February 27 Letters: Labour can’t take voters for granted

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From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley.

soon to retire ex-broadcaster and Labour MP Austin Mitchell says that if they put an alcoholic or paedophile up as a Labour candidate in his constituency they would still be voted in.

He was speaking about the Great Grimsby seat, where he is standing down at the general election in May. I must agree he is almost right – and not just in Grimsby but in many northern Labour-held strongholds.

I say almost, simply because the once definite Labour voter is now more educated and intelligent enough to no longer be a safe bet to put their cross in the red box. Hence Ed Miliband’s refusal to give us an in/out referendum on the corrupt EU.

These once “dyed in the wool” Labour voters are now realising that the former champions of the working classes give the impression, apart from two months before an election, that the only people they are interested in championing is themselves.

I have been waiting for an answer on a question from my local MP, Michael Dugher, for two years and am still waiting.

His predecessor, Mick Clapham, would have returned one’s enquiry within 48 hours or less. So, Austin Mitchell is, I am afraid, living in the distant past and the proof will be in the pudding come May 7. Underestimate a northerner at your peril.

From: Ian Smith, Colston Close, Bradford, West Yorkshire.

the answer to the Rev Neil McNicholas’ conundrum (The Yorkshire Post, February 21) is to recommend neither spoiling votes nor not voting at election times.

If he’s not happy to select any listed candidate, then he should return the paper unmarked – the equivalent of voting for “none of the above”. Unmarked papers are counted and recognised.

A “none of the above” box may never be available because the political class don’t like rejection. But eventually, the Electoral Commission will listen.

We should all take demonstrable responsibility during elections – one of our few democratic opportunities to do so. Anyone who’s not happy with the system or its procedures should tell the decision makers in every way possible; elections are just one.

I’ll await the list of candidates before deciding whether to tick a box, or return the paper with no mark at all. But I will vote!

Pothole alert for the Tour

From: Simon Thackray, Brawby, Malton.

genuine concerns have been raised about unrepaired potholes in Norton on Derwent, which is part of the official route of the Tour De Yorkshire 2015.

However, along with global efforts to preserve Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, North Yorkshire Highways should be applauded for safeguarding Norton’s “tidal reservoir” of fresh-water species of stickleback, sausage minnow, and crab.

If Ryedale’s district councillors and prospective parliamentary candidates want to ensure the safe passage through Norton of the cyclists in the Tour de Yorkshire, they should direct their hail of sausages at the directors of Yorkshire Water to encourage them to repair the sewer.

Come Le Tour, if it rains “the wrong kind of rain”, the riders won’t need a road, they’ll need a ferry.

Another false economy

From: Alec Denton, Guiseley, Leeds.

we recently had the misfortune to use the Dover-Calais ferry crossing and were appalled at the situation. The closure of the alternative crossings from Folkestone and Ramsgate now means that all short-crossing traffic now descends on this one place for either the ferry or the tunnel.

In other words economies of scale may bring financial benefits, but the quality of the experience for people is seriously reduced and I dread to think what it will be like when the inevitable hold up occurs.

Sitting in the queue, my mind wandered back to the situation at home, where Leeds city planners have decided in their wisdom to locate most new jobs to the south of the River Aire and most new houses to the north, another economy of scale with no obvious people benefits where travel to work is concerned.

EU ambition fuels conflict

From: Arthur Quarmby, Underhill, Holme.

After the 1917 Russian Revolution, Germany quickly occupied the three Baltic States, (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia), White Russia, part of Poland and most of the Ukraine, all of which were at that stage Russian territory.

These were all taken away from Germany and made independent by the subsequent peace treaty, which deliberately established them as useful barriers against the westwards expansion of Communism.

How ironic that the EU has expanded eastwards and absorbed all the above territories except for the Ukraine which Russia clearly feels is a step too far for this expansionist German Empire.

If EU ambitions were withdrawn the civil war would end – but the damage which has been done to relations within Ukraine will take generations or even centuries to heal.