I HAVE been a Labour Party member for nearly 50 years. I have been a national and local office holder and have been proud to have been a member for most of those years (The Yorkshire Post, February 28).
Working locally, nationally and internationally (including with Palestinian representatives in the Middle East), I have been committed to the promotion of equal opportunities and totally opposed to discrimination on any ground, including gender, race, religion, ethnicity or disability.
But, for the last three years, I have been completely dismayed by the way in which the Labour Party’s reputation as the promoter and defender of human rights has been destroyed by the sheer incompetence and lack of commitment by the leader of the party and his supporters.
I don’t happen to believe that Jeremy Corbyn is anti-Semitic. I do know that he has had an awful habit over the last decades of associating with people who are and who he has encouraged to join the Labour Party when there is and should be no place for them.
I am ashamed, and appalled, that the Derby North MP Chris Williamson made his latest comments in Sheffield. His apology is completely worthless as he has been engaged in a determined and persistent course of action designed to bring the Party into disrepute for some time, and he didn’t ‘mis-speak’.
Given what is already in the public domain, it is difficult to believe other than that he should be expelled or, at the least, suspended from office and representation for many, many years.
But, just as worrying, it appears that there were Sheffield people attending and applauding Mr Williamson’s comments. They should hang their heads in shame, reflect and apologise. They’ve brought shame on the Party and on the city. If any of them were Labour Party members, they should consider their position now.
Much to offer without HS2
From: Ron Firth, Campsall.
THE North of England has, traditionally, produced entrepreneurs, inventors and hard-nosed businessmen and women to develop small and medium-sized businesses which are the backbone of the UK’s manufacturing and retail (The Yorkshire Post, February 26 and 27).
Leeds and Manchester have lots to offer as finance, manufacturing, retail and leisure centres. The cycling races, and TV documentaries, have been a great advert for the North as a tourist hotspot. We are well served power-wise by Drax, the off-shore wind farms in Hull, as well as plants in the West and North West, producing adequate energy to power the North with various other smaller units also contributing with major reductions in carbon emissions.
Siemens has invested significantly in the Humber and in the Goole area where they plan to build rail units, handily placed for the Railport at Doncaster which is expanding rapidly.
We do not need HS2 (a referendum would confirm the fact), we have the faster trains being trialled on the East Coast Main Line which would probably knock 10 to 15 minutes off Leeds to London with extra capacity through extra trains, or extra carriages to existing services.
We need to ensure that, for the future, the choice of our local MPs must be restricted to individuals who have been born and brought up within or close to their constituencies so that they are properly inoculated with the inspirations – and needs – of their constituents.
Library staff a sad loss
From: Martin Vaughan, Sheffield.
IT is now over four years since Stannington Library lost its three dedicated library staff. It is also over four years since the library lost its place as a staffed library as part of the council’s statutary, official library service.
For the good of the community, it is vital that our library is given secure funding and professional library staff.
The professionally-staffed library we had until 2014 was providing a well-used service of huge educational and social value to the area.
Police hit hard by cuts
From: ME Wright, Harrogate.
COMING from a former police officer, I was suprised to read GP Taylor’s “Lack of resources isn’t an excuse for lack of service” (The Yorkshire Post, February 27). Can we reasonably expect one without the other?
The police have been undermined by Westminster’s funding cuts and demands for “efficiency savings”. The responsibility rests with London-based politicians.
Can I get annoyed?
From: David Bate, Yarm
ELIZABETH Baker’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, February 26) has prompted me to write about one of my pet annoyances. This is ‘Can I get... (a beer, a coffee etc.)?’ rather than ‘May I have?’
The only answers surely, are either ‘No, but I will get you one’ or ‘Yes, come and help yourself’!
Not worth risk
From: Molly Preston, Austwick
SHAMIMA Begum wants to come back to England. It is not worth the risk. Sajid Javid has made the right decision in revoking her British passport.
NHS at risk
From: Max Nottingham, Lincoln.
THE NHS is becoming a disintegrating mess. I tremble to think what a Tory government with a big majority would do to it.