Letters - March 15, 2019
Banks are rushing into a cashless society
For many years, I banked at my usually very busy NatWest branch but, eventually, it fell victim to the ‘streamlining’ process and was closed.
We customers were assured that business would continue as normal since there was a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland just down the road and, as NatWest and RBS were part of the same group, all our banking needs could be transacted there seamlessly.
Fine and dandy until that branch of RBS was recently closed too.
So now any across-the-counter needs necessitated a trip into town but at least the ATMs remained in situ if a cash withdrawal was needed - better than nothing, I thought to myself, despite feeling that I and many other ‘valued customers’ had been misled.
On March 12, I went to make such a cash withdrawal.
Imagine my surprise on finding that not only had RBS been boarded up but that the ATMs had been removed from the site. Imagine my annoyance on then finding that the NatWest ATM, which remained in place on the wall of what had once been the branch of this bank, was out of order.
We are constantly being told that we are all moving to a cashless society and I freely admit that much of my financial business can be carried out online, but is it not the case that cash is a pretty useful thing to have, especially when banks have deserted the high street and are taking away the ATM facility with undue haste?
I cannot be the only bank customer who feels that I am being alienated from my own money by a banking system which has quite forgotten the meaning of customer service and which is doing its best to make the absence of physical currency a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Malcolm T Mynott
A few facts on antisemitism
So Royston Jones (Your Say, March 13) tries to defend the indefensible. Antisemitism in what was the Labour Party is, he claims, grossly exaggerated. Here are a few facts, there are many, many more available.
Tom Watson, the Deputy Leader has described antisemitism in the party as “shameful”. There is about to be an independent investigation of this by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Labour female MPs have been verbally abused, bullied and even threatened because they are Jews. The abuse has been vile and disgusting. Some have left the party.
Corbyn has refused to act despite promises to do so.
Blair and Brown were patrons of the Jewish National Fund. Corbyn, however, is patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. He says: “We are all Palestinians now”.
In a transparent pretence to clean the stables, Corbyn asked the human rights activist, Shami Chakrabarti, to carry out an in-depth investigation into antisemitism in the Labour Party. In only a few months she produced her report. It makes interesting reading.
It was a whitewash. Statements that provided irrefutable evidence of viirulent antisemitism were excluded. The names of those witnesses were not even given in the appendices.
That a once proud Labour Party is riddled with antisemites is beyond question. It is indeed shameful.
Dr Barry Clayton
Antisemitism has been ‘broadened’
The term ‘antisemitism’ has been hijacked by pro-Israel factions.
The dictionary term for antisemitism, is hostility to, prejudice against or discrimination of Jewish people. To be prejudiced against anyone for being a particular race is ridiculous, full stop, and if people discriminate against Jewish people, simply for being Jewish, then they’re morons but that’s not what the term ‘antisemitic’ has become.
The term has been broadened so that people think that it means prejudice and hostility toward Israel.
When I use the term Israel, I don’t mean the ordinary Israeli people, I mean the controlling state of Israel.
It’s the same when we talk about the Americans invading Afghanistan. It’s not the ordinary American citizens, it’s those who control the American regime that invade Afghanistan. To suggest someone is antisemitic for legitimate criticism of Israel for its actions as a country is deeply insulting to those who have suffered - and died - as a result of real antisemitism.
Flawed path up to the vote to leave
The principle that an electorate can subsequently change its mind is fundamental to our democracy; failure to defend that principle points the way to fascism.
But today increasingly it is coming to seem that the conduct itself of the campaigning leading to the 2016 referendum was seriously flawed and in breach of crucial democratic rules in its failure (particularly by the Leave Campaign) to comply with the rules.