Reader’s letters - Friday December 05, 2014

Prime Minister Harold Macmillan walks the Preston Bypass with local dignitaries

Prime Minister Harold Macmillan walks the Preston Bypass with local dignitaries

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M6 as Broughton Bypass?

How appropriate and possibly timely that Wednesday’s LEP (LEP December 3) should feature a page with reference to the then Preston Bypass.

I say timely in that it just might be possible for the powers that be to reflect on the decision to bulldoze a road through Broughton village.

Could anyone honestly say, if ever driving on the proposed road and glancing up to see the motorway, that it was the correct decision to destroy homes and uproot families who have lived there for years, only to build a road parallel to one which already exists and achieves the same aim.

I remember reading some years ago when the bypass was first mooted that the transport ministry did not like the idea of motorways being used as bypasses.

How stupid, that is their very function – to allow transport to flow without having to go through built-up areas with the subsequent congestion and pollution.

So come on, think again. The M6 is the Preston Bypass and there is no reason why it cannot be the Broughton Bypass too.

Bill Roberts, Preston

What we need is a Federal UK

I refer to Joe Dawson’s Nations break up a good thing (letters, December 2). I say yes, Scotland has lit the fuse for renewal of our nation, and yes, the Westminster elite is obsolete.

Scotland is fed up with being ignored and/or patronised by an uncaring, unknowing, uninterested London cabal.

We Lancastrians feel exactly the same, and we’re fed up with being forced to invest astronomical sums in the London infrastructure to the detriment of our own.

Forced by Scotland, now these Westminster lotus- eaters are starting, belatedly, to talk about devolution. They demonstrate the poverty of their thinking by having no serious idea what devolution must mean. You can’t have a practical federation in which one part (England) has the huge majority of the population and resources, and anyway, as I say, lots of provincials are fed up with London.

What we need is a Federal UK, but one in which there is a number of roughly equal partners with Scotland and Wales. Pretty much, this is how Germany works, and works very well, as is quite clear.

But certainly we don’t want yet another layer of self-aggrandising, over-paid, wafflers as politicians. Westminster must be decimated to deal with foreign affairs, defence, and macroeconomics only. Eighty MPs are ample (saving 560 ).

Local “Lande” (as the Germans have it), must deal with, say, 85 per cent of tax and spend.

In other words we’ll decide what we do and how we do it here in the County Palatine.

I suggest, the best idea is something like the old kingdoms: Scotland; Northumbria; Mercia; Anglia/Essex; London; Wessex; and Wales. Very roughly equal to one another, and all co-operating but taking care of their own too.

Each “kingdom” would have its own local parliament of, say, 80 elected representatives.

Probably, we could abolish county councils too. Cost savings are potentially huge.

Maybe Northumbria would best be split into Yorkshire and Palatine (includes Cumbria). The North East could join either Yorkshire or Palatine. I know I’d be pleased to have them with us.

Obviously, the political capital of Palatine would be Preston!

All these Lande would co-operate as they do in Germany, the US, Canada, Australia, Switzerland. All nations we think of as one indivisible. We would still be the UK.

The yoke of metropolitan London, and its expense, would be broken. Probably, we’d be a little worse off for a few years, but then the transformation to our industrial, educational, intellectual and scientific might would be recovered. This time, the wealth created would remain in our domain rather than be extorted by London.

This is what we Lancastrians deserve. Let’s agitate for it.

Renew our nation.

Nigel Taylor, Preston

All this just to listen to punk

Amazing how priorities in the art of listening to music have changed.

For Christmas this year multi-function music centres at knock-down prices are on offer for less than £200 with a spare needle chucked in for about a tenner.

When the purchaser or recipient may expect to be able to record vinyl and cassettes to CD, listen to tinny AM/FM radio, experience the joy of a front loading CD, hear their favourite cassettes and play other devices through a handy aux-in functionality. Well, ‘buy cheap – buy twice’ as they say.

But let’s scroll back a few decades and see what Christmas might have brought in the 1980s – so short a time ago yet so great a distance in terms of quality.

For our festive 1980s musical experience, our shopping list begins with a finely-balanced high-precision sculptured tone arm costing in the region £200.

Next, we’ll need a plug-in futuristic twist and lock-brushed aluminium stylus module in its own Perspex box for £50.

We now need a turntable to fix it to. A costly sound laboratory device of similar quality to that used by the record companies and radio DJs is preferable.

The more we spend on the turntable, the better the quality will be, so £400 lighter, we are the proud owner of a brand new ultra-high precision belt driven stroboscopic fantasy in teak with a trendsetting smoked plastic lid.

So far, £650 has hardly got us going – we still need a stereophonic amplifier, two huge floor standing speakers – four if we’re going for quadraphonic.

No mention yet of the graphic equalizer, reel-to-reel tape deck, tuner and cassette player still on our list, at the end of which there won’t be much change out of £1,700 – and all this just to listen to the Sex Pistols.

Joe Dawson, Withnell, Chorley

Use flights for staycations

I’m all for new hotels being built and hope they are successful. Having said that wouldn’t it be a good idea to think about utilising flights to airports in the UK? This would encourage visitors to travel here and an airport has to work both ways. Short-distance flights might make a quicker turnover and be better for the area. If staycation is the thing of the moment, seems to me it makes sense.

Philip Brierley, address supplied