Your Letters – Friday December 18, 2018

Please help us make the legion thrive

Letter of the Week: Tony Firth, Dewsbury British Legion

On behalf of the Dewsbury branch of the Royal British Legion I want to say a big thank you to Dewsbury people for once again generously donating to our Poppy Appeal, which this year raised the magnificent sum of £12,645.

Their generosity and kindness is truly appreciated, more so this year,  in view of it being the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War One.

The amount raised is truly amazing considering that our membership is at an all time low, and we only had a few active members out on the streets selling poppies.

There were also cadets selling on Saturdays, and members of Dewsbury Rotary Club delivering collecting boxes to shops and businesses, and we are grateful to all of them for their support.

But we are still desperate for more people to help increase our membership which is dwindling due to the fact we are all getting older.

However, the few people involved this year, led by our poppy organiser Denise Reid, did a fantastic job.

If there is anyone reading this who would like to keep our organisation in Dewsbury going, please contact us, otherwise we are in danger of folding.

You do not need to have served in the Armed Forces to join us.

Our next meeting is at 7.30pm on January 3 in the Conservative Club, Park Road, Earlsheaton, where you can be assured of a warm welcome.

Further details contact me on 07716 833703, or Glyn Froggett on 07702 116495.

We can also be contacted through the Facebook page or my email,

Who's in this trusting 19%?

From: Steve Cass, Mirfield

I was shocked to read (Ed Lines, Press 23/11/18) that in a recent Mori poll, of those asked, 19% said that they trusted politicians to tell the truth.

Wow! 19%? That many? Of the people I know I can't think of one who'd be outside the 81% who, to say the least, are unsure about our politicians' truthfulness. What a situation we're in.

Pollyanna politicians treat us as gullible idiots and the Prime Minister confirms it with her phoney Brexit 'deal'. 

But I'm intrigued. This 19%, I wonder what proportion of it is politicians and their hangers-on? 

Ever since I can remember, politicians have been telling us to trust them, that they know best. They said they were going to create a new and exciting  'diverse' society where there'd be 'rejoicing' and 'celebration' - and Dewsbury is a prime example of where their thinking has led. Little wonder cynicism grows. Little wonder Paula Sherriff buries her head in the NHS to avoid the big picture.

Of course Lib blames Lab blames Con, each as anxious as the next to avoid responsibility for the mess that collectively they've made of this country; the political class wants to remain close to the EU primarily because it makes it one step removed from accountability and thus a bit safer. 

But it seems to me that for all its (supposed) prescience our political class has got it wrong, again.

In its desperation to cling to the EU's apron strings it appears not to have noticed the ground shifting on the other side of the English Channel.

The movement on the continent is away from a globalist EU and towards one of a cooperative of sovereign independent patriotic states.

Would our 'remainer' political class really want to belong to such an organisation?

No more relief for Batley motorists

From: C Westwood, Cleckheaton

Anyone witnessing the gridlock in Batley the other Sunday could expect to see it more or less every day in a few years’ time.

It was necessary roadworks then, and what a marvellous job they have made of it. Thank you to all the workmen involved.

In future, if no drastic action is taken by government, then traffic conditions will become like those we’ve seen on TV in third world countries. 

Batley is in a fairly steep valley – once the cars flood in, they are in! No escape – just more and more cars.

Any Tom, Dick or Harry can get a car for £25 a week nowadays.

No ring roads, and it is virtually impossible to build any more relief roads out of Batley.

A sign of the times in Dewsbury

From: Grace Hall, via email

A timely reminder to your readers. As we approach Christmas just be careful that you don’t leave anything of value, or perceived value, on view in your car. 

My husband has been to Dewsbury this lunchtime, Tuesday December 11, to pick something up from Argos.

He parked his car in the car park by Iceland and came back 10 minutes later to find someone had smashed his passenger window and stolen his dashcam. 

All in broad daylight, 12.30pm and no-one saw or did anything. Police were not available, although he saw a police van go into the Sainsbury’s car park entrance as he was finally driving home. 

His journey turned out to be an expensive one for a present for his grandson, £75 excess for the window replacing, and the dashcam was less than his insurance excess, so nothing for that. 

Sign of the times, no doubt whoever took it will have sold the dashcam already to feed a nasty habit!

Still waiting for a police response

From: Jack Mann, Birstall

I read your article about burglaries in Birstall and the surrounding area. I was one of the unfortunates at the same time.

I am 83 years of age and these low-lifes took my life savings and trashed my house. 

Not fully understanding the workings, I was grateful for how quickly the police responded.

But on speaking to some of the shopkeepers about their experiences, you have to ask what are the police for? What do they actually do?

When I was in my youth I grew up on Wilton Estate and the police were part of the community.

Now, as an 83-year-old, I can’t remember the last time I saw one on foot. 

The person organising police movement, knowing the approximate time these low-lifes are on the prowl, has decided when their shift will end, if indeed the police decide to come out at all.

How intelligent is that? 

I might also add I was told to ring for an update. After nearly an hour, I was told someone would ring back.

I am still waiting.

Look at history and consider future

From: Harry Smithson, via email

The situation with the EU our government and the beggers belief when we consider the following.

