REGARDING your article “Watchdog to tell BT it must legally separate Openreach”.
It follows the abysmal failure of Openreach to provide us at Church Fenton with reliable “superfast” broadband (any broadband at present would be welcome).
If your article is correct, and I fear that it is, Ofcom, after much delay and prevaricating, can apparently make a binding legal separation between the BT group and Openreach, although Openreach will still be dependent on BT for funds and investment. In other words, Ofcom has absolutely no teeth to force BT to sell off Openreach.
So much for the Tory government promoting competition. They are joking – and looking after big business who provide their funds. Meanwhile, this country’s mainly apathetic population sit back and let it happen!
Volunteers who fought fascism
From: Michael McGowan, Chapel Allerton, Leeds.
THIS year is the 80th anniversary of the start of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 when volunteers from across Europe including from Leeds joined the International Brigade to fight against the fascist dictatorship of General Franco.
As the MEP for Leeds in November 1988, I arranged for the Spanish Socialist MEP, Barbara Duhrkop from the Basque country of Spain, to travel to Leeds to unveil a plaque at a ceremony at Leeds Town Hall in honour of the brave Leeds volunteers.
The plaque was then situated near the front entrance of Leeds Town Hall but is now in a much less prominent position in its rather shabby picture frame near the back door of the Town Hall. I would be interested to hear from anyone who believes the bravery of the Leeds members of the International Brigade deserves a more prominent recognition.
Bigotry on both sides
From: Qari Asim MBE, Imam, Makkah Mosque, Leeds.
AS an independent member of the Government’s Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group, I am deeply concerned about the rise in anti-Muslim sentiments.
The current spike in anti-Muslim sentiments shown online, on public transport, and on our streets, is sobering and affecting the future of community cohesion in Britain.
In a multi-belief and multi-cultural Britain, no one should feel intimidated or threatened because of their faith or lifestyle.
The “home-grown” extremists, white fascists, are constantly being radicalised by the neo-Nazi far right-wing ideology.
Isis and Nazi ideology may be completely different, but their method of radicalisation is the same: recruiting vulnerable individuals, with personal grievances online and radicalising them to such a degree that they will commit acts of terror. Unless we treat all acts of terrorism and extremism, hatred and bigotry – on both sides – in the same way and strive for a culture of respect for all, we will not be making our streets any safer.
Art of wasting our money
From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.
I HAVE to agree with Andrew Bass (The Yorkshire Post, December 8). Lottery funding going to the ‘arts’ is an utter waste of money, especially when you look at what is considered art by those who select items of ‘art’.
I have visited several art galleries and find many of the items utter rubbish with little or no artistic value whatsoever. A five-year-old could do better.
The air ambulance saves lives, as do the lifeboats, and yet they have to rely on charity. It does not add up in my estimation.
The Lottery could, and should, make a donation to both of the above to gain some credibility.
Rail reality check needed
From: Tony Rignall, The Queensway, Hull.
I READ with interest Transport Secretary Chris Grayling’s article entitled ‘We can make this a golden era for rail’ (The Yorkshire Post, December 12).
Instead of sitting in his London office dreaming of so-called ‘smart ticketing’ he should instead take a real-life train journey from Selby to Hull, the line on which Mr Grayling has just cancelled electrification.
There he will find Victorian signalling, manually-operated gates on level crossings, a 70mph speed limit, and no late-night service for the UK City of Culture 2017.
Northern Powerhouse Mr Grayling? Northern Poorhouse more like.
Meaning of hardship
From: Terry Morrell, Prunus Avenue, Willerby.
ALTHOUGH I respect the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for its work over the years, I find it incredible that there are this many people in poverty.
Having experienced severe financial hardship while doing my nurse training and having a small family in the 60s, I doubt the so-called plight that many ‘workshy’, huge TV-watching, alcohol-swilling, coffee house-frequenters suffer.
Royal future in safe hands
From: Sarah Hogg, Bingley.
WELL said Bernard Ingham (The Yorkshire Post, December 7) – Prince Charlies is a credit to the nation and, when the time comes, Camilla should have the title ‘Queen’. I hope people take heed of your columnist.