A very costly inquiry into phone hacking

From: Mike Andrews, Cheviot Way, Upper Hopton.

IT is reported that Kit Malthouse, Boris Johnson’s deputy as Mayor of London, has queried the high level of resources devoted by the police to the phone hacking investigation.

In my view, this is an entirely legitimate and very timely query. All public service spending has to be prioritised and this is especially true in times of austerity. Thus, spending has to be very carefully allocated across and within all areas: health, education, social welfare and so on. The police cannot escape scrutiny in the area of public spending. If, as we are promised in the era of elected police commissioners, the public is to have some say in determining police operational priorities,

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I wonder how many of us (apart from some of our well remunerated legal friends) would have advanced the claims of the current hacking inquiry and its offshoot, the immensely expensive and protracted Leveson inquiry?

From: Edwin Schirn, Ilkley.

DON Burslam writes (Yorkshire Post, March 8) to oppose having elected executive mayors.

Maybe his apathy is shared by other people in Dewsbury; but at least his admission could get people thinking about executive mayors. If people in Britain had been apathetic in 1940, we could have been invaded and crushed under the jackboot. But we did not moan about it. We got on with gearing ourselves up to change things.

Fears over the future of NHS

From: David Barr, Main Street, Wilsden, Bradford.

AS we get nearer to the possible demise of our NHS, I am becoming more and more concerned for my future as someone who is dealing with pancreatic cancer.

My treatment has been successful and I owe my life to the surgeon and nurses of our Health Service.

The minor amendments accepted so far have done nothing to alter the nature of the Health Bill, which can only damage the quality of healthcare for ordinary people around the UK by breaking up the NHS as we know it.

It will reduce accountability and raise administrative costs, allowing private patients to jump the queue for care while NHS patients face growing waiting lists, and intensifying postcode lotteries for treatment.

I would face such a lottery and not come out of it well. Cancer is not a money spinner.

Sold down the river

From: Kendal Wilson, Wharfebank Terrace, Tadcaster.

IN the mainstream of political life over the last few years it has become apparent that corporate agendas have seemingly eroded the industrial landscape to make sure the term working class would never again be applied to those who once worked in industrial positions.

Well, it seems the majority of them so described took the medicine, in the form of right to buy homes which have seen increasing levels of repossession; a shareholders’ society, and loans for homes which became the sub-prime markets that should never have been issued. Yes, it seems people could cope, and the ease with how money appeared to be made could have seen to be emancipation, but now it has become entrapment.

The working classes have been sold down the river by consecutive like-minded governments eager to wean people from primitive bonding, caring communities and in effect replacing them with the internet and nuclear families subdued, neglected and often hidden away within society.

Overseas aid needs rethink

From: David W Wright, Uppleby, Easingwold.

THE latest threats by Argentina to ban British imports while they have prevented our ships from docking in two Argentinian ports raises the questionable UK policy of supporting aid to that country, who seem determined to continue their refusal to accept that the people of the Falkland Islands have a clear right to remain British.

Our overseas aid policy is not fit for purpose – and yet we continue to send aid to countries who neither have true allegiance to the UK nor need the money or, will spend the aid on projects which do not directly benefit their citizens.

There needs to be a complete re-think on overseas aid by the Government – now.

Cameron must sack Cable

From: Alan Carcas, Cornmill Lane, Liversedge.

DAVID Cameron was warned when he set up the coalition that the Lib Dems played “hardball”, and now he seems powerless to do anything about it. Business Secretary Vince Cable’s speech at the Mansion House when he said “Some of you may regret that in my case you are stuck with me...” is really a direct challenge to the Prime Minister who hires, and fires Cabinet Ministers.

Or at least he did, last time I looked. Come on Dave. What are you, a Prime Minister, or a mouse? Time Cable was on his bike. Boris will lend him one.

Run country as we wish

From: Dorothy Cope, Beckwithshaw.

I AM sure many of us fully agree with the comments made in Barrie Frost’s splendid letter (Yorkshire Post, February 28).

Why, for goodness sake, can’t we run our own country as we wish, as we have done very successfully in the past?

If we don’t want to do as the EU dictate, ignore them. If the EU issues a fine, ignore it, just like France did over the meat fiasco years ago – the fines have never been paid.

What can this unelected lot in Brussels do about it then?

Just because it “isn’t British” to disobey rules, this should not apply if it affects the economies or welfare of our people and this country.