IF politicians have their way there will never be a right time for a referendum which shows public disagreement with their views.

We could and should have had referenda much earlier throughout our journey into the European Empire. There have been numerous opportunities, but each time we have been refused and fobbed off.

The usual reason put forward by politicians has been that only they can understand the complexities involved. In other words shut up and do as we say. What a load of rubbish. They just wanted their own way every time and what a total mess and fiasco they have led us into.

When I hear of MPs being ‘whipped’ if they try to express the opinions of the electorate I think of Flashman and his bullying gang beating Tom Brown in front of an open fire in Tom Brown’s Schooldays. I am appalled by the conduct of our public schoolboy government and their suppression of any view other than their own.

At the last election there was no direct mandate from the people for either Conservatives or Liberals to run the country.

How right we were. Perhaps that is why we cannot be allowed a voice again. They fear us and true democracy.

John Langford


A serious matter

THE subject of a referendum on Europe keeps hitting the headlines. Readers’ letters imply that there is a choice to be made.

It should go without saying that no party in power that dares hold a referendum on whether we stay in Europe because the populace would vote against.

Whereas we are probably too far down the road to backtrack and, like it or not, are being carried along by the tide of history.

If a referendum should be held we would all vote according to perceptions derived entirely from the media which has emphasised such things as the scandals of the common agricultural policy and the insanity of having two headquarters and the mind boggling expenses involved.

When did you last read something good about it?

The media exists to tell interesting stories mostly about scandals and problems, not to give us history lessons.

But history and politics are what need to be understood in order to make the right decisions on Europe. I for one am not in the least qualified to make such decisions. I am amazed that so many people think they are.

On the face of it Europe seems to impact adversely on British industry and British taxpayers. The way we seem to have handed over sovereignty to faceless bureaucrats in Europe is positively alarming.

But at the same time we are told it is a crucially important market for us and we would leave at our peril.

Few of us can hope to grasp all the pros and cons needed to make a good decision. So no referendum thank you! This issue is far too serious for such frivolity.

Mark Mercer


Cheers, Jason!

CONGRATULATIONS to Jason McCartney MP for defying the whips and voting for a referendum on EU membership – so early in his Parliamentary career too.

Contrast this with predecessor, Blair Babe Kali Mountford who never bit the public sector hand that fed her for her whole Parliamentary career.

I can’t see Kali spending all night behind the bar of the Will’s O’ Nat’s either, as Mr McCartney did the other day.

Richard Huddleston

West Slaithwaite

A waste of time

IT is a waste of time to hold a referendum on our membership of the European Union. We are a member of the EU. There should be no question about that.

The proposed referendum questions were said to include one on ‘semi-membership’ and re-negotiation. Ridiculous.

We’ve been in the EU all these many years and yet still we’re talking about ‘ins and outs’. It’s like having a discussion on Westminster when the only question being asked is whether we want to stay with our government or opt out of it. It’s a barmy situation, even for a Yorkshireman.

John S Murray


New use for St Luke’s

THE funding for the new primary school on the Moorend Academy site at Crosland Moor and alterations to four other schools are to be funded through the private finance initiative (PFI).

Yet it was revealed earlier this year Kirklees Council had borrowed and made a loan of £23.349m towards the building of Kirklees College on favourable terms.

Which form of funding will be most beneficial for Kirklees Council taxpayers, the PFI or borrowing the money from the financial sector on favourable terms?

With the St Luke’s Hospital site derelict, deliverable and situated at the rear of Dryclough Infant School, why the need to build a primary school on the Moorend Academy site?

Did Kirklees Council approach the local NHS trust suggesting they donate or sell part of the empty site for a nominal fee so they could build the new primary and, if needed, extend Crosland Moor Junior School? After all, it is public land, isn’t it?

According to the local development framework 2,600 homes are planned for the Crosland Moor/Netherton ward by 2028.

With the UK population forecast to reach 70m by 2030, it’s time to think further than a three-form class primary school and increasing the elderly Mount Pleasant site by 28%, which is situated in a densely populated area.

With both Mount Pleasant and Dryclough Infant Schools at bursting point, will bussing pupils enter the equation? What percentage of the £40m will be spent on each of the five schools mentioned for new buildings, extensions, refurbishments and upgrades?


Crosland Moor

The perfect scam

IF you had swollen feet and legs would you go to an optician or ear specialist for a diagnosis?

A recent report on climate change was by physicists. An earlier one was led by a geneticist.

Many climatologists like Prof Bob Carter say recent and probable changes in climate are well within historic norms and that human carbon emissions have an insignificant effect – one estimate is some two decimal places below 1%.

For reasons of power, money and deluded idealism, politicians, businessmen and eco-warriors have a vested interest in perpetuating the falsehood of climate change/global warming.

It is the perfect scam – efforts to solve a non-existent problem must be successful.

Keith Rothwell


‘Sacred’ Green Belt?

I ASKED in a recent letter if the Green Belt had any special protection in law against its dismemberment.

No-one has rushed in with any comfort for me though Mr Armer (Mailbag, October 20) did score a couple of political points by showing that once again it’s all the fault of that pesky Labour Party.

And he’s probably right, though I would point out that David Cameron has sharpened the threat by directing that planning issues should be biased towards development.

So who defends the Green Belt? Not Labour, as Mr Armer has shown. And not Mr Cameron, it seems.

In my scheme of things the owners of the land, many of them rich and powerful, would fight the sequestration of their land. They would do so because the huge financial gains would be removed.

Any land so identified would be bought by the local authority at a premium of no more than 25% above the prevailing agricultural price.

Then the landowners would fight to the highest courts in the land.

It would be a bloody, lengthy, expensive affair.

And so it should be. The Green Belt should not be destroyed one rainy afternoon, perhaps behind closed doors in a council room.

After the war, more enlightened planners than we have now saved London from the seemingly unstoppable suburban spread by creating new towns in the deep countryside, surrounded of course by their own Green Belt.

They also created the system that protects us now.

Is that not a better way forward for a population increasing in both size and aspirations than by creating an amorphous blob across the whole of the West Riding?

Whether you agree with this or not, it should be discussed at great length and with great passion. Our present councillors should look into their hearts and refuse to sanction the loss of one square metre of Green Belt land to this current LDF until all issues have been discussed.

Now then, those Liberal lads look like clean cut young men ...

Don Robinson