Letters - September 02, 2016

Britain must end arms sales now

Friday, 2nd September 2016, 11:27 am
Updated Friday, 2nd September 2016, 12:31 pm
Does defence giant BAE Systems have an influence on Government policy?


We should invest in eco-friendly firms

With all the children maimed and killed, they have to give you a warning before the news bulletin these days.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Arms sales to authoritarian Saudi Arabia, which represses its own people and are now intervening in Yemen, shows they should never have been allowed in the first place, and is a flagrant breach of UK arms export regulations.

Rather than end the arms sales, the UK Government’s response has been to actually accelerate deliveries of bombs for use in emen with fighter jets and missiles.

If the Government had any interest in arms control and human rights, it would end arms sales now.

The tremendous influence of both BAE Systems and the Saudi rulers over UK Government policy continues today and the Government not acting shows the enormous length it goes to protect the relationship.

The vast sums of cash wasted in fuelling conflicts and repression around the world and propping up jobs in a declining and destructive arms industry, we should be investing in a vibrant and growing eco-friendly sector.

That would create jobs for the future and put Britain in its rightful place as a scientific world leader.

Let our MPs know the arms trade fuels conflicts and contributes to refugee crises and now, we want change.

Royston Jones

Beryl Avenue



Why on earth didn’t Jeremy book a seat?

Can we set the record straight on publicity-hungry Jeremy Corbyn’s carefully planned train journey?

I am just joe-public. When travelling by train I buy my ticket and book my seat.

Don’t tell me that the leader of the Labour Party embarks on a train journey when security should be paramount, without booking a seat ?

Sorry it just does not make sense, nice try Jeremy but so ridiculous in it’s conception you really should sack your PR guy.

You even made sure you were filmed sitting on the floor reading …….totally laughable.

No way to earn any scrap of respect.


via email


EU vote has given us our railways back

There is a good argument to renationalise the railways in whole or in part; and operate them as a not for profit company ( passengers) and a commercial company as a vital national resource ( freight).

The passenger services could be operated by regionally-based companies in order to be in touch with local needs.

It is an argument I support, and one I put to Jeremy Corbyn when I met him by chance on Preston station some weeks ago and we spoke briefly. Mr Corbyn gave me a few minutes of his time as he was about to catch a Blackpool train en route to the Fire Brigade Union conference.

Politeness on my part prevented me from asking the (at the time ) pre-referendum question as to why, after a political lifetime in opposition to the EU, he was now standing in favour of it.

Any argument in favour of partial state control of the trains, is of course, predicated upon the ability for Parliament to have the power to act by Statute. Until the referendum result, we were not able to consider it as an option, for the very same reason that we had to privatise the Royal Mail. Our membership of the EU and the Treaty of Lisbon supercedes the power of Parliament. No ifs no buts – what unelected Commissioners decide then we have to enact. Thus Big Business pulled the strings to privatise postal services and EU diktats make any renationalisation impossible.

If you care about good public service, democracy, freedom, and the right of ordinary people to be protected by the Bill of Rights (1689) then rejoice in the EU result and support all moves to make BREXIT a reality.

Edward Johnson

via email


Corbyn was obeying rules on tickets

There has been much controversy about Jeremy Corbyn passing empty seats on his recent rail journey when he had to sit on the floor. Those who have criticised need to be a little more observant. Most,if not all, the vacant seats have reserved tickets on them, for which the passenger has to pay a premium, so Jeremy was just following the rules not to occupy reserved seats.

Fred Hodson

via email


Nationalising is no answer on trains

As I wasn’t on Jeremy Corbyn’s Virgin train, I have no idea whether the service he caught was full, but it has become clear that it wasn’t and there were seats available.

However, overcrowding does occur and for the simple fact that the privatised railway is extremely popular and, even though there are more and faster trains with more seats, the growth in demand is outstripping supply.

However, help is on the way.

Under this Government, around £5.7bn is being spent on building new higher capacity express trains for the East Coast and Western Region. Indeed some have already been built.

In addition, new fleets of trains are being built for Transpennine Express and Northern, resulting in the removal of Pacers.

Almost all these new trains are being built in this country.

Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters are wrong and talk of a ‘hate campaign’ is ridiculous. Nationalisation of the rail network and removing all private provision from the NHS, apart from being economically illiterate, would simply take away resources from education, welfare, Local Government, and so on.

Neil Cartwright

via email