Your Letters - Friday July 21, 2017

Community spirit will sort it out!

Letter of the Week: Joanna Ives, Thornhill

(With reference to last week’s letter of the week)

You are not alone, Mr Fredericks. 

I too see uncut grass, hedges unattended in ginnels, grass and weeds in the gutters.

Last weekend my neighbour and I decided to have a clean-up on our estate.

The neighbours saw us, they were more than happy to help. 

It looks so much nicer. Community spirit goes a long way.

Inquiry into a shocking cover-up

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

After 20 years of campaigning for a public inquiry into contaminated blood, an independent inquiry has finally opened under Lord Archer to look at the scandal of thousands of people receiving HIV-contaminated blood in the 1980s.

This country has always prided itself on members of the public giving their blood for free, so why did the British government ignore warnings by the World Health Organisation not to import blood products from the United States, and carried on doing so?

The US pays its prisoners to give blood, yet studies show that prisoners were in the highest-risk groups of people living with HIV and hepatitis C.

Haemophiliacs were being used as lab rats. The government was aware this was happening but chose to cover it up. 

Lives have been destroyed and that of families by a government who put commercial interests before health.

A lot to learn...

From: M Jacobs, Heckmondwike

Your correspondent who thinks he should stop paying for children’s education with his taxes when they are 16, clearly doesn’t have any family or friends with family still in the education system.

If he did, he would know that all kids now have to either stay at college or sixth form until they are 18, or take a slave-wage apprenticeship with day release to college to further their education.

It is another government stitch-up to keep the unemployment figures down. Even after the age of 18, because all education is free until the age of 19, the job centres go out of their way to try and get the kids to stay in education for another year to keep them off the dole queue, and keep their statistics down.

Law is behind the curve on this

From: Garry Kitchin, Batley

No-one could help to be anything but moved by the recent cases of Charlie Gard, a baby with a rare and incurable condition living on life-support, and Noel Conway, fighting for the right to end his life before motor neurone diseaese totally destroys all his physical functions.

Medical science has come on a long way, and can achieve outcomes today that would be considered miraclous only a few decades ago. In 2011 the average life expectancy in the UK was 81, 71 in 1961 and 53 in 1911.

We must all be grateful that we do not face the spectre of death that was common in not many generations ago from everyday diseases and conditions.

However, as the two cases stated above demonstrate, it clear that advances in medical science have moved quicker than medical ethics. 

Given that people with very life-limiting conditions can now be kept alive like never before, it leaves open questions regarding what is a quality of life, what is human dignity, and should all life be preserved regardless of what condition that life is lived in?

I don’t know the answers, but as a society we need to have that discussion. Parliament and the law are behind the curve in my view, and both need to ensure that the ethics that binds our healthcare system together are relevent in the modern world and to modern technology.

Urgent priorities not being tackled

From: CM Westwood, Cleckheaton

Just what is happening to the pace of government in this country?

Is all the time being wasted on bickering with each other, human rights, and political correctness?

A few years ago I wrote that there were urgent priorities when parliament had shaken off the shackles of the Liberal Democrat coalition: Most have not been done.

Clearing out the quangos – thousands of meddling bureaucrats stalk the corridors of Whitehall, most on bumper pay.

Shake up Whitehall – many departments exist only to make politically correct statements.

Axe the Equality and Human Rights Commission – enough said! It remains a gold mine for lawyers, and a drain on Legal Aid.

Boundary Reform – get a level playing field on anti-Tory bias, and postal voting fraud.

If this had been done, the UK wouldn’t be burdened with a government of no majority: another of Nick Clegg’s faults. 

Reform the bloated, biased BBC – they are making public the salaries of its highest earners this week. You will be shocked!

Curb immigration – last but not least! Immigration has shot up since we were promised by Theresa May a figure of ‘tens of thousands’ a year.

At least if we had an election and Labour got in they’d do something in their five years. 

Yes, open the floodgates to immigration, and also ruin the country like they’ve done the last five times, which is what many of them want to do.

