YEP Letters: September 8

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The Jewish migrants made Leeds thrive

Malcolm Shedlow, Moortown

As a Jewish person whose grandparents came over here to get away from oppression in Europe, I can identify what these migrants are fleeing from and why they are wanting a better life for their families.

To all those people who think that the migrants will be a drain on this country, can I say that the Jewish migrants also came with just the clothes they were wearing. They integrated, worked hard to provide for their families and eventually opened corner shops and tailoring factories giving thousands of jobs to Leeds’ residents.

Some studied to become professional, doctors, dentists, solicitors and the like. In short they helped to make Leeds what it is today, a thriving vibrant city.

This suffering needs to end

Jinny Lazenby, Leeds 28

I’m sure we have all been appalled by months of coverage of the suffering of ordinary people like us who have been forced to flee from their war-torn countries. Which one of us, in a similar position, would not do all in our power to protect our children and other loved ones by fleeing the country if no alternative is available?

Anyone who has gone to the lengths that these people have gone to in order to find safety deserves our welcome. The people who have travelled to Europe from Syria are generally speaking educated, resourceful individuals who would make a great contribution to our country. We need to welcome our share of these people. We need to end the suffering at the borders of Europe. We don’t need their suffering on our conscience.

Refugees are welcome

J Taylor, Leeds 16

Everyone was overwhelmed with sorrow at the harrowing photographs of the plight of refugees last week. Let us remember that this picture could be replicated thousands of times, but maybe we need one picture of one little boy like this to underline the human tragedy this exodus of refugees has become.

I hope that Leeds will join in with other cities and towns across England to offer sanctuary and safety to some of these families.

What about silent majority?

Dennis Andrews, Leeds 11

I would like to ask all the do-gooders and politicians who are crying out for us to take thousands more migrants/refugees from Syria two questions.

1: Where are we going to put them? 2. Would they be happy to have them next door to them, or in their street or do they just want to palm them off on others who won’t have any say in the matter? I have no idea myself of the answer to question one but I am fairly confident I know the answer to question two. Apparently there have been 400,000 signatures to a petition saying we should take in more of these people. So based on the UK population being approximately 60 million, I calculate that 59.9 million didn’t sign it. The term ‘silent majority’ springs to mind.

Lack of awareness

Dave MacFadyen, by email

Paul C Thompson’s letter (YEP 4 September) describes A Hague’s letter (YEP 1 September) as “a refreshing and very common sense letter”. Whenever you hear or see “common sense” mentioned it almost always precedes a prejudiced view.

Both letters show thinly veiled prejudice. A Hague is of the opinion that all Greek people should be punished for the actions of successive governments. Does he apply the same rule to himself? He also takes a pot shot at poor people who have the effrontery to gamble.

Paul C Thompson says: “The standard of living these days is very reasonable (thousands prepared to risk their lives to come here) even for lower earners, provided money is carefully spent.” Millions of our citizens would fail to recognise this description of their lives.

Also, the thousands he refers to (who in fact are refugees risking their own and their children’s lives to escape lawless war zones) will be sorely disappointed if they ever make it to the UK, having believed it to be a safe and tolerant country. Confused, to say the least, he can’t decide whether this is an affluent country or merely enjoying a standard of life beyond our means. He ends his letter saying:“ALL support should go to those whose work, produce, invest, and generate the country’s income.” He hasn’t noticed that most of our manufacturing base has gone and that the few survivors have been unable to acquire the necessary credit to function. Yes Mr Thompson, not all credit is bad. One has to wonder how Messrs Thompson and Hague manage to maintain such an impressive lack of awareness, in the modern world, where all information can be accessed in seconds if you really want to offer intelligent comment to topical discourse.

Trams in their proper place

Christopher Todd, Leeds 6

I share Mr Bovington’s dislike of the NGT trolleybus scheme, (YEP letters September 3) but do not share his enthusiasm for seeing a tram on the proposed trolleybus route. Proper necessary segregation is not possible for much of the A660, and I have always felt that Leeds would have had a tram system by now if it had not been decided to add this route to the original Supertram scheme.

Good as they are, trams are not suitable everywhere, and despite what Mr Bovington implies they are not universally popular in France. A case in point is Avignon where the current mayor was elected last year on an anti-tram ticket. Yet – just as happened in Edinburgh and such is the power of financial lobbying and political infighting – the scheme for a tram is still set go ahead, though clearly seen to be unpopular.

As planned, it will go from a bridge on the Rhône to a housing estate, attaching wires to the city’s medieval ramparts, but not serving the TVG station, the main business or shopping areas or even the hospital. It originated in municipal rivalry. Just as some in Leeds are jealous of Manchester, so some in Avignon are jealous of Montpellier, and I myself have been caught up in the frequent traffic congestion caused by the admittedly magnificent and expensively-built trams in the latter town.

A tram on the A660 would cause similar gridlock.

New colony of Humboldt penguins in the new Costal Zone at Lotherton Hall.
21st November 2017.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

YEP Letters: November 22