Cooper must press case for devolution

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From: Edward Grainger, Botany Way, Nunthorpe.

Diana Johnson, Labour MP for Hull North, nails her colours firmly to the mast with her clear support for Yvette Cooper in the party’s forthcoming leadership contest (The Yorkshire Post, June 1)

One Yorkshire MP’s support for another is very commendable and, as one of the front runners, the MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford should take note of the well intentional words of acting leader of the party Harriet Harman, who says that her party to undergo a type of truth and reconciliation process after, in Diana Johnson’s words, “Labour lost the General Election badly”.

If Yvette Cooper were to take all this on board and at the very least admit Labour’s errors during the Blair and Brown years concerning out of control public expenditure and the all too relaxed policies on ever increasing immigration numbers she will more than give her fellow leadership challengers Liz Kendall and Andy Burnham a run for their money. But she must listen and learn.

Should Yvette become Labour’s leader and the official Opposition leader, as a great advocate for Yorkshire as the northern powerhouse of the economy, she will need to press Messrs Cameron and Osborne over their promises before, during and after the General Election, particularly on devolving powers to the cities and towns of our county as the way forward.

The pity is that the SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon is not a member of the House of Commons. Now that would have been a highly interesting confrontation for both seem more than capable of ensuring the Tories do not have an easy ride for the next five years.

Kennedy’s proud record

From: Mr D Burslam, Elm Road, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury.

As a humble foot soldier of the Liberal Democrats, my contact with Charles Kennedy was only through letters but his character certainly rang true to me.

I highlight three things where he was manifestly on the right side. First he was a passionate European and one hopes the ridiculous Ukip will not seduce electors to vote to come out of the European Union.

Secondly his opposition to the war in Iraq would now be endorsed by a large majority.It was a different story when many eminent politicians supported this ghastly folly. The consequences are still with us.

Lastly, his opposition to the coalition has been justified up to the hilt.

It is a record of which many a politican could be proud and his reward was to be turfed out by the electorate at the hands of the gullible Scots.

Apathy and Test cricket

From: Howard Ray, Bramley, Leeds.

Is there a future for Test match cricket at Headingley? Having just attended the England and New Zealand Test match I feel the question must be posed. It would appear the vast majority of Yorkshire members have no inclination to support it.

Test match revenue is vital to Yorkshire in their present financial position. It is no exaggeration to suggest that should it cease at Headingley the very future of the club could be in jeopardy.

I realise that Test matches are expensive but Yorkshire have done all in their power to make the Headingley Test the most reasonably priced in the country.

The question must be posed: do the Yorkshire membership and sporting public in general deserve Test cricket?

I must admit I am at a loss to understand the air of apathy towards what for me has always been an event to savour. It would be such a shame if Yorkshire, the most famous cricket club in the world, was reduced to also ran status by the present apathetic attitude.

MPs must not take pay rise

From: Dave Croucher, Pinfold Gardens, Doncaster.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), in its wisdom, has recommended a 10 per cent pay rise for MPs.

Do they really think this is morally right when all manual and lower paid workers have had their pay rises capped to the rate of inflation for at least the past five years?

An MP’s 10 per cent equates to a £140 per week pay rise, this is more than many pensioners are expected to live on and more money than the many of the zero hours contract workers get.

It is very good of IPSA to be so generous with taxpayers’ money, a good way of saving money would be to scrap IPSA and put the money into the NHS or police, and let the public decide if MPs are worthy of a pay rise.

I see some MPs are saying they will give theirs to charity, I hope the selfish MPs who take the money will be listed in the newspapers – but it would be understandable because it must be very difficult to manage on their present wage of £1,300 per week.

Just the man for the job...

From: Peter Bye, Addingham.

The only person fully qualified to replace Sepp Blatter is, of course, Tony Blair.

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