Prisoners must re-earn their rights

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From: BJ Cussons, Curly Hill, Ilkley.

WE are wallowing in crime as a result of the interference of “liberal thinkers” of the past two decades (Yorkshire Post, January 21).

Jon Collins could not be more wrong. People’s reaction to the thought of prisoners having a vote is nothing to do with “civic death”, it is totally because they feel no one has rights who abrogates their responsibilities.

Those rights need re-earning by penitence and actions; they should not be handed on a plate.

The growing anger against European ties is only because of people’s despair that European law loses all vestige of common sense, not necessarily because they have become Eurosceptic.

At the same time the hypocrisy of those who seek to inflict constant, ill considered, unnecessary and nonsensical laws upon us is blatant in that they emanate from an organisation whose accounts have not been passed for audit for several years and who sack those who try to bring this to Europe’s attention.

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

HAVING read the article by Jon Collins on the rights of serving prisoners regarding voting, I thought it was rubbish.

Blow the European Court of Human Rights, it is not British and therefore cannot be expected to understand how we, the normal people of this country think regarding the treatment of criminals. In the minds of most people in this country, when a person is sentenced to serve a period of imprisonment he or she then has no rights. If Europe does not like what we do it is time that we came out of the European Union and enjoyed the financial savings that would go with that withdrawal.

From: Michael Swaby, Hainton Avenue, Grimsby.

The length of MP Simon Reevell article opposing voting reform suggests that it could be contentious, and this is indeed the case (Yorkshire Post, January 25).

Mr Reevell correctly states that very few countries use the Alternative Vote. This is because most countries that do not use first past the post prefer some form of proportional representation. The reason that this will not be on the referendum ballot paper is that his party would not agree to it in the coalition negotiations.

In my view, Mr Reevell is incorrect when he says that “AV ends the tradition of one person, one vote”. Under the AV system, each person has a single vote, and that vote includes the right to list all the candidates in one’s order of preference.

If required, the counting and reallocation of these preferences increases the tally of each of the more popular candidates, until one of them exceeds 50 per cent.

Mr Reevell’s strangest assertion is that AV “takes power away from the voters and gives it to party managers”. In fact, by enabling voters to be more explicit, it gives them greater leverage and therefore more influence over the eventual outcome.

The interest created by a fairer system could well result in an improved turnout.

Also, the AV will eliminate the corrupting distortion known as “tactical voting”. I strongly believe that any person should be able to vote for the candidate of his or her choice, without fear or hesitation.

If a small party polls badly, it should be because it has attracted insufficient support, not because it is disadvantaged by a flawed voting system.

Conservation of the Dales

From: RD Leakey, Giggleswick, Settle, North Yorkshire.

REGARDING the “senseless” Dales idea (Yorkshire Post, January 18), the act of protecting and expanding the Yorkshire Dales is not senseless as branded. It is just Yorkshire people doing their best for the environment, something they are good at doing.

The proposed job cuts are solely to do with accountants call “profits”. Those who do not want the expansion of the national park should produce logical reasons.

The people should be told about their real purpose for cutting staff. All something I defy them to do.

All those financiers – who rule the country – want to do is build lucrative motorways across the Dales solely to churn up lucrative money to pay for it all, and again increase profits as if money were a god, and our sole purpose of being on this planet.

Conserving the national park and elsewhere is by far the better option.

Don’t waste forest assets

From: Peter R Hyde, Kendale View, Driffield, East Yorkshire.

I HAVE to say that I am very concerned about the idea to sell off Forestry Commission land to private buyers (Yorkshire Post, January 27). It is like selling off the family silver to make a quick buck.

If the land is not paying its way and making a profit, then why would anyone want to buy it?

If it is, then why throw that profit into the pocket of other than the public purse? Maximise the profit by good management but never ever consider the sale of such a priceless asset.

This is a matter to be carefully thought out or the present administration runs the risk of alienating the public by robbing them of their inheritance.

Favourite colours

From: Ken Holmes, Cliffe Common, Selby.

BECAUSE of the “gutter” party politics these days, blue, red or green etc, they no longer interest me. The only colours I love to see are the ones that flutter on a flag pole on the roof of Buckingham Palace when our beloved Queen is in residence.