PMQs is a waste of time for everyone

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.

TOM Richmond makes a very good point about PMQs (The Yorkshire Post, November 19). It is a ritual that actually means very little in real terms. The two sides and the hangers-on pose stylised questions and the PM gives answers designed to make the questioner look foolish, if in opposition, or perceptive if on the Government’s side. It seems a complete waste of Parliament’s time.

From: Terry Duncan, Greame Road, Bridlington.

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WHAT is the point of PMQs in the Westminster Parliament when the current incumbent at Number 10 rarely or never answers any questions from the Opposition, but, instead, rambles on about other historic matters over and over?

We, the electorate, surely deserve replies to enlighten us to what is on his agenda (Tom Richmond, The Yorkshire Post, November 19)!

From: Arthur Quarmby, Underhill, Holme.

RESENTMENT at the domination of Westminster lies behind much of the move towards independence in Scotland and Wales, and for substantial devolution across England.

If Westminster cared about the threatened break-up of the United Kingdom, then corrective action would already have been taken but clearly, having accumulated such unchallengeable authority, this will not be willingly surrendered; these powers will have to be forcibly reclaimed by the regions/independent elements of this once united country.

Perhaps David Cameron will go down as the last Prime Minister of a United Kingdom?

Treason of jihad fighters

From: John Watson, Leyburn.

I SEE the human rights brigade are complaining about David Cameron’s crackdown on some of our young men going abroad to fight alongside people whose barbarism is beyond question.

I presume these so called radicalised individuals swore allegiance to the Crown or the flag when they landed in this country? If so, the fact that they have left to fight for “jihadism” which is so anti-British means they should be charged with treason. Failing that, their passports should not be returned.

This suggestion is, of course, too much for the aforementioned human rights people. Do they put a person’s rights before the security of the state? If so the purpose of their movement must be very questionable. Have they ever heard of the word “responsibility”?

City in need 
of metro rail

From: James Bovington, Church Grove, Horsforth, Leeds.

YET another report admonishes local transport planners to learn lessons from Europe in order to get the best from HS2. Yet our transport chiefs seem keen to do just the opposite.

Hence they ignore the fact that French cities comparable in size to Leeds such as Lille and Lyon constructed municipal underground rail networks partially in order to serve the new high speed stations as effectively as possible. Yet we are fobbed off with one useless trolleybus line.

What we really need in Leeds is a central area cross rail metro network akin to those in Tyneside, Merseyside and Glasgow, which would take passengers direct to major traffic objectives such as the University and the new Victoria shopping centre at Eastgate. This would mean capacity being released at Leeds station.

Given that any suggestions made for a metro network are routinely ignored by Councillor James Lewis and his team, I despair that Leeds will make the best of HS2.

Haka gives 
an advantage

From: Ronald Farley, Croft Way, Camblesforth, Selby.

YOUR recent letters on crowd behaviour at Rugby Union internationals (and other) matches prompt my ha’porth.

I have noticed that in New Zealand the crowds definitely do not maintain a respectful silence when goal kicks or conversions are taking place.

I am 85-plus, played rugby at school and as a PT instructor in the RAF for 12 years before injury put paid to that, also taught, refereed and trained players. My two “bests” were Pilot Officer Bob Stirling, England prop and captain while at RAF Cranwell 1948-50 (after duty hours by special request) and, while stationed at RAF Cardington, one of the then top sides in England – Bedford – again with an England prop, Laurie Webb, and a future England captain – “Budge” Rogers.

Now to the Haka. At that time, like most followers of the game, I thrilled to the sight and sound of this Maori war dance. Especially during their tour of England in 1963/4 under the captaincy of the great Wilson Whineray when they played Northern Counties at Otley and they were “billeted” at RAF Leconfield courtesy of one of the officers who was an old school chum of Whineray – and where I was stationed at the time.

However, I have begun to wonder if the Haka is the perfect example of one-upmanship, gamesmanship if you like.

Teams warm up, go into the changing rooms, come out, sing their National Anthems, get a bit colder and not so loose, then one team has to stand still while the other gets psyched up again, adrenalin pumping and raring to go – while the other team get colder and stiffer!