IT’S ironic that the nation is spending £10 million on the funeral of Britain’s most divisive prime minister while we begrudge £50,000 on a statue of Harold Wilson, the man who was one of the most unifying leaders in British history.
Good on Barry Sheerman for trying to get him commemorated in Westminster and what a commentary on our lords and masters that he isn’t deemed worthy of a memorial.
The Examiner editorial rightly pointed out Wilson’s outstanding role in extending democracy, creating the Open University and keeping us out of Vietnam.
He really was ‘the people’s prime minister’ born and raised in an ordinary working class street in Cowlersley.
As we approach Harold Wilson’s centenary in 2016, a fitting way to celebrate his huge contribution would be a major festival in St George’s Square, using his excellent statue as the centrepiece and community events in Cowlersley and Milnsbridge.
Wilson was, of course, an avid railway enthusiast and what better way to mark his centenary than a new station at Milnsbridge/Golcar?
Clr Paul Salveson
Labour Councillor, Golcar ward (including Cowlersley)
Tough times in 1970s
A HOPKINSON (Letters, April 13) thinks only young people who were not there can think good of the 1970s.
Well, I was there and have a very different memory of it from A Hopkinson.
He or she says lots of things about the 70s but leaves out one crucial point, the mega-inflation that started under the Heath government and lasted right through to Thatcher in the 1980s.
Bosses and government were happy to see wages eroded by this inflation while they put prices up in order to increase profits.
In these circumstances industrial action was the only way workers could defend their standard of living and have any hope of a basic fair day’s wage for a fair day’s pay.
He or she complains about being expected to take part in this industrial action, but I am willing to bet anything that they did not refuse the better pay or improved pensions that the unions won.
I’ve had enough
AFTER a week-long diet of sour-grapes with occasional side-helpings of tripe, I am now beginning to suffer from political indigestion.
Is there an epidemic? Perhaps a three-day foreign holiday would be in order!
This takes the biscuit
I’D like to ask R A Vant (Letters, April 13) if Margaret Thatcher was the only one to enter university in 1943 while every other girl ‘put their life on hold’ and went off to do their bit in the war?
Of course she wasn’t. What an infantile, desperate way to try and denigrate someone.
If it applies in one case shouldn’t we be asking questions about the lack of war service of all her fellow university entrants?
I thought we’d heard every derogatory statement possible about the late Mrs T already, but this one takes the biscuit.
Cut the pensions
WITH reference to the item about the proposed abolition of councillors’ pensions (Examiner, April 11), the important point omitted was that the amount of the council taxpayer funded element of these pensions is 14.5% of the total allowances received by the councillor.
As we are not allowed to know who the 39 councillors are who have the benefit of these pensions, the lowest possible cost of the taxpayer contribution is £80,000 per annum, or 55 Band D payments or, possibly more telling, 62 Band C payments.
Surely it is wrong to allow this largess to continue.
C R Atkinson
A ‘green’ ambition
AN excellent coach trip to Wolverhampton on Saturday, well worth the effort of course.
On the stretch over the Pennine high country I thought again, as I always do, how barren and lifeless the great sweep of country looked. Nothing stirred except a tiny number of sheep. The green desert I call it.
The Pennine chain has given us the most priceless asset, a corridor empty of large settlements, around 20 miles wide on average and a 150 miles long, stretching from the Derbyshire peaks to the Scottish border.
Imagine then if that great swathe of country was returned to the mixed woodland forest that once covered the land. Imagine it filled with the life that once was there, the fallow deer, the lynx, beaver in the streams, goshawks flashing through the trees, golden eagles overhead. Even the wolf and brown bear, wild cattle and horses, 200 species of birds instead of the two or three there are now.
A national park the envy of Europe, with 20 million people within an hour’s drive of some part of it. A forest full of the vanished animals of England.
It would require two billion trees for starters, a colossal number, and yet if that same 20 million each sponsored the modest cost of one hundred saplings, that would be enough.
In return, each family would get a satnav reference for ‘their’ grove, a picnic spot to be enjoyed over generations where family could be remembered and ashes scattered.
Wouldn’t that be better than blasting grouse and persecuting birds of prey.
Would not the gamekeepers and shepherds be better employed as stewards of such a great enterprise.
Kirklees College or the university should sponsor a study of such a park, the economic, environmental, ecological, impact.
The engineering aspects, the need to restrict through routes to a limited number of motorway corridors, themselves so arranged as to allow the free migration of animals.
We should conduct such a study.
The aristocracy of times past laid out their great country parks knowing they would not see them mature in their lifetimes.
With our vast collective strength are we so much less than them.
On the coach trip back, in the rain, the land looked even more bleak. But not to worry, Town had won.