Leveson holds key to future of power

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From: Jack Brown, Lamb Lane, Monk Bretton, Barnsley.

SIR Bernard Ingham’s “Opinion” (Yorkshire Post, June 20) does not touch the depths of evil in the change of relationships between politicians and the media since John Major; an evil that the heirs to Blair emulate and perpetuate. It has its roots in the changes made to the Labour party constitution by Blair, Brown, Mandelson and Campbell.

The unions enabled them to replace the heat of conference debate with “consultation” at every party level. Making union members opt into the political levy would end that kind of abuse. Labour then applied national practice to local government with the Local Government Act 2000.

Where there is consultation, there is manipulation of context, debate and, ipso facto, outcome.

This has led, nationally, to the Leveson Inquiry but “corporate communications” remain the highest priority in town halls.

We can all see the consequences of media domination; a vicious circle of oligarchic politics and falling polls. Unless Lord Leveson can do something about it, it will get as governmentally bad as it is now within the moribund Labour Party where the relative handful of members remaining in each constituency – and even the National Executive Committee – are powerless.

If anyone wants to see the final triumph of such evil, he only has to read Nineteen Eighty-Four. George Orwell may have been wrong about the final date but he was only eight years behind the birth of Newspeak and Minitrue.

Police battle yob behaviour

From: Sir Denis O’Connor, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary.

THANK you for drawing attention to the publication of HMIC’s report, A Step in the Right Direction: The policing of anti-social behaviour (Yorkshire Post, June 21).

As we write in the report, ASB is a blight on society, and it is crucial that the police (among others) tackle the problem effectively and with vigour.

However, your headline – “Millions suffer as police fail victims of yob abuse” – does not reflect our findings.

While 3.2 million incidents of ASB were recorded in England and Wales in 2010/11, our survey found that 69 per cent of respondents were satisfied with the service provided by the police – and this percentage is higher than in 2010, indicating improvement.

While it is true that research suggests these recorded incidents are only a fraction of the totality of ASB on our streets, is would be difficult for the police to have an effect (either by “failing” or otherwise) on the suffering of victims who have not yet contacted them.

HMIC will continue to monitor both ASB and crime across England and Wales.

Offers that don’t add up

From: SB Oliver, Churchill Grove, Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire.

BEFORE taking retirement I was involved in marketing and sales within the retail sector, particularly with grocery outlets, so I am interested in the current debate about Morrisons (Tom Richmond, Yorkshire Post, June 16) and their sales techniques.

I agree with what Roger Livesey said (Yorkshire Post, June 20) about the appalling standard of mental arithmetic today but his example of a 10p increase to £1.35 being 12.5 per cent more is incorrect – it is just 8 per cent.

The marketing people at Morrisons must know of this poor general level of mental calculation because they recently had an offer on a popular brand of butter which read “£1.60 ... buy 2 for £3”.

Hardly an earth-shattering offer on an expensive butter, but its shelf-space was half empty so they are probably correct in the view that the large shelf-ticket is more important than the actual offer.

I agree with Mr Livesey’s point about pricing drifting between “per kg” and “per 100gm” and this was most evident this week with their tomatoes. The loose salad tomatoes were priced at “1.99 per kg”.

Small pre-packs of four salad tomatoes were labelled “ 75p – (18.8p each)”. Pre-packs of four vine-ripened tomatoes were labelled “ £1.75 – (43.8p per 100gm – min. 400gm)”. So they are priced either per kilo, or each, or per 100gm. Notice how they craftily kept away from stating that the vine-ripened tomatoes were £4.38 a kilo!

Hell will have to freeze over before I ever use one of those self-operated scanning checkouts. Why should shoppers do the work of a redundant checkout operator, and for no pay either? Sir Ken Morrison needs to tell the “new” management to simplify the messages to their valued regular customers, of which I am one.

The real scroungers

From: Duncan Anderson, Mill Lane, East Halton, Immingham.

DOES David Cameron know what he is talking about, apart from “going back to basics”? Does he have any evidence or is he just spinning to appease those Tory MPs who want to replace him?

The multi-millionaires in the Cabinet obviously do not know what it is like to be out of work (Yorkshire Post, June 26). It is a desperate struggle to make ends meet from week to week.

Most people who are without work are not there through choice, but because of poor decisions made by the government and their funders, the bankers.

If the Government wants to save money they might want to consider the following; benefit fraud cost the UK £1bn, tax avoidance and evasion costs the UK £100bn. Is this where the real scrounging is occurring, are these the real scroungers?

From a moral point of view, which do you, the reader, think should be addressed?