Monday's Letters: My dream of a Britain thriving without EU interference

From: Mike Briggs, Escrick, York. LET us assume for one "pipe dream" moment, that we had a UK Independence Party government instead of the ConDems. What would have happened? Criminals would be trembling, not laughing. We would have regained full control of our borders. We would be saving up to £60m a day by withdrawing from the EU.

Businesses would be blossoming, having been freed from literally tens of thousands of Brussels directives, rules, diktats and other such nonsense.

Unemployment would have been moving dramatically downward. Most "cuts" would not be happening.

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As an associate member of the EU, our trade would be continuing with that body and the grave imbalance of EU imports to the UK would have been largely corrected. Our Commonwealth links would have improved with more than 50 nations worldwide having improved trade with us. Ah. The more I think about it – the more of a dream it becomes. Sigh!

From: Tim Mickleburgh, Littlefield Lane, Grimsby.

ALLAN Davies (Yorkshire Post, November 3) thinks it is "nonsense" that British people didn't know about what becoming part of Europe meant. Well, in that case, why didn't Europhiles such as Ted Heath tell the full story about how an innocent sounding customs union, the "Common Market", would evolve into a powerful supranational union that could over-ride British laws?

I'm sure if we'd known how the EEC would become the EU, assuming greater powers on the way, then it'd have never been accepted by voters.

From: Stanley Parr, Maple Avenue, Pershore, Worcs.

I DON'T think we can afford to be in the EU any longer.

Recently, national newspapers have informed us that financial fraud is costing the EU taxpayers 3.3m per day.

Also, the 200bn euros per year, given to Regional Development Funds is wasted, or used inefficiently.

The EU Foreign Service has just ordered 150 new bullet-proof limousines at 130-200,000 each – costing another 33m.

They are now demanding a huge increase in the EU budget, to which David Cameron has meekly agreed. Why?

The EU are planning a new EU Tax, a satellite space project and also developing an EU-BBC style broadcasting network!

A recent poll of 1,500 Conservative Party members showed that 84 per cent thought the EU budget should be cut. So for Cameron to pathetically agree to pay more, means he has broken another string of promises (Yorkshire Post, October 29). Why will politicians not listen? This is turning into a catastrophe of major proportions.

We should leave the EU – it is far too expensive.

Role of special police on our railways

From; David Brown, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, Broad Street West, Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

I WRITE in response to your report entitled "Volunteer police to patrol transport network' (Yorkshire Post, October 25).

You suggest that the Employer Supported Policing (ESP) scheme has been introduced as a response to the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review and that it is the intention of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) to use special constables to compensate for reducing policing by regular police officers on the public transport network.

Can I assure your readers that this is not the case. The ESP scheme was rolled out to employers a long time before the CSR, and special constables themselves have been around for 100 years.

The specials of South Yorkshire do enhance policing but are there to complement, not to replace, regular officers. Indeed, the majority of specials are aligned to a Safer Neighbourhood Team rather than to policing the public transport network.

Far from presenting any risk or danger to the public, for special constables there is a rigorous selection process and training is provided for all new recruits. Each are tutored and they have to be signed off before they can work alone.

They have the full powers of a constable and are trained in self defence and have the same equipment as regulars.

There is no proposal to reduce policing on the public transport network or indeed to change the nature of policing and we will continue to work closely with South Yorkshire Police and the British Transport Police to ensure the safety and security of the travelling public.

Broadband opportunity

From: John Anderson, BT Yorkshire and Humber regional director.

COMMUNITIES throughout Yorkshire and the Humber now have a great opportunity to influence BT's 2.5bn plans to roll-out super-fast fibre broadband across the UK.

The Race to Infinity allows people to show local demand for the technology by voting at www.bt.com/racetoinfinity by December 31.

We have pledged that the five UK exchanges with the highest percentage of votes will be upgraded by early 2012 at the latest. The competition is open to all exchanges receiving at least 1,000 votes.

