Do not be led into a mythical abyss by EU sceptics
Letter of the Week: Kevin Speight, Mirfield
Myth: Over one million UK jobs have been lost since we joined the EU.
Fact: How is it then that the UK has the lowest unemployment figures throughout the whole of Europe?
Myth: Whole industries have been wiped out since we joined the EU such as mining, steel, ship-building, chemicals, etc.
Fact: Let’s face it, this is an international problem and not just a European one.
As much as we hate to face it there comes a time when some of our traditional industries have to be consigned to the history books.
Regrettably we have to move with the times and accept that phosphorous fuels have been replaced with non-pollutant ones; steel has been replaced with plastics; chemicals depend on research and development for which Britain is a world leader, and market our life-changing drugs throughout the whole world.
Myth: We cannot make our own trade deals, such as countries like Greenland can.
Fact: We must accept the fact that Britain is the hub of the financial market throughout Europe, and if we were to leave the EU we would almost certainly lose that status.
That would not only cost us jobs, but also destroy Britain’s influence in the world. We do have influence in Europe and 90 percent of European governments do not want us to leave. That is why David Cameron’s hard-fought for concessions are a positive bonus for us to stay.
Myth: Being outside the EU would make it easier to negotiate trade deals with other nations.
Fact: It took Canada seven years to negotiate a trade deal with the US, and by then it had lost most of its advantages. Why should Britain expect special privileges if she was outside Europe?
Myth: Eleven major companies have said they will stay even if we leave the EU.
Fact: What about the remaining 85 percent of major companies who are positively in favour of us remaining in the EU and imply that to leave could lead to economic disaster.
This sentiment not only applies to the heads of our most successful businesses, but is also supported by the Governor of the Bank of England and even the President of the United States.
Myth: We would have very little influence in the EU.
Fact: Thanks to David Cameron’s relentless negotiating skills over the past year, he has achieved for us the right to question and amend legislation that is not in our country’s interest.
Myth: Outside the EU, wages would rise.
Fact: This is nonsense. Wages will rise once our country can afford it, regardless as to whether or not we are in the EU.
This has been proved only recently with increases, and forecasted further increases, in the minimum wage.
Myth: If we left the EU, tourism would suffer.
Fact: Tourism has two directions and benefits us just as much as our European partners.
It is a highly-valued asset throughout Europe and no obstacles would ever be placed in its path.
Immigration has always been an issue with the ‘leave’ campaigners, but where would our NHS be without immigrants?
Immigration, when under control, is a huge asset for our proud and prosperous nation.
A multi-cultural icon for England
From: Dunbottle Debating Society
Over the years Kirklees has hosted many different cultural events – the Caribbean pageant and carnival in Huddersfield, the big Asian festival in Greenhead Park, and the St Patrick’s Day parade on the streets of Huddersfield each year.
We were just wondering if anything has been planned or organised for St George’s Day. Who???
Well, as the patron saint of England, as well as a few other countries, he is thought to be of Syrian or, possibly, Palestinian descent.
He was a soldier in Cappadocia who, as a Christian, was put to death in Nicomedia in 303 AD.
His spectre is said to have appeared centuries later at the Battle of Acre, a seaport in Palestine where he won the day.
Popular myth has it that he slayed dragons and saved maidens; for what purpose we’re not quite sure.
His image, so far, may be ticking quite a lot of ‘yes’ boxes along the cultural divides.
He was recognised as a patron saint in 1349, and his feast day is on April 23.
I would have thought that Kirklees Council would have jumped at the chance to honour such a multi-cultural icon.
Other services on offer from RVS
From: Paul Inglis, Dewsbury
With regard to article on April 1 about the Royal Voluntary Service providing a ‘home from hospital’, I would like to advise that they also provide many others services including ‘meals on wheels’ from their base in Featherstone which covers The Press area.
They can be contacted on 01977 696840. Thank you.
Holy cow, what a laugh!
From: ‘Jo Pickle’, via email
Having been abroad for the Easter period, I arrived home with what might be classed as a naive or perhaps forgetful attitude to April Fools Day.
This was apparent when I sat down to read your ‘Holy Cow – frozen milk’ article.
Not until I read it out loud to my husband did the penny drop ... I thought Justone was a lesser-known Italian version of Justin!
I then spent the following 10 minutes hysterically laughing at the rest of the article and my family spent the same 10 minutes hysterically laughing at my apparent stupidity.
Thank you for the laugh, I’d like to think I wasn’t the only one taken in?!
Celebrating our Bronte links
From: Imelda Marsden, life member of the Bronte society
In North Kirklees we are celebrating the Bronte 200 bicentenary with a lunch at Healds Hall Hotel in Liversedge on April 21.
Healds Hall has a Bronte connection, with Rev Hammond Roberts who lived there.
Charlotte Bronte depicted him in her novel Shirley.
Also at the dinner there will be descendants of Rev Patrick Bronte’s sister Sarah.
We are to celebrate Charlotte Bronte, born on April 21 1816, and the Queen’s 90th birthday with one of the deputy Lord Lieutenants of West Yorkshire.
If you would like to have lunch with us, telephone Healds Hall Hotel for a menu and prices on 01924 409112.
On April 23, an interesting 1940s film called Devotion, which is about the Brontes and made with American film stars, will be screened at Whitechapel church in Cleckheaton.
Telephone Philip on 01274 678637 for tickets and information.
Bronte descendants are buried there, from Rev Patrick Bronte’s sister Sarah.
Also look out for free walks with Bronte connections from the North Kirklees Ramblers, who give informative walks.
Act wisely when in comes to cuts
From: Name and address supplied
It must not be the easiest of jobs to be done, balancing the books for Kirklees Council and then making the appropriate cuts to services that were inefficient or streamlining new efficient practices.
These are cuts made by all local councils throughout this country; we are all in the same boat together supposedly.
I do not envy council leader Coun Sheard with his decision-making and his cuts.
To make the right choices his information must be spot on, and the type of cuts must be fair and give the correct message back to the council tax payers, you and I, that he has thought everything through.
We have all seen the news recently, Dewsbury in the news for extremist teaching yet again.
Bombings in France, Belgium, Turkey; two local youths from Dewsbury attending a Mirfield school, suicide bombings once more, the organiser of the London bombings once again from Dewsbury.
Terrorist organisations seek to impose their extremist and misaligned views on our own cultures as well as their own moderate and peaceful people.
We must show them at all costs that terrorism will not win and that democracy will prevail.
United we stand, unity is strength and democracy will prevail.
Our seats of learning such as public libraries must remain.
Our seats of democracy such as the town council chambers in Mirfield must grow and be a voice of democracy reaching out to all.
As a strong Labour voter, if we fail on these issues we are sending out the wrong message to extremists who would like our institutions to become weakened and close down.
There may be cuts, but our vote does not give you the mandate to cut out democracy and learning.
That was the bedrock of our Labour movement.
Coun Sheard, I served in Iraq and Afghanistan and my son is still serving.
If you could see what I and many others have seen you would think again. Act wisely, it will repay you a thousand fold. All it takes is for one good man to do nothing to allow evil to prevail.