Reader’s letters - Wednesday December 24, 2014

Licensed premises should have breathalyser facilities says a correspondent. See letter
Licensed premises should have breathalyser facilities says a correspondent. See letter
Have your say

Have breathalysers in pubs

Fortunately attitudes to drink driving have changed dramatically over the years.

In 1967, related deaths as a result of driving under the influence were 1,640.

The latest figure for 2012 saw them reduced to 230. There is no room for complacency and, as the annual Christmas Drink Driving Enforcement Campaign gets underway, I am at a loss and fail to understand why there is not a breathalyser facility available in all licensed premises.

Surely we all accept that it is impossible to guess the ‘safe’ amount to drink and I would advocate that it should be compulsory for any potential motorist upon leaving and contemplating driving to take the test.

This would help to nullify any future defence in court proceedings if this opportunity had been ignored by the offender, and would also undoubtedly act as a deterrent.

In this day and age I suspect that the majority of responsible motorists would welcome a change in the law and a zero tolerance approach with a limit of 20mg alcohol per 100ml of blood accepting the undisputed evidence that only one drink can adversely affect the drivers ability to get home safely.

Jim Oldcorn, Great Harwood

Fairness more important

It saddens me that a previous correspondent thinks only handsome politicians need be Prime Minister (LEP Letters, December 19). I would have thought that the bitter experiences of the past four plus years under a Conservative-led coalition government would have adequately demonstrated that we need a politics that isn’t skin-deep: a politics we can believe in and one which stands up for ordinary people.

The Conservative-led coalition’s legacy clearly stands as the opposite: privatisation of the NHS (often to the financial advantage of the Coalition MPs supporting the move); cutting public services, but allowing those earning more than £100,000 per annum to escape the 50p tax rate (a change that cuts money for local services but doesn’t benefit many in our area); disabled people forced out of their homes because of the bedroom tax; introducing the National Planning Policy Framework, which leaves a standing assumption in favour of “sustainable development” and which is affecting all of our area in the shape of many of the new large-scale developments, irrespective of the wishes of residents.

Since 2010 we have sadly become a country of food banks and increasing homelessness.

This Christmas 3.7 million children are in poverty and families have to choose between eating and heating their homes while the top rate of tax has been cut and billions of pounds of NHS funding has been handed out through privatisation.

Whoever you speak to, it’s still the same story of “our pain, their gain”. The British people have long held a deep respect for fairness and tolerance, and I believe that next May we will choose a government that respects their needs and aspirations, a government which puts fairness at the heart of the tough decisions still to be made and one that, ultimately, works for the many and not the privileged few.

Ben Whittingham, Labour PPC for Wyre and Preston North

Sad Santa news for children

I see another wonderful Anglican vicar this week chose to announce to a class of infants that Santa doesn’t exist. Sobbing children, angry parents , just what you need at this time of year. No wonder congregations are falling.

Nothing new though, we had this before , and I recommended that the kids should ignore them.

What a kerfuffle that caused!

I had a deluge of mail from one of these churches calling me Satan. Still, there’s room for us all, and I do like a nice mince pie!

Allan Fazackerley via email

Labour policy for re-selection

I read (LEP December 19) that the council has honoured 11 ex-councillors by making them aldermen. Congratulations to them.

However may I point out one error in your report. It states that, back in 1997, Coun Tom Sharratt was de-selected by the Labour Party and therefore stood henceforth under the banner of the Idle Toad Party.

This is not factually correct.

The Labour Party has long had a policy that all its politicians, from MPs down the chain to parish councillors, must stand for re-selection before every election.

Even a serving Prime Minister was not exempt, with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown submitting to re-selection in their turns.

Back in 1997, Tom Sharratt was invited to attend a selection meeting in his then seat and, for reasons only he knows, did not turn up for the process.

Therefore having failed to present himself before the party selection process, he was not selected to stand.

I feel sure that, being an honourable man, Tom Sharratt will confirm this for you.

On such an auspicious occasion I feel it is important the true facts are reported by yourselves. I feel certain that Tom Sharratt would not want it any other way.

Jeff McCann, Hoghton

Lack of effort with TV style

While sitting through a Songs of Praise Christmas Special, it was good to hear all these traditional Christmas carols being sung. The members of the congregation were all decked out in their festive tinsel, the presenter, Bill Turnbull, was also ‘dressed to impress’ but, sadly, this formal smart look didn’t rub off on some of the male guests.

The women were elegantly made up and wore attractive dresses. As for some of the men, how scruffy they looked, in jeans, T-shirts and trainers.

Three male tenors looked like their suits were far too small and their shoes looked well past their sell-by date!

They knew they were appearing on TV in front of possibly millions of viewers.

You would have thought they would have made more of an effort for this special Christmas occasion.

And when Bill Turnbull interviewed each singing celebrity, they could not pronounce the “T’s” from certain words. Apart from all that – the carols were sung brilliantly. Well done to all who took part and to the BBC TV.

Darryl Ashton, Blackpool