YEP Letters: March 15

Keith Emerson
Keith Emerson
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Loss of another favourite musician

Terry Maunder, Kirkstall

After my letter about George Martin, I wake up to the news Keith Emerson is dead.

No doubt some readers haven’t heard of him but older ones like me will remember The Nice and their “hit” prog - rock single “America”. No doubt Cameron will try and promote himself by tweeting his sadness as if we can’t see right through him. Bernstein famously disliked their version of the song and tendency to burn a Stars & Stripes on stage. They made a few decent albums and captured that whole late 60s “prog” scene. I still have my copy of “America” bought on the day of release and a couple of their better albums. So many of my favourite musicians going this year. Sends a bit of a shiver up the spine.

Thanks for the music (again) Keith and The Nice. I hated ELP, though!


Leaving EU won’t turn GB into Disneyland

James Kirk, by email

I am English, I am white, I am Christian. Yet nothing makes me superior to any other human on this planet.

I have no geographical right to be occupying this space on Earth, it’s a simple by product of birth.

I am proud of my homeland, my love for it would make me want to fight to defend the freedom I enjoy. Freedom that came at a price many were willing to pay for with their lives.

I can pay no greater tribute to those who made that sacrifice than not to shame their place and the part they played in our nation’s history.

M Meeson’s recent letter regards taking back “our Great Britain” and letting Scotland depart the Union should it wish, made me wonder what history he was taught.

Scotland and England together with Wales united by the Act of Union passed by the Scottish Parliament and Westminster in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.

There would be no Great Britain without Scotland!

England does not exist as it does today because it stands alone! Indeed England does not fare well alone. We are a conquered nation, Danes, Normans, our language is laced with their words.

The United Kingdom, not England stood against the might of Germany, the Lend-Lease Act saw America pump millions of dollars and a fleet of ships into our war-chest until it was in a strong enough position to join us. Both American and Commonwealth war cemeteries are full of a diverse mix of nationalities who stood by our side.

After the Second World War this nation was rebuilt on immigration. Why does Mr Meeson think taxes are exclusively English, do no foreigners working and living here pay their share? Are their British born children of less value than our own? The simple act of buying a product subjects us all to value added tax which is distributed with all the other taxes collected as the Government we voted for see fit. Being out of Europe will not magically transform England into Disney Land with closed borders and its people empowered to see taxes are used as they want.

We are stuck with the same self-serving career politicians who will find a way to abuse our trust, and money!

That is the democracy we live with. At least we have a right to vote for the party we believe will best serve our interests.

Use your vote as you will, but never waste, nor forget it came at a price. And what makes Britain “Great” is the mutual sacrifice and gratitude we share with all those nations who gave us the opportunity and freedom to make up our own minds.

Democratic accountability

Martin Schweiger, by email

Last week Boris Johnson gave the example of a free trade deal that Canada is negotiating with Europe as a good example of what would be possible for Britain outside the EU.

He was referring to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement also known as CETA. CETA shares a number of characteristics of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership which many of us know as TIPP. Both of these treaties are a major threat to democracy, removing a great deal of power away from national governments to multinational corporations and an unaccountable court to settle disputes which rejoices in the name of Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).

Lots of initials, jargon and deliberately very complex these so called free trade deals are anything but free. If you are worried about democratic accountability find out about CETA and TIPP so you can raise the debate before the British people lose the ability to say NO, not in our name.

What happened to good manners?

Brian Hyman, Leeds

I have not used the bus service over the last 40 years but now with the aid of my bus pass I find it much more convenient to use the bus service to go to town.

What happened on the way back today amazed me. A lady with a full parcel got on but there were no seats available. Not one person offered to give up their seat to help, kids with their parents just sat there without a second thought.

I immediately stood up and offerd the lady my seat. This was almost second nature to me. The lady seemed surprised by my show of basic good manners.

What have we come to? We are more intrested in political correctness than good manners and basic common sense. Why does a bit of simple courtesy look so out of place ?

People have the world at their fingertips with their I phones and Ipads yet are clueless when it comes to any thing like this.

Heartless plans

Dr Glyn Powell, Kellington

Should Chancellor Osborne proceed with heartless plans to tighten the daily living component criteria of Personal Independent Payment (PIP) claims for disabled people, hundreds of thousands of the poorest and most vulnerable people in society will be much worse off after Wednesday’s budget!

This country, which is the fifth richest in the world, will also lose all claim to be a decent, caring society that takes care of its most vulnerable citizens.

Furthermore, should Osborne raise income tax thresholds for high earners, he will be aping the heinous measures of King John, by taking money from the poor to feather the nests of the wealthy.

Rather than rob the poor, Osborne should take a close look at the worth of pet government schemes like HS2, Trident and the building of nuclear power plants, to make massive savings.HS2 is flawed and is not worth the massive financial outlay for the jobs created or journey times reduced. Trident is a complete waste of taxpayer’s money. Whilst nuclear power stations are too expensive and generate electricity at too high a cost for consumers.

Also, billions of pounds could be saved for the exchequer and nullify the need to further impoverish the poorest by the British people voting to withdraw from the European Union in June’s referendum.

Misguided on cyclists

Andrew Vickers, Leeds 6

As someone who pays Vehicle Excise Duty for both of my cars I am more than happy to pay for improvements for cyclists on our roads.

Peter Horton (YEP letters March 12) is entitled to be “astonished” by suggestions to fund cycle infrastructure improvements from tax, but he is misguided I’m afraid.

As for cyclists paying tax - most do anyway. I’m also a cyclist and I pay two lots of VED, VAT, Fuel Duty, Income Tax etc. Worth noting that motorists running low emission or electric cars pay NO vehicle excise duty, why should cyclists?

Drivers ignore 20mph limit

J P Goldsbrough, by email

For some motorists speed limits are there to be ignored.

I live in a so called 20 mph limit (Gledhow Park Drive) and three out of five drivers ignore the limit, some are over 40 mph. I have seen cars with their rear wheels off the ground, over the humps.

Neither highways or the police are interested as they say the humps are ‘self policing,’ whatever that means. The Gledhows are supposed to be a quiet residential area, but a recent survey revealed that 750 cars a day pass our house! The whole area is a ‘rat run’ and no one will even consider a solution. I think it is time to blitz selfish drivers in 20 mph areas, especially in rush hours.