Readers’ letters - July 15

Politicians pose for a photograph during this years Nato summit in Warsaw, Poland. See letter
Politicians pose for a photograph during this years Nato summit in Warsaw, Poland. See letter
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We’re leaving EU not Nato

Here we go again! Out come Jones and Fraser with their favourite catchphrases of “Don’t panic!” and “We’re doomed! We’re all doomed!” as the hand-wringers of Remain once more come out of their closets, this time over defence.

To link Brexit with also withdrawing from Nato is the most preposterous thing I have ever heard. The logic in jumping to such a wide of the mark conclusion is breathtaking. For a start, Nato existed long, long before the EU came about.

And what was/is Nato’s job? To protect Europe in case of war, which meant against Russia (Cold War and all that).

Yet here we have the doom merchants seemingly implying that Brexit also means the UK coming out of Nato.

Even the very fact that we are to station some of our dwindling band of troops in European countries bordering Russia should be a stark rebuttal of the nonsense being put forward but, no, they continue to peddle the same tripe they peddled with the referendum, for example, stock markets will fall.

Well, yes, the markets did fall, but only temporarily, as now they are mostly even higher than before Brexit. The pound may take a little longer to recover, but recover it will.

Yes, it may well mean that we do not contribute to the much vaunted EU Army but that is NOT Nato.

For a start, the USA is in Nato but is not part of Europe (but listening to President Obama and his trade deals, you’d think that WAS the case).

Why, it’s as daft an idea that this EU army could protect Europe on its own from, say, Russia in the event of war without the help of USA, which is where Nato comes into, er, force. So, Remain hand-wringers, go and wash your hands as many times as you like, but it won’t wash with us Brits who can see right through your subterfuge.

A Having Left

Improvements are essential

The Government must not delay implementing the important recommendations from the Independent Panel on Technical Education.

They can act as a real road map to the high-skill workforce the UK needs.

Decent technical education requires high standards and robust monitoring.

We are glad that the Institute for Apprenticeships will have a wider remit, and a clear role in assuring quality.

Trade unions must be given a central role in setting and monitoring quality standards, ensuring that workers are represented and receive high quality training.

But if these reforms are going to succeed, the Government must back them up with serious investment in colleges and further education.

Britain faces a challenging future outside of the European Union, so improving our workforce’s skills is vital.

We also need a major new programme of infrastructure investment to upgrade our economy, boost growth and expand opportunities.

Derek Barton, Preston & South Ribble Trades Council Communication Officer

What was the point of vote?

I am surprised Theresa May is to become Prime Minister, bearing in mind she was in favour of staying in. How can she negotiate to come out when her heart is not in it? Seventeen million voted to come out due to issues with migration and yet the Foreign Secretary has already said trade negotiations with the EU will include the free movement of people. Mrs May has said she will not implement Article 50 until the new year. That should have been implemented on June 24.

There will be no opposition from the Labour Party because they are in meltdown. It makes you wonder what the point of the referendum was when the result is being ignored by the very people we elected to represent us.

Mel Smart, address supplied

Memories of

my father’s life

My dad, CQMS George Thomas Benson of the 2nd Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, left India on June 6, 1940, in a convoy of five ships with an Australian Escort Cruiser, HMS Australia. Wives and children followed five months later.

They got to Durban and changed to faster ships, the Orion, Reina Del Pacifico and Stratheden, bound for Liverpool, via Cape Town and Free Town, with HMS Kenya as the escort ship.

On nearing the Irish coast, a flotilla of six destroyers joined HMS Kenya to Liverpool, docking on July 17, 1940.

Commando training took place in Scotland. Then the 2nd Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment sailed to South Africa. After time at Durban, on May 4, 1942, Madagascar was invaded.

While delivering the LEP at home, I opened one and there was a picture of my dad.

It stated that he had been mentioned in dispatches in Madagascar and had been promoted to Company Sergeant Major.

After the island was secured, he went back to South Africa where the battalion regrouped. Dad wrote home and said: “I will be home soon.”

He went back to India then Burma. The next time we saw him it was November 1945 when he got demobbed.

After over 20 years in the East Lancashire Regiment, he came home. We were living in a rented home and he had no job. All he knew was being a soldier.

A couple of weeks later, I looked at an LEP I was delivering and saw an advert for a caretaker at Preston Grammar School.

While stationed at Fulwood Barracks, he used to go to the school on a Friday afternoon and coach boxing.

On going for an interview, he met the headmaster, who he knew before the war. He told Dad: “Leave it to me, the job is yours”. He got the job and was there for over 20 years.

My dad was a Cockney and my mum was Welsh. I was born in Catterick Barracks and my brother Tom was born in Sharoe Green Hospital in Preston.

After the war, mum and dad decided to settle in Preston as they loved it here.

It was a big change after living in London, Wales, Ireland, Wiltshire, Sussex, Essex and India, not forgetting our spell in Yorkshire.

We had great times everywhere we went.

George J Benson, Preston