Spoil your paper rather than not vote

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From: Barbara Burton, Thwaites Brow Road, Keighley.

IN answer to David Downs of Wakefield (Yorkshire Post, November 7) regarding the election of police commissioners I would suggest that he spoils his ballot paper rather than not vote at all.

No one has so far explained in concrete terms what powers a commissioner would have and what exactly they will be able to do to reduce crime.

Most people when asked say they want to see more police officers on foot but the man in the street doesn’t really know whether this is the answer to reducing crime and no senior police officer ever seems able to provide a strategy to say, “If we do this, that or the other our streets will be safer.”

The police have a very difficult job but the recent disclosures of the behaviour of some very senior officers erodes public confidence at a time when the numbers of lower ranks are being cut. We don’t need another tier of bureaucracy who sound as though they could be at odds with chief constables and on a salary of anything up to £100,000 per annum.

From: David Rimmington, Fairways Drive, Harrogate.

THE election of police commissioners is nothing to do with democracy, and everything to do with state control.

At present we have police committees which have limited powers, but are composed of representatives of each of the main political parties, drawn from local authorities, plus appointed members drawn from the political establishment.

If the members of these committees are unable to provide a service and a link to the taxpayers and the public, how can one person from one party claim to do so?

This is just another lucrative appointment for the party faithful.

Plying for private hire

From: Robert Carlton, Athol Crescent, Ovenden, Halifax, West Yorks.

I WAS employed as a taxi driver and private hire driver around 1992 and since then naturally I have taken an interest in reports in newspapers concerning this trade. I read the article “Taxi driver sought after sex attack” (Yorkshire Post, October 26) 
in which a 22-year-old woman was sexually assaulted after getting into what she thought 
was a taxi.

The report uses the word taxi but I believe it actually means a private hire vehicle. If it had been a licensed taxi it would be clearly identifiable in its roof sign and side door markings and therefore there would have been no confusion.

I would like to see all private hire vehicles display a roof sign using the words “private hire”.

At the moment private hire vehicles are not clearly identifiable compared to a taxi. It’s a confusing situation and in a confusing situation crimes of this nature are more likely to be committed.

I think I can confidently say that taxi drivers get very little recognition and play a very important role in getting people home safety often late at night and have to deal with some difficult situations.

Energy irrelevance

From: David F Chambers, Sladeburn Drive, Northallerton.

IN her letter (Yorkshire Post, October 31) Dr Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen of Hull University expressed her distrust of that region’s future based on “bureaucratic regulation, subsidies and finance from private investors that have de facto to be bribed”.

In this she must at times feel that she is ploughing a very lonely furrow. Yet, almost unbelievably, there are suddenly hints that doubts exist at the highest levels on the soundness of the wind-sourced power bonanza, and some hesitation in releasing the proposed government subsidies.

Instant apprehension or protest from international big business poised to exploit the “green” development of the Humber region. Evidently the reality of the thousands of jobs promised is utterly dependent on the adequacy of the bribes referred to by Dr Boehmer-Christiansen.

This country used to get by very nicely by the efficient production of quality goods for which there was a steady demand overseas. If the Government could rid itself of the irrelevance of CO2 levels and global warming the brakes on industry could be greatly eased, and the central funds thus released could be more wisely allocated.

One plea – when that day comes, may one turbine be preserved and maintained as a serious reminder of the present misguided era?

Popular elections?

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

NOW that the presidential hoopla is over, if it is, a few comments are timely. I have lived in the United States so am very interested but I think the whole business as a democratic process is deeply flawed and unnecessarily expensive.

It has been pointed out that after this interminable politicking an elected president can often be frustrated by Congress blocking things he wants to do which has happened with Barack Obama; this would seem to make the whole thing rather pointless.

The anomaly of someone winning the popular vote and losing in the electoral college has often been pointed out so why not just elect the president solely on the nationwide poll? It would certainly simplify the procedure and save an enormous amount of money.

The present system compels concentration on a handful of swing states so there is a manic, hysterical dash from one to the other and back again. The likes of Ohio and Florida are therefore able to sell their votes. This is a classic case of the tail wagging the dog and the recent bailout of the auto industry cost taxpayer a fortune. I wonder how the other states feel about that!

The American constitution 
was drawn up by founding fathers who were very jealous of states’ rights so the country seems to be stuck with it.