Qualities no guarantee for a monarch

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From: William Dixon Smith, Welland Rise, Acomb, York.

I WAS surprised to find my brief comments on the royal succession categorised as “a lecture” intended for the edification of the Prince of Wales (The Yorkshire Post, December 9). Indeed, with so splendid a maternal example to follow, the prince might dispense with further advice altogether: a signal example of “mother knows best”.

The impressive list of qualities William Snowden ascribes to the heir apparent would flatter any common mortal, but cannot guarantee a prince his fitness to rule. Was not Servius Galba described as “a man all the world would have thought worthy to be emperor, had he not been emperor”?

At a time when the poor are struggling to feed themselves and their children, it would surely require the fervour of a Restoration cavalier to interpret Charles’s undoubted benevolence as “altruistic”?

It is not the monarchy, but British parliamentary democracy which is presently in question. If, as I hope, great constitutional changes are afoot, they will be brought about by the British people themselves with the sovereign’s approval, but not with the sovereign’s intervention.

Memories of Blitz attack

From: Gerry Vickers, Poole Lane, Burton Salmon, Leeds.

I READ your recent article on the Sheffield Blitz with great interest. I was 16 at the time (90 now) and spent the night in the cellar of our house in Rotherham on December 12, 1940.

The German pathfinders did not succeed in establishing a fire at the Rotherham end of the Rother Valley because almost all of their incendiaries fell in Clifton Park and the local residents extinguished them by putting their galvanised metal dustbin lids over them, as we had all been trained to do.

The result was that when the German bombers arrived the only guiding fire was in Sheffield and this is why the city was so badly damaged and the steel works in the Rother Valley escaped unscathed.

It would be interesting to hear from anyone who lived on the edge of Clifton Park and who may have played a part in smothering the incendiary bombs.

Figures that lack credit

From: Michael Green, Baghill Green, Tingley, Wakefield.

YOU report a survey by the Money Advice Trust (The Yorkshire Post, December 8) which found that one in three Britons is borrowing money to cover the cost of Christmas presents. How alarming, we are told.

But if we read on, we find that this includes all presents bought by using credit cards, regardless of whether or not their cost is paid off in full as soon as the monthly statement comes. Given the widespread use of credit cards for big purchases nowadays, that proportion is hardly surprising.

It just shows how easy it is, by selective use of figures, to make a claim that doesn’t actually stand up to thorough examination; and thus the survey as a whole becomes less credible. Why over-egg the pudding if there’s a good point to be made?

Humourless Ukip blunder

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

TOM Richmond listed the latest Ukip gaffes (The Yorkshire Post, December 13) but didn’t mention their humourless response to a spoof version of the BBC’s Trumpton on the social network Twitter. This involved the mayor resigning and joining the local branch of Ukip. They are outraged to find that the fire brigade now consists of “Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Wisniewski”.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the joke misfired on MEP David Cobourn who threatened legal action. He has now backed off, presumably having been ordered to laugh by Nigel Farage. Is there any chance of a Ukip page in the Beano?

Airport link 
is no solution

From: Mike Dalby, Ilkley.

FOR the media and councils to suggest that approved funding for a new single carriageway road to Leeds Bradford Airport is to be celebrated as a victory is beyond comprehension. The proposed route from the already grossly overloaded snail crawl known as the A65 is stupid and will not be a satisfactory solution.

Does anyone believe that travellers will regard this as an asset? Will they really leave a train at Leeds station to get a bus to the airport? No, they will travel by car, or choose to fly from Robin Hood or Manchester.

The obvious solution is a rail link from Horsforth. However we are told that this preferred solution is too expensive, so our city fathers are cringingly happy to take the inferior option rather than nothing.

So we lose out again. The money for the Leeds tram was siphoned off to extend the Manchester system, and we ended up with a proposed trolleybus that nobody wants and will only add to congestion. There was also money available to put a rail line to Manchester Airport and extend the Sheffield tramway. Both were needed but why is Leeds city region always short changed? It really is time our city fathers and local MPs got some courage and fought their corner.