Readers’ letters: August 25

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Bus service is vital for our rural areas

I was pleased to hear that the council is intending to reinstate some of the rural buses in Lancashire. I live in the Lune Valley and the impact from the loss of public transport on the community is far reaching. With new development in Caton and Hornby (for example), there is a need for more transport.

The over 60s are entitled to a free bus pass, that’s assuming there is a bus in the first place. The assumption seems to be that you just want to stay at home after 6pm of an evening and watch TV.

Many can’t, or no longer, drive and the loss of this lifeline leaves many isolated with little or no access to shops, family or social life.

Local businesses have complained it is now harder to get young staff as they have to rely on a parent or taxi to get to and from work.

Anyone wanting a night out or to attend evening classes has no option but to drive as there are now no evening buses. It costs £18 for a taxi from Lancaster to Hornby which is quite a hit at the end of an evening.

I work, but all the buses run through the day when they are mostly used by those with free passes. We are the ones that are willing to pay for the services but they’re just not available in the evenings.

There is no service at all on a Sunday and we’re the lucky ones as some of the neighbouring villages are cut off.

It seems the solution, both economically and environmentally, would be to run four buses a day (in addition to the existing early morning school/work service) in and out of town.

There should, perhaps, be a mid-morning, early afternoon, evening and late bus with a two-hour window before the return journey?

More buses would boost the rural economy and tourism. We have some exceptional countryside offering tea rooms, old fashioned pubs, stunning views, walks (this list goes on). All this should be accessible to all. At a time when the focus is to go green, we need our public transport to encourage us to leave our cars at home and maximise on what we have around us.

In eager anticipation.

Mrs J Yates

Address supplied

population

Look at reality behind figures

Your correspondent RD is wrong with regard to population growth (LP Letters, August 17).

World population is currently at 7.5 billion which appears unsustainable, but appearances are deceptive and the reality behind the figure is more revealing.

Demographers now agree that the rate of growth is falling, which might well present problems for the future.

Falling population rates are the result of women now having more control over reproduction; industrialisation, which enables families to enjoy a better quality of life; and declining infant mortality, that can now mean fewer imperatives to produce more children.

Whether these are good or bad things is neither here nor there – they are factual.

And this presents a real economic problem because wealth can only be produced by people working.

Without high labour productivity, economies grind to a halt, profit rates decline and growth stagnates – which is exactly what is happening today in many parts of the world, including Britain.

This is why so many resources are put into improving health and life expectancy, why people are forced to work longer to get a decent pension, why China has reversed its one-child-only policy, why Germany took so many refugees (and will, by doing this, ensure Germans have a better quality of life than British people for the foreseeable future).

Demagogues and irresponsible politicians are frightened of telling their voters the real state of things because they are terrified of losing seats and careers. They instead play on prejudice, fear and ignorance while pursuing agendas that are clearly contradictory if that same prejudice, fear and ignorance were founded on reality, which it clearly isn’t.

In doing this, they simply ratchet up the anger, heighten unfounded fears, and produce the nastiness we’ve recently seen in Charlottesville and across Europe.

People, from wherever we come from and in whatever numbers we exist, are not the problem here.

The planet can sustain 10 or 15 billion people with current available resources.

It’s the wasteful use of those resources, including the labour resource, that is the problem.

Having thousands of migrants locked out of Europe is economic madness on a grand scale.

That is a labour resource that could raise pensions, reduce the retirement age and improve services here and in the rest of Europe.

There is no need for people to have to work longer, or harder. We could easily attain decent pensions well before our 60s, and live into ripe old age without fear of poverty.

The rational, obvious solution is to bring down national borders and let people move around the planet at will.

This will provide the resources to enable people and families to settle and work in whatever environment that they find suitable.

Most people don’t want to leave their homes, it’s a fallacy to think they do.

Only war, the climate crisis, and people being forced off their land by big capitalist agriculture, is creating mass population movements that will be with us for decades to come. We need a perspective that is collective, humane, and gives power to those who labour and produce the wealth we all rely on.

Barry Conway

via email

employment

Pointless bureaucracy

One in 20 people of working age are unemployed and the experience is often one of pointless bureaucracy.

People are required to apply for jobs even if they have already been offered (but not yet started) another job.

People are required to apply for jobs even if their health would prevent them from actually taking it up.

If they don’t, they get sanctioned, and can end up destitute.

The Green Party would get rid of the sanctions regime.

Around a third of the people who claim unemployment benefit have been out of work for more than a year.

They have often lost confidence and the skills to get and keep a job.

They need support and guidance towards a hopeful future, but instead are made to fill out 20 random job applications a week and waste employers’ time.

We need employers who are willing to invest the time to support people into valuable work. We need a Government willing to really invest and support people as well.

Jason Leman

Green Party

POLITICS

Consequences of election

Here is an inescapable forecast for you. The Brexit negotiations will be decently completed – although the moaners will of course bitterly complain.

An election will be called (in three years’ time) and Labour will be swept into power under its Marxist leader. As night follows day, that Government will destroy the British economy, laying the blame on Brexit.

Oh, the consequences of that unnecessary interim election!

Arthur Quarmby

Address supplied