From: Paul Holmes, Branch secretary, Kirklees Unison, New North Parade, Huddersfield.
NO politician can be surprised at the cost of the PFI scheme at Calderdale Infirmary and the effect it has had on the budget of Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust, with the subsequent proposals to close A&E facilities at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
This story is repeated across Britain. In nearby Mid-Yorkshire Health Trust (Dewsbury, Wakefield and Pontefract hospitals) the extortionate costs of the PFI scheme at Pinderfields Hospital (Wakefield) has led to the closure of A&E at Pontefract Hospital and the proposed closure of A&E at Dewsbury. The costs of these schemes were known by politicians, particularly when they were introduced by John Major’s Conservative government in the early 1990s and continued by the Blair/Brown Labour governments between 1997 and 2010. PFI schemes were always “milk cows” for hedge funds, construction companies and banks, with 25-30 year repayment schemes and high rates of interest.
PFI schemes were always going to lead to cuts because of the repayment costs. “Chickens always come home to roost” and “as ye reap, so shall ye sow” are two appropriate clichés.
The public sector managers who recommended the PFI schemes are now long gone (retiring on large pensions, getting large salaries at other public sector bodies or, in some cases, then going to work for the PFI contractors).
Those who opposed PFI schemes in the past, and the public who have been conned by self-serving politicians are not to blame for this, but politicians who have not adequately represented their constituents are now crying crocodile tears.
That is why members of the public feel conned by many MPs and why those MPs who are perceived to have principles are growing in popularity.
Public choice of new anthem
From: Gordon Bray, Grange Road, Golcar, Huddersfield.
MAY I join the debate on the selection of an English anthem and add my two pen’orth, for what it’s worth? It has been suggested that we might adopt the hymn Jerusalem. When this hymn was first written it may have had some relevance as we were a mainly Christian country, but surely not today?
The city of Jerusalem, located in the Middle East, is a divided city and has been squabbled over by the Jews and Arabs for decades. Why would we want to build a city like that in England?
I doubt that Jesus ever set foot outside His own country. If we must adopt a hymn, why not chose Land of Hope and Glory?
Much better by far would be a completely new anthem. This could be achieved by inviting our modern day songwriters to come up with something unique and, as we are fast becoming a multi-cultural nation, could we leave everybody’s God out of it so as not to cause offence?
Each of the best 10 songs could be played every night at the start of the 10 o’clock News on both BBC1 and ITV giving equal exposure to all the songs. After six months, all the songs could be played in a sort of talent competition. This new anthem could then be used at any event where England is represented, with God Save the Queen used for purely British occasions.
Reasons for Labour loss
From: Adrian F Sunman, South Collingham, Newark.
IN answer to Jane Dowle (The Yorkshire Post, January 18), nobody could have predicted Labour’s election of a party leader who was a rank outsider with a fairly consistent record of voting against his party’s whip during a 30 year career, not least of all given that likelier – and arguably better – candidates stood.
Labour’s failure to win the 2015 election was rather less unpredictable though. At a time when the country was recovering from the worst recession for 80 years, the great British electorate had the good sense to not put that recovery at risk by electing a party which isn’t best known for its economic competence or fiscal prudence.
Persecution of our soldiers
From: Barrie Crowther, Walton, Wakefield,
WHY are our defence chiefs not speaking up against the senseless persecution of our men returning from various wars?
Get-rich lawyers funded by taxpayers’ money on spurious claims are milking the system. Army chiefs need to wise up, speak out, or even threaten if such charges are not dropped.
Message of respect
From: Ruthven Urquhart, High Hunsley, Cottingham.
WHAT a well meaning and thoughtful article composed by Sarah Todd (The Yorkshire Post, January 16). As The Yorkshire Post’s letters editor could confirm, my occasional contribution to this page will always be hand written, albeit, somewhat illegibly.
It is sheer idleness not to show sincere gratitude for the receipt of a present and a shade lazy to resort to texting. A personal letter shows one has so much more care and respect for the intended recipient.