High price of split when the oil runs out

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From: TW Coxon, West Auckland Road, Darlington.

maureen McGregor Hunt’s letter (Yorkshire Post, October 22) was a very sensible response to a very serious issue for the United Kingdom.

I, too, have many friends and relatives over the border and can only see nationalism as a method of stirring up ill will and resentment. This method of vote catching is divisive and will use vulnerable and impressionable young people’s nationalistic instincts to further political objectives and self-agrandisement by those wanting to be big fish in a little pool.

It is easy to blame Westminster for the woes of the United Kingdom, and no doubt there will be many who will fall for the rhetoric of Mr Salmond. One can only imagine the outcome of separation when the oil runs out and, like so many others in Europe, Scotland has to go cap in hand with a begging bowl to Brussels.

Europe seems to be dictating everything at the moment and will, no doubt, try to control the UK. This will be so much easier if there is separation and break-up. In my view, there is nothing altruistic about the idea of separation put forward by the SNP. Isn’t it about self-interest?

One wonders, if it should happen, who will run for president and should we prepare Holyrood for a new occupant? Maybe the next step will be a referendum on Yorkshire independence?

From: Matthew Shaw, Golcar, Huddersfield.

APPARENTLY there are four million people eligible to vote in the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence. This includes 400,000 English settlers but excludes the millions of Scots who live in other parts of the UK.

Alex Salmond should drop his tiresome anti-English preaching and start buttering up the Sassenach swing vote, who may well hold the key to his dreams of separation.

Tracks of city’s tears on trams

From: Tony Young, St James Vicarage, Vicarage Street, Shaw, Oldham.

YOUR report on potential delays to the Leeds Trolleybus project (Yorkshire Post, October 27) offers a golden opportunity to reassess this unfortunate project.

Leeds once had one of the best tramway systems in Britain and a proposal in 1945 to construct tram subways under the city centre would have put it on a par with any of today’s best European networks.

Instead, miles of reserved track on York Road, Selby Road, Roundhay, Belle Isle, Middleton and Lawnswood were thrown away in 1959.

Plans to re-introduce trams to Leeds were made in 1977 and again in 1987.

Powers were finally obtained to build a tramway in 1993 but another decade of indecision and procrastination, mainly by successive transport secretaries, culminated in Alistair Darling’s disastrous decision in 2004 to scrap the whole project.

We now have a more enlightened and sympathetic Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport and a new Secretary of State for Transport who may well take a different view to their predecessors.

Anybody who really understands public transport systems and their impact on the urban economy knows that tramways have a far greater positive contribution than trolleybuses. Elsewhere around Europe and beyond, there are dozens of new tramway systems making a dramatic improvement to their local economies; you can probably count the number of new trolleybus systems on the fingers of one hand.

If Manchester, Sheffield and Nottingham can justify new tramways, surely Leeds deserves the same. In 1928 Leeds abandoned its trolleybuses to concentrate on its tramway network. Isn’t it time that history was repeated?

Hole new way to woo visitors

From: John Wilson, Wilsons Solicitors, Horsforth, Leeds.

IT was not so long ago that the people behind the revitalisation of the Bradford Odeon threw in the towel. Now I read they are so desperate to be rid of it they will flog it for £1 (Yorkshire Post, October 27).

Life has often taught me that sometimes you have to turn a necessity into a virtue.

There surely cannot be another city of Bradford’s size in the world with such a hole?

There must be millions in tourist revenue in that.

We locals could make a living selling souvenirs.

Testing times under Ofsted

From: Gavin Kane, Leeds.

WHAT a wonderful idea to let Ofsted see if it can sink five times as many schools as at present. Does nobody in “power” in education realise a few basic facts?

There are a number of 
children who, whatever you 
do, will not be able to get the required GCSE A to C grades including English and mathematics.

If the exam is to be worth anything, about 30 per cent should achieve the “required” A to C grades.

Now think of something 
which is appropriate and worthwhile for the other 70 per cent to achieve.