YEP Letters: December 3

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Church of England ad ban is ‘ridiculous’

John Roberts, Wakefield

“When I go to the cinema I do not want religion foisted on me”. Thus spoke a young man with his girlfriend on BBC TV news about the prayer ad by the Church of England.

This comment displays a skewered attitude, so prevalent in society at the moment. How is a mild, good-humoured, yet thought-provoking ad from the CofE “foisting” religion on anyone? Simply a way to make us think a little, whatever our religion or none, in the run up to Advent and Christmas, particularly after the dreadful events in Paris, where prayer was a real comfort to many.

This person is no doubt prepared to sit through 35 minutes of advertising bombardment before his film of choice begins, ads often trying to sell things of dubious value and help to people (I think the word we used to use is “hype”), yet he moans about an intelligent, quiet promotion of a website from the church.

The last time I went to the cinema to see the wonderful Lady in the Van and Brooklyn, we had to sit through two repeating adverts of a youth on a bicycle, advertising an energy drink (Red Bull). I could have complained about that very easily!

Even Richard Dawkins, bless his cotton socks, said the ban is ridiculous. A Muslim spokesman said similar.

I am a Catholic, yet I say good on the old CofE for this initiative.

One consolation for the CofE; this publicity will mean more people than ever have become aware of the “ad”.

Apparently, Digital Cinema Media (DCM) offered the CofE a special advertising deal a few months ago. Where is the sense in all this?

The British Board of Film Classification, who passed this ad with no problem and gave it a U certificate, are clearly considerably more intelligent and experienced than Digital Cinema Media, who have proved themselves to be somewhat narrow-minded and politically-correct. At least the BBFC credit people with the ability to think and make their own minds up, unlike DCM. This is like a further censorship by corporate vested interests.

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To bomb or not to bomb

Ernest Lundy, by email

Not really being interested in the politics of warfare, I do however have a point to make as to whether or not we should become further involved in the bombing if ISIS, wherever they may be.

Over a long life, I read about other bombardments of places and countries as a means of reducing or eliminating the opposition. Most of these failed dismally! The sustained bombardment by the Allied fleet before the landings at Gallipoli in the Crimean War is one example; resulting in great loss of life particularly by the Australians. Another was the sustained bombardment of the German front line before the battle of the Somme in World War One, where we lost the cream of our youth, mown down by untouched machine-gun emplacements. It was the same in World War Two where the terrific bombardment of the Normandy beaches failed to destroy German defences. As a result Omaha beach became a charnel house for the Americans.

The only successful artillery bombardment in the recent past was by our artillery at El Alamein before the advance which put Rommel on the run.

Conclusion: That no matter how much this kind of sustained attack is used upon an enemy entrenched in a particular area, most have proved to fail; leaving the opposition secure enough to continue their activities. Many think that to do so could only make matters worse. Others take the opposite view! But if we do, our joint efforts may still prove to be inconclusive. As for the hesitation over increasing our raids on Syria, I’d rather we did not; but if we do the efforts may still prove to be inconclusive.

Politicians have to take responsibility

R Kimble, Hawksworth

Yesterday on BBC Ken Livingstone was harangued by panel members on a “chat show/current affairs” programme about saying that 7/7 had happened as a result of the Iraq War.

The ill-informed people in the studio could not even grasp that Blair himself has said that that war played a part in creating IS(IL). The bombers themselves had stated on social media that this was their main motivation, something the government tried to suppress.

Saying this does not amount to tainting the memories of those who died. It is a fact: our wars and foreign policies and collusion with USA have created IS, brought terror to our streets and caused the kind of media manipulation that is currently taking place on the part of certain tabloids: Nazi style images of refugees in one and inaccurate “facts” about Muslim support for Jihadists in another (for which they gave a pathetic apology).

Politicians have to take responsibility for this mess. To call people who are against bombing Syria “terrorist sympathisers” is not acceptable. They’re always going on about lessons being learned but never show it. Cameron’s comments about 70,000 Syrian ground troops being available is utterly specious: these troops aren’t even on “the same page”, to use a well worn cliche, themselves according to one reliable source and Cameron’s arguments for air strikes have been dismantled by at least three people who know better than him about these things.

He just wants the glory (Prime Ministers back to Thatcher love a good war, it does wonders for your ratings when they’re down) and to take a selfie near a battlefield. When it’s all over they’re alright Jack - they have protection.

Prejudice against Tories

T Crawford, Leeds

I am perplexed by the views of some YEP readers, the latest being Mr Appleyard (November 28), when it is suggested that the Tories are waging war on the poor.

If there is one thing you can be sure of about all politicians it is that they want to be loved. They seek to be re-elected time after time.

Why then would the Tories be “waging war on the poor”, who comprise a substantial section of the electorate? Such a claim does not make sense.

I think that claims like this stem from a deep rooted prejudice against the Tories and whatever they do will be construed as being against the interests of “the poor”. I reckon that if the Tories promised eternal life, and could actually deliver on this promise, Mr Appleyard would complain that they were doing undertakers out of a job.

Private Hire Driver Protest through Leeds City Centre...11th December 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

YEP Letters: December 13