THIS country has, of course, seen many terrorist attacks with far greater loss of life. But there can have been few more shocking or sickening incidents of violence than a young man being hunted down and hacked to death in broad daylight on a London street simply in order to make a political point.
THE concentration on exam results, on whether grades are rising or falling and on which schools are topping the league tables can too often obscure a more disturbing education statistic: the inability of schools, education authorities or Ministers to make any lasting impression on truancy figures.
IN some respects, the election of Britain’s first crime commissioners could not have been more timely – their presence at the helm of each constabulary has helped to reassure of the public after the police’s integrity was undermined by a succession of misconduct scandals.
IT is encouraging that Richard Benyon, the Environment Minister, has recognised the financial contribution that Britain’s national parks – including the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and Peak District – make to the economy.
THE positive impact of the 70,000 new jobs due to be created in the Leeds City Region by 2020 will be diluted if students, even those at the outset of their secondary education, do not have the requisite skills.
THERE is one reason why the Government’s offer to pay firms to move into plush offices on the outskirts of Wakefield is too good to be true – John Prescott.
ONCE heavily loss-making, Royal Mail is now enjoying a significant and striking reversal of fortune – a fact underlined by its extraordinary jump in annual profits to £403m just two years after plunging £165m into the red.
THE process may be slightly quaint, but there is a very good reason why the “Sheffield” brand has an international reputation – it can only be used by firms which honour the high standards of quality that have enabled the South Yorkshire city to become a global economic force.
EVEN though Conservative whips were supposed not to be exerting any influence over last night’s Commons vote on same-sex marriage, the relationship between David Cameron and his increasingly rebellious backbenchers is now close to breaking point.
IN contrast to the Tory turmoil over same-sex marriage laws, the Government’s instincts over welfare reform do actually reflect public sentiment, even though this is one of the more contentious aspects of David Cameron’s cost-cutting agenda.
WHEN the Highways Agency first allowed drivers to use a stretch of the hard shoulder on the M42 in the West Midlands to reduce congestion, it was met with a barrage of complaints from concerned motoring organisations and safety groups.
IN many ways, it has been demeaning for South Yorkshire to have extended the begging bowl towards Brussels for more than a decade and to find itself ranked alongside areas of Greece, Portugal and southern Italy as the poorest regions in Europe.1 comment
THE distrust between local Conservative associations and the party’s hierarchy has now grown so great that grass-roots members will readily believe that their leaders regard them as “mad, swivel-eyed loons” whether anyone actually uses those words or not.3 comments
FOR most players in the lower reaches of the Football League, Wembley is a place occasionally heard of but never seen.
WHILE online retailer Amazon insists that it continues to pay “all applicable taxes”, it does not necessarily mean that these arrangements are morally right.
THOSE homeowners in Yorkshire whose properties are at risk of flooding will only be partly reassured by the announcement that firms will continue to provide flood insurance for an extra month after the present deal between the Government and the insurance industry expires.
STEVE Iredale, the outgoing president of the National Association of Head Teachers, makes a profound point when he says that his contemporaries are more experienced than Michael Gove, the current Secretary of State.
THE Home Secretary’s assertion that “life should mean life” for police killers is too late for the families of Ian Broadhurst and Sharon Beshenivsky, two officers gunned down on the streets of West Yorkshire.
IF the Government’s streamlined planning laws are to stimulate jobs and economic growth – their stated intention – there should be a greater likelihood that Sirius Minerals will eventually receive consent to open a potash mine in North Yorkshire.
WHEN the Dambusters raid succeeded in destroying a series of German dams, it was hailed as a propaganda victory. Seventy years on, the true contribution the mission made to the winning of the war is only now being acknowledged.
THE succession of scandals that continue to besmirch the integrity of British policing, both nationally and locally, need to be considered in a wider context. The vast majority of officers are upstanding individuals who hold true to the founding principles set out by Sir Robert Peel when he first established the police service in the 1800s.
AS an actress, Angelina Jolie’s presence in a film is invariably a guarantee of box office success.
THE Tory turmoil that is now enveloping David Cameron’s Government is not just about Europe and the likelihood of a referendum vote on Britain’s continued membership of the EU. More significantly, it is now one of trust – and this is why the Prime Minister is left facing the most sustained threat to his authority since he became party leader in 2005.
AFTER freezing all winter, it is time for hard-pressed consumers to reap the advantages, courtesy of British Gas. Or is it?
