Zimbabwe's tragedy shows failure of the West

From: Phil Hanson, Beechmount Close, Baildon, Shipley.

THE tragedy of Zimbabwe is not simply that the rest of the world stood by hand wringing, but that such liberated souls as the South Africa and others remained supportive of Robert Mugabe.

It has not taken long for Ian Smith to be seen as the best politician Zimbabwe ever had.

While the bleeding heart liberals of the West are forever begging us to donate money to feed the world, Ian Smith and a minority of white farmers fed and helped the Africans feed themselves.

From: David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Acomb, York.

VARIOUS people and organisations are keen to celebrate the 90th birthday of Nelson Mandela, but I am against that wish.

His complete silence on the events taking place in Zimbabwe is disgraceful. South Africa could and should have done so much more years ago to curb President Robert Mugabe, but they did not because it would have upset other African nations who see the whole affair as "black versus white".

If Mandela is the great man so many think he is, he would have spoken out against the murder, torture, rape, arson, coercion, blackmail, thuggery and dictatorial policies of Mugabe and his "war veterans", but instead he has remained silent. Hence, there is not much to celebrate.

From Terry Duncan,

Greame Road,


COME on Gordon Brown, show us what you are made of, and send in our special SAS squad and bump off that African dictator Robert Mugabe covertly.

It would just be an overnight job.

From: JG Riseley,

Harcourt Drive,


ROBERT Mugabe will be able to count himself extremely fortunate if, as warned, he ends his rule being "hauled before the International Criminal Court in the Hague" and staying in a comfy Dutch prison. Such a fate was deemed far too good for the late President of Iraq and his family.

Shooting on moor is a danger to wildlife

From: Eve Learmont-Thom, Wensleydale Way, Riddleden, Bradford.

I HEARD that Bradford Council is going to allow shooting again on Ilkley Moor. I strongly disagree with this.

There is, I believe, a strong case for the protection of wildlife involved, other than game birds.

I spend a lot of time walking up on the moor. I take great care not to allow myself or my dogs to disturb any of the natural flora and fauna. I do not believe the people who shoot have the same respect for the natural environment. They only seek to exploit it for themselves. I think it is disgusting that some people have nothing better to do with their time and money, other than spend it killing animals without any regard for people who wish to enjoy the peace and quiet that Ilkley Moor affords.

I am also concerned for the wildlife that will become persecuted as a result of the shooting. There are birds of prey and many predatory mammals who will suffer as a result of management of the land for shooting. These animals will not be tolerated for those seeking to protect the game birds. No matter how enlightened the hunters claim to be, if the game birds and the revenue is threatened by natural predators, then the hunters will react by controlling the natural predators and thus upsetting the natural balance.

Ilkley Moor was gifted to the public in 1893

for the public pleasure, therefore Bradford Council has no right to treat Ilkley Moor as if it belonged to it.

The people have spoken, but is anyone listening?

From: Dr Glyn Powell, Bakersfield Drive, Kellington, North Yorkshire.

GREAT news on two political fronts in recent days. Firstly, the Irish people reject the EU's Lisbon Treaty.

However, the middle and upper class fools who purport to govern us from both Parliament and Whitehall may choose to ignore the Irish people's decision, as it would derail the EU gravy train for some of them. We should, therefore, urge these clowns to listen to the people and hold a referendum on EU membership, so that mass immigration of cheap labour from Eastern Europe can be halted when EU withdrawal is achieved.

Secondly, local politicians from both Selby District and the Leeds City Region rejected the Government's eco-town siting in Selby. However, although the councils within the Leeds City Region can build homes more cheaply and quickly than any so-called eco-town, build for profit developer, it is still possible that a site will be foisted on the people, even though any site would be unsustainable on economic, environmental and ecological grounds. The Government should listen to the people and the largely more accountable and knowledgeable local politicians and simply give our money to local councils to build houses to meet real housing needs in existing urban areas, rather than go-ahead with crazy pie-in-the-sky schemes that are more costly, and destroy communities and the environments they are sited within.

Finally, will our so-called representative, John Grogan MP urge GMI to withdraw their Willow Green bid in light of the decisions made by elected councillors, with the interests of their electorate in mind? I doubt it, as he is still hooked on the misguided eco concept that underpins the whole eco-town folly.We need not be afraid of wind farms

From: Mark Gregory, Leeds Road, Rothwell, Leeds

I THINK the proposed wind farm at Hook Moor east of Leeds is a great idea.

In our climate change "oil and gas running out" world, we need as much renewable technology as we can get, and as soon as possible, if we are to address issues like rising sea-levels and species mass extinction and energy security.

Sadly, we're also getting some NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard) on this issue.

Each of those large two-megawatt turbines can supply over a thousand homes with electricity. The Hook Moor turbines might even be three megawats, even better.

