Your Letters

MP Brabin responds to ad claims

Letter of the Week: Linda Harrison, Birstall

Dear Sir,

If our local MP Tracy Brabin expects her constituents to believe she has our best interests at heart, then maybe she should have her television advert for life insurance taken off our screens.

I see her almost every day trying to persuade senior citizens to invest in a policy.

So when she makes her passionate speeches in the House of Commons how do I know if it`s just another actress playing the part of an MP or Tracy speaking from the heart?

We want a full-time MP not a part-time actress who is hedging her bets by keeping her career options open for when we have the next election and she loses her easily-come-by seat. So what’s it to be, Tracy?

• In response to Linda Harrison’s letter, Tracy Brabin MP said: “I signed a year-long advertising contract last year.

“Long before I was an MP or had any idea I would become an MP, especially so soon.

“The contract was signed, I was paid for my work and the insurance company now has the right to use my image and acting for 12 months. This is standard in the industry.

“I am not currently in receipt of any payment from the insurance company in question.

“Further, to be absolutely clear, I do not endorse or recommend this particular or any other particular insurance company in my capacity as your MP.

“In the next few months the advertising contract will end and the adverts will disappear. I can only apologise for any confusion caused.

I am a full-time MP, working as hard as I can and can only hope to prove that through my actions.”

My experience was first class

From: Pauline Holmes, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

In November I fell and broke my arm, which required me to see a specialist at Pinderfields Hospital.

I had to have an operation and had my cast recently removed at Dewsbury Hospital.

I wanted to write to your paper to praise the staff at both hospitals as I never waited more than five minutes.

The hospitals in the area get some bad publicity, but I wanted to take this opportunity to say my experience was great.

Let’s all pull together

From: Don Slater, Batley

Dear Sir,

There was an interesting letter in last week’s Press, from John Appleyard of Liversedge, about the relationship between the UK and the European Union.

As an aside to that letter, I wonder what the Remainers, who seem hell-bent on destroying the United Kingdom to prove they were right, would be saying if they had triumphed in the referendum and the Brexiteers reacted in the same ill-mannered non-democratic manner?

However, moving on, yes De Gaulle was a French patriot, but let’s wind back a couple of centuries to Napoleon and the Napoleonic wars. Was he a French patriot? Or a despot who wanted a European union with France as the master of all Europe by force! A bit like Hitler tried in 1939/45.

De Gaulle, at the end of the Second World War, very clearly set out to restore French pride and honour which must have been rock bottom after the humiliating collapse to Hitler and the occupation by German forces through the war years.

At the war’s end Europe, including the UK, was in ruins, Germany was a divided subjugated country seemingly for ever split between east and west ,with no future.

My own opinion is that De Gaulle saw his own destiny and the chance for France to regain its rightful status in world affairs by starting what was to eventually to become what is now the European Union, with France naturally as the dominant lead nation.

The UK was excluded as a matter of course as De Gaulle wanted no competition for leadership.

The relationship that De Gaulle had with the UK during the war years is well documented.

If De Gaulle was still living, he would I think, be shedding tears of frustration to see Germany at the top of the pile instead of poor France.

The Wilson referendum was about the UK joining a trading union only, nothing else. Everything after that date was not with the people’s consent.

Why was President Obama so adamant that we should stay in the EU? He was doing what the head of state of any country does, watch out for his own before all others. The USA has no wish to be involved in any future European disputes, the UK were required as a counter-balance to others.

Being very realistic, President Trump will treat the UK in exactly the same way to protect the interests of the USA, and so he should.

Hope Prime Minister Theresa May has the bottle to act in the same way!

How long will the European Union last? Well, history tells us not very long, no undemocratic union/empire has ever lasted, I personally give it 10/15 years maximum, with luck I will still be around when it happens.

Yes the world is a dangerous place, it always was and always will be, better to be upbeat for the future and consider the glass half full and not half empty.

We have a beautiful country which we can make great again if we pull together.

Only a few tell it like it is

From: Mr Stafford, Gomersal

Dear Sir,

US President Donald Trump appears to have achieved more positive moves just in his first week than our government does in six months.

With greedy lawyers and judges poking their noses into our business, and career politicians and civil servants trying their best to hold up Brexit, and then the ancient establishment that is the House of Lords slowing issues to their snail’s pace, it appears that our Parliamentary system needs a top-to-bottom overhaul.

Political correctness is ruining this country, with people and politicians afraid to express the mellowest of views on events, for fear of gathering criticism splashed all over TV, radio and newspapers.

Only the brave, such as Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, David Davis (Con), John Mann (Labour), Phillip Davis (Yorkshire MP), Michael Gove (Con), Jacob Rees-Mogg, John Redwood, Frank Field (Labour), Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and a few others, have the will to say it how it is.

Also, our country can no longer pussyfoot regarding criminals.

We must have more tough prisons for those such as serial burglars, who seem to think it their right to invade innocent people’s homes and often ruin their lives.

There is one in Leeds who is still not off the streets after being in court over 28 burglaries.

Finally, the United States administration is going to draft a policy to have migrants deported if they are claiming benefits.

This should have been done in the UK 40 years ago; there would be no housing shortage for our workers then.

Don’t stop being bold

From: J Wilson, Address Supplied

Dear Sir,

Thank you Danny for commenting on the statistics cover-up regarding the high death rate for babies in the Dewsbury area (Ed Lines, February 3).

When I saw it in the news originally I couldn’t believe that reporters could be so naive (or scared) in not addressing the real reason which is so obvious – the high proportion of people marrying family members, in particular the Pakistani community marrying cousins and having babies with congenital birth defects as a result.

In my line of work with children I saw an alarming disparity with the white community and the Asian community in regards to children with obvious special needs.

