Danny would get my vote for MP!
Letter of the Week: Linda Harrison, Birstall
I would just like to say what a pleasure it is to read The Press every week.
It’s so refreshing to read Danny Lockwood’s Ed Lines, as he pulls no punches and says just what many of us really think.
Unlike the daily tabloids, Danny appears to have no leaning towards any political party and calls a spade a spade.
Only through The Press have we heard of some of the dubious dealings by government and Lottery-funded schemes.
If Mr Lockwood ever fancied his chances at standing for Parliament, regardless of the party he may choose to represent, he would get my vote.
Being honest and telling the often unpleasant truth is all we require from a good MP.
Sadly, too many in Westminster think otherwise.
Where is the compassion?
From: John Appleyard, Liversedge
There seems to be a proliferation of letters from UKIP supporters hailing Australia’s immigration policies, but wait a minute, the rulers of Australia have a racist and bigoted past that invaded and occupied a territory where an indigenous people had lived continuous for thousands of years.
A third of Aboriginal children were forcefully removed from their families between 1910 and 1970, making a total of 100,000 stolen children, placed in white missions, institutions and foster homes.
The children were forced into a form of slavery, often physically and sexually abused and denied protection by the state.
Now we hear that the British Government and UKIP supports the European Union’s policy of not picking up refugees in the mediterranean sea where around 1,500 have died this year fleeing poverty and war.
This is the true meaning of immigration controls. We hear lots of statistics in the run-up to the General Election, but very little compassion.
Many of the countries in Europe claim to be Christian, but when it comes to drowning refugees at sea it appears there is no room at the inn.
Phone users’ lack of manners
From: Robert Cowan, Sandal
I have nothing against mobile phones and would be among the first to acknowledge their vital role in promoting social interaction with friends and family, as well as in emergencies and other situations where urgent, instant telephonic communication is required.
I do take issue however, with some users of the devices and the appalling lack of good manners and courtesy which they can sometimes display.
I have lost count of the number of times someone walking towards me wholly absorbed in tabbing away at a mobile phone has practically collided with me in the street without any hint of apology.
“I have even witnessed a customer at the supermarket check-out continuing a mobile phone conversation even in the process of being served. How insulting for the check-out operator as well as inconsiderate towards people waiting behind.
I have known many occasions too when someone conversing with a person in possession of a mobile has been swiftly cut off in mid-sentence when that mobile has unexpectedly rung, only to be almost immediately answered with complete disregard for the other person now left to twiddle his thumbs.
Furthermore, I have no desire to be privy to private conversations but am left with no option when some mobile users seem intent on loudly broadcasting their message to everyone around, sometimes imparting such essential and fascinating information as the fact that they are in the beans aisle of the local supermarket or that they are just approaching the newsagents in town.
Mobile phones can greatly enhance our lives and many people use them considerately but I would make a plea to some thoughtless users: think of other people and tone down the volume a bit, especially on public transport.
After all, not everyone is enthralled by the humdrum details of your daily life.
Help tracing Gledhill family
From: Les Rolfe, Cambridge
As an amateur genealogist over the past 40 years I’m fairly well-versed in tracking family members down through various sources.
However, living in the Cambridge area, it is not easy to chase around the country gleaning information.
I’m currently trying to help an elderly neighbour who has always stated that she has no known family relatives; at least, not known to her.
I’ve had considerable success on most of her ancestral lines going back, in some cases, into the 1700s. Coming more up-to-date I have yet to make contact with a living relative.
However, one particular person, her paternal grandmother, has stumped me. I have details of her marriage in the 1890s, her appearances in 1901 and 1911 censuses and I have details of her death. What I am completely stuck on is, who she is/was and where she came from and, with that, her ancestors.
Her name is/was Mary Gledhill and at every reference point she claims to have been born in Heckmondwike.
However, I can find no record of her having been born, unless she was originally given a different name. She may, of course, even have been adopted.
Most of her husband’s family were non-conformist rather than established church, so it is quite possible that her family were from similar roots.
She married Samuel Waterhouse Aspden in Blackpool, where she appeared to have been working in a lodging house, in 1891, and died in Gomersal in 1939.
At her marriage she gave her father’s name as George Arthur, already deceased, whom I also cannot trace.
Her husband was a baker and confectioner who I am led to believe had a shop in the area, presumably in the early 1900s.
