Who would want to be in power?
Letter of the Week: David Honeybell, Heckmondwike
The next General Election isn't due until May 5, 2022, or it could be sooner if Parliament is dissolved, which would require a two thirds majority of MPs.
The question is, why would any other party want to form the next government and have to clear up the disastrous mess left behind by the present incumbents?
Our NHS is being torn apart through underfunding. There is a shortage of medical staff at every level, from consultants to nurses.
A&E departments are being closed or downgraded. Maternity departments are being left without consultants.
There is a shortage of good teachers in the more specialist subjects, and school buildings are falling into disrepair.
And what can anyone say about the state of our roads?
It’s impossible to drive down any road in the country and not have to dodge a pothole.
Even the high speed motorways are starting to crumble.
The cost of putting all this right is an amount of money most of us would find difficult to imagine. And this is happening so the Conservative Party can give tax cuts to the highest-paid sections of the country.
If only the Labour Party looked after their working class supporters, and put them first as the Tories put their friends first, there could be some light at the end of the tunnel and maybe, just maybe some hope for the future.
We need bobbies back out on the beat
From: Peter Moreland, Heckmondwike
Re your lead article on local crime, the obvious move would be to re-introduce bobbies on the beat.
The old ways are the best and the government should find the monies to finance this initiative.
Someone on foot can access public footpaths and other non-friendly vehicle roads where often illegal activities take place.
Such a move would also help to stop the idiots who think it is okay to be on their phones as they drive.
I wish people would think twice over litter
From: Samantha Lloyd-Gray, Liversedge
I am writing to highlight the amount of litter and dog poo bags disposed of with no regard for others and the environment.
I live in Norristhorpe and the small open and woodland space near my house is strewn with litter and dog poo bags.
It is such a shame that people cannot respect the place that they live or pass through.
I have seen a lot of school kids throwing litter in this area and wonder if they know how to use a bin or take their empty bottles and wrappers home?
I am the owner of two dogs and notice how bad it is.
I always pick up after them and, if there is no bin, take the waste home.
What is the point of people picking up after their dogs then carelessly throwing the bags in the trees and bushes? No point at all.
It’s worse than just letting them go to the toilet and just leaving it for everyone to stand in, to me.
There needs to be some notices and bins provided by the council and schools need to educate their pupils on how to make a place less ugly and how to show some respect for the environment.
I myself have been litter-picking in this area but find the problem just continues.
It could be a lovely open area and when you see past the litter and dog waste, it is.
Birds singing, the peace and quiet, the nice views ... and then the litter.
I just wish people would think twice before they act irresponsibly. Litter and dog poo bags do not just disappear on their own.
Another fantastic show
From: Alan W Greenwood, Batley
Have you had your holidays yet? Lucky old me: I’ve been to Florence, Barcelona and other interesting places all courtesy of the Batley Audio Visual Club.
Their Showcase 2018, which was held in Brimer Hall on Friday and Saturday March 23-24, was spectacular, with their new digital projector enhancing the fantastic colour and clarity of every scene.
As ever, coffee and Fox’s finest biscuits were on offer (I had three custard creams but who’s counting).
Well done Batley AV Club: can’t wait until next year’s show!
Yorkshire could learn from German system
From: John Blundell, Dewsbury
Whilst I agree with some of the comments made in LR Hirst’s letter in last week’s Forum regarding the last attempt to have a mayor for all the local authorities, you are right it would probably have been defeated.
However, I believe that a Yorkshire regional government could work similar to the German model (I experienced this during my two years working in Germany), which has a national government with a smaller number of MPs than the UK coupled with regional governments.
The last time it was looked into the members were composed of 86 per cent from commercial/industry backgrounds and they had a fallback situation so that if they were voted off the company that they previously worked for had to take them back at a salary as if they had never left.
The local tier of government is very similar to that of system in the UK of part-time councillors working for a local mayor (the town I worked in had a population of over 250,000) and concentrated on local issues.
This system was put in place by the Allies after the Second World War, and has gained a reputation as probably the finest political system in the world, and has been the backbone of the prosperity of Germany.
If a similar system were to be introduced into Yorkshire, it would do away with the unitary systems currently running Yorkshire and would allow things like the NHS, police, fire and rescue, regional industry strategy and tourism and rural affairs to be run with reduced costs and a more responsive flexible regional government.
The local government could then concentrate on local issues. I believe that this system would not only be beneficial to the Yorkshire region, but would bring more people to the polling stations, making the system more democratic and at the regional level, more responsible for what happens in our towns, cities, urban and rural areas.
This model could be developed throughout the UK, taking a large piece of the central government’s powers away from Whitehall.
So, bring on the Yorkshire Parliament.
Social media quandary
From: R Spreadbury, Liversedge
I am pleased to note that at last we have unearthed the real reason for the incomprehensible referendum result.
That of underhand social media targeting and election overspending. However I just have one concern over the targeting logic, given that:
1) Social media is the domain of the young, with old people just posting pictures of their grandchildren, dogs and cats.
2) The young predominately voted remain.
So, how do you conclude that the Brexit vote was unduly inflated?
That apart, I must admit it is a great way to avoid addressing the fundamental underlying reasons behind the Brexit vote.
And as a bonus, us Remoaners can can just stick to banging on about the NHS money pit not getting their £350m a week. So, job well done.
Loved ones can’t leave flowers
From: Anthony Doyle, Birstall
I was visiting a family plot in Birstall churchyard and came across a notice that had been posted. The notice states that only fresh flowers posted in integral vases can be left in the garden of remembrance.
Given that some of the stones do not have integral vases, this prevents people from leaving flowers in memory of their loved ones.
Anything other than fresh flowers in integral vases have now been removed.
Given that people remember their loved ones in different ways, eg: teddy bears, motor cars, plaques etc, how distressing for people visiting to now find their memorabilia removed.
The garden was once an oasis of colour, no artificial flowers allowed now either, where small keepsakes and tokens of love had been left in memory of those who have left us.
It is now devoid of any sense of remembrance, not everyone can visit every week with fresh flowers and looks a cold area devoid of the warmth that people had created in remembering their loved ones.
There was nothing in the garden before it was desecrated that caused offence or was out of place.
A sad and small-minded exercise that has been thrust upon those who have bought plots so they can visit their loved ones, not a Christian act at all.
From: John Appleyard, Liversedge
I have just signed an online petition to Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary.
I’m astonished to read of claims that 300,000 babies have been stolen in Spain and sold for adoption across the world between the 1950s and the late 1990s.
Victims have been battling for an effective investigation through the Spanish justice system, but to no avail.
One British woman was told her first baby had died shortly after birth in 1992 when she lived in Spain, and thinks her daughter could have been one of those stolen babies.
When her daughter’s remains were exhumed to bring them back to the UK, she thought the skeleton appeared to be that of a much older infant.
One way the Home Office could help is by providing £5,000 that is needed to have a DNA test on the ashes that she believed were her daughter’s.
This could help take forward the case for a further investigation.