Tebbit on the legacy of the Blair years

Have your say

From: Janet Berry, Hambleton, Selby.

NORMAN Tebbbit wrote a brilliant and brave article last week which I believe many people will relate to.

He pointed out that Tony Blair’s poisonous legacy was one of a submerged underclass addicted to welfare, ill educated, ill disciplined almost illiterate and innumerable unemployables living in families who had never worked, with a better living standard than working families.

Millions of immigrants, many from central Europe, have arrived to do jobs our people are unwilling or unable to do. Many from the Third World have no qualifications or the ability to speak English. All imposing costs on NHS, housing, schools, water, power and transport.

He points out that allies including Education Secretary Michael Gove, Welfare Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander are trying to change things but enemies such as Overseas Aid Secretary Andrew Mitchell are lavishing money on India allowing her to buy Russian aircraft for her new aircraft carriers and Pakistan – able to afford nuclear weapons but not relief for flood victims.

Also Chris Huhne imposing huge costs on industry with near useless windmills and carbon taxes, making it even harder to compete with India and China.

Maternity and paternity should have new thinking. It is the employee who decides to have a child and it is their responsibility not the employer.

The Equality Act should go, and Health and Safety. We could reform our domestic law by repealing the equality legislation and its ugly sister, the Human Rights Act.

We could junk unreliable windmills and carbon taxes which put up the price of energy. India and China cannot afford these and nor can we.

The 50 per cent rate of income tax could go as it raises no revenue. Tax cuts for married couples. Reduction of corporation tax would encourage businesses to invest. He asks is it too late to prosecute over-smart bankers for false accounting.

Hurrah for common sense. If only our indecisive politicians could be so brave.

Act that is not working

From: Alice Barnard, chief executive, Countryside Alliance, London.

THE League Against Cruel Sports is guilty of its own tired spin when it asserts that the Hunting Act is working. It is not. I am aware that the CPS knows perfectly well how the legislative system works, but poaching would be illegal whether the Hunting Act were on the Statute Book or not – this has nothing to do with the CPS, nor the lack of evidence of illegal hunting by registered hunts brought before them.

The League itself designed the Hunting Act and it has failed. Of the 181 convictions under the Act only six of those relate to registered hunts, though they would have the public believe otherwise as their literature clearly implies that it is mainly organised hunts that are in breach of this law.

There have been 21 Hunting Act convictions in North and South Yorkshire, but none of those relate to registered hunts. The only such prosecution, involving the Sinnington Hunt, resulted in all three defendants being found not guilty. The vast majority of Hunting Act convictions relate to individuals hunting wild mammals, often hares, without the landowner’s permission and would previously have been prosecuted under other poaching legislation.

Contempt for the courts

From: Barry Foster, Manor Cottages, High Stakesby, Whitby.

IS there any wonder that decent, law-abiding citizens of this country hold the law and courts in such contempt?

Last week, we learned of the early release of the man who assisted in the torture and murder of Baby P and one of the MPs involved in the expenses scandal.

At least it would have been some comfort if they had been ordered to perform some hard community service. Then to top it all, Sharon Shoesmith, the former social services chief in Haringey gets at least £1m compensation for doing a job in which she was found wanting.

As I have said previously to the Yorkshire Post, I hope she has the good grace to donate the full amount to the NSPCC. Somehow I doubt it. I may be wrong but there does not seem anyone in this country to speak out for the everyday person.

Healthy tradition

From: Rodney Atkinson, Meadowfield Road, Stocksfield, Northumberland.

THERE has been much sneering at the American Tea Party movement as simple, unworldy and reactionary. But the (surprisingly cross party) support it receives reflects an old and healthy democratic tradition in the United States.

It was James Madison who wrote in The Federalist at the time of the American Revolution that “...the people of America have not suffered a blind veneration for authority, for custom or for means to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge and lessons of their own experience”.

The good sense today is the entirely justified insight that huge and unfundable debts accrued by the US – caused entirely by irresponsible bankers and politicians playing with “other people’s money” – reflect just such an unaccountable authority against which the Tea Party masses have refused to “suffer a blind veneration”.