December 7: Can migrants really fill the skills gap?

From: J G Riseley, Harcourt Drive, Harrogate.

LUCY Thornycroft, regional director of the CBI, warns (The Yorkshire Post, November 1) that we are being held back by a shortage of graduates in maths, science and other numerate disciplines arising from controls upon immigration. Do her members understand the free market and have they tried offering appropriate salaries to attract the staff they want?

If migration is needed, how careless of them not to have addressed this shortage before they exhausted our patience on immigration by flooding the country with migrants whose qualifications are no better than those of our own unemployed. Can we have any confidence that, if the suggested relaxation were granted, all or even most of the extra migrants would actually have the desired qualifications and take the posts they are intended to fill?

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From: John Watson, Leyburn.

WHAT is to become of Great Britain in the year 2016? We have a Leader of the Opposition who is only there because Labour changed the rules on membership. Subsequently Jeremy Corbyn lacks the support of his MPs. I have always said that strong government requires strong opposition.

Unfortunately we are breeding a nation of pacifists and appeasers. Pacifism has never thrived in this country, we have always stood by the defence of these islands and what is right.

We are now threatened not only by Daesh (the so-called Islamic State), but by mass immigration. This little nation of ours cannot stand an increase in our population to 70 million by 2060.

Innocent will suffer in Syria

From: John Westmoreland, Hatfield Woodhouse, Doncaster.

IT seems all sides in the House of Commons think that the debate over whether to bomb Syria was a great example of democracy in action. I disagree. The bombing of Syria will kill civilians. It will kill them directly because Daesh (Isis) fighters will embed themselves in civilian areas, and the exploding Brimstone missiles, which are not more intelligent than we are, will not sort out good from bad 
Syrians. Democracy is supposed to include the voices of the poor and oppressed as well as the rich and powerful. It has failed.

It has failed, too, because the overwhelming response of the electorate has been to mobilise against war, yet this has been ignored. Thousands have demonstrated against bombing and none as far as I can see have been in favour, although arms suppliers are no doubt licking their lips at the upturn in their fortunes. The vote in Parliament seems therefore largely oblivious to the wishes of the electorate, and therefore real democracy.

From: Vernessa Smith, Goodfellow Close, Bingley.

I WILL never condone nor support the loss of innocent lives. However I feel sick that the people who we choose to represent us make decisions to go and kill people. How is it we always have money for war yet every service in the country is being cut?

From: Mr D Burslam, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury.

IF Mr Denton (The Yorkshire Post, December 1) thinks that so-called precise attacks on Daesh targets would not result in casualties among innocent civilians, he is very naive. Daesh has already been subjected to such air attacks for a considerable period causing widespread carnage and contributing vastly to the immigrant problem. There is nothing to suggest that joining in these airstrikes would eliminate or destroy the threat without intervention by ground troops.

In my opinion this country has been involved far too often in unjustified adventures in this part of the world usually under malign American influence.

Bombing in Syria is not only morally wrong but also ineffective militarily. Matching one crime with another is a classic kneejerk reaction and I doubt whether even the military would be enthusiastic about such a move.

Use pedal power instead

From: Paul Morris, Sutton-in-Craven, Keighley.

GRANT Woodward (The Yorkshire Post, December 3) fails to see that by choosing to drive for just 3.5 miles to get to work he is part of the problem. Or that he magnifies that problem for the residents of the streets which he is so happy to use as a rat run. Has he not thought about cycling to work? It would not take him half as long or cost him anything to park when he arrived there.

From: Mr David Davies, Burgess Road, Brigg.

SURELY everyone knows (The Yorkshire Post, December 2) that the North begins at the line of the Hull and Barnsley Railway?

Do rich need a free bus pass?

From: Coun Tim Mickleburgh (Lab), Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.

RE bus passes. D Webb (The Yorkshire Post, December 3) corrects an earlier correspondent about the age Sir Ian Botham should be entitled to a free bus pass. But the real question is whether someone of his wealth should get such help in the first place.

Given that this Government is hell-bent on carrying out an austerity programme, it is important that state help should be targeted towards those who really need it.