Please support the Poppy Appeal with pride
Letter of the Week: Mayor of Kirklees, Coun Jim Dodds
Through your newspaper, could I please appeal to local people to once again support the Poppy Appeal this year.
The link between our local communities and the sacrifices those in our armed forces make for us has been brought into sharp focus in recent years.
We marked 60 years since the end of the second world war last year, and this year, 100 years since the Battle of the Somme.
Present conflicts involving our local soldiers continue, and Kirklees has experienced more than most the sad losses which take place.
I, and many others I know, have seen active service. While conflicts can seem like a world away, the impact is being felt at home.
The families who suffer loss in those conflicts rely on support they get from the appeal fund.
Welfare services linked to the Poppy Appeal spend more than £1million a week, with services ranging from helping bereaved families through an inquest, to ensuring an elderly veteran can stay independent in their own home. The demand for services continues to increase and the need for public donations to buy a poppy or offer time gets more urgent every year.
Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday are not just about the names carved onto the war memorials, they are also about the great dignity shown by the veterans and serving members who proudly parade.
It is our opportunity to say thank you, and wearing a poppy is a visible sign of our gratitude.
So I would urge people to be as generous as they can with both time and donations in support of this year’s Poppy Appeal.
It still needs to be condemned
From: John Appleyard, Liversedge
After the Second World War members of the Commonwealth were invited to come and work in the UK to put Britain back on its feet.
For many it seemed an opportunity of a new life, but for some they came across a colour bar for jobs and housing.
The Race Discrimination Act of 1965 only applied to public places such as pubs and hotels, it didn’t apply in the workplace.
As part of its Black History Month, BBC Radio Four dedicated a programme to Asquith Xavier, who came to the UK from the West Indies and worked as a train guard, but when he sought a transfer to Euston railway station in 1966 he found that not only management but the National Union of Railwaymen operated a colour bar.
He received letters threatening to slit his throat and to go back to the jungle, he needed police protection to put his uniform on and this racism made him ill.
In 1968 Labour’s Barbara Castle introduced the 1968 Race Relations Act which made it illegal to discriminate in the workplace and thankfully we have become a much more tolerant society, but when racism rears its ugly head we should condemn it.
Thanks to amazing staff
From: Mrs J Blakey
May I through your column thank all the staff in A&E at Dewsbury Hospital for all the kindness and care shown to me when I was admitted for the day.
I became ill at home and was quickly taken to hospital, whilst there I was shown every attention and care, though everyone was working flat out there was always a smile and only when all the test results were clear was I allowed home.
Please, people at the top, open your eyes and look at all the hard work done by your staff, nurses and doctors leaving because of lack of thought from you, and how tired and dejected the left behind must feel.
Decision is a disgrace
From: David Honeybell, Heckmondwike
What a disgraceful decision by Home Secretary Amber Rudd, to deny the miners justice by not allowing any enquiry into the so-called Battle of Orgreave.
But we shouldn’t be surprised by anything the Tory Government does.
What are the Tories afraid of? What have they got to hide?
Are they afraid an enquiry would reveal the truth, and confirm the violence only began after the police on horseback charged into the miners?
The picketing miners were dressed in t-shirts and jeans or shorts, hardly the clothing to wear if they intended to attack the police, dressed in riot gear.
Who went to Orgreave dressed ready to fight? Certainly not the miners.
Quality of life
From: Bernard Cosgrove, Norristhorpe
Consumerism, trade gap, industry, NHS deficit, long-term plan, footfall (a terrible term), investment, factoring, northern powerhouse, asset stripping and quantitative easing.
Most people don’t understand the meanings of most of these terms.
We are humans and what we do understand is ‘quality of life’.
Everyone needs a chance in life to reach their satisfaction level without being avaricious, gluttonous or extravagant, but it doesn’t make it any easier when 30 or 40 people are applying for just an average job.
Also, thousands of youngsters were led to believe that their degree certificates will guarantee them what they want, only to find there are 30 applicants with equal or better qualifications, and a constant stream of well-educated foreign kids adding to the problem.
From: R Spreadbury, Liversedge
With all the money spent on the NHS we should be the healthiest and fittest country in Europe.
I get the impression this is not the case.
We have to face the unpalatable truth, the NHS is a financial black hole on one hand, but a vote generating gold mine on the other, hence the intractable problem.
We have all got to die of summat, we just don’t want to die in agony, something which shouldn’t cost billions to achieve.
Perhaps the NHS should reinvent and start charging for treatment for self-inflicted conditions such as obesity, smoking, excess drinking/ drug-taking and fighting.
Better to spend the EU money on re-inventing a British industrial base, with as many sweetheart deals as needed, so the country has some wealth to spend in the first place.