YP Letters: We need real qualifications if Yorkshire is to progress

From: John Ward, Churchfield Croft, Rothwell, Leeds.

Judith Blake is the Labour leader of Leeds City Council.
Judith Blake is the Labour leader of Leeds City Council.

I READ The Yorkshire Post every day, in particular letters from readers and the opinion page.

On Monday (September 24) I was reading, with great interest, the article by Judith Blake. As leader of Leeds Council, she has an unenviable task and will encounter a lot of criticism.

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All was making sense until I reached the fourth paragraph from last; like all politicians she threw in what appears to me to be a completely unfounded and illogical factoid!

She says that Harrogate, as a town, is “doing so well” because so many of its residents are highly qualified with degrees as opposed to other Yorkshire towns! Doing so well in what?

Many of the “so called” degrees currently gained at “universities” are of no relevance to what we need to move the UK forward. A great part of our economy is currently focused on running education and its trappings such as making money out of selling accommodation to many students who are on a three-year holiday at their parents expense.

What we need – and have always needed – is proper training, proper skills and proper jobs to design, manufacture and produce all manner of things, including food and medicines for the people of Britain and then to sell to the world.

We used to have a great training and education system before the crazy idea that all young people must have a university degree in something however unusable; there is no substitute for “in-job training” so it’s jobs we need.

The most important factor in all this is to have close co-operation between the education system, workforce, employers and the financiers, and all to be involved without greed and self-interest.

Issue is bigger than politics

From: Robert Bottamley, Thorn Road, Hedon.

SOME events transcend mere politics – or, if they don’t, then they should. The long-overdue public inquiry into contaminated blood administered by the NHS to unwitting patients is a stark example (The Yorkshire Post, September 25).

In this case, and as in others, the victims and families of an appalling tragedy have been left fighting against the authorities for several decades to obtain a proper investigation. Why?

So far as I can make out, only two possible motives for causing the delay occur.

First, in order to allow sufficient time to pass so that the people responsible cannot be called to account.

Second, so that the victims of this scandal are no longer around to receive justice and compensation.

For as long as circumstances like this are tolerated by our politicians – irrespective of their party – I hope they will resist the temptation to lecture, in pious abstractions, on the subject of social justice.

More relevant dates for UK

From: Ian Oglesby, High Catton Road, Stamford Bridge, York.

TOO often, Monday, the vital start of the working week, is disrupted by a Bank Holiday, a relic of more spartan times.

Easter and Christmas must be preserved as long as this country remains predominantly Christian, but other dates are more relevant than Bank Holidays. For example May 8 (1945) when we rejoiced in the defeat of a foreign power intent upon destroying our sovereignty and self-government.

The same applies to November 11 (1918). A different aggressor was defeated on October 21 (1805) and June 18 (1815), and we must never forget those who gave their lives in this fundamental cause.

Further back but equally important was July 28 (1599) when our sovereignty was preserved against the formidable Armada. Certainly, as crucial to this United Kingdom, are May 1 (1707) when the Act of Union was ratified and June 23 (2016) when the majority in this democracy cherished what had been hard fought for in the past.

Rural debate is welcomed

From: James Somerville-Meikle, Political Relations Manager, Countryside Alliance.

IT was excellent to see so many people wanting to debate rural issues at Labour conference this year (The Yorkshire Post, September 25). The question of who represents and speaks for rural communities is more important than it has been for a long time with farming and rural areas at the heart of many debates about our new relationship with Europe.

It was interesting to hear so many of the party’s candidates telling us that hunting and shooting issues do not come up on the doorstep. This has always been the Alliance’s position; the wider public are not interested in an animal rights agenda, and we urge Labour to remember that in future policy-making.

Abuse of our town car park

From: Mary Bielby, Cromwell Avenue, Loftus in Cleveland.

WE in East Cleveland could envy the people in Guiseley where parking restrictions are being introduced at their Morrisons supermarket. Many people park at the Morrisons here and then walk through the store to other shops. The time limit is three hours, possibly moving down to two. A member of staff continually walks around to catch anyone over the limit.

It is a problem for people on the Moors who need to stock up on groceries for perhaps two weeks, especially in winter. What would the company founder have thought?

Hair horror

From: Jenny Elferink, Dewsbury.

WATCHING Great British Menu on television. I was appalled by Michael O’Hare’s hairstyle. Not at all suitable for a chef, especially of his calibre and in this position.