A deficit of economic reality

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From: John Cole, Baildon.

ED Miliband has come in for a lot of stick from the media for “forgetting to mention the deficit” in his speech to the Labour conference. In this the media and coalition spokesmen would seem to be in collusion in getting two related messages across to the British public.

First: that the Government budget deficit is the most important economic issue facing the country. Secondly: that the only way to reduce the deficit is by extending the programme of austerity.

Both of these propositions are twaddle and betray a profound ignorance of economic theory and practice.

To quote from a recent letter by Michael Meacher MP: “Alistair Darling’s two stimulatory budgets in 2009-10 brought the deficit down sharply from £157bn in 2009 to £118bn in 2011 – a reduction of nearly £40bn in just two years. Osborne’s austerity budgets have slowed the reduction to a trickle, down to £108bn now – a reduction of £10bn in three years.”

If austerity policies have proved so ineffective, then the time has come to change course completely. We are engaging in unnecessary pain for pathetically little gain.

Identity and appeal of IS

From: John Fisher, Harrogate.

THERESA May and her decision to confront the radicalisation of young Pakistani men is another example of closing the stable door when the horse has bolted (The Yorkshire Post, October 1).

The young men heading to IS do not see themselves as of British or Pakistan nationality – they have decided to adopt Islam as their national identity.

IS have offered them a promised land based on a former caliphate. Theresa May is trying to erase a radical national characteristic that has been created over time and this will require much thought and co-operation to prevent any further radicalisation.

From: BJ Cussons, Ilkley.

WHAT possible right does Laszlo Andor, the European commissioner for employment have to tell us to stop moaning about the influx of people from eastern Europe (The Yorkshire Post, September 30)?

Why do people want to leave Hungary (or Romania), or any country to come to Britain? Why are they not building schools, hospitals and houses? Why must Britain give up its land?

Police are cut to the bone

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.

I NOTE with interest Rob Parsons’ article on the police still failing the vulnerable in South Yorkshire, and elsewhere, for that matter (The Yorkshire Post, September 30).

Take a step back and it becomes obvious why. The police service has been cut to the bone and beyond. They are expected to catch criminals, detect traffic offences as well as protect the public from disorder. How? In Driffield we used to have an inspector, two sergeants and five or six constables as well as a number of country beatmen. What do we have now? As far as I can see, one constable and the area is covered from 12 miles away.

Unfair attack on Murray

From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

DENNIS Whitaker’s personal remarks about Andy Murray’s intelligence are unfair and unfounded (The Yorkshire Post, Sept 30). He claims it was indiscreet of the Scot to express his support for Scottish independence.

Mr Whitaker asks “Did Sir Chris Hoy become embroiled in the politics of separation?” I seem to remember the cyclist being among the Scottish sports personalities who expressed their support for the Union. Sir Chris may or may not be brighter than Andy – an irrelevance – but if Andy should keep his mouth shut, so should the others.

Initial sense of confusion

From: Hugh Rogers, Ashby.

I WAS always taught that if I wrote an article with the initials of someone or something in it, it was courtesy to spell out, at least once, what the initials stood for.

I was reminded of this writing “basic” when my eye caught Dave Craven’s piece (The Yorkshire Post, September 30) about the success of English rugby league players. He repeatedly used the term “NRL” without explaining what it stood for.

Yes, I know that if I was an ardent RL (rugby league) fan (see, it works, you can do it !) I would know, without being told. But I’m not and I still don’t know.

Hanging on the telephone

From: Malcolm Shedlow, Moortown, Leeds.

DOES anyone else get these type of phonecalls? I answer the phone and after a few seconds of silence it cuts me off. Or a lady’s voice says “goodbye”.

Or a distinctive foreign voice, very low and not understandable, gives me earache trying to understand what the call is all about.

Then there are the many calls asking the state of my health, do I suffer from arthritis or have I got cavity wall or loft insulation?

I feel that I am an unpaid telephone operator but at least it gives me a bit of exercise.