YEP Letters: July 6

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

The setting aside of democracy

M Harg, by email

In the YEP on the 1st of July it was reported that following financial inducements from central government the leaders of Leeds and Sheffield councils said that: “the local electorate’s rejection of elected mayors may have to be set aside”.

Regardless of my thoughts on elected mayors, I feel a sense of outrage at this for it is the “setting aside” of democracy!

Have we really reached a stage when democracy can be “set aside” so thoughtlessly, with nary a word of either objection or understanding

One may perhaps be forgiven for thinking that the subject of democracy and its presence or absence in the UK may well be worth some attention by the YEP. It may well be of no small interest to the electorate.

The height of hypocrisy

Derek Barker, Moortown

Iain Duncan Smith, along with more than a dozen other MPs has had his House of Commons expenses credit card suspended for inappropriate spending.

This is the benefits minister who says that people on benefits don’t know how to spend their money wisely, which is why he is cutting benefits to encourage recipients to be more discerning in their spending habits and to be more frugal.

What a hypocrite. He and his cronies clearly can’t manage their own finances on the incomes that they have so what qualifies IDS to lecture others on their spending habits only God knows. Does he risk being declared bankrupt as any other mere mortal would do in these circumstances? This is simply another example of the do as I say not as I do culture that exists among the upper echelons of our society who are completely out of touch with the rest of the country.

Other side of the coin

R Pearson, Leeds 9

Mr Nicholson (YEP, June 22), in his true Tory mode, quoted Winston Churchill as saying that “private enterprise is the sturdy horse that pulls along our economy”.

That may well be but I can find quotes that give the other side of the coin. “No business which depends for existing on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in business. By business I mean the whole of commerce and industry.

“By workers I mean all workers – the white collar class as well as the one in overalls and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level – I mean the wages of decent living” (President FD Roosevelt).

Here is one more to shame the nasty side of the Tory party: “Trade unions have done more for humanity than any other organisation of men than ever existed .

“They have done more for decency , for education,for the betterment of the 
human race and for the development of character in man than any other association of men.” (Clarence Darrow, lawyer.)

My own personal favourite is: “The forces of a capitalist society, if left unchecked, tend to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.”

Who can say otherwise!

Need for self-reflection

T Maunder, Kirkstall

I have listened to a news report this morning about Cameron stating that we have stand by our principles of a free press, democracy, solid values and so forth in the face of the IS threat.

Add to these the verypositive values of welfare cuts (I’m being ironic).

May I point out that this threat is in part due to an illegal war against Iraq, based on the mendacity of two Christian politicians who were world leaders at the time.

American soldiers tortured and killed captive Iraqi prisoners. The murder of one has yet to result in anyone being charged. Countless innocent women and children were killed in “shock and awe” – just how sick is it to use such a phrase?

When American politicians talk about “promoting American values” they mean they think they own the world, have a God-given right to interfere in other countries and have the best society in the world. Never mind that they still basically practice apartheid, just for one example.

It would do all of us good if Western politicians did some self-reflection and consider how their policies have invited this group (IS) into our back yards: if you dump in someone else’s back garden long enough,they will start doing it in yours.

Wherever Americans go, they contaminate it : just look at how many still hunt animals illegally in Africa and then post photographs of the dead animal draped in an American flag (fact courtesy of WWF). Says it all, really.

School children and stress

R Kimble, Hawksworth

As an addendum to my letter (YEP, June 29) about stress and school children.

This morning I encountered the consequences of the very positive and productive behaviour of local ones.

One of the favoured activities of some of them is tearing branches off trees.

One of these branches was left on the pavement outside one house this morning: no thought about the threat it might represent to elderly people, of course. No thought for the tenant who has to remove it.

These are the same 
children who are constantly verbally abused by their parents (and that is not an excuse for their behaviour, 
just a fact of their lives – they still choose to be obnoxious); who swear like troopers themselves; who stick their tongues out at you or ask what the xxxx you’re looking at if 
you glance at them and who abuse their siblings in awful language.

I’ve heard some of them talking about how their mum or dad has given so-and-so what for on, yes you guessed it, Facebook and how good it was they did it.

Never (despite being a nihilistic, radical Epicurean) did I say, or do, such things in front of my parents or to local neighbours. Yes, occasionally naughty, but never such low life behaviour : their paths to prison are pretty assured, I guess.

As a measure of my immaturity at the time, incidentally, when I got home and looked up the words nihilistic and Epicurean (I knew what radical meant), far from being insulted I was actually rather pleased with myself (well, it was 1969).

Now I just smile at my innocence that the revolution was about to happen.

Far out, man.