Tuesday's Letters: Votes for BNP let down the troops who fought for freedom

AS a person who holds no political allegiance to any political party, group or individual, to say I was disgusted to see the voters of this country give credence to a vile, racist and fascist party such as the BNP is an understatement.

A few words to ponder on. The 20th century was a bloody one. Why? Because people of a country were so disillusioned and didn't know who to turn to for answers.

They found it in a fascist party who promised them anything and fed up on their fears. The people began to make small compromises every day to everything that affected their lives and turned their eyes and ears to indifference of the people who cried out for justice.

If the people had sat down and calculated the compromises they had made every day and what the price they were going to have to pay six years down the line, then we – and they – would not have wasted so many generations of young men and women in fighting for democracy. What does our young 21st century hold for us now?

So in the face of these facts the people of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice have thrown these servicemen's and women's deeds back in their faces.

Can all the people who pass a war cemetery and memorial say in all conscience that they honour these men and women when they vote for the BNP, or any party that ignores or does not fully understand why our honoured dead and maimed men and women do what they do for our freedoms past, present and future?

From: PD Roper, Little Lane, Purston, Featherstone.

From: Coun Ralph Berry, Labour, Wibsey ward, City Hall, Bradford.

LINDA Riordan is, I feel, misjudging the role electoral systems play in tackling both the disenchantment of the electorate, and more specifically, the role systems play in the election of Far Right parties (Yorkshire Post, June 11.)

Her consistent efforts in opposing the Far Right would, I think be assisted by change.

The effect of the present system is to concentrate all efforts on swing seats, leaving huge swathes of the electorate as tactically redundant to the exercise of winning a majority.

That has been clocked by those who hold attachment to a party that is unlikely to win in an area, and leads to neglect. Neglect creates a vacuum and into a vacuum comes something else.

The BNP won seats under the first past the post system on several councils way before picking up seats in proportional representation elections.

The experience of having BNP councillors, and the efforts of local parties and community groups to counter the politics of hate by directly engaging with those who have become disenchanted, got them removed by the ballot box.

The debate about the voting system is one that has to be taken to the people.

For extremism to be tackled, all parties need to fight for all votes. I believe there are people whose involvement in politics has been ended by the futility of living in an area that overwhelmingly elects "the other party".

There are many sincere socialists who believe that change to a proportional system is consistent with the need to represent all those

who believe in the ideas we stand for, not just those in the key seats.

From: Geoffrey Thorpe, Lister Avenue, East Bowling, Bradford.

AFTER the local and European elections, Britain has two BNP MEPs, a swing from Labour voters in Labour heartlands

to the BNP.

Are voters now deciding that it is time for immigration to stop, and to tell the EU that Britain can make its own rules and regulations and also take control of our own borders?

The British public have now had enough and are starting to show disgust at the main political parties, which have only themselves to blame for this country's state of affairs.

Hopefully the major parties will now sit up and listen to the public – if not, the BNP will get more prominent.

So Mr Brown, Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg, listen to the people in the street and take back control of Britain. If not, the BNP is going to end up with MPs in Westminster.

If only they had some competence

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

WE hear that Gordon Brown has announced a public inquiry into the Iraq War. We must hope that he will be appearing before it giving evidence on oath to explain how it came about that he signed all the cheques on this disgraceful affair.

Everybody concentrates on the expenses business to the exclusion of everything else, it seems, but I could put up with a bit of roguery if there was some evidence of competence at the heart of government.

After all, Lloyd George was as capable as the present lot at chicanery. In fact, you could argue that he was even worse with insider dealing over shares, sale of honours, etc but he still turned out to be one of our best Prime Ministers.

In recent years, we have had people of the calibre of Rab Butler, Gaitskell, Bevin and Bevan, Healey and Jenkins. They all at least gave the impression that they were concerned with larger matters than their own miserable careers and personal advancement.

The drying up of the well of talent should be of far more concern to people than the activities of these cheats and fraudsters.

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

HOW many pointers from the electorate does our Prime Minister need before he can find the guts to resign and call a General Election?

Has it not dawned on him that the majority of the electorate in this country no longer want him and his MPs?

Understandably, there has been no public comment

from his predecessor Tony Blair who obviously knew exactly when to cut and run, leaving Gordon Brown to catch the

flak and pick up the pieces

from 11 years of Labour


Tony Blair must be laughing his socks off at the mess that his successor has led us into.

