March 11 letters: Television debates just waste of time

From: AW Clarke, Wold Croft, Sutton on Derwent, York.

HOW very tiresome the discussion over the TV election debates has become.

My abiding memory of the last occasion these so-called debates took place was that they were of the ‘yah boo sucks’ kind of thing with the main theme, if that is what it can be called, being ‘I agree with Nick’. Well, we all know how that turned out!

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Anyone who has a real interest in politics will regard them as entirely irrelevant when it comes to voting. No-one has any chance to develop any idea or argument because of the limited length of time given to each representative and at the end we are none of us any wiser about anything which we could not have found out by reading and listening to any good political commentator.

In my view, the TV companies would be better off putting on a good play.

From: Keith Wigglesworth, Mead Way, Highburton, Huddersfield.

I CANNOT understand the fuss about the proposed political leaders’ TV debate prior to the election, as we all know that whatever any of them say will have little or no resemblance to what they do when and if they are voted into power.

Years ago, I used to regard Prime Minister’s Question Time with awe and admiration, thinking ‘How clever these chaps are, spontaneously answering questions with readily available facts and figures, delivered at times with witty remarks’ until I discovered it was scripted, with questions and answers pre-prepared and written down. My view of politicians took a severe downturn.

Is all this play-acting and ‘yah boo’ posturing really necessary in today’s climate? It is time we had fewer MPs, although with a much improved salary and no second jobs or directorships allowed. We might just have a Parliament fit for purpose.

From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley.

Regarding the TV debates which David Cameron refuses to participate in, we all know his real reason for not accepting the challenge. He just cannot justify his record over the past five years. One word describes this schoolyard bully: ‘coward’.

Savers still losing out

From: Graham Branston, Emmott Drive, Rawdon.

A RECENT analysis by the reputable financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown has shown that over the past six years savers in general have lost out by an estimated massive £130bn, or around £5,000 for each UK household.

At this time of year we receive the annual accounts for building societies etc. It is insulting to loyal savers when you look at the net profits and massive payments to executive and non-executive directors on the one hand and the pathetic interest paid to savers on the other.

When you challenge them, as I have, they generally refer to the market and interest rates of other financial organisations, never mind their profits and massive assets.

Building societies talk about mutuality, “building futures together” as one puts it, but there is no explanation as to why a significant slice of their huge profits cannot be used to improve interest paid to loyal savers. Many pensioners need to augment meagre state pensions by drawing on savings; don’t they deserve more ‘mutual’ respect?

Empire of the left in Europe

From: John Lowcock, Sheffield.

I HAVE never understood the double-think of certain people where empires are concerned.

These good souls originate principally, but far from exclusively, from the left of politics. Colonialism is cited as ‘evil’; imperialism is attacked as contemptible; self-determination is a non-negotiable goal.

But with the EU, all bets are off.

They support a top-heavy, power-grabbing, horrendously expensive clique on the grounds of ‘principle’.

This denies us the democratic rights we have struggled so hard over centuries to achieve. I can certainly understand why Ukip attracts so many votes.

Maddening not to know

From: Michael J Robinson, Park Lane, Berry Brow, Huddersfield.

ROGER Ratcliffe (The Yorkshire Post, March 4) talks about the proverb “as mad as a March hare”, an expression he tells us was even mentioned in the 16th century by Sir Thomas More.

I had been assured that rather than ‘March’ hare, the expression arose from the way that in spring, distant hares could be seen hopping apparently randomly in a zig-zag haphazard fashion, but actually from dry tuft to dry tuft across a wet boggy field. From a distance, this behaviour was said to have given rise to the expression ‘as mad as a marsh hare’.

If this was true, had the expression become corrupted as long ago as the 16th century, or was the origin really the hare’s March mating activities?


From: James Campbell, Kempwell Drive, Rawmarsh, Rotherham.

DAVID CAMERON makes a green belt pledge. Good. Our woodland is over 100 years old and open to everyone, our local school 
used to have lessons in the woodland.

Rotherham Borough Council and the Labour Party have closed it to our vulnerable – wheelchairs, prams, schoolchildren, and our elderly and all because of illegal barriers, neglect and no maintenance.

There has been no one from the council or Labour Party who have shown any interest in our woodland.