THE dispute at the Royal Mail is, I believe, the culmination of many disastrous policy directives forced upon the service over the last two decades (Yorkshire Post, October 23).
The Royal Mail was similar to the delivery of our daily pint, a British national treasure formed over decades with a unique, proven and efficient delivery system envied by other countries. The Royal Mail delivers post to all parts of the country, however remote, for the same price. Importantly, this shows the Royal Mail is more than just a business. It is a much-loved and desired service and it is this service we seem hell-bent on sacrificing.
We have an amazing talent for destroying all that is good and respected; a talent that all too frequently sees us lowering our sights to adopt the lower levels of others. The European Union decided that our postal and milk delivery systems were a monopoly and must be opened up to competition. Most people see competition as desirable but if the competition is blatantly unfair, it has the effect of destroying all that is good. Perhaps the destruction of these services was the intention in order to allow other European countries to compete for business previously out of their reach. This now seems to be happening as, unbelievably, we are now importing milk from Europe as well. Our governments have, of course, meekly accepted the European directives.
Why do I maintain this competition is so unfair? The Royal Mail had the sole right for the deliveries of our daily post. It delivers mail to all parts of the country, however remote, for one uniform price.
It is obvious that delivering post to areas outside the main populated ones cannot be done at the same price unless these are subsidised by the very profitable areas. Failing to accept this would mean many different prices according to the location of the addressee and would lead to chaos.
But when competition was invited, European companies only wanted to compete for the obviously profitable areas, leaving Royal Mail with the undesirable remains. So if Royal Mail loses the profitable areas, what happens to post for the other regions?
If Royal Mail, as we know it, ceases to exist, there may be many parts of the country that will simply have no postal delivery service at all, or a service restricted to, say, a weekly delivery.
From: Barrie Frost, Watson's Lane, Reighton, Filey.
Big mistake by Griffin and the BBC
From: JW Smith, Sutton-on-Sea.
BY calling highly-respected retired generals Nazis (Yorkshire Post, October 21), has Nick Griffin shot himself in the foot?
He leads a party which very closely mirrors the ideology of the Nazi party, which disenfranchised millions of its own indigenous population simply because they were Jews.
The BNP feels exactly the same about non-white people in this country, even if they were born here.
The problem is that people in this country have short memories. Many thousands of non-whites – including the Gurkhas, who are supported by the vast majority of the population – fought and died in world wars defending this country. According to the BNP, none of these should be here.
How can anybody with any sort of conscience support such policies?
From: Norma V Elliott, Church Street, South Cave, East Yorkshire.
WHILE not in any way condoning most of Nick Griffin's views, I consider that the Question Time programme was actually a travesty of what the programme is about.
I thought the audience were all of one voice, obviously pre-selected and of the same persuasion. I cannot imagine that the next programme
will have an audience all of one party.
This was not Question Time, just one question: totally unbalanced.
From: T Anson, Little Heck.
I WAS appalled at Question Time when a premeditated ambush and character assassination was presented against Mr Griffin of the BNP, with the chairman himself aiding and abetting a kangaroo court.
The BBC had said they had to include the BNP for democratic non-biased reasons.
I have no more trust in disgraced Westminster politicians than in Mr Griffin himself, but he was not given the chance to air his views on national issues, which was why we were tuned in. This was a new low in falling BBC standards.
Arrogance over hunting
From: William Snowden, Butterbowl Gardens, Farnley Ring Road, Leeds.
HOW extraordinary that when the country is facing such perilous times of national indebtedness, and is engaged in a seemingly intractable war in Afghanistan, the Conservative Party should express its clear intent, if elected to office, to introduce a "government Bill" (Yorkshire Post, October 19) to repeal the ban on hunting with hounds.
What a perverse priority. Whatever happened to the concept of compassionate Conservatism? Or perhaps it was never intended to encompass animal welfare. Truly, the Conservative Party remains deeply embedded in patronage and privilege.
It must be particularly vexing, however, for an organisation like the RSPCA, which campaigned so earnestly to ban such cruel practices.
The ban on hunting with hounds gained majority support in both town and country. But what does that count for among the
privileged classes? I'll tell you what: it counts for nought.
Having treated the law with contempt, they now seek arrogantly to repeal it. Unworthy!
From: Christine M Haigh, Barkisland, Halifax.
I READ the article about Arnold Ridley and the Dad's Army reference with nostalgia (Yorkshire Post, October 14).