From: David Pickering, Gloucester Road, Stonegravels, Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

HAVING reached "the pits" with the sleaze and "snouts in the trough" politics of the three main parties, we are now desperately in need of alternative politics.

After our recent success in the European elections and our excellent policies, eg, the cost of the EU, immigration and jobs and the remote political elite and its contempt for democracy, the time is ripe for UKIP to push on and become a force in mainstream politics in this country.

From: David T Craggs, Tunstall, East Yorkshire.

TALK about a politician shooting his party in the foot – what in heaven's name was Andrew Lansley, the Shadow Health Secretary, thinking of when he revealed to John Humphrys on the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme that a future Conservative Government would increase spending on overseas development aid?

At a time when the country is in an economic crisis, where people are losing their houses and jobs, and having it all on to make ends meet, this must surely be a vote-loser in the forthcoming General Election. It may indeed be a very worthy cause, but why reveal the policy at this time, especially when his party is on a "high" and the Labour Government is struggling?

Transport investment

From: Coun Richard Brett, Liberal Democrat, Leader, Leeds City Council.

I AM writing in response to your story about the regional transport funding gap (Yorkshire Post, June 4) and have to say I agree with our local business leaders.

It is disgraceful that Yorkshire receives 213 per head when London receives 783. A difference of this size cannot simply be explained away by hosting the Olympics in 2012.

Our region has always struggled with under-funding. Central government should recognise and combat the problems throughout Yorkshire.

Public transport in Leeds is in a poor state following the deregulation disaster.

It cannot be described as a "service" when buses only run once an hour.

What is needed is increased, targeted investment, bringing our services back on to track. Boosting our local economy and bringing jobs back to Yorkshire will only happen if we improve transport links.

Heroes of Suez who were denied recognition

From: John Hunt,

14 Carfield, Bamber Bridge, Preston.

I'VE written a book, Suez:

The Hidden Truths, which details those turbulent years of the Suez Emergency of the early 1950s, when thousands of troops, many of them National Servicemen, were posted to defend the canal zone,

often facing appalling conditions.

Indeed, at that time there were many "hot spots" of the Colonial Empire to be policed around the world – and one in particular was the gateway to the East – the Suez canal zone of Egypt, where by 1951 nationalism was becoming the new rising force around the region.

To contain this threat, many raw recruits were sent both by air and sea to defend a "strip of water" against both a hostile and barbaric foe, while living under canvas in camps along the canal – with heat, flies, stench, disease and devious dangerous terrorists to contend with in quite an inhospitable land.

Even though many lads died who were only in their teens, we were inexplicably denied a medal. However, after a long campaign, this miscarriage of justice has been righted after 50 years, against overwhelming odds.

Moreover, the Suez Emergency lasted for three years and during that time the number of troops defending the region remained at around 80,000. All were crammed into camps designed for just 10,000.

In addition, while many Suez veterans, now in their 70s, are delighted with the award of this belated medal, they are at the same time

angry that it wasn't issued at the time, especially when the veterans look back to their comrades who lost their lives all those years ago and are buried in British military cemeteries in Egypt, and other vets who have passed on over the years since.

My book costs 6, including p&p. It is available from the above address.

Denied a vote over leader

From: Frank McManus, Longfield Road, Todmorden.

IS not your columnist, Barry Sheerman (Yorkshire Post, June 5), among the Labour MPs who, by their failure to nominate, denied us party members a leadership vote in 2007 such as we had when John Smith and Tony Blair were chosen; yet who clamour now for precisely what they robbed the movement of two years ago?

For myself, I am content to recall Abraham Lincoln's admonition that it doesn't do to swap horses in midstream.

Mad world

From: John Weldon, Grantley, Ripon.

WE Brits certainly live in interesting times. The Mad Hatter's tea party is pretty sane in comparison. We see Labour MPs scrambling to save the inept Brown and their own miserable skins, sinking us even deeper into the mire. Who may we ask is going to save Britain and its hard-working people? Talk about fiddling while Rome burns.

Past offences

From: D Tester, Westbrook Bank, Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

THE article by Martin Hickes (Yorkshire Post, June 8) about Parliament in the past is an absolute classic. His description of Parliament during Oliver Cromwell's time had me in tucks of laughter. How relevant to the present one. No one could have described it better than Cromwell did. It should be a must for everyone to read.