Why wealthy nations must help rest of EU

Have your say

From: Brian Hanwell, Bradford Road, Northowram, Halifax.

in reply to AW Clarke’s letter (Yorkshire Post, September 17), I will try to explain to him why the industrialised nations of Europe – Germany in particular – should provide financial help to countries such as Greece.

Highly productive wealthy nations have made their money out of selling their goods to less industrialised nations. Where, for example, would Germany be today if countries like Greece had not bought their VWs Audis, Mercedes and BMWs? It is obvious to me that Germany should do the generous thing and give some of their profits back. It is in their own best interests to do so anyway, because if they don’t they will end up with no one outside their own country having any money to buy their cars.

Countries such as Greece and Italy have the enormous expense of maintaining ancient buildings and artefacts which are of great historical importance to everyone living in Europe. Do we not all love Greece and Italy because of their ancient buildings, their cultures, their landscapes, and their way of life? Would anyone in Europe be happy to see Greece and Italy suffer economic collapse and social decline? Greece and Italy are European treasures and all of us must be willing to help them.

In the United States, some states are more industrialised and wealth-creating than others. Quite simply, there would be no US if wealthy states kept their money for themselves.

Without ancient Greece, the old Roman Empire, and Italy during the Renaissance – with their ideas about democracy, justice, art, literature, education and road building, there would have been no democratic nations such as Great Britain, France and Germany. We should feel honour-bound to help them in their time of need.

I am convinced that all European nations should unite in the way the American states did when they became the US. If we do not, then in the long term we have no chance of competing with countries like China, and we shall end up as a Third World place.

From: D Birch, Smithy Lane, Cookridge, Leeds.

with reference to the vast amount of money that we taxpayers have to give to the many countries in the world, who either waste it or purloin it for themselves, I think it’s a certainty that this, or any other government, know where the money finally ends up or what it has been spent on. Apart from the money that is diverted to the Red Cross, who constantly do a fantastic job in the case of international emergencies.

Quite a long time ago, I put forward a solution that we could give the money away and get an instant benefit in the country.

Our foreign service provides embassies and ambassadors with staff in most countries of the world. They must know, or aim to know, exactly what is needed in each of the countries we send billions of pounds to.

Once we know what goods/services etc are needed, we should get what is needed from our own industry and service providers in the UK. Government money should be allocated to each company to buy the goods, machinery or services etc. Those companies then send what is needed to the country involved free of charge. Our embassies should be notified and embassy staff ensure that everything is delivered and where it should be. No actual money changes hands, just goods and services.

It is time to arm police

From: Dick Rothwell, former Chief Superintendent, West Yorkshire Police.

IN 2009 I retired from West Yorkshire Police as one of the longest-serving Chief Superintendents, having completed 30 years service during which I commanded some of the force’s most serious and protracted firearms operations.

My last 12 months were spent at Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, examining the preparedness of the 43 forces of England and Wales to deal with major and serious crime and terrorism.

I am absolutely convinced that the time has come to routinely arm the British police.

The cowards who shoot unarmed police officers are exactly that – cowards. How many shoot at armed officers? Virtually none. Arming the police may not have saved Ian Broadhurst, but would the second and third officers have been shot in Leeds that afternoon? Probably not.

What are we trying to preserve is the public getting the police service they deserve. Officers 
are armed throughout Europe, why are we so arrogant to think we are special? Are Germany, Holland, Spain and so on all wrong?

Do we, at this stage, say: “We will let another six or so get shot, then we will do something about it”? Or do we grasp the nettle now, arm the police, fight crime ruthlessly and be an effective police force, working effectively with a committed judicial system.

Let’s listen to the public and get offenders in prison for years. Would the typical council tax payer pay a bit more to see new prisons built and full? Too right they would.

Any government getting properly tough on crime will walk any election. It will dawn on them eventually.

Now let’s arm the police and see the tears and fear on the faces of the criminal cowards – not on the faces of our brave heroes, facing pension changes that sicken them to the core.