Tuesday's Letters: Now Prince William can cheer up English football fans

NO doubt, most of the female half of the English population will be cheered up by a Royal wedding, but what about us blokes?

I would be cheered up if someone sorted out our dire football team. Anyone watching the England versus France game last week would feel as depressed as I did.

And yet, I have just enjoyed a brilliant English Premier league game between Arsenal and Tottenham. Two of England's oldest established clubs going head to head – fabulous – until you realise that only two or three of the 22, mostly international, players who started the game were English, and none of those were in the Arsenal team.

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It's no good paying a fortune to a top foreign manager to pick an England team, when we have so few English nationals playing for top clubs for him to choose from. The Government's immigration policy should ban players from outside the EU, and every English league side should have to include at least three English players this season, four next season, and so on until the majority of players in each team are English.

Other nations must think we are barmy. We are happy to have the best league in the world, even if it means our national side lets us down.

Perhaps the President of the Football Association, Prince William, can bring about the necessary changes and cheer up us lads, as he has done for the ladies.

From: Paul Rouse, Derwent Lodge, Main Street, Sutton upon Derwent.

From: Tim Mickleburgh, Littlefield Lane, Grimsby.

AS expected, amid the extensive coverage of William and Kate's nuptials, you've had a few Royalists come up with the argument in favour of the Monarchy that the alternative would be a Presidential figure like Blair.

But whoever was chosen, the person wouldn't be there for life. So if you had someone who'd become unpopular for whatever reason, you'd be able to vote them out pure and simple.

The trouble with a heriditary ruler, though, is that you're stuck with them unless they choose to abdicate. And we have had some pretty dreadful kings over the years.

What's more, though many support the current Queen, people are by no means so enthusiastic about a Queen Camilla. Yet Prince Charles is right to put forward her claims, as logic decrees the person married to the King becomes his Queen.

If, of course, logic has anything to do with an institution that should be confined to the dustbin of history.

NFU plays politics over badger cull

From: David Williams, Chairman, Badger Trust

CHRIS Benfield's article (Yorkshire Post, November 5) about bovine tuberculosis reported a comment that "the debate has got stuck on whether or not culling badgers will help the bTB problem when there are other big questions". Big questions indeed, but ones the NFU has been oversimplifying for years.

In their wish to have badgers killed, the NFU and others have been trying to play politics. In the past its members had been able to use their clout as home producers when the UK was desperate to avoid importing it. The country is now not so dependent any more, and the farmers are finding that politicians have been rather better at politics than they are.

The result is that two governments are trying to get the badger cull lobby off their backs; in England farmers could be given the right to shoot badgers at their own expense and in Wales the taxpayer could get a hefty twinge in the wallet – and all to make matters even worse. Both administrations are flying in the face of the only science which, Westminster's consultation document itself says, is properly rigorous – the outcome of the 50m Randomised Badger Culling Trials of 1998-2007.

Any culling would have to be done simultaneously on a massive and sustained scale in either country to be marginally effective. The minimum area is eight miles by eight (151 square kilometres). That is about the size of Leeds and could contain up to 150 farms. About 70 per cent of the badgers (which live underground during the day) would have to be killed (at night in the dark) in at least 70 per cent of each area. Any less and the local situation would almost certainly be made worse while the main and economically serious problems, transmission between cattle and sloppy biosecurity, would be masked.

Sadly, the politicians have seen the NFU and its friends coming to market. They have persuaded the English ones to pay for powder and shot to shoot themselves in the foot.

Yes, we all are better off

From: Michael Booth, The Birches, Bramhope.

WHAT an excellent article by Richard Heller (Yorkshire Post, November 20). I'm 15 years older than he. but I still have a good memory and am far from senile. I don't necessarily agree with his politics but on reading his article I found myself agreeing with every point he made. In my view, he hit the nail on the head every time.

The is little doubt that in the period of my adult life, successive governments have brought his country to its knees and, in doing so, have reduced it from being "Great Britain" to being a nondescript member of the EU.

On the other hand, I can't help but agree to a large extent with Lord Young, whose resignation followed his comment that in present times "most people have never had it so good".

There is no doubt that he was "politically incorrect" in his comment, but 50 or 60 years ago that would not have applied. I well remember both my parents working full-time.

In his spare time, my father cultivated our garden for vegetable production while my mother ran the house without the benefits of washing machine, fridge, freezer or microwave oven. We couldn't afford a car, telephone, television or central heating and I'd never heard of bonuses being paid for just doing the job I was employed to do.

