IT is reported that, yet again, politicians from both sides are considering having a referendum on Europe. Yes, I know they have promised this before so we shall have to wait and see.
The report I saw suggested they wanted a simple yes or no answer. If they really want to know what the country thinks – and there’s a first time for everything – then I would suggest that yes/no is not the correct question.
We have heard the bluster many times before that Europe is too complicated for the majority to comprehend and only the masterminds in Westminster can possibly understand these complications and we should trust them to do what is best.
Well, we have trusted them and look at the mess we are in.
I think a better idea would be to use the formulae commonly in use on public sites such as eBay and Amazon to provide feedback which millions of people are already familiar with – a graduated tick box from 1 to 5 to judge public opinion.
1. Would be get out and stay out until we starved to death; (No) 2. Would be to withdraw but consider re-joining under different circumstances; 3. Would be to return to the Common Market status we originally voted for; 4. Would be to move back a step from where we are but still favour negotiated integration; 5. Would be to stay as we are and commit suicide with the rest of Europe.(Yes)
There will be those politicians who will argue re-negotiation is not possible and starvation or suicide the only hope, but as the EU has been badly flawed since its inception and made worse by politicians ignoring reality but favouring the mirage route, it is now not only us Brits who want change but increasingly a wider disappointed European population.
Anything is possible providing those charged with changing something have the wit and the will to do so.
I think it used to be called democracy.
Enforce yellow lines
I LIVE in Fixby and regularly travel along Bradford Road into the town centre.
Between the traffic lights at Fartown Bar and those at Willow Lane there are areas marked clearly with double yellow lines.
These surely mean no parking at any time. They are sensibly laid down where two lanes of traffic have to merge into one.
However, travel that section of road at any time of any day and count the number of cars parked by people shopping at the market as you travel towards Fartown or outside the pizza shop as you travel towards town.
We have been told on several occasions that the CCTV van responsible for enforcing parking laws is a great success as it is earning considerable revenue.
But I do not consider this to be the correct criterion for ‘success’. Surely the measure should be how well it is enforcing the law?
The lines were placed there for good reason. They allow sufficient space for the traffic to merge.
I have witnessed several ‘close shaves’ as vehicles have struggled to get past cars parked dangerously on the double yellow lines.
On one occasion the car in front of me was a police car and it did not stop.
I know there are foolish moves being made to reduce the already over-stretched number of police by replacing them with private organisations, but I worry that we are getting our priorities wrong again.
The chief priority of a private company, I think, would be the size of the profit to be made rather than their effectiveness in enforcing the law.
Am I becoming cynical in my old age or just realistic?
It is no good having any laws, however sensible, if thought is not given to the ability and method of enforcing them.
Right economic policy
NOW that the dust has settled on local elections, once more we have the Labour cry of ‘spend and reflate the economy.’
As we enter the third year of Coalition government we can see, from the example of our European neighbours, the result of a Government spending more than it receives in the form of taxes.
Greece is teetering on the brink of pulling out of the Euro zone. Spain has huge unemployment problems, France has elected a president who wishes to redraft the Euro bailout policy.
In other words, there is chaos.
The UK has managed to cut huge chunks of the projected increase in Government spending, kept borrowing costs low and has managed to boost our manufacturing output.
Who does the Labour Party think we would sell to if their envisaged policy of stimulating growth came to fruition? The answer would probably be none of the above.
It is frustrating to have a wait and see policy but, in order to keep our credit rating up and not cause market jitters it really is the best thing to do.
Both the Coalition plan and the Labour plan for cutting the deficit were dependent on economic growth.
At the moment the Coalition Government is producing a flatlining economy. If the Labour party was to carry out its plan, the fear is higher borrowing costs, a short term growth and then a slump into recession.
It is better that the present Government puts up with short term unpopularity in order to get a long term sound economic policy.
The events across the Channel should make us wary of violent or too radical change.
Saying sorry to Smith
I WAS there and I’ll be a Wembley. One of the most exciting games of the season.
However, Tuesday night’s performance was marred by the mindless morons who invaded the pitch and, even worse, the attack on MK Dons striker Alan Smith.
I hope those who allegedly spat and kicked at Mr Smith feel the full force of the law and are also banned from future games.
They give us law-abiding true fans and the club a bad name.
On behalf of the true fans I apologise to Mr Smith and MK Dons football team for this disgusting behaviour.
Stephen K Makin
Health and safety
AS a Board member of Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH) brought up on the Trees Estate were my mum and dad retired to the Sycamore Grange Sheltered Housing complex I have a personal interest in the Health and Safety issue.
At the moment I do not know all the details but I do know the background of the health and safety issues in communal buildings.
The instigator of this issue is the fire authority which has attempted to impose restrictions on our buildings.
The fire authority case is that they have a public duty to promote safety, coupling this with an issue were our estates generate a large number of spurious or vexatious calls.
Of course the fire authority opinion is very persuasive where insurance is concerned and has an essential, inescapable effect on the KNH business plan.
The KNH Board has always fought for the right of tenants in communal buildings to treat the whole edifices as their home so, along with the senior managers, have tried to maintain this principle while trying to find practical solutions which allow us to deliver on our duty of care while providing excellent services in successful communities.
We are actively pursuing a solution to the electric scooter problem but anti-social behaviour and our lack of cash makes the solution more difficult.
This issue highlights the value of tenant involvement from ground to Board level.