YEP Letters: January 19

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

When interests of nation were main priority

Derek Barker, Moortown

Malcolm Nicholson believes that politics today are better than they were 800 years ago (Your Feedback, January 15).

I somewhat disagree.

We only have to go back 45 years to a time when there was no VAT, no tax on domestic fuel or any of the utilities, the NHS was properly funded with no shortage of staff, and the nursing profession was a well rewarded vocation, as were teaching and policing.

Our armed forces were at least double their number today and we weren’t taxed to death on every mortal thing that we purchased.

But those were the days when the wealthiest members of our society had to pay a fair and reasonable proportion of their income in tax.

OK, so the odd one or two moved to America or Switzerland and became tax exiles, but those who stayed more than made up for the shortfall caused by those who are now regarded as national treasures after returning to this country as a result of the lowering of the higher tax threshold.

But these people aren’t satisfied with that, so they have to use tax avoidance schemes, conveniently overlooking the fact that they make their money out of us.

Then there are the politicians, who over the last 45 years have completely ignored the fact that they are not voted into Parliament to serve the interests of the wealthy few, but to serve the best interests of the country as a whole.

Shedding light on council cuts

Iain Dalton, Leeds Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

From your article (YEP, January 15) it appears street lighting is the latest victim of the ongoing cuts.

Clearly the suggestion to install low-energy LED lightbulbs would be the rational way to use resources in the public interest.

The response of Councillor Richard Lewis sums up the problems the council is facing in carrying out the Government’s cuts to local government.

I would agree with him when he says using the money won’t “solve any problems in the long term”.

However, his and rest of the council chamber’s solution is to carry on making those same cuts. If we want a real solution to those long term problems then we will need councillors who are prepared to stand up and demand the money needed to fund the services our city requires. Noticeably, this £6.6m windfall has come from a refund from yet another failed PFI contract – after each one doesn’t work out you have to wonder why our leaders keep signing more of them.

Those who wish to discuss electing candidates this May opposed to cuts and privatisation should come to the meeting on Monday, January 26 at 7pm at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Briggate, where those wishing to challenge the line of never-ending austerity will be meeting.

The right road to speedy recovery

Ernest Lundy, Beeston

Michael Clapham has been fined for breaking the speed limit by six miles an hour when rushing his daughter to hospital with a painful and dangerous complaint (YEP, January 9).

As an ex-ambulance driver, I know full well the advantages of speedy admission to hospital in certain cases; as with the police and fire brigade in attending fires and disturbances.

But what is the difference when and if speed limits are broken in so doing? The risk to the public remains the same.

Or is it then attributed to the capabilities of particular drivers to drive safely?

Alternatively, should common sense prevail? I am only acting as devil’s advocate, but the point is worthy of mention.

Apology would have sufficed

A Hague, Harehills

I DON’T normally sympathise with law breakers, but after reading of Michael Clapham, who was fined after breaking the speed limit as he drove his daughter to hospital in Leeds, I do think he deserves a reprieve.

After all, it was only 36mph, not 70 or more and I wish good luck to his daughter.

In this case I believe that an apology should suffice.

Can’t we Britons clean up our act?

Sylvia Kravitz, Alwoodley

WHEN I see pictures of foreign countries I see clean and tidy streets. But when I see pictures of Britain I see towns and cities which are downright dirty.

Can’t the people of Leeds and other towns and cities be tidier? We British are a mucky lot. I watch people dropping litter all over the place. We produce so much litter with all the takeaways that are absolutely everywhere.

All these food outlets are given planning permission by the council without a thought to the environment.

Come on, Leeds, and other areas, keep litter to a minimum and even pick up litter when you see it – I do.

Policy is good for criminals

T Simpkins, Horsforth

I AM not sure I’ve ever heard anything quite so wrong-headed as the suggestion by Aled Jones (no, not that one) that we should have the right to bear arms to protect ourselves, as is the case in America (Your Feedback, January 15).

Does it not occur to him that the only reason gun crime isn’t entirely out of control here (as it is across the pond) is that you can’t buy a gun from your local supermarket?

Put it this way, if these are the hare-brained policies being put forward by Jones’s “Libertairan Party” I won’t be looking to put a cross next to their local candidates at the election this May. However, the criminal fraternity in Leeds may beg to differ.

Store’s woe is food for thought

Joe Bloggs, Leeds

The price of fresh fruit at Morrisons is ridiculous – 79p for one peach!

And a punnet of apricots was £1, which would have been reasonable if they hadn’t been as dry as dust.

So much for five-a-day then. Apart from ready meals and some vegetables, the much advertised price cuts are not in evidence, either.

Katya Jones with her celebrity partner Joe McFadden

YEP Letters: December 9