Examiner Letters: Crocodile tears from the politicians
HAVING watched BBC television’s Question Time (Thursday July 5) and the Punch and Judy exchanges between Alan Johnson and Louise Mensch, I have to say that neither of the combatants came away with much credit or credibility.
Personally I was voting for the crocodile but it never appeared, presumably it was too embarrassed. The third MP on the panel made such an impression on me I cannot remember his name and cannot be bothered looking it up. I think he was a Lib/Dem minister of something.
MPs still haven’t realised that their expenses and other debacles have shattered their reputations to the extent that most members of the public wouldn’t now trust them to run a seaside Punch and Judy show, let alone sit on something more serious such as an inquiry panel judging their political backers where first name terms of address are now normal it seems.
A public inquiry is the first line of defence for MPs when things go wrong. (It seems to be a daily occurrence of late.)
A public inquiry serves two important purposes. Firstly it allows everyone accused of anything, and importantly their supporters, cronies and those who have failed to oversee them, time to get their stories together, enough to pass muster, their excuses and memory loss in the right order.
Secondly it drags on for months and allows whatever caused it to retreat in the public memory, to fade and be replaced by newer scandals, thus taking pressure off those whose judgement or actions have caused the problem in the first place.
I will concede that a public inquiry sounds better than “sweeping it under the carpet” or “kicking it into the long grass.” But it’s not much of a policy more of a fudge. So much for political accountability and transparency, remember them?
The casual defeatist observations made later in the show; that the battle against drugs was lost had me climbing out of my seat shouting “well resign and make room for someone who will fight for a victory”.
I think I’ll stick to voting for the crocodile next election.
THE AXE which has fallen yet again on our armed services was earmarked in the Conservative Party manifesto for quangos. Had this been done not a single serviceman would need to be sacked.
The Territorial Army is an estimable organisation, as relevant today as it was when conceived by Haldane nearly 100 years ago. It was never though designed for anything other than home defence. Of course it has fought all over the world with remarkable battle honours in time of world war.
It is the regular army which must bear the brunt of our frankly, adventurous military campaigning.
If we as a nation want more than a home defence force we must have a regular army of at least 100,000 men, Territorials being their reserve counterweight.
Paradoxically the actual budget is adequate. It is, in my view, mis-spent.
Replacement of the MOD with a procurement agency one fifth of the size and a policy to match would mean a full establishment at no extra cost.
Godfrey Bloom TD RCDS(s)
Defence spokesman for UKIPMEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire
Healthy way to holiday
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Wakefield Road woes
HOW patient are the good residents who traverse the road known as the “Road from Wakefield”?
Surely this medieval road with its six inch divots from the cart wheels that are such a danger to two wheeled users as to make my cycle machine flay uncontrollably whilst changing carriageways whilst journeying towards the Greenhead Road junction of the road to Wakefield.
Residents of such finely laid surfaces of the road to Bradford, and the road to Halifax must surely have favour amongst burghers of the borough.
And as no further torchbearing is imminent for the century to come, then may the remnants of the golden coins of the parish be spent furnishing the cart track that is known as the “boney unmade track to and fro Huddersfield” to a standard befitting of the transport of the day.
THE post in Ashes Lane (Examiner, ‘Is this pole posing a danger to drivers?’ June 29) is in my view a danger.
I often drive along that road and have thought to myself it needs moving! How there haven’t been more accidents is just pure luck.
I think a young inexperienced driver could easily lose control trying to avoid it. It somehow creeps up on you and if there’s a car coming in the other direction you have to suddenly brake.
I don’t know how it was allowed to be put there in the first place.
Future of marriage
MAY I reply to “Shock level of teenage pregnancies” in the Huddersfield Examiner (Examiner, June 20).
The 10 recommendations put to Kirklees cabinet are already in place in schools and children’s centres. Schools can give children access to contraception and abortion services and, without the knowledge of their parents, the impact of this is to damage teenager’s health, betray parents and destroy unborn lives.
The aim is to reduce teenage pregnancies, but the Government’s strategy doesn’t work. Leading abortion supporters have accepted that sex education doesn’t cut pregnancy and abortion rates.
The chief executive of BPAS, a leading abortion provider said: “There have been a large number of studies about the impact of sex education on abortion and pregnancy rates, and these frequently tend to show that they are not having the kind of impact that family planning want – they do not seem to have much impact on the abortion rate”.
As Clr Liz Smaje said: “We know that some of these girls may become pregnant because of low self esteem and lack of aspiration”. So what is the answer to this ongoing problem?
Well, marriage is the cornerstone of society. The future of marriage should matter to everyone.
All around the world, across all religions and cultures, the successful societies have been those based on marriage.
But marriage will only be the bedrock of society if it remains the legal union of one man and one woman.
Marriage is not an arbitrary construct, it is an “honourable estate based on the different, complementary natures of men and women” and how they refine, support, encourage, and complete one another.
Marriage is the only legal union which can naturally lead to children and, crucially, it gives children both a mother and a father.
I believe we need to turn the whole teen pregnancy strategy on its head and give children back their childhood and help them to prepare for long term relationships with its share of both joys and grief, both hopes and anguish.
Then one day girls will respect themselves and boys will come to respect girls.