Your Letters - Friday June 16, 2017

A classic from much-loved George 

Letter of the Week: Pam Bodrog, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

It was with great sadness that my husband and I read of the death of George Carrigill.

Many people may not know but George was a very formidable table tennis player in his younger days, and very well known in the Dewsbury and Yorkshire Table Tennis Leagues and he entered many table tennis tournaments.

When I was chosen to play table tennis for Yorkshire’s second team it was a great privilege and George was not only in the team but was the team captain.

He was a great help in my early years and as my first coach (and he wouldn’t take any fee from my father) started me off in my chosen sport.

I remember a time when three players from Huddersfield, George and I went to Wakefield Jail to give an exhibition 

to the inmates.

George always carried a very big bag around with him.

He was giving me and another a lift home and dumped his bag on the back seat.

We were stopped by the police and they shone their torches inside the car and saw this big bag.

They looked around the car and then proceeded to ask George his registration number, to which he replied: “I can’t remember. I’ve only just bought the car”.

They asked: “Can we see your insurance?” 

George said: “Sorry, I don’t carry it with me.

“Okay sir, where have you just come from?” 

George replied with a very straight face “Wakefield Jail.” As a 17-year-old I was quaking in my seat. 

Typical George waited a few seconds, which felt like minutes to me, before he told them about the exhibition.

Rest in peace, George. You are much respected for the man you were and your sportsmanship.


Posters are a pain

From: Sue Terry, via email

Dear Sir,

Now that all the election is over and done with, can anyone tell us who is going to travel around the area taking down all the candidate billboards? 

Normally they are left hanging around until they fall from the lamp posts littering the area.

If a member of the public was to festoon the area with this sort of signage they would be prosecuted for fly posting.

Once again, is it one rule for one section of society and another for anyone connected with the election.


Our PM is damaged goods with no mandate

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

Dear Sir,

Theresa May called a general election with a lead in the opinion polls of 20 per cent and predictions of a landslide victory by her friends in the media.

Theresa May sank to the gutter in this election with her day-to-day personal insults of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who in contrast behaved impeccably, producing a brilliant manifesto, which unlike the Tories, was fully costed, and led the campaign brilliantly.

Labour is now strengthened in Parliament, receiving its highest share of the vote since 1997. Labour’s 10 per cent increase in popular support during a campaign is the biggest increase in British electoral history.

Theresa May is damaged goods, she wasn’t as good as she thought she was, the more people heard her speak the more they couldn’t stomach her.

May has no mandate to stay, like Elvis she should leave the building and close the door behind her.


No Brexit backsliding

From: Aleks Lukic – Independent Brexit candidate for Batley & Spen

Dear Sir,

First and foremost I would like to thank all my 1,076 supporters, my helpers, and all those involved with overseeing the election in Batley and Spen.

In what is likely to be our last general election before constituency boundaries are redrawn, Labour should be congratulated on their best result locally in 50 years.

If one outcome of this election is a stronger opposition, then that will be good for our democracy. The increased youth turnout is also a positive.

Theresa May is still in charge with an increased national vote share and a majority of MPs elected in Great Britain. 

It is perfectly reasonable for the Conservatives to govern with the support of the DUP, who have a majority of MPs elected in Northern Ireland.

After a hard-fought campaign, I will be taking some time to relax and consider what I might do next. 

One thing you can be assured of is that I won’t allow Tracy Brabin to get away with any backsliding over Brexit!


Headed for a crash

From: ‘JS’, Batley

Dear Sir,

As an economics teacher in the 60s and early 70s I have followed trends up to present times.

In my opinion, all signposts are pointing to a big recession within the next two years.

Why?

• Total economic uncertainty

• Wars and conflict throughout the world

• Changes in alliances and trading partners. Examples: Russia with India and China, the new ‘Silk Road’, Russia with Iran, China with African countries, UK to forge stronger trade with USA, China, the Commonwealth and others

• Russia and China buying up gold

• Oil prices planned to rise to decrease global warming

• UK – inflation, wage freezes, house price stagnation, Brexit (which I agree with), causing temporary disruption mainly caused by the domineering, obstinate European Union

• USA – trillions on national debt, mainly to China

• Cyber crime

• ‘When America sneezes, we catch a cold’

It happened last time, and it will happen again. Morever, automation and robots could put millions more on the dole queues within 10 years. 

For example, there used to be three cashiers taking council tax in the town halls, now there is a machine. 

All this will be accentuated by the rapid increase of the unskilled labour force finding their way into the country.

