I am very much in agreement with your recent correspondents regarding the necessity now to apply online for replacement Blue Badges (LEP April 2).
If ever there was an area requiring less ‘high-tech’ dealings, it is this one.
Remember too that no reminders are sent out now when the badge is due to be renewed.
Thank heaven the expiry date is more clearly shown on the new format badges.
It does not end there by any means.
I see the Road Fund Tax forms now state payment by credit or debit card (or online of course) but seemingly no longer in cheques.
Turn to the Best Buy tables in the weekend press for ISA and savings accounts, and 80 per cent of them can be opened online only.
Now I read that the Census form could be replaced with data from Twitter and Zoopla.
Having online access is not yet compulsory in law but, by all practical means, we are heading in that direction.
How long before the electoral register moves online only?
Then there’s my big aggravation.
Letters say: “Contact us at so-and-so dot co, or telephone such a number.” One telephones, and the first two minutes are spent being told how to do the transaction online. It’s a good job no human beings are actually involved in this because I am tempted to speak out: “Look here, I am exercising the alternative option which you told me to do, because I don’t have online access.”
N. J. Inkley, address supplied
We were better off before EU
With regard to your article, Leaders’ warning over leaving Europe (LEP April 8), the scaremongering on the economic effects of Brexit are entirely speculative and without substance.
It is revealing to look at the United Kingdom’s relative position before and after 40 years of EU membership.
For instance, before, the UK’s steel output was second only to Germany’s; now it is exceeded by Italy, France, and Spain.
Before membership, the UK’s manufacturing sector was up to 20 per cent of GDP; today, it is just over 10 per cent.
Before joining the EU, British exports of manufactured goods exceeded imports of foreign manufactures; but, in the 1980s and thereafter, for the first time in centuries, foreign manufactured imports exceeded British.
The UK’s National Debt, at seven per cent of GDP, is the highest on record in peacetime.
Coun Blackburn says that it could mean a catastrophic reduction in councils’ ability to provide services. Could it be any weaker?
But the reason for the EU is mainly political.
Europe has become a recruiting ground for NATO and the American Alliance, and is moving towards taking over British foreign policy, and the appointment of an EU Foreign Secretary.
The Dutch are aware of this and voted “No” by two to one against negotiations that have been paving the way for Ukraine to become a new EU member.
Ron Atkins, Preston
Comparison was wrong
To conflate the junior doctors’ dispute with opponents of the Vietnam War, as depicted by Bernard Darbyshire (LEP April 12), in order to distort a slogan, reaches the depths of debate.
Comparing an intelligent body of people to mindless militants, bent only on financial improvement, is an insult to their protests against Jeremy Hunt’s heavy-handed negotiations.
A more apt comparison would be this country’s vast and continuing expenditure on needless wars, rather than on such essentials as a properly funded National Health Service.
Denis Lee, Ashton