Easy to play blame game on Rotherham

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From: J Senior, Skelmanthorpe.

THE politicians and the media have crucified the people in Rotherham whose alleged sins have been ones of omission rather than commission (The Yorkshire Post, September 30).

That was an easy task! I trust that they will pursue with equal or even greater fervour the far more difficult task of bringing those who committed the alleged offences to justice.

The scale of the problem revealed by the thorough investigation in Rotherham is indeed vast but I am sure that similar problems occur in other areas and it is possible that a few might be on a similar scale.

I was not surprised to hear that some rival politicians blame the situation in Rotherham on the socialist regime there. Whilst it is likely that in most areas where this kind of situation is rife the socialists are in charge, it is also likely that the social conditions which allow young girls to fall victims to evil men are ones that mean that the local hard-working community will vote Labour.

In addition to bringing the criminals involved to justice, we need to look at the causes that have allowed the situation to arise. I was not surprised to hear, on TV, a former care worker in a Sheffield care home for young people say that it was not possible to prevent a young girl from going into the city a night if she so wished and that any sanctions were usually ineffectual. She also said that many of the girls refused to give evidence against the men involved.

Over the past 40 years, the sanctions available to discipline young people in schools, care homes and in the wider community have been emasculated. Is it any wonder that officials turn a blind eye and a deaf ear when they realise that, despite their best efforts, they are unlikely to improve the outcome? Far better to concentrate their energy on situations where they can have a positive impact.

Farmers and hedgerows

From: Richard Coates, Castlegate, Kirkbymoorside.

I WRITE in response to Andrea Bradley’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, September 27). I am not a farmer but I do know a lot of farmers and landowners that are lovers of wildlife as much as anyone else and protect it as much as they can. They are not allowed, by law, to cut or trim their hedges between March 1 and July 31 (in some cases August 31) because of the fear of nesting birds or their eggs being destroyed.

Then hay/silage time is upon them followed by the harvesting of barley and wheat followed by the potato, sugar beet, carrot and various other root crop harvests. This means that the collecting of the harvest is not finished until mid-September so field cultivations cannot take place until after then and that work includes hedge cutting.

Another valid point is that farmers cannot afford to have their own equipment anymore and depend on contractors, who believe it or not, cannot be in two places at once and, consequently, some hedges appear to be left until late in the year.

It is true that farmers do receive financial incentives to leave strips of land uncultivated and replant hedges for wildlife but this again is not their doing, they are abiding by the law. I am lucky enough to walk many, many miles on and near the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales and I can honestly say that wildlife is flourishing, maybe not by the roadside, but certainly in the wilds of Yorkshire!

Another futile Western war

From: Robert Reynolds, West Bank, Batley.

HAVE you seen Schindler’s List and do you remember how you felt? The shock, the sickening feeling, the silent screaming in your head of “make it stop, make it stop!” That’s how I feel about the British Parliament (The Yorkshire Post, September 27).

Again we’re at war with an enemy we cannot beat. Every bomb will result in the recruitment of more Jihadists. This is the West’s mess, but the West can’t solve it.

Sadly, the only political leader who seems to understand, and wants the Arab nations to clean up this mess is Nigel Farage of Ukip. I’m not a fan, but soon we will have a chance of a spring clean. Bring on the General Election.

Airbrushed from history

From: M Dickinson, Waters Walk, Bradford.

MRS E Blagboro (The Yorkshire Post, September 27) makes an excellent point in asking where is the Northern representation at Richard III’s re-interment ceremonies in Leicester?

Firstly, attendance at what is seen by many as Richard’s temporary re-interment in Leicester is by invitation only.

Secondly, either through lack of historical knowledge or the deliberate ignoring of facts, acknowledgement of Richard’s childhood and married life in the North does not suit Leicester’s purpose of economic re-generation.

Proof of this is in the visitors’ centre, where the North is barely mentioned, where even the heartfelt reaction to Richard’s death in the York historical records is left unattributed.

This air-brushing of history continues no doubt to affect who in the North would receive an invitation.