Reader’s letters - Monday June 9, 2014

People queue to cast votes in South Africa's first all-race elections in 1994 (see letter)
People queue to cast votes in South Africa's first all-race elections in 1994 (see letter)
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Make people vote by law

During the recent elections, when the fear of ‘open borders immigration’ figured hugely in the minds of electors , it was popular to quote the much admired Australian points system of Governmental assessment of needed specialised immigration labour, without penalising our own youth’s job opportunities.

However there is another Australian system which the recent election has proved would be highly desirable to be implemented here.

This is the need to have all electors vote at elections by law. Our ability to have a vote is a democratic privilege which many women gave their lives to achieve in the early 20th century and should now be made a legal obligation for all UK qualified voters.

Many will argue they refuse to vote to demonstrate their disgust with the present government or all politicians in general, but this can still be registered by the provision of a ‘none of the above’ box at the bottom of the voting paper or even the spoiling of their vote.

The cost to local authorities in legally maintaining an electoral list is no doubt reflected in the rates we all have to pay.

However, if a fine were levied on reluctant voters of, say, a charge of an extra week of rates, this would surely concentrate their minds.

Most local authorities would welcome another means of legally augmenting their income, suffering as they are under the present imposed Governmental restrictions.

Of course legitimate reasons for not attending, such as ill health could be justified with a doctor’s note, or an employer’s note that they were away on holiday or justifiable business.

A further reason why this is necessary is for the statisticians to be able to provide a reliable record of how each party had really fared in the election concerned, rather than the present vague assumptions.

This could easily be made law with cross party approval before the 2015 General Election, but don’t hold your breath.

E J Tilley, Chorley

Politicians out of step on shale

Lord Howell’s comments on the Government handling of its fracking policy are the comments of an honest politician (a very rare species).

He mentions loss of house values close to fracking wells, in Roseacre there has been a photo of a for sale notice covered over saying ‘no sale due to fracking scare’. Cuadrilla caused two minor earthquakes and a number of tremors and a well was damaged. Cuadrilla were reprimanded by the Government.

France and Romania have banned fracking; Romania is not a wealthy country – I assume they care more about their public than the UK Government does. If it is announced in the Queen’s Speech that the law is to change to allow fracking under people’s homes, they will be out of office after next year’s election. They have not got a clue. How can the authorities oversee a fully operational gas field?

Richard Swinnerton, by e-mail

Paving the way for more works

I had a quiet chuckle to myself this morning when I walked into Lancaster. Workmen are repaving Market Street, Market Square and Cheapside and it’s Murphy’s Law that as soon as anyone improves either the roads or the pavements – then before one can say “Burnley for the FA Cup and Premier League Champions – 2014/15, and European Cup Champions 2016”– along will come the electricity people, water people and the gas people to dig it all up again... or even Lancaster City Council.

So I’m betting my little cotton socks that before Christmas, there will be workmen of whatever ilk digging it all up to repair or modify something ... and not replacing the concrete slabs !

Norman Tomlinson, Lancaster

Stop penalising out life blood

Is it me or can commonsense come to the forefront of Morecambe’s future?

I’m sick and tired of seeing my customers racing to put money into parking meters, or having to move their car in between their breakfast.

So sad to see a father’s face, returning to his car with a ticket on it, having had a fun time with his wife and children on the beach, sun shining, the day spoilt, and his memory.

Can’t we come into the 21st century, a seaside resort trying to survive? Should it not be that hoteliers can have parking permits for their customers?

By the way I place no blame on traffic wardens, that is their job, even though some go beyond the call of duty. Morecambe needs to survive, businesses need support, and we need people to return having experienced a pleasurable time in Morecambe.

I feel for my next door neighbours, ploughing in that amount of investment – 10 apartments and two shops. Is it not time to review weekend parking, it’s essential to the future of Morecambe? So many people trying to make it work in Morecambe – look at the carnival, 30,000 people.

The effort of all those doing window displays to capture the imagination of visitors, and then the events organised: Blues Water, June 27/28; Morecambe Jazz, July 6; Motown Magic, August 8/9/10; Morecambe Weekender, August 24/25; Zombieville, October 17/18/19.

Look at what is organised. How fantastic would it be to announce Morecambe is to be a free parking resort at weekends?

Who is brave enough or who has got the commonsense to make the decision? Me being cynical, someone will say look at the revenue we will lose. I say what we will gain.

Steve Blane, The Crown Hotel, Morecambe

Let’s focus on party politics

It is obvious that in five years time Scotland will still be part of this great country. Also Britain will still be part of the United Nations, NATO, the Commonwealth and the European Union.

We can now turn to the real battle lines drawn between the Conservative and Labour parties. For a better, fairer and less snobbish Britain, we should all vote Labour.

Graham Nelson, Preston.