Never ashamed to admit my roots
Letter of the Week: Beth Prescott, Dewsbury
I am a Dewsbury lass, born and bred. It is my home town and, unlike some people who prefer to say they are from ‘the Leeds area’ to cover up their connection with the town, I always proudly mention my home town whenever I am introducing myself to people.
When I say I am from Dewsbury, most people know the name. My home town pretty regularly hits national headlines, it did so again this week. But it is never in the media for the right reasons.
A lot of people take this to mean ‘nothing good ever comes from Dewsbury’. However, it is more a case of ‘nothing good from Dewsbury ever gets reported.’
Whenever my friends from further afield visit the area, I proudly show off my home town. My friends are often amazed by the beautiful architecture, the friendly nature of the people and the lovely scenery that surrounds our town.
When they have actually been they then understand my insistence that, under this facade that has been created, Dewsbury is actually a lovely place with great potential.
I challenge anyone who has ever written a negative article about Dewsbury to come and visit. I will gladly take some time to show you around. I then challenge you to write a new article, an article about the positive
side of Dewsbury.
Do not focus on the criminals that have come from this area, who are a tiny, tiny, tiny minority.
How about instead remembering the incredibly brave soldiers that have come from this area that have died fighting to defend the vulnerable.
What about those who run charities in the area and work really hard for the community. The many communities that live in peace together and work together to make our town a better place.
There are those people who work hard every day running small, local businesses in the town. What about the beautiful, rolling fields and hills we have surrounding our town that take your breath away.
Yes Dewsbury has its problems, but so does every town. It also has its amazing parts and it would do people credit to remember that before writing off a town they have never been to.
Dewsbury has some really treasured characteristics and the potential to be a fantastic place with a bit of TLC.
I, for one, would not have wanted to grow up anywhere else and I will never be ashamed to admit my roots.
Even good folk have to tell lies
From: D Parker, Thornhill
As youngsters we are all told right from wrong, and not to tell lies.
Saying that, some people are born liars, others saying porkies now and again.
For the good people who never speak a lie, may I ask a question?
When on holiday, when asked the area you live in, what do you answer?
Even the good people of Dewsbury do tell lies.
Unimpressed by comments
From: JM Oates, Mirfield
Well, just when I thought that I had heard it all, our local MP Paula Sherriff appears on Look North.
When asked the serious question “What can be done to stop these youngsters committing jihad?”
Her reply was: “We must communicate more with the local communities, schools, mosques and churches.”
What an idiot. When did churches teach jihad to young Christians?
As long as the likes of her are in control we are doomed. Her naivety is scary.
Pub site lets down the area
From: GF Fisher, Dewsbury
Like many local people I am pleased with the Shepley Bridge area of Mirfield.
The marina, the birds on the Ship fields, the two very attractive fishing lakes and the first-class Dewsbury District Golf Club.
All these facilities attract visitors from outside the area.
I wonder what they think when they have to pass the slum that used to be a lively and vibrant public house.
How the owners and the local councillors can allow this disgusting state to continue and blight what is a wonderful area is beyond me.
From: Linda Harrison, Birstall
There’s very little to smile about in any newspaper these days, but reading Danny Lockwood’s Ed Lines “It’s a tough life for a teacher” made me laugh out loud.
I could imagine the scenario being played out in school staff rooms.
Danny also highlighted some very serious points about the proposed school trip to Barbados, which I agree with entirely. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – The Press is the best newspaper around.
Typical socialist and proud
From: Joyce Lister, Thornhill
I burst out laughing when I read Beth Prescott’s article saying she wasn’t a typical Tory: Oh yes you are dear.
I’m now a pensioner, but over 40 years ago I was a Labour councillor, and knocked on thousands of doors.
The majority who said they voted for the Tories were just like Beth; by her own admission, not very well educated and had low paid jobs.
All were enjoying a free National Health Service, which had been strongly opposed by the Tories.
As for the Tory councillors, there wasn’t a silver spoon in sight, and I don’t recall any of them being privately educated; indeed, quite a few couldn’t do simple maths.
Some had a one-man band business, with two of them going bankrupt, and one being evicted from his house.
Two Tory women lived in council houses. I don’t know what they thought when the Tory PM, Ted Heath, brought in the so-called ‘fair deal for housing’ and doubled their rents.