I remember seeing Dad's Army at Leeds Grand – a long time ago but I cannot forget one episode in the programme, when Arnold Ridley, alone on
a huge stage, at well over 80, held the audience spellbound as he sang his piece, all emotion and warmth.
Thank you to his son for writing his story. He gave a lot of pleasure with his plays – many amateur dramatic societies have benefited from his dedication and industry.
Minutes of remembering
From: Derek Whiting, Riversdene, Stokesley, North Yorkshire.
ONCE again, Remembrance Day, November 11, is approaching and we will stand at cenotaphs and memorial crosses to remember those who gave their lives for our freedom.
Two short minutes to remember, but how did we come to do so and why?
The idea was thought up by a soldier serving in the British Army who later became a journalist working for the Argus newspaper in Melbourne. His name was Edward George Honey, 1885-1922.
When the First World War ended, there was dancing in the streets and he thought it was not appropriate so put forward the idea of five minutes silence for the fallen of the war.
The idea was taken up but reduced to two minutes, and the rest, as they say, is history.
A memorial stone can be seen near to the flame of remembrance in Melbourne.
From: David T Craggs, Sand-Le-Mere, Tunstall, East Yorkshire.
OVER previous months, I have read several articles about the crisis in the dairy farming industry, and I recently had a letter published in your columns on this very subject.
We have been told that dairy farms are closing down at an alarming rate and that, in order to safeguard our supply, we are having to import milk from other EU countries.
So it came as a complete surprise to me to find, on a recent visit to the Mediterranean island of Minorca, cartons of British milk on sale in the smallest of minimarkets, that had been packaged in Leeds, of all
The cost was the equivalent of 2.50 a litre, which both local people and holidaymakers were quite happy to pay.
If we paid them more, we might attract better MPs
From: Paul Rouse, Main Street, Sutton upon Derwent, York.
ONCE again, we are seeing an example of government mismanagement of our money.
When the Chancellor poured billions into the banking sector, why did he not insist on a change of bonus culture – and back that up with some legislation?
Why did he not ensure that, in future, high-risk investment banking activities are separated from everyday borrowing and lending?
Whether it be banking bail-outs, health expenditure or the reorganisation of education, this Government seems incapable of applying basic common sense to expenditure decisions.
In my opinion, we desperately need to attract a higher calibre of individual into politics, or we will continue to see our hard-earned tax money managed incompetently by people who have never managed anything in their lives, who do not have any relevant skills, and who do not seem interested in acquiring them.
For me, the issue highlighted by the MPs' expenses scandal is that we do not pay enough to make the job of MP attractive to our brightest people – those who can earn far more elsewhere, without the need to fiddle expenses. From what I have gathered, an independent pay review said as much some time ago, and recommended a substantial increase to MPs' salaries.
The Members did not think that could be justified politically, but, instead, allowed the expenses system to be used as remuneration by the back door.
If that is so, it is yet another example of political stupidity, and it is about time we set about improving the calibre of our elected representatives.
MPs missed vital debate
From: Robert Nelson, Queen's Road, Harrogate.
LAST Thursday at 5pm, I was watching a BBC programme, House of Commons Live, debating the conduct of the Border Agency, which I assume was to decide whether the correct policy is being used to control immigration into this country.
I would have thought this was quite an important issue for the future of this country. It took me quite some time to count the number of MPs attending this important debate. I reached an answer, which was four.
I presume the rest, a few hundred, are moaning about their expenses. I wonder what they are being paid for?
Don't target pensioners
From: D Wood, Thorntree Lane, Goole.
PAUL Nightingale (Yorkshire Post, October 10) is targeting the wrong people when he singles out the meagre benefits which are given to pensioners.
The single person's pension is only 95 and a few pence a week, for which most pensioners worked hard, paid National Insurance and income tax all their working lives and the many thrifty ones who managed to save a little are still paying income tax on their savings, as well as council tax, and fuel bills, because they have a little saved.
The people who should be targeted are the spongers who have never worked or contributed to society, yet expect to be kept by the taxpayers.
From: Christine Kelly, Whirlow Brook Park, Whirlow, South Yorkshire.
What is the matter with Pocklington people? My sister fell headlong outside a shop there last week and not one person stopped to help her up, even though there were several passers-by. Where are the supposedly Good Samaritans these days? I hope those who just walked past now have some sort of conscience.