Pointless waste of farming land

From: Stephen Kirkwood, Cherry Cobb Sands, Burstwick, Hull.

THE proposals by Able UK to ruin 450 acres of prime farmland at Cherry Cobb Sands, in a compensatory habitat scheme, are an illustration of the inflexibility of European and UK governance. How it can be morally right to flood land at the same time as we are urged to grow more food?

Latest figures from the world bank show 44 million more people became officially classed as starving since price rises last year. We are seeing the effects of food price rises around the world as poorer populations are showing how desperate the situation is becoming and calling for regime change.

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Any chance of new jobs in this area is to be welcomed but the need to sacrifice this land needs to be questioned.

The total cost of creating new mudflats on this land could cost up to £160m, and the work could involve moving over two million tonnes of soil off site.

Surely it is time for common sense to prevail? It is a fact that the mud flats at the north of the estuary are increasing so there is no real need to create more habitat except there seems to be some part of our psyche that says we must continually feel guilty.

Homeless man ‘turned away’

From: Michael Hoban, Hyde Park, Leeds.

I AM a student of Leeds Metropolitan University and Hyde Park resident, and was left disgusted and reeling in anger after recently talking with a homeless man I’ve come to know over the past six months.

Kevin Marper, well-known in the Hyde Park area for frequenting the streets, was diagnosed with severe frostbite in his toes at St James’s Hospital on Christmas Eve. A doctor apparently said his frostbite was the worst case he had ever seen.

After being released from hospital in mid-January, Mr Marper was told to return to St James’s Hospital to have the dressings on his feet changed to avoid the risk of infection and possible amputation.

However, due to the lack of mobility caused by the excruciating pain in his feet, Kevin made the agonising walk from Hyde Park to Leeds General Infirmary in the city centre as it was closer than St James’s hospital.

On arrival, he was told that he must go to St James’s, even though he was in unbearable pain. I was left deeply saddened and extremely angry upon speaking to Mr Marper, who seemed very deflated and, in my opinion, was not well enough to be released from hospital in the first place.

Kevin also said this wasn’t the first time he’d been turned away by LGI.

I am writing this letter on behalf of Mr. Marper, as I think it’s an absolute disgrace that he was turned away by an NHS institution that is funded by us, the general public, especially taking into consideration the seriousness of his condition.

Regardless of where Kevin was originally treated, the NHS has a duty of care to look after the citizens of this country. If you or I had arrived at an NHS hospital to have dressings changed, would we have been turned away? I think not.

Spelling out the historic facts

From: Michael Swaby, Hainton Avenue, Grimsby.

WHAT a delight it was to read the letter from P Graham Smith, showing his interest in a momentous period of English history by noticing a possible anomaly in the Joe Shute article about the Fulford Tapestry Group (Yorkshire Post, February 26).

It is about the caption under the smaller photograph, mentioning “the figure of King Harold in the Battle of Fulford tapestry”. My initial reaction was that, assuming nobody would be silly enough to get “the wrong king”, it must be a spelling error.

Or was it? As historical spellings seem inconveniently fluid, some investigation seemed appropriate.

Encyclopaedia Britannica names the king of Norway at that time as Harald Sigurdsson, aka Harald Hardrade. No surprise there. In his magnificent history The Isles, the meticulous Norman Davies identifies him as Harald Sigurdarson Hadradi.

Readers Digest’s Our Island Heritage includes large chunks from A History of the English-Speaking Peoples by Winston Churchill. On page 77 of volume one it says: “Norway’s King Harold Hardrada set forth to conquer the English Crown.” There is a precedent for the English spelling being used for the name of that Norwegian king.

Regarding Mr Smith’s hypothesis, one can speculate that as the Battle of Hastings was such a close-run thing, a stronger and fresher English army might have prevailed.

One good idea deserves another. What if, the brilliant and fearless Hereward the Wake had been at hand and available to serve his king, instead of being exiled in Flanders?

Lessons of past

From: Robert Reynolds, Dixon Terrace, Harrogate.

WHAT an excellent series, The Promise, which has just finished on TV. Attempting to highlight the pain of the Arab Israeli conflict, from the viewpoint of a serving British soldier in 1947, it will certainly have unsettled many people.

Surfing the internet, I looked for a number of Jewish publications, to read their opinions of the series. Sure enough, the creators are “anti-semitic” and those allowing the programme to be shown are also “anti-semitic”. That seems to be the common response.

Asked what lessons Israelis can learn from the Holocaust, an Israeli settler replied: “To be militarily strong at all times.”

Personally, I am of the opinion that the Holocaust taught all of us that, wherever simple compassion and humanity for others disappears, then it’s there that people begin to murder without thought or feeling.

No great loss

From: Bob Swallow, Settle, North Yorkshire.

STEPHEN Hester, chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, has sought to defend his bank’s action in paying to its employees nearly £1bn in bonuses, despite a loss of £1.2bn over the past year.

In so doing, Mr Hester possibly unwittingly exploded the myth of the invincibility of the bookies employed by this largely state-owned bank to bet and lose with public money. He revealed that the employees who had caused such mayhem in the past were no longer in the bank’s employ.

This surely illustrates that these people are no more indispensible than anyone else. There is always someone ready to step in when others fail.