YP Letters: Blue badge abuse in Harrogate comes as no surprise

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

A disability parking sign.

ACCORDING to your editorial “it beggars belief” that Harrogate has persistently failed to fine those who abuse blue badge parking spaces (The Yorkshire Post, May 7).

Not really. For decades, both Harrogate and North Yorkshire councils have proved to be largely toothless when it comes to clamping down on the self-centred, boorish minority who park on footpaths and verges.

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The supposedly ‘protected’ Stray isn’t – witness the many long-term balded areas.

What little action there has been has taken years to accomplish. For years some of us have asked “why?” For years little, if any response has been forthcoming.

Congratulations to Leeds, Sheffield, etc. who take a more civilised and robust view. I would suggest only that they let us have a deterrent list of names and registration numbers.

Mayor with real powers

From: Betty Henry, Larchfield Road, Doncaster

IN REGARDS to the idea of a regional mayor for Yorkshire, Sir Peter Newsam (The Yorkshire Post, May 9), says “Once elected, nobody, certainly not local councillors, have much hope of influencing such a person.”

Exactly, which is why they can make changes, not interminably talk about them. And, if we don’t like what they are doing, we can vote them out very easily.

Police tactics not effective

From: Patrick Mackeown, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

MY OWN view on stop and search (The Yorkshire Post, May 5) as a BME person who has been stopped four times, and having disrupted someone else’s search, that officers didn’t appear able to justify their actions.

I would say criminals do, in the main, have criminal records.

So, the message for the police, as far as I’m concerned is: stick closely to the criminals and leave law-abiding people alone.

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield

The only real way to tackle the rising level of youths stabbing each other is to have patrolling police officers, on foot, talking to the public and befriending the youths.

As a country and city bobby of years ago, we mixed with the public and listened to their worries. That way we often nipped crime in the bud. If police are not out on the streets, they are not connecting with the public, so they have no idea of potential troublespots and therefore cannot be prepared.

We forecast, as we watched various cutbacks, that the service would become the same as the Fire Service, only turning out when needed. It has got worse than that, as they now do not, on occasions, turn out to crime reports. How very sad is that?

Today’s police are remote creatures who leave their stations and vehicles only when the bother has started.

Drawn into US’s wars

From: Dr David Hill, CEO, World Innovation Foundation, Huddersfield.

ARE WE right or wrong to continually follow the US’s lead into perpetual wars?

Every conflict that the US has become engaged with, the UK has followed.

It is little known, but the UK even advised South Vietnamese President Diem through the British Advisory Mission to South Vietnam (BRIAM) in September 1961, with Robert Thompson as one of Diem’s chief advisers, who had gained tremendous experience in the 12-year-long anti-guerrilla-warfare in Malaya. Therefore the UK has, if not with boots on the ground, supported the US in its military expeditions in every major war.

On the global stage the UK has backed the US in every major war since they became the dominant power in the world. The killing and injury statistics for Vietnam were inhuman and the numbers are numbing. According to a study by Harvard Medical School and the University of Washington, there were 3.8 million violent war deaths, of which two million were civilians.

If anyone has ever been to Vietnam – and I have been five times – you just cannot see how America could have bombed them, as they are a peaceful nation and highly respectful.

So are we doing the right thing in always following the US lead, when in recent years, more than one million Iraqis were killed with over six million displaced fleeing to other regions (mainly Europe), 600,000 Syrians killed with over seven million displaced to other regions (mainly to Europe again) and 500,000 Libyans displaced to other regions (mainly to Europe again)?

Bragg and the bandleader

From: John Appleyard, Firthcliffe Parade, Liversedge.

WHILE I may share some of the political views of singer Billy Bragg, I don’t have the same affection for his vocals!

However, he has published a well-researched book Roots, Radicals and Rockers, which covers 1950s music with the emergence of jazz, big bands, skiffle and rock ’n’ roll in this country.

One of the great bandleaders acknowledged by Bragg is Liversedge-born Ken Mackintosh, who played with the likes of Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey and Matt Munro.

He also composed his own music such as The Creep which hit the charts in 1954. Teddy Boys were associated with rock ’n’ roll, but before Bill Haley And His Comets were heard in the UK, they were smooching with their girlfriends to slow dance music.

The popularity of The Creep gave the Teds’ crepe soled shoes the nickname of ‘creepers’.

Ken Mackintosh died in 2005, had he lived he would have been celebrating his 100th birthday next year. His contribution to music was huge, he should be remembered.