Your Letters

I went to protests as a simple witness

Letter of the Week: Ms A Rawat, Batley

Dear Sir,

So Britain First came to Dewsbury; but then what happened? They did speeches that only people who had come with them could listen to, as no-one else was allowed near them.

This was, of course, police policy; but what is Britain First’s policy?

Would they have liked the diverse community of this area to come near and hear what they had to say, with mutual respect and no nastiness of course?

I like an exchange of ideas, and I can even agree with some of what they say, if they didn’t go about it the way they do.

I don’t mind them coming, but if they can’t listen to us and we can’t listen to them, it is just a waste of vast police expense.

The anti group had their own speeches, which anyone could go and listen to with respect.

I don’t align myself with this group either, as I know that some of the individuals that hang out with them are up to controlling, tricks themselves.

And as police policy was to keep the two groups apart, and they were not allowed to move from  their position once Britain First arrived, I was glad that I was not with them.

So, I go along to these events to be an individual witness, and not being able to do anything else, I use it as a day of amusement.

And as the heavens opened up and threw everything on us, even the police showed a willingness for amusement.

The order of the day for them was obviously to keep it calm and friendly, and not provoke any bad reactions.

I did see one young Asian man being pushed to a wall by three officers. What was that all about?

But overall they handled the event well,  and on this day I did not feel any animosity towards them.


The contrast is startling

From: David Honeybell, Heckmondwike

Dear Sir,

Do we, the people in North Kirklees (when did it stop being the Heavy Woollen area?) want to keep Dewsbury District Hospital open, with both a 24-hour consultant-led A&E, and, just as important, a consultant-led maternity department?

The question must be asked when a comparison is made between the apathy displayed in North Kirklees when the downgrading of DDH was first planned.

The number of people prepared to show their opposition to the plans was very small, and instead of showing the Mid Yorks Hospitals NHS Trust that they would face strong opposition to their plans, it in fact gave them the go-ahead and the  confidence to move the downgrading on at a quicker pace.

The difference displayed by the people of Huddersfield, when their hospital came under attack couldn’t be more stark.

They held a demo in St George’s Square attended by four hundred people.

Every Kirklees councillor, from all parties, have given their support to the save Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

The Huddersfield people have refused to lie down and let their NHS trust trample all over them.

We in North Kirklees must take a leaf out of their book, and put up a fight for what is best for our area.

It might be late in the day, but DDH is worth defending, and the fight must go on.


Three towns, one fight

From: Christine Hyde, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

So outsourced hospital planners Ernst and Young, not content with reducing Dewsbury A&E from Grade One to Grade Three, have decided Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust should also close A&E facilities in Huddersfield.

Perhaps people are beginning to get the gist of the Government’s plans for the whole health service. Support the junior doctors.

North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group is facing it’s toughest financial year yet. The finance officer has left. A 2014 study in California showed the negative impact of A&E closure, not only in the places where they had closed but also on neighbouring A&Es.

In addition, the inpatient death rate in hospitals that still have an A&E goes up, due to overcrowding from the neighbouring area, and increased journey times.

Councilors on the Wakefield and Kirklees Joint Heath and Overview Scrutiny Committee may remember that in 2013, I warned them that Huddersfield Hospital was likely to close.

The Government’s mantra now is pounds before patients. Yet the starving of the health service of money is a political choice. It is not an economic necessity. We are the sixth richest nation in the world. Three towns, one fight, Save our A&Es.


Still greed, not austerity

From: Name & address supplied

Dear Sir,

Let’s be honest and call a spade a spade.

We are repeatedly told about this austerity, but just who does it apply to?

If everything printed is to be believed, the House of Commons Speaker can have a party, charge all those invited, then charge again for that party to the public purse, (rings a bell), then, on top of these charges all MPs are allowed to charge thousands of pounds for transport, even if they only cross the road.

Sorry, I always thought economy started at home.

NHS Dewsbury and Batley used to have one of only three isolation hospitals in the country for smallpox, and were never in the red.

Huddersfield came along and took over administration of the group, allowing Wakefield to use the potential number of patients so that Wakefield could have a new hospital built by Balfour Beatty.

Under the then new arrangements by the Labour Party this hospital was sold on to a new owner for which we pay rent, which will be to pay for in years to come and, at the same time, all funds have been drained from Dewsbury Hospital in order to pay for Wakefield.

As for the coal miners strike they did a difficult dangerous job, but they were ‘had’.

If Mr Scargill had done his homework, he would have known that the government had been contributing towards large coal users changing to oil or gas.

Time has shown who he was looking after by the number of times his own union have been in court with him recently.

You have to consider whether the railways are going the same way? I understand that £30,000 is paid to a ticket inspector and £50,000 to a driver.

Don’t get me wrong, it is a responsible job, but it makes a bus driver with traffic from all ways look bad. No, I’m afraid greed comes to mind.


RBL has changed

From: Tim Wood, RBL, Old Colonial, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

This Saturday evening from 8pm onwards, Mirfield Royal British Legion, along with the Combined Services Parades Associates are holding a thank you party at the Old colonial Pub, on Dunbottle Lane, Mirfield.

We want to thank those who are non-Legion members, who give up so much of their time to help us during the Poppy Appeal.

Also those who help out conducting various tasks to ensure the safe and precise running of the Remembrance Parade.

The Royal British Legion is open for anyone to join; you do not have to have been a member of the Armed Services, or any Crown Service.

It is a charitable organisation with a Royal Charter; our patron is HM The Queen.

We put our Forces and ex-forces families and friends first; one of our mottos is ‘Shoulder to shoulder with all who serve’.

If you want to join us on Saturday night, you will be most welcome; you will not be met by an army of elderly people sticking flags into maps of the Empire and shouting ‘Bang’.

Nor will you see anyone knitting mittens and balaclavas and Private Pike-type scarves!

There will be a short presentation of commemorative badges; a free supper and lots of good beer and wine.

We’re quite a sociable crowd, and like a drink and a laugh.

We are trying to dispel the dowdy, gnarled image of ‘mothballs and tweed underpants’, and other such defamatory images people may have misconceptions of.

Yes, it is true we have sacked our ‘celebrity entertainment’ for the evening, wartime favourite Ethel Pickles and her performing geese, and have booked the concert band of the Blues and Royals, who will be performing mainly acid house music (only joking!)

This is an open invitation to everyone, please come and join us, WE HAVE CHANGED!


Mocking was not funny

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

Dear Sir,

I was sorry to hear of Sheffield Labour MP Harry Harpham dying from cancer.

They say that one in three of us will catch this disease at some stage in our life and most of us know someone with cancer.

Last Wednesday Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn brought to the attention of the house of Commons that February 4 was World Cancer Day, a day that unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer.

He raised his concerns to David Cameron that cuts were being made to services for treatment of cancer patients and was mocked by a number of Tory MPs. Corbyn didn’t find this funny, nor did I and I suspect those who saw it on TV didn’t either.


History battle lumbers on

From: Phil Haley, Liversedge

Dear Sir,

John Appleyard was quite correct in his statement last week about the 1945 election: Churchill was defeated by ‘a modest man, who has much to be modest about’, as Churchill described Attlee.

However, what he failed to say was that after one term of government, which brought about the only good thing that Labour has ever done for this country, the introduction of the NHS, old Clem was then

surreptitiously dumped on his backside by the same millions of working people who decided that old Winston was the man after all!

Don’t bring up history if you don’t have the knowledge to follow on, or wish to score political points.

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