October 17: Party’s over as Labour runs its course

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

THERE is a perfectly simple explanation why Labour seems to have run out of electable leaders. The absence of credible runners is because the party no longer has a viable position or policies. They have just run out of steam.

Labour’s heyday was of course, the Attlee government, but since the advent of the Welfare State and the NHS, there is a shortage of banners which the troops can wave with enthusiasm and conviction. Blairism has shown in retrospect that it was no answer to this problem and, to put it bluntly, Labour has outlived its usefulness.

Our democratic system does need a robust opposition as a possible alternative government. Harold Wilson once said the Labour movement is a crusade or it is nothing. I am afraid their shop window is now bare except for a few faded and outdated displays.

From: Hilary Andrews, Leeds.

OH dear ,another blow for the “straight-talking honest politics” of Jeremy Corbyn and his cronies.

Despite opposition from many in the party who are rightly concerned that Labour is perceived by the people as not being responsible when it comes to the economy, John McDonnell announced that the party was reversing its decision to support George Osborne’s fiscal charter (The Yorkshire Post, October 14).

Once again they become the party of “spend, spend, spend” and would lead the country into another Greece. Together with his policy of gathering together a group of MPs into a grassroots organisation, Momentum, which excludes all moderate members, this will surely lead to a shambles.

Hopefully it will not last long and Mr Corbyn can go back to opposing all policies from the backbenches.

Steelworks count cost

From: John Riseley, Harrogate.

THE Redcar steelworks has had to bear electricity costs inflated by the statutory requirement to include renewable sources. A substantial body of world officialdom assures us that such measures are imperative to save us from global warming (The Yorkshire Post, October 13).

We may or may not believe them; they have shown that their ethos is more that of the “noble lie” than of truth seeking. Yet either way it is hard to see the benefit of switching steel production to plants in countries which may produce the same, or indeed greater, emissions and which bizarrely may have been subsidised by ourselves under carbon offset arrangements.

The cost of environmental protection should not be borne by industries which serve global markets and face global competitors, many of whom are unhampered by such responsibility. It should rest squarely upon the consumer. Only we have the authority to judge whether we can afford the luxury of politicians whose egos drive them to assume a position of world moral leadership.

Costs of a public railway

From: Hugh Rogers, Ashby.

I AM immensely grateful to Terry Palmer (The Yorkshire Post, October 13) for supporting my views on the renationalisation of the railways. If it is true, as he says, that taking one line temporarily back into public ownership “is costing we (sic) the taxpayer £4bn a year” then just think how much extra tax we would have to pay if the whole network was renationalised.

I was not aware of the quote attributed to Robert Adley, but if by “poll tax on wheels” it is meant that the railways are, in effect being paid for by the people who use them, rather than the taxpayers en masse, then I would have said that was a good thing.

Taking liberties

From: Bob Watson, Baildon.

SHAMI Chakrabarti, director of human rights organisation Liberty, says (The Yorkshire Post, October 14) that Prime Minister David Cameron is “insulting the intelligence and decency of the public” in wanting to ditch the Human Rights Act and replace it with a Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. She was also critical of his recent hardline speech on immigration.

Well, Ms Chakrabarti, there are many of us who would say that it is you who has insulted the intelligence and decency of the British public for some years now, and that your organisation sometimes does far more harm than good.

NHS bore cost of defence

From: Mr A Davies, Grimsby.

HUGH Rogers (The Yorkshire Post, October 9) writes of the difficulties in which the NHS finds itself and goes on to assert that the country could not afford the scheme from at its inception. He went on to refer to the imposition of charges when Hugh Gaitskell was Chancellor. He made no attempt to look at the major problem at the time – the defence programme called for to fight the war in Korea.

The Government proposed a programme costing £3,600m over three years. Mr Churchill argued for £4,700m. The NHS budget was cut from £403m to £390m, a reduction of £13m, barely one per cent of the cost of re-armament, £1,200m pa.

From: Thomas Cayton, Scarborough.

I TRIED to book an appointment to a clinic in Scarborough Hospital via the NHS booking system by telephone only to be told that the appointment list had not been updated on the computer. So much for modern systems. Or is it another way of fiddling the waiting lists by managers?

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