1933: Mussolini wanted political unity in Europe. 1936: Hitler suggests a United States of Europe. 1940: Hitler’s economist suggests an economic reorganisation of Europe, 1942: Reinhard Heydrich, prior to the Treaty of Rome, composed a paper on the Reich plan for the domination of Europe. 1943: Germany wanted 13 countries in Europe to join a federal republic. 1944: A conference was held in Strasbourg to discuss the German control of the peace after World War Two (consider all that, above, occurred during the hostilities of the Nazi regime which began with German and Italian co-operation). 1945: Germany admitted defeat and Britain supplied foodstuffs and vital aid to the Germans while we in Britain were suffering rationing and severe austerity until 1954 and beyond. 

1957: The Treaty of Rome is signed and the European Community begins. During the period after the war the President of France Charles de Gaulle flatly refused to accept Britain into the EC, so Britain was excluded. 

1970: De Gaulle dies, creating a change of attitude towards the UK and Edward Heath takes us into the Common Market without so much as a referendum, promising cooperation on a trading basis. The rest is modern history.

The question is. Who won World War Two? We know the attitude of the unelected leaders. But what is to follow? May I suggest that British citizens born mid-20th century read their history books and consider what our future will be in an undemocratic union.

Don’t allow this to happen

From: Mr GR Dennis, Birstall

Surprise? A predicted Brexit no vote and our PM in self preservation mode! What a waste of UK taxpayers’ money over the last two years, with blatant disregard for the UK voting public.

One final plea, please do not allow this and Jeremy Corbyn and his pathetic cronies an opportunity to get in to power as it will really spell the end of our beloved nation!

Making a mockery of democracy

From: John Wilkinson, Batley

I read with interest Batley & Spen MP Tracy Brabin’s article (November 30) on the well-worn subject of Brexit. 

Ms Brabin is right in saying that uncertainty around Brexit is forcing businesses to cut costs, thereby threatening jobs.

Two-and-a-half years on from the referendum, uncertainty continues and jobs certainly have been lost as a result.

This unhappy situation has arisen because a large section of the political class flatly refused to accept and still refuses to accept the public’s straight answer to a straight question.

Namely ‘Do you wish the UK to remain in the EU or to leave the EU?’ There were no ifs or buts either way.

Surely in the absence of any qualification, ‘Remain’ meant remain all the way in the EU, and ‘Leave’  meant leave all the way out. 

How can the public be expected to support this ‘deal’ that flagrantly disprespected their expressed wish, in leaving us half in and half out? I for one cannot.

Perhaps the ‘Remoaners’ aim to cause as much pain as possible in the hope that voters will change their minds at the second referendum they campaign for. 

If so, what a mockery of democracy!

New signs are a great idea

From: Ben Marshall, Liversedge 

Well done to the Spen Civic Society for signposting our wonderful Liversedge. 

Previously only known from a shabby delapidated sign between Six Lane Ends junction and the Swan junction on the A62, it should aid confused sat nav/phone app visitors as to where it exactly is!

I liken ‘Sedge to another great phenomenon that really does exist despite many confused non-believers – Knotty Ash in Liverpool, home of the greatest English vaudevillian artist and my comedy hero, the wonderful much-missed Sir Ken Dodd, RIP. 

Christmas happiness to you and all your staff.

Let’s praise Xmas volunteer groups

From: David Parkinson, via email

I would like to express my admiration for the volunteers of the Dewsbury Cares Campaign (Longcauseway Church) and St Mary’s Church in Mirfield for providing Christmas dinners and entertainment on Christmas Day.

This expresses the legacy expected in the Jo Cox Foundation campaign.

For the last 25 years I have gone on holiday at Christmas as nowadays no-one seems to expect to see the single between December 24 and January 2, and if you are on your own you end up treating the 25th as an ordinary day. I hope you can report on these events and help them expand.

I hope to attend next year.

Nationalise even more?

From: Derek Cartwright, Batley

The new rail timetable – it would seem that TransPennine no longer stop at Batley, and Northern Rail have come back.

On Tuesday mid-morning I was catching a train into Leeds from Dewsbury, but it was cancelled, then the next train was a good five minutes early.

Oh, we’re off, er, no they delayed the train for an express that went straight through Dewsbury … oh, we’re off, er, no they delayed the train for an express that went straight through Dewsbury – so it was held up for two express trains.

I would imagine leaving Leeds at 17.21 that train will be held up for two late-running TransPennine Express trains, but if you are going to Dewsbury, it will be the 17.18 that will be late.

Leeds is a product of its own success as trains pile up to find a platform, as hundreds, if not thousands pile in at peak hours.

The joke, is of course, the whole system: Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain. 

Network Rail is an arm’s-length public body of the Department for Transport with no shareholders, which reinvests its income in the railways. 

The railways are not a privatised company, the owner is our government (Department for Transport). 

It employed 37,000 people with a revenue of £6.2 billion in 2013. 

Yes, there are left a small rump of private firms that operate some of the services. 

There is still a staff shortage, but then one of the unions’ wants are supported by giving us constant strikes. 

Then there is a shortage of carriages as we try and run 21st century trains on 19th century infrastructure.

Some modern trains have been too long for the stations – some trains had doors that would not open at some stations because of the curvature of the tracks – oh, and then on some new trains when tested the windows blew out.

It is not nationalisation that is the problem, it is a management problem – a government problem, increasing the 93 per cent level of nationalisation will not solve the issue.

Which bit of this do our MPs not understand? I think I will be on the bus for a while ... they are cold, can take longer and are also usually late, but cheaper.

The quicker we remove rail subsidies the better, as more likely northerners are subsidising richer southerners into London for better paid jobs!

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