A special 70th celebration
Letter of the Week: Wendy Storey, chairman of Mirfield Parish Pantomime Committee
I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved this year with Mirfield Team Parish Pantomime production of ‘Aladdin’.
This year was our 70th production and what a fantastic pantomime – oh yes it was!
We wanted it to be special and it certainly lived up to that.
Sir Patrick Stewart, who started his acting life treading the boards at our pantomime, sent us an encouraging email saying that he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for our pantomime and the local community encouraging him and his brother. He also sent some signed photos of himself.
We had a nice surprise at Thursday evening’s performance as Chris Chittell, AKA Eric Pollard from Emmerdale, came to watch.
He was charming and chatted to everyone and did the raffle for us and lots of people had their photos taken with him.
The main thing to me was the community spirit, the fun and laughter and the growing confidence of the youngsters (and not so young) who performed.
Ages range between four and 70-plus and we have a waiting list each year for children and adults wanting to be in.
In this day and age of social media and many other distractions it is wonderful to see we have such a thriving group who rehearse every Sunday afternoon from the end of September.
Everyone involved, whether it be wardrobe ladies, props, scenery making, tea making, special effects, advertising or tickets, give their time up from September to get involved.
The stars, we know, are our brilliant performers and this year they really pulled it off for our 70th celebration.
Thank you to all who supported us by coming to watch. Apart from the first night we had full houses and had to turn people away.
A special big thank you to all of you from this old pianist in her 19th year of playing, I am so very proud of you all.
Can you help find a room?
From: Batley Butterfly House
Batley Butterfly House is in dire, urgent need of a secure heated room (before March 25) with daily access to house insects during the week when we’re not open.
If anyone could help us with this or knows anyone who could, please contact us through www.facebook.com/ BatleyButterflyHouse.
Thank you very much indeed.
Heartfelt thanks from us
From: Colin Walshaw, Cleckheaton
Our benighted Kirklees Council comes in for a great deal of criticism, much of it self-inflicted.
However in this instance I have nothing but praise, and credit should be awarded when and where it is due.
Its care services in co-operation with the NHS have, as instanced here, been exemplary, and I hope and pray that this has not been an exception.
Nine years ago my wife Jennifer was diagnosed by the Greenway Medical practice in Cleckheaton initially with vascular dementia, and ultimately Alzheimer’s.
Immediately we were referred to the Memory Clinic at Dewsbury Hospital, and throughout the subsequent years both parties and the Admiral Nurse Service held our hands on a regular basis.
The then Citizens Advice Bureau led us through items like attendance allowance etc.
Kirklees Gateway to Care and Carers Trust gave me training to cope with the stress of full-time caring, and supplied a carer once a week to give me a break.
In the last years I had access to short-term respite at Claremont House in Heckmonwike, partially funded by the council.
Latterly Social Services helped with obtaining partial funding for full-time professional care at a private care home, Sycamore Park in Bradley.
Throughout the journey not all things have been completely joined-up, but the result was relatively smooth.
With care being in the headlines on an almost daily basis I can say that at least in our case, Kirklees and the NHS did an excellent, considerate and efficient job.
Sadly Jenny passed away on January 4, 2019.
Our heartfelt thanks go to all involved in the care for us both.
Every one of us is a polluter
From: Adrian Fairburn, Cleckheaton
There have never been such extreme weather tragedies as we’ve seen in recent years.
Polar ice melting, scorching temperatures, storms, wildfires and flooding.
What little there is being done, such as electric cars, is miniscule compared with the causes. Extravagance, greed, consumerism and overpopulation play their part.
Our TV screens are full of adverts for far-away destinations and cruises. Jets and monster cruise ships are massive polluters.
Why are there so many lorries on the road nowadays? Some will be crammed with unecessary luxury stuff; some taking goods from A to B, crossing others taking the same goods from B to A! Example: Hull Docks to Lancashire, Liverpool Docks to Yorkshire.
The Green Party works on a paradox. They don’t want to cut down on immigration and yet are against pollution.
Every one of us is a ‘polluter’, but car owners like myself are even more so.
Immigrants will all want cars eventually. There has been an unbelievable increase in traffic and hold-ups in the last few years.
Are millennials aware of this?
From: ‘Heckmondwike Hector’
Danny Lockwood wrote in Ed Lines about the deceptions of the EU.
For me, being one of the ‘oldies’ (who failed to die off before the referendum), through voting Leave I stand guilty of blocking our young millennials’ ambition of being part of ‘Europe’s shared prosperity.’
