WHAT further proof do we need to confirm the decline of the UK into Banana Republic status? The state-owned RBS Bank is broke, yet it has announced millions of pounds of bonuses; the Border Agency is not fit for purpose and has no control over the critical immigration situation; central and local government is top heavy with bureaucrats, pen-pushers and clipboard persons; the Government continues to send millions of pounds in aid while our own services such as the NHS, Armed Forces and education need more investment and most critical of all, we continue to spend millions on our continued membership of the totalitarian and undemocratic EU.
We must be crazy to allow these issues to fester while David Cameron and Nick Clegg struggle to put on a show of united government with the Lib Dems simply clinging onto shared power to ensure their survival. It is time for Mr Cameron to ditch the Lib Dems and form a truly Right-wing radical administration to counter the woolly-Leftish policies which are instrumental in the UK’s decline.
From: Robert Reynolds, Harrogate.
As I near my 50th birthday, I look back and realise two things. First that my generation has taken advantage of “freebies” then slammed the door in the face of future generations (jobs, education); second, I’ve endured four economic downturns and we’ve learned nothing from them. Instead of managing things differently, we just shrug our shoulders and accept it.
The banks have missed their Merlin lending targets. Yet Government figures show those targets to be worthless anyway – 92 per cent of all lending goes to unproductive sources such as mortgages or stock market gambling. Only eight per cent is productive, going to businesses either as investment or restructuring of debt. That is why we are in a downturn.
There is a better way. It’s been done before, successfully. Instead of borrowing money from the markets, paying it back with interest, the Government prints it to agreed levels and uses it on capital projects or as tax cuts. We desperately need social housing. Yet this Government will not build any because it will lower the rents and house values in the private sector.
Faced with creating jobs and homes for our people, the coalition hides behind incompetent bankers.
From: Alan Chapman, Beck Lane, Bingley.
GREEK deal “boost for British economy” (Yorkshire Post, February 22) but the repercussions for its people is to convert Greece to a European third world country. Self-inflicted no doubt as they took the policy of borrow, spend and waste, championed by our former misguided Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to the limit.
The UK is not far behind as we borrowed money to pay the wages and pension premiums of a bloated public sector, that the country could not afford. The Labour Party attempting to buy votes to win the 2010 General Election.
Discussions with my contemporaries always turn to the economy and much disquiet abounds regarding taxpayers’ money being siphoned overseas in foreign aid. The subject is contentious but my opinion is that the UK must stop sending desperately needed home funds to states with nuclear weapons, particularly India and Pakistan.
If such countries choose to overlook the genuinely poor and spend billions on having “the bomb” it does not behold the UK taxpayers to provide aid.
From: Michael Swaby, Hainton Avenue, Grimsby.
CONGRATULATIONS to Shan Oakes by suggesting that money produced by the Bank of England’s quantitative easing should be used to finance a green investment scheme (Yorkshire Post, February 22).
A recently retired person who has spent a lifetime earning, say a million pounds, will be bemused to learn that the Bank’s MPC was divided over how many billions should be created out of thin air. If it’s as easy as that, why need we bother?
This is just one of the contradictions of “fiat money”, which is not gold or silver, and cannot be converted to gold or silver by any holder. It could also be described as money whose value depends solely on an assertion made by a monopoly-holding issuing authority.
The matter is made even more difficult by the fact that the value attributed to this money is not specific or clearly defined.
Making of a railway line
From: David Crossley, Priestgate, Nafferton, Driffield.
HOW can we accept that it will take until 2026 to complete 140 miles of high-speed railway from London to Birmingham, let alone the continuation to Manchester and Leeds? It took only eight years to build the Overseas Railway from Homestead, near Miami, to Key West at the start of the 20th century.
Modestly known as the Key West Extension, the line was 130 miles in length and linked 29 islands and was referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World. It included the seven-mile bridge.
Materials had to be brought in by sea (steamships and schooners) from as far away as Germany and workers had to cope with shark-infested waters, mosquitoes and sand flies as well as three hurricanes, one of which killed at least 100 workers. Divers wore hard helmets bolted to canvas suits connected to large air pumps.
The line was masterminded and funded by Henry M Flagler and opened in 1912 when he was 83. It operated until 1935 when it was severely damaged by a hurricane and was subsequently converted into a road.
The Overseas Railway used 5,000 workers to build it yet HS2 says it will need 9,000 despite the vast differences in technology available.