Readers' letters May 24-05-16

Concerns over postal votes

Wednesday, 25th May 2016, 3:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th May 2016, 5:35 pm
A reader tells of his experience saving a young birds life. See letter Picture: Sue Tranter (

This month’s local elections tempted just 33 per cent of registered voters to make their mark, one must assume that the 67 per cent who didn’t vote are quite content with the way Preston City Council is governed.

What is hidden in these figures, euphemistically referred to as ‘voter turnout,’ is the shocking proportion of postal votes – 63 per cent of the total votes compared to 27 per cent of those who went to vote 
at a polling station, (less than nine per cent of registered voters).

There are of course some valid reasons why a voter cannot make it to a polling station on the day and, in such cases, a postal vote is appropriate, however the danger of abuse of the current free for all postal voting system is obvious.

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There are few, if any, checks into the validity of postal votes which makes election-rigging simple.

The EU referendum faces the risk of massive postal vote rigging.

Given the position of the Government and those representing the ‘big money’, one can easily predict the way the vote will go, given the present system.

It is difficult to have any faith in an unchecked electoral system where more than 60 per cent are faceless postal votes, the losers will always, and quite rightly, cry foul.

Mike McCarthy, Ribbleton

European Union meddling again

All over the country, the burning question at the moment is whether or not we should stay in the EU.

Obviously I have not a shadow of doubt that we should leave and the evidence continues to mount to back up the Leave campaign complemented by the increasingly unbelievable rhetoric from George Osborne et al.

Meanwhile the meddling in our lives by Brussels continues with the Tobacco Products Directive, which governs the sale and production of e-cigarettes and which has now been implemented by the UK.

This legislation restricts product choice and advertising of vaping devices and is likely to force some smaller British e-cigarette manufacturers to close down with the consequent loss of jobs.

I am pleased that Lord Callanan has filed a motion in the House of Lords calling for the laws to be scrapped and a supporting petition is gaining momentum.

The motion calls for David Cameron ‘to use his influence in Brussels’ to get an opt-out before the referendum.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Brussels, he’s like the boy on the beach getting sand kicked in his eyes.

Evidence shows that vaping has enabled many people to quit smoking, which is far more injurious to health, but what does the EU care?

If they can find something to control, regardless of its merits, they will.

The only answer is to vote Leave on June 23.

Paul Nuttall, UKIP North West MEP and deputy party leader

No gratitude from mother

Sitting in my conservatory with a cold beer on Sunday, watching the starlings feed their young and making a dreadful racket, I realised they were using my pond fountain as a bath.

About 20 to 30 young birds suddenly ramped up the volume to ear-splitting volume. On investigation I discovered one young fledgling almost drowned.

Having fished the bird from the pond and saving its life, I was immediately pecked on the back of my head by mother bird.

That’s gratitude for you.

JW Vintin via email

Will age be the factor in vote?

An awful lot of politics is being banded about, but can you remember what the EU was supposed to be about when we joined?

Quite simply, a ‘Common Market’ for trading advantages.

Now it has stretched to those in Brussels and elsewhere making rules for us to obey.

On a recent caravan holiday it has become apparent that our continental friends are in general agreement that the Common Market WAS a good idea but the continued interference from Brussels is deeply resented.

I get the impression that they are all waiting to see what we do before they also seek changes.

I have a theory that people of a certain age, who remember life before the ‘Common Marker’, will vote ‘Leave’, while those who are younger are more likely to be frightened into voting ‘Stay’.

What age that dividing line will actually be, I’m not sure.

What do readers think?

Graham Archer, Chorley

My ideal type of political party

I heard about the leader of The Green Party standing down and wondered about my ideal political party.

It would believe in a balance of compassion and common sense; a country where we care about animals – wildlife and domestic – as well as humans; where we have a sensible and compassionate approach to immigration depending on space, infrastructure and jobs; where wildife habitat loss is seen as an important green issue; where the NHS and other public services are valued; and where instead of focusing on so-called minority groups, we treat all people with respect and compassion.

Voter via email

Coun Bell doing an excellent job

I had cause to contact Coun Jane Bell concerning an ongoing problem. She greatly impressed me with her impartial advice and help, and gave excellent all-round service. Coun Bell answered my telephone calls, and asked for an update on matters. A straightforward and honest lady with life experience. She’s doing an excellent job. With thanks and appreciation for a job well done, Coun Bell.

Mrs Marguerite Ralphs, Leyland