Farmers may have a beef with Sir Ken

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From: DH Sutcliffe, Blackburn Road, Rishton, Blackburn.

WITH reference to Sir Ken Morrison’s tirade at the Morrisons AGM and the agricultural reference (The Yorkshire Post, June 6), may I remind him that any beef farmer with 1,000 cattle is in just the same disastrous situation.

Prosperous Yorkshire farmers on large arable farms or, like Sir Ken, with other business interests, have enjoyed going north each autumn to auctions to fill their beef yards with store cattle and their back pockets with luck money.

However, this year cattle bought with an anticipated sale price of 390p per kilo deadweight has seen the price drop to 340p. This is a shortfall of £200 on a 400kg carcass or £200,000 on Sir Ken’s cattle. Some meat processors no longer want entire bull beef on Holstein. These are having to be sold in the live auction, further reducing prices. There are many reasons for the fall in the beef price. One is the competition between Morrisons and other supermarkets.

When this happens, the person to suffer most is the primary producer – the beef farmer. When the primary producer gets fed up of losing money and stops producing, then things will be really serious.

Reliance beats rivals

From: Dale Edwards, Bootham, York.

PAUL Kirby (The Yorkshire Post, May 23) criticises Reliance buses of York in a number of different ways. However, in their defence, I’ve found them to be one of the best bus companies in the region over the past decade.

Their buses are modern, easily accessible and incredibly reliable. Their drivers are always attentive, friendly and helpful and their timetables are concise and easy to understand.

Compared to First York whose enquiry staff (now based in Bradford) have given me completely inaccurate information, there is no competition. Arriva buses have also offered terrible customer service. Last summer their coastal operations were shocking and two consecutive services from Whitby to Scarborough failed to arrive. As a result, I had to get a taxi to work which cost £30. My complaint was handled by staff in Luton who failed to deal with my complaint properly.

Give me a small bus company like Reliance any day.

The articulate Mr Barton

From: Ray Dunn, St Davids Road, Otley.

MY first reaction at hearing that Joey Barton was to be on Question Time was very negative. This was based solely on his football misdemeanours. How wrong I was. Mr Barton performed admirably. He was articulate and his arguments were sound.

Concerning his gaffe; this would have gone unnoticed not that many years ago. When his error was pointed out to him, he was quick to offer an unreserved apology. His explanation and revised analogy. “What I was trying to get at was that if the voting public are given a choice of four unappealing possibilities there is no great victory by being the least unappealing”. That is precisely what the vast majority of those listening understood him to mean.

As regards David Dimbleby, I just wonder why he is retained. He is way beyond retirement age and he could be replaced by any number of people. Perhaps there should have been members of Greens or Lib Dems on the programme, but hearing the views of others like Piers Morgan and Joey Barton was revealing.

Of course Mr Barton should be asked to appear again. He did not use any bad language or “industrial language” which is more than can be said for Janet Street Porter and other so-called articulate journalists. Yes, Joey Barton has gone up in my estimation. My only hope is that Leeds United never invite him to play for them!

Conundrum for Murray

From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

MAKE no mistake; Andy Murray is a great, great tennis player. Don’t be fooled by the mauling he got from Rafael Nadal in Paris last week: he still managed one more game than Roger Federer could muster against the Spaniard in the 2008 French Open final.

I make the point lest Murray’s stature as a Scottish icon be diminished by this setback now that attempts have been made to draw him into the debate on Scottish independence (“Murray undecided on future loyalties” The Yorkshire Post June 9). Scottish Nationalists will be dismayed that he “didn’t like” the way Alex Salmond used his Wimbledon triumph to make a political point (the First Minister unfurled a Scottish flag in the Royal Box).

Murray answered the ticklish question of whether he would represent Scotland or Great Britain in the Davis Cup with typical candour: he really didn’t know. This will also upset Scottish Nationalists. The man from Dunblane has been a loyal servant to British tennis without betraying his Scottish roots. He has earned huge respect on both sides of the border. His array of close English friends is living proof that the bond between the Scots and the English is much stronger than Nationalists are prepared to admit. Yet it would be unthinkable – especially for Scots – that Murray should turn out for GB in the Davis Cup against Scotland.