YEP Letters: March 22

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Please pick up after your dogs...

Helen Sweet, by email

Dog owners, please pick up your dog’s poo from paths and pavements.

Paths and pavements are used by people. People tread in the dog poo. Dog poo is trodden into mats and carpets in schools, cars and homes.

Dog poo gets onto school shoes and wellies. Shoes and wellies go in bags and lockers. Bags and lockers contain books and toys.

Books and toys are handled by our children. Dog poo gets onto our children.

Please just pick up after your dogs.

Picture showed powerful scene of city industry

Dr Kevin Grady, Leeds 16

Recently Baz Walker asked (YEP Letters, March 5) if anyone knew what had become of the wonderful painting of Monk Bridge Ironworks, which used to hang in the company’s boardroom before the buildings were demolished.

Fortunately, the picture is reproduced in an excellent book about the ironworks published by York Archaeological Trust in 2011 which presents a study undertaken by ArcHeritage for BAM Properties Ltd.

It really is a splendid picture. In September 1854 Stephen Whitham sold the ironworks to James Kitson, and on 1 January 1855 to mark Stephen’s retirement his ‘late devoted workmen’ as ‘a token of esteem and regard’ presented him with the painting by ‘Mr Widdas of Little London, Leeds’. The Leeds Mercury on 6 January 1855 described it as an ‘excellent and faithful work of art’.

Widdas depicts the ironworks from the north-east, looking across the River Aire and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The 1827 Monk Bridge is on the left with the spire of the recently erected (1852-53) St. John the Baptist, Spence Lane, New Wortley in the distance. The viaduct of the Leeds, Dewsbury & Manchester railway line can be seen on the right.

The view is dominated by the two single-storey, brick puddling sheds with their massive chimneys spouting smoke and flames. As Baz Walker remembered, not only is it a powerful scene of industry but the picture is 
given great charm by the pedestrians on the bridge and the sheep and horses crossing it.

I believe the picture is still in the possession of Doncasters Precision Forgings based in Sheffield, which bought Monk Bridge Ironwork in 1951 and sold the site for redevelopment in recent years.

We need new EU referendum

Mike Harwood, Leeds 5

The Brexit referendum is losing credibility by the day.

I have argued all along that there is nothing undemocratic in one referendum replacing and reversing an earlier one; just as since the beginning of our democracy (which is precious and must be defended) it has been accepted (and indeed common) for one Act of Parliament to replace or modify an earlier one where the electorate thought such a change desirable; the desirability of a new referendum is now increasing by the day.

But the matter is now more serious; and it seems that defence of our democracy might actually require a new referendum; certainly common sense does.

We now know that the supposed £350 a week extra for the NHS as a result of Brexit was a fabrication of the leave campaign; together with much else.

We were not warned that the supposed ‘freedom’ to trade with all the world might well be a poisoned chalice; just one example – a headline recently that ‘Milk from infected cows could be sold in UK under post-Brexit US trade deal.’ Does Brexit mean freedom to infect our kids?

Every day we see a government, propped up by and in thrall to the support of the DUP purchased with our money; a government which says the referendum vote must be followed but cannot agree among itself what that means: a hard, a soft Brexit; or maybe a medium rare one!

The referendum had nothing to say on this. You cannot abide by a referendum vote which has not addressed the question at issue. As I have said, however, the matter is more serious.

As I understand it, the news now breaking suggests to me that the way in which a person was likely to vote might have been improperly influenced, in favour of a leave vote, by the use of personal information garnered from Facebook by certain agencies.

It seems that the vote may not have been quite the free vote that a democracy requires; and the absence of which in Russia we mock.

What is now urgently needed is a new referendum which does address the central questions; the conduct of which is properly monitored and the complete freedom of which is protected.

We are proud to differ from the Russian electoral system. Let us keep it that way.

Think about how the EU deal can be improved

D Angood, by email

Re the letter of John Cole (YEP, March 19) and the recurring theme of his idea of how wrong Brexit is and how wrong the people who voted to leave are.

He quotes Mark Twain but that erudite gentleman was known for many quotes one of which is “all you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure”. The question being of which Mr Cole has a surfeit.

Maybe a more suitable quote might be “It is easier to be a fool and fool oneself over one’s own thinking”.

The rhetoric of Mr Cole continually decrying the Brexit decision and all those who made it always tries to include a “valid” reason for his thinking.

The majority who voted leave were not fooled by the £350m for the NHS; they were more concerned how the rules and regulations legislated by the EU were affecting the British way of life.

Yes, we may need more civil servants to unravel some of the more complex red tape that the EU parcelled us up with but only to return to more simple and more agreeable legislation that the British people wish to see. It is the “pig-headedness” of the remainers who continually cry foul and try to stop play without the benefit of the referee’s whistle.

Maybe if they turned their way of thinking into how they could improve the deal for the benefit of Britain, that might be more productive, instead of all the negativity.

Maybe they could fool themselves into believing 
that but then they would have to persuade themselves they had been fooled, but that could be too difficult for them.