I HAD intended writing in anger about the wanton violence and criminality seen in many parts of the country and, of course, in Sheepridge. I will, for the moment, leave that task to others.

Having listened to the dignified and brave words of an Asian father left bereaved by what would appear to be the actions of idiotic and uncivilised thugs in Birmingham, I am humbled.

This man, with his call for peace and calm, exemplified the very best of human nature and gave eloquent witness to the true values of Islam. I sincerely hope that his words are heard and heeded throughout the land.

He is the best role model for young men that I have seen in many years, perhaps the best ever, and he gives me renewed hope for the future of Great Britain.

I feel for his loss, admire his stoicism and praise his wisdom – truly a great man, and one who shows a rare natural combination of humility and humanity.

He will never be fully reconciled to his loss, but I truly hope that he is able to come to some form of terms with it and live his future life in peace.

Bill Armer


Soft on criminals

DAVID Cameron is so reassuring. He spouts about the rigour with which rioters and looters will be pursued and the firmness with which they will be treated.

He fails to mention that the prisons are already full or that most offenders are first timers anyway and not eligible for locking up.

A chief constable says on TV: “We are coming for you – you will be put before the courts”. That should put the fear of God into them, right?

In court, after all the police effort to get them there, the magistrates hand out referral orders like confetti. This means offenders will suffer Mr Cameron’s ‘full extent of the law’ ie the probation service will first ask them how they feel about their offence and if they are not suitably sorry they will get the biggest finger wagging ticking off imaginable.

That should do it! Thanks Mr Cameron. We all feel so much better now.

Mark Mercer


Scroungers’ charter

WHAT did we expect? What, exactly, did we expect? We’re now into third-generation professional welfare scroungers being showered with largesse – housed, fed, clothed and medicated by the rest of us, with plenty left over for cigs, Blackberries and Nike trainers.

Any shortfall can be made up by thieving and drug dealing. And still it’s not enough to stop them rioting.

This was started by the soft Liberals and Labour left and condoned by spineless Tories. It was encouraged by the poor-little-you attitude of the judiciary, probation service, local councillors, Social Services and council housing departments, NHS maternity services, human rights legal parasites, aloof left-wing teaching unions, anti-police police authorities, the namby-pamby Guardian-reading intelligentsia in the Civil Service, the BBC, the Commission for Racial Equality, the NSPCC and its cohorts, and every other of the thousands of organisations who make a living from humouring the idle poor.

Now, as we have seen in Sheepridge, people trash the very facilities given them to make life yet more pleasant.

David Cameron wrings his hands and threatens to ban wrongdoers from Facebook – well that should certainly teach them.

Meanwhile he cuts police budgets then blames forces for not having enough coppers on the streets, double-crossing the only body saving us from genuine anarchy.

What did we expect?

Richard Huddleston

West Slaithwaite

The real looters?

THE country is been ravished by crime and disorder.

Everywhere there is theft and looting. Thousands have lost their homes, businesses and everything they have worked for.

Unruly and selfish elements in society feel they can take what they want, when they want it.

Crowds of bankers, politicians and entrepreneurs can be seen rampaging around looting public services, EMA, pension schemes and health care. They are preying on the innocent as youth clubs, day care centres and music schools are destroyed.

These yobs engage in mindless violence not caring about their victims as they line their own pockets with the loot of a wrecked health service and local councils.

Where will this looting end? Britain is a country that has gone soft on its criminals.

Maybe we need to follow the example of the people of Egypt and Tunisia and occupy every town square in the country till the looting stops and the criminals are brought to justice.

Ian Brooke


Keeping Fields green

I WRITE with great concern, after seeing for myself how this beautiful natural space, a village green, has been fenced off and menacing signs erected.

While I now live in Fixby, my parents still live on Queens Road where I was brought up. I played in Clayton Fields as a child, have taken my own children there and still visit regularly.

Only last Sunday, before the recent actions of Paddico, there were several groups of people enjoying the open space.

I am so impressed how the local residents have pulled together over the last 14 years, to continue to look after and even improve one of the few natural green spaces left in this part of Huddersfield, using their time, talents and at their own expense.

I have attended excellent community events, and it is a great resource for local schools and nurseries.

The area is home to one of only a handful of places in West Yorkshire where autumn crocuses flourish and there are some beautiful mature trees.

I cannot understand how Paddico can bulldoze into the field from Murray Road, to begin preparations for housing, citing a planning application going back to 1967, some 44 years ago. How can this still be valid? I urge Kirklees Council and our locally elected representatives, to challenge this intrusion on to a green site.

Is it possible for the council to seek an injunction against Paddico starting work in a conservation area until the outcome of an appeal, which has already been lodged, is known?

Please could the council investigate the rights of way that go through Clayton Fields and ensure that, for the moment, at least, pending the appeal, the fences are removed to allow access to the rights of way.

I hope you will support members of the action group and all residents of Kirklees in fighting a large company determined to destroy a beautiful area by using a technicality to overturn village green status.

We need to protect the few natural green spaces, close to the town centre, for future generations.

Carole Hardern


Abuse of elephants

SHORTLY after the controversial release of Water for Elephants film, animal actors supplied by the American company Have Trunk will Travel are now featured in the new family comedy Zookeeper.

A video released by Animal Defenders International (ADI) reveals horrific cruelty on the training of these animals, including elephants crying out while being repeatedly shocked with hand-held shin guns and beaten on their body and legs with bull hooks.

The powerful video is on ADI’S website http//bit.ly/royutx

Tragically this abuse is not an isolated case. Years of undercover work and careful research by ADI and other watchdog groups reveal the industry standard training methods involves fear, pain and punishment to force animals to perform silly tricks.

Entertainment should never be cruel and it is certainly not comedy. Compassionate people can take a stand against animal abuse by never attending films, circuses or other so-called entertainment with performing animals.

Kathleen Stephenson

Upper Cumberworth