Thursday's Letters: Remember what the Tories did to Yorkshire

DO not be conned. After watching David Cameron, speaking to what appeared to be an audience of first-time voters in Milton Keynes on Saturday, it seems this Tory Party have short memories.

Firstly, his warm-up man, Eric Pickles, said that he was brought up in the back streets of Yorkshire, which had been neglected by the Labour Party's Government.

Then Cameron went on to try to impress his audience with his ideas of how wonderful life would be under their leadership. Do they not

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remember how, when Yorkshire was the backbone of the country's economy, with its steel, mining and, among others, the glass industries? It was one of their ex-leaders, Margaret Thatcher, who brought the downfall of Yorkshire towns and villages by closing these down. Cameron could have also reminded those young voters that it was the "snatcher" who took away their school milk.

From: E Green, Albert Street, Swinton, Mexborough, South Yorkshire.

From: Don Burslam, Elm Road, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury.

MAY I be allowed a brief response to John Richmond (Yorkshire Post, March 27). I am just as opposed as he is to unnecessary quangos but I thought Mr Cameron's reply was informative and acceptable.

As I understand it (and it can be checked) he said that in certain cases, quangos perform a useful and essential function, for example, when specialist technical expertise is required or where a completely impartial and independent decision is appropriate.

Mr Cameron did say a full review of all these bodies was being carried out and I am quite content with that.

By the way, I am not a supporter of the Conservatives and, like most ordinary voters, I long for the day when a determined effort is made to get to grips with the immense waste in government.

From: Tim Mickleburgh, Littlefield Lane, Grimsby.

SO one of the new Tory posters shows a picture of Gordon Brown, with the caption "I let 80,000 criminals out early vote for me".

Trouble is, is Cameron's party prepared to spend the extra public money on building the new prisons that would be needed if convicts were to serve their full sentences?

If not, then their advertising campaign is pointless.

Unions are being steered to disaster

From: Trev Bromby, Sculcoates Lane, Hull.

IT is way past time for members of the FBU, Unite, CWU to realise they are just that, a union. On that basis, they should unite against the power- crazed clowns who call on them to commit commercial suicide by agreeing to strikes which can only cause them financial harm, job insecurity (the opposite effect of their misguided hopes), and in

many cases, a less than favourable view from the public under siege.

Any honest miner from the 1980s would like to stand up and say: "Why on earth did we follow King Arthur? Just like the kids who followed the Pied Piper, we were doomed, if only we'd stopped and thought for a while, if only..." I have personally encountered some of these union men.

When their tactics are questioned, they fly into dictatorial rages – showing their true objective, a lust for power, not a fair deal for their subjects, er... members.

All free thinking union members please take note. Don't allow these individuals to destroy the great workers' protective that has taken so long to build up.

From: David W Wright, Uppleby, Easingwold, North Yorkshire.

WHO'S running – or, more precisely, ruining – this country? Neither the discredited Labour Government, aided and abetted by the militant trade unions, are helping to restore our credibility and economic stability by their wrecking tactics witnessed by the recent last-ditch Budget and the antics of the Unite union.

We have enough problems of over-regulation and bureaucratic

interference by the bloated public sector, which is made worse by our subjugation to the EU federal state which is now effectively running/ruining our once great country. What a golden opportunity for the Conservatives or the Lib Dems to capitalise on this awful situation with the General Election now so close – but so far all we have been getting is more waffle and promises.

Not a good omen for the future.

A curse on my family

From: Alan Marsden, Pledwick Lane, Sandal, Wakefield.

WITH reference to the article (Yorkshire Post, March 18) concerning ovarian cancer, this disease is the curse of the women kin in my family. How it has affected them is described by the late Dr Elizabeth Bryan in her book Singing the Life, which had extensive coverage in Life & Style about five years ago. It is now available in paperback. She herself inherited it from her paternal grandmother, my aunt.

My two aunts had it, my mother escaped, but my eldest sister died of it, aged 49 in 1967. When it hit our generation, the doctors in the family advised all the women that as soon as they had had all the children they intended, to have the whole lot out. That, I suppose, was before the days of screening.

My advice to women is that if there is ovarian cancer anywhere in your family, get screened.

Remember, it can pass from father to daughter, or even bypass your mother.

Degrees that don't add up

From: M Wilson, Oakbank Broadway, Oakworth, Keighley.

I REFER to the article (Yorkshire Post, March 15) which outlined the report by Boston Consulting Group on how helping poor children could lift the economy.

