From: Raymond Barry, Laytham, York.
LIKE thousands of other UK citizens, and I suspect, many in EU countries, Brexit negotiations have been difficult to follow. Perhaps the same thing for our continental cousins? Unravelling the acronym might help with an explanation to understand the UK’s position and I submit my interpretation.
B – Before September 1, 1939, countries within Europe had learned to more or less accept each other, warts and all, or get dreadful punishment for their vain ambitions.
R – Relatives of the 60 million dead in the First World War, and their leaders, were slow to react to events taking place on Poland’s border in 1939.
E – Exceptional events in Berlin during the 1930s resulted in a maniacal military putsch that started the deadly ball rolling again. Sadly, surrounding countries failed in their puny efforts to contain the central, clearly megalomaniacal driving force, resulting in the Second World War. The biggest potential resistance was from neighbouring France but Panzers changed all that in 10 minutes. Remember?
X – Exit from this morass of warring neighbours before history has a chance of repeating itself. If and when Vladimir Putin opens another page in his little book from school and goes to the bit dedicated to expanding an empire, we and our American friends might identify self-interest in helping you all out, again. Think again.
I – Internationalism means, to the West, getting on with those with whom you have disagreements.
T – Stands for Trust. It takes years and years to build up, but move carefully, it can evaporate overnight.
Improving the River Derwent
From: Andrew Sewell, Ellerton.
RE your article (The Yorkshire Post, October 14) concerning the £5m plan to” improve” the river Derwent.
The project manager Tom Pagett claims the Derwent has changed little since the Ice Age. I would suggest if Mr Pagett walks the length of the Derwent he would observe man-made bridges, sluices and weirs.
He would also see flood banks preventing the river from spilling out onto its natural floodplain.
But the largest single change to the Derwent was the construction in 1975 of a barrage at Barmby on the Marsh.
This stopped tidal saline water from the Ouse entering the Derwent, stopping the Derwent from being a tidal river. This allowed Yorkshire Water to abstract water at Elvington and Barmby.
I am at a loss to see how Mr Pagett can claim the Derwent has not changed since the Ice Age. The Derwent, like most rivers, has had human manipulation, there is nothing natural about it
With regard to Natural England’s claim, the Derwent is a failing river, both the river and flood plan was listed by Natural England as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Both Natural England and the Environment Agency should protect the Derwent.
Strike could do further harm
From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.
Royal Mail staff are threatening to strike (The Yorkshire Post, October 14). They must be crazy. I, for one, have given up sending cards and letters as the price of stamps is more than the price of the card I would want to send.
Surely further industrial action would do the company great harm and result in further loss of custom? Eventually other means of contact will replace all the services that Royal Mail provide at present.
Backing for shops a myth
From: Melvyn Woodhead and Angie Meadows, Woodhead Investments, Wakefield.
AS a businessman for over 50 years, I was interested to read your Editorial ‘Saving our shops’ (The Yorkshire Post, October 14).
Only a fool would want to open a shop under present circumstances. The cost of business rates, taxes, rents, employment costs and liabilities, the uncertainties of Brexit, online competition, VAT, etc, present a very anti-business platform.
To say that local authorities are doing what they can is a total myth round here in Wakefield. Highways have cut off various road access and gateway points, making it a deterrent for shoppers.
Business rates, in most cases, are much higher than reduced rents.
The best jobs now are in local government, what with a lack of accountability and pension rights, etc. Bring back the old days, let private and free enterprise have a go!
Coin that caught on
From: Keith Jowett, Woodland Rise, Silkstone Common, Barnsley.
THE news that we are marking the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the 50p coin into circulation reminded me of an incident which took place at my local branch of the Royal British Legion.
On being presented with his change containing one of the new decimal coins one old member looked at it carefully before pronouncing sagely: “Nay, it’ll nivver catch on in Penistone.” Well, though shrunken from its first incarnation, it did catch on…even in Penistone.
Changes hit the pocket
From: Jarvis Browning, Fadmoor, York.
I WISH to to thank Mr SB Oliver for him to correct my accounts for the driving test prices back then, one’s memory of cost can vary but the change did hit one’s pocket.
What I received was not a paper round but in the first year of my apprenticeship (45 hours a week).