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They shoulder some of the blame

Letter of the Week: S Crossley, Batley

Dear Sir,

In recent weeks we had the misfortune to attend Dewsbury’s A&E. The treatment received, and the attitude of the staff was first class.

I would have listed it among any A&E in the country.

Admittedly there were no people with toothache or ingrowing toenails there. We were dealt with remarkably quickly and we left with nothing but praise for the hospital.

There are problems within our National Health Service, but the present government is only half to blame.

Although our local MPs are fighting constantly to highlight the problems, are they truly concerned or just point-scoring?

We need to remind our two MPs that it was Labour that created the main problem with the part-privatisation of Pinderfields. They allowed a private firm to come in and make millions, then sell it off and make more millions.

This is the main reason why Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals started on the slippery slope.

The first thing our two MPs should do is say sorry on behalf of the Labour Party for putting the City and its profits over the welfare of its electorate.

Secondly, instead of cherry-picking, tell the whole story. When you talk to the professionals in the NHS, not the pen-pushers that sit behind the disks, they all say the maternity unit is a timebomb; sooner or later there will be a real danger to a mother and baby.

Anyone that supported this will have it on their conscience, although they will probably not be using the NHS.

Another point which our politicians are not addressing, and those in the know tell us, is that immigration may be a factor in the overloading of our hospitals.

On a final note, part of the social care cashflow problem will be solved when Kirklees ramps the community charge up, and they will.

That means that only half of the community will be paying as the other half are exempt, and we know why that is.

I, for one, don’t mind paying my share, as long as we all do.


Our sporting heroes

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

Dear Sir,

I can’t help Mike Popplewell in his quest to find information on Dewsbury’s pre-war wrestling star Eric Fisher, but one wrestler from our area who seems to get overlooked is Birkenshaw’s Peter Preston, the first professional wrestler to defeat Mick McManus on television.

Mike also comments that the Spen Valley Fame Trail is a bit sparse when it comes to sporting nominations.

Two which spring to mind who are not on the trail are Dickie Lockwood from Heckmondwike, who captained the English rugby union team in 1894 and cricketer Wilfred Barker, born in Cleckheaton and raised in Gomersal. He played both for Yorkshire and England.

In 1935 he made his England debut against South Africa, and I believe he was the first cricketer from the Spen Valley to play for England.


We never heard his views

From: Steve Cass, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

What a damp squib UKIP’s Aleks Lukic turned out to be.

When he concluded his open letter to Labour’s Tracy Brabin MP (Forum, 23/12/16) with the words “I haven’t even mentioned (Tracy Brabin’s) comments on local segregated communities. I could write another whole letter about that!”

I’d assumed he was going to ‘write another whole letter about that!’ and I was looking forward to reading what he had to say – seems I assumed wrong.

The topic underpinning Ms Brabin’s appearance on Batley-based Radio IMWS (Indian Muslim Welfare Society) was the recently-published Casey Review ‘into the integration of minorities in Britain - a study of segregation in British society’. And I found it odd that with the exception of a sideways reference Mr Lukic had nothing to say about it or about Ms Brabin’s opinion of it.

Doesn’t UKIP have an opinion on such matters?

There’s a video of Ms Brabin’s Radio IMWS performance on YouTube; if any of your readers are at all curious about what makes Tracy tick they should regard it as required viewing.

Although I suppose my suggestion should come with a health warning: The proliferation of PC clichés, hypocrisy, and double standards on show is bound to raise the blood pressure.

Tracy Brabin’s self-contradictory ramblings on the matter of segregation are begging to be taken to task – a perfect target for the new broom that UKIP claims to be.

Or perhaps not. If Mr Lukic can’t stand the heat, maybe he should vacate the kitchen.

Ms Brabin says “integration is a two-way street,” and says ‘white flight’ and a ‘white’ unwillingness to integrate with ‘Asians’ and ‘Muslims’ are important factors in the increasing segregation in Britain.

She talks thus to the ‘Indian Muslim Welfare Society’ radio station! What is it about these loony-lefties that prevents them from seeing the irony of their own position?

Tracy, your cognitive dissonance is showing.

I wonder what efforts Ms Brabin has made herself to integrate with Muslims and Asians? Whatever they are, I doubt they match her efforts to ingratiate herself with them.

One thing that stuck in my mind throughout Tracy’s performance was that whereas she’d refer to members of one community by way of the colour of their skin, she’d refer to members of the other by way of their religion or by way of their ethnicity.

That’s racist isn’t it?


Efficiency is two-sided

From: Christine Hyde, North Kirklees NHS Support Group, Dewsbury

An open letter to Councillor David Hall, following the full council meeting on January 18 because I am not in his constituency.

Dear Coun Hall (Conservative),

I’m sorry you thought, at the council meeting on Wednesday, that your NHS patient records needed to be delivered by yourself from your consultant to your GP.

You could have exercised patient choice and not taken them. Your GP would have got them nevertheless. However, due to cuts since 2011, consultants who used to have a PA each, now share, for efficiency’s sake, so some things take longer.