According to the Mobility Manifesto Report, "someone with a university degree will earn 604,000 in their working lifetime". So that's what Tony Blair's ambitious project of 50 per cent of all school leavers attending university was all about – do the maths (if these researchers were educated to that level).

Assuming a working lifetime of 40 years – and under this Government's proposals that is the minimum one will have to work from now on – that produces a princely annual earnings figure of 15,000 per annum.

In that case, why bother giving up a minimum of three years of your life and a mountain of debt averaging 25,000 – better to be an unskilled labourer and top up your earnings with (tax free) tax credits.

Does nobody in higher authority bother to check these figures before the report is published? Or is this just another example of a desperate Government wanting to be seen "doing something".

Residents ignored over new developments in city

From: Bob Watson, Springfield Road, Baildon, Shipley, West Yorkshire.

IT was reported (Yorkshire Post, March 25) that school pupils in Bradford were being offered the chance to showcase their artwork as

part of the development of the new City Park.

Coun Adrian Naylor was quoted as saying that "engaging with the city's future residents is paramount to the future success of the city".

Strange then that there was no such proper engagement with the present adult residents of the city in connection with both that project, and the Odeon Cinema building, before any decisions were made. The Bradford Council leadership team should be thoroughly ashamed.

Unfortunately, they simply plough on regardless with their own agenda, totally ignoring what the local population want to see for their city. Perhaps this will come home to roost at the forthcoming elections?

From: Mrs Maureen Hunt, Woolley, near Wakefield.

PH Green's letter (Yorkshire Post, March 26) about Bradford, "a city that lost its direction", struck a chord as I am an old Bradfordian and remember the end of the 1940s and the '50s well.

It was indeed a splendid city in which to be brought up. Perhaps the writer is a man, as he did not mention what an exceptional shopping centre it was, with Brown, Muff and Busby's department stores, Marshall and Snelgrove and many excellent boutiques. Sadly, all are gone.

Looking back, somehow everything seems so much better when we were young. However, I do remember coming back from London on the train and seeing the pall of smoke blanketing the city as we descended to the station. I clearly recall thinking that it was like going down

into hell.

On another occasion, I walked from Saltaire into the centre of Bradford in a veritable pea souper, when even the trolley buses were grounded. Arriving at my destination, my face was as black as any sweep at the end of a hard day's work.

The Clean Air Act of 1956 was a massive step forward and I am still amazed at the clarity of the views as we drive down Wakefield Road to visit the wonderful Alhambra theatre, which has certainly been transformed since my youth.

An excellent addition to the city is the National Media Museum, which is the most visited museum outside London. So at least there is some small compensation for the loss of the town we once knew and cherished.

New visions for the future

From: Brian Ormondroyd, Brindley Court, Skipton.

VISION and action is certainly necessary, both locally and nationally. Tourism, however, is only a small part in what is necessary to revive our economy. With a failed infrastructure – roads, transport, tacky towns and derelict areas – it is hardly what the tourist wants to see.

Real vision and quick action is required to address our farming and agriculture, our fishing and manufacturing. Fifty years ago, Hull was the leading fishing port in the world. Now it has one of the worst employment records in Britain.

Manufacturing has been betrayed by past and present governments. Only a few decades ago, Yorkshire was virtually self-supporting with mining, clothing and textiles, iron and steel, fishing and farming, machine and motor manufacturing. Now is our only hope tourism?

Such opportunities beckon. Large-scale forestry on under- used upland, providing much- needed work, renewable timber and fuel, the return of the plough to appropriate areas, providing food in a world facing massive food shortages.

Cross purposes in health care

From: Margaret E King, Flaxdale Close, Knaresborough.

WITH reference to the various letters and headlines on the subject of nurses wearing crosses on duty, hasn't everyone rather missed the point (Yorkshire Post, March 29), including the clergy?

As a retired SRN of 40 years' experience in hospital and operating theatres, the reason chains, lockets, pearls or crosses were banned was not because of religious implications but because of the health and safety of the patients (and the nurses). Patients, adults and children alike, were at risk of catching the "jewellery" as the nurses bent to tend them. Surely in this day and age of rampant infections on the ward, it is an important factor?

Students have a right to know

From: Chloe Wise, Burley Road, Leeds.

AS a student at Leeds Metropolitan University, the "Leeds Met Crisis" section of your website has had me intrigued for a number of weeks.

It is worrying that the university has not informed its students directly of this credit trouble – do we not deserve to know? It will be us who are affected by the consequences of borrowing and spending so much money, yet it is only through the Yorkshire Post that I have been informed of what has been going on.

This needs to stop, and Leeds Met needs to tell its students where they have been spending vast amounts of money.