Readers' letters - July 14

We do much more than fight in wars

Friday, 14th July 2017, 4:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:47 am

Royston Jones’ attack on Armed Forces day and our armed forces was beyond the pale (LP Letters, July 3). As an ex-RN sailor, and on behalf of a lot of ex-service people, you have deeply offended us.

You seem to hint we wander around with guns waiting to shoot people, and that’s not true, only if people are wanting to harm you.

If you read the papers and watch the TV, you’ll see the world is getting more dangerous by the day. For example, there are rogue states like North Korea and ISIS terrorists on the loose here in the UK. Your complaint should be we don’t have enough soldiers, sailors or airmen, or ships or planes or big guns.

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The past four governments have badly let the country and the armed forces down, and, yes, three were Tories, which also makes me unhappy.

However, Royston, let me tell you some facts. All naval ships always have a pet subject to look after in some usually poor country.

They stop and help build or repair schools, churches, anything to help the locals. I am reasonably sure my counterparts in the other two services do likewise.

Almost every year there has sadly been some real catastrophe and the most wonderful thing these poor devastated people can possibly see is an aircraft carrier arriving, with 2,000 fit people to help, with helicopters for search and rescue, with a galley to feed an army if needed, the ability to turn hundreds of tons of sea water into fresh water every day, ability, if possible, to put power back in use, doctors and lots of medics – in fact everything they really need.

I know. I have been there, and our troops you seem to despise so much do that sort of thing every day.

A line from Kipling for Royston: Making Mock of uniforms that guard you whilst you sleep, is cheaper than those uniforms, and they are starvation cheap.

I, and many others like me serving, ex-service, and civilian alike, were deeply offended by your disgraceful comments, Mr Jones. I hope you will reflect on that.

Michael Sutcliff

Address supplied

bus station

No place for youth zone

Whether people liked it or not, the bus station was given listed status.

Why on earth was there then permission given to build a youth zone right in front of it, thus obliterating the whole aspect of a listed building?

Of all the derelict sites and buildings in the city centre, where the youth zone could have been built, the powers-that-be have decided for it to be next to a listed building, completely at odds and unsympathetic to it.

Maybe the ugly St John’s Shopping Centre could have been demolished and the shops moved to the numerous empty units elsewhere in the centre.

If it had to be built by the bus station, why choose the side nearer the shops etc, with the actual bus users having to make do with the far side?

Oh, and by the way, only the council would keep the art deco characterful facade of Lancastria House only to then build a huge dome behind it, probably, but hopefully not, coloured orange.

The mad men are running the asylum.

Name and address supplied


Focus on the positives

I am very pleased that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, are to visit Germany and Poland next week.

They are good ambassadors for the UK and will help foster more good friendships between British, German and Polish peoples.

However, I am not pleased that their five day trip includes visits to the former concentration camp Struthof in Poland, and the Holocaust Museum in Berlin.

Why, on a goodwill trip, do they have to visit such awful places?

Again and again, whenever Germany is featured, some aspect of the two world wars has to be re-visited – why?

Modern Germany is a truly superb, decent country, and has done so much good in the world since 1946.

Why cannot our lovely Royals visit the beautiful university town of Heidelberg, or the engineering masterpiece of the Kiel canal, or the superb Volkswagen/Audi vehicle factory, or a vineyard or one of the many small, privately-owned breweries, or Siemens, or a restored East German church?

There is a time and a place for remembering the horrors of all wars, but surely this visit is not one of them.

David Quarrie

Address supplied


Who really needs £87m?

In this day and age, when nothing seems sacred, I simply cannot congratulate the recent £87m lottery winners. Just what is he/she going to do with all that money?

We learn every day of much human suffering which cannot be alleviated and yet we hear of this.

Why not have a lottery with a top prize, say, of £1m? Now that, in my view, would be sense.

Barry Foster

Address supplied


Words are powerful tools

With all the hate-filled rhetoric about ‘them and us’ that we hear from Jeremy Corbyn, is it surprising that Conservative candidates are being abused while going about their lawful everyday business? Words are very powerful tools and should be used with caution and not to divide one section of society from another, especially at this time of great uncertainty.

J Hutchinson

via email


Anyone for tennis?

If there was ever a good reason for backing Brexit, it is that we could ban the stupid clapping that Wimbledon spectators seem to have adopted from tennis tournaments on the continent.

The spectators now seem to start up at every possible opportunity.


Is the tennis so boring that they have to find something else to stop them falling asleep?

Martin J


via email


Statistics are concerning

The population of the UK has moved closer to overtaking France.

Official projections have also suggested that the country will surpass the populations of both

France and Germany by 2050.

This is a hugely concerning statistic, and action surely has to be taken sooner rather than later to restrict this growth.

The land area of France is well over twice the size of the UK, and Germany is significantly larger as


Both these countries could cope much more easily with population growth, but we cannot.

Bob Watson