Changing face of drinking culture

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From: Nino Hoblyn, North Street, Caistor, Lincolnshire.

WITH regard to the letter from Richard Ford of Thirsk (Yorkshire Post, February 23) in which he, like many others, have been drip-fed over these past few years into thinking that we have a generation of young folk who seem to have a slight “drink problem”.

Because, never in my whole days of drinking pints of the “black gold” from the Republic of Ireland have I ever seen any young male or female knocking back pints of Guinness, Yorkshire bitter, mild, real ale, lager or any other pints of beer like there is no tomorrow!

For what we have today on all our streets in all our towns and cities are alcopops and other strange-coloured liquid muck that’s thrown down the hatch as quickly as possible and often mixed with a concoction of illegal drugs.

This combination causes a rainbow effect when brought up at the end of the night on our footpaths and roads, plus an added deranged behaviour that one never saw years ago.

To top it all, Mr Ford then advises that the Prime Minister “is very much in touch with the vast majority of ordinary hard-working people, many of whom enjoy a drink themselves, albeit in moderation”.

This is an insult and obviously he is far too young to remember a workforce of men who, on finishing every shift, would make their way to the public house and down anywhere between 10 and 20 pints of real ale before walking back home in a straight line for their supper.

Does anyone remember the miners?

Insurers are to blame

From: Alan Thorn, Burr Sugden Solicitors, Devonshire Street, Keighley.

NORMALLY I agree with the viewpoint of Jayne Dowle and disagree with whatever argument my professional colleague and rival John Wilson puts forward. But I stand shoulder to shoulder with John and against Jayne, who, like Jack Straw, has been taken in by the insurers’ PR companies (Yorkshire Post, February 27).

First principles dictate that anyone who suffers injury and loss because of another’s negligence is entitled to be compensated.

If a driver injures someone, his insurers should not shilly-shally but should admit their liability immediately.

They should then enter into realistic negotiations to settle the claim. If they do this, the claimant’s solicitors will be restricted to costs of £1,350 (plus 20 per cent VAT) for claims where the compensation is between £1,000 and £10,000. In addition there will be fees payable to the doctor who prepares a report, and to the client’s GP and the NHS hospital where he received treatment, for producing his notes. That’s all, folks, £1,350 in legal fees, no matter how much work the solicitor puts in.

It’s when the insurers delay or put forward unreasonable arguments that the costs increase. And rightly so.

They can keep costs down, but no. It’s easier to blame the victims and their lawyers.

Inequality costs us dear

From: Shirley Hall, Community Development Programme Lead, British Heart Foundation, London.

YOU continue to highlight the problem of health inequalities in England.

Failing to act on health inequalities is a false economy – keeping people healthier for longer will cost the public purse far less than dealing with hospital admissions in the medium or long term. Marmot’s review shows us that inequality in illness could cost the UK up to £70bn. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has shown its commitment to tackling geographic health inequalities by investing £10m in its flagship Hearty Lives programme which is working in local areas where people are at a higher than average risk of heart and circulatory disease.

One of these areas is Hull where our Hearty Lives Hull project is working with Hull City Council to try to reduce the city’s high rates of heart disease.

We now need to see dedicated action from local authorities, the NHS and others working in poorer areas to close the heart health gap between affluent and deprived groups.

Unproven carbon claims

From: Arthur Quarmby, Holme, Holmfirth.

WIND turbines do not worry me because they will only last as long as the subsidies are maintained – and as we have already seen with solar installations, government can cut the subsidies whenever it pleases.

The whole justification for the extravagant and unreliable generation of electricity is based on the entirely unproven assertion that an increase in worldwide carbon dioxide is a direct result of human activity, which if unchecked will result in climatic catastrophe.

And yet when vegetation was evolving, levels of carbon dioxide were far higher than they are now, and since then plants have had to learn how to manage on less. (Plants take in carbon dioxide and emit the oxygen on which all sentient life depends).

Two unproven claims underpin the present madness; that an increase in carbon dioxide will cause climatic catastrophe, and that the elimination of human-based such emissions will prevent that catastrophe.

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