Because ‘efficiency’ is a double-edged sword. Efficiency for money is not efficiency for human beings. Illness makes us reside in the ‘being’. Other people, like nurses, have to be the doers for us. When ‘efficiency’ cuts mean not enough doctors and nurses, we lose our ‘being’ on a hospital trolley in the corridor, like in Worcester Hospital.

Was your statement assigning ownership of the health service to the Conservative government an admission?

We were robbed of OUR National Health Service by the Coalition’s Health and Social Care Act 2012 and any vestige will disappear this year with the secretive Slash, Trash and Privatise (STP) agenda unless people stop it.

Maybe we should broadcast that more widely. Thank you.


Difficult fight for our MPs

From: John Sheen, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

How much more can Dewsbury and Batley take? Paula Sherriff and Tracy Brabin have fought vehemently in the House of Commons to bring the plight of medical services within our region to the attention of the Health Secretary.

Unfortunately, and as always, their concerns were received with utter contempt.

Both the Health secretary and indeed the Prime Minister answered by saying “local decisions are in the hands of the clinical commissioning group”.

Yes, but when Government control a massively depleted budget the ‘local’ CCG have little option but to ration valuable services.

We continue to blame our CCGs and indeed our council for the unprecedented cuts to valuable services.

Kirklees Council have to save £140million by 2020. £106 million has been shaved off the budget to date and a further £67million has to be saved.

However, back to the “health” of our region.

When you read about the Mid Yorkshire Trust spending £16 million on consultancy fees, more than nine other major hospitals combined, to save £37million, it beggers belief.

The Government continue to be oblivious, and to put it bluntly “fiddle while Rome burns”, their failure to keep up with patient demand, in true funding terms, has resulted in unacceptable and life threatening decisions being made.

The ‘new’ Pinderfields Hospital has over 500 fewer beds than the old hospital Dewsbury has lost.

Its children’s ward and 34 out of 40 maternity beds have been transferred to Pinderfields.

This leaves six beds where 56 per cent of births are classed as high risk.

Even now patients are still being brought to Dewsbury due to overwhelming pressures.

This state of chaos continues while the Mid Yorkshire plan is still in place to massively reduce services at the Dewsbury facility.

While ever the Westminster elite continue to remain at arms length of a problem of their making, our members of Parliament will continue to fight a difficult battle.


Council has no vision

From: R Spreadbury, Liversedge

Dear Sir

The council wants the  Shama restaurant on Leeds Road, Heckmondwike, to remove the trees which it says are jarring and unsympathetic.

Can someone please advise of a sympathetic tree?

Then we can all pour our hearts out to it and save the NHS the cost of counselling

Too jarring? With this in mind, I do not give Tracy Brabin’s plans for Batley and Spen to become a thriving centre of arts and culture much of a chance.

I assume that these guardians of our civic heritage, environment or whatever they think their mission in life is, would find Las Vegas too “jarring” for their jollies and would much prefer a fortnight in Staithes.

The council has absolutely no vision. The planners have too much absolute power.


A very kind act

From: Jean Hodge, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

Could I please, through your paper, thank the kind young man who moved our cat from the middle of Groves Hall Road on Friday January 20, after he had been knocked down and killed.

He was a young boy’s pet, and to the person who ran him over and left him in the road, you are a disgrace to humanity.

Rest In Peace ‘Bonnie’.


Can we fully go back to imperial system?!

From: Ivor Bushell & Doug Stones, Dunbottle Debating Society, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

Baa Baa Brexit Sheep have you any wool? Yes Sir, yes Sir imperial sacks full: 2 stones = 1 tod, 61/2 tods = 1 Wey (182 pounds), 2 weys = 1 sack (31/2 cwt), and so forth.

Our Imperial system has never really gone away; our road signs have always displayed distances in miles; our traffic speed restrictions have always been signed up in mph, and the great British pub has fiercely hung onto its cherished pint.

In fact, all UK brewers use Firkins (9 gallons), Kilderkins (18 gallons), Barrel (36 gallons). Anything larger was the Hogshead at 54 gallons, a Butt of ale was 108 gallons; all imperial measurements.

The metric system since the early seventies has been taught more commonly in schools, so will we be going back to pounds and ounces and feet and inches?

Well, who knows?

Our new-age students think that Rod, Pole and Perch is a fishmonger from Warsaw, or would they go the full five-and-a-half yards and Google the answer till the penny drops?

Our local industry was the woollen trade, where yardages were in skeins, hanks and spindles.

Woven cloth was measured in all sorts of amalgamated systems; nails, quarters, ells, cuts and heers – just dependant on what you were weaving and who the mill owner was.

Confusing yes, but it worked ok.

Our engineers built canals, road and rail bridges, tunnels and constructed industry across the globe.

They didn’t have to calculate their measurements in Euro Polywombles, or Brussels Bogdroffs, no, it was done the old way; the old way is still around today and, thankfully, we’ve hung on to it.

The only thing I’ve got to do now is get a new Manchester screwdriver and have my adjustable spanners converted back to Whitworth.

Imperial is the best; mine’s a pint and proud to sup it too!

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