December 10: No alternative to bombing the terrorists

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From: Paul Morgan, Canberra View, Barton-Upon-Humber.

WHILE I don’t think that this country bombing Daesh, the so-called Islamic State, in Syria will actually achieve very much without creditable ground forces being involved, I can’t see that any other worthwhile alternative is being offered by the opponents of bombing. I agree that the ideal solution would be diplomacy and talks, but who are any talks going to be held with?

The line of thought that says if we don’t antagonise them, they won’t attack us is also dangerously naïve. IS will attack the West anywhere they think they can. Just as they don’t recognise conventional country borders within their own state, neither do they recognise borders when organising terror attacks. It’s the weak links they are looking for. Unfortunately, there are no good answers to this, and trying to degrade IS by bombing their infrastructure seems to me to be the least bad option at the moment.

From: Hugh Rogers, Ashby.

TERRY Duncan (The Yorkshire Post, December 4), asks: “Do we want a bloody swelling of killings across the world?”.

No, of course we don’t. But that’s what we’ll get if we go on hitting the terrorists with nothing more than his (and Jeremy Corbyn’s) stick of marshmallow. “Do we want mass murder of innocents in Syria?” Again, no. But that’s what we’ve got at the moment, both from the long-running civil war being waged by Assad against his own people and more recently by religious fanatics bent on beheading, shooting, blowing up and raping anyone they don’t like. Including innocent Parisians.

Britain is not “bombing Syria”, still less waging war. The RAF is making high-precision tactical strikes on supplies and bases operated by a vicious regime of terrorists who do not love or care for the Syrians or anyone else. Think of what we and our allies are doing as lancing a boil, or cutting out a cancerous growth.

“They don’t like it up ‘em” says Corporal Jones from Dad’s Army. And that was a reference to the way we dealt with a 19th century Arab terrorist, the so-called Mad Mahdi. It worked then and, eventually, it will work again, allowing peace and harmony to prevail. And goodwill to all men. Isn’t that something worth fighting for?

Long road to democracy

From: Michael McGowan, Former MEP for Leeds, Chapel Allerton, Leeds.

THE Nobel Peace Prize for 2015, to be awarded today to the National Dialogue Quartet of Tunisia, is in recognition of the success of the country’s transition to democracy and is of special interest to trade unionists in Yorkshire.

The Trades Union Congress in Yorkshire and the Humber has for several years forged links between our region and trade unions in Tunisia and provided practical support including training programmes.

The trade unions in Tunisia have played a key role in working together with employers, lawyers and human rights groups in helping to build democracy in Tunisia following the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.

As a member of the European Parliament’s delegation to Tunisia, I became aware of the influential role of their trade unions and an expectation in the region that Tunisia was more likely to have a successful transition to democracy than other countries of the Arab Spring – Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Syria – which have either reverted to authoritarian rule or descended into violence and chaos.

I am sure we can be proud of the link forged with Tunisia by the Yorkshire TUC and its Secretary Bill Adams and wish to congratulate the people of Tunisia for their courage and success now recognised by the award of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Figures don’t add up on EU

From: Jeff Anderson, Cadman Road, Bridlington.

DAN Hannan MEP (The Yorkshire Post, December 5) offers the eye-watering prospect of a reduction of two thirds in our council tax bills if we leave the EU. In my own case, this would save me £120 per month or approximately £1,400 per annum.

However, I have recently received my tax statement from the Inland Revenue and it tells me I am financing the EU to the tune of less than £40 per annum!

Which of these figures is correct? The campaign about EU membership will be filled with misinformation.

Inquiry call

From: Roger and Penny Campbell, East Morton, Keighley.

READING about the planning proposals for the Keighley incinerators, it seems the whole process has become a muddle.

In 2004 a planning application was passed, with some amendments, allowing the incinerators to be built. In August 2015 a similar planning proposal was rejected.

How can the planning committee accept one and reject another very similar one? Now the applicant, the Halton Group, is applying to make further changes which are arguably not minor and these can be passed without any public comment.

As for Halton homes claiming it will create 500 jobs, this seems to be a gross exaggeration as many will only be of a temporary nature

Surely the best way to sort out the whole sorry mess is a public inquiry?