January 20 Letters: Don’t miss North’s drive for megacity

From: Major General H G Woods, Westfield Road, Tockwith, York.

I WAS very interested in Sir Bernard Ingham’s article (The Yorkshire Post, January 14) about co-operative action to create a mega-city stretching from the Mersey to the Humber. He is not the first person to put forward the concept.

In the 1990s The St William’s Foundation held a consultation which sparked the TransPennine Movement. This brought together local authorities, organisations (Institute of Directors etc) cultural groups and the Churches to explore the development of trans-Pennine activities.

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Eventually some of the local authorities took it over but fearful of losing power allowed trans-Pennine to quietly die.

A great opportunity was thereby lost to bring about a co-operative venture and bring the concept to life again. Who knows what inward investment in new technologies creative and cultural adventures might have been undertaken to our lasting benefit.

More equal
than others?

From: Susan Dennis, Ripon,

ONCE again we hear that Archbishops Welby and Sentamu “are on the rampage”, (to quote the BBC trailer for Friday’s Any Questions), regarding inequality (The Yorkshire Post, January 16).

Maybe we would pay more attention, and buy into their latest argument if they put aside the very elaborate, and expensive ceremonial garb, (which is not available at Marks & Spencer prices), and used more simple clothing such as a cassock and stole, or even a lounge suit.

Incidentally, how many pounds did the refurbishment of the Bishopthorpe Palace cost prior to Archbishop Sentamu considering it worthy enough for him to move into?

On second thoughts, let’s talk about equality.

Let’s see sense
on EU exit

From: David H Rhodes, Bishopthorpe, York

THERE is a logic to Gerald Hodgson’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, January 10) that there could be potential trading problems if the UK leaves the EU.

When David Cameron had stated Britain’s wish to renegotiate on certain membership conditions, it proved to be Angela Merkel who said they were non-negotiable.

Is she the voice of the EU? Is Germany now in the driving seat? If European laws are inviolate and the UK plus other members’ countries are not allowed some degree of fine tuning, then our exit becomes more probable.

I would think most eurosceptics would be happy just with the free trade access. Imagine the scenario if this was ultimately denied us and the French put restrictions on selling us their champagne (I believe that approximately half their production comes to Britain.) The vineyard owners and workers would cause a riot.

Let common sense prevail and let all member states start working towards common solutions rather than the reply to Britain’s requests/suggestions being solidly ‘nein’ and ‘non’.

Why no fuss
over Iraq toll?

From: Beryl Williams, Annie Street, Wakefield.

FOLLOWING the atrocities in France, and public reaction, we have to at least ponder the fact that no such fuss is being made of the one million civilians killed in Iraq over 10 years (approximately 274 people every day), plus countless losses of life and dignity in Libya, Syria, Kenya. Turkey lost 17 soldiers a week for years, until events in Syria took over. There are constant border skirmishes in Pakistan, India and China.

So if we’re crying for France en masse, why the apathy in the face of all this?

The fact is that behind our crocodile tears for anything that happens in a so-called western country, we are happily giving the same politicians our money and our votes with which to slaughter people all over the globe without batting an eye.

But until we do start batting our eyes, until we wake up and start working for peace like it was urgent, then what happened in Paris is going to be repeated.

We need to get real. Now.

Let’s end this

From: Amjad Bashir, Ukip Communities spokesman and MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, Wellington Place, Leeds,

I THINK Sir James Munby, the most senior family court judge in England and Wales, should be congratulated for his comments about the “great evil” of female genital mutilation.

He has urged local authorities to be pro-active and vigilant in taking measures to prevent girls being subjected to this barbaric practice and he is quite right too.

He is also correct in pointing out that the courts alone cannot eradicate it.

It stems from the culture in some parts of Africa and the Middle East and has nothing to do with faith.

It is illegal in this country, though no one has yet been prosecuted here, and tragically it is estimated that about 60,000 girls under 14-years-old, who were born in England and Wales, may be at risk of FGM or have already been cut

Education that this is unacceptable behaviour in today’s society is the key and potential victims must be encouraged and supported to ask for help and protection.

It should not be happening anywhere in the world and must be eradicated.