YP Letters: Please spare a thought for our seafarers

Should annual acts of remembrance do more to honour the role of the British Merchant Navy?
Should annual acts of remembrance do more to honour the role of the British Merchant Navy?
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From: Dennis J Ayling, Sessay, Thirsk.

YET another year passes in which we have rightly paid tribute to all those brave men who gave their lives. Their sacrifices were not in vain and for that we should be truly grateful.

The media invested hours repeating stories of the men and women caught up in the conflicts. Striking too was the coverage up and down the country of all the various parades – the proud old men who had survived and whose numbers will slowly dwindle with the coming years.

This was when for me the sadness crept in and every year I have so hoped it would change but, alas, the appalling losses of the men of the British Merchant Navy and their sacrifice have barely been mentioned, let alone honoured.

Once referred to as the Fourth Service – after the Army, Navy and RAF – its role has almost been forgotten.

They lost 27 per cent of 185,000 men in service in 1936 and for these men there were no graves for their loved ones to visit or memorial to honour them. Instead it was the cold embrace of a cruel sea – one can only hope their end was quick.

Those that survived being sunk went off pay as soon as their ship was officially declared lost and relied on charity until able to get their next ship.

I believe we owe them a great debt as they kept us supplied and fed throughout the war.

It would be nice to see The Red Duster being carried proudly in honour of these brave men in future Remberance Sunday parades, but I fear, once again, they will be overlooked.

Finally with Christmas fast approaching spare a thought for the seafarers who will be bringing you all most of the clothes you are wearing, the food you will be eating, most of your white goods, the cars you are driving and a good many of the presents you will be buying – they deserve our thanks.

‘Little Europe’ out of its depth

From: Mr Neil A Ramsden, Bar House Lane, Keighley.

AS the 21st century evolves, economic power and prosperity are moving from west to east. Today Europe accounts for less than 15 per cent of global trade volumes. A little England or small Europe mentality will not meet the challenges of the future.

The message for ‘theatrical performers’ in Westminster, Brussels and EU capitals is clear. Many people are becoming tired of the inappropriate, egotistical posturing and harmful utopian zealotry on regular display.

Plentiful, highly profitable trade puts food on the table. Follow the money, look east to develop vast wealth creating potential, or prepare for a permanently lower standard of living in or out of the EU, deal or no deal.

From: John Fisher, Menwith Hill, Harrogate.

IT is now clear that there is no future for the UK outside the EU and our politicians do not have any ideas to solve the complicated problems created by Brexit. The fact that both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay in the EU adds to the problem of pleasing everyone. It is time for our politicians to clear up the Brexit mess they created – or leave it to the public via a second referendum.

From: P J Blackshaw, Mount Pleasant, Cleckheaton.

SURELY the only sensible thing to do now is to hold a referendum to see how many are in favour of a second referendum?

Look closely at Bid question

From: Hero Sumner, Whitby.

WITH the spectre of the Yorkshire Coast Bid looming over the non-domestic ratepayers along the Yorkshire coast, many businesses are urging their associates in other parts of the region to look very closely at the numbers and promises made by the bid operators.

What is probably most alarming are the number of business owners who, though not supporting it, feel it is is something they can do nothing about. They must exercise their right to vote and send their ballot papers back before the deadline date of November 29.

Many businesses in Whitby are already paying over three times more than West End stores in London in non-domestic rates.

A representative from a holiday cottage letting agency in Whitby is urging businesses to support the Yorkshire Coast Bid which will mean an average additional annual cost to every eligible business of £763 per annum. It is seen as deeply ironic that many holiday cottages are exempt from paying rates of any kind and would not be required to foot the bill.

We’re aghast at his earnings

From: Alan Chapman, Beck Lane, Bingley.

REVELATIONS concerning the exceptional income of the former Labour MP David Miliband rising to £680,000 are currently in the public domain, and will leave many UK residents aghast!

Mr Miliband is employed by the American charity International Rescue Committee (IRC). But why does he get paid so much? The IRC does humanitarian work in central Africa where average wages are £300 a year. Why is Mr Miliband getting 2,000 times as much? He even gets over six times that of our Prime Minister, why?