Think of the massive burden which will be inflicted on taxpayers!

Remember, commerce, financial institutions, governments, businesses and the people despise the disagreements and uncertainty which are overshadowing the world in present times. Elections are secondary to the main issues.


They fell for it hook, line and sinker

From: Mr S Walton, Heckmondwike

Dear Sir,

Now this election is over, can we get down to the reality of the situation?

I have had a Labour government, a Conservative government and a coalition government in my time on earth.

I was tempted to vote for a Marxist government on Thursday. But no, I went ‘independent’ instead. If it was the student vote that nearly put JC into No.10, I have this to say. 

If this is the standard of education in our universities, we have no chance of being a world-class economy. I cannot believe that the students of today know nothing of how money is earned to pay for their education. 

As far as I am concerned, my contract to educate them ends at 16.

If they want to be treated as adults and want to go to university then they can pay for it themselves.

I left school at 15 and had to pay for my own way in the world. 

And I cannot believe they actually believed what JC was telling them and they took it in hook, line and sinker.


Give me strength

From: R Spreadbury, Liversedge

Dear Sir,

For this week’s Newspeak, I give you ‘strong and stable’.

This is apparently something the great British first-past-the-post electoral system gives us, ie: three General Elections in seven years, one formal coalition, one slim majority and one backroom coalition. 

This latest manifestation? A lame duck Tory Government propped up by, of all parties, the DUP?! 

This, the party founded by that great beacon of tolerant, inclusive, modernism: Ian Paisley. Give me strength!

I bet the Tory voters out there didn’t see that one coming!


Walking on water

From: David Westerman, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

So it’s been allowed to happen again by the powers that be at the head of the government. 

Theresa May thought she could walk on water and run the country without consulting experienced cabinet ministers - and look what a mess it’s created!

Similar to Tony Blair’s style of ‘sofa government’ with characters like Alastair Campbell ruling the roost, contributing to the Iraq war and opening a can of worms which is getting fatter.

However, Blair is more thick-skinned than May, who hid away while others ruined their chance of being Prime Minister.

I recall a progressive rock band call ‘Blodwyn Pig’ who had a song called ‘Walk On Water’.

I’ve seen dozens of people letting success go to their heads, including myself in younger days. 

‘Experience is the best teacher, but the school fees are high’. 

It’s costly to learn the hard way! Pride comes before a fall.


Accept the consequences

From: John Sheen, Dewsbury

Dear Sir,

Call me a cynic, but Jeremy Corbyn did not win this election even though congratulations are in order for Paula, maintaining her Dewsbury seat. 

No, it was his unaffordable policies that won. The human nature of ‘what’s in it for me?’ kicked in.

The British people were asked to vote in order to give our Prime Minister and her team a strong mandate to go into the EU Brexit negotiations with a strong hand. 

Her popularity was at least 20 points ahead of Mr Corbyn but, when you’re asked to choose between Santa Claus and the Grim Reaper, there’s no contest.

Labour’s manifesto resonated across the land. 

Abolishing university tuition fees was a winner with over 1.84 million students to appeal to, not forgetting it was a Labour Government that introduced those fees back in 1998. 

He also proposed many other sweeteners to ram home his highly-expensive proposals.

Compare that to the Conservatives’ plan to remove the pensioners’ triple lock and to means-test the winter fuel allowance, without advising a cap threshold, withdrawing free school lunches for kiddies in England and, just for good measure, introduce what’s become known as a ‘dementia tax’. 

She didn’t even consider the enormous student vote opportunity.

Under these conditions Theresa May was extremely fortunate to have won the election. 

To fall from favour so spectacularly and within a three-week time frame was down to an appalling manifesto and arrogance beyond belief. 

Seeking advice from some of her highly-educated colleagues prior to the manifesto’s release was clearly beyond her.

Anyone with any contact with the general public could have given her three realistic policies. 

1) Reduce the foreign aid budget by 50 per cent and inject the £7billion saved into the NHS and care services.

2) Immediately deport all foreign nationals, without appeal, that are on the terrorist watch list. Killing our children was the last straw for these indiscriminate barbarians who enjoy our hospitality.

3) Remove university tuition fees for core subjects necessary for our future prosperity – maths, science, engineering and medicine.

Her advisors were way off the mark. The British people have suffered austerity measures for nearly nine years.

Enough is enough and, whilst I found Jeremy’s plan a ‘Fantasy Island’ it did give people hope. 

Unfortunately, we now have to accept the consequences of our actions, which will lead to massive instability and uncertainty which could and should have been avoided.

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