Europe should revert to trade arrangements

From: TW Jefferson, Wheldon Cottages, Station Road, Hensall, Goole.

The latest contribution from James Bovington (Yorkshire Post. October 8) adds nothing to his previous views.

If only we had joined the euro at its inception, he says, things would have been different. He ignores the fact that a monetary union cannot be successful without fiscal union, which in turn requires greater political union. The German constitution and people will not permit that degree of unity, and therefore they are reduced to applying sticking plasters to the gaping wound that is the eurozone.

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In the meantime, the world economy is being imperilled by the paralysis at the heart of Europe, and millions are suffering hardship on the altar of economic theory that common sense told us would be unworkable. Yet again, Mr Bovington smears those whose views differ from his, by depicting them as reactionary xenophobes obsessed with days of Empire. In so doing, he insults over half of voters, who are sceptical of the EU.

Mr Bovington never mentions one of the reasons why the EU is unpopular in this country – ie the democratic deficit, and the perception that we have no control over the people that govern us.

Most people would probably be happy to stay in the EU if it reverted to a looser trading arrangement. But the public knows that the EU is determined to travel in the opposite direction, towards “ever closer union” – and this is causing their opposition to harden from scepticism to outright hostility.

From: John Rookes, Bramley, Rotherham.

I would like to take issue with James Bovington’s assertions that Britain should have been in the euro from the outset. When will these people accept that the euro project has been an absolute catastrophic failure?

One by one, eurozone countries are heading towards bankruptcy. Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy could easily follow, and what then? The architects, France and Germany?

Only last week in this newspaper and at the Conservative Party conference was Foreign Secretary William Hague congratulated for helping to keep us out of the euro. Mr Bovington also says that a British withdrawal from the European Union would destroy the UK. I would like to remind him that two of the wealthiest countries in Europe – Norway and Switzerland – are not members of the European Union yet enjoy a far higher standard of living than any member state. When will this lily-livered Government give what the vast majority of UK citizens want, and were promised – a vote on EU membership? Bring it on.

Putting love in perspective

From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

Mrs M Helliwell is opposed to gay marriage because marriage is “for the procreation of children” (Yorkshire Post. October 11). What about the heterosexual married couples who are unable or have no intention to have children?

Surely, they stay together because of the “love and trust” by which Mrs Helliwell defines marriage. I would venture that childlessness is well down the list of reasons for divorce.

Are not homosexuals capable of love and trust? You don’t have to be gay to appreciate that both are manifest in the many long-term same-sex unions.

How would Mrs Helliwell have felt if she had fallen for a woman instead of her husband? Would she not have wanted to live with her, enjoy the civil liberties of a married couple and, if they wished, had the union sanctified?

Your correspondent doesn’t say whether she has children or not. If she has, I am glad that God, nature or what you will has been kind to her.

From: Norma D McNichol, Lynwood Drive, Carlton, Barnsley.

I write in reply to the letter from Mrs M Helliwell of Scarborough.

We are told that everyone is equal in the eyes of God – so gay and lesbian people should be able to legalise their relationships just as straight people can, if they wish.

Many straight couples marry and do not produce children. So gay and lesbian are no different in this respect. Mrs Hellawell says that they can’t create children – but they can and sometimes do (by egg or sperm donation in a surrogate).

Marriage is indeed love and trust, and straight people do not have the monopoly of that. All faiths and non-faiths may recognise this fact and they should also recognise tolerance of others with different ways of life and beliefs.

We have come a long way (thank God) since gays and lesbians were persecuted, locked up, given “treatments” to change them etc. But it seems there is still a section of society who will never accept that they are all part of the human race with the same thoughts, feelings, and failings as the rest of us.

Keep checking railway tickets

From: David Cook, Warren Vale Road, Swinton, South Yorkshire.

I READ the article (Yorkshire Post, October 3) regarding the issue of using the footbridge at Sheffield Station as a public right of way.

In the article, the train operators were quoted as saying they were losing £2m per year in lost revenue due to fare dodgers.

I travel regularly into and out of Sheffield, and the number of occasions when no one checks or sells tickets is alarming. The ticket checkers/sellers are almost never out of their cabin. This is the reason for lost revenues, not fare dodging.

You cannot buy a ticket at an unmanned station with no ticket machine. The latest incidents I have experienced are: October 3, the 20.15 Sheffield to Mexborough (Beverley train) and October 5, the 15.19 train Chinley to Sheffield (from Manchester Piccadilly). On both these trains no one came to check or sell tickets, with no ticketing facilities available at stations on the route.