Move parliament up north
Your correspondent Moncrieff insists that our parliament must be in London (LEP June 23).
Leaving aside the fact that our so-called democracy and its antediluvian parliament requires a serious dose of reformation, Moncrieff advances zero reason why the largest city must also be the seat of political power.
Our nation is over centralised already and it’s quite clear that this state of affairs is very unhealthy. The Scots in particular, have made quite clear that it is time to end this. They are right about that.
Many successful nations have a seat of political power that is not based on the largest city.
Imagine how things would be had London not been the political centre.
The wealth of our nation (in the Industrial Revolution) was generated mostly in the provinces at Midland and Northern cities.
London prospered as a result by means of taxes, plus the fact that the private masters of industrial wealth wanted to advance their social standing by aping the aristocracy (London-based for obvious reasons), and hence invested heavily in the social infrastructure of London.
Had political power resided in Liverpool, it is obvious that Liverpool would be the most prosperous city in the land.
Contrary to what Moncrieff favours, the time is well overdue to establish a political capital in a capital territory (as the Australians have it), which is specifically not London nor anywhere near.
Personally, I favour a Federal Britain based on half a dozen ancient kingdoms (Scotland, Wales, (modified) Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex etc), each with its own parliament of maximum 60 ‘MPs’, on its own territory, and responsible for nearly everything, plus a UK parliament of maximum 60 MPs responsible for federal matters only. For example, defence.
The monarch (the personification of the nation) could reside in each federal state in turn.
Modern communications means there is absolutely no reason why all this stuff has to be together in any specific place.
We might as well have the federal parliament in Liverpool or close by. There are plenty of splendid buildings to use in Liverpool and it’s a bit “out-on-a-limb” so would be a natural capital territory....and so much nearer the geographic centre and centre of population.
(I can see the Liverpool/Manchester/Leeds corridor becoming a truly great “Northern Powerhouse” with its own super airport, multiple motorways and high speed trains, and rapidly flowering culture centre at the expense of London).
Let’s do it. Let’s not be told by London what’s going to happen here. Oh, maybe I should say that I am a Southerner, and so I know what they think about the grubby Midlands and north where all the money was made....and it’s not flattering. Be sure about that.
Nigel Taylor, Preston
Actions will speak louder
Re: Barry Freeman ‘Waterloo, we were defeated.... (LEP June 22), Barry Freeman should not take too much notice of what the defeated Napoleon said when held in exile in St Helena in June 1815. As my granny said: “Actions speak louder than words”.
He did not save the French Republic. He ended it when he declared himself Emperor of the French.
His ambition was to become Emperor of Europe, including Britain. To establish his dynasty, he divorced Josephine and married Archduchess Marie Louise, who became Empress of the French, and one year later she bore him a son, immediately declared King of Rome.
The long, glorious fight against the class system in Britain was home-grown, from the 14th Century Peasant’s Revolt, The Civil Wars, the Levellers, Peterloo, The Chartists, the trade unions, to Old Labour.
Long may the fight continue for much more needs to be done!
Ron Atkins, Preston
Angels working at the hospital
I am now at home after spending last weekend in the Royal Preston Hospital. I would like to thank all the staff on the medical assessment unit and Ward 2D. They all worked so hard, with long hours.
They were so kind to me and I was so impressed with the care and respect shown to the elderly, some who were very poorly.
The young staff, male and female, are wonderful, even assisting them with their meals when necessary and yes, I thought the food was excellent.
I must not forget the wonderful night staff who, even after a long night, at 6am still had a smile and cheery words.
As I listened to them up and down during the night, I thought to myself, not all the angels are in Heaven, they are up at the Royal Preston Hospital, and in many more, and I don’t think they get the recognition they deserve.
Eleanor Morgan, address supplied
The Queen pays 85 per cent tax
Mr D Lee complains about the expenses of Her Majesty (LEP June 25). Does he know of any person with investment income who pays 85 per cent tax? According to Wednesday’s Times, 100 per cent of HM’s income is paid to the Treasury, and she gets back approximately 15 per cent.
Out of this she will have to pay her staff and the running expenses of the Monarchy.
If Mr Lee is a Republican and wishes for a President instead, most of the costs of the Monarchy would continue, as I believe Buckingham Palace belongs to the country, not the Crown, so a President could live there. The cost of its upkeep would continue.
So sad about St Ignatius demise
It is with great sadness that I read about the sad demise of this historic church. It has a fond place in my family’s history as my parents were married there on February 19, 1949. My mum’s family lived in St Igs Square and all attended the adjoining school.
I commend the parishioners for their efforts in seeking to have the church reopened. Let’s hope the Bishop of Lancaster listens to ‘his’ people and sees the errors of his ways. Come on, let’s see this iconic Preston landmark reopened and put to God’s use again.
Alan Smith, Fulwood