YEP Letters: May 13

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

Why is it so wrong to catch bad drivers?

Ivan Kovacks, Leeds

Over the past year there have been regular articles and especially letters in this column about the plethora of traffic cameras persecuting motorists for speeding, going through red lights and violating restricted lanes and such like.

Universally the writers accuse the council of seeing the motorists as a cash cow to be milked through the use of these cameras.

What we should remember is that there have always been punishments for speeding and running red lights but the capture of these criminals depended on there being a policeman on hand to see the crime.

Why do people rant now it’s easier to catch and punish these offenders?

I don’t see letters complaining when CCTV is used to identify, enable arrests and convictions of those guilty of assault, criminal damage, rape and other serious offences.

So why fuss about speeding and traffic light cameras, when these offences could easily lead to injury or death?

As to being caught in bus lanes or similar, these are well signposted so if drivers cannot see a well-placed sign does this mean they could just as easily miss a pedestrian on a crossing or a cyclist on the road?

I would like to see a camera built in to each set of traffic lights to catch all who go through at red.

And it would be great to see all road junctions with hatched lines covered by these as this is a serious impediment when people who move on when there is no clear exit and then block other drivers when the lights change.

Who, apart from taxi drivers, could object to that?

Stand up for suffering girls

S Phillips, Chapel Allerton

It’s almost exam time again, and masses of young people in Leeds are revising for exams.

Although I don’t think our education system is perfect, I am ashamed when I think of children in other parts of the world who are being kept out of school right now by discrimination and violence. Just because they are girls.

I worry about our daughters getting harassed on the buses, but for girls in many parts of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa walking to school each day means facing not just harassment, but serious intimidation and even outright violence.

In one year alone, an estimated 150 million girls experience sexual violence.

I was shocked to learn that worldwide, nearly half of all sexual assaults are committed against girls younger than 16! In many societies, a girl’s education ends abruptly in her early teens by forced marriage or pregnancy.

Reading I Am , the autobiography of a young and now famous teenager, I am both saddened and inspired. Saddened by the situation in Pakistan and inspired by young women like Malala who are standing up for their right to go to school.

Places like Afghanistan or Uganda might feel like a long way away from Leeds, but I don’t think those girls are so very different from our own. I believe every child has the right to an education.

I support a charity called Womankind Worldwide, which provides practical ways to help women and girls escape violence, speak out about it, and change the attitudes that allow it to happen.

Until June 5 every donation made to Womankind will be matched pound for pound by the UK government.

If anyone would like to support their work, contact them at Womankind Worldwide, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT, call 020 7549 0360 or visit www.womankind.org.uk. How about it?

Clegg doesn’t deserve snears

John Collins, Alwoodley

Terry Maunder’s mean-spirited sneer at Nick Clegg’s comment that the election results for the Lib Dems were cruel was shameful.

It is so easy to forget the desperate situation we were in in May 2010, when Cameron asked the Lib Dems to go into coalition.

We were on the verge of going the way of Spain or even Greece, with massive unemployment following financial collapse.

It was vital to get a firm Government within days. Clegg could have said no or haggled for weeks as parties do in other countries. Instead he insisted that this country’s interest comes first.

I have disagreed with Nick Clegg on a number of issues – and have written to him to tell him so – but he has been an honest leader and an able Deputy Prime Minister.

Many of the reforms over the past five years would not have happened if the Lib Dems had not been part of the government.

But there is no gratitude in politics. Yes, the results were cruel.

It may be because they recognise that thousands of people in the few days since the election have applied for membership of the Lib Dems.

Labour still has lessons to learn

R Kimble, Hawksworth

Only a few days after the election and already Labour are showing why a lot of people have departed from them.

Harriet Harman was interviewed on BBC News the other morning and failed to answer a single question put to her, engaging instead in avoidance behaviour.

Hardly inspires confidence, does it?

I think also that a full apology for Iraq is needed: It simply isn’t enough for Jack Straw to whinge about what a hard decision it was or for Miliband to say lessons have been learned.

Israel often first to help

Malcolm Shedlow, Moortown

Let us give credit where credit is due. When there is a disaster such as Nepal (and others), Israel is the first to send more manpower than any other country. They sent three times more than the next nearest country,Britain.

Israel set up a field hospital and treated more than 500 people up to now. They have performed at least 50 operations and delivered five babies.

With very little notice Israel has set up two operating rooms for intensive care. eighty beds for neonatal care and performed many operations for the sick and wounded.

Let us put politics aside and admire the fact that Israel is one of the first countries to offer on the ground aid, a fact that is not generally known.