Wednesday's Letters: Time to change old world order and put an end to poverty

AS the ConDems brush the old year off their shoes heralding 2011, what can we expect from them?

Will we see them condemn the bitter and twisted global political philosophy of greed from ultra capitalism? Of course not. Our political masters are too enamoured with this old world order.

Which is why they cut, tax and sack to the hilt. The corporation tax from private equity companies is an easy income at the expense of company closures and redundancies.

Some people have no problem with this and question what poverty means. Well, poverty is barely making ends meet, means-tested benefits and slivers of work. Poverty kills aspiration perpetuating inequality and stymies personal and economic growth. It is unhappiness personified.

Globally, more than 200 million are unemployed with billions barely in employment. This is ideological and rather nasty for those at the sharp end. Violent protest is increasing as people become desperate.

The ConDems have already borrowed 104bn, placing their 148.5bn target year end in peril. Is the deficit not reducing because of reductive policies in the economy?

Time to move away from the tired old order and eradicate poverty, improving the economy for all. Can politicians even contemplate that?

From: T Scaife, Manor Drive, York.

From: Tim Mickleburgh, Littlefield Lane, Grimsby.

AT the start of 2010, David Cameron felt his party would win an overall majority at the forthcoming General Election. But every time he or Osborne started to outline economic policies, the Tory lead dipped, as people weren't convinced that deep cuts were needed during the credit crunch.

As a result, the Conservatives only got 36 per cent of the vote last May, being forced to enter a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

Yet this very same coalition is now inflicting the kind of savage spending reductions which were frightening voters a year ago.

Not surprisingly, Cameron has a spring in his step, while many wished they'd not voted Liberal Democrat.

With local elections due in May, such people know there is only one realistic alternative if they are disappointed with the coalition's actions.

Voices of the establishment and inequality

From: Alan Freeman, Heather Gardens, Bramley, Leeds.

AS usual, your regular correspondent Malcolm Naylor sums things up very succinctly (Yorkshire Post, December 31). The extent to which large parts of this country's population have sleepwalked into the level of Establishment control that rules our lives is alarming.

Cameron, the latest in a long line of right wing arch-Establishment defenders, made the statement: "We're all in it together." This has to rank as at least as big a lie as any that Tony Blair was ever accused of although, as custodians of traditional Labour principles, New Labour were never my ideal cup of tea. The current collaborations of Clegg and Co is a more appalling abandonment of principle and they will have to accept the wipeout that will probably occur at the next electoral opportunity.

We are being taken for spineless mugs. A figure was set for financial cuts that most, not all, have to endure in order to rebalance the country's accounts. The country is still awash with money which, unfortunately, resides in the control of too few people for their own benefit and at the expense of the rest of us.

Ironic when we consider that it was greedy and irresponsible Establishment associates who assisted the effects of the global recession in Britain.

As for the Christmas speech by the incumbent monarch of any era – if there is to be nothing other than glossing over or ignoring issues crucial to most people then it serves no useful purpose and should be discontinued.

From: John Wilson, Wilsons Solicitors, New Road Side, Horsforth, Leeds.

YOUR correspondent, Mr Naylor, who is critical of the Queen's Christmas broadcast, might like to reflect that but for an accident of birth it could so easily have been him on the throne. Then he would have had to live his whole life keeping his opinions to himself, not even being able to respond to rude and ill-informed criticism from correspondents to the local paper.

Whatever may be one's views on the monarchy as an institution, our Queen is now well into her eighties and was not even born to it (having been shoved into her current path by the abdication crisis). Yet I would venture to suggest that not many would have pulled it off with the panache and dignity she has displayed throughout.

One day she will not be there any more and we will all be worse off as a result. I suspect only half of that statement applies to Mr Naylor.

Questions of life and death

From: Barrie Frost, Watson's Lane, Reighton, Filey, North Yorkshire.

RECENTLY released official reports appear to contradict each other and cause confusion. The latest announcement says that around one in five people living today will live to be 100, and by 2066 about 500,000 people will reach this age, with around 8,000 being over 110 years old. This means such people will be living for over a third of their lives in retirement and the amount of money required to fund their pensions will be a problem of nightmare proportions.

However, only a few months ago, almost opposite predictions were made. It was said that due to obesity, lack of exercise and modern living conditions too many of today's children would not survive their parents. If such an unfortunate occurrence happened it would relieve and not exacerbate the demands on pension provisions.

Which report do we accept as correct? Are we living longer or dying earlier?

EU eyes local authorities

From: Douglas Hartley, Irving Terrace, Clayton, Bradford.

BECAUSE of "missing waste and carbon footprint targets," the EU is to impose on our Government environmental fines. Under the Localism Bill, the Government could force local authorities to contribute to these fines, causing an increase in council tax (Yorkshire Post, December 20).