The couple had six children, two of whom died young and another two died unmarried.
The other two, Mary Anne and Thomas Andrew, who was my neighbour’s father, did marry.
If there are any surviving relatives still in the area who could provide me with any further information, no matter how small, I would be delighted to help remove this brick wall.
Les Rolfe, 57 Hall Close, Bourn, Cambridge, CB23 2SN.
Tel: 01954 718150; Email: email@example.com.
I don’t know where I stand!
From: Christophe Walker, Thornhill
Last week I received a leaflet from Labour candidate Paula Sheriff. In it she boasts of campaigning against plans for Dewsbury Hospital, even though she supported the plan for the whole Trust, including Dewsbury, in her role as a Wakefield councillor.
She also talks as if she works for the NHS and has a go at privatisation when she actually works for a private healthcare firm within the NHS.
Conservative candidate Simon Reevell is also criticised in the leaflet.
I don’t necessarily agree with Mr Reevell but at least you know where you stand with him.
One choice to save our NHS
From: David Honeybell, via email
As the General Election draws nearer, the main focus for every voter must be to save our NHS.
We have seen over the past five years, the Tory-led coalition government’s privatisation policy (a policy the Tories prefered not to mention in their manifesto before the 2010 election) gathering speed, being implemented by the Clinical Commissioning Groups.
The CCGs were set up by the government two years ago, with no elected members, only members appointed by the Tories, only answerable to the Tories, with no regard to public opinion.
I am sure there will be many people like me, unhappy with the Labour party, who intend to vote for one of the other candidates as a protest.
As a trade unionist, I can see the appeal of the TUSC party.
As someone who wants to get out of Europe, I could be tempted to vote UKIP, but I must ask anyone who is thinking on those lines to think again, and consider the consequences of doing so.
It would only open the door to a Conservative government, to finish the job of abolishing our NHS.
If you want our NHS to survive for future generations, then there is only one choice, it’s up to you.
Paying price for Western ideology
From: Dr Steve H Hakes, Christian People’s Alliance parliamentary candidate for Dewsbury
I’d agree with Farooq Yunus’ observation that society has let down Hassan Munshi and Talha Asmal.
We all pay that price for living in Western ideology.
Christians, Judaics, and Muslims, all divide between the extremes of sincere and insincere, the genuine and the nominal.
The godlessness of society, through media and politics, grates on the sincere, yet we can feel so helpless.
The bullet and the ballot box have been contrasted. The slow ballot box might beat the swift bullet, though is open to abuse by coercion of the bullet (intimidation) and wrong beliefs (misinformation).
Mere democracy never guarantees the best for society. Good philosophy is essential.
German Christian and pacifist, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, agreed to the swift assassination of Adolf Hitler (tyrannicide). Ballot or bullet?
A third way is belief. Some say that all beliefs are equal, then that theirs is more equal (subjectivism).
Though many atheists are virtuous, atheism cannot support virtue, and God is the only logical peg on which to hang ethics. Ethics exists, therefore God is.
Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, also see that God has revealed his will through a unique level of literature.
These writings, of which the Bible alone has my undivided support, better inform us on how we ought to live – even defines what marriage is.
If understood and heeded aright, they, along with the sense of submission to God and the sense of being in his image (Imago Dei: Gen.9:6), can shape society into a form whereby the godly will not choose the bullet of frustration.
It is not by forcing others to our will, to our shape, but by privately and publicly honouring God.
If the corroding Roman Empire could be impressed by the persecuted, so might our society, once enough Christians have been chewed over in the arena of judiciary.
Christians, Judaics, and Muslims, should stand in godly alliance. We are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Christians pray for ISIS people, not simply its victims.
Imagine society in which no-one used the F-word blasphemy, where Hollywood didn’t promote interpersonal sex outside of marriage, and where citizens enjoyed paying taxes to support the NHS and society at large, and sought to bless immigrants and third world countries.
In my opinion, if ISIS sees substantial godliness coming through in the ungodly West, it will implode through lack of motivation. Western perversion promotes ISIS. Western society lets us down.
If good belief is only in the mind, there is a problem. Good belief should be publicly expressed in rising crescendo, thus preserving politics from the moral void. When politics metaphorically puts God in the dock, ignores him, or tries to improve on him, the people suffer. Hassan & Talha, please forgive us.
