I AM always saddened when I read Mailbag and find the vociferous correspondence espousing isolationism.
Mr Fowler’s ‘Small Role In The World’ (February 14) sums all of these letters up in one concise post.
We are, according to the writer, no longer a first rate imperial power. We are broke and broken. This he uses as his justification for ending communication to the Third World, aid to others and withdrawal from international affairs.
Is one to presume that all of the above would be acceptable if we were still a first rate world power? But then he does say, ‘who cares?’. That is, perhaps, an indictment of British society today.
If we don’t care about those in suffering, if we do not give aid to assist developing countries out of poverty and disease, then what hope is there that we might care for our own society? Precious little I’d guess.
And what on earth has withdrawal from the European Union got to do with any of it?
The European Union has brought perhaps the longest peace that Europe has ever known. It has seen barriers broken down to the extent that for the vast majority of Europeans, conflict between our nations is unthinkable.
Europe has brought human liberty to the continent for the first time. It has brought the freedom to speak, to travel, to work.
I have travelled to many European countries and the one thing that holds true is that we all have the same general hopes for the future, health and wellbeing for our families and peace for all.
In the UK we are fortunate to still hold a privileged place in world society. We all have a role to play in helping our neighbours build better lives for themselves.
Isolationism breeds fear and all that comes with it. We need to look wider than our own back yard. We live in a global society and poverty, corruption and disease in our neighbour’s yard threatens every one of us.
That is why we should embrace the world and encourage others to do the same, not hide in the hope that the world will go away.
IN ANSWER to a ‘shared country’ (Mailbag, February 9) I have asked the still remaining indigenous veterans from WW2 and veterans like myself born in different countries what we were fighting for.
The unanimous opinion was that principally we fought hard for the values shared in Britain, at the time one of the last bastions of freedom in Europe.
Those values included honesty, tolerance based on understanding not on law; respect for neighbours’ property and good relations; full freedom of speech; respect for sensible law and order and many more.
These values created the sense that streets were safe at night and people were safe in their own homes.
Door keys were left under milk bottles, there were no burglaries, criminality was well under control and murders were exceptionally rare.
Terrorism was practically unheard-of.
These values are far from what we have today. In some cases progress was made, but in many we went backwards.
Honesty was replaced by political correctness, common sense by ineffective laws, criminality uncontrolled, victims being the loser, government caring far more for spin than policy and so on.
Britain as a country lost identity completely as claimed by some writers and communities were divided. We hear constant claims of racial discrimination even by government members.
What will come from their politically correct mishmash, only the future will tell.
NOW that public opinion is likely to be released and finally heard in Egypt could we please follow suit and let it happen in the UK?
MPs treat the British public like little children who should be seen, not heard.
We have been denied a voice for too many years on a variety of vital subjects for the simple reason that MPs are afraid of us. In this ‘democratic’ country only the opinions of MPs or the powerful count. Like many dictators they believe if they suppress or avoid any substantially opposing view to their own they can blunder on forever.
We have been denied referenda on any and all subjects they know they cannot win. Yet at the same time they travel the world preaching ‘democracy’.
To MPs the ballot box must be used only as a last desperate resort and then only when they have contrived to make the likely outcome as ineffective or as favourable to them as possible.
At all other times the ballot box of public opinion is looked on as too dangerous and, like Pandora’s Box, it must be kept firmly locked.
Misdirection of blame
SO the speech that David Cameron made in Munich recently was not racist (Mailbag, February 14)?
How come then that the racist English Defence League saw it as a propaganda coup – as the Prime Minister just happened to make it on the very day of their demonstration in Luton?
Furthermore, he was congratulated by none other than Marine Le Pen, the daughter of the French fascist, Jean Marie Le Pen.
Marine Le Pen, who is also an MEP, claimed Mr Cameron had effectively endorsed her party’s policies.
This is classic scapegoating in a time of recession and it is all very familiar to anyone who knows their history.
The truth of it is that this vicious Con Dem government is playing the race card as a diversion from its massive attack on jobs and public services.
It is nauseating to read this kind of rubbish at the same time as the rich continue to stuff their mouths and their pockets at our expense.
It’s vital to put the blame where it belongs, Mr Sharp – on the bankers and the government.
Marsden: Kirklees Save Our Services
Knowing one’s place
I’VE heard some pretty stupid titles in my time, but trust Kirklees Council to come up with what must be an award winner.
I read in the Examiner in the story ‘Council hits back at MPs’ criticism’ that the council has a Director of Place.
What on earth does such a title mean to anybody? Surely this must be a mistake or misprint. Or could it be the re-branding of an otherwise obsolete/redundant post?
Norman F Berry
Bodgit and Scarper
LAST year ‘Bodgit & Scarper’ filled a lot of holes with what to me looked like poor quality material, ie a lack of tar, after an appalling winter.
Church Street in Longwood is a very busy street early morning and at teatime. Two large potholes were filled in this street with this muck, but are just as bad now as they were before. What a waste of time and money!
The holes were filled in and overlapped the edges, causing the edges to break away and allowing water and frost in the joints.
Surely holes should be clean-cut and filled level with the surface and the joints filled with tar to avoid water getting in and prevent freezing and cracking up?
A follow-up should be made periodically to refill joints where required.
As the sayings go ‘A stitch in time saves nine’ and ‘Don’t sink the ship for a ha’porth of tar’.
With all the different directors, assistant directors etc on our council, someone should be responsible for the highways and make sure it is done correctly and inspected afterwards.
A good example of road repairing is between Slaithwaite and Marsden where joints are filled with tar.
Another Pothole Dodger
An interesting job
IT’S not surprising that Kirklees should seek to defend itself against criticism for its awful handling of the LDF ‘consultation’ (Examiner, February 14) but what’s fascinating is to learn that it now has a Director of Place.
It’s the strangest title I’ve ever come across and I for one would like to know what the chappie actually does and at what cost to we local taxpayers.
READING in the Express and Chronicle about parish councillors – it’s good to see such things in the paper to involve local people in community work and represent them.
It would be a good idea to have parish councillors for all villages in Kirklees. They could just get volunteer expenses and look after the interest of their villagers.
It may probably mean about 200 parish councillors. Then we may not need the services of political councillors in Kirklees who get paid wages, sitting on committees and claiming expenses. It will save lots of money!
This is one way to make cuts and save jobs.
A great guitarist
ONCE again, in the death of Gary Moore, rock music mourns the untimely loss of one of its greats.
I’ve seen Gary in various bands up and down the country and he was always a great crowd pleaser. I’m sure rock fans of the 1970s will remember Gary’s visit to Huddersfield when he played at Ivanhoe’s on Manchester Road in the band Coliseum 11.
He will be also remembered for his work on Thin Lizzy’s album Black Rose and his own excellent blues-based solo albums.