From: Roger Crossley, Fall View, Silkstone, Barnsley.
RECENTLY I learnt that a man, who had severely disfigured and partly blinded someone by throwing acid in his face, had had his sentence reduced from ‘life’ to eight years imprisonment.
I expect that most people will be disturbed and angered by the picture of the victim’s face, and the reduction of the sentence.
However, I ask that in cases like this when original sentencing is overturned, isn’t it in the “public interest” to be made aware of the rationale behind such action, making the judges accountable for their decisions, and to the public whom they serve?
Obviously extenuating circumstances will have been considered, which I assume most right-minded people would also deem relevant. So by explaining their actions, we, the public, may have a better understanding behind these decisions, leading hopefully to less anger and annoyance.
It all depends on the quality of the decision-making process in each case, but at least we should be made aware of them, and know that our judges are doing their jobs properly.
Cycle path is far from safe
From: Allan Ramsay, Radcliffe.
If Yorkshire wants to be the European capital of cycling, it needs to make the cycle path alongside the A64, between Old Malton and Staxton, fit for purpose. I’ve cycled extensively in Belgium, and their authorities would condemn it.
With three pals from the Lancashire Road Club, it was encountered on a ride from Morecambe to Scarborough. By the time we reached it, (nine hours into our ride), we were tired to say the least, and deserved better. On one stretch it’s overgrown to the point where the tarmac disappeared, and we were attacked by nettles. Then, when we followed it to the other side of the carriageway, much of it was covered in slippery green moss.
Also, there were raised kerbs; better suited to mountain bike tyres. With the National Cycling Strategy some 20 years old and so many experienced cyclists in Yorkshire, how can the Highways Agency not know what makes for a safe/smooth bicycle ride? It’s time they realised that even a one inch kerb can be hazardous for lightweight tyres: not unlike tram-lines, if you don’t cross them at an angle, your front- wheel can be dragged out of control; more so when its wet, and if such transitions are covered with snow, they are potentially lethal. If a cyclist falls under a motor vehicle, a polystyrene helmet won’t be much use.
With the carriageway alongside it is as smooth as a billiard table, had we been brave enough to ride on it, we could have cycled 15mph faster. To get children to cycle to school, and people to cycle to work, indeed, a low income might dictate that cycling is a necessity – if Yorkshire can’t install Belgium/Dutch-style cycle paths, it’s a poor do.
To Yorkshire’s credit; while on the road, all bar two drivers gave us ample passing distance, and in many cases, crossed right over the white line.
For a cyclist who’s been hit a dozen times, and been on life support, it’s very much appreciated. Keep up the good work.
A neo-liberal lesson to learn
From: John G Davies, Alma Terrace, East Morton, Keighley.
LORD Baker presents a predictably neo-liberal view of education, seeing its role only as providing workers for “industry” (The Yorkshire Post, September 22).
He has nothing to say about its functions in the community and society. A democratic society can only function properly if its members are well educated, that means knowing how that society functions, its history, geography, culture and place in the world.
The problem with technical education is that it produces the workers needed for today, it can only react to changes; it is not in a position to predict or direct those changes. A liberal education encourages people to be inquisitive, to dream and want to improve things.
He presents a false dichotomy between learning a foreign language or computer code. Learning another language allows you to enter another world, a different culture where many things are different, but we share our common humanity. Computer code enables you to talk to a box, no culture, no humanity.
Anyway, it is likely that computers will soon be able to code much better than humans, so there’s another “subject” for the scrap heap.
Traveller’s tale from Munster
From: David Quarrie, Holgate, York.
Recently some of my best friends have returned from a four-day short break in Germany in the twin city of York, Munster.
My friends said on their return, we often disagree with much of what you say, but as regards your very high opinion of Germany and the German people, we totally 100 per cent agree with you.
The city of Munster was booming, very clean and tidy, very forward looking, the main streets and cathedral were a delight. The politeness and friendliness of all the German residents was so welcoming.
I have been saying all these things for decades.