Reader’s letters - Thursday 06 February 2014

One reader is calling for Harrier Jets to be restored to the nation's aircraft carriers
One reader is calling for Harrier Jets to be restored to the nation's aircraft carriers
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Pressure of a marksman

I refer to Mick Gradwell’s column (LEP January 30). The story he puts over echoes my thoughts exactly. I have worked for all three emergency services and also served a number of years in the Territorial Army, my time with the police was as a special constable in the 1970s and more recently as police staff covering a diverse area of duties.

Whilst in all these positions I have had to make split second decisions otherwise I wouldn’t be here today, in the fire service, do I get trapped in an upstairs room and burn to death or jump out of a first floor window, in the ambulance service when an injured woman’s husband is coming at me with a number nine shovel and I have a brick at hand, do I let the assailant hit me with the shovel or throw the brick at him?

The point I am making is, these are split second decisions that have to be made, yet the critics and members of investigative committees who investigate the rights and wrongs of shootings and other violent incidents have never been in such positions so how can they know what it is all about, and what actually happens in that split second?

I suggest all the critics and investigative committee members take part in a live firing exercise to get the feel of what they would do in a split second situation then, and only then, will they have the right to criticise.

As for Mark Duggan he was allegedly a member of an organised crime gang and had just took possession of a blank-firing replica of a Beretta 92 converted to fire live rounds), 15 minutes before he was shot.

The questions which should be asked is why any individual on English soil would have in their possession a blank firing pistol converted to fire live rounds, other than to kill someone or do them serious harm, this question should then be followed by another question.

Had the police not shot Mark Duggan would he have gone on to shoot some other member of the public?

Fred Hodson, Penwortham

Shame of lady left by the road

Whilst driving through Clayton Brook today I witnessed an elderly lady trip up on the pavement and fall flat on her face. I along with another car stopped to give assistance and found her to be a bit shocked, with some grazing to her face and she thought she had broken her wrist or her arm.

A lady from the other car rang for an ambulance and was told to make her comfortable but not to move her and that a ambulance would be there shortly.

After about 10 minutes a car arrived with two community support officers from Lancashire Police. They were very efficient and when after around 20 minutes the ambulance hadn’t arrived they got on the radio and found out that the ambulance had been diverted to another incident, with no ETA for a replacement. After over half an hour the two PCSOs decided to take the lady into their car and transport her to Chorley A&E.

My point is just what does constitute an emergency nowadays? I know we have a government committed to keep cutting our services to the bone but just what kind of mind must you have to leave an 84-year-old lady sat on a cold damp pavement in an icy wind for over half an hour and not have an ETA for any help?

Jeff McCann, Hoghton

Keep British jet on the seas

Please support a new petition to bring back the Harrier Jump Jets as it is a disgrace seeing a British aircraft carrier sailing with no planes on its flight decks. Go to the Government’s epetitions website then enter under petition search Harrier Jump Jets 2014 to view and sign the petition.

FE Sharpe, address supplied.

Throw open the doors of homes

Regarding MPs saying it would be a good idea if the Queen would to open up her palaces when she isn’t in residence. And then all the public could go and visit - pay-as-you-go! I just wonder, will the same politicians who are calling for her majesty to do this will they themselves be willing to do the same with their grace-and-favour residences and second homes? Thought not!

Darryl Ashton, Blackpool

MEP’s apology for interview

Scores of media commentators described me last week as a chauvinistic, anti-feminist anachronism, and worse. This came about because in a radio interview I suggested there is a difference in degree between rape and a man putting his hand on a woman’s leg through clothing, and that any punishment should be proportionate to the offence.

I did not say it was acceptable to put an unwanted hand on someone else’s leg, nor for an Italian man in years past to pinch a woman’s bottom.

My error was not to make this explicit and I apologise. I have never approved of such actions. Perhaps I was ahead of my time in thinking they would be inappropriate when I was 20, but my views have not changed now that I am approaching 60 and I am glad they now have widespread acceptance. I am used to being criticised for Liberal opinions.

It is unusual and upsetting to find myself condemned for holding views which I do not.

Chris Davies, North West Lib Dem MEP

EU referendum is an idle threat

So David Cameron’s “promise” of a referendum appears to have been kicked into the long grass again following a defeat in the House of Lords by a coalition of Labour and Lib Dem peers.

Despite a majority of voters demanding a say on our membership of the EU, the Tory, Labour or Lib Dem leaders still deny us our say, so much for democracy. While we remain in the EU we have no control over immigration and its effects on jobs, the strain on our resources and infrastructure. If David Cameron was genuine he would not wait until after the general election he would hold a referendum now, otherwise it is no more than an idle threat.

Philip Griffiths, UKIP North West President, Lancaster