March 25 Letters: Our macho culture backs the TV bully

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From: John Roberts, St John’s Court, Wakefield.

I’VE always found Jeremy Clarkson entertaining and informative in a particularly British way; his documentary on a fated Arctic Convoy in the Second World War was excellent. He should just stay away from cars.

However, the Steakgate affair has revealed a certain mentality in British society. This explains the huge level of support he has received. The macho culture of cars, or more accurately, men and cars (with female hangers on) with its indulgent sense of entitlement. There is a close correlation with football culture here, too.

Cars are like gods in our motor transport crowded island. Unfortunately, it can’t go on like this forever, You might think it will, but it won’t.

No doubt with a shrewd eye on the Top Gear viewer election vote, David Cameron waded in, “I’m sure this can be sorted out,” he blithely says. Typically, the hapless victim in all this, who thoughtfully provided some food for the drunken latecomers, is harangued. You’ve got it; support the bully, persecute the victim. I could not agree more with John Appleyard (The Yorkshire Post, March 19).

Justice takes precedence

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

WE are heading for a constitutional crisis when a Home Secretary tells a Select Committee that she merely hopes that whistleblowers on paedophile politicians, senior policemen and others of the “great and good” will not be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act. Covers-up of this kind do not originate with the police; they originate with MI5/6 and – in Northern Ireland for example – they can lead to conflict with the police.

Instructions to police to ignore paedophilia, and who knows what else, in the name of national security are now in conflict with the public demand for exposure, justice and closure. The reputation of Parliament for democratic integrity is at stake.

There has to be an assumption that all inquiries into the activities of the dead and trials of the living will be in the public interest. MI5/6 agents should not simply be expected but obliged to give evidence.

Facts behind VAT claims

From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby.

THERE is no “VAT trap” for coffee shops, or any other small business come to that.

When a coffee shop buys milk it buys it at zero per cent VAT and turns it into a cup of coffee, which is VAT standard rated because it is a supply of catering.

If it buys VAT-able goods (like power supplies) a coffee shop pays VAT at the going rate just like the rest of us.

However because it is VAT-registered, it claims the VAT back. VAT is paid by the first unregistered person in the supply chain (who cannot reclaim it). That’s mostly you and me, brother. It has always been thus. If your columnist GP Taylor (The Yorkshire Post, March 18) gets himself a copy of VAT booklets 700 and 701, he will learn the truth about the tax, instead of writing irritatingly ill-informed articles on the subject in an attempt to vilify those with whose politics he so clearly disagrees.

Counting the days of Lent

From: Dick Appleyard, Saxilby, Near Lincoln.

FOR many years, I have heard it been said, that there are 40 days in Lent and it’s from Ash Wednesday to Easter Eve. But I counted that up on the calendar and found that there are actually 46 days in that period. I was then informed that it is 40 days excluding Sundays. I also find that on the church calendar there is a first Sunday in Lent, second Sunday in Lent, third Sunday in Lent etc; but as that is contradictory I now believe that there are 46 days in Lent.

From: David Treacher, Nelson Road, Hull.

IN a week or so Beverley will have a passion play on Good Friday, to mark the crucifixion of Jesus, with many people visiting the town. This event is wonderful to witness. But it’s a pity that many other churches and other centres can’t hold such an event.

I’m sure many churches could hold such an event and bring pleasure and memories to many.

I’m sure many vicars would welcome that sort of event once a year. It’s called bringing the church to the community.

Time to clean up our act

From: Geoff North, Leeds.

I COULD not agree more with the article by Clive Betts (The Yorkshire Post, March 20) on the amount of litter that we now have in our country. The situation appears to have deteriorated considerably, particularly on the verges of our main highways. Sections of the M1 around Leeds and the A64 towards York, and beyond, are particularly bad.

The community clean up day is a good start but this type of initiative depends on the goodwill of the people who care about their community, clearing up the mess of the minority that do not. Those on community payback schemes should be perhaps doing more in this regard.