But that also makes me old enough to remember the time when this clever deception first manifested.
Like our millennials of today I too naively embraced this idea almost half a century ago when I voted in favour of our entry into the Common Market.
At the time, it was presented to the voters as the establishment of loose trade links with our continental neighbours.
What we didn’t realise – and what our younger generation don’t realise – is that cleverly crafted into that manifesto was a blueprint for a United States of Europe.
This would include a single European currency, countries without borders (allowing for the free movement of terrorists) and a pan-European military machine (which is now on the drawing board of the Germany-France alliance).
How many of those peace loving Glastonbury ‘ohhh Jeremy Corbyn’ millennials would have signed up to this?
They say that the old ones who voted Leave were ignorant of the consequences. Well. we damn well were when we voted to join in the first place.
For those of a new generation, you may vote or agree to whatever you wish, but be aware of what you are acceding to as history has a venomous habit of repeating itself; even when the intentions are benign.
I was born shortly after a time when our European neighbour happened to be targeting southern England with the most advanced weapons the world had ever seen, the V2 rocket. The enemy were only a screw turn behind the allies in the development of a nuclear bomb.
Had they been ahead, then those missiles might well have been fitted with the deadliest of warheads.
True, European countries may never need to go to war against each other again. Now the perceived foe stands to the north east.
Rather than resorting to the battlefield, the ‘Fourth Reich’ will be an economic colossus, but with its own armed forces at its disposal.
Its ‘partners’ or subservients such as Greece, Italy and probably the UK will have to toe the line in any decision, military or otherwise, made on their behalf.
There will be no ‘second referendum’ on that day.
Thirty or so years ago I was in possession of a fictional story about a future European super state. (Unfortunately the author and title are lost to my memory).
The leader of this enormous power was elected by default. He was a megalomaniac called Olaf de L’Rith.
It does not take a genius to decipher this anagram, and whilst it is only symbolic it would be prudent of our young millennials to heed the fact that the direst warnings from history are often found in the strangest and most abstract form.
I was outsourced too
From: Mark Norris, via email
Regarding Mr Wilkinson’s comments last week about the EU and our taxes losing jobs?
I couldn’t agree more and it has been happening for many years.
My own highly-skilled job was outsourced along with 1000s of others when the Government forced its suppliers offshore to manufacture military/police and most other kit offshore.
While this was happening, I pushed my MP to ask questions in Parliament over outsourcing and losing manufacturing/ skills.
His response? EU rules and protectionism don’t work.
Wonderful, as we’ve now got little left to protect, and the Tories’ wondrous new jobs they crow about are low paid/welfare dependent. To which their answer is? Cut welfare.
Duty to stop this madness
From: ‘Emley EU Voter’
Democracy only works when the voters know what they are voting about.
They need to know the advantages and more importantly, the disadvantages of the matter in question.
Also, if you see your country committing economic suicide, it is your national duty to try to stop it. This is especially true when the electorate has been brainwashed by one-sided newspaper articles, as has happened in the UK.
Josef Goebbels rightly said that if you tell a lie often enough, then the people will believe you. Decades of anti-EU propaganda have done their worst.
Unfortunately democracy needs a healthy and balanced media to give both sides of an argument. Without this balance, democracy is threatened.
Our unbalanced media is a national disgrace.
Correct me if I am wrong, but over the years hasn’t Danny Lockwood written (in his notes in The Press) that the Euro was a failure?
This was stated many times after the Euro was introduced and was then worth just 65 pence.
Before the Referendum, the Euro had risen to 73 pence. It is now worth 87 pence. The value of the pound has correspondingly dropped since then.
This has made foreign holidays dearer for our travellers and will also add to the price of the 40 per cent of our food that is imported, as well as the 60 per cent of our coal and much of our oil.
Not only that, but our one-and-a-half million UK pensioners living abroad in Spain, France and Italy are now significantly poorer.
The same is almost as true for those using the US dollar.
There have even been reports that UK travellers changing money at airports have only got one euro to the pound.
Inflation which was formerly nearly nil is now running at 3.5 per cent, adding to household budgets.
The UK has now lost its triple A-star rating for credit in international finance which will hit the cost of government borrowing.
We are now bottom of the productivity table for the G7 industrialised nations. Previously, we were near the top.
Not only that but we are losing £350 million in costs every week! Then there is the unresolved problem that this country has caused to our nearest neighbour, Ireland. What a way to treat a neighbour!
