Readers’ letters - February 15

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Too many children is the real problem

I refer to your top letter in Friday’s Post ‘Don’t blame elderly for housing shortage’ (LP February 10).

I really don’t know where these people come up with these crazy and ill thought out ideas. We live in a democracy not a communist state and as such fairness for all is never going to happen.

These people have worked hard through their lives to save money so they can have some form of security in later life, maybe not so in a country so focused on the needs of children and benefits for those that have little.

Of course in a Utopian world there would be enough for everyone but what annoys me is the open disregard for the welfare of the elderly in this country.

If you have money it is taken away from you to pay for care and this seems to happen all too often. I am sick of being asked if I collect school vouchers in supermarkets.

Where are the vouchers for the elderly? Just because the majority of older people have a natural aptitude to make ends meet shouldn’t make them prey for money grabbing authorities.

Perhaps the best idea is to squander it all and expect, like a lot of people do, the rest to pay for it all.

The real problem in this world is there are too many of us humans on this fragile planet, not content to boss our way through the animal kingdom and destroy everything that doesn’t suit our needs. When are we all going to wake up and realise that from a population explosion in the past century, ever increasing reliability on machines to take over what dwindling workforce is required as a result, the answer simply is to look after we already have on this planet and not to continually breed our way into oblivion.

Fulwood Luddite

Name and address supplied

politics

Grandma’s

wisdom of old

Through my childhood and teens in the 40s and 50s, I was regaled by stories and sayings from my grandmother.

Having survived two world wars, bringing up a family and taking care of a disabled husband in later life without any of today’s generous benefits, she remained a believer in looking after your own.

She would often point a finger in my direction and advise me with the words “now then lad, just remember charity begins at home”.

It’s a pity she was never employed as adviser to successive UK governments.

As the NHS creaks under unprecedented numbers of users and limited funding, we give away £12 billion to other countries each year.

If it was used to make things better in our troubled world, there might be some justification. Evidence of widespread abuse and corruption, however, suggests otherwise. Grandma’s homespun advice would be ‘give it to the NHS’.

At a swoop, their problems would be eased. She might well add that it was also helping other countries without any of the current abuse.

After all, beneficiaries would include 650,000 immigrants entering the UK each year from all over the world.

If my grandma had thought that one day, elderly UK citizens would have to compete for NHS resources with health tourists ripping them off for £35m she would have had a fit.

That the UK pays out £674m per year for the treatment of UK citizens in Europe whilst receiving only £49m in return would have left grandma raging at the incompetence and inefficiency of successive governments.

Like she often said, ‘them daft so and so’s in Parliament have no common sense and no idea how ordinary people live’.

Lindon Dove,

via email

POLITICS

Speaker a voice

for many people

John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, is coming in for criticism from some Members of Parliament (mainly Tories) for expressing his thoughts on US President Trump’s visit to the UK.

Bercow’s role as Speaker is to not only to chair debates but to also offer guidance.

Since Theresa May’s visit to the US to meet Donald Trump some MPs have queried the wisdom of allowing the US President a State welcome to the UK.

John Bercow has politely advised MPs that Parliament is a democracy, in favour of equality, opposed to racism and sexism and a respecter of the law and the judiciary. Trump struggles to meet that criteria, he also has a problem meeting the Government’s British values of respect and tolerance, something the Government has been banging on about lately in regard to immigrants coming into this country.

In his time as Speaker John Bercow has greatly increased the use of urgent questions as a way for Parliament to keep the government on its toes.

John Appleyard

via email

welfare

Time to axe the pricey lords

This is the time of year when OAPs get notice of their annual pay rise, with the average taxable weekly pension regardless of whether it’s just basic, plus SERPS or pensions credits, being about £155.

What a contrast to the House of Lords, whose members get £300 a day, this tax-free along with numerous other expenses for travel etc., even if, like man,y they live near the Palace of Westminster.

The irony being that hundreds of these people neither speak in debates, nor vote on any item of business under discussion but simply clock in, get their bounty, then scuttle away. In our supposed parliamentary democracy how can such an unelected organisation be allowed to exist, or continue?

Everyone knows that life peerages are a commodity bought and sold by political party leaders, if not in exchanged for donations to party funds, then as rewards for personal favours done in the past, with the hereditary places still bearing titles such as earl or viscount passed down the generations like the crown of Great Britain are a sick joke.

That Brexit negotiations may yet be stalled or held up for a long time by this outdated, undemocratic institution is a disgrace. Unless abolished with a proper elected second chamber to replace the Lords, I believe the people should boycott the next general election.

DS Boyes,

via email

Europe

Sit tight for great deal on Europe

The old cliché about opening Pandora’s Box seems very apt to the impending negotiations with Brussels and the rest of the EU. I think if we play our cards diplomatically, we can still get a decent deal and minimise the damage already done. To put it bluntly, the usual Europhobes should be told to sit down and shut up.

Don Burslam

via email