May 15: Wealth and the state that we’re in

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From: Chris Broome, Hackthorn Road, Sheffield.

FOLLOWING their election defeat, your Editorial, The Yorkshire Post, May 11), urges Labour to heed Peter Mandelson’s advice and move back to the “centre ground”. You say Ed Miliband’s “plan to redistribute wealth through state intervention was anti-business and patently failed to recognise the need to generate more wealth in order to fund public services....”

But you fail to recognise a very important trend that has been going on in our economy throughout several government terms. It generates plenty of wealth but a growing proportion stays in the hands of large companies and those people who already have and invest money. Too little is left for the workers that play a crucial part in making those companies successful. Inequality has grown enormously. So it is quite right that the state should ensure successful businesses and individuals pay a fair level of tax and that conditions are right to allow workers to negotiate fair pay levels. You seem to consider this “state intervention” but Governments exist to set policies that benefit society.

Once businesses have paid fair levels of tax and wages, of course they should be supported. None of this involves being anti-business, hating the rich or ignoring voters in “the middle ground”.

From: Alan Chapman, Bingley.

FOLLOWING Ed Miliband’s redundancy as Labour leader, Lord Mandelson (The Yorkshire Post, 11 May) and many other assorted Labour grandees plus younger socialist Turks, pontificate on the theory of socialism and what went wrong.

They all have grand airy-fairy ideas for the future, how they love to place us all in certain pigeon boxes so as to appeal to a majority vote. This is a complete waste of time for them and us, the public.

The man who selected the recently defeated Labour leader will choose his successor – Labour Party paymaster general and trade union supremo Len McCluskey.

Trouble is the Labour Party will bore us all to death with hot air for the next six months or longer, and we still end up with McCluskey’s choice.

From: Dr Tony McCobb, Kirk Ella, East Yorkshire.

FOUR years ago (May 2011) you kindly published my letter about the AV referendum result. I suggested that Ed Miliband’s lack of leadership in this matter had given the Conservatives what they wanted – elections with fewer MPs, larger constituencies with re-drawn boundaries, run on “first past the post,” and an SNP ready to take over from Labour in Scotland.

Some of these features were delayed when Nick Clegg, frustrated by the two main parties’ lack of progress on PR and Lords reform, rejected the Boundary Commission’s recommendations. Therefore, the old boundaries, more favourable to Labour, were retained for 2015. The new boundaries, favourable to the Conservatives, will now be introduced for 2020.

I wrote at the time that Labour needed to look rationally at its own failings rather than blaming others. They have not done so, and sought revenge, especially on Mr Clegg. So, while Labour poured resources into Hallam and into other Lib Dem seats, they took their eye off the ball (forgive the pun). A few miles from Hallam, they forgot to defend Mr Balls’s slim majority, and made no headway in the key Labour-Tory marginals.

Tragically for this country, Labour’s strategy and behaviour have been self-defeating. Contempt for, and abuse of, smaller parties has driven Labour down a blind alley. Hopefully their new leader will acknowledge that his or her party has itself made it almost impossible, under the new constituency boundaries, to rule alone in future.

From: Don Burslam, Elm Road, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury.

WHAT a credulous and gullible people the Scots are! In their headlong rush towards separation, I believe nothing can stop them achieving their heart’s desire.

I think they will come to rue the day when they were free to fend for themselves.

If I am right, there will be a reckoning sooner or later with the SNP when it is found that independence is not such a bed of roses after all.

However, thanks are due to the SNP who in effect sabotaged Labour’s efforts to claw their way back to power by swiping all their seats north of the border. So no economic chaos after all.

Of course the SNP may be playing a devious game preferring to settle for devo-max while preserving the link with London. In short, they might prefer to have their cake and eat it.

I believe the Government should resist constant concessions thinking it would save the Union.

In any event they should make it clear that if there is a split, there can be no going back or bailing out in the event of a financial crisis.

From: Nat Wendel, Hull.

THIS Government has no legitimacy in Yorkshire. The people of Yorkshire in their 
vote last week rejected the bedroom tax, austerity, city regions and a whole lot of other Tory policies.

Unless the Tories bear 
that in mind over the coming years they could have another Scotland on their hands.

From: Jack Coley, Leadwell Lane, Robin Hood, Wakefield.

WHAT a splendid and well-deserved result for the Conservatives in the General Election, with the added bonus of seeing Ed Balls given the big heave-ho and Ed Miliband deciding to go walkabout. It doesn’t get any better than that.