From: Dick Lindley, Altofts, Normanton.
IT is truly ironic that virtually the same day as the Berlin christmas market outrage, the European Court of Justice ruled that the general and indiscriminate gathering of information by Security Services, in the battle against terrorism, cannot be justified in a democratic society and is in effect illegal.
I wonder what those poor people killed or severely injured in Berlin would have felt about this imbecilic judgement, the very effect of which will gladden the hearts of terrorists, both here and in Europe.
The only people concerned about the gathering of personal information by the democratically-elected governments of western Europe are those with something to hide.
This is merely self-promotion
From: Phillip Bell, Bramley, Leeds.
YET again our beloved council, led by Judith Blake, have set their stall out to waste more taxpayers’ money with another harebrained idea by applying to become the 2023 UK European Capital of Culture.
How many millions will this latest scheme finish up costing cost us?
I’m not sure what the 800 council workers, who face the threat of losing their jobs, will think of this latest debacle in what – in truth – is further proof, if we need it, of the council’s endless self-promotion. Come on Leeds City Council, wake up and smell the coffee!
A measure of deprivation?
From: Diana M Priestley, The Parkway, Darley Dale.
I WONDER why researchers make free school meals “a common indicator of deprivation” (The Yorkshire Post, December 19) when they dub children “disadvantaged”?
In Bradford, in the 1950s, where I grew up, most of the people we knew were in the wool trade. Decent, clean-living, certainly not poor, and very loving.
My parents, like so many, had no books, no piano, no tradition of theatre visits, never went near a museum or art gallery.
Indeed not much culture at all.
What made the difference so I grew up in a house filled with books, my head with ideas and my holidays with interesting visits?
Answer – I went to a grammar school and met people who did those things. I recall a teacher talking about brass rubbing – I have loved church visits ever since.
Being disadvantaged isn’t all about what you wear or eat, it is mainly in your head.
As an old friend said recently: “When I went to grammar school, the world opened up for me.”
Gary’s vision on bike-riding
From: Edward Grainger, Botany Way, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough.
I HEARTILY congratulate the vision shown by our own Sir Gary Verity in his practical support for the concept of the Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries Scheme (The Yorkshire Post, December 19).
There is particular merit with encouraging the goal of “getting more children riding bikes”. Given the success of the Yorkshire Bank-sponsored scheme, the urgent case must now be made to Government to make more and big money available to improve and provide safer cycling facilities whether in the form of cycle lanes or cycle paths.
Enlightened way with drug
From: John Fisher, Menwith Hill.
THE Government is faced with the problem of overcrowded jails where drugs and violence leave the prison officers with the difficult task of controlling the inmates. One problem underlying some of the crime in this country is the wide use and addictive power of heroin which drives a user to pay for the drug at any personal cost.
It would appear that putting seriously addicted heroin addicts into prison simply creates a demand for the drug inside prisons with increased possibility of violence.
Some time ago a scheme was tried in one city where heroin addicts were given the drug under strict controlled conditions so they could continue to work whilst receiving treatment.
The scheme appeared to have some success but was discontinued.
I read recently that Holland has closed 50 per cent of its prisons because they were empty and is now considering closing more. Could this be a more enlightened approach to heroin addiction in Holland?
Base award on sporting merit
From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.
JUDGING from the unkind remarks about Andy Murray’s persona (The Yorkshire Post, December 22) it appears that, like the so-called Remoaners, his detractors are unwilling to accept a democratic choice.
The difference, however, is that while the referendum was a close call, this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year was no contest: Murray’s achievements have been accomplished in a golden era of men’s tennis and a golden era of British sports.
The problem, of course, is in the naming of the show. “Sportsman or Sportswoman” or “Sportsperson of the Year” would be awkward so they had to find an alternative.
The reality is that many of the most brilliant people in any field, sports or otherwise, are by no means charismatic. It would be ridiculous to base the award on anything but sporting achievement.