Let’s keep the British Legion in Batley going
Letter of the Week: Alan Spencer, Batley branch of the RBL
As treasurer of the Batley branch of the Royal British Legion I would like to thank all those that attended the Remembrance service last Sunday for the wonderful turn-out.
The service was superb, as was the turn-out of the cadets and the music was excellently performed.
To all those that attended, I have a request.
We at the branch are very short of members and people to help on the committee.
We need anyone willing to help, but especially younger people to keep it going in future years.
You don’t have to be ex-service people to join and people with interest in organising events of all types are most welcome.
We meet once a month in the Irish Nash in Batley.
Anyone interested will be made most welcome and can get more information from myself on 07891 789109 or Peter Brierley on 07858 730033.
Let’s keep the Legion going in Batley.
Dad would’ve been proud
From: Wendy Storey, Mirfield
I was proud to come from Batley on Sunday when I attended the Remembrance parade and service.
What a magnificent turnout of people paying their respect to and remembering those who died whilst serving their country in war.
This year’s service had added sadness as Peter Gater, who worked so tirelessly for the British Legion, passed away this year and Colin, another stalwart for many years, is unfortunately not well.
Peter Brierley did a marvellous job and to him the service is even more poignant, so thank you Peter and all those who helped to organise the parade.
When most people had left the war memorial I went to look at the wreaths and have some moments of quiet contemplation as my dad, the late Harold Hall, was parade marshall for many years at Batley and I feel close to him there.
Whilst looking at the wreaths, a young man came over to chat.
He was wearing medals and I asked if they were his grandfathers, to which he replied that they were his and he had served in the Royal Engineers for eight years and been in Afghanistan.
He said he was so proud to wear the medals and though not in the military any more he wanted to come along and pay his respects to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, as some of his comrades did in Afghanistan.
It was interesting talking to this young man about his military service and how he felt about the world and how we all strive for peace.
Let’s hope that one day soon world leaders will get together and instead of wanting power and greed for themselves they will realise that the people they represent just want to get on with each other and live peacefully.
Thank you again to Batley British Legion, my dad would be proud of all the good and hard work you have carried on doing.
Our democracy is limited
From: John Appleyard, Liversedge
People are asking why out of a population of 320 million can the American public not come up with something better than Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton to stand for the American presidency?
A major problem is finance – you need to be extremely wealthy with wealthy backers to climb to the top in American politics.
A concern is that of the 231 million eligible to vote, 100 million didn’t bother to.
There is a history of people who come into politics promising to change the world, but in reality the world changes them.
Already Trump is being fawned on by the elite, those who expected him to build a wall on the Mexican border or to come out of NATO are likely to be disappointed.
So-called experts commentating in the media decrying the 60 per cent of white male working class without a college education for voting Trump are nothing but snobs, with no real understanding of what’s going on in the world.
Virtually all day was spent by radio and TV on the US election result, whilst giving very little coverage to the Croydon tram crash which killed seven people and injured many more.
We live in a democracy but it is a limited one that favours the rich against the rest of us.
The late Quintin Hogg referred to it as an ‘elective dictatorship’.
The US presidential elections go some way to proving that theory.
Batley man did well in US!
From: Mrs Pamela Bodrog, Dewsbury
The recent American election for the president reminded me of something I came across whilst doing some research.
In October 1841 Titus Sheard was born in Batley, the son of George Sheard and his second wife Martha Talbot.
He was a pupil at Zion Methodist Church. When he was 15 years old he set off to America on an immigrant ticket to Syracuse.
Although penniless he made his way across America to Little Falls, New York, and found work in the woollen mills.
By 1864 he became the sole owner of the Eagle Woollen Mills.
Politically he was a Republican and in 1877 he was elected to the Assembly.
In 1883 he again ran for the Assembly and won and was also elected to the Speakership, defeating Theodore Roosevelt in the caucus.
In 1880 he was elected State Senator. He married in Little Falls and had two daughters. He died suddenly on April 13, 1904.
Just think – Batley could have produced a President of America!
Straight talk from Danny
From: Linda Harrison, Birstall
I’ve expressed before my admiration for Danny Lockwood and his straight-talking comments.
Yet again this week he had me laughing out loud with his comments about our newly-elected MP Tracy Brabin and her trip to Kurdistan.
If he ever needed to seek an alternative career he would make a good comedian.
But that said, he does raise many valid points in his column.
Tracy Brabin is our local MP and as such should be considering what is best for her constituency and certainly not thinking “what would Jo do?”before she acts.
What Tracy should be thinking is “what can I do?”
As sad as the circumstances leading up to it may be, she was elected to represent the Batley and Spen constituency’s best interest.
She can not rely on “what would Jo do” as her guide.
Step up Tracy or step down and let someone who can think for themselves represent us.
Constructive change needed
From: R Spreadbury, Liversedge
I find the current trend of Facebook-inspired protests somewhat incomprehensible.
Their protests have no leaders, no strategy, and no realistic aims.
Take for example the latest protests over the US election result.
Do they really expect the election to be declared null and void, (by who?) and that this same mythical person / organisation will install Clinton as president?
They really do need a reality check.
What part of voting for something don’t they understand?
In the real world, in taking a vote, there are winners and losers.
People all don’t just vote for the same thing, unlike in a Facebook clique.
They are brought up in the rarified world of ‘friends’ and ‘likes’ and with a FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) mindset and are easily outraged.
Perhaps they should engage more with ‘enemies’ and experience ‘dislikes’
Meanwhile, please leave democracy alone.
If the youth want to make a difference, they should step out of their social media bubble, get out in the real world, join a political party, and try and make some constructive changes to a system they perceive as broken.
They deserve better leaders
From: Trevor Womersley, Ossett
The charity of War Child states that it costs £20,000 a year to house, clothe, feed and educate each Syrian refugee in Germany.
Four thousand refugees have drowned as a result of people smugglers using unseaworthy boats – depressing statistics!
What is it about Germans, normally industrious, clever and hard-working people, being seduced by a certain 1930s/40s dictator and now by Angela Merkel.
If there was a Nobel Prize for stupidity, she would win it hands down with her naive policy of inviting a million refugees to settle in Germany, many being economic migrants.
About eight years after the war, I had to drive through Stuttgart at 6am.
The streets were full of folk going to work to build their country back up after the bombings.
Surely they deserve better leaders in the modern era than Merkel, who looks and acts like a throwback to the 50s.