A special honour to be part of it
Letter of the Week: Jo Cox, MP for Batley & Spen
This was my first Remembrance Sunday as the Member of Parliament for Batley & Spen.
It was a privilege to join so many ex-servicemen and women, local organisations, clergy and the thousands of people who come together at the many acts of remembrance that are held in our towns, villages and churches.
I attended the service in Heckmondwike and took part in the parade at Cleckheaton and laid wreaths at both.
Wreaths were also laid on my behalf at Batley, Birstall and Birkenshaw and East Bierley.
Each event attracts an incredible number of local people, many of whom serve or served in the armed forces as well as the family of those who did.
We unite at our war memorials to pay our respects to those who served their country and made the ultimate sacrifice.
It is a tribute that is as touching as it is important and it was a very special honour to be a part of it.
Learn nothing from history
From: Robert Cowan, Sandal, Wakefield
As I write this, Remembrance Sunday commemoration services and parades are being held all over the country, providing a poignant occasion for us to honour the soldiers, sailors and airmen who died in various theatres of war in order that we might enjoy the freedoms which all too often we take for granted.
Remembrance Sunday is also a time for deep reflection on the dreadful human cost of armed conflict throughout the world, whether it be nation against nation, sect against sect within a nation, or religion against religion.
But as Danny Lockwood rightly pointed out in his ‘Ed Lines’ last week, such human conflicts have hardly diminished over the years and history, instead of bringing enlightenment, has an unshakeable habit of repeating itself with dire consequences.
Man’s civilisation is often nothing more than a thin veneer, and his intellect does not seem to extend to learning the lessons that history should be teaching.
I rather fear that the German philosopher Hegel put it very succinctly when he said: “The only thing men learn from history is that men learn nothing from history.”
How much did they make?
From: LR Hirst, Mirfield
In a newspaper recently there was an item of interest for the people of urban districts within the Kirklees area.
It was suggested by the councillors of Kirklees to cut all subsidies paid to urban councils for the use of office space owned by Kirklees Council.
I would like to remind them that most of those buildings were owned by the urban districts before they were taken over.
Councillor Graham Turner states that it is not fair to pay these subsidies out of taxes, which are for the benefit of all Kirklees tax-payers.
I live in Mirfield urban district, but still pay my council tax to Kirklees, also an extra tax for the privilege of living in an urban district.
The total amount of council tax for my two-bedroom flat is over £1,100.
I firmly believe we would be better off if we had devolution from Kirklees and ran our own affairs, and include all towns and urban councils in my statement.
If Kirklees councillors want to save money, why don’t they give up their big salaries and council expenses, not forgetting their fancy titles of Cabinet members?
Finally, would Coun Turner like to tell the people of towns and urban councils how much money Kirklees has made out of buildings, land and artefacts they took when Kirklees was formed?
Still time to salvage NHS
From: Christine Hyde, Dewsbury
I refer to Danny Lockwood’s comment piece about a complaint regarding treatment in the NHS.
Far from complaints being a problem for NHS campaigners, they are a welcome sign that we still have, for a short while at least, a publicly accountable service.
In fact the North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group relies on complaints to find out what is going on.
Let them know, write to Empire House, Wakefield Old Road, Dewsbury.
It is unlikely that private providers will be so generous.
Complaints in newspapers about private provision, however well-founded, are likely to be met with a solicitor's letter threatening a lawsuit for ‘damaging the brand’.
In the US, complaints, whether by doctors, nurses or patients are taboo, in spite of the third most likely cause of death in the US being preventable medical error.
Nowhere in the world had a better, universal, more cost-effective system than the National Health Service.
Not the dog’s breakfast of an under-funded, demoralised, fragmented system caused by the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
If we get together, it is still, for a short time, reclaimable.
Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Who will you blame when your grandchildren ask? Join Keep Our NHS Public, Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS, or 38degrees. Support the NHS Bill.
In a state of collapse
From: Harold Laycock, Mirfield
Some time ago there was a call for Dewsbury town centre traders to clean up their premises. There are, however, some matters which are beyond their control.
Whilst the former Dewsbury Pioneers Cooperative Society Building was purchased and developed at great cost, the former Cooperative Society funeral parlour has been left in a decaying and dangerous state.
Before it became the funeral parlour it was the Cooperative Society fancy goods store.
In my pre-teaching days, I worked as a joiner for Dewsbury Pioneers Cooperative Society and way back in 1957, together with my colleagues, I worked installing the existing facia and soffit of this building.
This same facia/soffit is now in a state of collapse, a danger to the public and an eyesore.
The entrance steps leading to the old Regal Essoldo, which has been for some time a dropping zone for pigeons, is now a real dropping zone.
The soffit above has collapsed onto the steps and is a danger and an eyesore.
By-election row rumbles on
From: Darren Whitley, via email
It is with some confusion I read the letter from Mr Michael Hutchinson, printed October 30.
Firstly, he says that he seeks to blame no-one for calling of the by-elections, stating that they are a democratic right.
Then later he suggests that the blame should fall on the Conservatives. So is that he blames no-one, or he blames the local Conservatives? He really does need to decide!
As he says about Mr Bolt, democracy is an important process, but was it not Mr Hutchinson and the local Labour party that first criticised the cost, despite it being Labour supporters that made the first nomination that sparked the first by-election?
Cost is a concern, especially when you consider that now there will have been not one but two by-elections within six months of the election proper.
Which brings me to what I consider to be the most important point.
Mr Hutchinson accuses the Conservatives of using a smokescreen to hide a failure to make proper budgetary provision for the electoral process.
That being the case, perhaps Mr Hutchinson would care to give the courtesy of a response to the question, how much provision ought to have been made, and if he had taken up his seat, what would he have done different in his capacity of town councillor to avoid the current expenses being incurred?