Divine right to disagree on constitution

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From: William Dixon Smith, Welland Rise, Acomb, York.

I CAN assure William Snowden (The Yorkshire Post, July 21) that I am modest enough to defer to Walter Bagehot’s claim as a constitutional authority. I simply challenge his speculations as propagandist.

It is surely surprising that anyone should consider my reference to Norman pragmatism unsustainable or think it perverse that I should begin my review with the Normans rather than the pre-Conquest kings. After all, we are talking about divine right, not succession.

If the doctrine of divine right ever influenced British political thinking at all, it was in a negative sense: the theories of James I were dottily at variance with those of the greatest thinkers of the age.

No less surprising is William Snowden’s dismissal of the Interregnum as lacking in “revolutionary fervour”. John Lilburne not fervent? Oh my! And can it be seriously argued that the king’s execution was just a blip in ongoing business of kingship? Our constitutional monarchy stems from that time precisely. Turtles evolve; constitutional monarchs adapt.

Not everyone would agree that Prince Charles’ behaviour has been exemplary, but that is not the point. Since he is acknowledged as our future king he would be advised to avoid those situations and pronouncements which would be unacceptable in a constitutional monarch. All he need do is follow the example of his mother.

From: Stuart Exelby, Carr View Avenue, Balby, Doncaster.

I HAVE been interested in the media reports where Labour will give more autonomy to local councils, moving swathes of legislation from the Westminster hub, if it wins the next election.

If this is the case, then residents in Doncaster need to start to worry. Do people honestly think that we have the pedigree of councillors sitting in the council chamber to take more responsibility to spend money and plan the future of the town wisely? I think not.

Doncaster is similar to other towns and cities, as and when you are elected do nothing (as many do) then you can sit back for four years and taken the remuneration as it comes.

Just turn up for a meeting every five to six months with no worries of ever being fired.

Is this the time to take stock on what is being stated? I think so.

of peace

From: Beryl Lee, Leeds Welsh Society.

AS we all watch in horror the scenes of the destroyed Malaysian aircraft, I cannot help but remember that only last week at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, North Wales, a special announcement was made.

The compere told us that the Russian dancers and singers and the Ukrainian dancers and singers were going to give a special extra performance together on one of the open air stages.

Everyone was invited to watch and witness this miracle of peace.

Of course the whole point of this week-long festival in this little Welsh town is to get people from all over the world to dance and sing together.

It was started just after the Second World War and is still held every year and is a wonderful event to visit. A working example of those quietly promoting world peace through music and dance.

From: Nigel Boddy, Fife Road, Darlington.

I DID not even know the new Foreign Secretary’s name until he was appointed. Does David Cameron intend to be his own Foreign Secretary?

Philip Hammond’s performance on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday morning was very disconcerting. He had to refer to the German Foreign Minister as “my German counterpart”.

This put me in mind of John Redwood’s attempt to sing Men of Harlech.

In the midst of the international horror stories of the Middle East and now Ukraine, is David Cameron seriously going to send Philip Hammond to speak for Britain?

Heatwave is health risk

From: Tim Mickleburgh, Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.

OFFICIAL advice as to what to do in hot weather was sadly ridiculed by an MP as being part of the “nanny state”.

He then went on to say that people should enjoy the sun, preferably with a pint of beer in hand.

But not everyone has the spare time that our laziest Parliamentarians have, 
or the money to splash 
on drink.

Indeed, it is argued that alcohol isn’t the best thing 
to imbibe when the temperature is in the 80s and beyond.

Whatever, the fact is that 
more vulnerable people die 
in a heatwave than in a cold snap. And whereas you can turn up the heat and wear more clothing to keep warm, it is harder to mitigate against boiling hot weather, especially when windows have to be closed on safety grounds.

So I think it is important to learn about the negative 
affects of high temperatures, which aren’t necessarily a good thing, especially if you’re compelled to travel or work during the warmest part of 
the day.