Streets need council attention

From: Steve Oliver, Heckmondwike

Now that the school summer holiday is starting, I wonder if Kirklees Highway Safety (KHS) will give urgent attention to some issues of safety around Heckmondwike Junior school on Cawley Lane near the junction with High Street?

The zig-zag lines at the school are there to prevent vehicles stopping during drop-off and pick-up times in the morning and afternoon. 

However, from about 11.30am cars arrive and occupy over 60 metres of school kerb to pick up and drop off the children. So much for the zig-zag ‘safety’ zone at dinner-time, eh?

Question to KHS – will you extend the zone-times to apply all day (I had a near-miss with a child, and parent, one lunchtime)? If not, why not?

Still on the subject of yellow paint, I have another question. What have Princes Street, Birkhead Street and Cambridge Street all got that Cawley Lane hasn’t?

The answer is double-yellow lines around their kerb corners! It really is quite crazy that busy Cawley Lane has no double-lines next to High Street. 

This attracts cars and vans that park below the pelican crossing right down to the corner and then (left) up to the school zig-zag lines. 

Question to KHS - what is it that prevents the introduction of ‘no parking’ below the crossing which also has a shortened zig-zag, which is also a puzzling safety matter? Again, if not, why not ?

The central road markings on High Street are nice and wide all the way down from Batley Road, but they evaporate at Cawley Lane and then  continue down to the grammar school. 

These wide cross-hatchings contain many right-turn markings for traffic into some less-busy streets and even the grammar school.

Question to KHS - why can’t these wide markings continue past Cawley and include a right-turn arrow for uphill traffic turning into Cawley?

Basically, all the problems here are due to parked vehicles, which should be prevented from doing so by some logical, common-sense road/kerb markings that have been needed here at this neglected junction for many years, as local residents and drivers are fully aware of.  

A joint visit to the site by one of the senior engineers from Highway Safety, with me, would be most welcome, informative and hopefully productive.  

A spokesman for Kirklees Council said: “We take road safety extremely seriously and work with residents, businesses, schools and West Yorkshire Police to ensure that our roads are as safe as possible. Where we receive complaints we can investigate, and then deal with the issues on a priority basis.”

No compassion from our leaders

From: L Stephens, Hightown

Theresa May, the vicar’s daughter with a heart of stone.

You would think this woman would have compassion and empathy growing up as a vicar’s daughter – it clearly made her cold and uncaring and a perfect fit to be a Tory.

These people are utterly selfish and only care about themselves and their rich mates, not exactly a Christian attitude or approach to life in general.

How she can call herself a good practicing Christian, I do not know.

I can only assume people voted for the nasty party for Brexit, and the wish to stop the free movement of people to control immigration, and stop the mass influx of people which is creating a huge burden on our crumbling public services.

I am sure they didn’t vote for the spiralling poverty this party have pushed people into with their barbaric cuts and austerity drive.

Obviously, we must keep the foreign aid budget topped up whatever the cost to our society, as long as we look good to the rest of the world; who cares that people can’t get hospital/GP appointments?

The Tories will carry on closing down hospital services, after all, if some of us die due to lack of medical services there is more room for the immigrants.

Old people can’t get the care they need; what do the Tories do? Absolutely nothing.

They are expecting pensioners, with health problems of their own, to look after elderly pensioner parents.

People who are working and have children to get off to school can’t be at an elderly relatives’ to shower, make their breakfast and ensure they take their medication before they go to work. It isn’t possible.

You can’t leave young children to be latch-key kids whilst you go and look after the elderly; Social Services would be on you like a ton of bricks.

How can MPs give themselves whopping pay rises but tell nurses, whose wages are now the same as they were back in 2009, that there is no magic money tree? 

Clearly councillors and MPs have plenty of access to the magic money tree, but it’s not available to ordinary people. 

They say the economy is stagnating, now let’s see – clearly low wages and high prices are the problem, it’s that simple, but the government can’t see  that by stifling wages at record lows, and then allowing the cost of living to spiral without any kind of control, this is bound to happen.

We are being governed by a bunch of idiots.

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