Increase the penalties for drink-driving

From: V Platt, Hereford Court, Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

HERE we go again, the big anti-drinking and driving at Christmas campaign. Every year we hear the same thing.

Get one thing clear though, the police do a sterling job in catching these criminals (yes, that’s what they are) who have no respect for other people, the police, the law and not even themselves and what happens when the police catch them?

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They get no support from the establishment, if they go to court they are fined relatively low amounts, are given points on their licence, a ban and then told not to be naughty again. What can be done about it?

Well, I would bring some Yorkshire common sense into the equation as follows:

1. The alcohol limit when driving should be zero.

2. If caught, the vehicle is seized immediately. It is then sold if of any significant value or crushed - no appeals allowed as all owners have been made well aware of the law.

3. Licence lost for five years then another driving test to be taken.

4. If a death or injury is caused by any “drunk” driver and a prison sentence is imposed, the sentence is to be served in another country (our prisons are full) such as Somalia or the Gambia.

After sentence has been served, no return to the UK unless the person was born here.

The above formula would, I am sure, have a significant impact on reducing the misery and suffering that these people cause.

Unfortunately, the political will isn’t there, they prefer to pussyfoot around the problem but silly me, I am forgetting the EU. The EU simply wouldn’t allow it and besides that, certain sections in our society start screaming about human rights.

Ah well! Back to my dream world because it ain’t going to happen – carry on killing.

Autism awareness

From: Sid West, Oakley Street, Thorpe, Wakefield.

THE singer Susan Boyle has revealed that she has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Like the many other adults with autism who are diagnosed relatively late in life, Susan said that finally getting a diagnosis was a great source of relief, providing an explanation for years of feeling “different”.

But there are practical benefits to diagnosis as well – as they should, in theory, allow people to access all the local help and support they need.

Help and support that was promised to them by the 2009 Autism Act – England’s first disability specific piece of legislation.

In the four years since the 
Act, there has been some 
progress in providing people 
with autism with what they need but it’s been patchy and many of the some 460,000 adults with autism across England are still waiting.

Susan Boyle’s story has caught the public’s attention and got people talking about autism and the effect that it has on people’s lives.

That’s great. But what we need now is for the Government to take notice of the fact that too many people are still waiting for the everyday support they need.

That’s why I hope that people will join me in supporting the National Autistic Society’s Push for Action campaign (www.autism.org.uk/push).

Together we can work to put the needs of needs of adults with autism front and centre.

No one with autism should 
wait for a diagnosis or for the support they need.

We have a chance to make a huge difference to lives across Wakefield. It must not go to waste.

The true price of a pizza

From: Chris Beverley, Common Lane, East Ardsley, Wakefield.

THE surprisingly frank call by Domino’s Pizza chief executive Lance Batchelor for immigration laws to be loosened further to help the firm to fill thousands of jobs caused quite a stir recently.

These comments demonstrate the fundamental economic principle of supply and demand. In a nutshell, this states that when the supply of something is increased (in this case, labour), its price decreases.

What chief executives call “labour costs”, the rest of us know as “wages” and nothing helps to keep wages down better than an ever-expanding supply of labour, ideally from poorer countries.

As consumers, we all have a choice where we spend our money.

Perhaps it is time to reward those companies which recruit local staff and pay them a reasonable wage and stay away from those which do not.

Re-writing Magna Carta

From: Les Coverdale, Wigginton, York.

why is it that so called intelligent people come out with the most ridiculous comments?

I am of course referring to Dr Richard Stone saying that police officers who do not answer questions or co-operate with inquiries should be sacked (Yorkshire Post, December 14).

Enshrined in common law since the 17th century the right to silence when questioned by Police is the right of every citizen, perhaps Dr Stone feels he is so powerful he can rewrite our constitution to fit his views. I hope he agrees with the Magna Carta.

He should know as an adviser that any person who refuses to answer questions is warned that adverse inferences may be drawn from this silence.

If we start making exceptions for certain people, it is the thin edge of the wedge for all of us and our rights so well-established in common law.