Politics of the left failing
Despite what UKIP may achieve in the very odd and unrepresentative by-election nationally I think the Tories to their eternal credit will see off UKIP at next year’s general election.
The Conservative party is the most successful party in history in the democratic world. As a social democrat/socialist ie Labour person. I do not like that!
If my worst case scenario comes true, ie a Tory government comes, a divided centre left will, as always, have itself to blame. But the real blame will be with the Lib Dems (how you can be a social democrat and still back them I do not know) the Greens (nice but dim) and the extreme left who cannot see beyond the next hour.
I was in Glasgow’s George Square on September 18. The Greens, Socialist Workers Party and other so called socialists prematurely celebrating a victory for the Nationalists.
But that is typical of the extreme left claiming to back the people but being in bed with racists (not a comfortable word for the hard left). But in Scotland they were in bed with an anti-British, but above all, anti-English SNP.
Farage and colleagues are no answer for anyone. I am glad for the sake of Britain, the Tories will see them off at the next general election. Mark Reckless’s speech had tones of Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood 1968 speech.
Instead of attacking Black Christian Afro/Carribean/ West Indians as Powell did, Reckless attacked fellow, white Europeans.
He played the Commonwealth Empire card by citing our Commonwealth connections. But of course he meant white Anglo-Saxon Protestants.
Labour may get a majority next year in Parliament but it may be because UKIP have split the Tory vote. Roy Jenkins called for a major realignment of the centre left in Britain 33 years ago. But good man that he was, the only alternative to a Tory government is a Labour government.
It’s time other parties on the centre left realised this.
Graham Nelson, Preston
Fight for fairer deal for nurses
It is scandalous MPs are set to receive a 10 per cent pay rise, as recommended by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, whilst the Government has refused to implement a one per cent pay rise recommended for nursing staff by the independent NHS Pay Review Body.
If MPs deserve a pay increase, then why not hard working nurses? MPs’ pay could go up from £67,000 to £74,000. The average salary for a nurse working in the NHS is £23,038. Over the past three years nursing staff in the NHS have had a cost of living pay freeze.
That pay freeze means nurses have, in real terms, taken pay cuts as the cost of living has gone up. At the same time, nurses have been subjected to continuous change to their local terms and conditions of employment, with many being ‘down banded’ to a lower pay grade.
The Government has argued that it’s not affordable to award NHS staff a one per cent pay rise. Last year, however, the NHS under spent by £3bn and that money was handed back to the Treasury. It would have been much better spent on NHS services and staff. Nurses need support to protect patient care and quality and safety.
Not only does it seem nurses won’t get a pay rise in 2015, but the Government has now written to the NHS Pay Review Body asking it to make observations on ‘affordable out of hours working arrangements’. We fear this is an attack on pay for unsocial hours.
It’s already difficult to recruit enough nurses to protect patient safety. There are some 20,000 unfilled vacancies in England alone.
Nursing must be seen as an attractive profession not just to join but to remain in. Only fair pay for nurses will secure this.
Joanne Kerr and Mike Travis, RCN council members for the north west
Right Royal mix up over titles
Paying my at-least-annual visit to Morecambe this week, I discovered embedded in the promenade the series of steel roundels marking events and places in the town’s history.
Whilst I found the typography distressing and some of the plaques confusing when their positioning did not relate to the particular place being commemorated, I was also struck by the crime of “lèse-majesté” on one which reads Eric Morecambe memorial area opened by HRH Queen Elizabeth II.
Once I’d recovered and been restored with a reviving cup of tea, it occurred to me that Morecambe has rather been in the habit of demoting senior members of the Royal Family by downgrading their titles from Her Majesty to Her Royal Highness.
I recalled when I lived in the town in the 1970s, each year the (now-disappeared) waxworks on the seafront would have its day-glo orange posters re-painted for the coming summer season to advertise attractions to be seen within.
If the chance to see, what for the want of a better word, I’ll call a “likeness” of the Rt Hon Ernest Marples MP (who by then had already fled the country and was wanted for tax fraud) did not deter would-be paying customers, the reference on the same poster to HRH The Queen Mother would surely have raised doubts about what was inside.
Little though would have prepared the more-intrepid holiday-maker for the sight in a dusty section at the back of the museum of the display on the effects of syphilis.
As I assume this wasn’t there for entertainment purposes, it’s a pity the failure of the waxworks to observe on its posters outside the correct protocol on royal titles could have reduced the number of people benefiting from this early example of work on promoting safer sex.
Tim Barnsley, Streatham
Help needed in finding cousin
I don’t know why it is , last year I had the same problem in contacting my cousin, and you were kind enough to help me, with success.
Once again if you could help I’d be most grateful, my cousin Michael Swarbrick , lives in Whittingham Lane,Broughton,
I’ve sent several e-mails, so I really would be grateful for your help to contact him.
Peter Baines, São Paulo, Brasil