Letters - Thursday, January 2, 2020

Making criminals pay for their crime
Making criminals pay for their crime
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Making criminals pay for their crime

At present, it is costing the country many millions of pounds to apply law and order to help protect the public from crime.

Every day we hear that crime is increasing year on year.

How can the authorities take action to combat these crimes?

One solution is for the convicted criminal to pay back full compensation, in terms of money, to the victim.

This would be set by the courts and jurisdictional authorities, regardless of the crime committed.

The term of the prison sentence should be the actual time it takes the convict to repay this sum by doing prison duties, working and being paid the national hourly minimum wage, with a minimum percentage proportion of the salary being saved to be paid to the prisoner at the end of their prison term.

This would help compensate the victim, and encourage the prisoner to pay back society for their crimes committed.

The time spent in jail would benefit both the victim and the prisoner.

Michael Chadderton

via email

POLITICS

Labour need to blame right people

I never thought I would ever agree with Tony Blair but his analysis of the state of Labour was exactly right. The Labour Party can blame Brexit, the press and the BBC.

Their big problem is that they will never blame the people who are to blame for their General Election failure - John McDonnell, Keir Starmer, Emily Thornberry and, most of all, Jeremy Corbyn.

You can’t win the hearts of the electorate with the politics of the gutter. If Labour keeps spouting the same tripe, the Conservatives can look forward to at least another two terms in office.

Malcolm Nicolson

address supplied

TRANSPORT

Golden opportunity for the railways

The franchise model has failed and Northern just happens to be the worst of a bad bunch. The Government can’t go on looking the other way armed only with sticking plasters.

I recently met Keith Williams [who is leading a review into the UK’s rail network] and told him this face to face. Mr Williams has a golden opportunity to improve the lives of millions across the North by telling the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps that the game is up and Northern must return to public control. Frankly that is the only way to turn this mess around and create a system which works for passengers rather than profiteers.

Ministers need to understand that our railways are key to unlocking the potential of our country far outside London.

The problems at Northern must be dealt with as a matter of priority – but Shapps should now apply stress tests to other franchises.

If they are failing to provide a good daily service, as well deliver on the environmental, social and economic benefits to communities, then they must come into public control without delay.

Manuel Cortes

TSSA General Secretary

POLITICS

No mandate to break up the UK

The SNP’s election campaign leaflets focused on stopping Brexit and locking Boris Johnson out of No 10 and didn’t mention independence.

A total of 2.7m votes were cast out of a electorate of 4.3m Scottish voters.

The SNP, led by Nicola Sturgeon (pictured), got 1.24m votes, 460,000 less than the 1.8m they would need to win a referendum.

They do not have a mandate for a referendum. Scotland’s problem is Labour has been a busted flush for years and the Lib Dems float along.

The Conservatives’ reliance on their being the most anti-independence plays well but fails to win them power. They have no policies for a better alternative to the SNP, who are seen as the best of a bad bunch.

Until that happens, Scotland is heading for a ‘high noon’ Holyrood election in 2021 when the SNP and Greens will win a majority of seats, more than 50 per cent of the vote and a moral and numeric case to hold a horrible, divisive, possibly violent referendum that tears the UK asunder with no upside.

Allan Sutherland

Address supplied

MEDIA

Licence fee seems good value now

Boris has mentioned that he plans to review the TV licence with a view to perhaps abolishing it.

Before complaining about paying for the BBC, it is worth having a surf through the Freeview channels with their endless advertising breaks and continual repeats of quizzes and property shows. Suddenly the licence fee seems pretty good value, especially when you add in the advert free radio broadcasting.

Phil Cray

via email