THE majority of diabetics (including myself) do check before they drive – what do you take us for? (‘Jason McCartney backs diabetic driver testing law change,’ Examiner, March 1)

If James Pope’s brother had been knocked down by a person with a heart condition or any other medical condition for that matter, would he be asking that they be checked out before they drove their cars? I think not.

Is MP Jason McCartney going to ask a Parliamentary question in a bid to get the law changed about everyone with a medical condition to be tested before they drive a vehicle? I doubt it!

Some people/MPs really need to think before they speak, or test themselves first!

Michelle Middleton


The devil you know ...

ON Jason McCartney’s position regarding diabetics and mandatory testing I must say that this is yet another unnecessary restriction on diabetics.

As a diabetic I test twice a day at alternate times – before breakfast and teatime one day and lunchtime and bedtime the next day.

I find this is quite adequate as I have a controlled pattern of my blood sugar levels. The people who are at risk are those who do not know they have diabetes.

This also comes in when a diabetic applies for insurance. The premiums are raised. Surely someone who has diabetes and controls it is a far lesser risk than someone who does not know they have it.

L S Longbottom


Blaming the wrong ‘mob’

ELAINE Lee and the ‘volunteer’ for the Mrs Sunderland Festival attack anti-cuts protestors for being ‘appalling’ and a ‘mob’. (Mailbag, February 26) They are directing their criticisms at the wrong people.

Firstly, it was the council that took the decision to deny peaceful protestors their democratic right to attend a public meeting of the council.

Secondly, the security guards who tried to deny people their democratic rights behaved in a far from exemplary manner. I saw one security guard behaving in a violent manner on several occasions. Is it too much to ask those who behaved in such an appalling manner to consider the effect their action may have had on ‘innocent’ members of the public?

There were children with their parents who took part in the protest. I never heard one complaint from these parents about the conduct of the protest. In fact, one of these parents addressed the protestors about the situation in Libya.

I would suggest that Elaine Lee directs her fire at the real villains of this incident – the councillors and officials who sought to deny people their democratic right to attend this public event.

Dr Dylan Murphy


Asylum seekers costs

CUTS in public services but no equivalent cut in immigration. I wonder what would happen if the recently deposed North African leaders complete with families and entourage were to claim political asylum in this country?

They couldn’t be sent back. It would be an abuse of their human rights by decree of the European Parliament.

If that is the case, why doesn’t the European Parliament pay for asylum seekers?

Allen Jenkinson


Doris’ lack of choice

THE cartoon on February 22 showing Doris from Horace and Doris opting for a fur coat instead of central heating powered by gas, electricity or oil omits to show that she might have decided differently had she been able to consider a carbon neutral wood pellet or log boiler.

John Berryman


NHS under attack

MY wife Yvonne recently put her name forward to sign a petition concerning the proposed closure of Leeds Children’s Cardiac Unit and I second that with my own.

I think this government needs to act quickly with the NHS and get it back into shape or quit in shame.

I can never understand why the saving of cash comes before the welfare of the sick and, in this case, children.

Units are moved out of city or town and people have the stress of travelling as well as the worry over their loved ones.

Why did a government waste cash on the NHS administration centre, Quarry House, which is for NHS clerks, not the sick. I believe the taxpayer is still paying for this place.

We at one time could be proud of our NHS. Now it’s destroyed.



Money for old ... iron

IT WAS with delight I saw the picture of the ‘girders’ on view at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

In future centuries people will gaze in awe and wonder at the craftsmanship. I only hope a scrap metal dealer doesn’t get there first!

As an artist myself I have a work available called A Cup of Tea priced at a reasonable £50,000. And, in the sad event of my Jack Russell Terrier, Poppy, passing away she will, of course, be pickled and for sale at say £100,000 (or near offer).

In this age of atrocity, more money must be found for the arts without it being squandered on the elderly or children so that a very nice park at West Bretton can be littered with yet more junk.

Barry Fowler


Heads in the clouds

HOW can a Cabinet of 22 millionaires, most of them privately educated, begin to understand the needs, attitudes and aspirations of ordinary citizens?

For all its good intentions, the present government is disadvantaged from the start.

The presence of Lib-Dems in the coalition has at least laid a restraining hand on Conservative policies. Our forests are not to be privatised after all, nor the services of our public libraries curtailed – that is my impression.

The coming referendum on the alternative vote, which we also owe to the Liberals, could take us a small step nearer to a proper system of proportional representation giving electors a fairer form of government.

The present confrontational first past the post method deprived large numbers of voters of any hope of being represented in Parliament by a member of their own political persuasion.



On the mat again

MAY I reply to ‘A Foot in the Door’ (Mailbag, February 14)?

We are kindred spirits, Elsie. I am the son of a South Yorkshire miner. My mum, like most miners’ wives, was very house proud with her motto being Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness.

Her method of training was simple. Whenever she heard the door as someone entered the house she would call loudly ‘Wipe yer feet’. It didn’t matter who the visitor was, seen or unseen.

When I reached 18 I was allowed to pay board and, of course, I had to provide my own clothes etc.

One Saturday in Huddersfield, rather late, I went to the Stylo shoe shop. The assistant was just putting up the closed sign on the door, but on seeing me he opened the door and let me in. As I went through the door I felt the door mat under my feet and dutifully wiped my feet. The assistant fitted me up with shoes and walked me to the door to let me out and lock up again but as soon as my feet felt the door mat – well, enough said. The shop assistant’s face said it all. I hurried away red-faced. I, too, was shy, Elsie. My mum negotiated my first pay rise at 15. Happy days. God bless you.

Eric Mapes


No repeat, please

AS a child of the war years 1939-45 I only now realise the extent of the loss of life and how close we all were in this country to suffering the brutality that occurred in Europe.

Like many children in this country we did escape the worst, including the terrible camps.

What about the next time? The armed forces, police and medical staff all being cut down. Do we have the dedicated people left to protect this country again? What on earth is going on?

Look after these lads and lasses, for goodness sake, or we shall regret it! And our children’s children, too.

A gas mask kid


A duty of care

I HAVE seen it all before, government soldiers chipping away at our health service.

Director for Wellbeing and Communities Merran MacRae said on February 5 that some care packages already in place will be replaced by preventative, early intervention.

We are not talking about medical conditions that may happen. They just don’t want to pay for places like Highfields, so it’s ‘community-based’, just sending someone out for a chat once a month if you are lucky.

People with learning difficulties are what they are. There are too many flaws, ifs and buts. Merran McRae says: “This preventative work will mean fewer people needing more intensive care packages.’’

How do you prevent people with needs needing? I am also a mum of a 42-year old son, Scott, with learning difficulties and heart problems (Williams Syndrome) and an only carer who, until two years ago, never had any help.

Now I get one day and night a week respite, which I pay for and fight for. I don’t get respite for holidays – there is nowhere for him to go.

Well, Director of Wellbeing, the wellbeing of carers should be taken into consideration.

This ‘service’ is not, and never should be, an exercise in saving money.

Ms Jean Carratt


Superb Players

I TOOK my grandson to Southgate panto (Jack and the Beanstalk). It was superb. Well done Honley Players.

Mrs K Birt


Great pantomime

ON a grey cold Thursday night we went to the panto and had two hours of magic thanks to the cast of Jack and the Three Musketeers.

It was something different until the second half when they got the kids taking part (she’s behind you!).

They were brilliant and it was a full house. Thanks again.

Samuel Quinn