Britain has no choice over EU bailout

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From: Dr S Moxon, Water End, Clifton, York.

THE Leader of City of York Council’s Labour Opposition Group asks why the coalition Government think it right to bail out Portugal (Yorkshire Post, March 29).

Perhaps some of his colleagues could explain to him the reason why the Government has no alternative. Should Portugal have to accept an EU-IMF loan, Britain will be forced into “contingent liabilities” of between £3.5bn and as much as £6bn in contributions to a euro bail out of that country.

Conservative MPs predict growing anger if taxpayers are saddled with debts amounting to £300 for the average British family under the £50bn EU “financial stability mechanism” agreed by Alistair Darling, the outgoing Chancellor, in the dying hours of the Labour Government last May.

From: G Ellison, Hawthorne Avenue, Dronfield.

MAXWELL Laurie (Yorkshire Post, May 31) claims the TUC should foot the bill for the damage caused at the recent rally in London on March 26. If that’s the case then the road hauliers and farmers who caused industry a loss of £1bn by fuel blockades, and praised by William Hague as “fine upstanding gentlemen” a decade ago, should reimburse losses caused by these actions. Where are they now as fuel becomes much costlier?

From: Alan Chapman, Beck Lane, Bingley, West Yorkshire.

THE Leader of the Labour Opposition, Ed Miliband, the public sector trade unions’ puppet, made an infamous misguided speech to the TUC protesters in Hyde Park (Yorkshire Post, March 28).

Among numerous blunders, he stated that front line services in local government particularly libraries should not be cut.

This is correct; instead reductions in the number of wasteful bureaucrats should be implemented. However throughout the UK, Labour-run councils are in general retaining backroom staff because these better-paid jobs are held by left wing academics, who have usually arrived direct from full-time education, bereft of any real outside-world experience.

They are protecting their own supporters at the expense and inconvenience of the public, who pay the rate and tax bills.

Good sense on the buses

From: Jeff Thomas, Strait Lane, Huby, Leeds.

NOTICE to “axe” local bus services because of cuts in funding by North Yorkshire County Council is now well underway. The Harrogate-Leeds/Bradford Airport (LBA) 767 bus service will be withdrawn in the middle of this month.

However, some good news has recently been revealed for the Harrogate area. A new contract has recently been let by “LBA” and West Yorkshire Metro to extend the existing 747 bus service (Bradford/LBA) to Harrogate starting on May 1.

This service will run hourly seven days a week. Surprisingly, both Harrogate councillors and North Yorkshire councillors have been quiet about this new venture. Let’s hope that it is a success.

Also on the bus front, more new services are planned to start on April 18 from Harrogate to Wetherby and York, which are timed to connect with existing services from Otley and Ilkley to Harrogate.

At long last we appear to have some common sense and joined up thinking!

As far as the Harrogate area goes, this is a prime example of what should be happening, especially as this areas is now part of the new Leeds city region.

Police cry wolf over cuts

From: Bob Hallam, Maister Place, Oakworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire.

YOUR front page report (Yorkshire Post, April 2) was another example of the police crying wolf, we need more money, we cannot fight crime without more money, while every other section of society is having to face cuts because the last Labour government left the cupboard bare.

Chief Constable Med Hughes is well schooled it seems in Machiavellian rhetoric in that he uses fear as a weapon to force more cash out of the Government by making statements which are nonsense.

For example: unemployment, poverty or lack of social housing do not raise crime. Poor people obey the law too and try, often in difficult circumstance to lift themselves to a higher level but not by criminal acts. If he is saying that people who feel alienation, in a growing abstract society turn to crime, he may have a point but this is more about the state of our democracy than poverty.

Fighting crime is not related to officers on the beat, it’s about the use of resources and deployment of those resources.

Election spending

From: Shahid Malik, former Dewsbury MP.

I REFER to your election spending article (Yorkshire Post, April 2) which states that I spent £8,000 more than Simon Reevell in Dewsbury.

This is untrue. Mr Reevell will have spent up to 10 times more than I did because your figures have not included the real costs. The Dewsbury constituency was littered with Tory billboards while Labour did not have a single billboard in Dewsbury.

In addition, the Conservatives sent at least half a dozen direct mail shots to voters –- each one costs several thousand pounds. Hence, the true picture is that the Tory spend in Dewsbury will have been more than the amount spent by Labour .

Editor’s note: The figures quoted were from official Electoral Commission figures. The front page story and the small box inside make clear that these figures do not include expenditure by parties as part of their national campaign (such as billboards). This information is not broken down by constituency and cannot, therefore, be quantified per constituency.

Clarke puts justice at risk

From: Roger M Dobson, Ash Street, Crosshills.

WHEN is our Prime Minister going to realise that the appointment of Kenneth Clarke as Minister for Justice was his biggest mistake since being elected last year?

If Mr Clarke’s do-gooder ideas are followed for much longer, then our whole justice system will collapse. Punishment for crime will become a laugh a minute and criminals will be queuing up to admit their crimes in the knowledge that prison sentences will not be imposed.