YP Letters: Change of attitudes for slum areas

From: Alan Mumby, Summerfield Drive, Leeds.

What is the best way to help poor people in cities like Leeds?
What is the best way to help poor people in cities like Leeds?

THE BBC’s recent Panorama offering Get Rich, Or Die Young, screened on Monday, couldn’t stop me from thinking that the reason for such discrepancies in the UK’s life dependency shouldn’t be blamed on a postcode lottery, but more accurately political misfortune.

The programme claimed that people residing in the more affluent areas of the Stockton-on-Tees borough were likely to outlive people living in nearby poorer neighbourhoods by anything up to 18 years.

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Hardly surprising when the Labour-dominated inner city slums which have been in rapid decline for decades are running the show, not only in Stockton, but in almost every large urban area up and down the country, Leeds and Bradford included.

These traditionally low income, poorly-educated, crime-riddled, drug-infested and over-populated settings are harbouring the vast majority of the parasites within society that are ruining this country.

A new tactical solution is urgently needed to help fix these problems and consideration should be given to include education programmes aimed at teaching the benefits of healthy eating, drug awareness, work over state handouts and raising a family on a low budget.

All of which would have positive impacts on improving lives, rather than continuing with the current plan which is simply throwing cash down the drain in a failed attempt to rehabilitate, counsel and pander to what the perpetrators have become all too accustomed too, and which isn’t working.

Realities of power needs

From: Ross Taggart, Eaglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees.

I SEE Russell Scott persists in trotting out the same old chestnuts in support of his anti-fracking crusade (The Yorkshire Post, July 27).

He said 85 per cent of people professed to support renewables, and 82 per cent didn’t like fracking.

I would suggest that is because the vast majority of people do not have the faintest concept of how difficult it is to produce the gigantic amount of reliably supplied electrical energy required to maintain our civilisation.

Their ideas having been readily manipulated by fashionable pressure groups, invariably with the support of a hopelessly biased BBC.

I would further suggest that a second poll be organised; the participants being given a choice between reliable power supply based on (at least in part) fracking, or a far more expensive alternative, based on renewables, inevitably liable to frequent and lengthy cuts in supply.

I somehow suspect that the result of this poll would be diametrically opposite to the first.

Battling the squirrels

From: Brian H Sheridan, Lodge Moor, Sheffield.

ROBERT Bottamley’s entry into the debate on the rights and wrongs of feeding wildlife (The Yorkshire Post, July 30) gives me the opportunity to recount an experience that has been a source of mirth many times since.

They do say that a convert is more fanatical than a lifelong believer and I was once guilty of feeding birds.

For my own amusement I suspended a bird-feeder for the benefit of the blue and great tits in my garden, only to be thwarted by grey squirrels which took the lion’s share of the contents.

I was told that these rodents could be thwarted by suspending a hub cap above the feeder. I duly went to the nearest scrapyard.

“What make?” asked a dismantler, carrying on dismantling. I explained that it it didn’t matter as it was only to foil grey squirrels that had been raiding my bird feeder. “Charlie”, he shouted to a nearby colleague. “Find an ’ub-cap for this young man. Any sooert – he only wants it to keep t’ squirrels off his nuts.”

For the record, the experiment was a failure: the agility and ingenuity of the little grey blighters knows no bounds.

Perhaps this was the point where I decided that it was a good idea to let Mother Nature have her way.

Don’t blame the rail staff

From: Andrew Morris, Morley, Leeds.

THE news that 950,000 hours have been lost due to the chaos that has befallen rail operator Northern came as no surprise to the thousands of commuters who have suffered daily as a result of this shambolic state of affairs, myself included (The Yorkshire Post, July 30).

Last Friday I attempted to catch a train from Morley to Huddersfield – an 18-mile trip – unbelievably, it took me over three hours to complete a journey which, according to the timetable, should take around 21 minutes.

However I think it is important that we spare a thought for 
the poor employees of Northern: the unfortunate conductors 
who are forced to engage with angry commuters day in and 
day out.

Through no fault of their own these individuals have faced disrespect, mistreatment and torrents of abuse.

From my own experience in the face of incredible hardship, they have remained affable and sympathetic.

So, I implore even the angriest of fellow commuters to be mindful before taking out your, quite justified, frustration on someone who so clearly does not deserve it.

Deposits and diaries

From: A Hague, Bellbrooke Grove, Leeds.

A SCHEME to remind people to cancel unwanted GP appointments is proposed 
as over 100,000 were missed 
in Leeds in six months 
last year.

I use a diary for this and for birthdays as it is the best way.

About 50 years ago, I went 10 years without a diary to prove to someone I could manage without one.

How I coped I will never know. I still believe paying a deposit for an appointment is the best way of reducing missed appointments and time-wasting.