YP Letters: Help us rail against the fate of steel

From: Bob Lax, Barnsley Road, Thorpe Hesley, Rotherham.

ONLY a few weeks after the closure of the Redcar steelworks, and the loss of thousands of jobs in the steel works at Port Talbot, Scunthorpe, Rotherham and Sheffield, Chancellor George Osborne has specifically asked China to tender for the supply of steel for the forthcoming HS2 (High Speed Rail project).

This project will need literally millions of tonnes of steel over a period of time, with a multi-million pound (if not multi-billion pound) value. Keeping the production of this steel in the UK would present a golden opportunity to revive our steel industry.

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I am not a “political animal”, and like thousands of people, I am disillusioned with most of the politicians, but I am strongly in favour of fairness. I have never worked in the steel industry, but feel very strongly about the decline in UK industry and the misery it causes to the employees who lose their jobs.

The message Mr Osborne has sent to the UK steel industry, by requesting China to tender, is that the process will not be on a level playing field. It seems to me that he is obsessed with balancing the books as fast as possible (I agree that he should balance the books, but slower) and has no thought for the consequences to UK industry and its workforce. We may not be able to match China’s steel prices, but keeping people in work and not having to pay benefits, should help bridge that gap.

I have therefore started a petition on the Government website, which reads: “All steel used in the HS2 project should be made in UK steel plants”. I need 100,000 signatures to force a debate in the House of Commons. I would like to think that this will help keep the steel production and as such the jobs, in the UK.

Please help – we really do need to highlight Mr Osborne’s indifference to both UK industry and UK jobs – it really is scandalous.

rare talent

From: Adrian F Sunman, South Collingham, Newark.

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IN response to Councillor Tim Mickleburgh (The Yorkshire Post, February 2), Sir Terry Wogan had the nation’s respect in life and he deserves it in death.

His charitable efforts to one side, he was a remarkable entertainer who knew how to make people laugh without resorting to smut or engaging in stupidity.

Such people are rare, especially nowadays, and they deserve to be treated as the national treasures that they are.

I, for one, feel that the world will be a poorer place without Sir Terry.

From: Gordon Hird, Kellington Lane, Eggborough, Goole.

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I REFER to the exceptionally mean-spirited letter from Coun Tim Mickleburgh bemoaning the coverage given to the death of media celebrities, especially Sir Terry Wogan.

Somehow, he can understand major coverage given to David Bowie but not that given to someone who was “simply a broadcaster who left a lot to be desired”. True, David Bowie was an extremely popular singer and song writer and widely recognised by many who appreciated his type of music and his type of behaviour. It is, after all, easy to shock and upset. However, Sir Terry was held with great respect and in great affection by millions of radio listeners of all ages in this country – eight million of them, five days a week, for more than 20 years. People felt he was their friend and he lightened the day for so many of them.

Tim makes only a passing mention of the “charitable side” to Sir Terry. Some side – it was a charitable fund raising marathon which still endures and has raised more than £700m to help children in this and many other countries.

It seems to me that Tim likes to make us aware of how he feels on most subjects from sport to politics and much more, but I, for one, would prefer it if he gave us a rest for a while.

From: Ruthven Urquhart, High Hunsley, Cottingham.

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AS is the case with many of the best people, I really believed Sir Terry Wogan was never really “invisible” but utterly “immortal”. How incorrect was my belief.

He was a truly lovely man whom I met in the 1980s when contesting (and winning) an episode of Blankety Blank. On that occasion I offered my services to act as his racing adviser (for his Radio 2 slot “Wogan’s Winner”) as he regularly failed so often to forecast the winner of each race that he suggested was unbeatable. Sadly, he declined my offer.

How cruel that he has passed away at such a relatively young age.

Mercenaries of sport

From: D Webb, Rothwell.

TOM Richmond (The Yorkshire Post, January 30) makes reference to “plastic Brits”. Britain has relied on sporting mercenaries for some time 

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The England cricket team on some occasions looked like the South African B team. Athletics is another case in point.

It’s not just a British thing. The German football team has been represented by at least two very good Polish players over recent years.

Personally I would rather see British-born sportspersons do their best and lose than see a British mercenary win.

When the “true Brit” does win, you feel true pride and a connection.