From: Michael Meadowcroft, Liberal MP for Leeds West (1983-87).
YOUR columnist, Tony Rossiter, poses the question so many BBC viewers have wanted to ask for ages – what’s the answer to the Question Time problem?
The programme has descended to such a level that he starts shouting at the screen (The Yorkshire Post, June 7). I do not shout at it – simply because, despite being a politics addict, I have given up watching it.
He suggests that part of the answer is to revert to having top level political figures as panellists, but, frankly, I believe that the cause of the problem lies with the BBC who deliberately set up the programme to be a punch-up rather than a debate.
It is the same with BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? programme. The BBC seems to have come to believe that the shouting match makes better television and radio than rigorous debate. It doesn’t! My recollection of appearing on both programmes many moons ago is that my views were rightly put on the spot by other participants who knew their stuff and were well able to point out what they saw as flaws in my arguments. All panellists were tough but calm.
Look at Brexit on both sides
From: Michael J Robinson, Park Lane, Berry Brow, Huddersfield.
AS throughout the Brexit process from before the referendum and right into last week’s expert analysis of the Peterborough by-election, including your editorials, we are asked to believe that it is all about the UK.
There have been interviews by the BBC’s John Pienaar in which he interviewed greengrocers in London who claimed they would face ruin if delays at the ports caused the fresh greenery from Spain to become unsaleable.
Fine so far as it goes, but why did he not go to Spain to ask the Spanish growers what they were telling their MEPs about how they might be expected to manage without the UK market?
Will they be told to shut up, plough their cabbages back in, and perhaps turn to arable farming or pig rearing or something? Bad enough with the Spanish, but try telling the French that their groceries will not enjoy the easy access to the lucrative UK market!
Then last week, BBC Radio 4 analysts told their listeners that leaving the EU would cause the UK to lose access to Interpol on the same member’s basis as now.
Why is it supposed to be the UK who will be forced to endure the problems of leaving? Why isn’t all this Project Fear looked at from both sides? And what on earth was David Davis doing for two wasted years with a very good hand to play?
Weasels on political stage
From: Gordon Lawrence, Sheffield.
IT was reassuring to see the Buckingham Palace and governmental authorities ignore the howls and shameful activities of the Left last week in giving the President of the USA a full ceremonial welcome.
Tom Richmond, in his usual robust style, articulated The Yorkshire Post’s viewpoint in condemning such demeaning delinquency (The Yorkshire Post, June 6), especially in relation to the sacrifices suffered in the D-Day landings by the Americans alongside our own forces.
Compare them to the weasels strutting the political stage today.
A long way to go for Farage
From: John Van der Gucht, Clayton Hall Road, Cross Hills.
THE Nigel Farage Brexit party, with a full wind in their sails following their undoubted ‘‘triumph’’ in the EU elections, and on the 75th anniversary of D-day, still failed to capture the Peterborough seat.
This does not mean the end of Farage’s ambitions, but it is a reminder that while his single issue policy, a no-deal Brexit under WTO rules, may succeed on a low turnout as in the EU elections, it has not in a by-election which the bookies had him as favourite.
In a higher turnout still, at a general election, I think he would fare even worse.
But he has put together an effective pressure group, and one which may well succeed in condemning the Tories to opposition, something which, as democrats, they should not fear.
Realities of the Nazi past
From: Rajmund Brent, Wath upon Dearne.
YOUR correspondent Keith Punshon is absolutely right to bemoan the definition creep of terms such as “Nazi” and “fascist” (The Yorkshire Post, June 8).
However, when he accuses “snowflakes” – an unnecessary term of abuse – of being ignorant of history, I should like to remind him, that Nazism and fascism did not just happen.
It took the inter-war years for this to develop into the genocide and catastrophe he correctly cites.
It is important that analogies be made between that period and what is happening now.
We all need to be aware of history, not just certain blocks of time but its full sweep and what it teaches us.
Will hopes be undermined?
From: Arthur Quarmby, Mill Moor Road, Meltham.
I AM delighted to note that arrangements for the restoration of Wentworth Woodhouse are made, the work is in hand and Julie Kenny, who has made all this possible, has been honoured by the Queen for her work.
I only worry about my memory from years ago of a mineworkers union leader gleefully reporting that all the foundations of the mansion had been undermined so that the house could never, ever be restored.
Was he perhaps exaggerating?