June 29: Premier has to act over lorry attacks

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From: Dick Lindley, Altofts, Normanton, West Yorkshire.

HAVING read in your excellent paper and having watched on TV the appalling scenes at the French port of Calais recently where illegal immigrants could be seen raiding British lorries and threatening British drivers with violence, I was ashamed and nauseated.

What is Prime Minister David Cameron doing to protect our boys from these violent thugs? Why are we not deploying the SAS to protect our citizens and their property from actions which can only be described as criminal assaults on our citizens? Is our Government so concerned about political correctness and human rights that they are unwilling or unable to prevent these disgraceful attacks on our people and our property?

Of course we should be able to rely on our fellow EU colleagues in the form of the French police to protect our boys but as we are currently celebrating the 200th anniversary of the defeat of the French nation at the battle of Waterloo I do not expect them to be anxious to prevent these criminals from invading our country.

It is yet one more reason why we should leave the EU immediately and protect our own borders ourselves to prevent any further immigration into Britain. We are running out of housing for our own citizens, our pensioners are living in poverty, our schools are filled to bursting point and our overworked nurses and doctors cannot cope with those already living here, let alone deal with thousands of illegal immigrants waiting at Calais to take advantage of and abuse the British sense of kindness and justice.

It is time for David Cameron and the Tories to show to the British people that they are capable of protecting our beloved nation from this humiliating and potentially dangerous situation.

Unions ruined car industry

From: Ron Carbutt OBE, Cawthorne.

I TAKE a very different view of the Margaret Thatcher years to the condemnation outlined by Dr Glyn Powell (The Yorkshire Post, June 23).

During the 1970s, I ran a group of British Leyland dealers. We were very loyal to the company and turned down offers to represent foreign manufacturers, a decision I later lived to regret.

Unfortunately the 1970s was dominated by irresponsible trade union activity. Hardly a day passed without a strike at the car factories, this had a damaging effect on people’s perception of our cars and inevitably quality suffered.

At the centre of the troubles was ‘Red Robbo’ who was union convenor at the massive Longbridge plant, now an industrial estate. It was not until Margaret Thatcher appointed Michael Edwards to run British Leyland, and after a series of bitter disputes with the union activists, that ‘Red Robbo’ was sacked and the company slowly tried to get back on its feet.

By then it was too late, the damage had been done.

Stigmatising the homeless

From: Richard Bridge, Holgate Road, York.

STEVE Waddington, assistant director of housing at City of York Council, says the aim of installing anti-homeless bars in York’s Rougier Street bus shelter is to deter ‘recurrent anti-social behaviour’.

The phenomenon of defensive architecture has become increasingly pervasive in our urban spaces. To date, there have been over 1,800 signatures requesting removal of the bars in York. Some readers may wonder why such a furore over a few bars on a bench.

Homeless people are often like you and me. They have perhaps experienced a bereavement, a relationship breakdown, a loss of a job, a breakdown. Obtaining support and shelter is not always as easy (or logical) as you may expect. Being homeless, despite its portrayal, is rarely a lifestyle choice.

The message of this installation is clear: you are not a citizen. The process is not accidental: it is a form of unkindness that is deliberate, funded and designed to exclude and harass. Destitute people are increasingly regarded as a different species altogether when in reality they are someone’s son, someone’s daughter.

The installation of the bars and indeed Mr Waddington’s comments – in which there is a conflation of anti-social behaviour with homeless people – breeds a hardness and intolerance in us all.

Our debt to female drivers

From: Edward Grainger, Botany Way, Nunthorpe, North Yorkshire.

JAYNE Dowle in her Monday column (The Yorkshire Post, June 22) could well have hit upon just one more facet of life in Britain today that confirms the march towards the feminisation of all aspects of every day life.

The increasing number of women drivers has offered us all much more reliable cars than when I first drove vehicles from around the mid 1960s. Then all we males were offered were British Leyland and BMC rust boxes, unreliable, cramped and uneconomic to run compared to today’s models. We have women to thank for alerting the manufacturers to the fact that above all else today’s mass produced cars need to not only be practical but super reliable and highly economic.