WHAT IS it with energy companies? They are making billions of pounds of profit, yet all they do is jack up their prices.
They know we cannot go anywhere else, we have to have the product, so their extortionate increases keep on coming.
There are two reasons for this: privatisation and capitalist greed, two major standards of Tory ideas backed up by the big business fat cats.
Since Thatcher privatised the energy industry it has been one long bonanza for a few hundred people and a financial disaster for millions of ordinary “hard working families”. The fatal flaw of capitalism is greed and it becomes more obvious each day that there is too much worship of the gold calf by people with no social conscience. People who think that there is no such thing as society.The real problem is that those in the political and media elite are mostly ignorant about life on the edge, about real hunger, desperate need and lack of disposable wealth. Even paid work is no way out of poverty when the cost of living is so high and wages so low.
It is difficult to understand the cost of living if you have no idea what it is like to be poor, to keep and raise and feed a family on a low wage. It is difficult if your only problem is whether to buy starter flats for your children or start planning your next three exotic holidays.
The working and the workless poor are carrying the can for a politically failed system which is neither fair, just or equitable, presided over by a political class that has not won an election in 21 years. Democracy? It’s a joke.
R Pearson, Brignall Garth, Leeds 9
Politicians all talk and no do
PLEASE CAN I respond to Pauline Brearley’s letter, “Too soon to turn business round” (October 12)? Your questions answered – family business not council; 28 days notice; staff seven days; went from red to black in less than three months (hard work), so much so I was told to engage two more full time staff because of the increase in business. The point I was trying to make is MPs are all talk and no do! My idol was Clement Attlee and his wonderful welfare state examples: NHS, holidays with pay, sick pay, care homes with care and lovely food and heat (not 15 minutes) all the new council houses with baths and gardens away from the large families living in one up and one down slums, in his just three years in No 10.To reply to “no work”, two years ago a man with broken English and an old ladder came and cleaned my windows. Now he has a top-of-the-range van and others working with him paying their council taxes.
A big thank you Pauline, I have enjoyed reliving my glory and achievements in the real world of 28 years ago.
Name & address supplied
Take action on energy costs
HOUSEHOLDERS, especially, OAPs are reeling from the latest price increases of both gas and electricity at over three times the rate of inflation, which have already wiped out both the winter fuel allowance and whatever state pension rise comes from the triple lock guarantee next year, with BT’s own latest 3.5 per cent rise in landline rental charges increasing the pressure before further increases from anybody else adds to the cost of living burden.
But does salvation lie in the Government’s hands? As a large part of our energy costs arise from the crackpot green levies and carbon reduction taxes introduced by Labour’s Ed Miliband last time, along with the outrageous imposition of five per cent VAT put on by a previous Conservative administration.
With the SNP now offering to remove these excess charges as a bribe to buy ‘yes’ votes in the forthcoming independence referendum, why can’t the coalition do the same for us especially when Germany is ignoring the renewables claptrap and building more coal-fired power stations to burn German coal to provide German jobs for German workers?
The other weapon available to Messrs Cameron and Osborne is the windfall tax which can be applied – retrospectively – if need be to curb excess profits and dividends of any company made from too high prices.
DS Boyes, Rodley Lane, Leeds 13
‘Be like dad, keep mum’
I WOULD like to correct know-it-all Malcolm Nicholson.
The wartime slogan was not loose talk costs lives, but “careless talk costs lives”.
His letters are a source of amusement to myself and friends.
He sounds like a grouchy old man. He should give it a rest trying to run the country and take heed of another wartime slogan, “Be like dad, keep mum.” ‘Nuff said.
Joyce Ellis, Thorpe, Wakefield
Ageing in the UK
WE ARE constantly being told that here in Great Britain we have an ageing population.
Can someone please enlighten me, am I to believe that this is the only country where people actually age?
If this is the case why is half of Asia, Africa and the rest of the world prepared to use any means fair or foul to gain entry to this island when seemingly they are assured of eternal youth where they now live?
Ron Wilson, Carlton, Wakefield
THE ECB last week outlined its criteria for bank asset quality for 124 Eurozone banks. The reserve is set at 8 per cent. Before everyone yawns and turns to the sports page, this does affect you. It means Europe, and North America, continues to work with the ‘fractional reserve’ banking system.
Simplistically, for every £100 you have deposited at the bank, they only hold £8. Most of this is in government debt which cannot conceivably be repaid. Another massive banking crisis is therefore inevitable. I have been warning about this for the last twenty years in my professional and political life. You have been warned! The worst is yet to come.
Godfrey Bloom MEP, Economic & Monetary Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire
On three seats
I AM constantly bemused by the behaviour of some of my peers (age 50+). Perhaps it’s a response against unruly teenagers and people who take over train tables with their laptops and glare at you if you ask them to move the thing but it seems to me they should know better.
On a train the other morning a man clearly my age got on a train from Leeds and sat on one of those three-seater seats. He sat on the middle one, placed newspapers on the window seat and a shoulder bag on the aisle seat. He then sat back, eyes closed, job done, no likelihood of one of those pesky passengers sitting next to him. Unbelievable.
R Kimble, email
Scrap the buses
WELL SAID, Christopher Hammond (Your views, October 28) I polled several younger Headingley residents over the weekend, and they wanted to know what the big problem was… they cited a very frequent bus service and didn’t see the traffic as being particularly bad.
I’ve been travelling this road since about 1983, and I think it got a lot worse c. 1993, when the university’s population erupted, and the poly decided it ought to become a university. I actually think it is no worse now than it was in 1993.
My own preference is to allow cars more space and get rid of buses. They’re part of the problem, not the solution. If you banned buses, cycles, taxis, mini-cabs and lorries, it would be fine. Just have a fleet of free mini-buses and private cars. Long-route buses could run from Lawnswood. I would also create covered cycle-routes off the roads.
Mark Wilson, Leeds 6