Readers' letters - June 3

Let's re-think our attitude

Friday, 3rd June 2016, 3:39 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd June 2016, 4:43 pm
Harambe, a western lowland gorilla, was fatally shot to protect a four-year-old boy who had entered the enclosure. See letter

I agree with Harry Francis’ letter about wildlife in danger (LEP Letters June 2). His letter comes at a time when there is a lot of anger over the fate of Harambe, the gorilla who was killed at an American zoo.

Whether the parents were feckless and ignorant or whether they were parents who simply lost sight of their son for a second and are totally aghast at what happened to a member of an endangered species, I do not know. Would it have been safe to use tranquillisers? I do not know. And how on earth a small child can squeeze into an enclosure of a large wild animal, I do not know.

But what I do know is this. If zoos cannot protect an endangered species and, ironically, end up killing them, perhaps it is time to say zoos like that have had their day.

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I have always had a soft spot for zoos, they formed part of a happy childhood for me, but the older I get, the more I feel we don’t seem to be able to look after large, endangered animals properly.

Create, maintain and extend wildlife reserves in their natural habitat. Protect them from poachers, protect their land from developers.. . do this and you might well find their numbers increase and flourish.

Maybe there are too many of us humans.

Perhaps it is time for us to be more considerate of the natural world and, for those who want children, have smaller families, and for those who don’t, choose not to have children.

But please, teach your children respect for wildlife. We have enough arrogant humans who are violent and cruel, the next generation needs to be kinder.

But instead of the anger directed at the zoo and the parents, why not turn this fury into something positive? Learn about gorillas and other endangered species and support a charity looking after them in the wild. Why not visit as a starting point?

Jane, Lancashire

I’m not a traitor for being pro-EU

J. W. Leach writes: “Those who vote for an EU empire are traitors to the millions who died in two world wars and to the generation to come whose inheritance is being taken away from them” (LEP Letters May 27).

Who does he think he is? How dare he accuse me of being a traitor because I believe fervently that Britain is better off in the EU.

Let us just dissect the major point in his letter. Dragging in alleged German Empire building is totally irrelevant. There is no possibility of further political integration within the EU being at the point of a gun or even an economic empire.

The model is the United States and Australia. Without going into too much detail, the individual states that form the Australian Federation have powers similar to those now enjoyed by Scotland within the UK. Additionally there is some independence in taxation and foreign affairs.

This is the kind of model that the United States of Europe was always proposed to be from the earliest days shortly after the end of the Second World War.

To bring it about, all the member states of the EU would have to want it and there would be years of constitutional negotiation, the outcome of which would have to be ratified by each country before it came to pass.

Our own ‘democracy’ leaves much to be desired when less than a third of the voters elect a dictatorship for five years, whose only opposition comes from an unelected House of Lords.

It is not the RemaINers who are betraying the younger generation. That role belongs to the Brexit brigade who delude themselves that crawling like a snail back into our narrow nationalistic shell is going to provide opportunities for young people.

My seven grandchildren of voting age don’t think that way. They are all horrified that the blinkered views of the likes of J.W. Leach might carry the day on June 23 to their lasting disadvantage. This vote is not reversible if we make the wrong choice.

Mike Turner, Lytham

They got their facts wrong

I think that it was Winston Churchill who first described a lie as a technical inexactitude and so it was that I was perusing the latest propaganda leaflet that popped through my letter box last night from Lancashire Labour promoting its Labour IN for Britain.

I quote one paragraph from this leaflet: “Being in the EU means being part of the biggest consumer market in the world, of 500 million consumers. That’s bigger than China ...”

At this point, my reading shuddered to a halt. Now let me get this correct. So we no longer have populations, we have ‘consumers’ which presumably starts with us in the womb and ends with us in our coffins. That being the case, then Lancashire Labour has either not been doing its sums correctly (this is Key Stage 1 level, Lancashire Labour!) or they have no idea of the population, sorry, consumers in China. Thus let me enlighten them. It is over 1.36 BILLION, not 500 million, or are we to assume that almost two thirds of China consume nothing?

There is, of course, a third alternative: they have been deceiving the population, sorry again, consumers of Lancashire with false figures and ridiculous terminology.

Well, I, for one, am not going to be basing how I vote on technical inexactitudes and silly terminology being promulgated by a bunch of Lancashire people who are ignorant of world populations.

Sorry if that word sticks in your craws, Lancashire Labour.

Indeed, as a Lancastrian, I am embarrassed at the seeming ignorance of my fellow countymen and women.

Shooting oneself in the foot comes to mind!

A Voter Who Deserves Respect

Reduce tax for shut libraries

I have seen no mention of the reduction in council tax for properties in areas where libraries are set to close.

Those who live in these areas cannot be expected to subsidise those who are fortunate to retain their library.

It would be interesting to see how much each library is costing and how much of the council tax for each of the affected areas is earmarked for the library service, but this information does not seem to be readily available.

Robin Wilkinson, Bolton-le-Sands