YEP Letters: November 7

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Dignity used for political point scoring

S A Jefford, Ireland Wood

T. Maunder is interesting on health care companies and the benefits system (YEP Opinion, October 26).

A review in brief of some of the issues around this as the year draws to a close may be thought yet more so. According to the online version of Hansard, one Tyneside MP claimed during a recent debate in the House of Commons that “it is no longer about getting people into work; it is about getting them off benefits by any means necessary.” The current approach, she stated, had “a terrible impact on [claimants’] well-being, and in particular, their mental health” (January 7, 2015). They were being treated as “second class citizens, scroungers and cheats.”

And on October 28, it was revealed on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today in Parliament’ that “investigations” are currently being undertaken into the circumstances surrounding the suicidal deaths of no less than 60 people [sic] who had had their benefits stopped, although there are apparently no plans to publish the findings.

At the same time it was reported that over 2,000 people “have died” [?] following so-called Work Capability Assessments. The Government has responded by saying it does not consider that a clear relationship between “cause and effect” has been established.

In between times, there was a degree of controversy over published statements by the DWP, nationally, to the effect that benefit claimants themselves supported what is euphemistically called the “sanctions regime” and the suggestion aired in the Commons that these assertions had no basis in fact.

Whilst I am in no position to judge the truth or otherwise of these claims and counter-claims, it is disturbing that human dignity should be used for the purposes of political point-scoring.

Then again, the Prime Minister himself did say, publicly, recently, apropos of unemployment, that “we will give you all the help you need.” In what does this “help” consist?

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Restoring club’s former glory?

Peter Cooney, Leeds 8

THROUGH your pages I would like to announce to the city and the world that I am now available to take over the Leeds United chief coach/manager position at Elland Road.

I have submitted my CV to the chairman, I forget his name. My CV includes experience as assistant coach to St Herbert’s CofE primary school under 11s when we got through to the quarter finals of the Bishops Cup (admittedly we were beaten 7-1 but one of our centrebacks had mumps and could only stand in the penalty area). I’ve also completed a West Riding County FA coaching course and a course on refereeing, both of which, I’m told, I got pretty close to passing.Two years ago I took over as transport/travel manager for the Golden Lion Hotel in the Leeds Sunday Sceptics League. We never once got lost and turned up on time for every match.

I also took on the role of tea-making and it’s said that my half-time orange segments are inspirational. I’ve learnt, too, to tie both short and long boot laces which I know will be a help to two of the club strikers and some of the defensive players.

For the last six months I’ve been on the Atkins diet and am now down to a thin-looking 18.5 stone - club image is so important!

When I take over the club I will expect the people of this great city to stand behind me as a man, woman and child to give me the strength and support which I will need to restore the club to its former glory.

Thank you to care home

Jane Willacy, Leeds 13

WE are often hearing horrific tales of abuse and neglect in care and residential homes. This fortunately is not one of them. Headingley Hall Care Home on Shire Oak Road in Leeds needs the recognition it deserves.

Dad who passed away on 3 October this year was fortunate to live there for the last year of his life. Each and every one of the staff have been brilliant with dad during his stay, especially when he was diagnosed with lung cancer in August this year. The care, patience, respect and support he received was second to none. There was plenty of support for us as a family too. Dad was happy living here and it’s thanks to these wonderful people that dad didn’t have to go into hospital.

There was also lots of care and support from the GPs at Burton Croft Surgery, district nurses and Wheatfields Hospice. We felt reassured when we left to go home, Dad was safe and well looked after.

We can’t name the staff individually as there are so many but we’ll never be able to thank them enough.

Kindness shown at centre

Olga Twist, Leeds 14

I use a mobility scooter to do a little shopping twice a week at Seacroft Centre, this means I must make the effort to go out - I’m writing this note to say thank you to everyone who shop in the centre as the help and kindness of everyone is unbelievable.

I know some folk can get off their scooter and leave it at the doorway and slowly make their way around walking - I wish I could do so, but it means I can only shop in Poundland and Tesco. The help I receive in both shops is really very welcome, I know some people think because I can do a little shopping that I’m not house-bound, but I do get very weary pushing my four-wheeled trolley around the house getting from A to B. But I just keep on trying to look after myself, though I find it hard work now at my age. A few years ago any job I tackled was so easy and so in my mind it still is, until I suddenly come to a full stop and have to rest.

So many thanks to all those kind shoppers at Seacroft and to the other big shopping centre for all the kindness and help you give to everyone using a mobility scooter.

Drones and robots

A Hague, Leeds 9

SO drones and robots are being made in Leeds to fix our lights and fill in potholes (October 17) in a pioneering research project costing £4m.

Is our world going mad? We are all suffering cuts to vital services and have been for years, yet millions can be found for experiments which is a success will mean more redundancies in many of our manufacturing jobs and life or death in our hospitals continues, as staff reduces for lack of money.

Heaven help the young on this earth of ours.

Katya Jones with her celebrity partner Joe McFadden

YEP Letters: December 9