From: Paul Kilroy, Spennithorne Avenue, Leeds.
THE BBC’s scant treatment of the Tour de France in its Sports Personality of the Year and its patronising of Yorkshire, reflects its role as a government agent and a servant of populism and political correctness.
Notice it never refers to “rainy Manchester” or even Lancashire. Nor to Glasgow gangs, or its tribal sectarianism. Nor to the Scottish climate. Any bad weather forecast is softened by reference to “northern areas” or “the north of the country” thereby including northern England, by a general downward movement of the presenter’s arm.
Edinburgh and Glasgow always figure together in the forecast. Yet Leeds and Manchester never share double-billing, despite being the same distance apart and having slightly different climates.
The indulgent publicity and money afforded the Scottish twosome is egregious, only comparable to London. The only cuts made in Glasgow are in Sauchiehall Street on a Saturday night.
In case we’re disposed to dismiss this as fancies or inconsequential, remember this reflects Westminster’s thinking from which policies arise and funding flows.
We have an opportunity before year’s election of securing guarantees for Leeds about devolved budgets, HS2 and pound-for-pound parity with other cities.
If not, we might have another wasting of the North by William the Conqueror’s descendents in Westminster.
No justice in modern world
From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.
IN 1950, we rarely heard the word “murder”. There were fewer burglaries and less shoplifting. One asks why?
The answer is very simple. There is no real penalty for these crimes and no real justice for the victims.
It starts at a very early age. Children are not disciplined either at home or at school because the mums and dads think it amusing when a child is precocious and in fact often encourage bad behaviour.
Children must not be slapped or even tapped to correct them. Teachers have no power to stop a child disrupting a class.
Later in life, as teenagers, they are allowed to roam the streets at all hours and if anyone tries to reprimand them they are met with a torrent of abuse and foul language, picked up from their parents or the television.
Even later, the courts fail to impose a deterrent sentence in the name of humanity.
Prisons are a home from home with all the mod cons that many pensioners don’t enjoy.
Finally there are fewer and fewer police to catch the offenders and even when caught the Crown Prosecution Service act as judge and jury and let them off in the name of evidential failure.
What ever happened to the “let the court decide” of yesterday?
All parties fail our children
From: Dr RF Heys, Bar Lane, Sowerby Bridge.
THE statement in your leading article, “The relevance of Blair’s words” (The Yorkshire Post, December 11) that “even now too many young people are leaving school with inadequate qualifications”, constitutes a damning indictment of previous governments, Labour and Tory, who have failed to address this problem adequately.
It is a criticism also largely applicable to the present coalition, although some credit is due for its success in improving the performance of primary schools.
I fully support your call for the prioritisation of funding to remedy this situation (which poses a threat to the future prosperity of the UK), even if painful tax increases are entailed.
Sir Bernard’s welcome blast
From: ME Wright, Harrogate.
WELCOME back, Sir Bernard Ingham (The Yorkshire Post, December 17) and accompanied by Bandeira’s wonderful cartoon. Though broadly in tune with what Sir Bernard has to say on the subject of slack-mouthed, scrolling, texting, yapping hordes, I can’t agree that they represent “the entire nation” as he claims.
Many of us are delighted to note that the planet is managing to turn, without our being constantly and instantly available to it, making us less likely to be run over, or perhaps throttled by some justifiably angered fellow passenger – electronic survival of the mentally and socially fittest perhaps?
Let them eat words!
From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby.
I’M sorry to rain on Dr Powell’s parade (The Yorkshire Post, December 17) but Marie-Antoinette (1755-93) did not say “Let them eat cake”.
It was a remark in general circulation – and referred to as such by Rousseau in 1740 – long before she was born, let alone became Queen. Its origins may derive from an alleged remark by Louis X1V’s wife Marie Theresa (1638-83) who is supposed to have said “Que ne mangent-ils de la croute de pate?” which translates, roughly, as “why do they not eat pastry?”
Pastry was probably easier and cheaper than bread. She probably meant well. What is certain is that it did not cause the French Revolution!