Nowadays the majority have recreational gardens and all the other items I've mentioned. Don't tell me that we aren't better off now than in those days.

Having said all that, unless things change soon, I don't envy my grandchildren's next 50 years.

Burglars in God's house

From: Mrs Kath Scully, Whitehall Road, Leeds.

ISN'T it sad that we almost expect that at some time we will be burgled, though we are still shocked when it happens?

Last Wednesday night, some people burgled Lower Wortley Methodist Church, the church I attend; they broke in through locked doors, damaging the ransacked rooms. They took vacuum cleaners, CD players, musical instruments, a toaster, toys, beakers, packs of bacon for our coffee shop, biscuits and even toilet rolls!

They took the 100 that was for the Operation Christmas Child shoe box appeal which provides presents for children who would not otherwise receive one.

Fortunately, we had already taken our filled shoe boxes to the pick-up point, or goodness knows what might have happened to them.

We like to think we are part of the community in Lower Wortley – after all, we live here. We love to meet the variety of people who come through our doors but not the people who come in the dead of the night to wreak havoc in our building – God's building.

Runaway soldier will face a life-long stigma

From: Len Fincham, Warrels Road, Bramley, Leeds.

NCO Joe Glenton, a characterless man of no substance, is indeed a very lucky man (Yorkshire Post, November 20). In World War One, he would have been shot for desertion. In World War Two, he would have received 12-16 years in prison, possibly with some of it doing "hard labour".

He obviously knew himself he was a coward by running away to foreign parts before coming back to face a superfluous farcical court martial.

Now, in the prime year of 2010, he spent four months in jail – a disgrace and insult to the British Army and especially his "mates" in Afghanistan. He was, of course, scared of going back to a war zone – and that today is no failure, many soldiers become traumatised under fire and need mental and spiritual help.

They consult their commanding officers who will invariably transfer them to a zone where they can still give their support and fulfil their contract but in a different way. This is common sense and keeps morale stable.

To object as a serving soldier to the Afghan War is laughable, as a serving soldier can be sent anywhere at any time and he will be aware of this, as any boy will be since birth.

The final pathetic gesture was to return his medal (which should have been wrenched off his uniform at his court martial) back to No 10.

The poor fool doesn't realise this stigma will remain with him for the rest of his life and wherever he goes the passing man or woman will mutter the word "coward".

From: John Watson, Hutton Hill, Leyburn.

WHY did you have such a large photograph of the ex-soldier Joe Glenton ?

Here is a character whose whole aim in life is to seek as much publicity as possible for his lost cause. He is a convicted deserter.

While the rest of his mates were laying their lives on the line in Afghanistan, he deserted his post. In my book, such an offence deserves the ultimate punishment.

He is now trying to hand in a medal at Downing Street as a gesture of his defiance and a protest at the war. His next step apparently is to take a course, in "international relations and peace".

What will he do with such a "mickey mouse" degree? He'll end up on job-seeker's allowance with a big debt round his neck like lots of others.

No fairness on Guantanamo

From: M Burrows, Goole, East Yorkshire.

HAVING been told that we, the taxpayers, are to pay out millions of pounds to the detainees of Guantanamo, it just shows what a stupid Government we have (Yorkshire Post, November 17).

They were obviously put in there because of their possible involvement in terrorist attacks. Yet the Equitable Life members are put on the back burner, they lost money through no fault of their own. I am also a taxpayer because I saved my money and was frugal. Now I am expected to pay towards these individuals. Fairness?

From: Jack Kinsman, Stainton Drive, Grimsby.

WILL the cheque for millions of pounds of taxpayers' money that's being paid to the poor "tortured" terrorists be made out to Osama Bin Laden or go straight to al-Qaida? I just like to know where my money is going to end up.

Kindness lesson

From: Tom Howley, Wetherby.

PHILLIP Green boasts that his wife, a primary school teacher, complained that a trainee teacher "was hopeless" (Yorkshire Post, November 17).

Nothing to boast about Mr Green, your wife should have shown patience, kindness and understanding to a youngster about to enter the teaching profession. Trainee teachers spend time in the classroom to gain experience and should be helped and advised, not belittled by older – and supposedly wiser – future colleagues.

Student action

From: TE Marston, Cambridge Street, Otley.

WITH regard to the article by the president of the University and College Union at the University of Leeds, Malcolm Povey (Yorkshire Post, November 16), and the injustice to students, I understand his unease; the only way to solve the student problem would be to get rid of the considerable number who are only there for a three-year state subsidised party and for qualifications not worth the paper they are written on.