National shopping chains are closing down weekly on our high streets. Packaged foods have less weight in them. Car makers are shedding labour and cancelling investments. Bad news all round, and we haven’t even left the EU.
So far, since the ill-fated referendum result, each UK family is over £1,000 worse off annually.
Of course it won’t affect the Foxes, Rees-Moggs, Johnsons, Davis’s, Goves and Brexit millionaire press barons of our country, but the ordinary folk will pay the price.
What a complete mess!
The Brexiteers will try and blame Mr Barnier and Mr Juncker and the 16.5 million far-sighted voters who voted Remain, for the mess that we are now in.
Every week that passes reveals further evidence of the disaster that the wafer-thin 52 per cent majority of UK voters have caused.
There is a solution before matters get any worse. Call the whole Article 50 off before it damages our country any more.
The negotiations are a disaster and our once-respected country is a pitiful laughing stock
The government is in complete disarray.
If it goes through and we end up ruined, will those journalists who campaigned to leave the EU and whose papers who carried adverts telling their readers to vote Leave, admit their mistakes and the damage that they have done to our people?
Of course not, they never do.
They will blame it on others.
Donald Tusk spoke the truth the other week when he rightly criticised the Brexit politicians who have landed our once proud country into the present mess.
He did not criticise the Leave voters. He should have mentioned the Brexit press as well.
If further proof of the looming disaster were needed, just look who is pleased with the Brexit result – Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Say no more!
At a political crossroads
From: John Sheen, Dewsbury
In answer to an excellent letter on last week’s Forum page from Pauline Fenton.
She highlighted just one of the acts of complete “monthly madness” by the EU in moving the whole EU chamber from Brussels to Strasbourg at eyewatering and unnecessary expense for no sensible or practical reason.
You asked a serious question, Pauline, regarding “If we were to remain within the European Union would our contribution increase”?
Well, our net contribution for 2017 was £173 million per week, or £9 billion during that year.
However, the first thing to remember is the UK is outnumbered by 27 countries to one and David Cameron tried many times to veto EU directives which were against Britain’s interests, unsuccessfully.
The EU already control our VAT levels and are looking to control our general taxes within five years. No veto. They will, at some stage, insist that all members must embrace the Euro, naturally, in the interests of unity and financial direction. No veto.
It’s also interesting to note that the EU are considering membership applications from eight East European countries, including Albania, Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro.
EU commissioners will use these poor countries as a “sales” opportunity for the UK so, needless to say, even as the second highest contributor, our contribution would increase. No veto.
There are approximately 125 million people within these ‘low economy’ countries who would have access to our shores and our services without any veto from UK citizens, UK parliament, UK government or, indeed, our UK supreme court.
These decisions lie within treaties signed by our misguided politicians and are part of EU membership.
Another point I would make is the proposed EU army is, clearly, on the cards, against Nick Clegg’s historical comment of “this is fantasy”.
Who’s to say if and when these unelected bureaucrats decide that military conscription will be necessary and member countries must provide the manpower and finances required? No veto. It would be an EU directive and must be obeyed.
Successive governments have signed away our sovereignty, our democracy and our independence.
Brexit, love it or loath it, respects the sacrifice made by our forefathers in two great wars.
Yes, there will be bumps and challenges along the way to prosperity, but the parliament we vote for will be free to control our borders, our laws and our money.
EU commissioners are not elected, they are appointed, which means they cannot be removed by the people. At least the good citizens of Great Britain can remove our MPs at the stroke of a pen.
Finally, the EU are expecting a £39billion divorce bill, for what? The UK has contributed a net figure approaching £250 billion during our 40-year membership.
Surely we own much of the EU real estate and they should be paying us. If we’re expected to pay this astronomical exit fee it should be linked to a tarrif free trade deal guaranteed to be completed within two years, thereby avoiding an open-ended Northern Ireland backstop.
So, Pauline I hope I’ve given you, and others, some food for thought during a political and economical cross roads in Britain’s future.
Sneaky ways of getting our money
From: Mr FR Schofield, Cleckheaton
Using my ‘sim-only’ (pay as you go) mobile phone, a message came on saying I’d run out of credit. I’d hardly used it.
I was puzzled, until I read the following.
Citizens Advice, an excellent, helpful organisation, unearthed facts that 71 per cent of sim-only users, and others on certain deals, that’s over 12 million users, are paying £800m a year for data they do not use.
It seems as if in our modern, money-orientated world there are clever people in darkened rooms thinking up sneaky ways of getting our cash.