his doom and gloom to anyone who listens. He is arrogant to assume that President Trump will be on hand to lead the UK out of the wilderness (the EU one we’ve been wandering about in for the last 40 odd years) such an idea is badly misplaced, and laughable, as if we needed intervention of the US President at all!

The next stage of the Brexit talks will be on trade matters and I have no doubt we will not be short of trade with Japan and the rest of the world that we have been missing out on already, regardless of the delaying tactics employed by the EU council, not to mention our own Remoaners, Clegg, Cable, Miller, Sturgeon and others.

Hopefully the talks will move on now to finalise the Brexit deal by March 2019.

I voted to leave the EU, no single market and Customs Union or ECJ, as did the majority of the UK.

It seems quite sad that James Bovington is still clinging to the idea that he should be offered a second referendum for associate membership of the EU, even at this stage in the Brexit talks.

The UK is talking business now, not referendums.