The local newspaper did a profile of the third. She said that she had been a mill girl before she married, and had to get up at 5am as she had to walk five miles to get to work.
We in the Labour Party can sometimes be stereotyped by the ignorant.
One Tory councillor’s wife stormed up to me at the Mayor’s Ball and looked at my posh evening dress. “How can you be Labour dressed like that?” she said.
“And how can you be a Tory dressed like that?” I replied.
Personally, I don’t care. I am a professional woman, with three lots of letters after my name.
My father studied at Leeds University, and was able to buy us a three-bedroomed house, yet none of us were snobs.
My parents were caring, compassionate people; Labour voters who wanted a better life for others.
I’m proud to say that I am a typical socialist.
From: Tim Moorhouse, Cleckheaton
Choosing the wrong leader seems to be the habit of the Labour Party: Michael Foot, Neil Kinnock, Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband, and now, possibly, Yvette Cooper, but I think Andy Burnham will win.
Yvette would be more suited as an actress, and she avoids being interrogated by Andrew Neil!
Temporary leader Harriet Harman bangs on about equality, but she went to the same privileged school as George Osborne and wanted all-women shortlists, but dispensed with this to get her husband elected as a Birmingham MP. Hypocritical?
People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but some of Labour’s ex-big beasts take delight in telling us why Labour lost the election.
John Prescott wasted millions of tax payers’ cash on ill-judged schemes and bureaucracy.
Alan Milburn seems to be camouflaging his North Eastern roots by having elocution lessons.
Gordon Brown had a major role in bankrupting the country.
Lord Mandelson suckers up to friends in high places aboard their yachts.
Urgent issues to address
From: Mr P Rhodes, Mirfield
My work colleagues are pleased that at last the myth of Labour being the party of working people has been dispelled somewhat.
The images of Tony Blair, Mandelson, Faulkner, Prescott, and others, living on the fat of the land, whilst together with Straw, Balls and Blunkett making it harder to get jobs with their secret mass immigration programme, has made more and more people vote against them.
They have put their own ideology above the wishes of the British public, and their party has paid for it dearly.
Moreover, why is it that all British governments seem to be 10 to 20 years behind in their planning, for example the late catch-up production of arms at the start of World War Two?
Other delayed issues include getting to grips with surplus NHS middle management, reducing quangos, think tanks and bureaucracy, sealing our borders, and a British Bill of Rights.
An urgent plan still on the drawing board is the building of prisons in places like Jamaica, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, for a compulsory transfer arrangement to send back tens of thousands of foreigners taking up valuable and costly space in UK cells.
Outrage over NHS finance
From: Christine Hyde, Dewsbury
I refer to Mr I Harms’ recent ‘Letter of the Week’ regarding the reorganisation of Dewsbury Hospital. He implies that lack of money is the driving force.
However, the political imperative is presented as “perceived future need” but it cynically under-funds public NHS service provision at the same time as throwing funding streams the way of profit-making companies, two of which are, as I write, sitting outside Dewsbury District Hospital.
The Health and Social Care Act, by replacing the National Health Service, has created the NHS England quango, whose job is to oversee the Americanisation of England’s health service through ex-United Health boss Stevens, via related quangos (costing billions).
Scrapping ‘the market’ would release resources for patient services as previously delivered by the ‘best, most cost-effective’ service in the world.
The fight for Dewsbury Hospital is a fight for the ‘GP preferred’ publicly-funded, run and accountable service.
I am willing to work with consultants, but will never lose sight of the fact that to have our Dewsbury Hospital land sale proceeds clawed back into a ‘Property Co’ at the same time as Mid Yorkshire needs to raise a commercial loan to ‘reform’ it, is yet another outrage against justice for everyone who needs a local hospital.
Time we start to do our bit
From: Peter Moreland, Heckmondwike
Forget referendums, the fact is that we are in Europe and as such should be playing a part in solving the immigrant crisis which is escalating at an alarming rate.
It is disgraceful that Italy and Greece are being left to try and look after these unfortunate families forced to flee their homes because of Islamic State and other extremists.
It is time all the member countries agreed immediately a policy of helping, rather than turning their backs.
It is not rocket science for goodness’ sake, for each country to take a pro-rata number of immigrants. Isn’t it also time to send troops to support the air strikes?
• A number of your letters have been held over and will be published next week.