YEP Letters: September 27

Have your say

Do games like Grand Theft Auto contribute to society’s problems or are they a harmless form of escapism?

I feel so strongly about this topic that I had to get in touch. For adults, who have the mental capacity to separate fantasy and reality, such games may well be a harmless diversion from every day life. My worries arise from the potentially harmful effects on children who are exposed to these games.

My nine-year-old son has recently been coming home from school claiming that most of his classmates play on Grand Theft Auto and make fun of him when he says that his mum will not let him play on it because it is an 18-rated game.

Some parents I know feel that they do not want to be mean by excluding their children from something their peers are allowed to do, others simply have no idea of the violent and sexual content of such games and enjoy the peace and quiet they get when their kids are occupied in front of a screen.

I feel that parents need to educate themselves about WHY these games carry age ratings. There is enough violence in the real world to shield our children from, never mind exposing them to it and making it into a leisure activity. Let them be kids for as long as possible as they grow up very quickly anyway these days with sex education at the age of 10 and war and violence on the news every day.

I worry that my son’s generation may have difficulty in empathising with other people’s suffering. When violence becomes a form of entertainment, what will the results be on society?

I for one will follow the age guidelines on the games I buy for my children and also the reason why I will continue to restrict the amount of time they spend in front of a screen..

Deborah McLeod, Garforth, Leeds.

Council should admit mistake

It is interesting to see how in Dublin both the city council and the civic trust are anxious to avoid having their town disfigured by overhead cables for a cross-city Luas line (The Irish Times, September 13, 2010, p.1). It is a pity such sensitivity is not shared by their counterparts here, who seem only interested in not losing face. When the council voted last July to proceed with the trolleybus scheme despite widespread local opposition, the argument used by the leader of the council Keith Wakefield deserves to be quoted in full: “Frankly, I think the credibility of this Council is here before us. For over 20 years all major parties have argued passionately about public investment – all major party leaders, as Councillor Carter said, have been down to successive Governments, successive Ministers to argue for investment. Sometimes I think people would be happy if we said we do not want it. What that would make us is the laughing stock of Europe .”

This is a bit rich, seeing that the Department of Transport has consistently expressed its preferences for buses, and that the idea for a trolleybus came from Leeds.

The council continued to publish misleading information with pretty pictures of trolleybuses abroad which only tell half the story ( No mention is made of the political debate over trolleybuses in both Lyon and Geneva, the fact that Salzburg has an abundant source of hydroelectricity, that you will not find motor cars competing for space in the narrow streets of Parma, because like most Italian towns it has a restricted traffic zone.

They would hoodwink us all, rather than admit that they had made a costly mistake.

Christopher Todd, Leeds 6

Can’t see wood for the trees...

THE OBJECTORS need to concentrate on the demerits of NGT in itself, not on peripheral effects such as on trees.

Having worked in Sheffield for 10 years during Supertram’s construction and initial operation, I realised that the benefits accrued to a limited clientele-roughly speaking those that happened to live within 200 yards of the track AND whose destination was also on that limited network. Everyone else in Sheffield (and Doncaster, Barnsley etc) were paying for something they would hardly ever use. But at least that scheme had three legs, so giving some chance of interchange.

NGT just serves one corridor, so has even less appeal, and I wonder whether Bradford, Wakefield etc citizens are happy to be paying for it?! The NGT vehicles will be of a unique design, built abroad, both reasons adding to the capital costs, just as it did for Supertram, with no benefit to UK business. None of these Tram/Trolleybus schemes are really worthwhile unless/until there is an extensive network, just like the old tramways. £50M was wasted on the tram project. Such an amount could have meant free travel on any bus for everyone for a year, or else make a huge contribution to a worthwhile project. For example, a heavy rail extension to Yeadon airport, convenient for all West Yorkshire citizens, and bringing travellers and their investment into our area. So, what could we do with another £50M saved from cancelling NGT?

Stuart Gilchrist, email

Why not trial scheme first?

BEFORE storming ahead with this expensive and damaging proposal, could the council not first try a pilot scheme using bus stops in the locations planned and FTR purple bendy buses? This would give a reasonable picture of the likely take up, added congestion and other difficulties with the trolleybus idea at minimal cost. Commitment would not be irreversible and amendments/re-thinks possible. Or would that be too easy?

Phil Greaves

More jobs to English speakers

THE GOVERNMENT come up with schemes for the NHS. The latest is to parachute top professionals in to “sort it out”.The answer is more simple, employ many more nursing staff, junior doctors and cleaners and everyone should speak and understand the English language so as to avoid misinterpretation.

J SHEDLOW, Moortown

Kept in the dark by energy firms

I heard the other day that should Labour win the next election they are going to freeze energy prices. I expect there will be outcry from your regular writers regarding blackouts and fuel shortages.

Let me assure you that nothing of the kind will happen. The fuel companies have been holding the country to ransom without any action at all from the present Government. m Please bear in mind that they are about to put up prices by 8%, this in an atmosphere where the current rate of inflation is 2.7% and being allowed to do so by Mr.Cameron. The only thing which will happen in 2015 to 2017 is that British Gas for example will only make £500 million profit in each of those years, some of which, no doubt will be dispensed to shareholders. All the other hoo haa is nonsense. I think that Mr.Milliband is right to pursue this policy and I am not a Socialist.

Mel Smart, Cotefields Avenue, Farsley.

Bloom’s stuck in mists of time

Why is it Godfrey Bloom says that any statements he makes are a joke and that anything he does is only “mock” ? Calling women “sluts” was a joke. Hitting a journalist over the head regarding the lack of “black faces” on their brochure was “mock outrage”. Threatening another journalist was a “joke”. Calling it rationalisation helps understand it (Letters Sept 19) but makes it no less offensive. Does Bloom think we’re too stupid to see through him ? Never mind Bongo Bongo Land, he seems to be stuck in the pages of The Eagle circa 1955.

R Kimble