A far cry from the old days as Britain gets itself in a mess

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From: Douglas Hudson, Rawcliffe Grove, Clifton, York.

I CANNOT resist the temptation to write to thank Malcolm Barker for his excellent article (Yorkshire Post, August 13).

Many years ago, I did quite well in English grammar and literature at a good grammar school but I could not rise to that standard. Excellent. No words wasted and right to the root of our many problems.

I do share Mr Barker’s views that we are in an unholy mess socially and economically and it is a far cry from the old days.

I was brought up in a happy Christian family – I had to ask permission to go and ride my bicycle on a Sunday! I was chorister at our local church (and passed the voice test for our Minster at the age of eight (but did not take up the free place on academic grounds) and was born even before the First World War ended in 1918.

Being just ready at 21 in 1939 for the second instalment, I spent six-and-a-half years in the forces (desert, initial assault Salerno – and Italy) with a charmed life at times as I ought strictly speaking to have been in Kingdom Come more than once but got away with it. Sadly, many good pals, the salt of the earth, did not. I came out in the spring albeit not entirely unscathed, feeling I had had a guardian angel with me.

I am rising 94 now, having just lost my wife, married over 59 years. There are many war memories which never seem to fade even now but others to offset that through a happily married life and two marvellous daughters. Turning back to the problems of this country, may I suggest infantry training and some discipline?

From: Barrie Frost, Oakwood, Watson’s Lane, Reighton, Filey

It is said that the people get the leader they deserve.

Certainly people of earlier generations deserved the leadership of Winston Churchill and together they formed a formidable combination. But, haven’t later generations deserved better representation than they have since received?

In 50 short years, the very fabric that made Britain great has been steadily eroded to such an extent that many of today’s young people are unable to envisage what life in our country was like and may even believe the stories they hear are wildly exaggerated.

Everyday courtesues, respect for the welfare and properties of others, admiration of our fair play and law and order policies have withered and been dissipated.

They have been replaced by a “want it all” society; one that is “entitled” to this, that and the other; one which places material things as the definition of success; one that feels it is perfectly right to take from others if it satisfies their needs; one that is encouraged to sue for the slightest reason.

The recent riots in many of our cities were beyond description, so utterly appalling that those older generations, surely, not only believed would never happen in Britain but, more importantly could never happen. If any one quality identified British life, it was the people’s respect for all aspects of law and order; the best police in the world; the fairest justice system and the proper punishment of criminal behaviour.

Now there is no respect for law and order and many people believe our justice system fails to protect the very people it should serve, a justice system which is justice in name only. How can we have forfeited our high moral behaviour in such a relatively short time? Ask my next door neighbour; ask the man up the street; ask any normal hard-working person and I’ll wager most will have the answer. For 50 years we have allowed the liberal, loony Left-wingers complete freedom to cultivate the complete mess we have today.

From: Bob Crowther, High Street, Crigglestone, Wakefield

NOW that the furore and outrage regarding the riots appears to be subsiding, while not being a particularly religious or political person, I am strongly of the opinion that the tragedy of our century has been the fact that our enormous technological and scientific advances have not been coupled with any equivalent moral and spiritual progress.

Everything has made one big leap forward, but there has been no parallel increase in our responsibilities.

What was the caveman with a club, many years ago, is now the caveman with a handgun.

From: D Birch, Smithy Lane, Cookridge, Leeds.

WITH regard to the recent rioting, it’s really up to parents. Even if you are split up or unmarried, you are still parents and your children are yours and they need all the help they can get to grow up in the sort of society we live in. Which to an oldie like me is not very nice.

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