Politicians should heed public opnion

From: Robert and Joan Clarkson, Grosvenor Park, Chapel Allerton, Leeds.

I WOULD just like to say what an excellent letter from Barrie Frost listing many of the things that successive governments do, mostly against the wishes of the majority of public opinion (Yorkshire Post, February 29).

We are told by Eric Pickles that power will be given to local authorities to make decisions on local matters on planning but whenever an appeal is made by whoever is making the application, in most cases the appeal is upheld and planning goes ahead.

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In particular with energy needs the present rush into wind farms will in the end achieve very little and be extremely costly.

Regarding the latest soundbite from David Cameron to increase the price of alcohol in a bid to halt binge drinking, when will someone accept the fact that the current licensing laws need changing and that the present availability of alcohol at any time from many sources is one of the main factors?

I could go on about many things but I would just like to reiterate again my support for all that Barrie Frost is saying. One can only hope that notice is taken in quarters that matter.

From: Bob Crowther, High Street, Crigglestone, Wakefield.

I AM in my late 70s, and have never failed to register my vote, be it in local or government elections.

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I have now decided that the time has arrived whereby I will never cast another vote. I am sick to the back teeth of the mismanagement of our country by our so-called leaders. In my honest opinion, we could not make a viable leadership out of all three parties.

We are a country that is being run on the basis of commercialism without conscience and, as such, are slowly sliding into becoming a third world country.

We are often praised upon being the finest democratic country in the world but I have arrived at the conclusion that the only time we encounter true democracy is when we put a cross on our ballot papers. After that the people in power take it upon themselves to ignore public feeling and opinions and rule the country as they feel fit.

Corruption and nepotism is rife in the EU. How can a so-called organisation exist without having the accounts signed off for over 17 years? It is impossible to have one successful currency throughout Europe due to the fact that each country is governed by different political agendas.

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Finally, I wish to state that I am pleased that I am in my late 70s. I dread to think what my beautiful grandchildren have to face in the future.

Devastatingly pro-Europe

From: Gerald White, Jackson Avenue, Leeds.

AS a regular reader of your paper for at least the last 40 years, I notice that often your correspondents manage to have a dig at the European Union.

I think that the EU, in spite of current difficulties, is one of the things that makes living in Europe so good but the latest dig I see is in Mr Terry Palmer’s letter (Yorkshire Post, March 1) criticising David Cameron and the Tories for ruining the country.

He upbraids Mr Cameron for, among other things not amending the EU Human Rights agreement. I should like to point out to Mr Palmer that the European Convention on Human Rights is an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by the then newly-formed Council of Europe the convention came into force on September 3, 1953.

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All 47 Council of Europe member states are party to the Convention and new members are expected to ratify it at the earliest opportunity. Thus the agreement is nothing to do with the EU as such and is upheld by the European Court of Human Rights which sits in Strasbourg and is not part of the European Union.

I should perhaps mention that as an RAF officer serving in Berlin during the Airlift in 1949 I saw some of the post-war devastation in Europe at first hand and since then nothing will shift me in my support of the EU however many problems may arise from time to time.

Riding the changes

From: Mary Bielby, Cromwell Avenue, Loftus, Cleveland.

I STARTED to read with interest Sebastian Oake’s article about the heart of Yorkshire (Yorkshire Post, February 27) but was horrified by the remarks from Melanie Osborne of Ordnance Survey who pointed out that Yorkshire doesn’t exist any more.

I suggest that she needs some lessons from the Yorkshire Ridings Society and other organisations. The Ridings have not been “hacked about”; they are still the historic areas that they have been for hundreds of years. Ignorant politicians ordered changes in local government and made artificial boundary changes. I never heard of residents opting out of being in Yorkshire; most were upset by the new boundaries forced on them.

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Yorkshire is Yorkshire and most of us are proud to be part of it. I have lived all my life in one town and it has never got up and moved.

Politicians come and go; Yorkshire goes on forever.

Freedoms – and speech

From: John Rookes, Bramley, Rotherham.

MUCH in the media just lately is the freedom of the press, but is freedom of speech also under threat?

A passenger at one of Britain’s airports must have thought so – he was asked by security to remove his scarf for security reasons.

While complying, he happened to notice a woman wearing a full facial covering and remarked if I was wearing one of those I wouldn’t have to, he was of course reported and duly questioned as to whether his motive was a racist remark.

Have we crossed the Rubicon? I hope not.