Readers’ letters - February 7

A copy of the Parliamentary bill intended to trigger Article 50 and Brexit.
A copy of the Parliamentary bill intended to trigger Article 50 and Brexit.
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Leaving EU won’t be an easy ‘divorce’

The letter from UKIP President Philip Griffiths contains a telling Freudian Slip (LP January 30). He says: “Labour, the Lib Dems, SNP, Greens and many Tories are doing their best to frustrate the democratic outcome, with the Lib Dems wanting a second referendum – exactly what the EU does when it gets the wrong result”. Exactly – it WAS the wrong result!

I have no problem with people who thought about the issue, weighed up the pros and cons, and decided to vote Leave. What I do have an issue with are those who decided, without any knowledge or justification, that they wanted out regardless. The interviews after the referendum said it all – some wanted to give Cameron a bloody nose, others thought the bankers were too greedy, still more thought the ‘toffs’ down south needed teaching a lesson, and of course we don’t like ‘Johnny Foreigner’, do we?! The oft-repeated mantra is that we must respect the wishes of the people.

All well and good, but I would bet my bottom dollar that the slim majority in favour of Leave was more than made up of voters in at least one of these categories. Furthermore, only 37 per cent of all those registered voted Leave, a figure which falls to less than 30 per cent if you count those eligible but not on the electoral roll.

The ignorance was amply illustrated by a correspondent last October, who said that “June 23 2016 was divorce day, and divorcees are not forced to cohabit for three years after decree nisi”. What incredible naivety and lack of understanding of the issues involved. To think that our country can unilaterally abrogate all its ties with the EU, built up over the past 40 years, and walk away in just a few short weeks without anything to replace them with, beggars belief. The analogy with a divorce does have one notable aspect. Many people believed that we could ‘have our cake and eat it’ – leave the EU, keep all the things we like and ditch the ones we don’t.

Now imagine, you’ve decided to walk away from your spouse. Do you really think that s/he would be reasonable in letting you cherry-pick your joint assets? Not a bit of it. He or she would make your decision to leave as difficult as possible. I don’t know where we will be in five or 10 years’ time, when it is all over. But whatever we have won’t be as good as what we have now.

Democrates

via email

nostalgia

Family links to Bank Parade

Re: Bank Parade, Preston – c.1880 (pictured below, courtesy of Preston Digital Archive).

What a lovely surprise to see your delightful sepia-mounted image of Bank Parade as it used to look (LP January 23).

I was only walking along this road on December 26, Boxing Day, doing a family history reminiscing walk through Preston.

Sad to see the gardens in the front all gone to rot and mess when there is such a good view of the river.

My father, Reginald Cecil Leigh, was born at 4 Bank Parade, on November 21, 1903, as the second child of Harry Leigh (Land Agent) and Mabel Leigh (nee Rigby).

Their first child, Nancy, was born on August 6, 1901 at “Tower House, Bank Parade”.

If anyone can tell me what that means, I would be very grateful.

Whilst on my walk along Bank Parade, I tried to workout what Tower House could mean – but came no conclusion.

My father spent his working life – 25 years – in Southern India as a bank agent for the Imperial Bank of India, and we as a family all feel a great tie with India.

By the way, the old wrought-iron door knocker on No.4 looks as if it could very well have been there in 1903!

Liz Hedley

Much Hoole

abuse

Abuse of elderly people is a crime

At Action on Elder Abuse, we were disgusted to read about the case of Lillian Buttery, who was filmed being dragged along the floor by her ‘carers’ (LP February 2).

The details of the case were particularly harrowing, but what we found especially shocking was the fact that no criminal prosecution has been brought against the perpetrators of this crime against a defenceless woman with advanced dementia, despite the whole incident being caught on camera and shown to police.

Sadly, this is part of a wider pattern, whereby those who commit crimes against older people get off scot-free.

Our research shows that, despite an estimated 413,500 people aged 65 or over in England and Wales experiencing some form of abuse each year – ranging from neglect and fraud to physical and sexual assaults – in 2015/16 there were just 3,012 successful criminal convictions.

This means it is likely that 99 per cent of those who abuse older people are going unpunished and, as we have seen in this case, even if they are prosecuted, all too often perpetrators do not receive a sentence commensurate with the gravity of their crimes.

For this reason, Action on Elder Abuse is campaigning for abuse of older people to be classed as an aggravated crime, so the police and our justice system are forced to take it more seriously.

To find out how you can get involved visit www.elderabuse.org.uk.

Gary FitzGerald

Chief

Executive,

Action on Elder Abuse

usa POLITICS

Trump’s reaction to believed ‘threats’

Donald Trump’s increasing erratic presidency has done nothing to elevate fears that the guy is little more than a bully, a misogynist and a racist.

Much has been made of Trump not being a ‘politician’ and for many that was the big attraction. Politicians lie, Trump apparently does not, despite being caught out time and time again…..lying.

Trump may not your bog-standard politician, but his highly abrasive and authoritarian approach to Mexico, Iran and now Australia is deeply worrying in itself, and arguably sets the tone for the rest of his presidency.

His temporary travel ban upon seven predominantly Muslim countries was also largely predictable, being little more than a glorified PR stunt aimed at appeasing his own support base, and playing upon a fear of Islamic terrorism that arguably has a huge bearing on his popularity.

Trump finds ‘threats’ everywhere, and research finds that non-authoritarians respond to the perception of ‘threat’ by behaving more authoritarian themselves.

In this way, Trump’s brand of authoritarianism becomes highly appealing.

However, one has to wonder how far Trump’s supporters will go to eliminate a ‘threat’ that may not actually exist.

Paul Dodenhoff

via email

energy

Police should take a tougher line

More has got to be done to stop the unacceptable action by protesters on Preston New Road at Little Plumpton.

Their dangerous behaviour outside the Cuadrilla fracking site is putting the lives of road users in danger and causing huge headaches for regular users of the A583.

It is costing the Lancashire taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds through increased policing costs. What happened to the promised ‘peaceful protests’ by action groups? What is clear is these groups have been hijacked by professional agitators from outside the area. I hope the police will take a much tougher line of action in the weeks ahead so Cuadrilla can carry on their lawful business.

Mr G Cash

Blackpool