After election, let’s work together
Letter of the Week: Arif Ahmad, president, Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, Spen Valley
The General Election campaign launched this week reflects the third election in four-and-a-half years (and in Batley and Spen it’s the fourth election for the local MP).
To say that most of the general public are election weary and fed up of politics would be an understatement.
Whatever part of the political spectrum you are from you probably agree that the reason we are in this mess is not just because of Brexit but because of poor political leadership and a lack of unity.
Whilst Brexit will eventually be sorted one way or another and political leaders come and go unity is not something that can be fixed overnight.
In the last two weeks I have been fortunate enough, as part of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Spen Valley, to help the Poppy Appeal in Heckmondwike.
The motto of our community is ‘Love For All Hatred For None’. The overwhelming response from everyone I encountered during the collection was one of respect, peace and a determination to honour those who had been killed by not repeating the mistakes of the past. In addition I am glad that the contribution made by Commonwealth soldiers of Muslim, Hindu and Sikh background is beginning to be better understood, recognised and appreciated.
My appeal is that after the election we set aside our differences and start working together. It may sound idealistic but everyone I know wants their local community to succeed and thrive.
Why can’t Batley and Spen take the lead and be an example to others?
Story has gone quiet
From: Ben Marshall, Liversedge
I feel very sorry for the parents of the young motorcyclist Harry Dunn and their battle for justice here and in America.
The story seems to be quietly dropped by the media, going nowhere with regards the Government and I wonder why?
I’m surprised in this day and age that the UK national press and their seemingly unlimited access to the most impossible subject matter haven’t come up with a current picture of the US citizen Anne Sacoolas, rather than a grainy picture of a woman in a wedding dress allegedly in 2003.
The picture reminded me of another grainy photograph of a curiously-posed Lee Harvey Oswald with his Carcano 6.5mm carbine in a back yard to add to the prosecution case against him that he owned said rifle.
It could also be a plot from a favourite of mine at the cinema, the ‘Bourne’ series!
Will new faces emerge?
From: Peter Moreland, Heckmondwike
The most certain thing about this election is the uncertainty – with Parliament in a total mess this is the most unpredictable election ever.
It is highly likely that the party led by the Grim Reaper and the one led by the fake Donald Trump will get the majority of seats, leaving the smaller parties probably holding the balance of power in another hung parliament.
If this happens hopefully both leaders will resign and new blood will emerge to lead their respective parties and work together to finally get a good Brexit deal – wishful thinking?
Honour those who fought
From: Ms A Rawat, Batley
As we remember those that fought and gave their lives for our freedom in the world wars, let us remember them all including the Asian and African soldiers who fought with Britain.
It has now been brought to our attention that these soldiers have not always been given the honour due to them, including a proper burial with designated headstones which European soldiers did receive.
I thank David Lammy MP and the historian who unearthed this information for bringing this to our attention in relation to the African soldiers.
With regards to Indian soldier Inayet Khan, who has never been invited to the Remembrance Day commemorations, I hope that he receives this, with a special honour, as he celebrates his 100th birthday next year.
‘Local’ NHS on the retreat
From: Christine Hyde, Dewsbury
North Kirklees NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, after great fanfare about local accountability in the move to Dewsbury, is relocating back to Huddersfield.
Another nail in the coffin of local accountability for health services. As Rosie Cooper MP famously said: “In the NHS, everyone’s accountable, but no one is responsible”.
North Kirklees NHS Support group is not surprised. In 2013, they challenged David Kelly, the Governing Body Chair, saying the Health and Social Care Act 2012 would fragment the services.
He denied this strenuously, but only six years on, the Kirklees Health and Wellbeing plan to 2023 actually admits that commissioning has fragmented the services. So they need this new ‘integration’ plan, which will re-disorganise them further through cuts and closures, but of course this is strenuously denied.
David Kelly said in February, you would be able to refer yourself for ‘community based’ physiotherapy but it’s not so. The aim of NHS England is to have one emasculated Commissioning Group for the whole of West Yorkshire and Harrogate, and for much of the procurement to be done by providers themselves in the Integrated Care Provider network.
NHS England’s ‘right direction’ the second and third top down NHS re-disorganisations, signposts that this will ultimately morph into a US style ‘Accountable Care Organisa-tion’. These create huge conflicts of interest as the providers/commissioners will be incentivised to save money as the NKCCG is doing, by its running away. But ACOs save money by cutting services and denying care and what they save, they keep.