IT IS many years now since Scotland began to be cossetted at the expense of Yorkshire and the other English regions.2 comments
IT IS, of course, sheer coincidence that, only days before Chris Huhne walked free from prison, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling appealed for former prisoners to act as mentors for offenders released from jail.
FOR Gordon Brown, economic growth and the growth of the state were one and the same.
WHEN David Cameron promised that, if re-elected, he would negotiate a new arrangement between Britain and the European Union before holding an in/out referendum, the Prime Minister was not alone in believing that the matter would now be largely settled.
IT WAS, of course, not very difficult for Prince Harry to make a better impression on his current American tour than on his last transatlantic visit. Keeping his clothes on would have been enough.
WHEN five West Yorkshire councils won the right last year to set up a £1bn fund for transport improvements, it was hailed as the solution to the congestion that for years has blighted the county’s roads.1 comment
IT IS no doubt tempting for MPs to believe that the public anger over their expenses claims has long since abated and that, since the Leveson Inquiry, it is journalists that are now rivalling bankers as the voters’ number one hate figures.
JUST as it now seems incomprehensible that there was once no legal drink-drive limit, so future generations will look back in astonishment at the leniency now granted to drivers who use mobile phones.
THERE was no Bill paving the way for David Cameron’s promised referendum on European Union membership, but the pressure the Prime Minister is facing from the UK Independence Party still made its presence felt in yesterday’s Queen’s Speech.
LABOUR and its trades union paymasters have gone to great lengths, with the help of a new study, to portray Britain as failing badly in the global economic race. But in doing so they only emphasise the inadequacy of their own position.
IN MODERN football, it is considered a triumph if a manager can hold his job for more than a season. For one to stay in post for nearly 27 years, then, is surely a feat that will never be repeated.
IT IS doubtful whether David Cameron will feel like thanking Lord Lawson for his acutely timed intervention ahead of today’s Queen’s Speech.1 comment
THE Bevin Boys were among the unsung heroes of the Second World War. With the then Minister of Labour, Ernest Bevin, ordering that young men be selected at random to mine coal for Britain’s war effort, many were wholly unsuited for the work and would have much preferred to serve in the Armed Forces.
IF THERE is one thing that opponents and supporters of Royal Mail privatisation can agree on, it is surely that the company’s present state is a woeful one.
CONTRARY to the frequent assertions made by the mutinous teaching unions and now the Demos think-tank, Ofsted inspections must continue to underpin Michael Gove’s attempts to drive up education standards.
THE timeless adage “charity begins at home” is becoming redundant as Britons continue to be asked to make financial contributions to those who have made little meaningful contribution to society.
IN some respects, the farming Minister David Heath is right to back his instincts and rule out compulsory legislation to ensure that milk producers receive a fair price from major supermarkets. This country has become bogged down by successive governments rushing to pass new laws without considering any alternatives, and the agricultural industry is no exception.
Hundreds of spectators turned out in Roundhay Park, Leeds, yesterday to cheer on rowers in a charity dragon boat challenge.
WHEN those who are late filling in their self-assessment tax returns are being fined £10-a-day, it is understandable that there is growing public diquiet over large multi-nationals apparently withholding millions of pounds from the taxman and getting away scot-free.
IT IS all too easy for migration to this country to be viewed as a cause for conflict, anguish and party political bickering. Perhaps occasionally, however, the way in which Britain has coped with the present unprecedented level of mass immigration should be seen as a remarkable achievement.
AS AMERICA disovered with Vietnam, an unpopular war and a hasty exit strategy can all too easily result in the sacrifices of troops being overlooked, their bravery minimised and their homecoming ignored.
ALZHEIMER’S is a difficult enough disease to cope with when the sufferer has the comfort of having their own family around them. When living alone, the problems can be almost insurmountable.
IF THE English Defence League was hoping for a wave of public sympathy following the revelation that it was targeted by a murderous group of Islamist fanatics, it is likely to be disappointed.
THE struggles of the English seaside have been well documented. From being the height of fashion in the Victorian era, many of these pearls of the coastline now lie deprived and decaying, long abandoned by the tourists who once flocked to them.
THE controversial concept of restorative justice was introduced with the best of intentions. It enabled offenders who had committed anti-social behaviour or low level offences to make amends by undertaking community service and apologising to their victims.1 comment
IT is not just the hospitality industry that would raise three cheers if there was a significant cut in VAT.
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Weather for Yorkshire
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 7 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West