YEP Letters: November 18

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I hadn’t seen the Sainsbury’s Christmas advertisement until I read the article ‘Watchdog complaint over store’s festive ad’ (YEP, November 15).

After reading that Fr Clews was outraged by the advertisement I searched for it on YouTube and after watching it I was very surprised that anyone could take offence at what I thought was a tasteful and moving recreation of an event that has entered into British folklore.

I believe that instead of viewing the advert as a “trivialisation of a tragic event” it should be viewed as a celebration of a beautiful event in an otherwise horrific episode in the history of the UK and Germany.

My grandfather fought in several theatres of war from 1914-18, I served 22 years in the armed forces, including a 
tour in Germany, so I would think that I would be well placed to take offence 
should the advert actually cause any.

However, Fr Clews is correct when he says that it was a tragedy that the ceasefire ended thanks to the threat of execution from politicians and senior officers.

The advertisement won’t make me do my weekly shop at Sainsbury’s because I couldn’t afford to, but it does increase awareness of the British Legion, which can only be a good thing.

C Larkin, Leeds

Alarm over privatisation

I visited my elderly aunt at the weekend to find her in a very distraught state following receipt of a letter from Leeds City Council regarding the proposal to transfer the In-House Community Support Service to an external provider.

On the one hand the letter states that they are proposing ‘no more than consultation and that no decisions have been taken’ but later states that ‘we are sorry to bring you this unwelcome news but we will also be reporting that should the service be discontinued, we will work with individual service users and their families to ensure any transfer between providers would be done with minimal disruption.’ To anyone with any modicum of common sense this is local government ‘double speak’ at its best (or worse) and indicates to me that a decision has already been made by Leeds City Council to privatise this very important and sensitive public service.

Quite a lot of elderly people will be alarmed at these proposals and I would like to know from Leeds City Council what form the consultation process will take and what provisions will be in place to ensure that public scrutiny of the results are available?

Also contained in this letter from Mr Dennis Holmes, Acting Director of Adult Social Services, is the statement that the review carried out by them ‘found that services of a similar nature and quality to those supplied by the in-house service are available from alternative providers in the city’.’

Where is the evidence to substantiate this? Anecdotal evidence informs me that once any public service is privatised there follows a reduction in the level of service standards and that the main criteria is one of cutting costs thereby satisfying the shareholders but not the service users i.e. in this case elderly and vulnerable people.

Alan Thorpe, Whitkirk

I always ignore unwanted calls

Like Christine Waterland (YEP, November 10), I am also fed up with advertising telephone calls.

My solution is just not to answer when the phone rings and to return the call of any caller who leaves a message.

Mrs Waterland is, however, incorrect in her criticism of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists as a charity which sends what she refers to as “free samples” through the post.

MFPA is NOT a charity, but an expanding business which was set up to enable people who do not have the use of their hands to use their artistic talents to earn a living.

This is made quite clear in all their correspondence. As a business, it is their commercial decision to risk sending packages of their products to potential new customers.

I have been purchasing MFPA cards, wrapping paper, jigsaws and other items for many years.

The products are always good quality and I am humbled by the determination of so many people, who might otherwise be written off, to utilise whatever skills they retain in a productive way.

Elisabeth Baker, Moortown

Pay a £10 fine if you lose a bin

READING THAT the residents of Wakefield face a £10 charge for lost or stolen wheeled bins (YEP), I am surprised Leeds don’t also do this.

Why should hardworking taxpayers pay for replaced bins where the residents cannot take care of them?

Admittedly we used to have steel bins, too heavy to be broken or stolen, and bags should be collected where there are no bins.

All houses should have a gate, but many do not, and bins can be stolen easily.

A secured gate means a 
safe bin, but landlords of private houses won’t provide them.

A Hague, Harehills

Horrific testing on monkeys

I WAS appalled to read that over 250 mice and marmoset monkeys were infected with Ebola in Ministry of Defence tests.

They were all fully conscious. Some were killed when their suffering became too great. All the rest were killed when they had no further use for them.

I wonder why animals are bred to suffer in this dreadful way. Their short lives must have been horrific.

Jennifer Bookbinder, Cottingley

Bleating over killer’s jail term

I ANTICIPATED that it would not take long before the sanctimonious, bleeding hearts emerged to voice their horror that Will Cornick, a murderer, would have to serve a long sentence – how dreadful. Valerie Corrick (YEP, November 13) is unhappy.

I would imagine Mrs Maguire’s family are unhappy too, with so much more justification.

Valerie Corrick moans that Cornick needs medical attention.

Well, so do the members of the bleeding hearts club. I suggest a brain transplant would be beneficial.

G Rowlatt, Armley

When law goes up in smoke

I read that consideration is being given to the introduction of yet more laws relating to the banning of smoking in public parks and in vehicles containing children.

A moratorium on the introduction of new laws should be invoked until the appropriate authorities formulate an action plan to police and enforce the myriad of existing laws that are blatantly ignored with impunity.

You only have to consider such examples as the laws against smoking in works 
vans, the use of mobile 
phones whilst driving, the regulations for fireworks, dog fouling and, cyclists using pavements to the detriment of pedestrian safety to realise that the relevant laws are 
unfit for purpose and are broken by countless people who know they will almost certainly escape detection 
and will not incur any retribution.

When a law loses its credibility because it is not enforced and there is no penalty to pay, an ever increasing number of individuals will take every opportunity to treat it with contempt.

If you ask criminals (I have) why they commit offences, most will say it is because they had a very good chance of not being caught (unless they are a motorist).

B Nickson, Wakefield

YEP Letters: February 19