Terror excuse for Soviet-style surveillance

From: Dr Glyn Powell, Kellington, Goole.

GEORGE Orwell’s seminal work Nineteen Eighty-Four was correctly critically-acclaimed as showing how Communist-controlled states kept watch over every aspect of their citizens’ lives. However, if Theresa May has her evil way, government spying on British subjects will exceed anything achieved in the former Soviet Union.

I refer, of course, to proposals to force internet companies to release individuals’ data to security services. The raison d’etre for such Orwellian measures being to counter the terrorism threat. What arrant nonsense. Terrorists do not publicise their plans in advance.

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Rather, it has everything to do with social and political control of the populace as Britain rapidly follows the USA in the introduction of a police state and the curtailing of individual liberties that this entails. With the erosion of civil liberties and fundamental freedoms comes victory to the terrorists as democracy is undermined.

Theresa May must realise that the terror threat will only end when both Britain and the USA cease interfering in Middle Eastern states like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Similarly, uncritical support for Israeli atrocities must end.

MP’s act of career suicide

From: Nigel Boddy, Darlington.

PENNY Mordaunt MP (The Yorkshire Post, December 1) is the latest of a long line of politicians who seems to have destroyed their own credibility (and therefore any future) by 
one ill-chosen speech to the House of Commons.

Why do they do it? Westminster is an odd lonely place. No one appears to be listening to anyone else. MPs can spend a decade in the Palace of Westminster failing to make any impact at all.

In attempts to attract publicity, MPs frequently go too far. One is put in mind of Lembit Opik.

Westminster is not, alas, a place where talent, ability or a worthy past are recognised.

As someone who once worked for an MP and had a Westminster pass, I would move the whole of Parliament out of London altogether.

Usually good people behave out of character there and Parliamentarians would regain a sense of proportion if we take them out of London.

From: Mrs PZ Frankland, Hull Road, Dunnington, York.

I COULD not agree less that the present government is ineffectual. On the contrary, remember the last Labour government with Gordon Brown at the help of a sinking ship?

Tony Blair shipped out, leaving Gordon Brown in the mire. The Treasury left a note saying the coffers were bare, sorry.

The medicine has been hard to take owing to all the cuts that had to be done to save us from bankruptcy. George Osborne has been brilliant in adversity.

Let’s have a bit of faith in the coalition. Whoever is in power is always vilified by the media. You cannot please all the people all of the time can you?

License eye drug on NHS

From: Christine Keogh, Gargrave, North Yorkshire.

AS someone who has been successfully treated with the drug Avastin for “wet” macular degeneration, I am glad to see your newspaper highlighting the need for this drug to be licensed (The Yorkshire Post, November 29).

As well as being considerably cheaper than Lucentis, Avastin involves fewer injections in the eye to treat the condition. This makes it a far better option for the patient, involving less pain and stress, as well as saving the NHS money twice over.

Neither treatment was available on the NHS when I was diagnosed, but if Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was given the choice of a single injection in his eye rather than a more expensive course of injections to achieve the same outcome, as I was, I suspect he might also choose Avastin.

Far from first class service

From: Glyn Gibson, Woodlands.

FURTHER to the recent claim by Royal Mail that they were on target with deliveries of First Class Mail, I recently received a letter on Saturday which had been posted on the Wednesday previous, having travelled roughly five miles.

I said at the time first class mail was introduced that it was a dubious way to increase revenues. I am still of that view. And yes, I did miss the appointment.

Return ticket for Sir Nigel

From: Patricia Schofield, Park Lane, Blaxton, Doncaster

WITH reference to Malcolm Barker’s splendid article “A Town At The Heart Of The Age Of Steam” (The Yorkshire Post, November 29), Doncaster has a rich railway history which is well documented in the town.

Sculptor Hazel Reeves has created a statue of Sir Nigel Gresley which will be placed at King’s Cross London.

Malcolm Barker suggests that perhaps Doncaster could be provided with a replica and placed in the Sir Nigel Gresley Square in Doncaster.

What a very good idea.