Readers’ letters - May 15

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Raise all taxes to pay for public services

I accuse all major political parties for at least 40 years of misleading the public.

Whether by deliberate lies, oversight, or not understanding the problem, they have failed to finance public services, in particular the health and education sectors.

Margaret Thatcher tried to sell off the national assets and even managed to convince people to buy shares in businesses they already owned.

One-off gains don’t change the funding issues.

This has gone on until today when bits of the NHS and education sectors are being privatised.

In the end, this will only cost more because of profit funding.

The next step was to invent new taxes.

Sorry but the only way to pay for the current mess is for all mainline taxes to be raised.

Income tax and corporation tax basic rate should be raised by say two per cent.

National Insurance should go up by one per cent for both employees and employers, self-employed by two per cent.

The Government should stop messing with benefits and reduce them by two per cent across the board.

I can’t think of any politician who has the guts to agree with me and is willing to say so publicly.

David Collins

via email

european union

Let’s have a sensible Brexit

We hear a lot about hard and soft Brexit, but what does it mean? The terms are vague.

We need a settlement that is good for Britain and the long-term future of Europe, not the European Union.

The EU will collapse.

It is based on an economic concept that cannot work.

A nation cannot function without controlling its currency by revaluing, devaluing or responding to market forces.

The longer this matter is ignored, the more catastrophic the collapse.

EU polices have ruined and continue to wreck the economies of Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain causing bankruptcy, high unemployment and extinguishing their hope for a satisfactory future in the EU.

Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty was agreed under EU law to allow any member to leave in an orderly manner.

The unelected EU negotiators have no right to frustrate this procedure.

We need to democratically make our own decisions. We need to regulate immigration and control our borders. We need to trade freely throughout the world. Is this hard or soft?

I don’t know, but it will be a sensible Brexit.

Having left, other dissatisfied members will follow our lead to a better future exercising their self determination.

Nick Yates

Address supplied

language

A paragraph of gobbledegook

Is there a prize for gobbledygook? You report (LP April 27) that the Local Government Association says of South Ribble Council: “The political administration needs to lead the council coherently, effectively, visibly and take ownership of the improvement to take the council forward positively”.

That is 23 words.

I have no clearer picture than if it had said: “The political administration needs to lead the council better”. That is nine words.

Neil Inkley

Walton-le-Dale

parking

Majority should have their say

Yesterday I went to visit my daughter who was a patient in the Royal Preston Hospital. Luckily I had a chauffeur as it took him over 30 minutes to find a vacant parking space.

I have visited Blackpool Victoria Hospital and noticed they had a large multi-storey car park.

RPH has so many departments now on site that the original car parking arrangement are now severely overloaded.

I believe a multi-storey car park has been proposed for the site but there have been objections. The needs of the majority should over-ride the objections of a small minority, as there are lots of hospital visitors and patients who cannot use public transport for a variety of reasons. (In our case, we live one mile and a half from a bus route).

Tom Skupham

Scorton

SOCIAL MEDIA

Dangers of social media

I heard of a recent incident where passers-by shouted at a young woman to jump to her death from a multi-storey car park. It isn’t that hard to guess what was going on.

Social media, like Facebook Live, Instagram, YouTube, are pernicious and can even be dangerous in the wrong hands.

We read about other cases of people urging someone to jump so they can record it for social media – and I suspect the same is true here.

Some culprits are young – and some are not so young –but all share the same lack of any moral foundation.

Cyber bullying isn’t just online – it can spill over into ‘real life’ – with potentially tragic effects. CCTV of the incident needs to be studied and the culprits dealt with.

Richard Tandy

via email

nostalgia

Reunion for steam fans

A few months ago, Retro looked back on the steam engines and threshing machines of Isaac Ball, an agricultural contractor based at Wharles near Kirkham.

Isaac Ball’s son, Thomas, closed the business in the 1950s and there were real fears that the remaining engines would be sold for scrap.

However, this was the beginning of the fashion to preserve, and although it took some time, the last engine left the yard in 1974. Twenty three of the engines were preserved and are still in existence.

A major reunion for steam and Isaac Ball enthusiasts is to occur at the Fylde Vintage Farm Show on June 24 and 25, held at the Showfield, Salwick Road, in Isaac’s own village of Wharles and less than a mile from his original works. As many of the surviving machines as possible will reassemble in the village, bringing back the vibrant noise and clouds of steam to the now quiet roads and tears to the eyes of those with longer memories.

Artefacts will be on display and there will be a demonstration of steam threshing and a nostalgic rolling road run to the old yard. It should be a fascinating insight into the agriculture of the Fylde between the wars.

John Grimbaldeston

via email