October 24: West should take some blame over steel jobs

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From: John Riseley, Harcourt Drive, Harrogate.

ONE of the causes cited for the fate of the steelworks at Redcar and the precarious position of other plants is the strength of the pound. This is puzzling since, if the pound was weak, we would presumably be hearing about the high cost of importing iron ore and coal. It is also difficult to see how the pound comes to be valued so highly against other currencies.

It is easy to get the impression we no longer export very much, apart from our rather dubious ‘financial services’. At the same time we maintain very high imports. In contrast China, the nemesis of our steel industry, has exported almost everything to everyone yet imports very little except for raw materials. One would imagine that it would be their steelworks rather than ours which were struggling with the impact of a strong currency.

The ability of the Chinese to remain highly competitive while running a massive trade surplus may relate to their policy of inward investment, or property speculation within the countries they export to, as well as simply lending money back to the customers they have earned it from.

It is the western habits of over-indulging ourselves beyond our ability to pay and allowing others to take possession of our real estate which leave us unable to afford a steel (or any other) industry.

From: Michael J Robinson, Park Lane, Berry Brow, Huddersfield.

WE are told that one of the prime reasons that UK steel is uncompetitive is the high cost of the energy necessary in the manufacturing process. Will the people who are going to war about the closure of steel plants be the same people who are going to war about the dangers they would like us to believe could be the result of fracking for much cheaper UK-sourced gas and oil?

Assange case is too costly

From: Dave Croucher, Pinfold Gardens, Doncaster.

LAST week we were informed that the cost of policing the Ecuadorian Embassy from June 2012 until last week was a staggering £12.6m. Here is an estimated breakdown of the policing costs – £7.1m in normal pay, £3.4m in overtime and £2.1m indirect costs.

Now I don’t mean to be picky, but as a member of the public who like everyone else pays their taxes, of which a percentage goes to pay for policing in this country, I believe we are not getting value for money, Julian Assange is not exactly public enemy No 1, there are people all over the UK being attacked, mugged, robbed, raped and molested every day and where are the police? God knows. Could it be because they are doing stupid unimportant jobs instead? When are the police going to address the many worrying crimes that concern the public? Julian Assange was never one of them!

Ever faithful Sir Bernard

From: David Butcher, Bence Lane, Darton, Barnsley.

IN his article (The Yorkshire Post, October 14), Sir Bernard Ingham asks “Am I still in the doghouse?” This struck me as funny because my pet name for him is Greyfriars Bobby. He reminds me so much of Bobby the dog which, after the death of its owner, famously stayed by his master’s graveside in Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh for 14 years. In view of his faithfulness and unstinting defence of Margaret Thatcher’s every action, I am surprised that he hasn’t, like Bobby, chosen to sleep by his mistress’s graveside.

‘Running sore’ over border

From: Mrs J Robinson, Long Street, Easingwold, North Yorkshire.

JOHN Fisher (The Yorkshire Post, October 14) makes the same point as did Sir Vince Cable recently about the likely exit of Scotland from the UK – should we vote to leave the EU in the coming referendum? This blindly assumes that the Scots will rush to apply for government by an unelected profligate elite and that a majority of English voters would prefer Scotland to remain in the UK.

In fact, many in England, not allowed to vote, were disappointed by the Scottish referendum result. Furthermore, I would vote for “Brexit” if this would expedite the excision of what has become a running sore north of Hadrian’s Wall.

Church open all year round

From: Mrs Susan Scott, Woodgate Lane, Weeton, North Yorkshire.

I WAS amazed to read your article (The Yorkshire Post, October 19) bemoaning the lack of activities for the elderly on Christmas Day.

I would point out that there is a ‘facility’ within reach of nearly everyone in this country which opens its doors on Christmas Day and offers a warm welcome, companionship, and comfort to anyone who cares to step inside. The Church is there for anyone and everyone, not only at Christmas, but through the year.

Confusion on Vulcan 770

From: N Taylor, Northallerton.

I’M afraid Jo Cambage (The Yorkshire Post, October 17) could not have seen Vulcan 770 at Yeadon in May 1953 as it had been grounded in January of that year and did not fly again until July. I believe Runway 28 was too short to accommodate such a manoeuvre.

The Yorkshire Aeroplane Club did hold an International Rally each year from 1949 until the last, the Coronation Air Pageant, was held, as Jo Cambage rightly states, in 1953. The increasing commercial air transport, and the cost of staging such events, put paid to any further air displays at the now Leeds Bradford International Airport.

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