The smallest exchanges serving less than 1,000 homes and businesses can also benefit. BT will engage with any community where 75 per cent of homes and businesses have voted for super-fast broadband and we promise to explore all possibilities of bringing fibre broadband to the area.

We would urge all communities to make their voices heard and take part in this very important nationwide survey. The website offers downloadable information packs, flyers and posters for people who want to become active super-fast broadband campaigners.

Brown should stay away

From: Paul Buckley, Haigh, Barnsley.

GORDON Brown MP made his first appearance on the backbenches since the election to support a call from Thomas Docherty MP that the two new aircraft carriers be refitted at Rosyth.

Are these the same two aircraft carriers that are so unfit for purpose that one will be sold or decommissioned as soon as the Royal Navy take delivery of it, and the other will be used only for helicopters?

Is it the same Rosyth shipyard, which negotiated the contract for these two carriers so that they cannot be cancelled to allow the building of an aircraft carrier that is fit for purpose?

Is this the same Gordon Brown who as Prime Minister was responsible for these two ships and the contract to build them?

It would be in the best interests of the UK if Gordon Brown stayed out of the Commons and certainly never went in to Lords.

Vital impact of climate

From: Mrs Elizabeth Taylor, Ludlow Avenue, Leeds.

IN the wake of the recent Government budget cuts, we all face financial challenges. However, in these difficult times, I believe it is more important than ever to stand in solidarity with the poorest and most marginalised.

One of the biggest issues facing those living in poverty around the world is the impact of climate change. People's lives will only get harder if the issue is not tackled head on and finances set aside to help developing countries adapt.

As a passionate campaigner on this issue, I and a number of like-minded local residents are lobbying MPs on climate. We are urging them to work to ensure that the Government continues to fulfil its commitments to act on climate change, both in the UK through the forthcoming Energy Bill and on the global stage at December's climate talks in Mexico.

Our families here in Garforth and those in other countries depend on it.

Coin from a craftsman

From Colin Gray, Spring Rise, Normanby.

SURELY the solid silver denarius which has been found in Sussex is neither Roman nor a forgery (Yorkshire Post, November 4)? Roman coins were prized beyond the north west borders of the empire and had a great influence on the design of Celtic coins.

This coin will have been struck by a skilled craftsman in the mint of a long vanished Celtic kingdom who was inspired by, but who never intended to reproduce exactly, an attractive Roman original.

The fact that the coin is not silver coated base metal and was made years before the Roman invasion must tend to add weight to the thesis that it was once part of a genuine local currency.

A bridge too far shows failure of privatisation

From: Malcolm Naylor, Grange View, Otley.

IN Otley, for weeks we have suffered traffic chaos arising from work on the bridge that should be a salutatory lesson to all those who support privatised utility services. The bridge has been dug up, filled in and dug up again – and not for the first time. It seems that about every six months one of the privatised utilities, water, drainage and electricity gas and telecoms has something it needs to do. And, without any co-ordination with other utilities, causing huge disruption and gridlock of traffic flow.

Meanwhile, our useless councillors and politicians stand idly by and allow them to do it.

In my many journeys across the bridge, I seldom see much activity from the workmen. Groups stand around talking while at best a single man works.

The lie that privatised companies are more efficient and cheaper than nationalised services is apparent to anyone who uses their eyes and brains.

Inefficiency has nothing to do with the ideology of its origins and when one adds in the additional ingredient of profit one can clearly see the failures of capitalism.

Inefficiency is related to size not who runs it. National services and infrastructure should be run centrally. Anyone who has had problems with privatised utilities will know that privatised bureaucracy will match anything that public services can do. The public has been sold privatisation on its value for money but no one carries out a discounted cost analysis comparison with what it would cost if under public control.

When lack of accountability, incompetence and lack of co-ordination are included, one cannot but plead for a return to nationalised public services instead of allowing foreign capitalists profit from our discomfort.