The carbon dioxide emitted during construction and installation is "reclaimed" in the first six months of the wind farms operation, on average. It can be as little as a few weeks.

The same is true for the amount of energy that goes

into making and installing them. This amount of

energy is produced in the first six months of operation, on average.

Wind power can easily provide 20 per cent of UK electricity before its variability becomes an issue. Wind turbines are a minor threat to birds.

Polls consistently show that about 80 per cent of the UK population support wind power.

There is no evidence that wind farms have a long-term detrimental effect on house prices.

It seems to me that various NIMBY groups whip up a lot of fear and it could easily be this that actually affects house prices.

I can sympathise with them, though. They are simply worried about what they don't know or understand. Their concerns need to be addressed, but rationally please.

Expensive journey

From: John Page Pickering, Blackwood Mount, Cookridge, Leeds.

I NOW know why people are reluctant to take the train.

On Sunday, my wife and I decided to do our bit for the environment and go for a walk using the train rather than taking the car.

We intended to travel from Horsforth to Weeton (one stop, seven minutes travel time) then walk back home via Pool and Otley Chevin.

At the ticket office, I had to ask several times for confirmation of the fare as I couldn't believe the price being quoted.

Even with one third off using our Senior Railcard, we were still asked for 2.80 – without that it would have been a scarcely credible 4.20.

The response by the ticket clerk to my expressions of disbelief was "Well, its because its not in West Yorkshire" and the predictable "I don't set the fares" – true, of course, but not particularly helpful.

I declined the offer to part with 5.60 of our hard-earned pension and we walked from home instead.

But 2.80 (or worse 4.20) for a one stop journey of seven minutes! What a rip-off. Is this the most expensive short journey on the network?

Lessons of the past

From: K Playford, Ennerdale Close, Wetherby.

THIS Government has now been in power for 11 years and has been taking credit for inheriting a strong economy without ever acknowledging the fact. Indeed, Gordon Brown built his, now destroyed, reputation on it.

However, having experienced the "boom" times, we are now in the "bust" era for which this Government appears not to be responsible and their excuses are becoming irritating. The latest, now we have rising inflation, is that it is not as bad as the 1970s.

What a pathetic excuse from a Chancellor, namely Alistair Darling, who does not know how bad high inflation will eventually be and probably has very little personal knowledge of conditions in the 1970s.

As one who did, inflation was high, and while we experienced problems mainly due to militant trade unions causing widespread disruption, we were not as a society up to our ears in debt as a result of cheap money encouraged by Government policy. Consequently we did not fear the repossession of our homes. We did not already have unaffordable fuel and energy, prices having risen by 20 per cent in a year and still rising.

We did not have worldwide commodity and food shortages fuelling inflation and prices rising greater than any official inflation rate.

The published rate of inflation reflected the true position and was not a figure concocted for the benefit of the Government by using irrelevant items of expenditure.

Without doubt some families suffered, but generally people seemed in a far better position to manage inflation with many receiving wage increases to compensate.

This administration should concentrate on its many present failings in managing the economy and not try to justify their mistakes by comparing with a very different past era of which they seem to know very little.

An open question

From: K Martin, West Bank Road, Skipton.

I REFER to the letter headed "Missing link", from a

resident in Gargrave (Yorkshire Post, June 16), suggesting that Brewery Lane in Skipton be

re-opened for at least three months, after which an application for a further closure could be considered.

I'm afraid I don't see how Brewery Lane could be re-opened while work is taking place adjacent to it – indeed, there is currently scaffolding blocking it.

I think it can now be appreciated that the work on

a listed building abutting

such a narrow lane could not

be done with a modicum of safety with traffic still using

the lane.

Brewery Lane could be described as little more

than a Victorian alleyway. Should we really be relying

on such a "road" to mitigate against the inexorable

growth of traffic in this


Improving water profits

From: Alan Gilbert,


I REFER to your lead article (Yorkshire Post, June 23) about water bills rising to pay for infrastructure improvements that will protect sewage plants during future flooding incidents.

Should Ofwat allow bills to rise to cover this expense, then the expenditure should be closely monitored.

The last time such an increase to "improve infrastructure" was agreed, the end results seemed to be a corresponding increase in profits to Kelda, Yorkshire Water's parent company – I believe the increase was about 7.9 per cent.

While the improvements to infrastructure are clearly needed, the rise in bills should not lead to increased profits for shareholders!

European gravy train

From: Alan Biggin, Wade House Road, Shelf.

WITH reference to the article written by Richard Corbett MEP (Yorkshire Post, June 20), I find it wholly appropriate that he uses the analogy of a group of people going out to dinner.

Fine wining and dining is what the European Union political classes feel most at home with.

No doubt they struggle to associate life with anything other than the "gravy train" that they frantically cling to.

To continue the epicurean allusion, hopefully the whole shower of them will deservedly meet their end in a vat of mulligatawny.

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