Your vote could protect green belt
From: Betty Jagger, Dewsbury
I am writing to you to say a big thank you to local Conservative council candidate for Dewsbury East, Mark Eastwood, and the Dewsbury parliamentary candidate Simon Reevell, for the hard work and effort they have put into the local community in Shaw Cross and Chidswell in opposition to the council’s plans to destroy valuable farmland in the area.
Over the last few years they have stood shoulder to shoulder with us, attending and speaking at every protest meeting.
They organised a wonderful and memorable trip to 10 Downing Street, where we handed in a petition opposing the council’s plans, and they even arranged a visit for government minister Eric Pickles to come and view Chidswell for himself just before the plans were thrown out.
I understand that nationally the Conservative manifesto is promising extra protection for our green belt, but Labour would let councils decide whether they want to build on this type of land. With a new council plan about to be released, whoever forms the next Government could be crucial in our fight against unwanted development around these parts.
I hope those opposed to the destruction of the only bit of green space left in Shaw Cross and Chidswell bear this in mind come voting day.
Vote tactically, not practically
From: Richard Brompton, by email
One of the things about this country is that it is not run by the political party that you elect, it is run by an establishment comprising the landowners , major business owners, the landed gentry, the royals and other mysterious people.
These people have the country organised such that they will always be in power and always run the place.
One of the things they do is plan 200 years into the future, they work out how much labour they need, how much industry they need and how to achieve it.
Major companies plan 50 years ahead and they work out how much labour and financing they require.
The working life of an individual is about 46 years if they stay healthy, the early years, i.e. up to 16/17 years old are paid for by the government, then they are expected to work to make profit for the country until they are about 65, at that age you have done your work and are not required any more.
If there are too many workers for the future then they crash the NHS system so that more individuals expire than is normal in order to bring the future total down.
If they need more bosses then they raise the standards of the education system.
This whole system is cyclical, they blame the changes on market forces, but they change those as required and you have to pay for it because they have absconded with all the profit in the system.
The more things are changed the less they really change, it’s all a smoke and mirrors trick and they make promises which turn out to be lies.
They work on the general population having a short memory.
Another trick they use is to turn an area into a degeneration zone, i.e. the north east and Tyneside, they are still punishing the people there for the Jarrow marches and it won’t end until the generation expires in another 10 to 15 years or so.
The government that is elected has to fit in with the organisation, so whatever they promise in their manifesto is never usually going to happen and you have been given a vote to appease your sense of morality because the powers that be know that your vote means nothing.
So the only way to make your vote really work is to vote for something that generally will not affect the system or rock the boat, something that matters to you.
One of the main things that does this is controlling immigration and another is the issue of staying in Europe.
To a lot of people they are a big issue, but to ‘the powers that be’ they mean nothing and so are achievable by whoever you vote for.
The moral of all this is you don’t make a halfpenny bit’s worth of difference to them, and so vote tactically, not practically.
Oil find to fund NHS reforms?
From: Mr Average, address supplied
All the political parties claim to provide billions of pounds to the NHS etc, if they get in power.
Their opponents all ask where are they going to get the money from.
I am sure that other people, besides myself, know where it is coming from. It has recently been announced that a massive amount of oil has been discovered near Gatwick.
So much, that it could reduce the ‘national spending’ by around one third; that’s a lot of billions.
Which means that there will be money spare to spend on all the projects promised. A lot of people will say well done – for what?
While writing, perhaps this will reduce the amount of fracking required, meaning it will only be required in remote areas, where it will not be a problem.
Questions need answering
From: Naeem Hashmi, Heckmondwike
We now have confirmation that the Labour candidate, Paula Sheriff, did indeed take money from the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair. However, the whole episode raises some very important questions:
1. Why is the Labour candidate so evasive and defensive on this issue? Is it because she has been openly critical of Tony Blair on the war in Iraq?
2. Has the Labour candidate breached election law by saying: “I don’t deal with the financial side of things”?
Who else is funding her campaign that she does not know about?
3. The letter which accompanied the £1,000 donation from Tony Blair was addressed to each Labour candidate. Did Paula Sherriff see the letter? Did she think she could hide it until after the election?
Does someone else open her post and Paula Sherriff has no idea what is going on?
Some serious concerns are raised here regarding trustworthiness and breaches of election law and I hope that Paula Sherriff has the courtesy of providing some much-needed answers.