Monday's Letters: Let the British voters have their say over EU membership

I've noticed an increasingly anti-EU tone to the letters from your readers in recent weeks and I must agree with them. However hard I try, I cannot find anyone who can give me a solid economic reason why we should stay in this corrupt organisation.

I find it very sad that the sovereignty millions of British people died for in two world wars, has been given away by our politicians, the same breed that sent these millions to their deaths.

For what benefit? Could just one of our MPs or MEPs give me a good reason for our country to stay in the EU? The only argument I have heard (from a Brussels employee) was that it has meant peace for the last 65 years. I think the fact that we have our own nuclear deterrent carries more weight!

Our finances are in a terrible state, thanks mainly to the last Government's spending plans and yet we are still borrowing approximately 400m per day, so that we can pay 20m a day to the EU and find 7bn to help bail out Ireland. Apparently, now we also have a trade deficit with the EU. Who are the mugs? We cannot afford to do these things. Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul has never been good economic practice.

I've come to the sorry conclusion that our MPs and MEPs are simply in it for themselves and have no interest in what is good for our country. The EU is seen as a bolt hole for failed UK politicians.

Leaving the EU would save us billions every year, get rid of what appears to be a non-effective bunch of MEPs and finally derail their gravy train.

It is time for a referendum on our membership. How can our elected MPs support an organisation that is known to be corrupt, that has not had its accounts accepted for 14-15 years and even allows its members to change parties without a new election, thus rendering the PR voting system useless?

From: Geoff Sweeting, Station Road, Wressle, Selby, North Yorkshire.

From: Stanley Parr, Maple Avenue, Pershore, Worcs.

WHEN managing household bills, we know that to balance our budget, the essentials of water, electricity, gas, the mortgage/rent and food must be paid first.

Gordon Brown was hailed as "a brilliant Chancellor" – well, I beg to differ! Getting our economy back on course now needs draconian cuts, but these would carry full public support if they were applied in a fair and sensible way.

Most anger is coming from two main areas – international aid to nations who are patently better off than us and also, the Elephant in the Room, our daily 48m payment to the EU!

Why are we sending money – which we have to borrow – to India and China, both booming economies and one with a space programme?

The wall of political silence over the EU payments is worrying.Nobody ever mentions it, as though it doesn't exist and is not happening.

Well, it is – and it's going to be our total downfall, unless we stop the payments and/or get out completely!

From: Jack Kinsman, Stainton Drive, Grimsby.

CAN somebody please explain to me how the British people had to pay the EU millions of pounds to help Greece out of its financial disaster, whilst at the same time the EU can give Greece two million euros to build two mega mosques? This is our money and it should not have been used in this way. The Islamic religion is now one of the richest religions in the world. They can afford to use their own money for new mosques.

Labour failed to deal with student fees

From: Coun John Abbott, Newland Avenue, Hull.

WHEN New Labour left office, public funding per student was lower in real terms than it was 20 years ago. The mess they left the company in – for all that they mugged us with stealth taxes – means that filling the funding gap by throwing money at it is out of the question.

The cap on tuition fees has gone up from 3,290 to 6,000,

or 9,000 in exceptional cases, the income level at which you have to start paying it back has gone up from 15,000 to 21,000 and the repayment period has been made longer –

so that someone earning 23,000 a year would pay back, for example, not 44 a month but 15 a month.

As to whether the changes deter less well-off people from higher education, independent research suggests tuition fees don't – and if elite universities want to charge more than 6,000 they will have to prove they're doing enough to let bright students from less well-off backgrounds in.

In short, the coalition is addressing the problems of student funding and educational inequality. Which is not something New Labour were in a hurry to do – remember all those Oxbridge-educated leadership candidates?

From: Judy Gibbard, Littlecoates Road, Grimsby.

I DON'T see why a university fee rise would put off poor students because the Government says they won't have to start paying back the fees until after they have got a job after they have graduated. The Government has also said that children who get free lunches won't have to pay for the first year.

On a salary of 21,000, students only have to start paying 7 a month to pay off the loan.

Quick power solutions

From: David F Chambers, Sladeburn Drive, Northallerton.

TWO of the Government's objectives are much publicised just now, namely the building of a further 2,600 offshore wind turbines in addition to those already erected, and secondly the introduction of carbon capture and storage.

The reasons? Meeting a target unwisely entered into with the EU is one, and improving the unemployment figures is another.

The horrific expense of getting electricity from the wind, for a miniscule and unreliable return, is surely well-known by now. Similarly, expensive and possibly not even feasible is carbon capture.

Here the beastly carbon dioxide emitted from power stations etc, is arrested and imprisoned underground "for ever". I vaguely remember being taught that each CO2 molecule consists of an atom of carbon and two of oxygen.