There was a shockingly high number of children with special needs – physical and learning – in the Asian community in comparison, and this is what prompted me to ask the question why.

A friend who ran courses for the disabled community confirmed the same thing in her line of work, and that the problem should be addressed.

So at that point I wrote to our MP about this matter (she’d just been elected) to make her aware of the high and needless number of birth deaths and defects, and that if marrying cousins was legislated against simply in the light of genetic research alone, a lot of needless heartache (not to mention expense) could be avoided.

This would also have the added benefit of the prevention of (unwanted/forced) arranged marriages to close family members. Such a simple piece of legislation outlawing marriage to first cousins would nip a lot of problems in the bud and be a great relief to many young brides.

The MP didn’t respond, unfortunately. Perhaps she was too scared to address this issue too. I personally think anyone who sweeps this under the carpet for whatever reason clearly has little compassion for women and families.

Thank you for being bold and challenging the status quo. Please never stop.

Fighting for our library

From: Jenny Tomlinson Walsh, chair of The Friends of Mirfield Library

Dear Sir,

Andrew Carnegie was born in Scotland in 1835. He emigrated to America where he made a vast fortune in the steel industry.

He’s known, not for just being the billionaire he so obviously was, but as a generous philanthropist. He devoted his life and his billions to libraries, education and scientific research.

Yet again our library is under threat due to the recent round of budget cuts.

The challenge faced by Mirfield Library today is to continue to be the kind of place Andrew Carnegie envisaged when he founded and funded public libraries. Carnegie considered that libraries should be places that give people a chance, a second chance and even a third chance.

Places that serve and improve the communities they are based in.

Places that respond to the needs of the local people, by giving them the opportunity to live fuller lives, make more of what they have, discover new worlds and aspire to greater things.

This may sound a little old fashioned, but the basic principles remain and still apply to Mirfield Library.

To respond to the changing needs of the 21st century, all libraries do need to change. Libraries must be brave, innovative and show they are doing things which really make a difference to their community.

It’s also very important to remind those who hold the purse strings about the importance of libraries. To show them how, in the long term, the library service can help save money by supporting and improving the wellbeing of the community it serves.

Libraries are known to have a great impact on the wellbeing of the community by being:

• A social hub, providing services for the elderly, promoting health awareness, connecting people through social activities etc.

• A cultural centre with book clubs, access to CDs, DVDs, exhibition space for arts and crafts, local and family history, printing services etc.

• An education/learning hub with books, a safe place for homework, IT training, mums and toddlers, basic reading, offering assistance to people coping with learning difficulties, loneliness, dementia, dyslexia etc.

The Friends of Mirfield Library are working hard to ensure that our library remains at the heart of Mirfield for years to come.

We’re an apolitical voluntary group of Mirfield residents working on behalf of all Mirfield residents.

We feel very strongly that a library is an essential, not a luxury, consequently, Mirfield needs its library.

Working class legends, eh?

From: Mr A Heskin, Norristhorpe

Dear Sir,

As a youth in the rebellious punk era, one group of working class heroes were called The Jam.

Labour Party activists are promoting the song ‘Eton Rifles’ to criticise Tory old Etonians; the song’s chorus being ‘Hello, hooray, I’d prefer the plague to the Eton Rifles!’

Working class heroes, are they? Paul Weller, the lead singer, sent all his children to private school.

Bruce Foxton, the bass player, sent his son to a top posh school – yes, Eton!

Paul Weller always gave me the impression of not being the genuine article. Typical hypocritical Labour double standards, eh! Or working class legends, what do you think?

Don’t leave bags behind!

From: Kathleen Hodge, via email

Dear Sir,

It’s not often I have need to travel on public transport, but Thursday of last week I had to. My friend and I went to the bus stop on Sunnybank Road, opposite Moor View.

Because the wind was blowing up the road I suggested we stood under the trees.

My friend said: “Careful you don’t stand in any dog dirt.”  This caused us to look about.

Some really nice dog owners who do pick their dogs’ poo up in little black bags seem to think it’s okay to throw it all about under the trees by this bus stop. I counted 16 bags.

Very thoughtful of them, eh?

Why pick it up just to throw it down,  instead of taking it to their own bins?

Disgusting. It makes you wonder what their homes and gardens are like.


I am so proud of our group for such a great panto

From: Wendy Storey, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

I would like to say a huge congratulations to all involved with Mirfield Team Parish Pantomime’s 68th production of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’.

It was absolutely fantastic and one of the best. I am biased as I have played piano for them for many years but this year in particular was a great success.

All the adults and children involved are local and very few go to dance or drama class.

There is nothing more inspiring than to see new children arrive to rehearsals in September shy and lacking confidence, then on performance nights giving it their all after gaining confidence and having fun.

As the pianist I have the best seat in the house and so I can see the changes that happen and it’s wonderful.

We have a brilliant team of backstage helpers, be it wardrobe (the costumes were stunning), scenery, special effects, tickets etc and all volunteers.

At Friday night’s performance the fire alarm went off half-way through the performance and we had to evacuate the building.

The hall was full and there were many Rainbows, Brownies and Guides who all left in an orderly fashion very quickly and without any panic at all.

The reason for the alarm was the smoke from a pyrotechnic being used and was all sorted and within 15 minutes the show re-started as if nothing had happened. As chair of the panto committee I felt very proud how it was all handled.

I am now 70 and each year I think shall I give it up as it’s a big commitment with rehearsals and meetings etc, but I know I can’t!

It keeps me young in spirit and I love to hear the stories from the youngsters about their lives and aspirations and I feel very privileged as they invite me out with them all the time and ask my opinion on things.

When becoming ‘more mature’ we don’t always like change but the young people and the adults in the panto are very special to me and I am so proud of them and our group. Thank you all of you and to the people who supported us.

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