YEP Letters: July 13

Harold Wilson.
Harold Wilson.
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Commons plinth for Harold?

Jean Lorriman, Huddersfield

So Cameron lost the referendum - the one thing he hoped would positively stamp his premiership!

Blair, as expected, vilified for taking us into Iraq with ill-equipped soldiers. We can go back to Chamberlain and his pathetic paper waving before Hitler declared war. Churchill was a hero but ousted by the electorate in favour of Clement Attlee. Eden had his Suez crisis and Macmillan showed how he could butcher his outrageously immoral MPs in “the night of the long knives.” Mrs Thatcher had her Falklands tragedies even though she spoke of rejoicing. . So on the whole our homebred Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, with his refusal to take us into the Vietnam War by standing up to President Johnson; and his founding of the OU - which has given millions of ordinary people the chance to take a degree - seems to be faring well. He walked out of the Commons with his boss Nye Bevan in protest over prescription charges and heaven knows what he would make of the proposed closure of his home town’s hospital! It has been said that he was a favourite of the Queen and so in these times of great national and political uncertainty how about one of our own on that spare plinth in the House of Commons? As we battle to save our hospital it would be something positive. Over to you Barry Sheerman MP.

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Referendum result is being ignored

Mel Smart, Farsley

I am very surprised that Theresa May is to become Prime Minister bearing in mind that she was in favour of staying in.

How can she negotiate to come out when her heart is not in it? Seventeen million voted to come out due to issues with migration and yet the Foreign Secretary has already said that trade negotiations with the EU will include the free movement of people.

Mrs May has already said she will not implement Article 50 until the new year. That should have been implemented on 24th June, straight after the result of the Referendum was known.

There will be no opposition from the Labour Party because they are in meltdown and in any case Mr Corbyn is also an “in” man.

It makes you wonder what the point of the Referendum was when the result is being ignored by the very people we elected to represent us.

Process was flawed

John Cole, Shipley

We are told by those who voted “Leave” - and a phrase now repeated by Theresa May - that “Brexit means Brexit”.

Clearly in Conservative eyes there is no going back. The referendum result of 52 per cent/48 per cent has to be “respected” and acted on.

I beg to differ – and I am in excellent company. Robert Armstrong was at one point the Cabinet Secretary and later head of the civil service. He is a wise and experienced commentator and sits as a cross-bencher in the Lords.

On the 5th July Armstrong made a powerful speech in the Lords in which he pointed out that we live in a parliamentary democracy. It is the job of parliament to decide the best course forward. The referendum was advisory only and not mandatory.

Before the referendum it was the case that over 400 of our 650 MPs were for “Remain”. This was their considered opinion and they should not be “bounced” by a referendum process that any fair-minded observer would agree was flawed.

The job of parliament is to seek the best outcome for the future of the country.

As Lord Armstrong argues (and I agree) if rational examination indicates that our best way forward is to remain within a European Union that is seeking to reform itself, we should not eliminate that best option because we feel compelled to “respect” the outcome of a flawed referendum process.

Doom and gloom forecasts

Terry Watson, Adel

Mark Carney and George Osborne should be sacked for talking down Britain.

Their doom and gloom forecasts are proving to be wrong just like all their predictions in the past. They are now trying to make them happen to save face. The pound may have gone down a little but that has happened so many times in the past but has always recovered.

It was once almost level with the Euro but bounced back. The doom and gloom brigade are always quick to mention that imports will be cost more, but fail to mention that our exporters will benefit from the devalued pound. There are countries outside the EU queuing to get trade deals as soon as we are free of the shackles of the Politburo.

China has been trying for nine years to get a trade deal with the EU but nothing happens quickly in Brussels unless they want more money, and then even treaties can be changed very quickly.

We need to get out as soon as possible, but Theresa May wants to wait until next year before we start negotiations.

Don’t pick on older drivers

Ernest Lundy, by email

As a member of that often maligned group, older drivers, should I and my contemporaries be concerned about the new programme on 100 year-old drivers shortly to be screened on ITV?

From what a preview shows, we should be! Considering that drivers in old age need there transport to do their shopping etc and avoid being confined to their homes, is this too much to expect? The preview shows some ridiculous situations in which older drivers are involved. Too ridiculous for drivers of any age or level of experience with a licence to get involved in.

Thus it seems that the resentment of having older drivers on the road continues; and that many regard them as a joke. But why pick on this group when bad driving is endemic among drivers of both sexes and age?

My only worry is that when the programmes is shown in full it could create even more resentment for older age groups who need to drive to exist. In view of this, although having seen only the preview, it could well be that the programme turns out to be in extremely bad taste. We can only wait and see!

Bradford bratwurst?

Richard Gallagher, Guiseley

It would seem that some producers of regional foods with protected status - Wensleydale cheese, Yorkshire forced rhubarb etc - are concerned that the protection of these names will disappear as we leave the EU.

If the EU negotiators are so short-sightedly spiteful as to move in that direction, perhaps they ought to brace the relevant European suppliers for international competition from Coverdale Camembert, Bishopdale Brie, Preston Prosciutto and Bradford Bratwurst.

Contacting old shipmates

Mike Crowe, Isle of Wight

I would like to bring to your readers’ attention, the Royal Navy Shore Establishment HMS Collingwood, because if you say HMS Collingwood, or Royal Navy electricians, or Collingrad the Stone Frigate, a lot of your readers will immediately smile, think back and wonder where their old shipmates are and think about that parade ground, reputed to be the biggest in Europe before some of it was built on.

2017 sees the 70th anniversary of the Electrical Branch being formed with HMS Collingwood being its ‘home’. But lots of other people lived and worked there, cooks, writers, seamen, stokers, stores etc all to keep the ‘city’ functioning. So where is everybody and how do you get in touch?

There are two wonderful associations, both of which have reunions, arrange visits into today’s HMS Collingwood and the means of getting in touch with old shipmates. First there is the HMS Collingwood Association for anybody who served there, be they seamen from World War Two when the establishment trained those who had volunteered, the cooks who fed them or the Wrens who clothed them, or the stokers who kept the boilers going, right up to the present day dealing with the very latest in electronics. The membership secretary, Peter Lacey, can be reached on placey58@btinternet.com.

Still with HMS Collingwood as ‘home’, there is the more specialist and individual Royal Navy Electrical Branch Association, formed specifically for those who served in any of the derivatives of the electrical branch and is more aimed at ships served on, to try to reunite branch members on specific commissions.

This Association is linked with the Royal Navy in that at the request of the Royal Navy, the name has been changed to the Royal Navy Electrical and Weapons Engineering Branch Association and can include those serving at the present time.

Partially administered by volunteers at HMS Collingwood, the membership secretary Iain Crawford can be contacted on iaincrawf@yahoo.co.uk.

Katya Jones with her celebrity partner Joe McFadden

YEP Letters: December 9