Remember when the mental health hospitals were closed? At first there was a raft of services for patients. They’re now reduced to zero. Deaths of sufferers are up. Welcome to the gestation of NHS Obamacare. The PM’s friend Trump wants more of the NHS revenue for his health multi-nationals. Are you with him?
Shabby stuff from Labour
From: Betty Goodwin, Earlsheaton
With the passing of Coun Paul Kane, Dewsbury East lost the best representative it ever had.
Ex-councillor Eric Firth is acting with undue haste trying to step into Paul’s shoes, which he may wear but will never fill. Shame Eric couldn’t wait until May. I remember how shabbily former Dewsbury East councillor, Colin Auty, was treated during his election campaign and after he took office.
Well done to Batley folk
From: Wendy Storey, vice-chairwoman, Batley Royal British Legion
I would like to thank the people of Batley for coming to the act of Remembrance service on Sunday and also especially the school children who attended the Interfaith service on Monday. It was a wonderful service on Sunday remembering those who gave their lives for us. The weather was kind and the good people of Batley turned out in their droves to pay their respects to the brave service personnel. Natasha Harper brought the service to an emotional close singing ‘We’ll Meet Again’.
On Monday around 200 schoolchildren attended the Interfaith service. They read poems they had written about the war and about peace and leaders of different faiths led the prayers.
The children and schools should be very proud of themselves, they were so respectful and impeccably behaved. It is good to see young people attending this Act of Remembrance and I hope they continue to do so. We must always remember those brave men and women who gave their tomorrow for our today.’
Thank you so much
From: Jean Hodge, Dewsbury
Could I please through your page thank all the staff at Asda. They are wonderful and are always ready to help me and I appreciate the help very much.
Also, I want to thank the Oakwell and Rex taxi drivers – without them and the Asda staff I couldn’t do my shopping.
So thank you all very much for all your help.
Mirfield at its very best, once again
From: Tim Wood, The Old Colonial
Almost 50 years I took part in my first Remembrance parade in Mirfield as a little drummer boy with the 1st Ravensthorpe Boys Brigade band. I have been associated with the parade ever since.
Last Sunday was a crisp winter day when the parade marched off from Lowlands Road on its way to Ings Grove Park for the Remembrance Service.
The parade columns were led by four excellent marching bands, the route was lined several deep either side of the road with supportive onlookers which always give the marching columns a big adrenaline boost.
I thought that the 100th anniversary of the Armistice would bring out crowds that, in terms of numbers, could not be bettered.
I was wrong, everyone I spoke to was amazed how much bigger the turnout was than previous years. Someone said yet again to me ‘we’ve grown a monster’; I smiled back with pride.
All the planning and preparation over the last 12 months paid off and all my colleagues who give great assistance let out a big heartfelt sigh of relief.
To all those who came and took part in the parade and service, I give you our thanks and to all those who give up their time so freely to help and assist me I can only express my gratitude. Your actions speak louder than social media, tweets and all.
During the two minutes’ silence as I surveyed the silent masses gathered tightly around our cenotaph, I had a thought from the past.
All those whom I have known on the parade over the last 50 years who sadly are no longer with us any more, their numbers would certainly have matched the numbers in the crowd I was standing amongst.
A few hours later, over a glass of ‘Yorkshire duck wine’ I mentioned my thoughts to a couple of my colleagues around the bar. And one of them came out with the classic line: “That’s life Tim, but not as we know it.” We didn’t stop laughing until the toasts were proposed.
What a great day for Mirfield this was. Thank you to all who turned out, you did it for a great cause, it is you who I salute and give thanks to, you make it all worthwhile.
Law and order is top priority
From: Douglas Parker, via email
After Brexit the most important theme in our country must be law and order. It seems that the rule of Brexit is run in Parliament by lawyers followed by Members of Parliament following them like lap dogs.
Only this week we have seen firemen attacked with stones while trying to do their job.
We can say the same regarding paramedics trying to save lives but attacked at the same time.
We have all seen on television police chasing criminals, usually drug related, with a slap on the wrist at the end of it for the culprits. The sentencing means nothing to these people who only come back for more.
Once again it is the legal eagles dishing out these short sentences turning the system into a joke.
For the next set of MPs – get this sorted out. Get some discipline back into the country.