Your Letters

Prevention’s better than cure

Letter of the Week: Anthony Doyle, Birstall

Dear Sir,

Reading last week’s feature article and Danny Lockwood’s editorial, it brought to mind a question asked on BBC’s Question Time about preventative policing.

Is it so out of the question to have police visible on the streets, instead of closing the gate after the horse has bolted?

I am not so naive as to think we are still in the days of Dixon of Dock Green, where the old-time copper gave you a clip round the ear when he caught you doing something wrong, but he was there watching and was a deterrent.

If crime was prevented in the first place our police officers would not be lost in pointless admin, and could be out on the streets preventing crime and protecting people and property.

We have lost track of the notion that ‘prevention is better than cure’.

Flaws in laws were missed

From: D Johnson, Mirfield

Dear Sir,

Well the upper chamber has had their say on the Brexit bill, and as if to prove a point we saw just how impotent and useless these unelected freeloaders really are.

Nevertheless, we were treated to the sight of Theresa May sat on the bottom step of the Royal throne, as is tradition, watching like a predatory bird as the embarassed-looking shadow leader in the Lords, Angela Smith, opened the debate on Brexit.

Quite remarkably, Angela Smith opened by attempting to lecture the Commons on why the collective knowledge, experience and wisdom of the Lords should be listened to.

She was speaking as if they never allow bad law to get past their scrutiny.

As we all know, the Commons and Lords are past masters at waving through flawed legislation, the latest to come to light is the all-too-obvious flaw in the civil partnership act which only allows same-sex couples to be partners.

Clearly this discriminates against heterosexual couples and a challenge was always going to be made.

Not only was this missed at its inception, but again years later when Cameron decided to allow same-sex couples to be married, both chambers failed to see the injustice of giving more rights to same-sex couples than to heterosexual couples.


Bronte drama opened a door

From: John Appleyard

Dear Sir,

Anne Bronte was the youngest of the Bronte sisters and ‘Agnes Grey’ her first novel.

I have never read the book so was pleased that BBC Radio Four serialised it last week over a five-day period.

The book is set in 1845 and depicts a woman’s place in the world with no money, no connections and no prospects.

The first part of Agnes Grey is based on Anne Bronte’s own experience as a governess at Blake Hall, Mirfield.

Anne became a governess to prove herself and to contribute to the family’s coffers, but was given a hard time of it by the children she taught belonging to the wealthy Ingham family.

Anne described them as little dunces who struggled to learn the alphabet.

She found their spirit wild and uncontrollable, they spat in her bag and threw her writing desk out of the window.

In Agnes Grey the heroine is plain and normal, which is how Anne Bronte regarded herself.

In some books there are tales of women bailed out of poverty by a rich man, but not Agnes Grey, who meets the curate Mr Weston, a man of her own age and station.

Anne Bronte was dismissed from her post at Blake Hall, but went on to become a successful teacher.

Agnes Grey was published in 1847 and was mauled by the critics, but over time its sales increased and it was reprinted in 1858.

Anne Bronte only wrote one more novel, The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall, a powerful book which supported women’s rights and is just as relevant today as it was then.

Anne died in Scarborough, where she is buried, in 1849.

I’m almost certain the BBC drama will have left much out of the Agnes Grey book, but it did open a door for those who would like to read more about the Bronte family and their books.


Hope I’ve been a little helpful

From: David Honeybell, Heckmondwike

Dear Sir,

Kim Leadbeater is very proud of her sister Jo, and quite rightly so.

But she has to realise she is not Jo, and she has to live her own life.

I met Jo on a few occasions, and I’m sure she would not want Kim to give up her ambitions in her own life.

Yes, we all pay tribute to Jo, who was such a special person, and who had her life tragically cut short in a most horrifying and brutal way.

And we’re all aware of how badly Kim, Jo’s parents and husband Brendan have been affected by her untimely death.

Kim must stop thinking she has a moral obligation to do the sort of work Jo would be doing.

If Jo was alive, she would be as proud of what Kim has achieved in her life as Kim is of Jo.

She would want her to carry on with her own chosen career, and make her mark doing her own thing.

Kim must remember that Jo was Jo, and there is only going to be one Jo Cox. You’re Kim, and that’s who you should be – yourself.

And Kim, I’m not in anyway meaning to be critical, but I hope I have been at least a little helpful.

The wrong idea

From: Christine Hyde, Dewsbury

(In response to a letter in last week’s Forum)

Dear Sir,

I fear that whilst touting a fashionable idea, D Johnson of Mirfield has got the wrong end of the stick when it comes to my argument about the treatment of illegal immigrants on the NHS.

You only have to drive to Mirfield to realise there are too many people.

Liberal or not, my argument is to protect D Johnson and their friends and family from such diseases as airborne and possibly antibiotic-resistant TB, hepatitis, typhus and other less mentionable, transmissible disease, which can infect anyone, even in Mirfield, illegal or not.

Prince Albert died of a transmissible disease!

Surely it is better to improve border controls, port security, tighten factory checks and licences to operate, rather than ensuring a spread of infections through fear of treatment.

So called ‘health tourism’ actually only amounted to 0.1% of the NHS budget at the most, even in its heyday.

It is likely that Ernst and Young, Deloitte and PWC etc collectively get far more out of the NHS budget.

And what benefit did the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust get from their huge spend with EY?

When you think that the British empire, in the space of 150 years, removed £74trillion of value from the Indian sub-continent and displaced or killed one third of the population there, what benefit did the lads of Dotheboys Hall, up the road, get from that? Nothing.

In our way forward to the past it may be useful to remember such things.

At present, the budget revealed tax cuts to companies amounting to £18 billion over the next five years, which is far more than any NHS spend on protecting public health would be.

Let’s hope D Johnson does not choose to contract an illness. I am struggling to find a suitable label for D Johnson as a return for theirs of me. Hopefully ‘consumptive’ will not be appropriate.

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