What a wonderful way to remember our Jo
Letter of the Week: Samantha Johnson, Upper Batley
I only remembered at the last minute that the Jo Cox ‘fun day’ was taking place at Upper Batley High School on Saturday, and went along out of a mixture of respect and curiosity.
I was so glad that I did. What a wonderful occasion it was despite the weather, and a lovely way to remember such a dedicated public servant. Having moved into the area relatively recently, in the last couple of months I’ve been really surprised, encouraged, comforted and pleased with the way the whole community has come together in the face of adversity.
Whilst it has all come out of an unspeakable tragedy, it’s restored my faith in humanity to see the amount of goodwill that has been created following Jo Cox’s death.
There was a wonderful mix of people at the fun day, and plenty to do for everyone.
Although I didn’t know her, I expect that she will have been so proud to see her constituency once again rally together and show how united they are, and how much more in common we really do have.
Thank you to the people who organised it, you did Jo proud.
We need more protest up here
From: John Appleyard, Liversedge
For the past fortnight I have been listening to BBC Radio Four’s ‘Matters of the North’, presented by Melvin Bragg and exploring the history, culture and character of the North of England and its beautiful landscape.
The North was the centre of the Industrial Revolution, the workshop of the world with its railways, artists, engineers, innovators, canals, coal and the textile industry.
Despite all this success less than two per cent of the population were entitled to vote and when 60,000 workers and their families held a peaceful demonstration at St Peter’s Square, Manchester’ agitating for the right to vote, yeomanry attacked the crowd, killing 11 people and injuring at least 140.
This was followed by the Chartists who organised mass rally's throughout the North of England and the rest of the country with their six-point plan for voting.
In Bradford there were riots against the Poor Law, the Suffragettes fought for women’s right to vote and the trade union movement, Co-op and the Labour Party were created to fight such injustices.
The Labour Party was found as a coalition as a way of working together to shift power from the wealthy to the poor and Melvin Bragg noted that the rich don’t give up their power willingly.
Former Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson said the “Labour movement is a crusade or it is nothing”. The likes of Labour leadership contender Owen Smith and his supporters who say Labour is not a party of protest have chucked the towel in and wouldn’t say boo to a goose.
The right to vote is under attack, the government have made it harder to register to vote, they are set to introduce boundary changes in favour of the Tory Party and former Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg said recently that David Cameron and George Osborne opposed the building of council housing on the basis that it encourages those tenants to vote Labour!
We really do live in the most class-ridden society and we need more protest, not less.
I won’t add to Ed’s coffers
From: Mr RM Clarke, Gomersal
With a view to becoming some sort of TV celebrity, Ed Balls has been appearing on Strictly Come Dancing.
No problem, so long as he doesn’t try to weave his way back to politics.
This chameleon-like person was at the centre of Labour government when they secretly planned to bring in three million immigrants, thinking they’d all vote Labour and keep them in power forever.
He also cost this country billions as a result of his stint in the cabinet.
Remember the note left by Liam Byrne: “Sorry, there’s no money left!”
With his wife Yvette Cooper, MP for Castleford, they were two of the biggest expenses scandal names.
She also had the brass neck to come on TV and say Labour “made mistakes” on immigration. They didn’t. They planned it and it worked.
To warm voters’ hearts, she declared before the Labour leadership that she would accept refugees into her own house, and disillusioned voters are still waiting.
Ed Balls has written a book, including his mistakes.
I’d buy it, but I couldn’t thoil the thought I’d be adding to his coffers.
BNP ‘rowed with councillor’
From: Steve Cass, Mirfield
Your mention in last week’s Ed Lines of Coun Sheard’s online CV reminded me of an incident from years back. I was attending a BNP post-election get-together in the upstairs function room at the Old Hall in Heckmondwike.
There were about 50 people there give or take, candidates, canvassers, supporters, wives and kids, plus a few BNP roughnecks from Leeds who’d lent a hand.
It was a low-key affair; a few pints, ham sandwiches, pork pies etc – all very civilised.
Until that is the (allegation edited out) Sheard appeared at the top of the stairs, gloating on his election success and absurdly playing the tough guy.
He doesn’t know how lucky he was. The Leeds lads were all for flinging him back down where he came from, and some of us would have been more than happy to watch the (expletive deleted) fly.
Fortunately for Sheard however, David Exley was on hand to calm things down and shepherd the (allegation edited out) back to his seat.
Brexit clowns need to regroup
From: R Spreadbury, Liversedge
To Nigel Farage: I don’t think you can rest on your laurels just yet.
The socialist press, Labour’s leader in waiting (for a long time methinks), the Lib Dems and now Tory Blair are gunning for a ‘Brexit light’.
One of the main reasons we voted for Brexit was to take control of immigration and our borders.
This was not to be negotiated away for some sort of access to the EU single market for the benefit of the casino bankers and their establishment lackeys. You need to regroup with the clowns Boris and Gove and come up with some sort of strategy to see Brexit through.