Your Letters

What can you bring?

Letter of the Week: Betty Goodwin, Earlsheaton

Dear Sir,

I may have missed the others, but so far all I have read from local Labour Party Parliamentary candidate Paula Sherriff have been criticisms of Conservative MP Simon Reevell, in particuilar the income from his work as a barrister.

More time devoted to a task does not necessarily ensure a successful outcome.

I would prefer her campaign to concentrate more on what she can bring to the job.

She obviously disapproves of MP’s doing ‘outside work’.

What is her opinion of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown who, whilst describing himself as an ‘ex-politician’, is still being paid £66,000 as Labour MP for Kirkaldy and Cowdenbeath and was the highest-earning MP outside Parliament in 2012/13 when he received £1.37 million for speeches and writing?

Those sort of sums knock Simon’s outside earnings into a cocked hat, I would say.

In need of a rethink

From: Robert Cowan, Sandal

Dear Sir,

On top of sharp increases in the cost of food, gas, electricity and many other commodities, rail passengers have recently been landed with swingeing fare increases which place further financial strain on daily commuters in particular.

Much of the problem lies with the bizarre ticket pricing system made up of government imposed ‘regulated’ fares together with ‘unregulated’ fares set by train companies.

This system is, I feel, badly in need of a rethink if passengers are not to be landed with regular, exorbitant price increases.

Between 2008 and 2014 the rise in people’s weekly earnings was eclipsed more than twice over by the rise in ‘regulated’ fares, making our trains by far the most expensive in Europe.

Since the Tory coalition came to power in 2010 fares have soared by 20 per cent, although I have no confidence that that figure would have been any lower given a different political scenario.

Defenders of the sharp price increases will no doubt argue that they  are essential if the rail network is to be maintained and upgraded.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin is firmly of the opinion that, apart from the taxpayer, the rail passenger has to make his contribution to the vital upkeep of the railways.

The debate however, cocncerns the magnitude of that contribution which I believe to be excessive.

If the government were to calculate ticket prices using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) instead of the Retail Price Index (RPI), as it does for many other things, the financial burden on commuters could certainly be alleviated.

It must surely be in our national interests to encourage rail travel, but if nothing is done to curb sharp price increases in train fares, more and more people will take to their cars.

Do we really want the further traffic jams and environmental pollution that this will inevitably cause?

Where will they all go?

From: Maureen Scatchard, Batley

Dear Sir,

Unbelievably local MP Simon Reevell supports the proposed 69 per cent reduction in bed numbers at DDH.

My query is where will they accommodate the Pinderfields patients currently occupying beds at Dewsbury?

Who costs us the most 

From: David Honeybell, Heckmondwike

Dear Sir,

The letter from Derek Cartwright in last week’s forum referred to at least five different subjects, ranging from Coun Khan quitting, union power, the LDF plan, Labour Party tax policy and my own view of Arthur Scargill.

Arther Scargill, Derek Robinson and Ted Hill were trade union leaders who, first and foremost, made the welfare of their members their number one priority.

Unfortunately, they were all maligned by the Tory-controlled media propaganda machine.

They were made out to be some sort of ogres, only concerned with high pay rises and strikes.

Yes, of course, securing a wage that reflected the value of the hard work their members had to endure in car making, coal mining, and engineering and shipbuilding was essential, but strikes were a last resort, because it was the only way to bring employers to the negotiation table.

Without leaders like these we would not have the wages, safe working conditions, the number of paid holidays or any other benefits we take for granted today.

The power the unions supposedly had never really existed. It was a scare story invented by the press barons who used it to frighten the public.

The Tory party and their tax-avoiding friends control the media just as much now as they have ever done.

I wonder who costs the country the most, the tax-avoiding millionaires or the benefit cheats.

I know where I would put my money.

Changing their tune

From: Andrew Vernon, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

Certain MPs must think that voters have short memories.

One is moaning about potential conflicts between the Roma gypsies and residents in the Page Hall district of Sheffield; he is none other than David Blunkett, at the centre of Labour’s planned immigration policies, when they signed up to let the Romanians in.

Remember immigration officer Steve Moxon, from Sheffield, who blew the whistle when told to rubber-stamp  hundreds of backlogged immigrant applications to speed things up, without any checks on them.

He was eventually paid £50,000 by Labour to shut him up and say nothing more.

Now Yvette Cooper comes on TV, bootlicking the public, saying “We made mistakes on immigration”, in spite of her knowing full well that it was their plan to get up to three million extra potential voters into the UK.

Her husband, Ed Balls, was at the very heart of government when this was achieved, but the treachery lies in the fact that it was done by not letting the public know about their plans.

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