Wrongful imprisonment of oxygen does not strike me as a good idea. To quote Sgt Wilson: "Sir, is that wise?" If the CO2 buried under the sea leaches out, converting the ocean into a weak carbonic acid, will this be welcomed by the local marine life?

Two suggestions – disconnect wind-sourced power from the Grid and devote it to producing hydrogen as a fuel for motor vehicles. Most at present run on fossil fuels and a few (heavily subsidised) on electricity. And secondly, divert the jobs created in wind power and CCS to rebuilding our nuclear power stations. Quick!

Will 2011 usher in the Age of Integrity and Common Sense? Wise leadership will be called for (and I'm far too old).

My winter of discontent

From: Susan Chamberlain, Lowestoft, Suffolk.

THE heavy snowfall which blanketed the UK last month brought an event back to mind.

In the winter of 1965/66, I was living in Goathland with my parents. Earlier in the year, the rail line from Pickering to Whitby had been a victim of Dr Beeching's rail closures which meant the only access to Goathland was by road over the moors.

I was at school in Fylingthorpe at the time. There was a very heavy fall of snow one morning stranding the Goathland schoolchildren in Whitby and subsequently the rail line was reopened temporarily and a special train put on to get the children home.

I unfortunately did not make it back to Whitby in time to get the train home and had to spend the night in Whitby with friends of my parents – devastating to me a shy 12-year-old who hated being away from parents and this led to my having a phobia about snow for many, many years.

This phobia carried on even long after we moved from Goathland to Suffolk where snow is not normally a great problem in winter.

I am in the process of writing family history notes and want to include this but do not remember the actual date or how many children were involved etc. Does anyone remember the special train? Unfortunately my parents passed away some years ago so I am unable to ask them for information. This event caused quite a stir at the time.

TV's ratings rat race

From: Max Nottingham, St Faith's Street, Lincoln.

I LIKE Davina McCall, but her TV slimming show The Biggest Loser was an absolute disgrace.

The bullying by one woman coach of people over 20 stone in weight had to be seen to be believed.

People will always volunteer to go on national television. There is no excuse for treating them badly.

Permanent weight loss is very difficult to achieve. And a series like this may encourage copycat cruelty in slimming venues.

We should take the rat race out of the TV ratings race.

Labour finally gets it right

From: Roger M Dobson, Ash Street, Cross Hills, Keighley.

having been a supporter of the Conservative Party all my life, it is with reticence that I now have to back recent comments of two Labour politicians.

The first one, David Miliband, was right when he said that the increase in VAT to 20 per cent was the wrong tax at the wrong time. This increase will further depress our economy at a time when it needs boosting. Secondly, the ex-Home Secretary Jack Straw was perfectly correct when he identified some members of the Asian community in this country as being the perpetrators of sexual crimes against both white and Asian girls.

Stamp duty

From: John Douglas, Spey Terrace, Edinburgh.

IT is nice to see that the presence of the Queen's head on British postage stamps has been assured ahead of postal privatisation.

However, with the proliferation of franking machines and other means of prepaying postage, Sir Rowland Hill's "bit of paper just large enough to bear the stamp, and covered at the back with a glutinous wash" may soon be in terminal decline. Parliament should mandate the imprinting of the royal effigy on these alternative forms of payment in order to ensure that every knock of the postman continues to remind us of our ruler!

Time to learn

From: David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Acomb, York.

MANY schools are already being blamed by the Government and other organisations because only 16 per cent of secondary school pupils are getting C grades or higher in the five brand new "core" subjects. When these pupils were being taught, the rules and guide lines to teachers were quite different to now.

The person who invented time, made sure that there was plenty of it, we must not expect the teachers and the pupils to rush. If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well – UK teachers and children will get there, given constructive assistance.

Why should we have this weight on taxpayers?

From: Janet Berry, Bar Lane, Hambleton, Selby.

I WONDER how many people felt sorry for the 76 stone man portrayed on Britain's Fattest Man on Channel 4 earlier this month?

We certainly did not. Why should he receive 750 a week free care plus benefits while he sits in beds and eats.

What about elderly infirm people who really need attention?

This man has not been on his feet for three years and has been in bed for about 10 years. Unfortunately, he was also quite volatile, swearing and throwing things in a temper because his care hours were due to be cut. Now he is going through operations and plastic surgery, all free of course. I do not feel he is a person who will push himself and I think he will be quite happy tootling along on his special scooter rather than trying to help himself.

This situation seems wrong when people work hard all their lives, pay their taxes and then they have to sell their homes to pay for care whilst this man receives everything because he eats too much! Something is seriously wrong. The programme made my blood boil actually, especially when he seemed quite proud that he costs the public 100,000 per year for his care. What a state to be in but of

course the nanny state provides and this guy seems to think it is his right.

What a waste of resources which could have been spent on more needy people.