A Bradford councillor and leader of the Tory group pointed out that there are already certain fines that the EU can levy directly against councils. Because of Gordon Brown's signing of the Lisbon Treaty, that document "can potentially be used as a vehicle to increase the EU's revenue by taking money for fines from council tax," she said.

The Council of the Regions is an unelected body in Brussels to whom the regional assemblies answer, rather than to Westminster. The EU aims at total central control of the running of member countries. How long will it be before local authorities are answerable to a similar European body, rather than to our elected Parliament?

At present, direct taxation does not fall within the purview of the EU, but are we seeing the usual stealthy steps toward this end? The Lisbon Treaty is "self-amending." The unelected European Commission can amend it without referring to any elected Parliament.

From: Eric Richards, Pinfold Close, Riccall, York.

THE European Union is planning to extend its heavily selective EuroNews into something resembling a sort of BBC, with news negative to the EU already edited out.

This blatant propaganda machine will not only use our own money to brainwash us but it appears that it will be done under the dishonest guise of "improving the daily lives of EU citizens."

This is just one more scandalous misuse of funds by Brussels.

Fuelling outrage

From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley.

WE now have record fuel prices, all down to the Tory "nasty party" and the Lib-Dems, with whom they are in cahoots. Where are the demonstrating hauliers and farmers? They cannot blame the Labour Party for re-introducing the fuel tax, which will generate a stealth figure of 0.76p per litre giving "Squeaky" George Osborne a nice little earner of 500m on top of a further hike from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent VAT on fuel at a stroke.

Student fee rises from 3,000 under Labour up to 9,000 by the Con Dems, overseas aid up from 9bn to 13bn, 7bn handed over to the Republic of Ireland and billions still being handed over to the EU annually. No money? We seem to have loads of it, that is for anyone but the British electorate who are told by this "nasty" lot that they will just have to accept losing their jobs and their families will just have to grin and bear it, just like they did in the 1980s and early 1990s. As I have always said, a leopard never changes its spots.

Olympic 'revelation' shows power of democracy

From: Katharine Sinderson, Clee Crescent, Grimsby, Lincolnshire.

I'M not sure what is particularly new about the so-called revelations about the Thatcher government not wanting the British Olympic team to compete in the Moscow Olympics (Yorkshire Post, December 29).

We knew at the time they did not want a British team to take part and put pressure on athletes to support a boycott.

Thankfully, athletes and the British Olympic Association were able to think for themselves and though some sports, the equestrian and fencing teams for instance, decided not to take part, the BOA defied the government line, something their US counterparts didn't allow their own athletes unfortunately, and took part in the Moscow Games.

What better demonstration of the diffference between a democracy and a totalitarian state than to be able to defy one's government, one would have thought? It didn't stop two of the British team, Sebastian Coe and Colin Moynihan, subsequently becoming Conservative MPs just a few years later.

Incidentally, it was interesting to read the interviews with captains of the British hockey and handball teams (Yorkshire Post, December 20). When other team sports take so much prominence, it is refreshing to learn more about those who are every bit as dedicated when playing in the national colours. One wishes them and their teams well.

Dinner time: To each their taste

From: Keith Jowett, Silkstone Common, Barnsley.

I WAS amused by Eric Houlder's letter (Yorkshire Post, December 30) which advocated the use of the word "dinner" for a meal eaten around midday, rather than in the evening.

Like him, as a youth and eventually as a teacher, I was brought up on school dinners, eaten at noon. I presume this nomenclature was used throughout the country not just in Yorkshire. However, our names for meals and the times for eating them cause considerable confusion, especially to foreign friends.

Our French friends have their dner in the evening and are puzzled by our use of the term "tea time". On the other hand, our German friends seem to have the matter well under control by the use of "Mittagessen" for midday meal and "Abendessen" for the evening meal. I suppose it's a case for "chaque un son got".

Memories are now a dream

From: Jack M Mears, Low Wath Road, Pateley Bridge.

Passing through the suburbs of my birth and working life in Bradford on Christmas Day, I was appalled, upset and saddened at the vast number of shops and businesses trading, even two gents' barber shops.

After 60 years, three generations of integrating and acknowledging our country's way of life is just not showing.

The very proud memories of the city I loved, was brought up in, and had a working life in, now feel as if they have been a dream.

Mystery on the buses

From: Dr Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

PREDICTIONS for businesses in Leeds are dire. Sales are on with huge price reductions.

Can anyone tell me why there was a Sunday bus service on "holiday" Monday and Tuesday, Saturday bus service on Thursday, December 30, and why services on New Year's Eve ended at 8pm on the buses and 10pm on the trains?

Car parking charges are astronomical in Leeds and mean one person has to agree not to drink alcohol. Taxis will charge what they like.